French Justice Minister Says Snowden and Assange Could Be Offered Asylum

The Intercept [25/6/15]:

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira thinks National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange might be allowed to settle in France.

If France decides to offer them asylum, she would “absolutely not be surprised,” she told French news channel BFMTV on Thursday (translated from the French). She said it would be a “symbolic gesture.”

Taubira was asked about the NSA’s sweeping surveillance of three French presidents, disclosed by WikiLeaks this week, and called it an “unspeakable practice.”

Her comments echoed those in an editorial in France’s leftist newspaper Libération Thursday morning, which said giving Snowden asylum would be a “single gesture” that would send “a clear and useful message to Washington,” in response to the “contempt” the U.S. showed by spying on France’s president.

Snowden, who faces criminal espionage charges in the U.S., has found himself stranded in Moscow with temporary asylum as he awaits responses from two dozen countries where he’d like to live; and Assange is trapped inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden. (See correction below.)

Taubira, the chief of France’s Ministry of Justice, holds the equivalent position of the attorney general in the United States. She has been described in the press as a “maverick,” targeting issues such as poverty and same-sex marriage, often inspiring anger among French right-wingers.

Taubira doesn’t actually have the power to offer asylum herself, however. She said in the interview that such a decision would be up to the French president, prime minister and foreign minister. And Taubira just last week threatened to quit her job unless French President François Hollande implemented her juvenile justice reforms.

Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article improperly described the state of Assange’s case in Sweden and his reason for avoiding extradition. He has refused to go to Sweden, where he faces accusations of sexual assault, because he fears he could then be extradited to the United States.



 Saudis continue bombing Yemen



Reuters [26/6/15]:


Air strikes by a Saudi-led force hit military bases across Yemen on Friday, residents told Reuters, and the country's foreign minister was quoted as saying there was no need to convene another peace summit after the first round of talks failed.

Talks in Geneva last week ended without a resolution to the conflict, which has claimed more than 2,800 lives, as the Iran-allied Houthi movement and Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi refused to back down.

Ten people were killed in air raids in Jawf, a northern province bordering Saudi Arabia, residents said.

Hadi's foreign minister Reyad Yassin Abdullah said his government had no interest in organizing a new meeting in Geneva, Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Friday, and would instead work with all parties to implement United Nations Security Council resolution 2216.

The Houthis reject that resolution, which calls for them to withdraw from captured areas, return seized arms and allow Hadi to return from his Riyadh exile.






A drone strike killed five suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's south on Thursday, bringing to nine the number of alleged jihadists killed by unmanned aircraft in two days, officials said.  ... [Yahoo - 26/6/15]





The United Nations humanitarian arm today announces it will provide a critical injection of emergency funding in order to accelerate relief efforts to war-trapped civilians in Yemen, the Organization has confirmed.

According to an announcement made by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), $25 million will be released from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in order to support lifesaving projects including the provision of fuel, medicine, emergency supplies, clean water, sanitation services and nutrition programmes to Yemenis in need.  ... [Media Release - 25/6/15]



Syria: Islamic State 'kills 120 civilians' in Kobane [BBC - 26/6/15]




Israeli forces kill Palestinian at Jordan Valley checkpoint [Maan - 26/6/15]





An African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military base has been attacked in a dawn raid that has been claimed by armed group al-Shabab. ... [Al Jazeera - 26/6/15]





Gun attack kills at least 27 at Tunisian beachside hotel  [Reuters - 26/6/15]




Unidentified persons rammed a car into the premises of a US gas company in southeast France on Friday, exploding gas containers in an apparent attack which bore the hallmarks of Islamist militants and left one dead and several wounded, police sources and French media said.   ...
[GMA - 26/6/15]



Kuwaiti mosque hit by suicide attack, at least eight wounded: newspaper [Reuters - 26/6/15]




CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Investigators say an arsonist is to blame for a fire which caused a quarter-million dollars in damage to a predominantly black church here.

The fire early Wednesday morning at Briar Creek Road Baptist Church is also being looked at as a potential hate crime, officials said.

The fire gutted the church's classroom education and kids summer camp area. The ceiling collapsed and there are piles of charred debris everywhere. ... [USA Today - 25/6/15]


Former Nauru Chief Justice says New Zealand should stop financial support

RNZI [26/6/15]:

New Zealand should stop all financial support for Nauru's justice system, which is going from bad to worse, former Nauru chief justice Geoffrey Eames says.

Nauru is trying to overturn a decision that froze the country's bank accounts.

Three opposition political leaders are fighting criminal charges over a protest outside Parliament last week and another is fighting to be allowed to leave the country and return to New Zealand where he and his family live.

This country gives almost $900,000 a year to support Nauru's justice system.

Mr Eames, who was thrown out of Nauru last year by its government, told Checkpoint the island nation's democracy and its rule of law were broken.

He said New Zealand needed to make this clear to Nauru.

"It should not be supporting it. It should be saying this is an absolutely appalling abuse of power. Unless something is done, New Zealand will be propping up a system which is simply unjust."

Mr Eames said he had been watching the developments there with alarm.

"It all seems to be doing great damage to parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.

"The rule of law I suppose has been broken badly now for 14 or 15 months. But it's terrible to see the situation now is not improving, it's just getting worse."

Mr Eames said those facing charges in Nauru did not even have access to a trained lawyer.



Ben Cousins fined over rooftop incident

Nine MSN [26/6/15]:

Former West Coast Eagles captain Ben Cousins has been fined $800 by a Perth court over a bizarre rooftop incident.

Cousins was seen taking photos on his phone of the Gurdwara Sahib temple in Canning Vale on March 23 and drove off erratically before leaving his car in the middle of the road.

When police tried to take him into custody, he jumped fences and climbed onto the roof of a two-storey house where he paced until police officers talked him down.

Cousins's lawyer Michael Tudori told the Armadale Magistrates Court on Friday that his client was unwell at the time of his offending and was held at Armadale Hospital for several days.

He said the 36-year-old was receiving ongoing treatment and working as a fencer in the state's southwest.

Mr Tudori pleaded guilty on behalf of Cousins, who was not required to appear in court, to one charge each of trespass and property damage.

