@ItalianNavy [27/4/15]:   #SAR È finito a #Taranto lo sbarco dei 274 #migranti da nave Aviere #MarinaMilitare  [274 rescued refugees arrive in the port of Taranto.]

 

 

 



Immigration Minister shit scared over public reaction in his own electorate, otherwise couldn't give a flying fuck



ABC [27/4/15]:



Immigration Minister Peter Dutton looks set to allow a 10-year-old boy with autism to remain in Australia.

Tyrone Sevilla's condition meant his mother Maria's skilled worker visa was rejected.

A 4,000-page petition of more than 122,000 signatures was handed to Mr Dutton's Brisbane office on Monday.

The Minister has the power to overturn their deportation to the Philippines.

"I need to have a look at the particular facts in relation to this case," Mr Dutton told RN Drive.

"But on the details, as they are made known to me at the moment, I think this is a case where we would be able to help the family.

"I hope that we can provide a good outcome for this family that I think they deserve."

Ms Sevilla came to Australia eight years ago to study nursing and now works at Townsville Hospital.

In her case, the Migration Review Tribunal cited the "significant cost to the Australian community" of health care for Tyrone.

She has asked Mr Dutton to consider her case, and the department is preparing a report for his consideration.

Mr Dutton said he reviews matters on a case-by-case basis.

"In many of these cases we want to try and provide support to families that are in a very difficult situation. We have to weigh up all of the circumstances and particulars of the relevant case," he said.

"I think that is a reason we have ministerial discretion so that we can apply a level of common sense.

"There needs to be support wherever we can provide it, but a realisation that we can't provide assistance to every child with a medical condition that would seek to make that application."

 



Boko Haram slaughters civilians in weekend attack: witness

 

 

 

Daily Star [274/15];



Boko Haram gunmen massacred residents who tried to jump into Lake Chad seeking safety and burnt others alive after overpowering soldiers in a weekend attack in the restive region, a witness said Monday.

The military and a local official in Niger had previously confirmed the April 25 raid by the Islamists on Lake Chad's Karamga island.

An official in the town of Diffa said the Nigerien army suffered "very heavy" casualties, but precise figures were not immediately available.

Umar Yerima, a Nigerian fisherman living on the targeted island confirmed that troops "were caught off guard" and suffered major losses.

"After finishing with the soldiers, (the Islamists) turned their guns on residents," Yerima told AFP by phone, adding that he was "among the lucky ones" who managed to flee.

"Some sought to escape by plunging into the lake but gunmen stood on the shore shooting them...

"They would aim their gun from the edge of the lake and shoot any head that emerged from the water, shouting Allahu Akbar," he further said. "They burnt the entire village and went on a shooting spree. Many residents were burnt alive in their homes."

Yerima said he managed to stay out of site by hiding in the long grass that lines the water's edge.

After launching the attack shortly before sunrise, the gunmen remained on a rampage until roughly midday, withdrawing when a military jet began bombarding the area.

It was impossible to estimate the death toll, Yerima told AFP, but said he believed the number was "huge" and that he saw the Islamists kidnap a number of women and children as they fled.

...


 


The United Nations warned Monday it had received only a fraction of the funds needed to address strife-torn Central African Republic's towering humanitarian crisis, forcing it to cut desperately needed aid.

"We must prevent the Central African Republic from becoming a forgotten crisis," said Claire Bourgois, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for the country. ... [Naharnet - 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The Japanese military could expand its role and missions around the world under new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines that are expected to be released on Monday and may cause unease in China.

A centerpiece of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s U.S. visit this week, the guidelines are part of Abe's wider signal that Japan is ready to take more responsibility for its security as China modernizes its military and flexes its muscles in Asia. ... [Reuters - 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet on the sidelines of a UN anti-nuclear weapons conference in New York.

Zarif and Kerry are set to hold the meeting on the sidelines of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on Monday.

It will be the first meeting between the top Iranian and US diplomats since Iran and the P5+1 - the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany – reached a mutual understanding on the parameters of a comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Lausanne on April 2.

...

Speaking to Press TV upon his arrival in New York early Monday, Zarif said Israel is the main impediment to the universality of the NPT.

“Unfortunately, Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons and its refusal to engage with the international community has become the greatest impediment to the universality of this treaty,” Zarif told Press TV.

... [Press TV - 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Ukrainian minister announces arrest of protesting miners [Press TV – 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says its observers have witnessed heavy shelling in the volatile eastern Ukrainian village of Shyrokyne despite a ceasefire. ... [Press TV - 27/4/15]


 

 


Unidentified gunmen have killed Pakistani women's activist Sabeen Mahmud in a targeted shooting that also left her mother in intensive care.

News of the murder emerged over the weekend, with reports from Karachi that she died on the way to hospital after being shot four times. ... [The Register - 27/4/15]


 

 


New York police shoot unarmed man dead during East Village arrest attempt [Guardian – 26/4/15]


 


Uruguay: Ex-Guantanamo Bay inmates demand help to adjust

 

 

Morning Star [27/4/15]:



Four former Guantanamo Bay prisoners protested in Uruguay for a second day on Saturday.

They were demanding help from the governments of Uruguay and the US in adapting to life in their new home country.

The men began their protest in front of the US embassy in Montevideo on Friday and slept there through the night, insisting that they would carry on the protest.

“We are not leaving until we speak with the ambassador,” said former detainee Adel bin Muhammad el-Ouerghi.

Uruguay took in the four and two other men in December after US authorities freed them from Guantanamo after 12 years at the prison camp.

However, they were never charged with anything and US officials were finally forced to admit they had nothing against the four and let them go.

The four Syrians, one Tunisian and one Palestinian have repeatedly said that the US should help them financially.

 

 



Corporate tax inquiry: BHP reveals effective tax rate in Singapore

 

 

WA Today [27/4/15]:



BHP Billiton has revealed the true extent of its sweetheart deal with tax authorities in Singapore.

The miner is paying an incredibly low effective tax rate of just 0.002 per cent - or effectively nothing - on the billions of dollars in sales that it directs through its "marketing hub" in the low-tax nation.

Between 2006 and 2014 the company booked profits of $US5.7 billion in Singapore, it said in a statement to the Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance.

It paid just $US121,000 in tax in Singapore – or $US15,000 a year - it said in its answers to questions on notice to the committee.

BHP was heavily criticised for ducking questions at the public hearings of the Senate committee when it appeared alongside fellow mining heavyweight, Rio Tinto.

Both companies have cut special tax deals with the Singaporean government to set up in the trade-friendly nation but BHP Billiton's answers suggest it got the more favourable treatment.

