Freeport joins Jokowi-US Chamber of Commerce meeting
Jakarta Post [27/10/15]:
A representative of copper and gold miner Freeport was among the attendants of a meeting between President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and the US Chamber of Commerce (UCC) in Washington DC on Monday.
When asked after the meeting if Freeport was represented, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Franky Sibarani said, "Yes. The participants were all invited by the UCC, which included parties with investments in Indonesia and those interested [in investing]," as quoted by Antara news agency.
He added that the meeting had been initiated by the UCC.According to Franky, 90 percent of US investment in Indonesia is currently in the mining sector, with the other 10 percent in the industry and plantation sectors.
Thus, he said, Freeport's attendance at the meeting was reasonable.
He also said that the government planned to boost investment in the energy sector, including manufacturing.
"We will also increase US investment in the creative economy sector, including the film industry's development that is still closed to foreign investment," said Franky.
US investment growth in Indonesia, according to Franky, was at 23 percent per year providing a 6 percent contribution to foreign direct investment.
Meanwhile, total US investment over the last 5.5 years is US$8 billion – the third largest total after Singapore and Japan.
Despite military crackdown in Papua and other rights abuses, Obama hosts Indonesian President in DC [Democracy Now - 27/10/15]:
... AMY GOODMAN: Allan Nairn, can you talk about the significance of President Widodo’s visit to the United States? John Sifton just mentioned West Papua. And if you can place it, especially for viewers and listeners in the United States who may know very little about the Indonesian archipelago?
ALLAN NAIRN: West Papua is on the eastern end of the archipelago, and it’s legally, in the eyes of the U.N., considered part of Indonesia. But the Indonesian government—the army, the police, the intelligence—treat it as if it’s an occupied foreign land. They shoot demonstrators. They arrest anyone who speaks for independence or against the army, who raises a Papuan flag. A few years ago, I released a series of internal documents from Kopassus, the U.S.-trained special forces, which showed that they had a massive network of intelligence informants, modeled on that that Israel uses in the West Bank, and there’s this ongoing terror in Papua.
President Jokowi has indicated that he would like to pull back on a lot of this army and police and intel repression in Papua, but the security forces have resisted them—resisted him, and he has not been brave enough to overrule them. Obama could have, with one word, facilitated the pullout of the repression from Papua by saying that the U.S. would cut off all military aid unless they stop the terror in Papua. By doing that, he could have strengthened the hand of Jokowi and others in the government, because the government is divided on this, who want to rein in the army and the police. But apparently, Obama didn’t do that.
U.S. has always maintained a separate channel to the army, from the days of the Suharto dictatorship, and even before, when the U.S. was trying to overthrow the founding president, Sukarno. And that strengthens the hand of the army—and the CIA works with the police—against an elected civilian president like Jokowi. It previously happened with Gus Dur, who was a Muslim cleric, a reformist president, who was undermined and, in effect, ousted by the army. And one of the key sources of army power is the fact that they had their separate channel to Washington. In fact, as Jokowi was meeting with Obama, Ash Carter, the secretary of defense, was welcoming General Ryamizard, the defense minister of Indonesia, who is the chief ideologist in favor of killing civilians. He said, previously, that anyone who dislikes the army is a legitimate target for killing. Reacting to a massacre of civilians, of children, in Aceh a number of years ago, he joked about it and said, "Well, children can be dangerous, too." ...
A Tasmanian Aboriginal group is calling on the federal government to hand back a disused army camp on the outskirts of Hobart, most recently used as a detention centre for asylum seekers.
The heritage-listed, 517-hectare Pontville Small Arms Rifle Range Complex, about 30 kilometres north of Hobart, closed as a detention centre in early 2014 and is for sale by the Defence Department, which hopes to secure a buyer before the end of 2015.
There has been interest from farmers - the land was used for agriculture before its government acquisition - but Aboriginal heritage officer Aaron Everett is concerned about protecting the Aboriginal heritage of the land.
"This was once the country of the Mumirimina people, who themselves became refugees on their own lands after the British invasion," Mr Everett said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Archaeological surveys of the site and surrounding areas suggest Aboriginal campsites extend beneath the buildings on the plot.
"The best method to protect the natural values of this heritage-listed area is to return it to the original owners, which is the Aboriginal community," Mr Everett said.
