French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has stepped down from her job, shortly before plans to strip people convicted of terrorism of their citizenship go before parliament.

Ms Taubira was known to disagree with the controversial proposals.

The citizenship plans were put forward after the 13 November Paris attacks in which 130 people were murdered.

"Sometimes staying on is resisting, sometimes resisting means leaving," she tweeted. ... [BBC - 27/1/16]




A United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has uncovered widespread attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law, raising questions over UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the role of British military advisers.

The 51-page report by a panel of experts on Yemen, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, has not yet been published. A copy was sent to the UN security council last week.

In one of the key findings, the report says: “The panel documented that the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sana’a, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes.” ... [Guardian - 27/1/16]




Amnesty International demands Egypt release student held 2 years without charge [Ahram - 27/1/16]:


... Hussein was arrested on 25 January 2014, at the age of 17.

He was reportedly targeted for wearing a shirt that read “nation without torture.” ...




A hunger-striking Palestinian journalist will remain in jail despite warnings over his health, Israel's top court ruled on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court said it would not release Mohammed al-Qiq immediately but would follow his health on a daily basis.

Qiq has been on hunger strike for 63 days over his detention under Israel's administrative detention law and his organs are at risk of failure, his legal team says. [Ahram - 27/1/16]




Israeli forces demolish two homes in East Jerusalem [Maan - 27/1/16]




Two elite Israeli soldiers have been jailed for the drive-by shooting of a camel in the West Bank.

One of the soldiers opened fire with a handgun from inside his car as he drove past the animal on a road near the Dead Sea.

The other soldier filmed the shooting, which was posted to YouTube.

The camel was found dead on the side of the road.

Both soldiers are from the Duvdevan unit, a covert operations group in the Israeli army. ... [Middle East Eye - 27/1/16]




Eight Palestinians die in tunnel collapse under Gaza City: reports [i24 - 27/1/16]




At least four deminers were killed in a Taliban attack in southern Helmand province on Wednesday, local officials said.

In addition, one other deminer was injured in the attack.

The attack took place at about 11:00am local time after a number of Taliban insurgents attacked the deminers in Greshk district of the province while the deminers were at work, a spokesman for the provincial governor, Omar Zwak said.

However, the officials did not provide more details about the attack.

The Taliban has not yet commented about the attack. [TOLO News - 27/1/16]




10 rebels killed in Aqcha; woman dead in rocket strike [Pajhwok - 27/1/16]




One protester was shot dead and eight others were arrested on Tuesday after authorities confronted members of an armed group that has staged a month-long occupation of a federal wildlife reserve in Oregon, activists and officials said.

The FBI said gunshots rang out after officers stopped a car carrying protest leader Ammon Bundy and others near the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Activists said Robert LaVoy Finicum, a rancher who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers, was killed. ... [Reuters - 27/1/16]




ISIL kills dozens of Iraqi soldiers near Ramadi [Al Jazeera - 27/1/16]




Seven civilians were injured on Wednesday by rocket shells fired by terrorist organizations at residential neighborhoods in Aleppo city.

A source at Aleppo Police Command told SANA that terrorists fired four rocket shells at the city, three of which hit al-Azizieha neighborhood while the fourth hit Ugarit Street, injuring seven civilians who were rushed to al-Razi hospital. ... [SANA - 27/1/16]



Terror attacks continue across Iraq and Syria


US Department of Defense [26/1/16]:

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:

-- Near Hawl, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed two ISIL cranes.

-- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL headquarters building.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL mortar systems.

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

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL weapons storage facility and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL weapons cache.

-- Near Ramadi, nine strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain and destroyed an ISIL staging area, two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL armored bulldozer and an ISIL fuel tanker.

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





Readout of the UN Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Ms. Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia [26/1/16]




Australia's protected unaccountable Foreign Minister meets with US genocide expert in a room with a strange artwork --->  ‏@AmbassadorPower [25/1/16]:   Met w/Australia's @JulieBishopMP today & discussed need for #NorthKorea to be held accountable for nuclear test




....In Los Angeles, I will be speaking at the University of California on foreign policy, and at RAND Corporation on the Middle East.

