Central Paris goes car-free on Sunday in the latest effort by local authorities to tackle the city’s alarming pollution levels. … [France 24 – 27/9/15]
Thousands evacuated from Taiwan islands as typhoon nears [Channel News Asia – 27/9/15]
New Special Minister of State Mal Brough under investigation by the Australian Federal Police [Canberra Times - 27/9/15]
A 36-year-old man has been charged with murder following police investigations into a fatal stabbing at a unit block in north Queensland last night. ... [ABC - 27/9/15]
A fish rots from the head: Expats working at Australia's refugee death camp on Manus Island fail to respect PNG law
Police on Manus Island say some of the staff at the island's Australian-run immigration detention centre are causing tension in the community by failing to respect Papua New Guinean law.
They said foreign staff working at the centre had been flown out of PNG before they could be questioned by police over a number of incidents, including the death of asylum-seeker Reza Barati and a possible sexual assault.
"It is an ongoing concern for me," Manus Provincial Police Commander Alex N'Drasal said.
"I am always frustrated when these things happen."
The most recent incident to anger local authorities was a serious car crash, in which two expatriate staff were injured.
Police said the two men were allowed to leave the island — Papua New Guinea's most remote province — for medical treatment.
Commander N'Drasal said they were meant to return for questioning and to face possible charges for drink-driving.
An incident in mid-July involving a local woman caused local police to threaten to arrest the centre managers if three men allegedly involved in the incident were not flown back to PNG.
"The incident is serious in nature," Commander N'Drasal said.
"I believe it is similar to the Reza Barati case," he said, referring to police efforts to interview two expatriate staff allegedly involved in the death of the Iranian asylum-seeker at the centre last year.
A police investigator told a court hearing on Manus Island on September 25 that he had been unable to interview or charge two men, one Australian and one New Zealander, who were allegedly part of a group of men who attacked Reza Barati.
They had also been unable to interview the three men accused of involvement in the incident with the local woman because they flew out of the country shortly afterwards.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection said they were later stood down for failing to meet behavioural standards.
"He's not supposed to fly out because the investigation is on," the woman involved told the ABC.
"I want answers."
The woman, a former employee at the centre, said she was found naked and passed out in a bathroom at the Wilson Security staff quarters.
"My concern is the way I was been found," she said.
"I'm not found in a good shape."
The woman had been socialising with Australian colleagues from the centre.
She said she believed she may have been sexually assaulted after one of the men gave her two pills.
The woman said she was not given a physical medical examination after the incident.
She was later suspended for breaching company rules that night, then resigned.
"It's been depressing," she said.
"It still is. I'm fighting it. Trying to be strong for it. But really, it's eating me."
Police want the centre's operator, Transfield, to change the practice of removing staff before they can be questioned now it has secured a long-term management contract.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection did not respond to the ABC's questions about these issues.
Israeli security forces have entered the Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem amid fresh clashes in the area.
Witnesses told Al Jazeera that Sunday's confrontation between Israeli forces and Palestinians began after officers entered the compound.
As of 7am GMT, hundreds of Palestinians have gathered outside the mosque to prevent Israeli police from going any further.
Al Jazeera's Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from Jerusalem, said police forces used stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets against the Palestinians. ... [Al Jazeera - 27/9/15]
Afghanistan: Landmine blast kills mother, son in Nimroz [Khaama - 279/15]
Saudi warplanes kill seven Yemenis, including four children [Press TV - 27/9/15]
... Her Hitler hairdo is making me feel ill ... 'Karma Police', Radiohead 
Carrying signs telling the U.S. military “to go home” and “to stop war,” hundreds gathered for several hours outside Ramstein Air Base on Saturday, peacefully protesting against the ongoing military activities supported by the base. ... [Stripes - 26/9/15]
Baltimore officer warned Freddie Gray needed medical help: reports [Reuters - 27/9/15]
… But mister let me tell ya, that eleven people died. ... 'The City of Soul', Eurogliders 
Philadelphia's Osage Avenue police bombing, 30 years on: 'This story is a parable' [Guardian - 13/5/15]
@MSF_Sea [27/9/15]: BREAKING: The #Dignity1 has just rescued 107 people including 14 women and a 2 year old girl
Some 500 migrants were rescued in seven operations launched over the weekend in the Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said.
