@Snowden [24/12/16]: Need a last minute gift for the activist in your life? Help the refugees who kept me safe underground resettle in Canada ...
The boats have not stopped and there is no "US Deal". Cut the opinionating crap Mark Isaacs and Guardian Australia [27/12/16]
St Kilda lifesaver and the ABC pretend global displacement isn't happening in our backyard [27/2/16]
Region continues proudly pushing back Rohingya refugees to Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide - anything to say about that Simon Lewis? [Dhaka Tribune - 27/12/16]:
... Cox’s Bazar BGB 34 Battalion Commanding Officer Imran Ullah Sarker said: “At least 49 Rohingyas, including women and children, were sent back when they were trying to enter Bangladesh through Ukhiya’s Palongkhali border.” ...
Australia's miserable politicians still hiding from the predictable consequences of their anti-refugee policy [ABC - 26/12/16]:
The Federal Government has not notified the family of a Sudanese refugee who died in hospital on Christmas Eve after suffering a seizure inside the Manus Island detention centre, a refugee advocate says.
Faysal Ishak Ahmed, 27, was evacuated from Manus Island to Brisbane but on Saturday became the fourth refugee detained on the island to die.
Refugees inside the Manus detention centre held a vigil for him on Christmas night.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Government would be making no further comment on Mr Ahmed's death.
But Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) said he knew for certain Australian authorities had not spoken to Mr Ahmed's family.
"Why don't they pick up the phone and talk to Faysal's family?" Mr Rintoul said.
RAC also released a series of letters from the Manus Island medical provider, International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), responding to Mr Ahmed's complaints over a period of several months that his illness was not being taken seriously.
The complaints prompted 60 Sudanese detainees to write to IHMS calling for urgent action to address Mr Ahmed's ill health.
The letter was dated December 21, one day before the seizure that led to the 27-year-old's death.
In that letter, also obtained by the ABC, IHMS was told Mr Ahmed's condition was "getting worse and worse day by day". ...
The Australian government is literally getting away with murder as its anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy continues with ALP support [SBS - 26/12/16]:
... In November the United Nations sent its special rapporteur on the rights of migrants, Francois Crepeau, to investigate Australia's immigration policies.
"We have met people who were deeply damaged by the length of the detention - self-harm, PTSD, anxiety, depression - so I join other UN human rights mechanisms and voices to say that for those people who are today - it's true - the minority, the conditions, the length of time: this is cruel and inhumane treatment according to international human rights law," Crepeau said.
He echoed the observations of agencies including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, in an earlier Sky News interview represented by Elaine Pearson.
"This is a deliberate policy of abuse and the Australian government has been very clear that this is all about deterrence, and an essential part of that deterrence is making conditions on Nauru really miserable for people," Pearson said.
The federal government has resisted the criticisms, with the prime minister telling the UN General Assembly Australia's so-called border protection policies are necessary.
"We believe that in order to secure and maintain public support for immigration, multiculturalism and a generous humanitarian program, the public need to know that it is their government which controls their borders," Turnbull said.
The government may want other countries to follow Australia's lead, but at home calls for the camps to be closed and detainees transferred here grew.
In February, supporters rallied around some 200 adults and children, brought temporarily to Australia for medical or related reasons, under the slogan, "Let them stay".
Months on, around the country the message got louder.
Doctors and medical staff, meanwhile, argued against laws threatening imprisonment for disclosures from within offshore detention.
The government amended the Border Force Act quietly in September to exclude health professionals from the restrictions after the group launched a High Court challenge.
A month earlier 100 former and, at the time, current detention staff, also spoke out.
Among them was an ex-Manus Island educator for the agency once known as Transfield, who said he witnessed detainees being mistreated.
"There's one element of the guards that have probably been traumatised themselves by war in the Middle East and they tend to be very, very cruel. And it's very easy to be cruel to broken men with broken spirits, taunting them, continually kicking them in the leg in the same spot, locking them away for discipline," he said.
The group says it was moved by the unprecedented leak of confidential incident reports from Nauru.
Thousands of documents reported in the media showed allegations of sexual abuse against women and children, assault, self-harm and medical neglect.
Speaking with the ABC, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton tried to play down the revelations
"There are some that are legitimate and there are others that aren't, and others that have been found not to be substantiated.
"I think it's also important to recognise that of the 2,000 reports many could include, for example, a complaint about food or a complaint about kids not going to school, a parent disciplining a child within the regional processing centre," Dutton said.
That makes up the 2,000, so to put it into perspective, and I think there are some within that that have been made on false basis."
A Senate inquiry examining the claims, as well those from Manus Island, is due to share their findings in March.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights made its own observations, said spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani.
"Teams from our office have witnessed how many of these migrants, asylum seekers, refugees - including children - now suffer from the severe mental health problems as a result of their detention.
"We call on Australia and Nauru to expeditiously end immigration detention of children and urge authorities to institute human rights-compliant alternatives," Shamdasani said.
The issue was etched into the public consciousness by news of two people setting themselves on fire in Nauru within a week of each other in May.
A coronial inquest, meanwhile, has been looking into the death of a 24-year-old Iranian refugee from a treatable skin infection on Manus Island in 2014.
The camp, housing only male asylum seekers, is still open more than six months after its announced closure.