Proceeds from the planned sale are due to go into defence coffers. [Nine MSN - 27/10/15]
Native title awarded to Mithaka traditional owners in south-west Queensland [ABC - 27/10/15]
Mornington Shire Council apparently unable to fund $7,500 sign that isn't racist [North West Star - 27/10/15]
Israeli forces storm East Jerusalem hospital, seize medical records [Maan - 27/10/15]
Israeli forces detained at least 44 Palestinians in multiple predawn raids across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. ... [Maan - 27/10/15]
Palestinians across the southern West Bank district of Hebron are set to rally on Tuesday in protest against Israel's decision to withhold the bodies of 11 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces this month. ... [Maan - 27/10/15]
A commitment by UK scholars to human rights in Palestine [27/10/15]
Palestinian women from occupied East Jerusalem call for protection: Jerusalemite Women ’s Coalition [Kafila - 26/10/15]:
... We women of occupied East Jerusalem feel as if we are orphans, without any protection from the Palestinian Authority or the international community, as the Israeli state terrorizes our homes, educational institutions, and public spaces.
The state’s imposition of collective punishment and sanctions invade not only our physical spaces and bodies, but also our psyches.
We live in a state of fear and horror, not knowing how to face the omnipotent power of the highly technologized settler colonial entity, and militarized Israeli state that regularly executes Palestinians in the streets. ...
Pakistan used militant proxies to counter India in Afghanistan: WikiLeaks [TOLO News - 27/10/15]
Seven Pakistani soldiers killed near Afghan border [Khaama - 27/10/15]
Unidentified gunmen have kidnapped 14 members of a single family from southern Zabul province of Afghanistan. ... [Khaama - 27/10/15]
The top UN official in Afghanistan has condemned the killing of two human rights workers today by a remote-controlled explosive device in the eastern city of Jalalabad, saying “the climate of fear created by such attacks, threatens vital human rights work” being carried out throughout the country. ... [Media Release - 26/10/15]
The death toll from Monday’s powerful earthquake has risen to 115, fresh reports from different provinces said on Tuesday.
At least 538 people were injured and 4,000 houses damaged by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck major cities including Kabul, Jalalabad, Faizabad, Taloqan and Asadabad.
Wais Ahmad Barmak , the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) chief, said the quake caused losses and casualties in 14 northern, central and eastern provinces of the country.
Most of the casualties occurred in Badakhshan province.
He said 13 people were killed and 24 others injured in Badakhshan, where the temblor originated. Rescue operations have been launched and cash aid is being distributed to the affected people.
Barmak added ANDMA distributed 50,000 afghanis to each of 13 families affected by the tragedy in northern Takhar province. ... [Pajhwok - 27/10/15]
The Taliban urged aid agencies on Tuesday to push ahead in delivering emergency supplies to victims of the massive earthquake that hit remote mountainous regions of northern Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing at least 300 people. ... [Reuters - 27/10/15]
Do drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill? [Al Jazeera - 23/10/15]:
Nearly 90 percent of people killed by US drone strikes in Afghanistan during a five-month period were civilians. That is according to an investigation of leaked documents, published by The Intercept, called, The Drone Papers.
US President Barack Obama said in May 2013, "Before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured." But, the cache of secret documents suggest strikes are often carried out based on thin evidence and the majority of those killed are not the intended targets.
The government defends the programme, saying it is needed to "act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people", but some, including Robert Grenier, the former head of CIA counterterrorism center, argue the US is "creating more enemies than [it is] removing from the battlefield".
So, do drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill? In this week's Arena, Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, debates Georgetown University Associate Professor Christine Fair.
Mali: UN mission says three civilians killed, two peacekeepers wounded by mine explosions [Media Release - 26/10/15]
Ukrainian military forces are firing at the Donetsk Airport with mortars and gunfire, the head of Donetsk’s Kuibyshevskiy District said Tuesday.
“About a half hour ago the Ukrainian forces opened fire on the territory of the Donetsk Airport. Fire is being conducted with mortars and gunfire,” Ivan Prikhodko was cited by Donetsk News Agency as saying.
According to Prikhodko, the mortars being fired at the airport are of 120mm caliber. ... [Sputnik News - 27/10/15]
'I would have refused such an order’ – former RAF pilot gives his view of US bombing of MSF hospital in Kunduz [Media Lens - 27/10/15]
MSF hospital in north Yemen hit by Saudi airstrike [Middle East Eye - 27/10/15]
Saudi upholds death sentence on Al-Nimr [Middle East Monitor - 26/10/15]
At least one person has been killed and 12 others injured in a blast that hit a mosque in the Saudi city of Najran, state media has reported. ... [Al Jazeera - 26/10/15]
Lebanese authorities detained five Saudi citizens at Beirut international airport on Monday after finding two tonnes of drugs aboard a private jet bound for the Gulf kingdom, security sources and the National News Agency said.
The plane, scheduled to fly to Hael in northern Saudi Arabia, was carrying 40 bags of Captagon amphetamine pills. Security services were questioning the suspects, the sources said, without elaborating.