I will also meet business leaders, including in the film and television industry.  [Foreign Minister Media Release - 20/1/16]



@MSF_Sea [27/1/16]:   ... Another day, another hideous and entirely preventable tragedy - 6 #people have drowned trying to reach #Kos. We need #SAFEPASSAGE.




How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon today?  ‏@ItalianNavy [27/1/16]:   #MarinaMilitare #SAR nave Margottini #MareSicuro inizia soccorso ad un gommone con numerosi migranti a bordo



@ItalianNavy [27/1/16]:   #UltimOra Nave Bettica #MarinaMilitare in porto nell'#hotspot #Pozzallo per lo sbarco di 483 migranti





A policewoman from Sulaimani was among the nearly 70 Kurdish migrants who drowned when their boat sank off the Aegean Sea on Friday, and local officials called on the government to help repatriate her body. ... [RUDAW - 26/1/16]




Australian artists sell KFC --->  @aiww [27/1/16]:  Ai Weiwei has decided to close his exhibition ”Ruptures” at Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen, Denmark. This decision follows the Danish parliament’s approval of the law proposal that allows seizing valuables and delaying family reunions for asylum seekers.

Jens Faurschou backs the artist’s decision and regrets that the Danish parliament choses to be in the forefront of symbolic and inhuman politics of todays biggest humanitarian crisis in Europe and the Middle East, instead of being in the forefront of a respectful European solution to solve the acute humanitarian crisis.




Danish MPs approve seizing valuables from refugees [Al Jazeera - 27/1/16]




High-ranking Nazi Adolf Eichmann requested a pardon from Israel's president Yitzhak Ben-Zvi two days before was hanged to death, rare documents released in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day showed on Wednesday.

Eichmann made the request after being found guilty of 15 charges, including crimes against the Jewish people, crimes against humanity and war crimes.


"The judges made a critical mistake when assessing my personality, because they cannot place themselves in the time and situation I was in during the war years," Eichmann wrote to Israel's second president.

"It is untrue that I was such an important personage that I could oversee or would independently oversee the persecution of the Jews."

Eichmann argued that the judges ignored his claim that he "never served in such a high-ranking position that would have involved such decisive and independent authorities." ... [Ynet - 27/1/16]




Indonesia and Timor Leste agreed to enhance what they both called already-strong bilateral ties on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first state visit to Dili, and also reiterated a commitment to speeding up land and maritime border resolutions.

Jokowi was in Dili on Tuesday, his first trip abroad this year, and met with Timor Leste Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo and President Taur Matan Ruak. ... [Jakarta Post - 27/1/16]




Abu Bakar Ba’asyir not involved in military training in Aceh: Witness [Jakarta Post - 26/1/16]




Myanmar authorities raze houses of 400 families in northern Yangon township [Burma Times - 27/1/16]




Former Khmer Rouge military officer Prum Sarat continued testifying before the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday, providing details on how orders passed through military chains of command in his division while distancing himself from alleged crimes. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 27/1/16]




US Secretary of State visits Cambodia [Phnom Penh Post - 27/1/16]




... In this respect, the DOJ could not have found a more fitting precedent than the carpet-bombing of Cambodia.

The purpose of the sustained bombardment from 1972 to 1973 was to prevent the Khmer Rouge from consolidating power. The result was the opposite. ... What the US bombing of Cambodia tells us about Obama's drone campaign [The Atlantic - 14/2/13]





Child Sexual Abuse Royal Commission: Victim says he was abused because of Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall [ABC - 27/1/16]





The body of a 6 year old Tamil boy who was raped and murdered, was found dumped in an abandoned well in Sampur on Tuesday.

The boy, identified as Tharshan Kugathasan, was reported missing by his parents on Monday evening.

Relatives who went searching for him subsequently discovered in an abandoned well in Sampur, with his body tied to a stone using military shoelaces.

There was also evidence of sexual abuse, reports TamilNet.

The well is located near a Sri Lankan navy camp in the area, it added. [Tamil Guardian - 26/1/16]





A growing number of policy-players and makers are calling on the U.S. government to protect, rather than deport, Central American migrants and asylum-seekers.