In April, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled the Manus facility unconstitutional and ordered it shut down.
Movement rules were relaxed, like on Nauru, in response to legal action.
But a lawyer for the detainees, Ben Lomai, says Australia must now resettle them.
"It nullifies the entire arrangement between Papua New Guinea and Australia and therefore has discharged the onus, or obligation, on the PNG government to be responsible for the asylum seekers.
"We are saying the Australian government is solely responsible," Lomai said.
More was revealed in 2016 about the controversial boat turnbacks at sea amid reports some returned passengers have been arrested and jailed.
The government confirmed a formal agreement was signed with Vietnam for repatriation of intercepted asylum seekers.
It sees the measure as part of a humane response to global irregular migration and a reason Australia should be given a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.
Rural Australian towns left without doctors over Christmas [Xinhua - 27/12/16]
Overloaded community legal centres forced to turn people away [ABC - 27/12/16]
Alcohol banned on Coogee Beach after Christmas mayhem [Sydney Morning Herald - 27/12/16]
The man involved in the car fire outside the Australian Christian Lobby's Canberra headquarters remains in a serious but stable condition five days after presenting himself to hospital with serious burns.
The 35-year-old was airlifted from Canberra Hospital early Thursday evening to Sydney's Concord Hospital, one of two adult specialist burns units in New South Wales.
The man walked five kilometres to Canberra Hospital on Wednesday night after parking a van and igniting several gas cylinders outside the headquarters of the ACL building in Deakin. ... [Canberra Times - 26/12/16]
Stanthorpe man apologises for being drunk, breaking town Christmas tree [Brisbane Times - 21/12/16]
Posted on a traffic sign - somewhere in Australia [27/12/16]
… These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year
This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here
So you scream from behind your door
Say "what's mine is mine and not yours"
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
'Cos God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can't come back
'Cos he has no children to come back for ...
'Praying For Time', George Michael 
George Michael’s May 2012 Twitter statement on Murdoch's News Corporation, the Leveson Inquiry and corrupt media in general.
Turnbull and Shorten are laughing at partisan "advocates" and their ignorance.
IF YOU AREN'T PROTESTING EVERY SINGLE AUSTRALIAN POLITICIAN (AND THEIR FRAUDULENT HUMAN RIGHTS/NGO/PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION AND UNION ACCOMPLICES), YOU ARE PERPETUATING THE POLICY.
"It's our policy"
Shorten: Offshore regional processing is an important part of defeating the crime gangs. #auspol #asylumseekers [Image: @ABCNews24 - 4/2/16]
Australian media, PNG politician and protestors deliberately miss the point. No opposition. No journalism. Turnbull and Dutton continue ALP anti-refugee torture, exile and murder policy unopposed [ABC - 26/12/16]
... Mr Boochani said Mr Ahmed fainted many times in the past six months, and more than 60 of the 900 detainees had written to complain about his lack of medical care.
He said the company contracted to provide healthcare to the detainees, International Health and Medical Services, had ignored the basic values and dignities it had to apply as a health provider. ... [RNZI - 25/12/16]
Behrouz Boochani [23/12/16]:
The Australian government must answer us. 'What has happened with Faysal?'
IHMS is a criminal system and must answer to us why they did not care about the many complaints Faysal wrote about his heart problem and headaches.
Many times Faysal collapsed and all of us here knew that he was seriously sick for more than 6 months.
More than 60 people wrote a letter to IHMS and explained to them how Faysal is sick and has constant headache and heart problem but they did not care.
Every day Faysal went to medical asking for help. They did not help him.
A few days ago a nurse in IHMS told Faysal that he was fine and didn't need medical treatment.
Now we know he has died.
The government and IHMS must know that they can not hide the truth and we in Manus prison are caring about our friend and will follow up and tell the truth to people of how the Australian government killed him.
IHMS is obviously a criminal medical system, as criminal as the Australian immigration.
This system has forgotten all its values and dignity that a health provider has to be obliged to. It has forgotten the values and dignity of protecting the health of people and is instead protecting its financial interests and benefits.
This is a crime that shouldn't be ignored easily.
In relation to Hamid Khazaei's death, IHMS claims that it did its best to save his life, but the immigration department didn't allow his transfer.
The question is why IHMS works in the system that doesn't give it the power it needs to help patients.
Why does this company renew its contract with immigration for its financial interest?
I - as a person who deeply understands how IHMS is used by immigration as a means of torture - suggest advocates and the Australian human rights institutions make a complaint against IHMS to the international organisations which observe the medical and health institutions.
As a result of the complaint, IHMS will be convicted of conducting criminal activities and ignoring the values and dignities that it has to apply as a health provider.
Doctors Without Borders, World Health Organisation and other international health organisations need to know the nature of IHMS. <---- INDEED. IT WOULD TAKE 5 MINUTES TO ISSUE A STATEMENT CONDEMNING AUSTRALIA'S ANTI REFUGEE "DETERRENCE" POLICY, BUT AUSTRALIA'S DOMINANT CHRISTIAN FASCIST CULTURE SUPPORTS IT - EVEN TO THE POINT OF MURDER. "IT'S BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE", IS WHAT THE HYPOCRITE "DO GOODDERS" ALL SAY, BEFORE TROTTING OFF TO CHURCH TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST.