A spokesman told AFP on Sunday that four of the rescue operations had already wound up but the others were ongoing. ... [Yahoo - 27/9/15]
France bombs Syria [Reuters - 27/9/15]
@IraqiSMCEn [27/9/15]: Diyala: A civilian from Chamarkhi Village was killed as a roadside bomb exploded in Hawdh Diyala Farms (Azour) in Sansal In Diyala.....
United States "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [26/9/15]:
Yesterday, U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrike in Syria
-- Near Al Hawl, bomber aircraft struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, fighter-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 24 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Huwayjah, four airstrikes destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Qaim, an airstrike had inconclusive results.
-- Near Albu Hayat, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL training facility and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL buildings, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, and wounded two ISIL fighters.
-- Near Habbaniya, two airstrikes destroyed seven ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL excavator.
-- Near Mosul, five airstrikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL staging positions, and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL cache.
-- Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL observation post.
... Dempsey forever honors the 132 soldiers who lost their lives under his command in Iraq, Obama said, explaining how Dempsey has a box that contains each soldier's picture and story.
"And on top of the box are three words: make it matter," Obama said.
"Every morning, Marty places three of the cards in his pocket so that every moment as chairman, every meeting, every trip, every decision, every troop review, every moment of every day, some of those fallen heroes are with him," the president said.
Dempsey, in closing his speech said, "To all who will continue to serve after, I ask only this in parting, make it matter." President praises retiring Dempsey, incoming chairman Dunford [US Department of Defense - 25/9/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [2/9/15]: Anbar: The government's air force has shelled Ramadi targeting an amusement park in Sofiya ,suburbs of Sofiya and south of Ramadi........
FBI's WikiLeaks informant sentenced to 3 years for sex with underage boys [The Daily Dot - 25/9/15]
David Cameron should urge Saudi Arabia to commute the sentence of a protestor who could be executed there "any day", Jeremy Corbyn says.
Ali Mohammed Baqir al-Nimr, convicted of crimes including breaking allegiance to the country's king, could be beheaded and his body displayed in public, Labour's leader said.
He called on the PM to scrap a UK bid to provide services to Saudi prisons. The Foreign Office said it would raise the case "urgently". ... [BBC - 26/9/15]
Cuba's Castro at UN calls for end to US embargo
Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday took aim at the US embargo against his country, describing it as the "main obstacle" to his country's economic development.
"Such a policy is rejected by 188 United Nations member-states that demand its removal," Castro told a UN development summit, referring to a UN resolution calling for the end of the decades-old embargo.
The UN General Assembly has voted each year since 1982 to approve a resolution calling on the United States to lift the embargo against Cuba, which has been in place since 1960.
Making his first visit to the UN, Castro hailed the re-establishment of relations with Washington as a "major progress," but stressed that the embargo was unfinished business.
"The economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba persists, as it has been for half a century, bringing damages and hardships on the Cuban people" said Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel as president in 2006.
Cuba estimates that more than $121 billion in damage has been inflicted on its economy from the embargo, which was imposed in retaliation for Cuba's nationalization of US properties on the island.
Since the rapprochement with Cuba, President Barack Obama's administration has expressed support for lifting the embargo, but the decision rests with Congress, where a Republican majority opposes the move.
Castro argued that the embargo affects other nations that face punishment for investing in Cuba under US laws, and that it was "hurting the interests of American citizens and companies."
The General Assembly is set to discuss a new draft resolution condemning the embargo at a session next month.
