We pay to shed a sombre tear in the darkness together
One among the hundreds, crying for the millions
And when the house lights break the trance
Only then unclasp our hands
Compose ourselves and fix our hair
"We would have all been Schindler there"
Drive in silence slowly home
Now horror's more than skin and bone
And can you see in twenty years
We'll pay to shed the same cheap tears
In a film about an island, watch our hero take a stand
Pay our money gladly to wash our hands ...
'400 Miles From Darwin', The Whitlams 
A Senate hearing has been told just 412 people identifying as Rohingya have been granted humanitarian visas by Australia since 2008.
Another 1940 Rohingya had arrived in Australia by boat since 2009, Ms Noble said. .... [SBS - 26/5/15]
No mention of Rohingya in the House of Representatives.
So, please we beg you to use your privilege ... use your rights to bring justice to this unjust crisis.
Please get up and speak up, so tomorrow there will be no place on this beautiful earth for evils doer to make this kind of crisis elsewhere.
Statements from Rohingya refugees incarcerated on Manus Island read out at Perth rally [Refugee Rights Action Network WA - 22/5/15]:
... Another new friend who was born after 1982 explains
"And the Govt of Burma planned to get rid of all Rohingyas from Myanmar with different tortures and genocides.
They made a Citizenship law in 1982 against Rohingyas. According to that law we Rohingyas are not allowed to hold any citizen card. And we r not even allowed to move from place to place such as from town to town.
We can visit from village to village with their permision But they give us a paper called Tokanza to visit other villages. It's like living in a prison.
In 2012 riot they bunt down to ashes many houses and the people belonged to that housrs were settled in camps. Means burnt your house and provide u with tent as camps.
After that they keep torturing many different way... such as arrest Rohingyas for no reason and killed or sentenced for years. Sometimes demand money if sb from your home has gone oit of country If can't pay the amount they ask for, u"ll be sentenced for at least 20 years or be killed and no family visiting at all.
We have been longing to be a citizen of a country Coz in our own country, we r unable to claim that."
So for managing to survive the horrendous situation at home and an unimaginable boat journey, this young man, who has never been recognised as a person with rights, is being punished for this very survival. And the excuse for this is that it will stop more people attempting this journey and will stop drownings. But the evidence must now be obvious to all. The threat of incarceration in appalling offshore processing centres has not stopped the boats. The push factors are way too strong.
And it must now be obvious to anyone who has not closed their eyes and blocked their ears, that "stop the boats" has never been about stopping drownings. It is about shutting the door on hope. It is about punishment for even daring to hope. And it should make us all horrified and ashamed.
Oslo Conference on Myanmar’s Systematic Persecution of Rohingyas
Dr Maung Zarni:
The Norwegian Nobel Institute & Voksenaasen Conference Center in Oslo.
Oslo, Norway: Over the last 10 days, the world has watched with horror and disbelief the news reports about mostly Rohingyas from Myanmar drifting in over-crowded vessels in the Andaman Sea, half-starved, disease-stricken and dying.
On 26 May, a high-profile international conference will be held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Voksenaasen to bring the Norwegian and EU publics closer to the reality of the Rohingyas.
This Muslim minority in Myanmar (Burma) has been so systematically persecuted that they would rather risk lives – including those of their infants and children - than die a slow, collective death.
George Soros, the iconic billionaire and philanthropist, is among the international figures who will offer solidarity and compassion for the Rohingyas.
He will join the call for an immediate end to Myanmar’s official policy of discrimination, persecution and destruction of over one million Rohingyas an ethnic group in Western Myanmar.
In his pre-recorded address prepared for the conference, Soros states that he too was a Rohingya.
“In January, when I visited Burma for the 4th time, I made a short visit to Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State in order to see for myself the situation on the ground… a section of Sittwe called Aung Mingalar, a part of the city that can only be called a ghetto. (There) I heard the echoes of my childhood. You see, in 1944, as a Jew in Budapest, I too was a Rohingya. Much like the Jewish ghettos set up by Nazis around Eastern Europe during World War II, Aung Mingalar has become the involuntary home to thousands of families who once had access to health care, education, and employment. Now, they are forced to remain segregated in a state of abject deprivation. The parallels to the Nazi genocide are alarming,” Soros says.
At the conference, a team of researchers from the International State Crime Initiative, Queen Mary University of London will be presenting their latest findings.
In a recent article in The Independent (20 May), the lead researcher Penny Green writes:
“The Rohingya have now faced what genocide scholar Daniel Feirestein describes as ‘systematic weakening’, the genocidal stage prior to annihilation. Those who do not flee suffer destitution, malnutrition and starvation, severe physical and mental illness, restrictions on movement, education, marriage, childbirth, livelihood and the ever present threat of violence and corruption.”
Such acts compelled former UN Special Rapporteur on Myanmar (2008-14), the Argentine legal expert Tomas Ojea Quintana, to observe at the London School of Economics a year ago that in the case of the Rohingyas, “genocidal acts” have been committed by Myanmar. Quintana will be sharing his perspectives in Oslo.
Nobel Peace Laureate, the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, will also address the Oslo conference.
He places the responsibility for the Rohingyas’ plight squarely on the Myanmar government. While the government has characterized this as sectarian or communal violence and sought to absolve itself of responsibility, Tutu says there is evidence that anti-Rohingya sentiment has been carefully cultivated by the government itself.
“I would be more inclined to heed the warnings of eminent scholars and researchers including Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate in economics, who say this is a deliberately false narrative to camouflage the slow genocide being committed against the Rohingya people,” Tutu says.
Bishop Tutu will make an impassioned call in Oslo: “As lovers of peace … we have a responsibility to persuade our international and regional aid and grant-making institutions, including the European Union, to adopt a common position making funding the development of Myanmar conditional on the restoration of citizenship, nationality, and basic human rights to the Rohingya.”
The 3-day conference is sponsored by the Oxford University Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the Harvard University Global Equality Initiative, Parliament of the World’s Religions, Burma Task Force USA, Justice for All, Refugees International, and the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London.
Among the Norwegian participants are former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik and Morten Høglund, The State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway.