Cousins was fined $500 for trespassing on the Canning Vale home and $300 for damaging its roof tiles.

The magistrate said he understood how difficult life must be for someone in the public glare and that many people wished Cousins a sound recovery.

Outside court, Mr Tudori said Cousins had taken responsibility for what he had done and was keen to have the matter resolved.





Fascism ----->  Police are interviewing a man and a woman who they say tried to evade police in Jane Brook before police dog Anya tracked them to where they lay in a river bed.  ... [WA Today - 26/6/15]







The Real Story Behind the Fort Dix Five Terror Plot [The Intercept - 25/6/15]:




... For the Duka family, the arrests marked a tragic turn. They had escaped the turmoil of the former Yugoslavia and managed to start anew in the United States, only to find three sons publicly branded as terrorists. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir, seized when they were 28, 26 and 23, would be convicted of conspiring to kill U.S. military personnel and sentenced to life in prison, devastating the Duka family and putting an end to their nascent American dream.

Beyond the sensational headlines is the story of paid FBI informants with long criminal histories who spent a year working to befriend the brothers and enlist them as terrorists. This effort, both expensive and time-consuming, nevertheless failed to convince the Duka brothers to take part in a violent attack. Indeed, over the course of hundreds of hours of surveillance, the plot against Fort Dix was never even raised with them.




Toowoomba worker crushed by falling steel

Brisbane Times [26/6/15]:



A worker has been injured after being crushed by falling steel poles at a Toowoomba construction site.

The man in his 30s was working at the Queensland Investment Corporation's Victoria Street development when the accident occurred about 8.30am on Friday.

A Queensland Ambulance spokeswoman said the man suffered head and abdominal injuries and was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has been contacted for comment.

Three bodies found on rural property near Nyngan, central NSW



ABC [26/6/15]:

A crime scene has been established at a rural property near Nyngan in central New South Wales after three bodies were found, police say.

Emergency services were called to a property at Hermidale just after 8.30am after a member of the public found a man dead in the driveway.

Police from Darling River Local Area Command were called and found another man and woman dead on the property.

One of the bodies was located inside a caravan that has sustained fire damage.

The property is being examined by specialist forensic officers and detective are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.




Child endangerment charge, Rockhampton




QPS Media [26/6/15]:



A woman has been charged following investigations by the Rockhampton Child Protection and Investigation Unit in relation to an incident which occurred in North Rockhampton this morning.

At around 9.30am, it will be alleged a disturbance occurred on the footpath of Painswick Street between a man and a woman, and a pram containing a one-year-old child was pushed into the path of a car travelling on the road.

The car swerved and missed the pram.

A 21-year-old woman has been charged with endangering children.

She is scheduled to appear before the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on July 13.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Supreme Court judge in tears as Melbourne man jailed over brutal toddler death [Nine MSN – 26/6/15]




Man stabbed at jewellers, Fortitude Valley



Yahoo [26/6/15]:



A man has been stabbed in the chest multiple times at a Brisbane jewellery store. Emergency services were called to KL Jewellers on Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, about 4.15pm on Friday.

Paramedics treated a man, believed to be aged in his 60s, who had suffered stab wounds to his chest, face and neck, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said.

He was taken to Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital in a serious condition.

The man is reportedly the owner of the store, although police are uncertain whether a robbery has taken place.

Detectives were having difficulty negotiating a language barrier, a police spokesman said. One lane of Wickham Street remains closed and police have established a crime scene.





Armed robbery, Beaudesert




QPS Media [26/6/15]:




Police have released images of a man who may be able to assist with enquiries following an armed robbery that occurred today in Beaudesert.  

Around 11.05am, a man entered a convenience store on Tina Street and asked the attendant for a packet of cigarettes.  

The male attendant has handed the man the cigarettes and the man produced a knife and demanded cash. The attendant refused and the man has then fled the scene on foot.  

No one was physically injured as a result of the robbery. The man is described as being of Caucasian appearance, around 180cms tall with a slim build and stubble.   He was wearing dark shorts and a beige coloured hooded jumper.  

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




 Woman assaulted, Miriam Vale




QPS Media [26/6/15]:




Police are appealing to members of the public to come forward after a woman was assaulted near Miriam Vale on Wednesday June 24th.

Around 6:45pm the 20-year-old woman was travelling towards Miriam Vale on Fingerboard Road.

As she was approaching the electronic sign she saw a man in an orange hi-vis vest who appeared to be conducting traffic control.

The man indicated for her to stop, when she complied another person punched her through her open window and tried to pull her out of the car.

The woman accelerated away and drove into Miriam Vale for assistance.

The first man is described as Caucasian, of average height, stocky build, wearing an orange hi-vis vest.

The woman did not see the person who assaulted her.

Police are seeking anyone who travelled the area who may have witnessed the man or has had someone attempt to stop them in similar circumstances in the area to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000





Update – Robbery with violence, Gaythorne




QPS Media [26/6/15]:




Police are continuing to appeal for information from the public to assist their investigations into a robbery with violence at Gaythorn in which an elderly woman was assaulted.

Around 11.30am on June 25 the 73-year-old woman was assaulted inside a residence by a man demanding money before indecently assaulting her.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Michael Jones from Ferny Grove CIB says police have received some information from the public.

“We are still asking for people to come forward,” Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Jones said.

“Any piece of information can be the key to solving this, no matter how small you may think it is.”

Information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The man is described as having a dark complexion, approximately 170cm tall had a solid build and was wearing a maroon top, dark pants and no shoes.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.






Woman crashes car through doors at Southport shopping centre, narrowly missing bystanders



ABC [26/6/15]:



An elderly woman has had a lucky escape on the Gold Coast after crashing her car into a shopping centre.

The centre's CCTV cameras captured the woman driving through the doors at Australia Fair in Southport this morning.

The 88-year-old driver narrowly missed shocked bystanders inside the complex.

She was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with minor injuries.





A three-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after a car crashed into a house in Sydney’s south-west this morning. … [Nine MSN – 26/6/15]




Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance against forced closures of remote communities #sosblakaustralia ...