Through their marketing hubs, both companies "buy" Australia resources from their Australian arm and re-sell at a higher price to China and other Asian nations. Profits booked in Singapore are then virtually tax free for BHP.

Rio Tinto's Australia chief executive Phil Edmands told the committee that Rio's Singapore marketing hub earned $US719 million last year and paid $US44 million in tax.

"The Singapore government has granted BHP Billiton Marketing AG [Singapore] a tax incentive for its marketing activities. BHP Billiton Marketing AG was awarded this incentive for its contributions to the development of Singapore's commodities sector," BHP Billiton said in its statement to the committee.

"The tax incentive applies to the vast majority of BHP Billiton Marketing AG's income in Singapore. Accordingly, BHP Billiton Marketing AG has paid approximately US$121,000 of income tax in Singapore since 2006."

But BHP insisted that the Australian Tax Office still received revenue as a result of its Singapore operations. It said that $A945 million had flowed to the ATO in the same period of 2006 to 2014.

"It is important to note that 58 per cent of the profit which BHP Billiton Marketing AG earns in Singapore from the on-sale of commodities acquired from Australian entities controlled by BHP Billiton Limited is subject to tax in Australia at the company tax rate of 30 per cent," it said.

In response to questions from Greens leader Christine Milne, BHP said that it is currently under audit by the ATO in relation to transfer pricing and the so-called "top up tax" under Australia's Controlled Foreign Company rules.

Since establishing in Singapore, BHP owes the ATO an additional $522 million as a result of tax assessments.

That consists of $301 million in additional tax, interest of $145 million and penalties of $76 million.

"BHP Billiton has objected to these assessments," the company said.

BHP said it employs 400 people in Singapore.



 

Adani Carmichael coal mine objection [Environmental Defenders Office, Queensland – 27/4/15]:



In a dramatic revelation, the Land Court of Queensland today heard evidence that suggests that Adani has grossly inflated its job numbers to try to secure approval of its huge Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin.

Adani’s own independent expert witness, Dr Jerome Fahrer, admitted that the mine and railway will only produce 1,464 net jobs per annum – far, far less than the 10,000 jobs figure Adani has trumpeted on its website for mine, rail and port.

Tomorrow, the court will hear from Dr Fahrer and then expert witness and economist Dr Richard Denniss from The Australia Institute.



 

Serious traffic crash, Charters Towers

 

 

QPS Media [27/4/15]:

 

 

Police are investigating following a serious traffic crash on the Flinders Highway in Charters Towers this afternoon.

Initial investigations indicate around 4.30pm a utility travelling in a westerly direction collided head-on with a truck travelling in the opposite direction.

As a result of the crash the Flinders Highway was closed for just over 3 hours whilst police and emergency services worked to clear the site.

A 39-year-old man from Charters Towers was transported to Townsville Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

No one else 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.

 

 



 

Murdoch Saturday night hack trolls demand, and receive, sacking of SBS journalist for expressing opinion

 

 

... On one side of that debate conservative commentators such as Chris Kenny from News Limited say Scott McIntyre only has himself to blame.  ...

 

ABC [27/4/15]

 



Malcolm Turnbull denies influencing SBS sacking of Scott McIntyre for ANZAC tweets [Guardian – 27/4/15]:

 

 

SBS staff have been told that sports reporter Scott McIntyre was sacked not for his “offensive” Anzac Day tweets but for refusing to take them down, while the communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has denied having any influence on the network’s decision.

The director of sport at SBS, Ken Shipp, told staff at a meeting on Monday morning that McIntyre was sacked for disobeying an order to delete the posts which had caused outrage on Twitter on Saturday night.

When contacted by Guardian Australia, Shipp declined to comment. ...

 

 

 

 

 

ABC boss Mark Scott makes grovelling apology to News Corp columnist Chris Kenny over satirical sketch [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/4/14]

 

 

 

 

 

Collingwood forward Leon Davis is reportedly considering legal action against football commentator Rex Hunt for an alleged racial slur made during the Magpies' match against Essendon on Friday night. ... [The Age - 19/7/05]


 

 

 

 

Writers Withdraw From PEN Gala to Protest Award to Charlie Hebdo [The Intercept - 27/4/15]:

 

 

... Though the core documents are lengthy, this argument is really worth following because it highlights how ideals of free speech, and the Charlie Hebdo attack itself, were crassly exploited by governments around the world to promote all sorts of agendas having nothing to do with free expression. Indeed, some of the most repressive regimes on the planet sent officials to participate in the Paris “Free Speech” rally, and France itself began almost immediately arresting and prosecuting people for expressing unpopular, verboten political viewpoints and then undertaking a series of official censorship acts, including the blocking of websites disliked by its government. The French government perpetrated these acts of censorship, and continues to do so, with almost no objections from those who flamboyantly paraded around as free speech fanatics during Charlie Hebdo Week. ...

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and at least three other writers have withdrawn from next month’s PEN American Center gala, citing objections to the literary and human rights organisation’s honouring of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. ... [Guardian - 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Never forget that Rupert Murdoch's Sun hacked the phone of a murdered child for their own gain.

 

 

Guardian [27/4/15]:

 

 

The Sun has launched a secure drop system for people to provide the tabloid with information anonymously as part of a “whistleblowers’ charter”.

An article in Monday’s Sun says the system is a response to the police’s use of Ripa powers to access call records of three Sun journalists to identify the source of leaks about the Andrew Mitchell “Plebgate” scandal.

The “Sun SecureDrop” requires anonymous browsing software Tor to use. Anything sent through it will be “automatically encrypted in the same system used by dissidents in oppressive regimes”, according to the newspaper.

“Over the last four years the establishment – including police and prosecutors – have conspired to make it harder than ever for their secrets to be exposed,” the piece says.

“We are giving whistleblowers – the unsung heroes of a free society – renewed confidence their anonymity will be protected.”

In a longer online article describing the system the newspaper says that reporters will only read messages on a “ring-fenced laptop not linked to the internet”, a security measure designed to stop more advanced surveillance or hacking.

Though the Sun has been a vociferous opponent of the use of Ripa powers and other crackdowns on government officials leaking information to the press, it has repeatedly criticised NSA files whistleblower Edward Snowden and the Guardian for publishing revelations about mass surveillance.

Leader articles in the paper have described Snowden’s leaks as “the gravest threat to [security services’] battle to protect British lives” and have referred to “the treachery of CIA leaker Edward Snowden”.

A Sun spokesperson said: “The Sun is encouraging all whistleblowers to use our secure system. How the information is then used and whether it is published is subject to our usual editorial decision-making and checks and balances.”