The Oslo conference is the culmination of a series of conferences – the two previous ones were held at the London School of Economics and Harvard University in 2014 - designed to call attention to the plight of Rohingyas and their decades-long persecution by successive governments in Myanmar.
“As a Buddhist and an ethnic Burmese, I am devastated and ashamed that my own country of birth has been committing mass atrocities that can only be described as a genocide, as spelled out by the 1948 Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,” says Dr Maung Zarni, exiled scholar and activist.
“The UN and Western democratic governments failed Cambodians, Rwandans, Bosnian Serbs and Tamils previously. They are now failing the Rohingyas. Once again, these entities are ignoring an unfolding genocide. It is outrageous that they are mis-framing the Rohingya issue as a “migration” problem, a “communal conflict” or a “humanitarian crisis”. This is because calling Myanmar’s genocide a genocide will disrupt their “business as usual” approach with the Burmese military and ex-military leaders,” he observed.
“As hate, anger and fear is rising around the world, it is important that people of compassion feel the pain of peaceful Rohingyas who have become stateless and homeless in their own ancestral land”, said Imam Malik Mujahid, Co-Chair of the Conference and chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Rohingya families' escape to the safety of New Zealand [Al Jazeera - 26/5/15]
Community service for protester who threw fake blood on NY Police Commissioner [gothamist - 25/5/15]:
... Ibanez says he still feels that bloodying Bratton in Times Square in front of dozens of photojournalists was an important thing to do.
"One of the things I was taught is that it's really important to start making the invisible visible," says the veteran activist.
"The NYPD does a really good job of convincing the general public, through the mainstream media, that they don't have blood on their hands. This was a way of showing that they do. Afterwards, I didn't have to go around and explain myself; people understood. Sometimes it's the most simple things that speak the loudest." ...
Female activists including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates were denied an attempt to walk across the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea on Sunday, but were allowed to cross by bus and complete what one of them called a landmark event. ... [Yahoo - 24/5/15]
Another pathetic act of bigotry on Sunshine Coast greenlighted by the political, media and christian fundamentalist establishment
Sunshine Coast Daily [26/5/15]:
Two Beerwah men have been charged with throwing pork products at a Maroochydore site proposed to become an Islamic place of worship.
Sunshine Coast detectives will allege the men, age 18 and 24, bought the pork products at a supermarket on Friday night before travelling to the Church St address being considered to become a mosque.
The men then allegedly threw meat onto various parts of the building, leaving a mess that had to be cleaned.
"The two men stated they had meant it as a joke and were extremely remorseful for their actions," police said.
Officers said the men were not associated with any activist groups associated with objections to the mosque being located at Maroochydore.
"Police are satisfied this was a one off incident involving these mean who acted alone."
The two men were today charged with wilful damage and will appear at the Maroochydore Magistrates Court on June 19.
Michael "leave it to the experts" Bachelard brings the hate ----> ... The Victorian assistant commissioner for counter-terrorism co-ordination would not refer to specific operations, some of which are before the courts, but confirmed that information from the community had been critical in a recent spate of Melbourne terror arrests.
Mr Fontana complained that growing anti-Islamic sentiment in the community – represented by anti-halal food groups and the hard-line Reclaim rallies – was making the police job more difficult. ... [Canberra Times - 26/5/15]
Gladstone Bowhunters set to host national gathering in June [Gladstone Observer – 26/5/15]
Elderly man injured in unit fire, Mackay
Daily Mercury [26/5/15]:
An 87-year-old man has been transported to Mackay Base Hospital with minor burns after a fire started in a unit tonight [?].
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service Mackay station manager Scott Campbell said the fire occurred just before 6pm yesterday in a unit in Shakespeare Court just near Prospect St.
"We believe it started from a pot that was on the stove cooking," he said.
Cyclist critical after being hit by truck in Townsville
Police say a 17-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she was hit by a truck while cycling in Townsville, in north Queensland, last night.
Emergency services were called to the University Road and Stuart Drive intersection in Wulguru shortly after 8:30pm (AEST).
Three people in the vehicle were not injured.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating and is appealing for any
Palmerston hit-and-run victim dies
A woman who was hit in a hit-and-run accident on Monday night in Palmerston has died.
Northern Territory Police said the 41-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle on Bonson Terrace, about 22 kilometres from Darwin's CBD, about 11:00pm.
"She was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital but passed away this afternoon," Duty Superintendent Helen Braam said.
"The 33-year-old male driver remains in police custody and is assisting with enquiries."
Police allege the driver left the scene where the woman was hit and later contacted police about the incident.
Police said the driver had a low-range blood alcohol reading.
The death takes the NT's road toll to 15 for the year.
It was at 18 at the same time last year.
Fatal traffic crash, Mossman
QPS Media [26/5/15:
A man has died in a single vehicle traffic crash near Mossman this afternoon.
At around 1.15pm a vehicle was travelling along Mossman-Daintree Road, around 10kms north of Mossman, when it crossed onto the other side of the road before colliding with a tree.
The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene.
No other person was injured in the crash.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
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.
Fatal traffic crash, Kirwan
QPS Media [26/5/15]:
An 86-year-old woman from Rasmussen has died in a single vehicle traffic crash in Kirwan this afternoon.
At around 1.30pm the vehicle collided with a power pole at the intersection of Carthew Street and Thuringowa Drive in Kirwan.
The female driver was transported to Townsville Hospital but was pronounced deceased a short time later.
No other person was injured in the crash.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.
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.
B-double crashes into building, Seventeen Mile Rocks
A runaway B-double truck has crashed into the side of a building at Seventeen Mile Rocks, southwest of Brisbane.
The unoccupied vehicle, which was loaded with 30 tonne of tiles, went over an embankment and through the wall of a vacant warehouse on Bluestone Circuit around 10am (AEST) on Tuesday.
Nearby office workers were evacuated after the truck began leaking fuel.
Teenager wrote death plans hours before raid, court told
The Age [26/5/15]:
One of the teenagers accused of planning a terror attack for Anzac Day drafted a martyrdom note for his family in the hours before his arrest, a court has heard.
About 1am on April 18, Sevdet Ramadan Besim drafted on his mobile phone why he intended to carry out a terror attack, and instructed his family on how he wanted his grave set and what they could do with his car and possessions, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.
