Union says workers torturing and exiling refugees in the name of "stop the boats" lie deserve better pay and conditions
"If this government really values their work, as it so often claims, then why has it launched a vicious attack on their rights and conditions?"
Is Nadine Flood saying there is a level of pay and conditions below which staff would not inflict repression and torture on refugees?
Canberra Times [28/4/15]:
The controversial "stop the boats" policy of the Abbott government is in the sights of public servants in the Immigration and Customs departments as they move toward a strike over pay and conditions.
Unions representing workers from the soon-to-be merged departments will apply to the Fair Work Commission on Wednesday for approval to ballot their members on strike action.
The Community and Public Sector Union was cagey on Tuesday evening with details of the actions on the table but it is understood that elements of "Operation Sovereign Borders" and its controversial "on-water operations" to turn back asylum seekers' boats at sea, could be affected.
The CPSU confirmed that the proposed actions include walking off the job for up to 24 hours and was not confined to deskbound bureaucrats in Canberra and other capital cities.
If approved by the FWC, the fight looks likely to be taken to airports, ports, marine operations, mail centres and visa processing throughout Australian, its offshore territories and coastal waters.
Sovereign Borders, which the Coalition credits with stopping the flow of refugees arriving by boat on Australian shores, relies heavily on the efforts on land and water of workers in the two departments.
Restlessness is growing among the 5000 Customs officials, who have shown in the past they are prepared to strike over pay, and 8500 Immigration public servants who are still waiting for a pay offer nearly 10 months after their old enterprise agreements expired.
Department bosses have pointed out that devising one new enterprise agreement for the two departments, which will be merged in July, is complex and time-consuming.
Although there has been no pay offer, the union is not impressed with proposals around conditions which it says strips rights and entitlements while demanding longer working days.
Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said her unions's members would stop short of any industrial action likely to threaten national security or endanger lives on the high seas.
"In keeping with our industrial action to date, our application explicitly states that workers will continue to perform any work related to safety of life at sea," the union leader said.
Immigration and Customs are now the 14th and 15th government agencies taking or preparing for industrial action either in protest at what they say are low pay offers or trying to force their bosses to the negotiating table.
"Customs and Immigration staff stand to lose a lot more than they gain under the government's aggressive approach to bargaining," Ms Flood said.
"Customs and Immigration staff undertake valuable work protecting our borders and helping trade and the movement of people across our borders, often in dangerous and dirty conditions.
"If this government really values their work, as it so often claims, then why has it launched a vicious attack on their rights and conditions?"
Bargaining for the pay and conditions of around 160,000 public servants has been under way for a year but to date no agreement has been reached in any of the 117 agencies.
There is industrial unrest in Agriculture, Tax, Defence, Human Services, Veterans' Affairs, Environment, Employment, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, the Australian Institute of Criminology, ABS and the Bureau of Meteorology, cover more than half of the Commonwealth's 159,126 public servants.
... Australia’s refugee policy doesn’t just affect refugees. The public has much to fear from politicians who are ready to countenance the barbarism to other human beings we have been witnessing. Steeled by his period as immigration minister, Morrison is now in charge of social services. It’s hard to believe that the indifference to suffering honed in immigration will somehow be magically suspended as he oversees the government’s obligations to needy people in the community at large.
Do Australians really want to be governed by politicians who have not flinched before the sadism of their refugee policies? What possible prospect can there be of a just society for all of us when its most desperate members – asylum seekers – are made the objects of the systematic state violence whose effects we are seeing on Manus? ... [Guardian - 19/1/15]
Imaginary Australian journalist to Dutton:
1. How much did you give the IOM today to help exile refugees under the pretense of "resettlement"?
2. Had you planned this meeting, or did you sign the agreement under the cover of the impending execution of Australian citizens by Indonesia?