Lebanon's National News Agency described it as the biggest smuggling operation ever discovered at the Beirut airport. [Reuters - 26/10/15]
BBC Protects UK’s close ally Saudi Arabia with incredibly dishonest and biased editing [The Intercept – 26/10/15]
NOT IN MY NAME YOU WARMONGERING FASCIST ---> Australia has backed the right of the US to sail a warship within 12 nautical miles of one of China's artificial islands in the South China Sea. Defence Minister Marise Payne said all states had a right under international law to freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight, including in the South China Sea. "Australia strongly supports these rights," she said in a statement. ... [Nine MSN - 27/10/15]
A video of a white male police officer at a South Carolina high school flipping and slamming a black girl to the ground in a classroom arrest sparked outrage on social media on Monday.
The incident comes amid heightened scrutiny of the use of force by police, particularly against minorities, after numerous high-profile killings of unarmed black men by police across the United States in the last two years triggered protests.
The 15-second video was apparently recorded by another pupil at the Spring Valley High School in Columbia on Monday.
It begins with Ben Fields of the Richland County Sheriff's Department, an officer assigned to the school, approaching the girl, who is seated at a desk. ... [Reuters - 27/10/15]
Kremlin declines to comment on Free Syrian Army talks in Russia [TASS - 27/10/15]
Davutoglu: Turkey has targeted Kurdish PYD twice inside Syria [RUDAW - 27/10/15]
The spokesman of the General Command of the Army and Armed Forces affirmed that the Syrian Arab Army reestablished control over 50 villages and farms in the southern countryside of Aleppo and a number of strategic hills in Lattakia countryside, expanding control area in Damascus Countryside. ... [SANA - 26/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq - reprieve continues for Syria
US Department of Defense [26/10/15]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Task force officials provided an update to the Oct. 22 prison raid near Huwayjah, Iraq, noting the prison was destroyed by two airstrikes from coalition aircraft following the successful rescue of Iraqi hostages.
The rescue operation was conducted by Iraqi special operations forces supported by U.S. forces in an advise-and-assist role.
Officials also reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the government of Iraq:
-- Near Beiji, one strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and an ISIL cave entrance.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes suppressed two ISIL mortar positions.
-- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL weapon caches, an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL building, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 18 ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike suppressed an ISIL sniper position.
-- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
US, "allies" airstrikes in Iraq [US Department of Defense - 25/10/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center:
Anbar: "US forces have insisted on dismissing of the commander of Anbar Operations Command, Major General Qasim al-Mohammadi,after disputing with them as they have accused him of being weak in providing of aerial and real military support... As a result, the council of ministers has moved him to Baghdad to keep him under control ,but the Americans have insisted on firing him and the government has concealed this matter",sources told Iraqi Spring Media Center.... [27/10/15]
The government's forces and Hashd militias shell the civilian homes in Fallujah..................... [VIDEO - 27/10/15]
Baghdad: "Unknown gunmen stole 211 million dinars;the salaries of paper mill employees north of Baghdad in a second similar operation today ", a security source said................. [27/10/15]
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded near a traditional market in Mada'in district south of Baghdad resulted in two dead and 7 injured....... [26/10/15]
Baghdad: "4 persons were killed and 11 wounded as an explosive belt exploded in Jame'iyat neighbourhood in Sha'b area today afternoon",news agencies reported................. [26/10/15]
Popular mobilisation forces burn mosques and kill dozens in Baiji
[Middle East Monitor - 26/10/15]:
An Iraqi tribal leader has accused Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces of burning mosques and killing dozens of people in Baiji in the Salahuddin province in Iraq.
Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Al-Shammari said: "Eight mosques were burned and destroyed in the city of Baiji by the Popular Mobilisation Forces in the past days," adding that dozens of people were arrested and taken to an unknown destination.
Al-Shammari explained that the city of Baiji is currently witnessing "genocide" after the forces destroyed the mosques and then burned them.
On 12 October, Iraqi national army, with the support of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, launched large-scale military operations that aimed at restoring the city of Baiji after it was seized by Daesh.
Baiji is located 210 kilometres north of Baghdad and has the largest oil refinery in Iraq.
@MSF_Sea [27/10/15]: ... Of the 108 rescued so far today, 34 are women, one is pregnant. Most are from #Nigeria and #Ghana.
@guardiacostiera [27/10/15: #CentraleOperativa #GuardiaCostiera coordina unità Dignity I @MSF, salvati 107 migranti
The Coast Guard announced that 208 refugees attempting to cross to Greece from the Turkish coast on Aegean Sea were rescued between Oct. 23 and Oct. 26 as part of Operation Aegean Hope.
The figure adds to the more than 66,000 migrants rescued by the Coast Guard since January as more refugees, especially from war-torn Syria, attempt to sneak into Greece, the nearest gateway from Turkey into the EU.
Coast Guard figures show only one human smuggler was detained in operations.