 

 

 

 

 

Australian Federal Police attempt to seize NITV News footage of the Frontier Wars Canberra March from Saturday 25 April. [VIDEO]

 

 

 

 



NZ to send UN accredited search and rescue team to Nepal

 



RNZI [27/4/15]:

 


A specialist Search and Rescue team will leave for Nepal tonight to help search for victims from the devastating earthquake.

Technicians from Auckland, Palmerston North and Canterbury gathered in Auckland last night awaiting the order to travel to Kathmandu.

The Fire Service said the team would leave on a commercial flight for Singapore tonight before connecting on a flight to the Nepalese capital, arriving at midday tomorrow local time.

The 37-strong team will take a 12-tonne cache of equipment so it can be fully self-sufficient, including for food, water, power and rescue equipment.

Ten search and rescue specialists, two paramedics, a doctor, an engineer, seven logistics personnel and 10 command and IT support staff make up the team.

Fire Service chief executive Paul Baxter said the deployment was set down for two weeks, but that could be extended if needed.

He said it was timely that the team had only last month gained UN accreditation as a heavy-capacity USAR team.

"The significance of this is apparent now: the UN knows that we will arrive in the country with the necessary equipment and expertise to hit the ground running and to help, rather than hamper, rescue efforts. We are now in a position to pull our weight on the international stage," he said.

Teams from India, Pakistan, the United States, China and Israel are already on the ground there.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said more than 180 New Zealanders have now been confirmed safe in Nepal.

It said it had no specific concerns about New Zealanders in Nepal but admitted it may take time to account for all of them.

It said if anyone was worried about relatives in Nepal, they should contact the Ministry.

 

 

 

 

Israeli backpacker killed in Christchurch earthquake was carrying five passports [Cryptogon - 20/7/11]

 

 

 

 

Cambodia: Troops sent to Ratanakkiri border area to stop refugees



Phnom Penh Post [27/4/15]:




Almost 1,000 Cambodian soldiers have been deployed along the Vietnamese border in Ratanakkiri province in an effort to combat crimes including “illegal immigration”, military officials said yesterday.

Lam Thuon, acting police chief in Paknhai commune, where 50 soldiers have been stationed, said that troops began being deployed to the border on Thursday.

“I asked them [the military] why they were being deployed; they said that it is to combat all kinds of crimes and offences happening at the border, or across the border,” he said.

Ratanakkiri military commander Kham Sok confirmed that “nearly 1,000 [troops] have been deployed” but declined to comment further.

Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said the soldiers were likely there to stop timber smugglers and asylum seekers.

Since October, dozens of Montagnards – an indigenous group from Vietnam’s central highlands – have fled to Ratanakkiri citing alleged persecution.

A local villager who has been helping groups of Montagnards said the troops were there to “cut the route” of future arrivals.

Thuon, the police chief, acknowledged that efforts were being made to stop “migrants” from crossing the border.

Wan Hea-Lee, country representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that “while there is nothing inherent in the act of sending troops to a border that contravenes the [Refugee] Convention, the troops should understand that their duties include guaranteeing asylum seekers safe passage to those procedures”.



 

PNG: Bible from US brings thousands to tears, joy



PNG Loop [27/4/15]:

 

 

After staying in the plane for about 20 minutes awaiting the arrival of the Prime Minister, the 404 years old Bible from the United States was ushered down from the plane by church elders.

They were lead by Reverend Joseph Walters to the VIP’s podium where a stage was set up for the elders and leaders.

The sound of a bugle at the plane’s stairs welcomed the Bible as people began cheering and praising the Lord and welcoming Him into the country.

Thousands of people in the city braved the midday heat to welcome the bible, brought from the US by Parliament Speaker Theo Zurenuoc and his delegation.

Men, women and children from many denominations who gathered at the Jackson’s international airport as they awaited the Holy Word from the plane began praying and singing praise, giving glory to the Lord.

The bible is one of a limited number from a 1611 printing in England.

Reverend Walters along with other church elders carried the Bible out from the plane, along the red carpet and onto the stage.

Tears of joy were shed by the people who were crying out openly, praising the Lord.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill arrived later and was ushered straight to the stage and received the Bible from Speaker Zurenuoc.

The PM is reported to have flown in from Popondetta.

Other Ministers and MPs who welcomed the Bible include Opposition Leader Don Polye, Finance Minister James Marape, Forestry Minister Douglas Tomuriesa, Community Development and Religion Minister Delilah Gore, Southern Highlands Governor William Powi, Eastern Highlands Governor Julie Soso, Mul Baiyer MP De Kewanu, Usina Bundi MP Anthony Yagama and other distinguished leaders.

A mighty worship team from the AOG Cornerstone church led proceedings as people began praying and rejoicing, welcoming the Bible.

Mr Zurenuoc challenged the Government to reform the ways they were operating and to look unto the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for their refuge and shelter.

“There’s no way for us to hide or run to. Jesus is our only Hope and our refuge in time of need,” he said

Mr O’Neill thanked the Speaker for bringing the Bible to PNG and received the Bible.

Chairman of the Port Moresby Pastors Fraternity Reverend Joseph Walters made the final remarks and blessed the Holy Word as it departed for the Governor General’s office before bringing it to the National Parliament where it will be kept.

 

 

 

 

US Embassy - Port Moresby [27/4/15]:

 

 

 

 Warrior Culture, a local non-governmental organization, is now accepting applications for Real Men Real Talk - a new leadership program designed to transform young men into leaders for social change in Papua New Guinea. The Real Men, Real Talk program aims to identify, develop, and strengthen leadership skills for young men to take on an active and dynamic role in shaping the future of Papua New Guinea. The program will run from July to November of this year, and will impart to course participants transformational knowledge, skills, and experience that will empower them to positively and powerfully impact society in the areas of family violence advocacy and gender equality, while steering them to greater self-acceptance, self-control, and self-empowerment. Application forms can be found on the link below...

 

 

 

 

 

Evicted Madang landowners want answers [PNG Loop - 27/4/15]

 

 

 



South Park creators' Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Broadway hit The Book of Mormon to open in Melbourne [Sydney Morning Herald – 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Maria Sevilla delivering anti deportation petition w/ 120,000 sig to Min Peter Dutton's Brisbane office ...

 

 

Image: @Macdonald_Steph  - 4BC journalist  [27/4/15]

 

 

 

Protest outside the Indonesian embassy.

 

 

Image: @kavita_jade [27/4/15]

 

 



Corruption allegations in ‘Bali Nine’ trial deepen Australia-Indonesia row [Jakarta Globe – 27/4/15]:

 

 

... Bishop said the allegations that judges requested money to commute the death sentences for the pair were “very serious” and called into question the integrity of the sentencing process.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry hit back, saying Australia needed to show proof of alleged corruption and questioned why concerns were being only raised now instead of 10 years ago.