Signing the Strategic Partnership Framework
with @IOM_news Director General William Lacy Swing
Image: @PeterDutton_MP [28/4/15]
Once again Dutton is protected and unaccountable, there is no opposition and the UNHCR (and other human rights organisations) are silent.
Do they consent to this sham? Have they not heard of Wannsee?
Minister for Immigration Media Release [28/4/15]:
A new Strategic Partnership Framework (SPF) with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will further strengthen Australia’s important relationship with the organisation.
Today the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton met with the Director General of IOM William Lacy Swing in Canberra where they signed the new SPF.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said this signing marks a milestone for Australia’s relationship with IOM.
“We both commit to cooperating strategically on key shared migration priorities, establishing structured dialogue to enhance governance arrangements and to develop and implement programmes that make substantial positive difference to migrants,” said Mr Dutton.
The meeting also provided an opportunity to reflect on Australia’s longstanding relationship with IOM.
Director General Swing presented the Minister with a commemorative photo book entitled Offering Opportunities and Building Capacities – Australia and IOM, Partnerships in Action. This publication celebrates shared achievements by IOM and Australia over more than sixty years of engagement.
“Since its founding in 1951, Australia and IOM have shared a close collaborative working relationship. Australia was one of the sixteen countries that formed the original membership of IOM, and Australia continues to value the important role this organisation plays,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton emphasised the important role IOM plays in international migration, which is why they are such an important partner organisation for Australia.
“IOM has shown commitment to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. This has defined it as the leading organisation for international migration.”
We are governed by experts in keeping people in their subjegated misery. In their minds the UN Refugee Convention doesn't exist, and the economic viability of an individual seeking protection trumps human rights. ----> We’re Failing Today’s Boat People, William Lacy Swing [TIME – 24/4/15]
WikiLeaks and Africa: US frustrated with allies and adversaries [IA Center - 8/12/10]:
... According to leaked cables published in the South African Mail & Guardian on Nov. 29, “It took seven weeks of steady hounding to obtain an appointment for [U.S.] ambassador [William Lacy] Swing with Mandela.” In addition to the slow pace of scheduling a U.S. meeting with the world-renowned South African former political prisoner, there were also leading elements in the African National Congress at the time who believed “Mandela should refrain from meeting UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.”
The U.S. had been instrumental in the capture and imprisonment of Nelson Mandela in 1962, when he sought to organize both mass and armed struggles aimed at toppling the racist political system in South Africa. Only after millions within South Africa and around the world rallied to the ANC banner was the U.S. forced to recognize this leading national liberation movement. ...
SUBJECT: ITALY CONFIRMS IT HAS ITS OWN IOM DG CANDIDATE [17/7/07]
US Embassy in Port Moresby awards two new grants totalling US$1 million to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) [PNG Loop - 15/12/14]
... They sought to portray the deportations as a "resettlement" ...
[Deportations to Killing Centres - US Holocaust Memorial Museum]
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
… Theresienstadt served an important propaganda function for the Germans. The publicly stated purpose for the deportation of the Jews from Germany was their "resettlement to the east," where they would be compelled to perform forced labor.
Since it seemed implausible that elderly Jews could be used for forced labor, the Nazis used the Theresienstadt ghetto to hide the nature of the deportations.
In Nazi propaganda, Theresienstadt was cynically described as a "spa town" where elderly German Jews could "retire" in safety. The deportations to Theresienstadt were, however, part of the Nazi strategy of deception. The ghetto was in reality a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killing centers in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe.
Succumbing to pressure following the deportation of Danish Jews to Theresienstadt, the Germans permitted the International Red Cross to visit in June 1944.
It was all an elaborate hoax.
The Germans intensified deportations from the ghetto shortly before the visit, and the ghetto itself was "beautified." Gardens were planted, houses painted, and barracks renovated. The Nazis staged social and cultural events for the visiting dignitaries.
Once the visit was over, the Germans resumed deportations from Theresienstadt, which did not end until October 1944.
Devastating news from home. The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on .