As rampant violence and organized crime continues to destabilize the Northern Triangle countries—evidenced not only by numerous reports but, by the thousands fleeing this region in the past several years—many are questioning the U.S. government’s decision to deport people back there.

There are also a growing number of groups and individuals calling for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for those currently in the U.S. from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador until conditions improve.


Not included in the letter, but also worth noting. is that the Peace Corps, a U.S. Government operation, recently withdrew volunteers from El Salvador due to dangerous country conditions. ...  [American Immigration Council - 26/1/16]




If Australia has not resettled UNHCR approved refugees since October 2014, what are these people really up to?




‏ How can Australian business help?@UNrefugees John Denton,Michael Dwyer,Ian Smith with #Syrian #refugees in Lebanon



Image:  @NaomiCSteer - National Director of Australia for UNHCR  [25/1/16]



Imagine if the ABC asked, rather than protected them from scrutiny ---->   A member of an Australian business delegation visiting Syrian refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon has urged Australia to boost its resettlement target to as many as 30,000 people.

A range of Australian companies and business organisations are involved in the Friendly Nation initiative, and are keen to provide jobs and training for about 12,000 Syrian refugees who will be resettled in Australia.

Former head of the Business Council of Australia Tony Shepherd is travelling with the delegation and would like to see Australia further increase its Syrian refugee intake. ... [ABC - 27/1/16]








More lies about exile arrangements for refugees being imprisoned and tortured in Australia's death camp on Manus Island [PNG Loop - 27/1/16]







No-one is being resettled. Australia tortures refugees and stops people from seeking asylum. We are fascists. [PNG Loop - 27/1/16]: 


All refugees in Manus will be assisted to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible, says Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato.

He said depending on their needs, this may include language and cultural orientation training and temporary accommodation. ...




Pentagon wants US psychologists to reconsider torture ban [Sputnik News - 26/1/16]






... Whether in the Pacific or at Guantanamo, offshore refugee detention is calculated to serve two underhanded purposes—to deter further arrivals of people who might be fleeing persecution and violence, and to create a law-free zone to evade legal scrutiny.   ... [The Hill - 18/1/16]





The Catholic Church [in PNG] says the Government must request urgent help now from overseas to stop the suffering of over 2 million people affected by the prolonged drought in the country.

Sister Mary McCarthy of the Catholic Education said media reports had shown just how much of an impact the drought has had with men, women and children starving, getting sick and dying.

She said requesting the help of Australia through the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is one way relief supplies can get to the hard-hit communities within a short time. ...  [PNG Loop -  26/1/16]




The Nuclear Workers' Association in French Polynesia says a recent French state council decision on nuclear compensation is a communication trick and nothing has changed for the victims.

The Association Moruroa e tatou seeks compensation for workers who say they experienced health problems after being exposed to radiation from French nuclear weapons testing at Mururoa.

The state is now required to prove that the military provided sufficient contamination protection, unlike in the past when the victim had to prove they had been exposed to radiation.

The Association's President, Roland Oldham, says the cost is still prohibitive, and this is just another tactic by the French Government to avoid compensation.

"That mean, that us, the victims, have to pay an expert, a scientist, to bring up the proof that it's really come from the nuclear tests. Which mean, there will be, no compensation. Because the victim don't have the money to get the expert to prove differently from what the Ministy of Defence prove."

Mr Oldham says the victims will die before they receive any compensation.  [RNZI - 27/1/16]



Hilda Heine elected Marshalls president after a no confidence motion removes Casten Nemra [RNZI – 27/1/16]




Joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will endanger public health services in Indonesia, since a clause on intellectual property rights may put some critical medicines out of reach for millions of people, an international observer says. ... [Jakarta Post - 26/1/16]





Dozens of flights were cancelled and access to airports and major cities blocked across France Tuesday as taxi drivers, air-traffic controllers and civil servants went on strike. ... [France 24 - 26/1/16]





Four senior Twitter executives are leaving the media company, CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted late Sunday night, the biggest leadership changes since Dorsey returned as chief executive as he struggles to revive the company's growth. ... [Reuters - 25/1/16]



Rupert Murdoch's vendetta against the rule of law continues.