Ayvacık, on the northwestern Turkish coast, which stretches for more than 2,600 kilometers, was the town with the most refugees intercepted at 71, followed by Didim, a seaside town further south.
Officials say the Coast Guard conducted 1,880 search and rescue operations since Jan. 1 in response to the influx of refugees. ... [Daily Sabah - 27/10/15]
Australia would imprison this child on Nauru and subject him - and his parents - to sexual abuse and torture ---- > Baby rescued after migrant boat capsizes off Aegean Sea [ABC 7 - 26/10/15]
Why is this group backpedalling from their original call to bring Nauru and Manus refugees to Australia?
If you are serious about closing Australia's concentration camps - and justice for refugees - it is a FATAL mistake to let anyone with ALP or LNP connections ANYWHERE near your campaign.
Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru [27/10/15]:
... Hopefully all this means that the Turnbull Government will be getting the message loud and clear that the Australian detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island at the very least need basic oversight from civil society and the media.
So where to for us?
Both Wendy and Carmen have begun the process of obtaining visas to visit Nauru. ... <--- Meaning what? The forms have been lodged? You are hounding them for a response? What specifically are you doing with the money people donated?
... We are demanding the urgent and immediate removal of all asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru and Manus Island on the grounds that neither the Government of Nauru nor Manus Island can guarantee the effective protection of women, children and men. ...
Why are they there? Because the Australian government is punishing them for being refugees. [Canberra Times - 27/10/15]
The risk between taking a boat to Australia or staying in his home country 'was the same' explains 'Mohammed' an asylum seeker on Nauru. [VIDEO - Canberra Times - 27/10/15]
Unexploded wartime bomb found at Nauru refugee centre building site [Guardian - 27/10/15]
WE ALREADY KNOW THIS ---> Transfield given $1.5bn over three years to manage Nauru and Manus centres [Guardian - 27/10/15]
WHICH IS ALL ABOUT TAKING THE FOCUS OFF THIS ----> Come join us and help keep the pressure on to close the camps and end mandatory detention. Boycott and Divest from Transfield and all detention contractors! Bring your friends, your ideas for a new logo for Transfield and all the noise you can muster! ...
Unisuper Divest [22/9/15]:
A few problems with Get Up's No Business in Abuse campaign:
1. The campaign pledge - which calls on you to sign it - contains no demand as such to oppose, close *definitively and forever* Australia's detention camps, both onshore and off-shore;
2. The implicit aim of the campaign is to make the business of mandatory detention of asylum-seekers 'nicer' = free of abuse;
3. The campaign is about making business 'ethical', rather than challenging the very underpinnings of the detention complex;
4. The 'campaign' - if one can call it such - consists solely of signing pledges and petitions. Please, show me an example when that has ever worked in influencing government policy. Direct action, anyone?
As some of us who have visited detention centres know well, detention per se IS abuse. Irrespective of the conditions in centres, or how 'nice' they seem, detention is detrimental to asylum-seekers' physical and mental health, and is, in and of itself, a system that is premised on the idea that human rights abuses are *justified* when one's state borders are dealing with 'illegals'.
In other words, there is nothing in the No Business in Abuse campaign that challenges the premise behind 'Operation Sovereign Borders'.
In fact, that the campaign fails to do so - is precisely the reason why it reinforces the current government policy.
... They come here asking for a second chance and they push them to the edges ...
Refugee Rights Action Network WA: Video of Hazara community leader Zakia Baig speaking on the tragic death of Khodayar Amini at a community memorial in Melbourne on Saturday. ...
Political and media establishment and NGOs continue pretending Australia doesn't incarcerate, torture and kill refugees [ABC - 27/10/15]:
... Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she informed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that the state was willing and able to provide homes and support services.
She told Parliament the Syrian intake would be in addition to refugees from other countries.
"The Syrian crisis has reminded me of the generosity of Queenslanders, and I've been so proud of the warmth of the public's response," Ms Palaszczuk said. ...
There is a strong economic argument for increasing Australia’s refugee intake, according to a report published this week by the University of Technology Sydney.
The report examines the outcomes of the Ignite small business initiative, which is run by Settlement Services International and supports refugees who are interested in starting their own businesses. ... [Smart Company - 27/10/15]
Citizenship discrimination for refugees who arrive by boat [Refugee Council of Australia - 19/10/15]:
New research from the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) raises serious questions about discrimination in access to citizenship for refugees who arrived by boat in Australia seeking protection.
The research, Delays in Citizenship Applications for Permanent Refugee Visa Holders, is based on 188 interviews with people of refugee background who are eligible for citizenship after being in Australia for four years on a permanent humanitarian visa but have experienced considerable delays in the citizenship process.
Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia, said, “Although the people interviewed as part of our research have qualified for Australian citizenship, they appear to have been denied the right to fulfil their goal of becoming Australian citizens.