Arrmanatha Nasir, spokesman for Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry, said Australians Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan have been given all the legal avenues to challenge their death sentences.

The two are among nine drug convicts, including others from Brazil and Nigeria, due to be executed by firing squad as soon as Tuesday night. ...

 

 



AGO Denies Atlaoui’s execution delayed due to French pressure [Jakarta Globe – 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Australia's political establishment suddenly decide UN criticism must be acted on.  [Julie Bishop again begs Indonesia to spare Australians - Deutsche Welle - 27/4/15]:

 

 

... UN chief Ban Ki-moon also appealed for the convicts to be spared. Foreign Minister Bishop seized on that, again warning Indonesia that it could see its international standing damaged by the executions.

"I have made the point publicly and privately that this could harm Indonesia's international standing and when the secretary-general of the United Nations weighs into the debate I think that this is a global issue," Bishop said.

 

 

 

 

 

Australians are "sick of being lectured to by the United Nations", Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said after a report found Australia's treatment of asylum seekers breaches an international anti-torture convention.  ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 10/3/15]



 

 

No military solution to refugee boat crisis - UN Chief Ban Ki Moon [Reuters - 26/4/15]:

 

... In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, Ban said the United Nations was ready to help tackle the problem.

Asked about a proposal by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to "capture and destroy" the boats that traffickers use, Ban said the U.N. focused on security and protecting human rights.

"There is no military solution to the human tragedy playing out in the Mediterranean," Ban said.

"It is crucial that we take a holistic approach that looks at the root causes, at security and the human rights of migrants and refugees, and have legal and regulated immigration networks." ...

 

 

 

 

You'd have to be a fool to believe the lies told by the Australian government. [Canberra Times - 27/4/15]:

 

 

 

The Foreign Affairs Department has apologised to a group of its public servants who were told they were to be sacked in a cruel April Fools prank.

The apology came on Wednesday after Fairfax exposed the "prank" played by managers at the Australian Passport Office a week ago.

DFAT said the hoax played on lower-ranked public servants who check on passport applications had been "ill-judged", "regrettable" "insensitive" and caused distress to the workers involved.

Distraught officials at the Canberra Regional Eligibility Centre, who were not amused by the hoax, were later told they should have realised the "announcement" was a joke.

...

 




New Police Headquarters for Manus [VIDEO - EMTV – 27/4/15]:

 

 

A new police headquarters will be built in the provincial capital Lorengau, in the Manus Province, at the cost of 10 million kina.

This new building will be a replica of the Constabulary’s New Guinea Islands Divisional Headquarters in Kokopo, East New Britain.

 

 

 

 

Arrested Manus protesters face jail conditions until refugee status decided [Guardian - 23/1/15]:

 

 

... A man speaking on the video – whose voice has been altered to avoid identification – alleged the men were beaten by security guards employed by Wilson and by police while in custody.

“They have beaten everyone in this camp. We are totalling 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us,” he said.

The video shows marks on some of the men’s bodies. It ends abruptly when a noise is heard, apparently outside the cell.

...

...

 



Dead horses found dumped in South Australian conservation park



ABC [21/4/15]:



The bodies of 12 horses have been found dumped at a conservation park south of Adelaide.

The Environmental Protection Authority is investigating the illegal dumping and said that at least two have markings suggesting that they were race horses.

The remains were discovered by a member of the public at Mount Magnificent Conservation Park.

EPA investigations manager Stephen Barry said the horses appeared to have been shot and the dumping may have been going on for some time.

"We think some of the horses have been there for maybe in excess of a year," he said.

"There are some horses there that still have hide and hair and hoofs so they might have been there for a shorter period of time."

He said 11 horses were adults and one was a foal and added that it was unclear if the animals had suffered broken legs or any other ailment.

"It's impossible to say and without, you know, thorough forensic examination, you might never know that and even when the breaks occurred," Mr Barry said.

Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) said since the discovery it had been working closely with authorities.

...

 

 

Arson squad called in to help solve Toowoomba mosque investigation




Chronicle [27/4/15]:


Specialist arson investigators from Brisbane have been brought in to help identify those responsible for the Garden City Mosque fire.

Darling Downs Police District officer Detective Inspector Dave Isherwood said arson squad members from the State Crime Operations Command in Brisbane had this week reviewed the fire and offered new lines of inquiry.

But despite the developments, he reissued the plea for members of the public to come forward with any information.

"They (arson squad) reviewed the investigation and gave opinions of other methodologies that could be used, and which we are going to use," Det Insp Isherwood said.

"We are going to look at external resources that may be able to assist us.

"We're going to adopt methodologies of other police forces in Australia. For example, they have gone to universities which are part of a group which may be able to assist us.

"It could help us determine a more enhanced profile of the person responsible."

A $25,000 reward has been offered for any information which may lead to an arrest and conviction of those responsible for the fire.

Det Insp Isherwood said police continued to look at the connection between the mosque fire in January and the suspected arson attack earlier this month.

Security footage being reviewed by investigators is expected to be released as early as today to help remind residents.

"All avenues are going to be explored. Nothing can be ruled in and nothing can be ruled out," he said.

"If this is going to be solved it is going to be with the help of the public and people coming forward with information."

Anyone with information that could help police in the investigation of this matter is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



 

 

 

 

Queensland homicide detectives are investigating a suspicious fire at a house on Brisbane's northside where a man was found dead yesterday.

The lowset home on Sunderland Drive at Bray Park was engulfed in flame by the time emergency services arrived around 5:30pm yesterday. ... [ABC - 26/4/15]

 

 

 



Fatal house fire, Warwick [QPS Media – 25/4/15]



 



Fire fighters called to blaze at Peregian Springs home [Sunshine Coast Daily – 25/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Assault charge, Southport [QPS Media – 26/4/15]


 

 


Gold Coast identity Ken Lacey is the latest person caught up in the cocaine scandal that has rocked Queensland sport.

Millionaire-turned-bankrupt Lacey, 58, faced Southport Magistrates Court on Saturday charged with a string of offences including drug supply and possession.

He and a 36-year-old Robina woman were charged by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) on Friday night. … [Yahoo – 25/4/15]

 

 

 



One person has died in a single vehicle traffic crash in Riverview this morning. … [QPS Media - 27/4/15]

 

 

 



Fatal traffic crash, Barrine [QPS Media – 27/4/15]:


A man has died and a woman has been injured following a two vehicle traffic crash at Barrine this morning.

Initial information suggest around 9am a car and truck collided on the Gillies Highway.