Turnbull, Dutton, Shorten, Neumann, McKim, media collaborators and phony NGOs, professional associations and human right groups - all equally responsible for Australia deliberately killing another refugee.
WHERE ARE YOU?
WHY ARE YOU HIDING FROM THE DIRECT AND PREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ANTI-REFUGEE TORTURE, EXILE AND MURDER POLICY, AND COMPLICITY?
@smr_win [25/12/16]: update from Behrouz. Solidarity with all the brave people who never stop protesting on Manus. ...
Behrouz Boochani: Last night we kicked the officers and staff out in a serious way and slept without seeing Australian and PNG officers' faces.
We took control of the whole prison, but I would like to say that we in Manus prison never wanted any violation or wrong action.
We only wanted that this fascist system answer us to tell us why they killed Faysal.
It's clear who is wrong and who are the murderers, they must answer our questions and make it clear who is responsible for killing Faysal.
We think that Faysal lost his life while he was in the medical facilities in Manus and the Australian government is lying.
Today we will write our letter and complaints and put them in the media, this system must answer to us.
This is a clear message.
Finally, I want to mention that the officers and staff came back to the centre today. Now the refugees are angry and sad, but the situation otherwise looks like normal.
@JoshButler [25/12/16]: Asylum seekers on Manus have staged a resistance against staff. Behrouz, man on Manus, says no injuries but staff forced out of centre
War of attrition continues as Australia murders another refugee.
This is YOUR FAULT Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten you fascist arseholes.
AND I DON'T CARE IF IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE.
IT'S TIME FOR THE AMA - AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL BODIES TO OPPOSE AUSTRALIA'S ANTI REFUGEE TORTURE, EXILE AND MURDER POLICY.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection says a 27-year-old Sudanese refugee from Manus Island detention centre has died in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital after being airlifted to Australia for urgent treatment.
The department released a statement confirming the man, named as Faysal Ishak Ahmed by the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC), suffered a fall and a seizure and had subsequently died in the Brisbane hospital.
RAC spokesman Ian Rintoul said Mr Ahmed was flown to Brisbane from Manus Island on Friday afternoon.
"The Department is not aware of any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and expresses its sympathies to his family and friends," the statement said.
Mr Rintoul said it was not yet clear whether the emergency was a result of Mr Ahmed's head injuries or because of "underlying medical conditions that led to his collapse".
He said Mr Ahmed had suffered numerous blackouts and collapses over the past few months and suffered head injuries on Thursday night when he collapsed inside Oscar compound at the Manus detention centre.
The case had once more thrown a "stark light" on the failures of International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) — the medical provider servicing the Manus detention centre, he said.
Mr Rintoul said Mr Ahmed had made numerous complaints to Border Force and IHMS because of a lack of treatment.
"Only last week, more than 60 Manus refugees signed a complaint letter regarding IHMS's failure to properly treat the refugee," he said.
Queensland coroner Terry Ryan is investigating the death of 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei, who died in Brisbane's Mater Hospital in August 2014, 13 days after presenting to the Manus Island clinic in August 2014.
Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled in April that Australia's detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was illegal. ...
@manusFad22 [24/12/16]: This is
forth death 1st in Mike 2nd Foxtrot 3rd Delta 4th Oscar #Manus
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 22/12/16]
Berliners and refugees sing We Are The World to remember the victims of #Breitscheidplatz ... @lauralzola [22/12/16]
Irish Navy: The Crossing [Documentary - 2016]
To Cate Blanchett and UNHCR: Demand Australia start complying with its international obligations, or SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Australia's human rights atrocities against refugees "bewildering" says Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett: ... Must watch interview w/ @camanpour ... @melissarfleming [3/5/16]
Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, March 2016
... Peter Lloyd, the Iranian man Omid Masoumali and his death; now on this program yesterday his best friend said he that he believed Omid had spiralled into a suicidal depression after asylum seekers were told by the UNHCR to expect to remain on Nauru for a decade.
Has there been any response from the UNHCR about that?
PETER LLOYD: There's been no direct response from the UNHCR about the specifics of that allegation.
What they have done is issued a statement which essentially repeats what they said last week, which was that they'd been on Nauru for a mission to monitor the welfare of asylum seekers.
That's not what some people on the island are saying, it was put to us yesterday in the program and subsequently after that a number of others backed up the claim that in meetings, Thomas Albrecht, the UN's representative who led that mission was making statements along with a fellow woman in that team from the UN that the asylum seekers could expect to be on the island for as much as 10 years.
That was directly blamed for the suicide of the Iranian last week, and perhaps it may have been a factor in what happened overnight with the Somali woman [Hodan].
We don't know yet, but certainly it can't be ruled out that the belief amongst the asylum seekers whether it's true or not, the belief has taken hold that they are going to be there for a very long time.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Peter Lloyd thank you.
Bangladesh holds "National Taskforce" as Rohingya continue to flee despite regional consensus on pushing them back to Myanmar [The Daily Star - 22/12/16]
@nslwin [22/12/16]: 5 huts owned by 5 poor #Rohingya in West H of #KunTheePyin VT, #TaungPyoLetWal sub-Tsp were demolished by #Myanmar's BGP on Dec 21st at 9am.