“The evidence collected by RCOA suggests that these delays are disproportionately affecting those who arrived in Australia by boat, as 89% of the people who have raised concerns with us about delays have arrived in this manner,” Mr Power said, noting that RCOA research shows these delays commenced after the change of government in September 2013.
“We encourage the Minister to disclose if there has been a change of policy. If so, the people affected and the Australian people must be told, so that the public can scrutinise what appears to be a discriminatory practice.” Mr Power said,
“While the Immigration Department claims that 80% of citizenship applications are completed within 80 days, the applicants RCOA consulted have been waiting on average for 215 days since lodging their application. For those who have completed the citizenship test and are waiting to attend a citizenship ceremony, the average wait is 357 days from the time of their application, and 270 days from the time they successfully passed the citizenship test.
“A number of applicants have received letters of approval from the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection, stating that the final step to gain citizenship is to attend a citizenship ceremony. However, these people have not been invited to participate in a citizenship ceremony, despite regular, often monthly, citizenship ceremonies occurring in each local government area.
“We have also heard from applicants who received a call or text message the night before they were due to attend the ceremony indicating that the ceremony was cancelled. However, months later, they still have not been invited to attend another event.
“It is troubling that this seemingly discriminatory practice is occurring and we are seeking the Minister’s clarification,” Mr Power said.
“The operation of so many components of immigration policy, whether it be in detention centres, with Border Force, in offshore processing centres, and now seemingly in refugee policy as well, is conducted in a manner that is not transparent and where accountability is lacking. Such a lack of transparency and accountability is a recipe for abuse and harm, and it must be addressed”
“For someone who has been forced to flee their home and seek protection as a refugee, citizenship has profound psychological and emotional benefits. We would strongly encourage the Minister to ensure this cohort of people who are freed from their legal limbo.”
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
Gold Coast police filmed aiming Taser at tourist stopped 'because of tattoos'
A tourist has posted a video online showing a Gold Coast police officer aiming a Taser at her boyfriend.
The clip, posted on Facebook on Monday and viewed more than 1.7m times, appears to show the moment a female officer prepares to discharge her Taser at a heavily tattooed man.
“We have legislation down here, if we identify a potential member of a criminal motorcycle gang we have the power to stop, detain and search you,” the officer says in the footage.
When the man asks if his neck tattoos were the sole reason for being pulled over, she replies: “Yep, absolutely.”
Matters escalate when the man, from Victoria, then refuses to hand over his mobile phone and the officer aims her Taser at him.
According to the video post on his partner Hayley Van Hostauyen’s Facebook page, the pair had just touched down in Queensland for a holiday.
“I have no club gear on at all they simply seen me and my partner Hayley at a red light, noticed a 13 tattooed on my neck and pulled us over,” the man wrote.
“Pfft what a joke welcome to QLD.”
He claims in the post that the officers later deleted the footage but he was able to recover it.
“This is fkd up what a good start to our holiday str8 from airport,” he said.
The clip had been watched 1.7m times by Tuesday afternoon.
Making music under siege
Electronic Intifada [26/10/15]:
Eight years of suffocating siege, three devastating Israeli assaults and longstanding Palestinian political divide have negatively impacted all aspects of life in Gaza — including its music.
There is only one music school in the tiny coastal territory, and only children are taught there.
The Gaza Music School was opened in October 2008.
It was bombed by Israel and destroyed two months later.
Located in Gaza City, the school was rebuilt and has recently become a branch of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in the West Bank.
“Nowadays, we have 207 students in the school, aged between 6 and 12 years old,” said Gaza Music School director Ibrahim al-Najjar.
“We have a highly qualified group of teachers. Some of them are from Russia, Ukraine and Romania, teaching students Western and Eastern musical instruments.”
A Harry Potter fan has called out JK Rowling in the best way possible [Herald Scotland - 27/10/15]
Palestine and the cultural boycott, Rafeef Ziadah [ZCommunications - 19/4/09]
A dozen foreign soldiers from four different continents take part in program at Israel’s ‘Bahad 1’ base, forging ties and exchanging knowledge. ... [Times Of Israel - 26/10/15]
Israeli Soldier Costume for Kids - Size M - Walmart.com: The Israeli Soldier Costume for Kids includes product comes complete with : shirt, pants, belt and hat. When Halloween time rolls around, make this item part of your child's complete ensemble.
French high court: BDS activists guilty of discrimination [Times Of Israel - 23/10/15]
"Maybe some of the politicians can realise we are human beings too," he said.
Nine MSN [26/10/15]:
The small community of Mutitjulu, located on the eastern side of Uluru, is still struggling 30 years after the rock was handed back.
It was expected that jobs and development opportunities would follow, but that hasn't been the case, even as tourist dollars have poured into Yulara on the other side of Uluru.