This year, however, Cuba will introduce a resolution that "welcomes" the reestablishment of relations and acknowledges Obama's determination to work with the US Congress to lift the embargo, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has said.
More than 160 world leaders are arriving in New York for the UN development summit, followed by the UN General Assembly debate opening Monday.
Castro is due to speak again on Monday, a few hours after Obama takes the podium.
China vows billions for development, debt forgiveness at UN summit [Toronto Star - 26/9/15]
Austerity and deficit reduction are being used as a cover-story for conducting class war against the poor, an economics professor who served as Greece’s finance minister has said.
Yanis Varoufakis noted simultaneous reductions in taxes on the wealthy and cuts to spending on social security amounted to a redistribution of wealth away from the poor to the rich.
“The problem is that austerity is being used as a narrative to conduct class war,” Mr Varoufakis told the BBC’s Question Time programme. ... [Independent - 25/9/15]
In Mexico, parents of the missing 43 students have met with President Enrique Peña Nieto ahead of the one-year anniversary of the students’ disappearance.
The lawyer for the parents said that the government’s comments during the meeting show the government is not following recommendations by international experts on how to conduct a new investigation into the students’ death. [Democracy Now - 25/9/15]
Father of missing Mexican student on how US drug war aid "being used to annihilate students" [Democracy Now - 10/4/15]:
As the Summit of the Americas commences, several U.S.-based groups and university officials have signed a letter to President Obama questioning his response to the 43 students missing from the Mexican state of Guerrero for over six months.
The letter asks why the Obama administration has placed sanctions on Venezuela, but maintained normal relations with Mexico, despite the students’ disappearance.
Mexican authorities have declared the 43 students dead, saying local police acting on the orders of the mayor of Iguala attacked them and turned them over to drug gang members, who killed and incinerated them.
But so far the remains of only one of the 43 have been identified, and reports have pointed to the involvement of federal authorities.
We are joined by two relatives of the missing students who live here in New York: Antonio Tizapa is the father of missing student Jorge Antonio Tizapa Legideño; and Amado Tlatempa is the cousin of another missing student, Jesús Jovany Rodríguez Tlatempa.
"What I would tell President Obama is to stop supporting Plan Mérida, because the weapons, the arms that are supposedly supporting the war against drugs, those arms are being used to annihilate our students," Tizapa says.
Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: War, Propaganda and the Enemy Within [VIDEO - The Real News Network - 26/9/15]
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted that 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the first and last use of a nuclear weapon in war, as he renewed his call for complete global nuclear disarmament. ... [Media Release - 26/9/15]
Scary black men and nationalist white feminists; or why white women actually really need anti-racism [Secretagoo - 24/9/15]:
... The referencing by both GetUp and Collective Shout of the laws and statements of the terrifyingly racist Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection is a sinister indictment of both ‘activist’ groups’ willingness to work within the logics of a border regime which has committed far, far more violence against women than Okonma, Mayweather and Brown combined could even dream of.
This is not, by the way, in any way an attempt to defend Brown or Mayweather, both of whose behaviours I find appalling. Okonma’s case is more complicated: I would notice that he has not, in fact, been accused of actually enacting the violence he is said to endorse.
There are interesting discussions to be had in relation to concerns about Okonma’s work about artistic expression, the use of alter ego and fractured identity in storytelling and the problems of using misogynist violence as metaphor or dramatic punctuation.
These discussions, however, are peripheral to the core problem with these campaigns of denying visas to black men on the basis of their alleged misogyny which is, quite simply, that they are racist. ...
... "Unfortunately only when the poor enter the halls of the rich, do the rich notice that the poor exist," U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. ... [Reuters - 26/9/15]
Australia must fulfil not only its UN obligations but more importantly its moral obligations to these vulnerable people who have sought our protection.
Open letter to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader from over 7,000 Australian women
… You show us a new way you sound so sincere
How sweet it must be to be able to think so clear
But you are just another in a long line of
Giving us freedom
With a new set of rules ...