"Hey ANZAC! Never invade a country if you don't know where it is on the map."
Sergeant Jemal in Water Diviner
Andrew Lesnie dead at 59: Australian cinematographer shot Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Water Diviner [Sydney Morning Herald – 28/4/15]:
The Oscar-winning Australian cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has died, reportedly after suffering a heart attack on Monday.
The lensman, best known for his work on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, was 59.
Russell Crowe, on whose feature directing debut The Water Diviner Lesnie worked, was among the first to mark his passing on social media as news broke on Tuesday afternoon.
"Devastating news from home," Crowe tweeted. "The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on."
Lesnie had a long and storied career in filmmaking, mostly in Australia and New Zealand despite the fact his reputation was such that he could have worked anywhere he chose.
He began his career as a camera assistant on the low-budget horror film Patrick in 1978, while still a student at the Australian Film Television and Radio School, where his tutors included Donald McAlpine, whose work on My Brilliant Career and Breaker Morant had helped set the tone for the romantically glowing look of the first wave of Australia's national cinema in the 1970s and early '80s.
After graduating, Lesnie worked at the ABC and as a freelance cameraman before joining the staff of Simon Townsend's WonderWorld, the children's magazine show on Ten that also launched the careers of reporters Jonathan Coleman, Angela Catterns amd Edith Bliss, among others.
In 1980, he shot The Comeback, a documentary about Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to bodybuilding in Australia, and music videos for INXS, The Angels, Rose Tattoo, UB40 and Mental As Anything.
Native Title hearings begin in Cairns
Two native title claims being finalised in Cairns this week have been more than 10 years in the making.
But for Johnson Chippendale, the road to ownership has stretched a lot further.
"It took me 30 years to get to Shelburne Bay," he told AAP, referring to the Cape York Peninsula inlet in question.
When he returned all those years ago, the now chair of the Wuthathi Aboriginal Corporation said the emotion was almost inexpressible.
"The feeling that's come over me - I can somehow see my grandparents wandering in the woodland and out in front of the beach," he said.
"It's a feeling that you're not alone, that you're being watched by ancestors."
It's also a feeling he should be able to experience again soon, after two native title determinations are handed down at hearings in Cairns on Tuesday and Wednesday
They're largely considered a formality, so an agreement between applicants and other parties can be finalised granting native title to the descendants of the Aboriginal clans.
At Tuesday's hearing, land previously kept as the Bromley and Boynton pastoral stations on the Cape York Peninsula will be assigned to descendants of the Wuthathi, Kuuku Ya'u and Northern Kaanju people.
A determination about an 1181 square km area in and around Shelburne Bay for the Wuthathi people will follow on Wednesday.
Mr Chippendale said conservation - in particular maintaining the pristine sand dunes of Shelburne Bay - will be a major focus for the traditional owners when they return to the land in late May or early June.
"Our ancestors looked after this country for thousands of years," he said.
"Now it's our opportunity to look after it."
Toowoomba citizens walk to show unity after mosque attack
Toowoomba residents will show their support for multi-faith and multi-cultural harmony at a Walk as One event.
The walk, on Saturday, May 2, has been organised by the Goodwill Committee of Toowoomba and will be hosted by St Luke's Anglican Church.
Goodwill Committee chairman Reverend Dr Jonathan Inkpin said the event would highlight "what a good thing it is to be part of our rich and diverse community, walking together without fear or discrimination."
"In the wake of the attack on the Toowoomba mosque it is even more vital to affirm our city's harmonious life."
The symbolic walk for peace is part of annual World Labyrinth Day, which brings together thousands of people across the globe, all walking together at 1pm.
St Luke's Reverend Penny Jones said the she was inspired to create the labyrinth, the parish's latest addition, after discovering its significance as a symbol of community peace and a walking meditation.