A man aged in his 70’s died at the scene.

A woman was also flown to Cairns Based Hospital where she remains in a stable condition.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

The Gillies Highway is currently closed and police are urging motorists to avoid the area until further notice. The highway is expected to be closed for several hours whilst the Forensic Crash Unit investigates.

Investigations are continuing.

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

 

 





Crane brought in to lift rolled truck on James St, Toowoomba [Chronicle – 27/4/15]

 

 

 



Truck's handbrake failed when it hit Tanawha resident [Sunshine Coast Daily - 27/4/15]:



The truck which rolled down a hill into a home at Tanawha is now being assessed by police officers.

The impact caused by the truck is believed to have caused structural damage to the Main Creek Rd home.

A Police spokesperson said the man driving the truck and the 52-year-old man who sustained lower leg injuries when he was struck by the truck as it rolled down the hill lived in the home together.

...

 

 



Police are investigating after a man died in a crash involving two trucks late last night near Macalister west of Dalby. ... [QPS Media - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

A new 24-hour BP service station that will accommodate heavy vehicles has been approved for the Warrego Hwy just west of Toowoomba. ... [Chronicle  - 24/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 Woman hit by car near CQ university [News Mail – 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency services have shutdown a Nambour intersection after a man was struck by a bus.

The man was trapped under the bus after the collision just before 1pm today at the corner of Blackall Tce and Hospital Rd.  ... [Sunshine Coast Daily - 24/4/15]

 

 

 



Man in serious condition after he was hit by car in Dickson [Canberra Times – 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Serious traffic crash, Springfield Lakes [QPS Media - 25/4/15]

 




Mother and child escape burning car near Dalby [Chronicle – 24/4/15]

 





Warwick mourns loss of couple in trucking accident [Chronicle – 24/4/15]



Man falls from overpass onto Pacific Highway



Tweed Daily News [27/4/15]:



A man was flown to the Gold Coast University Hospital with multiple injuries after falling from a highway overpass at Ocean Shores.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was called to the at the pedestrian overpass near Balemo Drive with a doctor and a paramedic shortly before 8pm Saturday to help the man, aged 47, before flying him to hospital.

No details of the man's condition are available at this stage.

 

 



Mt Isa pensioners launch train petition



North West Star [26/4/15]:



The Mount Isa Pensioners Association approached state member for Mount Isa Mr Katter a month ago about their concerns that the club car and sleeper car were no longer available on the Inlander.

He suggested they launch a petition, with Mount Isa Pensioners Association President Anne Morris spearheading the collection of more than 1000 signatures from the paper petition.

“All our members have signed and we’ve taken it around to different places like shopping centres and clubs,” Mrs Morris said.

“Everyone we’ve spoken to is in favour of the buffet car and sleeper coming back.”

She said it was too much to expect old and ill people to sit upright for the 20-hour journey.

“There’s not enough leg room between the seats and it would be far more comfortable for them if they could like down and rest for the journey,” she said.

Mr Katter said an online petition was launched on Thursday in the hope of getting more signatures.

“It’s just deplorable that services people on the coast just take for granted have been taken away from Inlander travellers.

“On a 20-hour journey, all people have to eat is sandwiches delivered to their seat, with no ability to buy cold drinks or a cup of tea.

“I don’t care what the subsidy is; this is a service that should be reinstated for the comfort and convenience of those people who have worked to build North Western Queensland, and who are entitled to be able to travel to the coast in comfort.”

 

 



Greek Parliament adopts cash reserve transfer [Naharnet - 25/4/15]:



Greece's parliament on Friday adopted a controversial decree ordering all public institutions to hand over their cash reserves to the central bank to help Athens meet its financial obligations.

The decree was adopted by the ruling Syriza party and its junior partner ANEL by 156 votes in favour and 104 against in a noisy debate.

The decree says the reserves will be used to cover "the state's urgent needs, which amount to three billion euros over the next 15 days".

...

 

 

 

 

Canberra Times [24/4/15]:

 

 

... The bureau [of meteorology] delivers a number of aviation forecast services to the airline industry which include Aerodrome Forecasts which are used by airlines to tell how much fuel they need for each flight, according to Mr Baldwin's office

The forecasters are to vote on a range of industrial action including withholding the TAFs to Canberra at times when they know the politicians are descending on the capital for sittings or hurrying out of town after a parliamentary session.

The bureau's 1700-strong workforce's enterprise agreement expired nine months ago, they have had no pay rise since June 2013 and there is no sign of a fresh offer.

...

The Fair Work Commission gave consent on Wednesday for a ballot of the BoM workforce on various forms of industrial action including targeting the capital's airport on sitting weeks and to read out their messages on radio.

Other actions on the table include work bans of up to 24 hours, a refusal to post on the bureau's Twitter feed and a ban on answering all non-essential media inquiries.

 

 

 

 

 

... "I am hopeful this case in the Supreme Court will further expose the significant problems with this project which, if approved in its current form, risks destroying the water that our businesses depend on," she said.

"Like many in the community, landholders have had a gutful of governments fast-tracking these massive mines without proper process."   [Grazier backs green group’s court battle against GVK Hancock - Daily Mercury – 24/4/15]

 

 

 

Senator Lazarus launches national solar energy campaign

 

 

Media Release [26/4/15]:



Senator Glenn Lazarus, Independent Senator for Queensland, is demonstrating his support for the renewable energy sector by launching the Solar Citizens national solar energy campaign ‘Stand up for Solar’ in Brisbane on Monday evening, 27 April 2015.

The ‘Stand up for Solar’ campaign calls for:

. A national goal of least 50% of Australia’s energy generated by renewables by 2030

. An end to discriminatory fees for solar owners, a fair feed in tariff for power fed back into the grid

. Helping households with soaring power bills

“The Renewable Energy Target (RET) has been a driving force for creating jobs, reducing emissions and helping Australians with their power bills,” Senator Lazarus said.

“The RET has helped create 6,600 jobs in my home state of Queensland.

“In Queensland there are 420,000 homes with solar rooftops. That is about one third of homes. Queensland rooftops are the biggest capacity generator in Queensland.

“Solar saves Queenslanders up to 65% of their bills and generates clean energy along the way.

“Solar also creates jobs and investment too which is what we really need in Queensland.

“Queensland has been one of the biggest adopters of solar, which is why more needs to be done to support existing homeowners with solar and to help more Australian households install solar on their rooftops.

“The rest of the world is moving to renewable energy. It is time my colleagues in Canberra understood the opportunity and looked to grow and protect renewable energy instead of trying to destroy it at every opportunity.