Image: ‏@v_for_valkyrie [26/6/15]



Stranger in my country, Stranger in my land,

Today we're somewhere no-account, tomorrow's something grand

I doubt if you'd agree with me, or if you'd understand

'til that day for guys like me, I'm a stranger in my land ...

'Stranger In My Country', Vic Simms [1973]



‏@bernakpln:   No pride in Genocide! #sosblakaustralia #ShutDownMelbourne 




‏@sosblakaust:   #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA #NOconsent  




@suthernx:   #sosblakaustralia Exactly how Australia feels #BlackLivesMatter



Stop the Forced Closure of Aboriginal Communities in Australia:

With Aboriginal communities still under threat of forced closures and the removal of essential services, #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA has announced a Third Global Call to Action to take place this weekend from Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28.

Fifteen weeks after Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “lifestyle choices” comment and WA Premier Colin Barnett’s announced plans to close up to 150 Western Australian communities, a wave of actions calling for a halt to community closures have been taking place worldwide, with a reach of over 12 million people from all walks of life.

Though the protests have made state and federal governments tone down their rhetoric, new plans show that their nation-wide agenda remains the same: the steady winding back of Indigenous services and community and cultural protections, while paving the way to reap resources from Aboriginal land through measures like the $5 billion “Northern Frontier” plan.

Cultural heritage sites have been deregistered in WA and Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory are now on notice after the Federal Government’s proposal to pay out the NT Government to absolve themselves of future financial responsibility as has happened in WA and SA.

Loss of land, culture and self-determination has already resulted in a state of emergency in Aboriginal Australia, already experiencing chronic rates of poverty, homelessness, forced child removals, alcoholism, incarceration, trauma, suicide and ongoing deaths in custody. On top of this, the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our prisons has risen more than 80% in ten years.

A recent Amnesty International study showed that WA Aboriginal youth are 53 times more likely to end up in jail. The $534 million dollar cuts to services in the 2014 budget, attacks on communities and the denial of basic human rights via measures like the NT’s “paperless arrests” are rightfully increasing international concern.

Studies show that people live safer, healthier and longer lives in strong and healthy communities where connections to culture and custodianship of land can be maintained.

And though he purports to be concerned about Indigenous wellbeing, on Colin Barnett’s watched, 80 per cent of WA communities are without safe drinking water and those who have been forced to leave communities are left to fend for themselves on the fringes of larger towns like Broome where alcohol and violence is a much greater problem. Such policies and practices are part of a long pattern of cultural genocide that we can no longer afford to ignore.

To date, #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA Calls To Action have given rise to an incredible movement with a new generation of young grassroots activists stepping up to be heard while garner support locally and abroad. Federally we have seen petitions have been tabled, tri-partisan support from Greens, Democrats and Labor. official statements made in Parliament from Greens and Labor members.

In Western Australia questions have been raised in lower and upper house around sexual abuse claims by Premier Barnett which he continues to ignore and to date has failed to produce a legitimate verification of such inflammatory statements. Calls by Minister Collier for people to stop protesting amidst claims of a consultative process to provide a document outlining the planning, instead met the community with a five page promotional document of little substance.

While the rhetoric has shifted away from the terminology of forced closures, there is no tangible backdown by the state. Recently, the West Australian Government has called for regional Aboriginal leaders to nominate to join Strategic Regional Advisory Councils being established in the Kimberley and Pilbara.

Minister Redman has said, “The reform will only work if it is developed and implemented in collaboration with Aboriginal leaders”. The question is, on whose terms and at what price to our communities and culture? Actions to date show that government talk of “reform” and “consultation” are window dressing for getting their own way at our expense.

We urge all people of good will to join this call to action and #SOSBLAKAUSTRALIA will continue its role to keep the spotlight firmly on government until there is complete certainty for our communities.



The European Commission has unveiled a voluntary plan for its member states to deal with an influx of tens of thousands of migrants travelling to Europe via the Mediterranean.

The plan, announced after lengthy talks in Brussels early on Friday morning, aims to speed up the relocation of 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece over two years.

Another 20,000 people now living outside of the EU and found in need of protection will also be resettled under the plan, which was immediately criticised by Italy for not imposing mandatory quotas on nations.

The distribution of the migrants will be agreed upon by the end of July. ... [Al Jazeera - 26/6/15]





Mike Baird is the Premier of NSW.



Here's a REAL story --->  Heroic Indonesian fisherman who saved drowning Rohingya refugees



... We are humans. if someone is dying, we have to help them. There is no way that we could have done anything different. They needed our help. ...

Rio Tuasikal, World Crunch [25/6/15]:

It was 8 p.m. and the sea was calm in the Strait of Malacca, at the northern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island. Ibrahim, a local fisherman, was pulling in his first catch of the night when he received news that a nearby boat was overcrowded and in trouble.

"We met another small fishing boat and they asked us to help," Ibrahim recalls. "The fisherman said there were more than 1,000 people that needed help, but his boat could only take around 20 to 30 people."

He immediately released his catch and headed towards Malaysia. Half an hour later, he witnessed a terrible scene that looked like something out of the movie Titanic.

"When we arrived, we put our lights on," he recalls.

"We saw all these people floating in the water like ducks. Many of them were drowning, but we saved some of them. Their boat was half underwater, and passengers were being thrown into the water."

He describes the boat as small and so overcrowded that people on it couldn't move.

"The passengers didn't jump off," he says.

"They were thrown off it. The boat's engine was dead, and the boat was filling up with water."

His fishing boat was the fifth one on the scene, and his 30-person crew lowered their ropes and started saving the refugees, ultimately bringing 180 people to shore.

"Some of them were half naked, so we gave them our spare clothes," Ibrahim recalls. "We gave them what food and water we had. Some of them were bleeding, so we gave them onions and salt to put on their wounds."

With no languages in common, Ibrahim and the migrants used body language to communicate. It was almost dawn when his boat and other rescue ships arrived at the Kuala Langsa dock.

He then handed over the refugees to the Indonesian maritime police, who scolded him for his efforts.