The small tourism township has reaped most of the benefits of 300,000 people flocking to see the spiritual heart of the country.
But of 250 Aboriginal people employed at the Ayers Rock Resort, only five are Anangu people from Mutitjulu, and of the town's 400-odd population, 254 are on the dole and struggling to make a living.
At the 30th anniversary of the handback of Uluru and Kata Tjuta in Mutitjulu on Monday, locals were keenly aware of the disparity.
"It's a good thing that happened that day 30 years ago, but I tell you what, we have a long way to go as a nation of people," said Vincent Forrester, executive member of the Central Land Council.
"We had visions of developing our own economic base, using industry. But I'm afraid those sorts of things have been a bit short-changed."
He said the mistakes of successive Labor and Liberal federal and territory governments were on display in Mutitjulu.
"Still living in third-world conditions here," Mr Forrester said.
"You people from the city, your eye will tell you no lie, it's there for all the world to see."
He called on governments to empower the locals, to fulfil the hope he saw on the faces of those families who received the title deeds from Governor-General Sir Ninian Stephen three decades ago.
"Maybe some of the politicians can realise we are human beings too," he said.
Barbara Tjikatu, whose husband received the title deeds, said she was happy to celebrate the long, difficult fight that elders faced in the years leading up to the handback.
"We want the government and Anangu to work together," she said, noting that she could see many government officials present.
"You know, people these days work for money. Back in the ration days is how we survived and pulled through, but today we live and survive by money, we just need help."
Northern Territory Labor senator Nova Peris said [BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLURT]
Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, attending on behalf of the prime minister, said [BLAH BLAH BLAH BLURT BLURT BLURT]
Senator Scullion also commended the Labor Party for [BLAH BLAH BLAH BLURT BLURT]
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten called for [BLAH BLAH BLAH BLURT]
Girl pleads with PNG Prime Minister: Save us
The National [27/10/15]:
A 14-year-old girl has asked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and MPs not to take her home away and give it to foreigners.
Lovely Wemin made the plea when O’Neill launched the 8-Mile water project in the National Capital District yesterday.
She said 8-Mile was her birth place and of other children.
“As long as our birth right and citizenship is not stripped and sold today to the Asians, which seems to be the case very much nowadays, the words that you will utter this afternoon will either bless or suppress us and will build us or destroy us,” she told O’Neill.
“We have Asians moving in from the front and we have State entities moving in from the back. We have moneymen coming in from the side and everywhere.
“Please don’t forget that we are future leaders of this very beautiful island of gold floating on the sea of oil and gas. Daddy O’Neill, your coming is history, your footprints today is a legacy that will linger across our young hearts.”
Leader of Government Business James Marape is confident the Government will easily dispose of any no-confidence vote if introduced in Parliament. ... [The National - 27/10/15]
Strong evidence of genocide in Myanmar [Al Jazeera – 26/10/15]
US warship to patrol near reefs claimed by China [Al Jazeera - 27/10/15]
500-plus parents and children detained longer than allowed [McClatchy – 23/10/15]
The federal government is failing to adequately inspect allegations of abuse in immigrant detention centers, according to a report released on Wednesday.
The new report, by immigrant rights organizations the National Immigrant Justice Center and the Detention Watch Network, is based on documents the groups obtained under the Freedom of Information Act after three years of litigation.
The research suggests that Immigration and Customs Enforcement's approach to monitoring detention standards amounts to little more than filling out checklists and taking staff at their word that they will address problems.
“[T]he Obama administration has done little to improve oversight or gain control over the sprawling immigration detention system and the conditions approximately 34,000 immigrants face in custody every night,” the report says. ... [Huffington Post - 21/10/15]
Delay, with endless forums and gabfests.
Censor and propagandise.
Create confusing compromises. (eg only release the children)
Encourage the redirection of efforts into dead politics.
Dangle enticements. <--------- How to derail Australia's refugee liberation movement - which has CLEARLY articulated the following goals and strategy:
1. CLOSE THE CAMPS.
2. BRING THE REFUGEES TO AUSTRALIA.
3. START ADHERING TO THE UN REFUGEE CONVENTION.
4. BOYCOTT COMPANIES AND POLITICAL PARTIES THAT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA'S CRUEL AND INHUMANE REFUGEE POLICY.
After two years, MEAA demands rethink on asylum seeker secrecy [Media Release - 23/10/15]
Glaring omissions on this list of Australian politicians being referred to the ICC
Refugee Action Collective Victoria [23/10/15]:
A Civil Society complaint is to be filed by Refugee Action Collective Victoria at the International Criminal Court.
RAC-Vic’s submission asks the ICC to investigate and prosecute a case against persons who have and continue to act as members of the Australian Government against asylum seekers.