“There is no doubt the RET remains under attack. The Abbott Government is pushing to make a significant cut to the RET from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 32,000 gigawatt hours. As a result, investment in the sector has fallen by nearly 90% in the last year.

“If the RET is reduced, Australia will become the first country in the world to reduce a RET. We will become the laughing stock of the world.

“The Newman State Government also had a horrendous track record on solar, introducing fees that discriminated against solar, wiping out feed-in-tariffs and bullying solar owners.

“It is my hope the new Queensland State Government supports the renewable energy sector by facilitating the establishment of renewable energy projects and increasing assistance for solar adopters.

“The people of Australia want our country to move towards renewable energy. Governments need to listen. I hope my involvement in the ‘Stand up for Solar’ campaign will give more people a voice, raise awareness of the renewal energy sector and the need to retain the RET and help to place pressure on the Abbott Government to listen to the people of Australia and act accordingly.”


LAUNCH of ‘Stand up for Solar’


When: 27 April, 7pm – 9pm

Where: New Farm Bowls Club, 969 Brunswick Road, New Farm

Speakers: Senator Glenn Lazarus, Nigel Morris, expert solar industry analyst of Solar Business Services and Mike Swanston, energy customer advocate, formerly from Energex.


 

 

 

 

The criminal case involving Clive Palmer's media adviser, a former AFL player and an ex-detective has been adjourned until later this year. ... [Yahoo - 27/4/15]

 

 

 



Radioactive soil removed from Tokyo park



Japan Today [26/4/15]:



Workers on Saturday removed radioactive soil from a Tokyo playground where extremely high radiation levels had worried local residents for days, an official said.

Soil underneath a slide at the park in Toshima Ward showed radiation readings of up to 480 microsieverts per hour.

Anyone directly exposed to this level would absorb in two hours the maximum dose of radiation Japan recommends in a year.

Contractors dug out soil from the spot on Friday, and the radiation reading went back to normal, around 0.06 microsieverts per hour, according to local reports.

Workers suspect the contamination was from radium, which is used for medical tools and a glow-in-the-dark paint for watches, reports said.

Yukio Takano, the mayor of Toshima Ward where the park was located, said in a statement that the problem that fanned fears for the health of area children was likely to end soon.

“The amount of radiation has been dramatically reduced after a test excavation” of the soil, said the statement, released late Friday.

The contamination came to light after a local resident reported it on Monday but officials say they do not think it is connected to the disaster at Fukushima.

The park was built in 2013, two years after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, a local official told AFP, on what was previously a parking lot for Tokyo’s sanitation department

Top soil at the lot was replaced before the land was turned into a park.

Many families in eastern Japan continue to survey the levels of radioactive contamination around their houses, distrustful of government assurances that most places were not affected by the Fukushima meltdown.

Such efforts have led some people to discover radioactive materials that have been dumped in their neighborhoods.

Months after the Fukushima crisis started in 2011, officials found bottles of radium discarded under a private house and a supermarket in Tokyo.



 

 

Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last!

 

 

 

Brisbane Times [27/4/15]:

 

 

 

It was a key commitment given in return for his support in helping Labor gain government, but independent MP Peter Wellington said Queensland's Bill of Rights was not a priority.

Mr Wellington proposed a charter of rights, similar to that enacted in the ACT in 2004, in response to the Newman Government anti-association laws.

But he said the approach of the Palaszczuk Government so far had negated the need for urgency.

"This is another matter which is important, but I don't see it as the highest priority," he said.

"The excesses of the Campbell Newman government are what brought forward many people's calls for a bill of rights, but we are seeing a totally different government under Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"And while the Bill of Rights is important to me I don't see it as a priority because she is leading a completely different style of government than the Campbell Newman government.

"She has said that before any proposed changes there will be consultation with Queenslanders and I believe that is the right way to go about it."

...

 

 

 

 

 

... Queensland MP Billy Gordon has called for a police probe into the leaking of confidential federal documents that identify his children, vowing that Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg must "account for his actions". ... [ABC - 27/4/15]

 

 

 



Queensland police officer faces weapons charges



Yahoo [25/4/15]:


A Queensland police officer has been suspended after being charged with a number of offences, including the possession of unlicensed weapons.

The 40-year-old male senior constable, who works in the southeast of the state, was arrested while off duty on Saturday.

He is due to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court on Monday.


 



Task Force Maxima: Weapons found buried in a Birkdale backyard [QPS Media – 25/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Police pursuits, collisions and deployment of taser Biggera Waters, Loganholm and Slacks Creek [QPS Media – 25/4/15]

 

 

 

Burglary and dangerous driving charges following police pursuit and two collisions, Caboolture [QPS Media -25/4/15]

 

 

 

Man charged with serious assault and dangerous driving after being tasered, Wamuran [QPS Media – 25/4/15]

 

 



Chief Justice denies bias against Brett Peter Cowan

 

 

Brisbane Times [24/4/15]:

 

 

Queensland's chief justice insists he has no bias against Daniel Morcombe's killer despite holding meetings with a prominent child protection advocate.

Lawyers for Brett Peter Cowan, 44, are preparing to file an application to have Chief Justice Tim Carmody disqualified from hearing his appeal, citing a possible perception of bias.

Mr Carmody this month met with Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston - an appointment he says that was publicly declared on his calendar and attended by an independent third party.

The meeting was to discuss "an information solution system for reducing administrative expenses and burdens associated with child protection matters" relating to the 2013 Child Protection Inquiry report, he told the Supreme Court on Friday.

Cowan's defence counsel then demanded more information, which was refused.

Mr Carmody insisted it was standard practice to meet with community leaders, "even if they possess a general intellectual or emotional interest in a matter before the court, or its outcome".

"None of these meetings impede my neutrality or impartial discharge of my judicial function," he said.

"Ms Johnston and I do not have a relevant, close and continuing relationship that would impact on the impartiality of my decisions or processes."

But Cowan's barrister Peter Davis said later emails exchanged between the pair, in which she referred to him as "Tim" and included a smiley face, showed they were close.

"That's my name, Mr Davis," Mr Carmody replied.

"It doesn't matter if I'm the chief justice or the chief street sweeper, that's still my name."

Mr Davis said the interest of Bravehearts was directly contrary to those of Cowan.

"It's not suggested for a moment that Bravehearts is a dubious organisation, however it's a lobby group and Mr Cowan is someone who has been directly targeted by that very lobby group," Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis noted Ms Johnston had also been a supporter of Mr Carmody's in the face of criticism over his "controversial" appointment.

Director of Public Prosecutions Tony Moynihan said the situation was unprecedented and there should be no "next step" until the application is actually filed.