"The officer asked me why we didn't reject the boat people," he recalls. "If the ship was still in a good condition, we would have just given them food, but if they're drowning at sea we have to rescue them. We are humans. if someone is dying, we have to help them. There is no way that we could have done anything different. They needed our help."

Muhammad Amin, one of the rescued Rohingya refugees, says Ibrahim and the other fisherman who helped them are heroes.

"If there were no Acehnese out at sea that day, everyone would have died," Amin says.

Another refugee, Hassan, says the fishermen have given them a new life. "I always pray for Indonesia," he says. "If your country hadn't saved us, maybe we would have died."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there are still about 7,000 other refugees at sea.

Ibrahim and the local fishermen have agreed to report illegal immigrants to the authorities if they see them.

“If the ship is still in good condition, we will not bring them to the coast," he says. "If they are in the ship, they don't need our help, but we saved refugees that were in trouble."

The Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees are now staying in temporary camps in Kuala Langsa, the harbor of Langsa city. The port is located right next to the fish unloading center where Ibrahim docks his boat. He says he and the other fisherman lost money on the night of the rescue.

"We didn't catch anything, and then we got home and we haven't been able to go out to sea again because we have a problem with the light," he says. And now it's Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims in which the faithful fast during the daytime. "Everything is going wrong."

But when he visits the refugee camp, he says he knows he did the right thing. A refugee passes by and thanks him again.

"We have a hard life, but their problems are much greater than ours," Ibrahim says. "I want to see the government look after them for a year. They have never begged us for food, so as long as the government is looking after them it's not a problem having them here.

"We should never lose our humanity."





Rohingyas mark Ramadan alongside fellow Muslims in Malaysia [Channel News Asia - 26/6/15]


Suspended Nauru opposition MP awaits ruling on cancelled passport



RNZI [26/6/15]:

A suspended Nauru opposition MP, Roland Kun, who is being prevented from leaving Nauru, says he's been told he's under criminal investigation.

Mr Kun is among five opposition MPs who are suspended from parliament since last year and, following recent anti-government protests on the island, are either facing criminal charges or have had their passports cancelled .

Mr Kun is taking the government to court over his cancelled passport and Nauru's Supreme Court is due to hear his case on Friday.

He told Sally Round the Minister of Justice David Adeang has written to him telling him why his passport was cancelled.




PNG: Lawyers’ comments criticised by Law Society




The National [26/6/15]:



The Papua New Guinea Law Society has strongly criticised the comments of lawyers Greg Sheppard and Harvey Maladina to an undercover operative on ways to transfer funds out of the country to pay off politicians.

“For lawyers to encourage the flaunting of the laws of this country or a foreign country or engage in conduct likely to invite ridicule and criticism to the profession and practice of law is viewed with disdain and not welcomed by PNGLS,” it told The National yesterday.

It pointed out that the legal profession had been under much scrutiny and criticism in recent years that this new development would do nothing to improve the situation.

It said that due to serious allegations against lawyers, the public perception of the profession had taken a real battering.

“Lawyers have not only a legal duty to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this country but ethical and moral duty as well to ensure that their engagement in the wider community where they ply their trade is done without compromising the oath they took when they get admitted to the bar. The Professional Conduct Rules sets the benchmark for the measurement of the minimum standards required of lawyers,” it said.

The society said the footages aired on Tuesday night over SBS’s Dateline programme were so explicit and graphic that the authorities had no choice but to investigate.

Allegations about money laundering were serious and a transnational issue and both the PNG and Australia governments should immediately investigate and see if there was any truth in the manner in which the subject was discussed by the two lawyers, it said.

The society also intends to invite the two partners of Young and Williams to explain their comments which“though isolated to their firm, have a far wider impact on the profession as a whole”.

It added, however, that the matter was sensitive and due processes must be followed and “handled delicately and in an orderly manner”

“The process is important to ensure that all persons concerned are cleared of any such serious allegations,” the society said.


Top lawyers caught in undercover sting; police urged to investigate [Canberra Times – 24/6/15]

Sentence submissions on the appropriate penalties to be imposed on convicted former Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki were done yesterday.

Vaki was found guilty by Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia last Thursday (June 18) for contempt of court after he willingly failed to execute a warrant of arrest against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last year.

He was found guilty on all four counts of contempt.

His lawyer Greg Sheppard asked the court for a fine or suspension of time be given so his client can serve a non-custodial sentence. ... [PNG Loop - 25/6/15]





Ongoing bigotry of minority group of extremist old geezers greenlighted by Australian political and media establishment



Protesters against Maroochydore mosqueTwo anti-Islam groups have previously held a rally against the now council approved Maroochydore mosque. ABC News: Bruce Atkinson



ABC [26/6/15]:

Opponents to a mosque in Maroochydore will hold a rally tomorrow after its development application was approved by local council.

The Sunshine Coast's Islamic community bought the two-storey house in Church Street from Uniting Care last year and lodged an application for a mosque.

A strong public campaign [heavily promoted by local media outlets] run by two anti-Islamic groups opposed to the project has been run against the mosque.

A rally against the proposal was held last year and saw more than 200 people attend, yelling abuse and shaking placards such as: "Islam is plotting our destruction" and "Australia we have a problem".




Protected and unaccountable spooky intervention man lectures constituents about bigotry that his government cultivated and greenlighted  [ABC - 12/6/15]:


Sunshine Coast federal MP Mal Brough is urging locals opposed to a mosque being built in Maroochydore to learn more about Islam, rather than succumbing to misguided fear and hatred.  ...




WikiLeaks 'Saudi Cables' reveal secret Saudi government influence in Australia [Canberra Times - 20/6/15]:


WikiLeaks has revealed secret Saudi Arabian influence in Arabic media and Islamic religious groups in Australia as well as covert monitoring of Saudi students studying at Australian universities.

More than 61,000 leaked Saudi diplomatic documents have been released by WikiLeaks in what the international transparency group says will be the first instalment of the publication of more than half a million secret papers in batches over coming weeks.

"The Saudi Cables lift the lid on an increasingly erratic and secretive dictatorship that has not only celebrated its 100th beheading this year, but which has also become a menace to its neighbours and itself," WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange said in a statement released on Saturday.