About four hours after outlining his intentions, he and four other young men were arrested in counter-terrorism raids across Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs.
Mr Besim, 18, of Hallam, is charged with conspiring to prepare, or plan for, a terror attack. Police allege he and co-accused Harun Causevic planned to run down a police officer with a car, behead that officer with a knife and seize the officer's gun and embark on a shooting rampage.
Magistrate Suzie Cameron on Tuesday refused Mr Besim's application for bail, on the grounds he was unable to satisfy the exceptional circumstances required to be released from custody.
Ms Cameron described as alarming the note Mr Besim drafted on his phone and conversations he is alleged to have had with a 14-year-old boy in the United Kingdom, about planning an attack.
Mr Besim and Mr Causevic, 18, of Hampton Park, are alleged to have conspired to plan the attack between February 23 and April 18.
Police allege the pair planned to attack an officer at an Anzac Day parade in Melbourne because of the day's significance to Australians and because such an attack would never be forgotten.
Australian Federal Police agent Denis Scott told the hearing Mr Besim and the boy in the United Kingdom spoke regularly in March through an online communications program, during which the pair discussed Mr Besim's plans and the weapons he would need.
Mr Scott said police believed Mr Besim held "extreme views in regard to the Islamic religion" and that he had told the 14-year-old boy he was prepared to die during an attack on police.
Police say that on March 17, Mr Besim told the boy: "all I wanna say is that insha'Allah im ready to fight these dogs on there doorstep. The more equipment im provided with the better but ill still go with jst a knife in my hand. I want to be among those Allah laughs at..."
Mr Scott said police had found a 40-centimetre "Rambo" knife in Mr Besim's car. He was also in possession of a taser and books and literature of Islamic text, the agent said.
The court heard Australian police were still analysing the contents of electronic devices seized from Mr Besim's property and transcribing telephone intercepts.
In opposing bail, Mr Scott said police believed Mr Besim continued to hold radical Islamic views and was a danger to the public.
But the teenager's mother, Sajamb, rejected a suggestion her son had a strict interpretation of Islam.
Mrs Besim said her son had applied for a passport last year because of an intention to travel to Dubai given his interest in architecture.
The court earlier heard police feared Mr Besim would travel overseas to fight with a terror organisation had his passport application been approved.
Mr Besim's parents told the court they were prepared to offer their family home and an investment property as surety and promised they would supervise him if released from custody.
Defence counsel George Georgiou, SC, said Mr Besim faced the prospect of at least a year in custody before a trial, which constituted special circumstances for his release on bail given his age and lack of criminal history.
Mr Georgiou said Ms Cameron could have imposed restrictions on Mr Besim that could ensure he did not leave his home without his parents, did not use the internet, gave up his car and had nothing to do with other people under police investigation.
But Ms Cameron said the restrictions Mr Georgiou proposed could easily be breached. She said she was satisfied the teenager still posed a risk to the public and authorities given his "deep disdain" for law-enforcement officers.
Mr Besim appeared in the dock clean shaven, with his hair cut short, and the court was packed with family members and supporters. His supporters wished him well as he was led into custody.
Mr Causevic applied for bail earlier this month but was refused. He and Mr Besim are due to return to court in August.
Mehran Azami, 19, who police allege had supplied weapons to Mr Besim and Mr Causevic, applied for bail last month and was refused. The two other teens arrested in the raids were later released.
The 14-year-old boy was arrested in late March in the English city of Blackburn.
Court hears of teenager's violent death
A 19-year-old Queensland man was lured to a house, tied up, beaten and killed at the hands of three people, including a teenager, a court has heard.
Details of the allegedly violent 2012 death of Shaune (Shaune) Gibson were revealed at the trial of one of his accused killers in Brisbane on Tuesday.
Valerie Jeanette Chambers, 47, pleaded guilty to Mr Gibson's manslaughter but not guilty to his murder at the start of her Brisbane Supreme Court trial.
Prosecutors allege that in August 2012, Mr Gibson was lured by a 16-year-old girl to Chambers' Ipswich house, where Chambers and a man named Warrick Lindenberg lay in wait.
"He was set upon, tied up, beaten and then killed in her (Chambers') own bedroom," Crown Prosecutor Todd Fuller told the jury.
"He was then transported in her car and buried in a shallow grave on the road between Ipswich and Toowoomba."
Chambers allegedly told her then-partner she struck a hog-tied Mr Gibson multiple times with a pool cue, before Lindenberg strangled him with wire and later stabbed him twice.
Mr Fuller said police became involved after Chambers drunkenly told a friend that "Shaune will never darken anybody's doorstep again".
Mr Gibson's decomposed body was found face down in the fetal position with marks around his neck and stab wounds in his back.
Chambers told police the plan had been to teach Mr Gibson a lesson, and that she was out of the room when he died at Lindenberg's hands.
The trial continues before Justice David Boddice.
Australian resident dies after music festival 'bush tucker trial', court told
The Age [24/5/15]:
A Sydney resident died after two music festival security guards allegedly handcuffed and dumped him in a reality TV-inspired prank.
Paul Wickerson, 32, originally from from the United Kingdom, was at the Brownstock music festival in Essex, on August 31, 2013, when he was ejected by security guards Brian Atkins, 49, and Gregory Maxwell, 32, a court has heard.
Prosecutor Andrew Jackson told the Chelmsford Crown Court in the UK, that security staff had taken Mr Wickerson on "a four-mile (six-kilometre) bush tucker trial".
The phrase "bush tucker trial" was made famous on ITV reality show I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here where celebrities compete to win food for their camp.
Fifteen minutes after he was allegedly dumped, Mr Wickerson was killed when he was hit by several cars.
Atkins and Maxwell both deny the charges of false imprisonment and kidnap.
Mr Wickerson was shirtless, intoxicated and, according to a statement, affected by drugs believed to be cocaine, LSD and ketamine.
"He was clearly the worse for wear because of the drugs. It was done for sport, to see if he could make his own way back," Mr Jackson said.
The music festival's deputy director, Adam Brown, told the jury he had seen staff handcuffing a topless reveller, believed to have been Mr Wickerson.