'Only For Sheep', The Bureau 
Hadi Ahmadi - And the Myth of the 'People Smugglers' Business Model' :
The case of Hadi Ahmadi is one of the highest profile prosecutions of people smuggling in Australia.
Convicted in August 2010 for bringing over 500 asylum seekers to Australia, Mr Ahmadi’s case is one of only a small number of prosecutions involving an organiser of migrant smuggling ventures — unlike the hundreds of cases before Australian courts which involve Indonesian captains and crew working on migrant smuggling vessels.
This article explores the case of Mr Ahmadi to shed light into the so-called ‘people smugglers’ business model’, which successive Australian Governments from both sides of politics are determined to ‘crush’.
The article examines the facts of Mr Ahmadi’s offending, the criminal proceedings against him, and draws comparison to other organiser cases and to the general patterns of people smuggling prosecutions in Australia.
Findings of this research cast doubt over the Government’s rhetoric and its strategies to prevent and suppress migrant smuggling.
People with no moral authority pretending they do ----> @tanya_plibersek [25/9/15]: You can watch @shakira sing Imagine @UN on http://webtv.un.org/ Be careful not to be radicalised by it #freekaren
action - risk manage this, Transfield! [UniSuper Divest]:
Wednesday, September 30
at 7:00am - 9:00am
UWA University Club
Hackett Drive Crawley, Perth, Australia 6009
The UWA Club is hosting a breakfast with a speaker panel with includes Diane Smith-Gander, the 'chairman'' of Transfield.
Transfield is the company which manages detention centres on Manus Island, and Nauru, at the cost of $billions.
Smith-Gander will speak on the subject of 'how corporations must adapt to new community expectations'. Transfield has been in the news lately, with the divestment network leading a campaign, which creates disincentives for corporations to become a part of the toxic and deadly detention industrial complex.
HESTAdivest has been a major success of this campaign that has seen the HESTA superfund divest its investment holdings in Transfield.
Transfield expects its 5-year-contract with the government, worth $2.8b, will be renewed by the end of October.
We need to make sure that Transfield's investors realise there is no incentive to continue investing in the company implicated in human rights abuses and the severely damaged physical and mental health of asylum seekers.
Nothing short of a complete divestment, closure of the camps, and an end to detention!
Australian Navy warship Newcastle returns home after "seizing hundreds of kilograms of illegal drugs" in waters of Middle East [Nine MSN – 27/9/15]
UPDATE: Salah Maskhout not killed in Tripoli attack; identity mix-up blamed [Libya Herald - 26/9/15]
For months, humanitarian aid workers and Europe’s leaders have been wringing their hands about how to stop the human traffickers who are responsible for the deluge of migrants and refugees making the dangerous crossing from Libyan ports to European shores. There has been talk of everything from destroying smugglers ships to infiltrating the traffickers’ networks, but apparently a more basic plan was also in the works.
On Saturday morning Salah Al-Maskhout, a former henchman for Muammar Gaddafi thought to be the mastermind behind the main Mediterranean trafficking ring operating in the seas between North Africa and Europe, was killed in Tripoli during an ambush along with eight of his body guards.
Nuri Abu Sahmainsay, head of Libya’s General National Congress, which runs a parallel government in opposition to the officially recognized government in Libya, said on Libyan television that he believes the attackers were special forces with the Italian military. A spokesman for Italy’s joint forces told The Daily Beast that he could not comment on the accusation. ... [Daily Beast - 26/9/15]
At least 21 people were killed in the capital of Central African Republic on Saturday and around 100 others were wounded as Muslims attacked a mainly Christian neighborhood, senior hospital officials and a government spokesman said.
The reprisal attack in Bangui came after a Muslim man was killed and his body found dumped in a street close to the airport, witnesses said. It is the worst violence this year in a city secured by French and United Nations peacekeepers. ... [Reuters - 26/9/15]
27 September 2015