The leaked Saudi government documents include extensive correspondence between the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kingdom's embassy in Canberra that reveals sustained Saudi efforts to influence political and religious opinion within Australia's Arabic and Islamic communities.

The documents include instructions from the Saudi government to its embassy relating to the payment of large subsidies from the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to prominent Arabic newspapers and media organisations in Australia, with reference made to cheques to the value of $10,000 and $40,000.

The Saudi embassy is also revealed to pay close attention to the political and religious beliefs of Saudi university students studying in Australia with reports sent to the Mabahith, the General Investigation Directorate of the Saudi Ministry of Interior, the Kingdom's brutal secret police that deals with domestic security and counter-intelligence.

The directorate is also revealed to make recommendations in relation to Saudi government funding for building mosques and supporting Islamic community activities in Australia.

The documents show the Sunni kingdom's strong concern about efforts by Shiite Islamic leaders to engage with the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the kingdom's funding of visits to Australia by Sunni Islamic clerics to counter Shiite influence.

WikiLeaks said that the leaked reports of communications between the Saudi government and its embassies across the globe "provide key insights into the kingdom's operations and how it has managed its alliances and consolidated its position as a regional Middle East superpower, including through bribing and co-opting key individuals and institutions."

The documents reveal extensive Saudi efforts to influence and neutralise critical opinion in foreign media, including widespread use of monetary contributions and subsidies.

"Most world governments engage in PR campaigns to fend off criticism and build relations in influential places. Saudi Arabia controls its image by monitoring media and buying loyalties from Australia to Canada and everywhere in between," WikiLeaks said in a written statement.

WikiLeaks noted that the Saudi Foreign Ministry admitted to a breach of its computer networks last month. The security breach was attributed a group calling itself the Yemeni Cyber Army. Saudi Arabia is currently engaged in military intervention in the Yemeni civil war.

According to WikiLeaks the leaked material comprises hundreds of thousands of pages of scanned images of Arabic text, tens of thousands of text files, spreadsheets and emails which have been placed a searchable database.

The embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not available for comment.


Buying Silence: How the Saudi Foreign Ministry controls Arab media:

...The initial reaction to any negative coverage in the regional media is to "neutralise" it. The term is used frequently in the cables and it pertains to individual journalists and media institutions whose silence and co-operation has been bought.

"Neutralised" journalists and media institutions are not expected to praise and defend the Kingdom, only to refrain from publishing news that reflects negatively on the Kingdom, or any criticism of its policies.

The "containment" approach is used when a more active propaganda effort is required.

Journalists and media institutions relied upon for "containment" are expected not only to sing the Kingdom's praises, but to lead attacks on any party that dares to air criticisms of the powerful Gulf state.

One of the ways "neutralisation" and "containment" are ensured is by purchasing hundreds or thousands of subscriptions in targeted publications. These publications are then expected to return the favour by becoming an "asset" in the Kingdom's propaganda strategy.

A document listing the subscriptions that needed renewal by 1 January 2010 details a series of contributory sums meant for two dozen publications in Damascus, Abu Dhabi, Beirut, Kuwait, Amman and Nouakchott.

The sums range from $500 to 9,750 Kuwaiti Dinars ($33,000). The Kingdom effectively buys reverse "shares" in the media outlets, where the cash "dividends" flow the opposite way, from the shareholder to the media outlet. In return Saudi Arabia gets political "dividends" – an obliging press. …





A Noosa businessman has questioned the new council's eagerness to shut down helicopter practice flights without any apparent analysis of the wider business impacts.

Ian Pratt, who owns the national business Lexis English, said the closure of the Teewah airstrip, effectively stopping Becker Helicopters from training students, would rob him of about $1 million in income annually.  ... [Noosa News - 11/2/14]




Elmes says time for council to end helicopter buzzing [Sunshine Coast Daily -23/3/13]




Mayor defends Saudis in training [Sunshine Coast Daily - 25/9/12]




Bar Association of Queensland responds to Courier-Mail's ongoing campaign against the judiciary



Media Release [26/6/15]:

In recent weeks there have been a numbcr of media articles which have offered commentaries on the Supreme Court and its past and present judges.

Unfortunately this has culminated today in an editorial in the Courier Mail which is extraordinary for its disparaging assault on all Supreme Court judges of this State.

The editorial records that the judges "are entrusted with administering justice, protecting society by punishing criminals and ...upholding our values by exercising fairness". This is a broad but simplified statement of the important functions af thc judges in the discharge of their office. However, the editorial implies that this is not occurring, that some or all of the judges are not doing their jobs and have "embarrassed" Queensland.

This kind of slur on the attitude, professionalism and performance of the judges of this State has no proper role in any public discussion about the administration of justice in the State.

It is unwarranted and inaccurate.

The administration of justice by this State's highest court is an extremely serious topic for debate. The Bar Association believes any further discussion should recognise that the members of the court are highly dedicated judges devoted to the proper and effective discharge of their judicial duties.

Those who work in and about the courts know that to be the case. The judges continue to have the support and confidence of the Bar.


Shane Doyle QC





Jurors told they can draw “inferences” from evidence [Byline - 25/6/15]:


Jurors at the hacking trial of News of the World journalist Neil Wallis retired to consider their verdict today.

Mr Wallis, 64, denies conspiring to hack phones while deputy editor of the Sunday tabloid between January 2003 and August 2006.

The judge, Mr Justice Saunders, summed up the case at the Old Bailey in London during the morning.

He dealt with Mr Wallis’s “good character;” his character witnesses – which included Sir John Stevens, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police; his testimony that he had been a stickler for the rules on journalistic conduct set by the Press Complaints Commission; and his belief that many of the paper’s stories had come from legitimate sources.

The judge also outlined the Crown’s case that it was inconceivable such a senior executive did not know about hacking at the paper; emails discussing “checks” and “special checks” obliquely referred to hacking; and former reporter Dan Evans' claims that he had played a hacked message to Mr Wallis.






James Murdoch says family is united as he takes helm of Fox [Reuters - 25/6/15]





... I’ve been feeling smothered here in Holland, and in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, and in all the European countries save for Italy and the Czech Republic that we’ve visited over the past five years and change, smothered by the denial and techno-happy thinking that seems to be everywhere you go.