"There was a lot of trying to restrain him," Mr Brown said.
"He was attacking back quite severely. It took them some time to restrain him. I believe they put handcuffs on him with his hands behind his back.
"There was a lot of struggling but I definitely saw handcuffs on him. They then carried him back to the service road."
The restrained man was driven away in a Land Rover Discovery.
Mr Brown said he later confronted Atkins after he saw emergency services attending to a serious accident near to the festival site.
"I can't be sure of the exact wording but 'we drove off site and kicked him out' was the gist," Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown said Atkins suggested Mr Wickerson was "a couple of miles away" and gestured in a direction.
"I said, 'We'd better hope that's not to do with the incident that happened on the road'," Mr Brown told the court.
"I don't remember him saying anything."
A statement from a friend said Mr Wickerson arrived at the festival at 9.30am on August 31 and had come directly from a London nightclub without sleeping.
The statement said Mr Wickerson and two friends had taken "one line of cocaine, one LSD tablet and a small line of ketamine".
He later slept but "became really paranoid," claiming the friends had been robbed.
A charity fund set up in his name says Mr Wickerson was schooled at Edinburgh and London before moving to Sydney in 2012, where he took up a position as a development geologist. His girlfriend joined him in Australia.
British rapper Professor Green, Mark Ronson and The Fratellis had been performing at the Brownstock festival on the evening that the death occurred.
The trial is expected to continue for two weeks.
Stock shortage forces Queensland's biggest sheep and goat processing plant to temporarily close
It is the first time since 2010 that the meatworks at Wallangarra, on the Queensland and New South Wales border, has shut down.
The plant is owned by South Australian based Thomas Food International, which is Australia's largest family-owned lamb and mutton processing company.
The meat industry union says the plant, which employs around 260 workers, stopped processing late last week.
The Australasian Meat Industry Employee Union southern organiser Ian McLauchlan said he was pleased with the way the company had handled a tricky situation.
"They believe that if they closed for a month and give people their annual leave etc. that what was owing to them, that would give them a month to source stock for when they reopen and hopefully things will improve from there."
The shortage is being sorely felt at the state's only dedicated weekly sheep sale in Warwick.
They generally yard around 1200 lambs and 300 sheep every week and while prices are very solid, it is clear, according to a local agent, the overall flock size in Queensland is in demise.
Olly Gray from OJ Gray Livestock said he was seeing lots of people departing the industry and it was affecting small stock supply.
"I've done some figures here a month or two ago for a 2,200 head yarding and the average consignment was 22 head, it's just basically a cottage industry now.
"Anyone that's getting out [of the industry], it's either old age or dog problems and you can't sell them twice and those meat companies, they need volume and it's not there.
"It's all part of a national shortage as the flock has shrunk to below 70 million head for only the second time in 100 years."
Meat and Livestock Australia's Ben Thomas said only a decade ago the national flock numbered over 100 million.
Mr Thomas said the drop in numbers reflected a transition from a wool-based industry to a prime lamb production system.
He said the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics had the Queensland flock just over 3 million head.
Mr Thomas said demand was still strong and that would keep prices solid.
"We know the demand for what we produce is quite strong and sheepmeat, so mutton, 95 per cent of what we produce there actually gets exported ... and with the Australian dollar starting to decline, it's at 80 US cents and there are a number of forecasts that it'll get down to 70 cents by the end of the year, that'll work in our favour.
"There's growing demand for our product in the Middle East, China and the United States so the overall outlook is quite positive."
The RSPCA has been ordered to pay a couple more than $1.4 million damages after one of its inspectors negligently shot dead 131 pure bred Murray Grey cattle. ... [The Age - 26/5/15]
… Angel, oh angel
Here to brighten up my darkest day
Take me in your arms
Protect me from my enemies ...
'Avenging Angels' Space 
Letter to the Editor [News Mail – 26/5/15]:
In 1960 the Abbott family, taking advantage of Australia's generosity, accepted a subsidised boat passage and migrated from London to Sydney for the princely sum of 10 quid.
Like many of his kind, Abbott has developed a near hatred for people fleeing poverty and persecution and travelling to Australia by the same method as did he and his family.
Australia has an obligation under the Human Rights Charter to accept asylum seekers and afford them basic protections and rights, but has chosen to ignore that charter and do the exact opposite.
The recent instances of people in our region fleeing persecution in leaky boats has softened the reactions of Indonesia and Malaysia who are saving them from starving and dying of thirst by allowing limited access to their lands and helping with basic shelter, food and other assistance.
These countries have asked Australia to help, but our Tony has made another of his infamous "captain's calls" and said "nope, nope, nope", without as much as talking it over with his colleagues or allowing parliament to debate the issue.
Other countries have pledged to accept thousands of the refugees as residents, but we are again displaying how selfish and inhumane we can be by ignoring their plight and doing absolutely nothing to help.
Australians are better than that, but with the present leadership actions we are being shown up to the world at large as heartless.
Australia's Immigration Department spends $70 million on anti refugee propaganda [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/5/15]:
... The hearings also heard that $15.5 million was being spent on resettlement [the exile] of refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.
That is on top of $40 million that has been given in aid to the south-east Asian country.
There are refugees awaiting to be transferred to Cambodia from Darwin. ...
Housing for Australia's exiled refugees being prepared - but IOM says no-one's allowed to see it [Phnom Penh Post - 23/5/15]
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week.
The move follows an announcement by the Greens this morning that their Marriage Equality Bill would be brought on for debate in the Senate on June 18 with a view to vote on November 12. ... [ABC - 26/5/15]
Vote on same sex marriage should be taken to the people [Senator Lazarus Media Release - 265/5/15]
The biggest single shipment of grain that grain handler GrainCorp has loaded in Brisbane is being prepared.
A ship is being loaded with 66,000 tonnes of sorghum sourced mostly from southern Queensland and will leave for China by the weekend. ... [ABC - 26/5/15]
Moncrieff MP Steve Ciobo (and media friends) express concerns about the international ramifications for the Gold Coast film industry following fallout from the Barnaby Joyce Pistol and Boo beatup.