@Arakan_Times: 21th Dec 16 At Least 30 #Rohingya Houses Have Been Demolished By #MyanmarGovt In #Maungdaw South & North
Burma: Rohingya recount killings, rape, and arson [ReliefWeb/HRW - 21/12/16]
Myanmar Information Ministry’s propaganda team visits Northern Maungdaw [RVision TV - 22/12/16]
@Clintonswalk [21/12/16]: Alice Springs after a rain ...
@Clintonswalk [20/12/16]: Thanks Mt.Ebenezer Roadhouse Owner Steven starken, Carol Rutherford and Tarwin Goncalves for helping by donating money and some food.
David Dungay's family demand justice [Nine MSN - 22/12/16]:
The distraught family of an Aboriginal man who died in a NSW prison a year ago are demanding answers.
Leetona Dungay's diabetic son David, 26, died at the end of December 2015 at Long Bay Prison Hospital just three weeks before his release on parole.
Ms Dungay was flanked by dozens of family and supporters as she marched on the Sydney offices of the Department of Corrective Services on Thursday.
"The Aboriginal people of Australia need to take a stand ... because there's too many mothers like me who have lost their sons," Ms Dungay told those gathered.
"The people who did this to my son are going to be held accountable."
Ms Dungay said her son died in the prison hospital soon after being restrained by a group of guards after he refused to stop eating a biscuit for his blood sugar levels.
A coroner will investigate Mr Dungay's death.
"I know the coroner is going to find out the truth and the people who did this to David are going to be brought to justice," Ms Dungay said.
But the family's lawyer, Duncan Fine, said the matter was progressing incredibly slowly with a brief of evidence filed only last week.
"I call upon the NSW government to expedite this matter, to get this matter in front of a coroner's court as quickly as possible so that we can get justice," Mr Fine told the rally.
"What we need is to find out the truth, to find out exactly what happened on that night, and then hold people accountable."
David Dungay's older brother Ernie said the family was desperate for his spirit to rest in peace.
"We're going through pain here. Once we get answers and justice for my little brother, we might be able to rest," he said.
Paul Silva, David Dungay's nephew, said his family was suffering through unimaginable heartache.
"He did the time with less than three weeks to go but he came out in a body bag," he said.
A coroner wants an investigation into discrimination complaints related to an intellectually disabled Aboriginal woman who died in a Sydney emergency department. ... [SBS - 22/12/16]
Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world ...
'Enjoy The Silence', Depeche Mode 
Walking Our World [22/12/16]
Silent trek from Byron to Brisbane highlights silence of broader community in the face of government atrocity [Tweed Shire Echo - 22/12/16]:
Two men will arrive in Brisbane tomorrow after departing Byron Bay a fortnight ago to raise awareness of the plight of children held in indefinite detention on Nauru.
Peter Walker and Scott Collins, both 58, have been walking since Friday 9 December in searing heat, demanding that the Federal Government immediately brings to Australia the nearly 50 children still languishing in squalid conditions in detention on the tiny Pacific island.
Long-walk veteran Peter Walker said that he has chosen not to speak on the journey to highlight the silence he sees in the broader community regarding this issue.
Love Makes A Way refugee advocate and mother Michelle McDonald, 40, said that she walked with the two men at the Gold Coast on Saturday to highlight the urgent need to bring the babies and children on Nauru to Australia.
‘We cannot celebrate Christmas alongside our own children with any integrity if we ignore the desperate situation of children on Nauru,’ Ms McDonald said.
Mr Walker and Mr Collins will be arriving in Brisbane at King George Square on Friday 23 June at 12 noon. ...
What do you ask Santa for Christmas when you are a child as young as two and you are facing your second holiday season locked up by the US government?
What present could ease the pain of having spent almost half your life incarcerated?
At a time when much of the national focus is on the incoming Trump administration and the president-elect’s threat to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, Donohoe puts the responsibility for Berks squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama.
“We’ve been asking for two and a half years why Obama and his administration are so recalcitrant in detaining children. It is 100% his administration that put family detention on steroids and it is 100% within his power to end it.”
The palpable anger and frustration felt towards the Obama administration is intensified now with the victory of Donald Trump and his threats to round up and deport millions of undocumented immigrants such as Amparo and her son.
“Obama has paved the way for everything Trump is now threatening,” Donohoe said.
“Everything is in place for President Trump.” ... [Guardian - 21/12/16]
@karhoff [20/12/16]: "The governor would like to see the center closed." @GovernorTomWolf, you have the authority to close Berks- use it! ...
When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.
Kidnapping, drug and refugee trafficking behind the financing of ISIS: Journalist Loretta Napoleoni says European heads of state still refuse to see their foreign policy as the root of the crisis [TRNN- 20/12/16]:
... SHARMANI PERIES: Now, Loretta, you've been somewhat instrumental, not only just investigating and writing about these things, but you actually brought together heads of state around the table to discuss this problem and how to stop it, in terms of the economy of it. So what were the conversations around the table like?
LORETTA NAPOLEONI: Well, the conversations were various. I mean, all of this happened actually after 9/11. After the bombing of ... so we're talking about quite a long time ago, a decade ago. And at that time there was no clear understanding of what was really happening.