Boycott Murdoch.



Letter to the Editor, Courier-Mail [25/1/16]:


Re:  "Lay off the lawbreakers"



The article published on page 5 of the 'Courier-Mail' on Saturday 23 January, 2016 entitled "Lay off the lawbreakers" under the byline of Mr Des Houghton, and the accompanying mock photograph, were both offensive and inaccurate.

To suggest that the Bar Association of Queensland supports organised criminals or seeks, in any way, to protect "bikies and ice dealers" from the full force of the law is both inaccurate and offensive.  The position of the Bar Association is, and has always been, one of support for any government policy which controls, and seeks to eradicate, organised criminal activity.

The position of the Association, however, is and always has been: first, that the so called VLAD laws do not fulfil that policy goal; and second, that such laws have unintended consequences in that they apply, and have the potentional to apply, in ways which unfairly impact on those with no relevant links or involvement with organised crime.

Further, the Association's position is, and always has been, that mandatory sentencing, such as that legislation, which removes the discretion in the courts to properly ensure a punishment fits not only the crime, but also the circumstances of the offender, is undesirable.

Not only is it doubtful that mandatory sentencing achieves the desired deterrent effect, but it unjustly removes the judicial discretion to properly consider the unique circumstances of a particular offence, offender and even the victims.

It has been said on behalf of the Association previously, that neither the legal system which presently serves our community, nor the men and women who work hard within that system to make it function, are beyond criticism.

The Association simply requests that such criticism be both reasoned and reasonable.

Depicting a barrister in a ghoulish mask, and suggesting that barristers "barrack for bikies and ice dealers" is not merely grossly inaccurate, but seriously offensive, to all barristers and their families.


Christopher Hughes QC

President Bar Association of Queensland




A 26-year-old man stabbed in a wild brawl involving up to 20 people in the city overnight has died in hospital.

The man was taken to hospital after the brawl at the Esplanade Bus Station about 3.30am. ... [West Australian - 27/1/16]




A man and woman have serious stab wounds after a domestic dispute in north Queensland.

A 45-year-old woman was flown to hospital after being stabbed in the neck and back at a Charters Towers home about 10pm on Tuesday.

A 58-year-old man was also airlifted to Townsville Hospital with serious injuries.

Police say the pair were known to each other. [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




A man with a gunshot wound to his back has been dropped off at a hospital south of Brisbane.

A private car took the man to the Logan Hospital about 1.20am on Wednesday with an apparent gunshot wound to his lower back. ... [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




A Queensland father who allegedly gave his two-month-old daughter a potentially deadly painkiller didn't tell hospital staff why the baby was sick, a court has heard.

During a bail hearing at Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday, it was alleged the father had gone home and researched the effects of OxyContin before texting his partner at the hospital to suggest the baby's stomach should be pumped.

The father has been granted bail on the condition he cannot approach or contact his daughter unless under the supervision of the Department of Child Safety. [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




Tributes are flowing for a Queensland teenager whose body has washed ashore on a Sunshine Coast beach.

Josh Carter, 19, went missing after reportedly being caught in a rip and dragged out to sea while swimming at Noosa North Shore on Sunday.

His body was found on a nearby beach on Tuesday afternoon. ... [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




Injured swimmers rescued from rough surf on the Gold Coast [MYGC - 26/1/16]




Did Simon Lewis [@Simonlewisaus] really "watch 31 people drown because they were in international waters" as reported by the ABC?


We've asked him via Twitter - and keenly await his reply.



When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Fred Rogers



Benowa High Year 12s celebrate the end of school, Surfers Paradise [16/11/15]



Just another day in #lesbos ...

Image: ‏@ocanalsb  [16/11/15]




Ourstralia, an initiative of Balmain for Refugees, has created a series of videos to spark conversation and awareness about Australia’s current treatment of asylum seekers.

The online videos are the beginning of a campaign seeking to highlight the excuses made to avoid taking responsibility around the issues of refugees and asylum seekers.