Reflecting the revulsion and dismay of many Australians, it is alleged that these actions are in breach United Nations conventions and amount to crimes against Humanity.
The following persons are named in the Submission:
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Former Minister of Immigration Scott Morrison
Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton
Attorney General George Brandis
53 Civil Society groups and organizations, representing informed opinion, the professional knowledge of health professionals and others have endorsed this submission.
RAC-Vic, the Court permitting will seek further endorsements and evidence of similar criminal activity by anyone representing the Australian government to be added to the submission at a later date.
Prior submissions to the Court filed by Mr Andrew Wilkie MP and Ms Tracey Aylmer Solicitor and statements by Mr Julian Burnside QC are acknowledged by RAC-Vic while stressing that we are not lawyers but are acting as citizens and members of Civil Society.
Iraqi detainee close to death in Australian concentration camp on Manus Island [VIDEO - RT - 26/10/15]
Jeanie M Walker, National Spokesperson for Asylum Seekers, Australian Democrats [15/9/15]:
“The Australian Democrats fear that Malcolm Turnbull may spend his first few weeks as Prime Minister explaining why an Iraqi asylum seeker was systematically beaten, tortured and allowed to die due to medical neglect on Manus Island Detention Centre” says Australian Democrats Federal Asylum Seeker Spokesperson Jeanie Walker.
“This man fled the Syrian/Iraqi conflict after working as a contractor for the Allied Forces and being persecuted for assisting our country, only to meet a worse fate at the hands of the Australian Government”.
31 year old Mohammad Albederee was beaten by more than 10 Australian Wilson Security guards in July last year inside the infamous Chauka Compound in Manus Island Detention Centre after he intervened in the guards beating his brother into unconsciousness.
His brother sustained injuries to his back, neck and shoulders and fled back to Iraq where he was subsequently shot by militia and fled to Turkey.
His brother has required at least 2 surgeries to his back for the injuries he sustained. The altercation was simply over the men asking to use the phone as there had been news of a tragedy in their family.
Mr. Albederee also had his finger broken in an earlier incident with previous G4S guards over wanting longer time on a phone call to family in Iraq.
Mohammad was beaten until he was unconscious and sustained serious injuries to his shoulder which resulted in nerve damage causing extreme pain and numbness in his hand. He also suffered kidney damage causing blood in his urine due to the severity of the assault. This has resulted in severe chronic pain for over a year.
Mohammad was supposed to be brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment in February 2015 by medical request, but this did not happen.
He was told by Wilson Security that he had a flight if he signed a form saying he would never make a complaint against the guards that beat him.
When he would not sign the papers he was told that he would never leave Manus Island alive.
She might become the first woman president to drop a f*cking nuclear bomb on somebody.
Rolling Stone [26/10/15]:
Roger Waters may not be a big fan of Howard Stern, but there's another wild-haired, outspoken, polarizing figure from New York's outer boroughs he does love: Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
"He's the only person in the race that I see with any credibility," says Waters.
"He seems to speak the truth, far as one can tell at this point. He seems prepared to stand up against big money and the banks and stand up for the predicaments of minorities, the middle class and the working class in this country."
The British citizen cannot vote in the U.S. election, but he says that if he could, he'd "cast [his] lot" with Sanders. He says that Hillary Clinton is a "far better alternative than any of the Republican candidates by a long, long way," but he still has severe reservations about her.
"Hillary worries me," he says. "I have an awful worry that she might become the first woman president to drop a fucking nuclear bomb on somebody. There is something scarily hawkish about her, and she has that politician look down of, 'You are never going to get a word of truth out of me.'"
Many Democrats say that if Sanders is nominated, it will hand the election to the Republicans because the Vermont senator is so radical.
"It is true that people become marginalized if their politics appear too far to the left," he says.
"That is why I admire Sanders. When he speaks the truth, he sounds very left-wing, but that is because we have been fed this right-wing bullshit by the whole of the mainstream media since the Second World War. And it has gotten worse and worse and worse, and the outlets for dissenting voices have become fewer and fewer. So he is bound to sound out of step, because he is! And that is what is so good about him."
Ai Weiwei sets up Lego collection points after company refuses his order [New York Times - 26/10/15]:
... According to Mr. Ai, the rejected order was for several million Lego bricks that would have been used to create two works for an exhibition titled “Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei,” scheduled to open on Dec. 11 at the National Gallery of Victoria.
Mr. Ai said that for one of the works, he planned to use the Legos for a re-imagining of his 1995 photo triptych titled “Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn.”
In the second, tentatively called “Lego Room,” the artist said he intended to create mosaic portraits of 20 Australian advocates for human rights, and information and Internet freedom.
They include prominent rights lawyers like Michael Kirby and Geoffrey Robertson, as well as divisive figures like the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. ...