Today, I would say that we are more or less at the same level. There is no understanding because there is no willingness to accept that what is happening is not a phenomenon that is not linked to our history -- it is not linked to our foreign policy.
I mean, this is one of the consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is one of the consequences end of the Cold War. It's not an isolated phenomenon. So most politicians would like to believe that this is an isolated phenomenon -- 2005 that was the view that was unchallenged. Unchallenged because, of course, 9/11 was so exceptional. But, today, it's still the view even if it's challenged.
SHARMANI PERIES: So, is there any end in sight to this kind of political crisis that we are facing throughout the world -- not just the Middle East but really Europe is involved, the United States is involved, Russia's involved, this is really a geopolitical issue now. Is there any end in sight?
LORETTA NAPOLEONI: I think the only end is in the Middle East's negotiations. So forget about exporting democracy. Forget about changing the regime in the Middle East, but try to bring about a sort of peace agreement, even if it's not with the governments that we would like to be in that position. So start with peace. Once we get the peace in the Middle East, I think it is time for us to revise our democracy. ...
Iraqi forces battling to retake Islamic State’s last major stronghold – Mosul – have entered a planned operational refit, a top U.S. general in the international coalition backing Baghdad said, the first significant pause of the campaign. ... [IraqiNews.com - 21/12/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [21/12/16]:
Diyala: Two persons were killed as an IED exploded near Zaham Village northeast of Ba'quba.
Baghdad: A person was killed and 4 were wounded -according to initial outcome-as a car bomb exploded in Al-Shurta Al-Rabe'a area south of Baghdad.
Baghdad: News agencies:Persons were wounded as two roadside bombs exploded in Bagdad Al-Jadeeda area east of Baghdad.
Iranian Kurdish opposition offices in northern Iraq hit by explosion; six killed [Reuters - 20/12/16]
Russian-Turkish-Iranian meeting held in Moscow… Lavrov: we will continue to combat ISIS and al-Nusra [SANA - 21/12/16]
More people continue to flee the terrorist-besieged eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city, as tens of them, along with a number of kidnapped people, arrived Tuesday at posts of the Syrian Arab Army in Jisr al-Hajj area after they managed to escape. ... [SANA - 21/12/16]
21 bus drivers who were held by terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham after being targeted while on their way to evacuate humanitarian cases from the terrorist-besieged Kefraya and al- Fouaa towns in Idleb were freed Tuesday evening, special sources told SANA.
The sources said the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) contributed to the efforts to bring back the drivers, noting that two inured persons and two dead bodies were among those who were returned. ... [SANA - 21/12/16]
... Local and media sources said that Turkish warplanes launched on Tuesday an airstrike on the residential neighborhoods of al-Bab city, killing 7 persons from the same family and injuring a number of the locals.
In the same context, the airplanes of the US-led coalition carried out airstrikes on al-Tabqa city in the western countryside of Raqqa, killing 3 persons and causing huge material damage to the houses and infrastructure. [SANA - 21/12/16]
Russian Air Force helps Syrian Army push back ISIS in western Palmyra [AMN - 21/12/16]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 21/12/16]
IOM "instrumental" in the deportation of trapped Nigerian refugees in Libya - 140 returned Tuesday [Buzz Nigeria - 21/12/16]
These fascists don't care about saving human lives, they want to stop people from fleeing their wars ---> Questions and answers following the joint press conference after the 4th EU-League of Arab States Ministerial Meeting, by the High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini alongside Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the LAS and H.E. Khemaies Jhinaoui, Foreign Minister of Tunisia [20/12/16]
Rescuers saved around 300 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in the Mediterranean on Wednesday but recovered six dead bodies during the operations, the Italian coastguard said.
Coastguard and naval ships as well as two privately owned tugs rescued the people from four boats in the central Mediterranean, the coastguard said in a statement. ... [Reuters - 21/12/16]
A brief glimpse of freedom on a prison island.
Members of The Prisoners - one of the refugee cricket teams on Manus Island.
... The tournament started a week ago, and while the cricket is being played in a protracted format (eight overs a side) it still represents a breakthrough of sorts.
One of those taking to the field is Naseem Haider, from Pakistan.
"So different countries are participating in this cricket, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. And the Manus new cricket team is also participating and Manus Cricket have also a very good team."
PNG Cricket was initially reluctant to approve the tournament as it appeared to be against ICC rules to sanction an event with unregistered teams.
But Naseem said that after six months of organisational efforts, the green light was given.
Several teams broadly representing nationalities of refugees held on Manus were established with names such as the Prisoners and the Zalmi (which means youngsters in the language of Pakistan's Pashtos) ... [RNZI - 21/12/16]
Australian media use Christmas to exploit "good" refugees in their ongoing effort to neutralise the government's atrocities [SBS - 21/12/16]
Who's suggesting "we" gave up? Amnesty does not represent Australians who care about human rights Claire Mallinson [Sydney Morning Herald - 21/2/16]
Region continues pushing back Rohingya refugees to Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide [Dhaka Tribune - 21/12/16]
UNHCR and IOM showcase their role in maintaining the region's genocidal refugee bottleneck [Media Release - 20/12/16]
@JamilaHanan [21/12/16]: Imagine having to dismantle your house + having nowhere to go. This is the #Rohingya clearance operation under guise of counter insurgency.