Wait until our
regional neighbours start sanctioning Australia's isolationism and abuse of
Steven Ciobo MP at Parliament House, Canberra [26/5/15]:
Australian’s will not – and nor should we – tolerate those who seek to destroy our nation and way of life.
In 2005 I first called for dual citizens who engage in terrorism to be stripped of their Australian citizenship and deported. I have been pushing for it ever since.
The Prime Minister has announced the Government intends to update the Citizenship Act so we can do just that.
Two Melburnian school colleagues fighting in Israeli army are injured in Gaza [The Age - 4/8/14]
Family of Iranian girl, five, sues Dutton, Commonwealth of Australia over her mental illnesses
The family of a five-year-old Iranian girl is suing the federal immigration minister and the Commonwealth of Australia for negligence which it alleges led to her post-traumatic stress disorder and severe mental illnesses.
On Tuesday the Northern Territory Supreme Court also heard the asylum seeker family – which has been detained in Darwin detention centres since late 2014 – will be taken out of detention and placed in the community in Brisbane.
A statement of claim and affidavit were filed last week and served on the immigration and border protection minister, Peter Dutton, and the commonwealth, and the family will seek financial damages as well as an injunction preventing its return to Nauru, the family’s lawyer, John Lawrence, told the court.
However, the lawyer for the Minister and Commonwealth challenged the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to rule on the injunction.
Australia's establishment media types work themselves into a frenzy over "dual-nationality terrorists".
Won't define what "dual-nationality terrorists" even means.
Minister for Immigration remains protected and unaccountable.
Abbott and Dutton pretend Australia's refugee gulag archipelago isn't falling apart and causing the government grief [Joint media release - The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister, and the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection - 26/5/16]:
The Commonwealth Government intends to update the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 so dual nationals who engage in terrorism can lose their citizenship.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection will be able to exercise these powers in the national interest where a dual citizen betrays our country by participating in serious terrorist-related activities.
The new powers will apply to dual citizens who fight with or support groups such as ISIL, or Daesh, as well as so-called ‘lone wolves’, whether in Australia or on foreign soil.
The changes will be consistent with our international legal obligation not to leave a person stateless. There will also be safeguards, including judicial review, to balance these powers.
These new powers are a necessary and appropriate response to the terrorist threat. They modernise our laws and bring them closer to those of the UK, Canada, France, the United States and other countries.
Human Rights Watch and Frank Lowy Institute: Australia can play a part in ending Indonesia's abusive 'virginity tests' as persecuted Rohingya drown at sea.
Phelim Kine - published in: The Interpreter [HRW – 25/5/15]:
... The Australian Government should place immediate conditions on its assistance and cooperation with the Indonesian military and police to ensure that its technical and financial support is not subsidising 'virginity tests.' The Government should also instruct the Australian delegate to the 17-22 May world conference in Bali of the intergovernmental International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) – which so far has been failed to condemn 'virginity tests' – to push for a resolution that commits all ICMM member countries to ban the abusive practice. ...
Australia the big elephant in room as the human rights establishment discuss regional humanitarian crisis [VIDEO - Rappler.com - 25/5/15]:
... The Human Rights Watch accuses the ASEAN member states of subjecting close to 8,000 boat people, who have suffered months-long starvation and distress, to a game of "human ping pong.”
Rappler talks to Phelim Kine, Human Rights Watch Deputy Director for Asia, about the plight and future of the Rohingya people. ...
Which countries on this map of South East Asia are signatories to the UN Refugee Convention?
The Philippines .... aaaaaaand ..... that's right ..... Australia!!!!!
Woodside takes up more acreage in Myanmar with BG [Australian Financial Review – 23/3/15]:
Woodside Petroleum has emerged as the largest holder of exploration acreage in Myanmar's promising Rakhine Basin, formalising contracts with the government that will give it large interests in four additional permits.
The award of the permits was first flagged last year by Woodside's partner, BG Group, which said the partners would carry out 3D seismic in the blocks, with options for future drilling.
Myanmar has become one of the world's hotspots for exploration after political reforms introduced in 2011 saw sanctions lifted by the European Union and the US, allowing international players to re-enter the market.
The first award of exploration rights was made to international companies last year, with drilling due to get underway this year.
The country is estimated to hold an estimated 3.2 billion barrels of oil resources and 18 trillion cubic feet of gas, with unproven resources potentially vastly greater, attracting majors including Chevron and Shell.
Woodside said that its stakes in offshore blocks AD-2, AD-5, A-4 and A-7 increased its exploration acreage to about 46,000 square kilometres. It is set to commence exploration work in the permits this year.
Woodside is already working with South Korea's Daewoo International in another Myanmar licence, and with local national company MPRL in another, as part of its expanded effort to explore emerging petroleum provinces with high potential. Woodside's first exploration well in Myanmar, named Saung, is due to be drilled in late 2015 or early 2016, targeting a large gas discovery.
Woodside is taking the role of operator in two of the new offshore production sharing contracts, and will have non-operated interests in the other two. The under-explored Rakhine Basin lies off north-west Myanmar.
Executive vice president global exploration, Phil Loader, described the Rakhine Basin as "an emerging oil and gas province that fits very well with Woodside's proven capabilities in deepwater exploration and development."
The CEO of Australian company Woodside, Mr Peter Coleman, and Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Woodside's investment in Myanmar on 12 May 2015. Australian Embassy in Myanmar
Early childhood development in Myanmar is the focus of the first international project to receive funding from the A$20 million Woodside Development Fund.
Woodside will contribute A$100,000 to the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) to establish a parent education program in Thabaung township, located in the Ayeyarwady region adjacent to Woodside’s offshore exploration permits. ... [Media Release - 14/5/15]
Indonesian government to send unaccompanied child refugees to Islamic boarding schools [ANTARA News - 26/5/15]:
The Indonesian Social Service Ministry is planning to send hundreds of unaccompanied Rohingya child and youth refugees to Islamic boarding schools.
"We have coordinated with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. They may be nurtured at the RPTC (safe house and trauma center) or Islamic boarding schools," Social Service Minister Khofifah Indar Parawansa stated at the Vice Presidential Palace here on Monday.
Khofifah revealed that several Islamic boarding schools are ready to receive unaccompanied Rohingya child and youth refugees.