People don’t seem to do wealth well. It blunts their senses: “prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right”.





The Automatic Earth [25/6/15]:



... Anyway, different parts of Europe have had a different view of life for years. And of course Greece had been going down with a vengeance for a long time.

I’m just trying to say that Europe is not one big happy entity with Greece as a black sheep. But they’re all still, or seem to be, ganging up on Athens.

That’s all just the effects of propaganda, and everyone should learn to see through that thin veil. But it’s so tempting, isn’t it, to think you’re superior to someone else, to ignore that you’re the same.

And that it’s beyond brainless to drive your brand new Beamer on the Autobahn at 200 miles an hour blabbing about them Greeks who deserve to be flogged for refusing to pay you back what they stole from you.







 $150 "if you are scraping by on 2 minute noodles"?




"Artists Against Starvation", Surfers Paradise [12/11/14]




Art and activism reimagine the future [Gold Coast City Council Media Release – 22/6/15]:


Artists have a critical role in creating a new future according to internationally renowned activist Alex Kelly; an idea to be explored this week on the Gold Coast.

As a filmmaker, producer and activist Alex Kelly is well placed to explore the concept of art, activism and their role in social change.

Ms Kelly will tell a story about Radically re-imagining the world as our climate changes.

“I'll be exploring the critical role of artists in imagining the future,” Ms Kelly said.

“And the need for new narratives to respond to crisis, to see climate change as an opportunity and a gift to create a more just world.

“There is no way that we’ll be able to make the deep and urgent shifts we need to make to respond to the climate crisis and crisis of inequality without a radical re-imagining of our world.

“It must be the artists, the poets, the culture and story makers who provide us new, ridiculous, playful and beautiful ideas to help us see in our minds the myriad possible ways we can, and must, remake our world,” she said.

As a resident of Alice Springs, she’s looking forward to being by the ocean and connecting with the local creative community.

“Events like 2970° are so important for sharing ideas, having conversations and connecting with people across different work practices and approaches to social change. I am especially excited about events like this that take place outside the major cities,” Ms Kelly said.

The City of Gold Coast-backed event, 2970° The Boiling Point, is a cross-sector forum with a difference. It responds to Bernard Salt’s Beyond the Horizon report commissioned by the City and released earlier this year.

The report called for a MONA effect, a catalyst to transform the Gold Coast through art and culture.

And 2970° is the seed to start the transformation. The event will examine the space where arts, science, technology, architecture and sport meet through a series of exhibitions, performances, provocations and conversations. [i.e. how to continue excluding marginalised artists, grassroots activists and the rising voices of those worried about US imperialism, war and inequality so we can carry on maintaining the status quo in our privileged bubble of cultural banality.]

Alex Kelly has spent the better part of last year in New York, involved on a project called This Changes Everything with Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein and her journalist and documentary-maker husband Avi Lewis.

“A lot of my work is about finding ways to put the book and film at the service of movements,” she said.

And the climate movement is just one of those. She lists anti-fracking, labour rights, access to public transport and Black Lives Matter amongst others.

“I really think about how we can share our platform and the convening power that a powerful thinker like Naomi has, to bring people together to have a conversation to reframe climate change,” she said.

“And we’re really looking at climate change not as a green issue, but as an economic issue and unpacking why some people don’t want to take action, realising that a lot of that is connected to their interest in maintaining the economic status quo.”

“We’re always told that our current system is the status quo, that it’s normal and inevitable.

“But we can see from droughts, floods, fires, bank bailouts, economic collapses, that there is a lot of upheaval and change happening all the time. So we actually need different stories to think about how we respond to that and to be able to think that we can all play a part in creating a different future,” she said.

Alex Kelly is a firm believer the future is something we can all shape in the present.

“In some ways I don’t think the future I imagine is that much different to now except that we won’t have as big a gap between the extremely wealthy and the rest of us,” Ms Kelly said.

“And we will see the majority of people given access to education, health care, transport – because if we have a society where everybody has access to be healthy and to participate in that society, we’re going to see a much more innovative and creative world because everyone will have the opportunity to express their potential.”

2970° is part of a wider strategic direction to accelerate the development of the arts and culture and position the Gold Coast as a place that is distinct, pioneering and unexpected in its cultural offer.

Underway for more than a year the roll out of the City’s Culture Strategy 2023 has included increased arts funding, an elevation of Indigenous culture, development of contemporary music and public art plans and new approaches to professional development and funding models.





"We are 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us" #Manus  [January 2015] via @shanebazzi




"We want Manus to close."


Manus Island Vigil @ Australian Consulate in New York City - January 21, 2015 from 501(c)(3) Productions 



Worldwide protests planned over Manus Island detention centre [Nine MSN - 15/2/15]



SBS [22/1/15]:


... In an email from New York, filmmaker Alex Kelly said Australian expats gathered for a candle light vigil outside the Australian Consulate.

“We are opposed to these offshore detention centres, we want detainees to know there are many Australians and people around the world who support their struggle,” she said.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.




"Guantánamo of the Pacific": Australian Asylum Seekers Wage Hunger Strike at Offshore Detention Site [Democracy Now - 22/1/15]:



A massive hunger strike is underway at what some are calling "the Guantánamo Bay of the Pacific."

The Manus Island detention center is paid for by the Australian government and run by an Australian contractor, Transfield Services, but located offshore on Papua New Guinea’s soil.

The inmates are not accused of any crimes — they are asylum seekers from war-ravaged countries who are waiting indefinitely for their refugee status determinations.

They are asking the United Nations to intervene against the Australian federal government’s plan to resettle them in Papua New Guinea, where they say they could face persecution.

Some have barricaded themselves behind the detention center’s high wire fences; others have resorted to increasingly drastic measures such as drinking washing detergent, swallowing razor blades, and even sewing their mouths shut to protest their confinement.

We speak with Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Alex Kelly, a social justice filmmaker who organized a New York City vigil in solidarity with the Manus Island detainees.