@JamilaHanan [21/12/16]: #Myanmar military can't burn down any more houses, looks bad. So instead they are now ordering the #Rohingya to dismantle their own.
... “ASEAN ministers gave Suu Kyi a pass and are effectively allowing the Myanmar authorities to get away with murder in Rakhine State,” Santiago said.
“Malaysia was right to raise the spectre of ethnic cleansing and even genocide — acts in which Asean risks complicity if it continues to sit on the sidelines.” ... [Free Malaysia Today - 21/12/16]
Investors target Chevron for doing business in Burma [Social Funds - 16/12/16]
Thousands of people in Kachin State have been newly displaced in the aftermath of a military offensive that saw Tatmadaw troops overrun the Kachin Independence Army’s Gidon mountaintop outpost.
U Gum Sha Aung, secretary of the Joint Strategy Team, which has been assisting IDPs and monitoring the conflict in Kachin and northern Shan states, told The Myanmar Times that many had fled to nearby Laiza, the KIA headquarters. ... [Myanmar Times - 21/12/16]
East Timor: Reflections 41 years after invasion day [Counterpunch - 21/12/16]:
... Most people in the U.S. don’t know about Timor-Leste, but the Indonesian invasion could not have happened without the military, economic and diplomatic backing of the U.S.
From December 6, 1975, until 1999, the U.S. supported Indonesia’s invasion and occupation. For this, they are responsible for numerous serious crimes committed here. ...
The Norfolk Island Regional Council remains positive despite Air New Zealand ending its direct Auckland to Norfolk flights.
The once a week flight is important to Norfolk's tourism industry, the many New Zealand citizens who live there and the supply of critical foods to the island.
Air New Zealand, which is the only airline that services Norfolk, will maintain its flights out of Sydney and Brisbane. ... [RNZI - 21/12/16]
A total of 1716 evacuees are now residing in 95 evacuation centres across the country because of heavy rain and flooding experienced over the past few days.
This was revealed by the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director, Akapusi Tuifagalele, during a press briefing in Suva yesterday. ... [Fiji Times - 21/12/16]
Philippine government files criminal charges against Duterte critic [Reuters - 21/12/16]
UNHCR help Cambodia deport Montagnard asylum seekers back to Vietnam [Phnom Penh Post- 21/12/16]:
Thirteen Montagnards were returned to Vietnam on Monday having failed or withdrawn their applications for asylum, while more look set to follow after a government official yesterday said the remaining 156 Montagnard asylum seekers had all been assessed and the “majority” had not qualified as refugees.
The departing group, which included two families with children, according to a refugee advocate, was escorted to O’Yadav border checkpoint in Ratanakkiri province by staff from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which has been given assurances they will not be mistreated, said UNHCR regional spokesman Vivian Tan.
Speaking yesterday, Mom Sophanarith, deputy director of the Refugee Department, said the department had this month finished assessing the rest of the Montagnards in Phnom Penh.
Though declining to give specifics, he said most did not meet the criteria for refugee status.
“I could not tell how many will pass and fail, but the majority of them, almost all, don’t have anything remarkable to make them eligible for refugee status,” Sophanarith said.
“They were not persecuted [in Vietnam]. They hoped to get access to a third country because they want to have better lives,” he said.
“They just want to live in the US or France … They’re too lazy to work and want to be fed.”
Vietnam defends legislation guarding ‘national unity’; rights groups say it will be used to crack down on dissent [South China Morning Post - 2/12/16]:
... Phil Robertson, deputy director of HRW Asia division, said Hanoi was efficient at restricting religious practices through legislation, registration of unofficial religious groups, harassment and surveillance.
In the countryside, unsanctioned religions fare worse.
Montagnards and followers of the De Ga and Ha Mon forms of Christianity have faced persecution and fled into neighbouring Cambodia.
Branches of the Cao Dai church, the Hoa Hao Buddhist church, independent Protestant and Catholic churches in the central highlands, Khmer Krom Buddhist temples and the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam had also felt the full force of communist law, said Robertson. ...
A rice harvester drove over a buried anti-tank mine in Battambang province on Tuesday, injuring two men when it exploded, officials said.
The men hit the mine at about 8:30 a.m. while passing over one of the earthen berms dividing the area’s many rice fields, and the explosion threw them about 6 meters, deputy Samlot district police chief Sam Korn said.
Plean Vuth, 28, broke his right leg and the driver, Soy Sokea, 24, was cut on the face by shrapnel, he said.
Both men were sent to the provincial referral hospital for treatment. ... [Cambodia Daily - 21/12/16]
Police arrested the owner of a Phnom Penh massage parlor doubling as a brothel and rescued two teenage girls and five other young women from the business, authorities said on Tuesday.
The Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking department arrested Lim Vinh, who ran the massage shop out of an apartment on Street 271, during a raid on Monday following an investigation, deputy director Ly Lai said. ... [Cambodia Daily - 21/12/16]
Farmers protest in Phnom Penh against sugarcane plantations [Cambodia Daily - 21/12/16]
A South Korean court has issued an arrest warrant for Chung Yoo-ra, the daughter of President Park Geun-hye's friend, Choi Soon-sil, who is in custody and on trial in an influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to vote to impeach Park. ... [Reuters - 20/12/16]
American Chamber of Commerce launches campaign to legitimise foreign ownership and US control of Australia [ABC - 21/12/16]
Two West Papuans charged with treason for demonstrating in Jayapura [RNZI - 21/12/16]
Indonesian Military (TNI) officer First Pvt. Yusuf Baharudin died on Tuesday night after being shot in the chest during an armed clash with the East Indonesia Mujhidin (MIT) early in the morning in Poso, Central Sulawesi. ... [Jakarta Post - 21/12/16]
Indonesian National Police say they shot three people dead because they were planning a bombing attack [Jakarta Post - 21/12/16]:
... The raid, Rikwanto [spokesperson] said, had been made after Densus 88 personnel had arrested a suspected terrorist, identified as Adam, on Jl. Raya Serpong, also in South Tangerang.
Based on information from Adam, Densus 88 launched a raid on the house, where three suspected terrorists, identified as Omen, Helmi and Irwan, were preparing explosives for the attack plot.
The three were shot dead on the scene after resisting arrest.
“We asked them to surrender, but the three suspects threw a bomb at our personnel,” Rikwanto said. ...
Densus 88: Indonesia’s heroes or death squad? [The Global Quorum - 18/4/16]
Japan, Indonesia to set up maritime forum [Jakarta Post - 20/12/16]
The Japanese government is to provide a naval craft and training to Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror reported.
The announcement came as the Japanese vice minister of defence, Hiroyuki Miyazawa visited the island, attending the 'Japan-Sri Lanka Defence Cooperation Dialogue 2016' in Colombo. ... [Tamil Guardian - 21/12/16]
Sri Lankan Air Force commander visits India [Tamil Guardian - 21/12/16]
Dissent silenced by pellets, bullets in occupied Kashmir: Shabbir Shah [Kashmir Media Service - 21/12/16]
The incarcerated chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah on Tuesday termed the government’s move of issuing the domicile certificates to West Pakistan Refugees (WPR) as a “well-planned conspiracy against the Muslim majority status” of Jammu Kashmir saying the PDP by playing a major role in this regard has exposed its anti-Kashmir stance. ... [Greater Kashmir - 21/12/16]
Thailand seeks to develop military production facilities with China [Reuters - 21/12/16]
A group of 183 Tokyo residents filed a damages suit Tuesday over the dispatch of Tokyo police mobile unit personnel for security around the construction sites for U.S. military helipads in Okinawa. ... [Japan Times - 21/12/16]
Japan’s top court rules in favour of US base relocation within Okinawa [Japan Times - 20/12/16]
After threatening South Sudan with a U.N. arms embargo to encourage steps toward peace, the United States wants to impose the measure, but the 15-member Security Council is split and Washington cannot even convince ally Japan.
U.S. frustration with Tokyo's resistance to an embargo and additional targeted sanctions spilled over on Monday when Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, publicly questioned the reluctance of Japan, which last month deployed troops to a U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. ... [Reuters - 20/12/16]
South African police fired rubber bullets on Tuesday at scores of protesters outside the Democratic Republic of Congo embassy (DRC) in Pretoria demanding President Joseph Kabila step down, a spokesman said.
Several protesters were wounded and seven were arrested for public order offences, provincial police spokesman Kay Makhubela said. Kabila's mandate as DRC president expired at midnight, with no elected successor in place. [Reuters - 20/12/16]
… Tell them that although this existence is damaged beyond repair,
They must not despair,
There is possibility,
And we will willingly and willfully open ourselves
To new ways of being because
The old way is not working,
Has never worked,
And the world deserves better,
And we’re worth it.
Tell them they are not free
While another suffers under enslavement.
Teach them that we are all limbs on one body
And we cannot chop off our own arm without deep suffering. ...
What to tell the children, Rachel Kann [Hevria - 23/11/16]
There is no opposition to Australia's policy of deliberate denial of health care to refugees. Nauru is the island of death for these political prisoners. [Guardian - 19/12/16]:
A refugee on Nauru says he has been denied appropriate medical treatment since suffering a heart attack more than one month ago.
On 5 November the man, in his early 30s, presented at the Republic of Nauru hospital with chest pain, dizziness, numb feet, cold hands and sweating.
He was told by doctors that he needed medical treatment that could not be provided on the island because the hospital is not equipped with a cardiology unit, according to an advocate with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Natasha Blucher.
International Health & Medical Services (IHMS), contracted by the Australian government to provide healthcare to asylum seekers and refugees in Nauru, approved the man’s transfer to Papua New Guinea for treatment, Blucher said.
“He was told he would be sent on 23 November, which came and went, and then a doctor rang him on December 1 and said there had been problems with planes to Papua New Guinea and that he would be sent within one week,” she said.
“But he still hasn’t been transferred.” ...
Obama to exile 17 or 18 Guantánamo detainees before leaving the White House according to New York Times [19/12/16]
A former Guantanamo inmate who was resettled in [exiled to] Uruguay has returned to Montevideo after being kicked out of South Africa, Uruguay's foreign minister said Sunday.
The former inmate, Syrian-born Jihad Diyab, landed in Montevideo around midnight Saturday on a flight from Johannesburg, two local TV channels reported. ... [eNCA - 19/12/16]
... I hit the road when I was fifteen
when my mother died and my dad got mean
I've been locked up since twenty one
I was my mother's only son ...