"Several Islamic boarding schools have contacted me. They are located in Cicurug (Sukabumi), Malang, Pasuruan, and Bojonegoro. They are ready to accommodate orphans who are ready to become students of the Islamic boarding schools because they are all Muslims," she emphasized.
During Khofifahs recent visit to Langsa, Aceh, she expressed readiness to accommodate Rohingya orphans at the Bambu Apus safe house and trauma center in East Jakarta.
"The Social Service Ministry has a safe house in Bambu Apus. We offer a solution to the problem of unaccompanied child refugees by accommodating them there," she remarked.
Furthermore, the ministry will also provide assistance to reduce the trauma of Rohingya refugees sheltered in Aceh province.
Some 600 Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar were reportedly stranded on the coast of North Aceh recently.
They are currently being sheltered in the westernmost Indonesian province of Aceh.
The presence of the Rohingya refugees has become a cause for concern, with several organizations, including the Islamic Youth Movement (GPI) in Tanjungbalai city, North Sumatra, raising funds to assist them.
GPI spokesman Adrian Sulin stated on Saturday that the concern for Rohingya refugees currently sheltered in Langsa, Nangroe Aceh Darussalam, was the motivation behind organizing the fundraising activity.
"We will directly donate funds to the Rohingya refugees in Langsa," Adrian affirmed, adding that apart from the funds, the group will also distribute used clothing to the refugees.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla stated that food and other assistance will be provided to the Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees in Indonesia.
The vice president stated that the government had agreed to house the refugees but also stressed on the importance of international cooperation in dealing with the issue.
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense Media Release [25/5/15]:
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, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, seven airstrikes struck two large and four small ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL checkpoint, an ISIL excavator, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL vehicle. No civilian casualties from the airstrikes were observed, officials said, adding that Kurdish fighters reported an ISIL vehicle bomb detonation that resulted in an undetermined number of civilians injured in the area.
-- Near Raqqah, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL excavator and an ISIL tank.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL multiple rocket launcher vehicle.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:
-- Near Baghdadi, five airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL structures, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored excavator, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes destroyed an ISIL dump truck, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL tanker.
-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery piece and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Hit, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle-bomb facility.
-- Near Mosul, nine airstrikes struck five ISIL tactical units and an ISIL staging area, destroying four ISIL heavy machine guns, three ISIL buildings, an ISIL armored vehicle, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL rocket-propelled grenade.
-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL vehicle, destroying two ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and two ISIL mortar systems.
Mystery blast in Syria pro-government bastion Latakia kills 4 [Daily Star - 25/5/15]
Saudi airstrikes in Yemen killed 135 children since March: UN [albawaba - 25/5/15]:
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says the Saudi action against Yemen has claimed the lives of more than 130 children over the past two months.
“Since the conflict escalated in March, as many as 135 children have been killed and 260 injured,” the UNICEF said in a statement on Sunday.
The UN body said that one-third of the deaths occurred in Yemen’s southern coastal city of Aden that has been hit by violent clashes over the past few days.
UNICEF further called on all sides involved in the Yemeni conflict to abide by international laws, which call for the protection of children’s lives.
“Children should not continue to pay the price of the violence in Yemen. All parties to the conflict are obligated under international humanitarian law to protect children from harm,” it said.
“But only a complete end to hostilities can protect the children of Yemen. They are the future of Yemen," the statement said.
According to the UN, since March, nearly 2,000 people have been killed and 7,330 injured due to the conflict in Yemen.
Tunisian soldier kills seven at military base [Al Jazeera - 25/5/15]
Boko Haram fighters hacked to death 10 people in a remote village in northeast Nigeria, a local government official told AFP.
Maina Ularamu, local government chairman of Madagali, in the north of Adamawa state, said the attack happened early on Friday morning in Pambula-Kwamda village. ... [Ahram - 25/5/15]
Demonstrator shot dead as protest erupts outside Burundi capital [Ahram - 25/5/15]
2 Gaza fishermen shot, injured by Israeli navy [Maan - 25/5/15]
Mexico's Federal Police killed 42 men in the embattled state of Michoacan that they claim were members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel on Saturday and that they died during an armed confrontation, but testimonies by families and preliminary reports paint a whole different picture, as the bodies reveal that some of the were beaten before being executed, while other bodies were moved and arms were planted, according to a report this Sunday by La Jornada. Only one police officer allegedly died in the confrontation.
"This was not an armed confrontation, it was a massacre,", said Victor Hugo Reynoso, brother of one of the victims, Luis Alberto Reynoso. Those who do not fear reprisals, agree. ... [teleSUR - 25/5/15]
China said it had lodged a complaint with the United States over a U.S. spy plane that flew over parts of the disputed South China Sea in a diplomatic row that has fuelled tension between the world's two largest economies. ... [Reuters - 25/5/15]
'Offensive and sad': Parliament House architect Romaldo Giurgola slams fence plan
Canberra Times [25/5/15]:
The internationally renowned architect responsible for the design of Parliament House has condemned plans to fortify its ministerial wing with a steel security fence and two concrete guardhouses, saying the proposals are "offensive" and will profoundly change the democratic character of the iconic building.
In the course of a recent visit to Parliament House, architect Romaldo Giurgola expressed concern that the underlying message of his design for Parliament House - that of "growing, teaching about democracy" - was being "diluted" by new security measures and other changes implemented by the much criticised Department of Parliamentary Services.
According to notes of remarks made by Mr Giurgola while walking around Parliament House in April, the award winning architect said he was "sad" about the planned security fence to screen the ministerial wing and prime minister's office and that he hoped "another solution" would be found.
"A fence has only one message, where security by a glass wall or light sensors could be more inclusive and not send messages about people feeling unsafe and wanting to close the communication [and] openness," Mr Giurgola said.
"This building does not turn its back on anyone – you can enter from every side, there is no 'back of the building'. Every side, north, south, east and west is open, just as the first Australians sitting on this hill could welcome people from every direction."
Mr Giurgola also expressed concern about modifications to the building to strengthen security between the ministerial wing and the rest of the building and to step up protective measures more generally.