The underlying message of the humorous videos is that the more we make excuses for ignoring the cries of those in desperate need, the crueller and more punitive our policies become.

Ourstralia is hoping the videos will prompt conversation amongst the Church and broader community, with a view towards crowdfunding to have the videos shown on free-to-air television.

... [Crosslight - 1/12/15]




Surf Life Saving Australia lawyers review ‘un-Australian’ lifeguards ad for refugee charity [Mumbrella – 3/12/15]:


... Damian Damjanovski, one of the founders of Common Ventures said the agency had made sure it had not infringed any intellectual property and that colours were used around the world

“We would genuinely hope that SLSA would get behind this message,” said Damjanovski.

“I understand they may not be particularly happy, but it plays on the fact that no one for a moment would believe that surf life savers would ignore a drowning person.”




Fatal traffic crash, Collingwood Park [QPS Media - 26/1/16]




Woman, 92, dies after being hit by car in Lismore [Tweed Shire Echo - 26/1/16]




Burglary with violence, Everton Park [QPS Media - 26/1/16]



A man tasered by special operations police fell and hit his head and was taken to hospital in Victoria.

Police raided a house in Bendigo on Monday night as part of an investigation into firearms, drugs and property offences.

Police tasered a 36-year-old man who fell and hit his head and was taken Bendigo Hospital before being transferred to The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




Dangerous, resource wasting, class and race based police pursuit ends in crash, Ashby [West Australian - 27/1/16]




A 34-year-old man has been charged with a number of offences following an incident involving the alleged dangerous operation of a vehicle in Amberley this afternoon.

It will be alleged at around 3pm, police received reports of a vehicle being driven in a dangerous manner on the Cunningham Highway.

It was further reported that it had left the road and crashed through a fence.

Police attended and found an allegedly stolen vehicle at the scene and located a man nearby.

It will be further alleged that as police attempted to detain the man he has aggressively resisted police and as a consequence police have had to deploy both OC spray and a taser.

The man is alleged to have continued to resist efforts to arrest him however he was eventually detained.

The man was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, unlawful use of a vehicle, driving a vehicle without a licence, failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis and two counts of assault or obstruct police.

He was further charged with one count each of burglary and receiving tainted property in relation to the alleged stolen vehicle.

The man is due to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court tomorrow. [QPS Media - 26/1/16]



Six Cleveland police officers were fired over their involvement in a November 2012 chase that led to the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man and woman, city officials said on Tuesday.

Six other officers in the incident, which involved a 137-shot barrage, were suspended for 21 to 30 days, and another retired last year, officials said.

All the affected officers were white, except for one, who is Hispanic.

The officers fired included Michael Brelo, a white former U.S. Marine who was acquitted last May of manslaughter for the incident, leading to protests. ... [Reuters - 26/1/16]




The criminal trial has begun for the New York City police officer accused in the November 2014 killing of unarmed African American Akai Gurley. Gurley was in the dimly lit stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project when Officer Peter Liang opened fire. Liang faces charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and official misconduct. Defense attorneys say the shooting was accidental. At Monday’s opening hearing, prosecutors said Liang was more concerned with protecting his job than he was with saving Gurley’s life as he lay dying. Liang reportedly did not call for help or respond to police radio contact for several minutes after opening fire. [Democracy Now - 26/1/16]




Ex City Hall insider found guilty in red light camera trial  [Chicago Sun-Times - 26/1/16]




... Bills would rig committee decisions, including selecting unclear photos by a rival red-light camera operator and clear shots taken by ASX-listed, Melbourne-headquartered Redflex.

It allowed Bills to live a lavish style, lapping up gifts, hotel stays and meals, and large sums of cash.

Locals detested the cameras, something that became a hot issue when the judge, prosecution and defence were attempting to select a jury.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel cancelled Redflex's contract in 2013 after the Tribune first reported the scandal. ... [West Australian - 27/1/16]




Queensland police officer fired for lying on job application [Yahoo - 27/1/16]




Claims of racism after Straddie mural defaced [Redland City Bulletin - 27/1/16]




White House protester Concepción Picciotto dies after 35-year vigil [The Tico Times - 26/1/16]





27 January 2016