'Old Fitzroy', Dan Sultan 
Detaining children in adult prison ruled unlawful, but Victorian Supreme Court agrees to delay moving them [ABC - 21/12/16]:
... The Fitzroy Legal Centre's Claudia Fatone said while she welcomed the court's decision that moving the children to the adult prison was unlawful, the stay in the order was disappointing.
"We are disappointed and saddened with the subsequent decision to allow the 15 children currently housed in Barwon to remain there," she said.
"This means these children will be Barwon prison for Christmas, we are deeply saddened by that.
"We find it implausible that the state of Victoria, with all its resources, can not find space that is appropriate to house these 15 children in an appropriate youth justice facility." ...
A West Australian man has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a Kalgoorlie teenager by running him down with his ute, sparking protests.
The 55-year-old man, who cannot be identified, is accused of chasing down 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in his ute and fatally striking the Aboriginal teenager, who was allegedly riding a stolen motorbike in August.
The man appeared in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on Wednesday via video link from an undisclosed location where he pleaded not guilty to manslaughter as upset members of Elijah's family watched on.
Defence counsel Seamus Rafferty said his client offered to plead guilty to the lesser charge of dangerous driving occasioning death, but it was rejected by the prosecution.
He said the offer remained.
Prosecutors are seeking for the trial to be held in Perth.
The man is scheduled to appear in the WA Supreme Court in February. ... [SBS - 21/12/16]
All six NSW police accused of bashing Corey Barker cleared by court [SBS - 21/12/16]
Israeli forces shoot live ammunition during raid of Shufat refugee camp [Maan - 20/12/16]
Israel orders evacuation of 15 Palestinian Bedouin families in Jordan Valley for military exercises [Maan - 20/12/16]
A body of a 16-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel, Wijdan Abu Ahmed was discovered on Tuesday morning in a park near the Palestinian town of Kisra Sumei in the western Galilee of northern Israel, according to Israeli media. ... [Maan - 20/12/16]
An Israeli military court at the Ofer detention center sentenced a teenage Palestinian girl to a year and a half in prison, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS) said on Monday.
PPS lawyer Akram Samara told Ma'an that 15-year-old Natalie Shukha, from the town of Rammun in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah, was convicted of attempting to stab an Israeli soldier at a military checkpoint in the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta in April. ... [Maan - 19/12/16]
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he has ordered his government to “find ways” to bring injured civilians from Aleppo, Syria, to Israeli hospitals. ... [AMN - 20/12/16]
Ex-Mossad head on Israel medical aid to al-Nusra Front [Al Jazeera - 31/5/16]
@oulosP [21/12/16]: Christmas tree in recently liberated #Aleppo. Photo taken yesterday.
As the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) resumed this morning evacuations from besieged neighbourhoods in eastern Aleppo, the United Nations reported that it has received authorization to send 20 international and national staff to the city to play a critical role in the monitoring and the response. ... [UN Media Release - 20/12/16]
Syrian Army enters east Aleppo neighborhoods for first time in 4 years [AMN - 20/12/16]
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed in a telephone conversation on Tuesday issues of final normalization of the situation in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, the Foreign Ministry reports. ... [TASS - 20/12/16]
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have clashed with ISIS militants on the road to Jabaar Castle on the Euphrates River, killing nine of the extremist fighters, they announced Tuesday.
The clashes come on the tenth day of the SDF’s second stage of their Wrath of Euphrates operation to liberate ISIS’ stronghold of Raqqa.
Their forces have reached the Euphrates and retaken a large area northwest of Raqqa, they announced on Tuesday. ... [RUDAW - 20/12/16]
The Mayoralty of Baghdad announced on Tuesday setting up Christmas trees and a lights tent in al-Mansour and al-Karrada areas in preparation for New Year’s celebrations. ... [IraqiNews.com - 20/12/16]
Iraq's Foreign Minister: Iraqi militias in Syria are fighting without approval from Baghdad [AINA - 19/12/16]
Lack of medicine killing civilians; 92 killed in Iraq [Antiwar.com - 19/12/16]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 20/12/16]
@Souidos [20/12/16]: Attack by anarchists against the International Organization of Migration #IOM last Saturday in #Athens ...
@AlbaFerrs [20/12/16]: Spokesperson Gr 19 refugiados sirios deportados a Turquía.
5 dead, 8 rescued as refugee boat sinks off Turkey’s western coast [Daily Sabah - 20/12/16]
Migrants arrive in Skala Sykaminia, Lesvos [VIDEO - 20/12/16]
@LighthouseRR [20/12/16]: Today, LHR teams assisted 32 arrivals to Lesvos, at landing site & stage 2, including vulnerable cases, 1 pregnant woman & 1 disabled man.
@UNICEF_Italia [20/12/16]: Nel 2016 25.000 bambini soccorsi in mare: ecco perché @guardiacostiera è da oggi Ambasciatrice UNICEF! ...
@PAimmigrant [19/12/16]: ... 13 arrested demanding @GovernorTomWolf use his power to #ShutDownBerks! ...
@freedomsfriend [19/12/16]: #shutdownberks activists block Third St in Hbg [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania] in support of families being detained by the US government.
21 December 2016