Cowan was last year sentenced to life behind bars with a non-parole period of 20 years.

The attorney-general is appealing the sentence on the basis it was inadequate, while Cowan's legal team has also mounted an appeal.


 

 

 

 

Women who commit sexual crimes against children and the role of social media in abuse cases will be the focus of a major summit on the Gold Coast. ... [Yahoo - 27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Sexual assault and associated charges against a Toowoomba man have been adjourned in order for the case to be taken up to the higher court to be dealt with.

The 36-year-old man was not in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday when his matters were mentioned, but solicitor Nathan Bouchier, acting on behalf of the man's Brisbane-based lawyers, sought an adjournment so a court registry committal could be done. … [Chronicle – 24/4/15]



 

 

RNZI [24/4/15]:

 

 

A Christchurch charity accused of having links with the sex industry has decided to deregister following an investigation by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The department opened an investigation into Te Poaka Tipua Charitable Trust on 26 January after a complaint about the way it was run. Its findings were released today.

The trust, which operates a drop-in centre for youth, shares a Linwood address with a men's sex club, the Backroom, which advertises online. ...

 

 

 



NSW police officer charged over domestic incident

 

 

West Australian [26/4/15]:



An NSW police officer is facing charges of stalking and intimidation following a domestic incident in the state's north.

Police said the male senior constable was arrested on Saturday.

He has been charged with two counts of stalking/intimidating with intent to cause fear, and resisting or hindering a police officer in the execution of their duty

He has been conditionally bailed to appear at the Ballina Local Court on June 4.

...





Aurizon employees strike for their rights


 

Gladstone Observer [24/4/15]:



Aurizon workers will be taking their plight to straight to the federal government.

It comes after the Fair Work Commission this week approved Aurizon's application to terminate Enterprise Agreements between the company and workers.

That decision has left the employees with no job security, facing a possible wage cut of 50%, possible reductions to super and no rights to object to 48 hours' notice of a shift.

The order will take effect from May 18.

But workers will be appealing that decision and will apply for an injunction to protect workers while the matter is negotiated.

Speaking in Gladstone today, Owen Doogan, State Secretary for the RTBU said the decision was one sided and anti-worker.

With about 500 workers Aurizon's Gladstone Callemondah operation is the largest in the state.

On Wednesday there will be a 24 hour strike.

 

 



 

Brisbane media coverage of the industrial dispute:  Queensland Rail staff test positive to alcohol, drugs - Brisbane Times [27/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

War on Australia's first nations people continues

 

 

 

Yahoo [27/4/15]:


Extra police have been sent to the remote Aboriginal community of Aurukun after a riot on Friday night.

Two officers were assaulted, police cars were damaged and the police station was vandalised.

The trouble began when police were called to a street disturbance involving a large number of people and an officer accidentally ran over a man's foot.

He was flown to Cairns for treatment and a second disturbance broke out later in the night.

Two officers sustained minor injuries, the police station had minor damage and windows were smashed on police cars.

A man, 20, is expected to front the Cairns Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with assaulting police and wilful damage of police property.

A woman, 19, has been charged with assaulting police and is due in court next month.

Three other people are facing public nuisance charges.

On Saturday night, police and local elders negotiated the return of a Queensland Health retrieval vehicle, allegedly stolen some hours earlier.

The vehicle had some mechanical damage, but no charges have been laid over that incident.

 

 

 

NSW State Library plans to make letter about Myall Creek Massacre trial available online



ABC [22/4/15]:



The State Library of New South Wales says a recently purchased letter detailing the trial of those responsible for the Myall Creek Massacre will be put online within a month.

The Library purchased the letter at auction earlier this week, for $3,200.

The nearly 180-year-old letter was written by a woman who attended the trial, and was sent to England.

Seven white men were hanged after being found guilty of the 1838 murder of 28 Aboriginal women, children and elderly men in northern New South Wales.

Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville said more research will be done on the letter's author, and it will be digitised, transcribed and added to the Library's online collection.

"Typically what we do with these things is to digitise them, so in other words photograph them," he said.

"We'll probably also have it transcribed because it's quite hard to read, in the olden days if you wanted to save paper you wrote as you would conventionally write across a page, and then you turned it on its side and you wrote against the grain.

"It's called cross-hatching so we will have it transcribed and put on our website, and probably put it on display."

He hasn't ruled out loaning the letter to institutions in northern New South Wales, near to where the Massacre occurred.

"The issue for us is the preservation of the work, that always becomes paramount in terms of what environmental conditions and security conditions can be given," Mr Neville said.

"Being a fragile bit of paper with ink which fades, if it's exposed to too much light, there are constraints.

"Obviously we can also provide very fine digital copies of these kinds of artefacts as well."

Richard Neville said the letter reflects one of two opposing views of the Massacre.

"On the one hand the squatters probably felt the Europeans were being unfairly targeted for what they had done, whereas the Sydney view of it was horror and disgust on the whole," he said.

"So there were two very disparate views on what had actually happened, and this letter falls on the side of disgust.

"But it is a primary, very contemporary account, of what people were thinking at the time."

 

 



US sailor jumps from 10th floor of Perth hotel


West Australian [27/4/15]:



A 22-year-old sailor from USS Carl Vinson jumped from the 10th storey of a Perth hotel after a row early this morning.

The man was with a woman, also from the US aircraft carrier, at the Parmelia Hilton Perth on Mill Street about 1.15am.

A WA police spokeswoman said it was believed the man and woman were involved allegedly in an altercation early this morning which led the man to jump from a balcony into a hotel pool.

"At about 1am this morning a disturbance was heard between the man and woman on a tenth floor room at a hotel located on Mill Street, Perth," she said.

"The argument escalated to a point where the man has jumped off the balcony into the Hotel pool, located on the 2nd floor. The man received serious injuries, not believed to be life threatening," she said.

He was taken to Royal Perth Hospital for treatment.

Both were believed to be heavily intoxicated.

WA Police have handed all the details over to the US Navy, who will continue with their investigation into this incident.

 



 

 

United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria


US Department of Defense Media Release [26/4/15]:


 

U.S. and coalition military forces 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

Fighter and attack aircraft conducted three airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Al Hasakah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL fighting position.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Al Hawayjah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL staging areas and an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Bayji, six airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL bunkers, two ISIL structures, an ISIL mortar tube and an ISIL warehouse.

-- Near Fallujah, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL armored personnel carrier, an ISIL dump truck, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Mosul, an airstrike struck an ISIL large tactical unit, destroying an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL tunnel system.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

...