The ALP and LNP joined togther to defeat this - and other amendments - to the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015



The amendment was summarised by Senator Xenophon: "... Jurisdictionally, it puts beyond doubt that, if there is no reach, that conduct should not breach what would ordinarily be the laws of Australia. ... "



Senate Hansard [25/6/15]:

Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (17:54): I move amendment (1) on sheet 7740 standing in my name:

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (lines 20 to 22), omit subsection 198AHA(3), substitute:

(3A) To avoid doubt, subsection (2):

(a) is intended to ensure that the Commonwealth has capacity and authority to take action, without otherwise affecting the lawfulness of that action; and

(b) does not authorise or empower an individual acting on behalf of the Commonwealth to take, or cause to be taken, any action outside Australia that, if the action was taken in Australia, would contravene a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory.

[limitation to lawful action]

Last year the government hastily drafted a national security bill which Labor supported. The bill provided an immunity to officers involved in special intelligence operations. I pointed out that the immunity would apply even if the officers engaged in torture. The government said it had no intention of authorising torture, but it nonetheless eventually amended the national security bill so that the immunity did not cover torture. This year, the government has hastily drafted an immigration bill which Labor supports. The bill states that the Commonwealth may 'take, or cause to be taken, any action' in relation to a regional processing arrangement or the regional processing functions of a country. The bill fails to rule out action that would contravene a law of the Commonwealth, a state or a territory if the action were done in Australia. The government may have no intention for this bill to authorise action that would constitute an offence here, but the stated intentions of the current government and the law of the land are two different things. So my amendment, I propose, would ensure that the bill does not authorise action that would contravene Australian law if the action were done in Australia. The amendment is modest. It has no effect on the law of the land as it exists here and now; it only affects the new section to be enacted by the law, proposed section 198AHA. My amendment states that the new section:

… does not authorise or empower an individual … to take … any action outside Australia that, if the action was taken in Australia, would contravene a law …

I acknowledge that the actions authorised by the bill must be actions in relation to a regional processing arrangement or regional processing functions, but this does not limit authorised actions to actions that would be legal in Australia. A regional processing arrangement is simply defined as:

… an arrangement, agreement, understanding, promise or undertaking, whether or not it is legally binding.

All that is said about regional processing functions is that they include:

… the implementation of any law or policy, or the taking of any action, by a country in connection with the role of the country as a regional processing country, whether the implementation or the taking of action occurs in that country or another country.

My amendment I consider to be necessary and prudent, and I seek the support of the minister and my colleagues.




Serious traffic crash, Cairns

QPS Media [25/6/15]:

Police are investigating a serious traffic crash in Cairns tonight.

Initial information indicates that just before 7pm tonight a three-year-old child has been struck by a car on Alfred Street, Manunda.

The child was transported to Cairns Base Hospital with critical injuries.

Northbound lanes of Alfred Street near the Koch Street intersection remain closed to traffic and police advise motorists to avoid the area if possible.

The closure is expected to remain in place for some time.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating the incident.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Woman dies following June 17 traffic crash, Wynnum

QPS Media [25/6/15]:

A 45-year-old Wynnum West man, injured in a single vehicle traffic crash on June 17 has died as a result of his injuries.

The crash occurred on Whites Road, at the intersection of Arakurta Street when the vehicle he was driving left the road and collided with a power pole.

The man was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he passed away last night.

Investigations into the crash are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Two injured after pushbike and motorbike collide, Southport

MYGC [25/6/15]:

A pushbike and motorbike have collided on the Gold Coast this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene at the intersection of Olsen Avenue and Smith St on ramp at Southport just before 10:00am following reports two people had been injured in a collision.

A 27-year-old male and 41-year-old male are currently being assessed at the scene by paramedics.

Motorists are advised to use alternative routes.



Cyclist injured after being struck by car, Broadbeach

MYGC [25/6/15]:

A cyclist has been injured after being struck by a car on the Gold Coast this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on Queensland Avenue & Surf Parade, Broadbeach following reports a person had been struck.

A 20-year-old male with leg injuries is currently being assessed at the scene by paramedics.






Motorcyclist injured after collision with deer An injured deer is on the loose in Brisbane's southside after it ran onto the Centenary Motorway and was hit by a motorcyclist on Thursday night.

The Queensland Ambulance Service said the rider was in a stable condition after suffering leg and elbow injuries in the crash on the Centenary Motorway at Mount Ommaney.  ... [Brisbane Times - 25/6/15]


Truck driver charged over death of elderly man on Hume Highway [Canberra Times – 25/6/15]






Murder charge over Hilton death


West Australian [26/6/15]:



A 66-year-old Brentwood woman has been charged over the death of her sister in Hilton this week.

Police allege a 62-year-old Hilton woman was fatally injured at her home between 9pm on June 24 and 1.30am on June 25.

Her older sister was charged with murder and is due to appear in the Fremantle Magistrates Court today .



Jury quickly clears Duntroon cadet on rape, assault charges [Canberra Times – 25/6/15]





Robbery with violence, Brisbane City



QPS Media [26/6/15]:


Police are investigating a robbery with violence which occurred last night in Brisbane CBD.

Around 11.50pm, a man was walking within Wickham Park on Albert Street when four males approached him and asked for a cigarette.

The man gave cigarettes to the group and which point they assaulted the man and robbed him of his mobile phone and his jacket which contained his wallet.

Using a mobile phone finding app, police were able to locate the man’s phone at the intersection of Ann and Edward Streets.

His jacket and wallet were located a short distance from the park.

During the assault, the man sustained a possible broken nose. Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Armed robbery, Hope Island



QPS Media [26/6/15]:



Police are investigating the armed robbery of a service station at Hope Island late last night.

At around 11.20pm, two men forced entry into the Crescent Avenue business by kicking a glass sliding door.

The men then attended the counter and produced a knife and metal bar, threatening the 35-year-old male store attendant before leaving with a sum of cash and goods from the business.

They were last seen heading down Crescent Avenue on foot. Police investigations into the incident are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Attempted armed robbery, Greenbank




QPS Media [26/6/15]:



Police are investigating the attempted armed robbery of a tavern at Greenbank last night.