"Parliamentarians can behave badly if they are not out in the open to public view," Mr Giurgola said. "It is easy to misbehave if you are not looking at people directly in their faces. People want to see their representatives working well, and want to be proud of their choice of representative – isn't this what democracy aspires to?"
Mr Giurgola said there was a "sad confusion" about the future of Parliament House because "planners may not understand the full message about openness and accountability".
He said the Australian Parliament was "the only parliament house world-wide that incorporated this openness, so a unique aspect of our original aspiration may be lost".
Norfolk Island renews plea to Australia
The Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly is calling on the Australian prime minister to delay changes downgrading the island's political status.
It has delivered a Remonstrance Motion passed by the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly to the Australia House of Representatives and the Senate.
Australia has passed legislation stripping Norfolk Island of its autonomy, reducing its government to that of a local level council.
In a statement the Norfolk government says the Remonstrance Motion reaffirms the wishes of the majority of Norfolk Island voters that they have a say in any changes, as reflected in this month's referendum.
It asked Prime Minister Tony Abbott to delay presenting the legislation to the governor general for assent.
And it says it wants Mr Abbott to confer on the people of Norfolk Island the right to freely determine their political status and their economic, social and cultural development.
It says they must be consulted through a referendum or plebiscite on the future model of governance for Norfolk Island before such changes are acted on by the Australian Parliament.
Ugly, fascist Australia
Hit and run kills pet dog, Beaconsfield [West
Australian - 26/5/15]:
A seven-month-old dog was killed after she and her owner were run over in front of their Beaconsfield home.
Henry Macdonagh was on his way home from his morning walk early on Saturday with Jazz, his Maltese shih tzu, when he made eye contact with a driver playing loud music who then followed them down Jean Street.
“The driver then drove up on to my front lawn and hit me and Jazz,” Mr Macdonagh said.
“I only saw him at last minute and I jumped onto the bonnet, before I rolled off.
“He was coming for me, it was deliberate.”
Mr Macdonagh received bruising to his right arm and back.
Jazz was covered in blood and couldn’t breathe.
Mr Macdonagh and his wife rushed her to a local vet.
The dog spent eight hours on a ventilator, before she died.
The couple have been left with a $5000 dollar vet bill.
“Me and my wife are devastated,” Mr Macdonagh said.
“We don’t have children.
“She was like a child to us.”
Mr Macdonagh said the car, possibly a 1990 Mitsubishi Lancer, was driven by a man with a beard.
“The car looked like 1990 Mitsubishi Lancer,” he said.
The driver hasn’t been caught.
Yagoona shooting victim was likely targeted, but not linked to nearby
Morning Herald - 26/5/15]:
Police are investigating the suspected targeted attack of a man who was shot in the head in Sydney's south-west on Monday night, just hours after a boy was stabbed a few streets away.
The 54-year-old shooting victim remained in a critical condition on Tuesday morning following the attack at Yagoona townhouse on Colechin Street just after 9pm.
Paramedics and police found the man suffering from a gunshot wound and took him to Liverpool Hospital.
Blue and white police tape blocked off the brick complex as a number of officers scoured the scene for evidence.
The shooting occurred less than 90 minutes after a boy, 15, was stabbed in the stomach during a fight just two streets away.
Emergency services found the teenager on Gillman Reserve off Saltash Street and took him to Liverpool Hospital in a serious condition.
Police believe the teenager was stabbed during a fight with several youths.
Officers are asking anyone with information about the shooting or stabbing to come forward.
Investigators urge anyone who saw the incident or with information about those involved to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
French Open: Sam Stosur, Bernard Tomic, Nick Kyrgios all win as Australia starts well at Roland Garros
Seeded big guns Samantha Stosur, Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios have led the way on a banner day for Australia at the French Open.
Stosur, Tomic and Kyrgios all safely progressed to the second round in Paris, while there were victories also for teenage ace Thanasi Kokkinakis and exciting imports Daria Gavrilova and Ajla Tomljanovic as Australia made a flying start to the year's second grand slam.
Riding high after claiming her first title of the year in Strasbourg at the weekend, Stosur downed rising American Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-3 to raise hopes of another big run for the former runner-up and two-time semi-finalist.
Stosur's victory thrust the women's 26th seed into a meeting with French wildcard Amandine Hesse, who earlier eliminated Jarmila Gajdosova in three sets.
Still struggling with a virus that forced his withdrawal from last week's Nice Open, Tomic dug in for an impressive 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Italian qualifier Luca Vanni.
Tomic's first victory at Roland Garros since 2012 and Kokkinakis' 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 success over Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili set up a second-round showstopper between the two young Davis Cup teammates.
The reward for Wednesday's victor is a likely third-round shot at world number one Novak Djokovic.
Seeded at a major for the first time after spectacular charges to the Wimbledon and Australian Open quarter-finals in the past 10 months, Kyrgios outclassed Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in his opener.
The 20-year-old 27th seed next faces either Brit Kyle Edmund or Frenchman Stephane Robert, both qualifiers, and has a golden opportunity to set up a potential third-round blockbuster with Andy Murray.
... It was only when the Bush administration launched its “war on terror” in 2001 that Myanmar’s Muslims began to be presented as a potential terrorist threat; this was seen as a bid to win international favor at a time when the U.S. government was trying to isolate the military regime. Yet there was a glaring problem with the military regime’s portrayal of Muslims: there is no record of any actual terrorist attack by Muslims within Myanmar in recent decades.
Now, with the country in a period of transition applauded by the U.S. and other former foes, and with crucial elections to be held in November, the former generals who make up Myanmar’s government need more than ever to legitimize their grip on power, both in the international arena and among the Buddhist-dominated electorate. The emergence of a new terrorist threat gives new life to long-held claims by the military that they are the only guarantors of security in what they term their “discipline-flourishing democracy.” ... [The Intercept - 25/5/15]
Humanitarian acts do not recognise any territorial boundaries.
Aceh fishermen lauded for rescuing thousands of Rohingya refugees [Channel
News Asia [26/5/15]:
The Alliance of Concerned Aceh Community for Rohingya (AMAPR) on Monday paid tribute to the Acehnese fishermen for their courage in helping the Rohingya migrants stranded at sea.