UK: CAGE wins an important legal battle in Charity Commission challenge [Media Release -21/10/15]:
The Charity Commission has today been forced to climb down from its attempt to prohibit charities from funding CAGE.
CAGE is grateful for the wide ranging support it has received. This is an important vindication of our position. We know this will come as a relief to the whole charity sector and the attempt to interfere with the lawful activities of civil society has been blocked.
This case was never about winning or losing. It was always about testing the extent to which the narrative that underpins the “War on Terror” has seeped into public life.
Above all we wanted to empower others in civil society to make a stand against unfair treatment of individuals and organisations dressed up as regulatory activity.
The Charity Commission took a “high-handed” approach as confirmed by the most senior judge in the country, Lord Chief Justice Thomas. CAGE’s position is that the Commission as an important regulator has been hijacked by apologists for the War on Terror who view all who dissent from their narrative with suspicion.
Despite the climate of fear the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust came forward and stood with us. Many in civil society applauded us for taking a stand. The charities sector supported us for fighting their corner and vocalising their experiences.
CAGE has achieved its objective. The Charity Commission was forced to accept that it was wrong to require charities to give indefinite assurances to never fund CAGE.
We now hope that the Charity Commission will take a considered approach in exercising its powers and only intervene where there is clear evidence of wrongdoing. As a regulator it should remain impartial and not be driven by the prevailing political aims of a few ideologues in government or sections of the media.
We thank the Joseph Rowntree for standing with us in this struggle against injustice and for equality.
With the Government's announcements of new proposals for counter extremism we believe that we are in danger of moving toward an era of 21st century McCarthyism, in which politically motivated witch hunts could be used to persecute innocent people in the guise of counter terrorism.
CAGE will continue to expose and challenge such policies.
We ask all those in civil society who are committed to fairness and equality to support the work of CAGE and safeguard the Rule of Law for all.
US Military used Christian NGO as front for North Korea espionage [The Intercept - 26/10/15]
Perth executive faces US extradition
West Australian [25/10/15]:
A Perth man has been arrested and is facing extradition to the US for his alleged role in one of the world’s biggest financial scandals.
Paul Thompson spent the weekend in Hakea Prison after being arrested on Thursday as part of a long-running investigation into global interest rate rigging.
In a scandal that has rocked the financial world, banks and individuals allegedly spent years manipulating a benchmark interest rate that is used to set the rate on trillions of dollars worth of loans around the world, including home loans in Australia.
Banks have been fined billions and dozens of people have been charged for allegedly rigging the London Interbank Offered Rate or Libor to boost profits. Set daily it represents what banks either need to borrow or can afford to lend and is regarded as a measure of the health of the banking sector.
Mr Thompson, who has been charged with wire fraud and bank fraud offences, lives in Dalkeith with his wife Robyn and their children. The charges relate to his role with Dutch multinational Rabobank in Singapore between 2006 and 2011. Two former Rabobank traders are on trial in the US for similar offences.
A spokesman for the family said they were “devastated”.
“They will be seeking bail for Paul as there is no need for him to be in prison while they are addressing the extradition process,” he said.
“As a devoted and loving father Paul poses no risk to anyone in the community and he has not left Perth in the last couple of years, even though he has been aware of these charges since early 2014.
“Paul has remained in Perth since early 2014 to be close to his family as they have needed his support and presence — as he has needed theirs during what is a very trying and difficult period in their lives.
“The Libor case is a very large, complex and international financial investigation that has been running for several years and now touches many people and organisations in many different countries. Sadly, that includes Paul, even though he has never worked in the United States, did not work for a US company and has no direct connections to America.
“The family had hoped that, as this case evolved, Paul could have an opportunity to defend himself against the allegations in either Australia or the UK. In either of those countries he would have good access to the necessary evidence, witnesses, financial and emotional support to defend himself properly.”
The spokesman could not confirm if Mr Thompson, 49, would fight extradition. He said the initial focus was on seeking bail.
The Libor scandal came to light in 2012 and prompted an overhaul of the way rates were set.
Pre-reform the process was overseen by the British Bankers Association and required banks to estimate on a daily basis the rate at which they could borrow funds from other banks and used the average figure to underpin rates on a range of loans and financial products.
Banks and individuals allegedly collaborated to set the Libor at a rate that would make them money on their trading positions.
George Osborne’s plans to reduce tax credits for low-paid workers are in chaos after the House of Lords shrugged off warnings of a constitutional crisis and voted to delay the £4.4bn package of cuts.
In a humiliating rebuff for the Chancellor, his proposals were twice defeated after peers queued up to condemn the measures for hitting the worst-off and attacked the Government for not coming clean in the Tory manifesto about the proposals. ... [Independent - 26/10/15]
The abstainers ride again [Wings Over Scotland - 26/10/15]
27 October 2015