Around 11.50pm a man entered the Teviot Road business and approached a staff member.

The man had his hand concealed inside his jacket and made demands for money.

The staff member refused.

The man made further threats but the staff member continued to refuse to hand over money and told the man to leave the tavern.

The man fled the scene empty handed.

The man is described as being aged 18 to 20 years old and was wearing a hoodie, sunglasses and had his face covered.

No weapon was sighted or produced during the robbery attempt.

No one was injured during the incident.

Police investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.





Update, burglary with violence, Bundaberg South

QPS Media [25/6/15]:

Police have charged two men in relation to an incident in Bundaberg South on June 22 where a man received serious injuries.

The pair allegedly entered the Prospect Street house around 1.30am, and assaulted a 20-year-old man.

He was taken to the Bundaberg Base Hospital with injuries to his head and back.

A 25-year-old Bundaberg West man has been charged with enter a dwelling with intent at night, and unlawful wounding.

A 24-year-old Bundaberg West man has been charged with one count each of entering a dwelling with intent, unlawful wounding, possession of a restricted drug and possession of dangerous drugs.

The 24-year-old is due to appear in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court tomorrow (June 26).

The 25-year-old man has been remanded in custody and is due to reappear in court on August 6.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Robbery with violence, Gaythorne

QPS Media [25/6/15]:


Police are investigating a robbery with violence at a Gaythorne address yesterday.

Around 11.30am a 73-year-old woman was alone inside her residence when an unknown man entered the dwelling.

He struck the woman and indecently assaulted her while making demands for cash.

When the woman was unable to comply with demands the man struck her again then fled the scene on foot.

The woman sustained minor facial injuries as a result of the incident and was treated by emergency workers at the scene.

The man is described as having a dark complexion, approximately 170cm tall had a solid build and was wearing a maroon top, dark pants and no shoes.

Police are urging anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Police pursuit, Waterford West

QPS Media [25/6/15]:


Two men and a woman have been charged after a police incident which ended in Waterford West yesterday.

It will be alleged that around 12.20pm a white Toyota Hiace bearing alleged stolen number plates was seen by police travelling north on the Pacific Motorway at Mount Gravatt.

Police followed the vehicle when they observed it driving erratically.

POLAIR then observed the vehicle as it travelled south on the Pacific Motorway towards Logan.

Police continued to observe the vehicle through Logan and tyre deflation devices were successfully deployed on Kingston Road. The vehicle came to a stop and three people in the car fled.

All three were located by police and were arrested and taken into custody without further incident.

A 32-year-old Redcliffe man has been charged with two counts each of dangerous operation of a vehicle and failing to stop a motor vehicle and one count each of burglary, receiving tainted property, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, possessing dangerous drugs, driving without a licence and driving an unregistered vehicle.

A 31-year-old Keperra man and a 25-year-old Salisbury woman have both been charged with one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

He is due to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court today.

Investigations into the incident are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Baby survives fall from Logan balcony

MYGC [25/6/15]:



A baby girl has miraculously survived after falling from a second storey balcony in Logan this morning.

Emergency services rushed to the home at Marsden, Logan just after 9.20am following reports a baby had been injured in a fall.

The 11-month-old is alleged to have miraculously escaped serious injury, suffering minor bruising.

The little girl was taken to Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital as a precaution.




Indonesia Granted ‘Associate Member’ Status of MSG, West Papua Bid Unsuccessful

Jakarta Globe [25/6/15]:

Indonesia has been bumped up to an associate member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), while a pro-independence coalition from West Papua has been granted observer status.

Leaders from Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia’s pro-independence movement, the Front de Liberation Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), signed a joint communique in the Solomon’s capital Honiara on Thursday.

The United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULM), which represents a number of pro-independence groups in Indonesia’s two easternmost provinces, had sought full membership in a bid to push for self determination and to air human rights grievances.

PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in a statement that the ULM was given observer status a “development partner representing the welfare of Melanesian people living outside,” Radio New Zealand International reported.

Indonesia — which was granted observer status in 2011 — will be represented by leaders of from its ethnic Melanesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, according to AFP.

The ULM bid is the second time West Papua’s pro-independence movement has attempted to gain membership to the MSG. A similar bid in October 2013 by the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) was rejected.

Indonesia stepped up its lobbying of Melanesian states to prevent the ULM proposal succeeding this year.

President Joko Widodo visited MSG member state PNG in May and called for closer ties with the country.

Foregin Affairs Minister Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi, meanwhile, took a whirlwind tour of three Melanesian states to discourage support of the ULM bid in March.






An international media group on Thursday condemned the killing of CNN Philippines assistant cameraman Jonathan Oldan in Cavite, and called for immediate Philippine government action.

In a statement, the International Federation of Journalists also made a fresh call for a stop to the "culture of impunity" against media workers in the Philippines.  

"The IFJ calls on the Philippines government to launch an immediate investigation into the murder and take effective steps to end the ongoing culture of impunity that is rampant in the Philippines," it said.  

Also, it said more than 170 journalists have been murdered in the Philippines since 1986.  ... [GMA - 26/6/15]






Undocumented Trans Activist Jennicet Gutiérrez Challenges Obama on Deportations at White House Event [Democracy Now - 26/6/15]







Obamacare is not universal health care [The Baltimore Sun - 26/3/14]







US State Department says can't locate 15 Hillary Clinton emails [Reuters - 25/6/15]






Russia is not threatening anyone and will always prefer peaceful solutions to international conflicts, President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that military forces are still important as a guarantee of national sovereignty.

“We are not threatening anyone and we seek to resolve all conflict situations through political means, with respect towards the international law and other nations’ interests,” he stated on Thursday in his speech before graduates of military academies.

Putin emphasized in his speech that Russia was an open country, ready to cooperate with any nation on equal conditions. ... [RT - 25/6/15]





... USS Bonhomme Richard, USS Green Bay and USS Preble docked in Fremantle yesterday, and the submarine USS Jacksonville arrived at HMAS Stirling at Rockingham. ...

The ships in Fremantle are taking part in two-yearly training exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 and the Jacksonville is on routine patrol. ... [West Australian - 26/6/15]





26 June 2015