AMAPR Coordinator, Basri Effendy said the fishermen did heroic deeds and deserved to be honoured.
Although the fishermen risked their lives at sea trying to save the migrants, they were criticised by the government, who threatened to revoke their fishing license.
“Looking at how heroic they were in trying to save the Rohingya, AMAPR is taking the initiative to recognise their efforts,” said Mr Basri.
He also urged the central and local governments to give the highest recognition to the fishermen, who helped the boat people even though they themselves faced limitations.
“It is such a paradox,” he said. “The fishermen were so sincere in helping in the name of humanity.”
The international community has now woken up to the plight of the Rohingyas, an ethnic minority persecuted and not given official status by their own country.
“In their sorrow, the Aceh community especially the fishermen showed empathy, so they should be recognised,” Mr Basri added.
Next, is to determine if the migrants left their country of origin because of economic reasons, or otherwise.
“Humanitarian acts do not recognise any territorial boundaries,” he said.
“So, in the name of humanity we hope the central and local governments acknowledge the fishermen as heroes of humanity.”
Data obtained by merdeka.com showed that there are 1,759 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants since the first wave of migrants landed in Indonesia on May 10.
Of that number, 564 are temporarily settled in Kota Lhokseumawe, 672 in Kota Langsa, 476 in East Aceh and 47 in Aceh Tamiang.
Mediterranean: Medecins Sans Frontieres doctor aboard rescue ship says refugees “See no other way” [Media Release - 25/5/15]:
... It is not just young men who risk this dangerous crossing. The refugees at sea are of all ages and come from many parts of the world. There are pregnant women, elderly people, even families with small children. That says something about the state of mind that drives many people on board. If you're a parent with two small children, and you consciously step aboard a shabby wooden boat – if you are willing to take that risk – then you are truly desperate. And they are. They see no other way to find safe refuge or a better life.
I have seen people with old fractures and people whose teeth were beaten out of their mouths. Everyone has a story – as do all the people I've helped in South Sudan or Central African Republic. But perhaps the stories of the people on the boats are even more terrible. In their countries, they have known war, violence or a complete lack of freedom and social justice. ...
Thailand deploys landing ship as base for refugee humanitarian relief effort
Australia (not just Abbott) says: not our problem
Bangkok Post [25/5/15]:
... On Monday, the Prime Minister said that if any of those in Thai waters were sick or injured, "they can be treated at hospitals in Thailand. But they will face illegal-entry charges. It is up to them to decide." ...
The Australian political, media and human rights establishment agree with this incendiary point of view.
Hence the ongoing silence about Australia's responsibility to help rescue, and offer humanitarian assistance and resettlement - as a genocide unfolds in our region.
LA Times [25/5/15]:
... Wirathu, 46, might bear as much responsibility as any individual for the desperate exodus of Muslims from Myanmar aboard overcrowded fishing boats bound for Thailand and Malaysia.
In speeches and Facebook posts, he has warned of an impending "jihad" against the huge Buddhist majority, spread rumors of Muslims systematically raping Buddhist women and called for boycotts of Muslim-owned businesses. Good Buddhists, he argues, shouldn't mix socially with Muslims, who he says are "snakes" and "mad dogs."
"Most Muslims destroy our country, our people and the Buddhist religion," Wirathu said.
He represents the blunt edge of systematic religious discrimination in Myanmar that has driven about 1 million Rohingyas, a Muslim minority group, to the farthest margins of society.
Human rights groups say Wirathu and the radical movement he leads, called 969, stoked sectarian riots that have killed scores since 2012.
About 100,000 Rohingyas have been forced into internment camps ridden with disease and malnutrition in the western state of Rakhine, deprived of outside assistance since the government expelled foreign aid groups in 2014. ...
Australian politicians who support equal marriage also support unaccountable, fundamentalist christian proselytisers in public schools.
Their parties are obsequious in their consideration of the Australian Christian Lobby, and rely on bigoted unions for their preselection.
... The culture of hate feeds off the frustrations and feelings of betrayal among the impoverished, the unemployed, the underemployed and the hopeless. And the longer the expanding underclass is ignored, the longer we refuse to define what is happening to us in our corporate state as a vicious class struggle, the more the culture of hate spreads. The dwindling culture of tolerance, confined now mostly to white, urban, college-educated members of the middle class, because that group refuses to engage in the struggle of class warfare, unwittingly abets the economic dislocation that is empowering the increasingly potent culture of hate. ... Chris Hedges - The War On Gays [Truthdig - 28/5/12]
The ALP and LNP also oppose women's reproductive rights.
In Queensland, abortion is generally regarded as lawful if performed to prevent serious danger to the woman’s physical or mental health, despite abortion being contained in the Criminal Code. Women and doctors can be criminally prosecuted for unlawfully accessing or providing abortion. ... [Children by Choice]
The prosecution of a young couple should never have proceeded. ... [The Age - 18/10/10]
Repeal of the Eighth Amendment is ‘very do-able’ [The Irish Times - 25/5/15]
Robbery and assault charges, Fortitude Valley
QPS Media [26/5/15]:
Two men have been charged following an incident in Fortitude Valley last night.
It will be alleged around 11.40pm the two men were travelling in a white utility along Ballow Street when they have become involved in a verbal altercation with a man and a woman walking along the street.
It is alleged that the two men then exited their vehicle and assaulted the man.
The woman went to the man’s aid and was also allegedly assaulted by the pair.
The two men have then allegedly stolen property from the woman’s handbag before leaving the scene in their car.
The two men, a 43-year-old and a 17-year-old both from Morningside were charged with assault occasioning bodily harm and robbery.
The 43-year-old was also charged with driving under the influence of liquor.
The men are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today.
A 46-year-old man and a 47-year-old woman were treated at the scene and conveyed to the Royal Brisbane Hospital for further treatment. 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.
Three hospitalised following truck and car accident
Three children are being treated in hospital after an accident involving a truck just north of the Gold Coast.
Two adults were also injured when the car they were travelling in collided with the truck at Mount Warren Park, near Beenleigh, around 7.20am.
Police, Firefighters and Ambulance crews all attended the scene.
It’s believed the truck driver escaped injury.
26 May 2015