 

 

 

 

Joint Special Operations Command denied on Saturday, the execution of 140 Iraqi soldiers by ISIS in Thar Thar area north of Ramadi. ... [IraqiNews.com - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

Air raids on Syrian market kill 40 civilians: Monitor [Ahram - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

US backed Saudi air strikes hit Yemeni capital, ships shell Aden-residents [Ahram -26/4/15]



Remarks at unveiling of the Sir John Monash Centre winning design, Villers-Bretonneux [Australian Prime Minister – 26/4/15]:

 

... Over the next three years, we will remember the achievement of the Australian light horse in Sinai, at Beersheba and in the capture of Jerusalem and Damascus. ...

 

 

 

The Prime Minister has wasted little time trying to drum up support for a valuable free trade deal with Gulf states on his visit to the region.

John Key is leading an 18-strong delegation to United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait hoping to get progress made on sealing a stalled agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

On it are some powerhouses of the New Zealand economy, like Fonterra. ... [RNZI - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Naharnet [26/4/15]:

 

 

 

Israel's military said it launched an airstrike on its border with Syria on Sunday evening after spotting militants carrying a bomb.

A military statement said the army launched the strike after troops saw "a group of armed terrorists" approach the border with an explosive that could target Israeli troops.

Israel's Jerusalem Post newspaper meanwhile quoted a senior army source as saying that the Israeli air force “struck and killed four terrorists who crossed into Israel from Syria and planted explosives near an IDF post on Sunday night.”

The source declined to say which organization the cell belonged to, saying it was too soon for such details.

...

 

 

 

 

​In a new documentary focusing on Vladimir Putin’s 15 years in power, the Russian president says communications intercepted in the early 2000s show direct contacts between North Caucasus separatists and the US secret services.  ... [RT - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

US military spending still up 45% over pre-9/11 levels; more than next 7 countries combined [The Intercept - 20/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

At least 35 people have died after a windstorm and heavy rains lashed North West Pakistan, provincial officials said.

Mushtaq Ghani, the information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, declared a state of emergency at all hospitals in the province and said 200 people had been injured because of the bad weather on Sunday.   ... [Al Jazeera - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Bahrain on Sunday extended by two weeks the period of detention for prominent rights activist Nabeel Rajab, accused of spreading false news, for the second time this month. ... [Ahram - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt hangs five for murder and theft [Naharnet - 26/4/15]

 

 

 

 

Ahram [26/4/15]:

 

 

 

Out of 761 possible water poisoning cases in Egypt’s Sharqiya governorate, eight patients are still being treated, while the others have been discharged from hospitals after recovering, a health ministry official said on Sunday. 

The remaining patients are expected to be released from the hospital within the next hours, Health Ministry Undersecretary Sheriff Makin told State News agency MENA.

...

The poisoning cases come a few days after a barge carrying 500 tons of phosphate capsized in the Nile in Upper Egypt’s Qena governorate after colliding with the foundations of the city's Dandara Bridge.

...

 

 

 

 

 

Ahram [26/4/15]:

 

 

 

 

The Turkish coastguard has rounded up 350 mainly Syrian migrants in an operation against a ship planning to take them to Europe, the official Anatolia news agency said Sunday.

Coastguard personnel overnight Saturday to Sunday raided the Mongolian-flagged "Ole" vessel after a tip-off that migrants were being carried on board.

The coastguard picked up 71 migrants on board the ship off the southeastern Turkish city of Mersin and captured 279 others waiting their turn at the port to board the vessel, Anatolia said.

It said the migrants, including women and children, were seeking to reach European Union countries, in particular Italy.

Police detained 10 crewmen and seized the inflatable boats used to transfer the migrants to the ship.

...

 

 

 

 

 

A fish rots from the head down.



Letter to the Editor, Nation [27/4/15]:


 

Australia's High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, had the gall to tell the BBC World News that Australia was correct to hold refugees arriving by boat in detention centres on the Pacific island of Nauru and on Manus island off Papua and New Guinea - a policy that has been criticised by the United Nations Human Rights Council, which said aspects of Australia's policies on asylum seekers violates the convention against torture.

The former Australian foreign minister was commenting on the unfolding tragedy of shipwrecks and the death by drowning of hundreds of would-be migrants to Europe from Africa and the Middle East in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya.

Now it transpires that Australia is trying to offload these unfortunate people on Cambodia under the dubious care of the unsavoury Hun Sen, hardly a shining beacon of democratic government with a proven respect for human rights.

As Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia of Human Rights Watch, commented, "Australia is basically paying blood money to a much poorer, less developed state with a shoddy record of refugee protection to take people that Canberra doesn't want".

Edward Duhigg

 

 

 

 

 

 ...  They sought to portray the deportations as a "resettlement"  ...  

 

[Deportations to Killing Centres - US Holocaust Memorial Museum]

 

 

 

 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

 

 

… Theresienstadt served an important propaganda function for the Germans. The publicly stated purpose for the deportation of the Jews from Germany was their "resettlement to the east," where they would be compelled to perform forced labor.

Since it seemed implausible that elderly Jews could be used for forced labor, the Nazis used the Theresienstadt ghetto to hide the nature of the deportations.

In Nazi propaganda, Theresienstadt was cynically described as a "spa town" where elderly German Jews could "retire" in safety. The deportations to Theresienstadt were, however, part of the Nazi strategy of deception. The ghetto was in reality a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killing centers in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe.

Succumbing to pressure following the deportation of Danish Jews to Theresienstadt, the Germans permitted the International Red Cross to visit in June 1944.

It was all an elaborate hoax.

The Germans intensified deportations from the ghetto shortly before the visit, and the ghetto itself was "beautified." Gardens were planted, houses painted, and barracks renovated. The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries.

Once the visit was over, the Germans resumed deportations from Theresienstadt, which did not end until October 1944.

...

 

 

 

 

4 Nauru refugees await deportation and exile to Cambodia [Guardian - 27/4/15]:

 

 

 

... Those who have agreed to be resettled include a male and female couple and an Iranian man. A Rohingyan man has also agreed to be settled in Cambodia, but is not yet being held inside the detention centre.

A document titled “talking points”, distributed to Transfield Security staff and seen by Guardian Australia, outlines that the refugees will be located in the “delta block” of the RPC1 compound, and will be “clearly identifiable by a bright green ID card with photo”.

The document said that “this select group of refugees have freedom of movement in and out of the RPC” but adds that “visitors will not be permitted” to see the refugees who agreed to go to Cambodia.

The flight to Cambodia still appears to be scheduled imminently, although it is not clear what the precise date of departure will now be. The document describes how a case manager on the island will be the point of contact for the refugees “for a period of up to two weeks while they transition to Cambodia for their safety”.

...

 

 

 

 

 

27 April 2015

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