Walk as One
• Saturday, May 2
• Start at St Luke's at 11.15am, followed by community walk at 11.30am
• Lunch and entertainment
• At 1pm guests can join the Walk as One labyrinth event
Police officer dismisses claims men were recruiting for ISIS
The officer in charge at Miles Police station has dismissed claims that Islamic extremists were travelling through Western Downs towns trying to recruit for ISIS.
Sergeant Ben Wiltshire said he met with a small group of Muslim men in Miles last week who had travelled to Chinchilla, Miles, and Roma from Sydney.
Some community members in Miles and Chinchilla aired concerns on social media that the men had malicious motives.
Sgt Wiltshire said he met with three of the men, including their leader, in Miles last week.
"What they were doing was providing support to local Muslim families who don't have places of worship to attend," Sgt Wiltshire explained.
"We don't have mosques in small towns and Muslim people don't have a large support network.
"These men are simply part of the Muslim faith and providing support to other people of their faith."
Sgt Wiltshire said it was "very disappointing" that locals were jumping to conclusions about the visitors.
"These people were not extremists and they were happy to speak with us and provide us with their identification.
"We don't have any objection to Christian groups coming through town doing the same thing so this should be no different.
"These people were certainly not extremists."
Sgt Wiltshire said there was "no truth" to the claim that the men were attempting to recruit local school students to Islam.
@Matt_Tinney - Sunrise Correspondent [28/4/15]:
"I just had to say goodbye to my son and I won't see him again." - Raji Sukumaran ...
"Please don't take my brother from me." - Brintha Sukumaran ...
Foreign Minister responds to pleas from Australian public to travel to Indonesia to plead for clemency
Sydney Morning Herald [28/4/15]:
The Islamic State terror group and similar violent jihadist movements are an even greater threat to world order than communism was during the Cold War, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said.
In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Monday night, Ms Bishop said the so-called Islamic State and the ideology behind it tore up the rules of nation-states that had helped moderate international conflicts for centuries. ...
Celebrities including Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush released a video Tuesday urging Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to fly to Indonesia to help save two citizens facing execution, forcing the government to defend its tactics. ... [Jakarta Post - 28/4/15]
Anguished families make 'last visit' before Indonesia executions [Jakarta Post - 28/4/15]
International Workers' Memorial Day 28 April
Senator Glenn Lazarus [28/4/15]:
Today I joined thousands of people in Brisbane to remember those who have died at work or through illness as a result of work.
One life lost at work is too many.
We need to do more to ensure people are safe at work and come home to their families.
@NTEUQld [28/4/15]: Mourn the dead, fight for the living, workers' memorial in Brisbane
National Union of Workers [28/4/15]:
This morning we held a candlelight vigil at Linfox Coles DC in Truganina, Victoria for International Workers' Memorial Day.
We remember those injured, those who've become unwell and those who've lost their lives at work today.
We stand together for safer workplaces.
Remember the fallen, fight for the living.
Every worker counts. ...
Regulate prices to stop gouging?
Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last!
Deregulation deferred as Productivity Commission conducts power price probe [Media Release – 28/4/15]: ... *BLURT BLURT BLURT .... WEASEL WORDS .. BLURT* ...
... Under Labor's plan, power distributors Ergon, Energex and Powerlink would be merged and generators CS Energy and Stanwell would also be combined into one business to save $150 million a year. ... [ABC - 16/1/15] i.e. "I'm gonna do you slowly."
Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games [Media Release – 28/4/15]:
Marist College Ashgrove today celebrated the official opening of a $4.5 million refurbishment of its boarding residence for Year 7 to 10 students.
Education Minister Kate Jones officially opened Brother Geoffrey House, toured new facilities and congratulated staff and students who are celebrating the college’s 75th anniversary this year.
“I commend Marist College Ashgrove for investing $3.4 million to provide a refreshed, contemporary and secure environment for boarding students while they pursue their studies,” Minister Jones said.
“The Queensland Government also contributed more than $1.1 million as part of its comprehensive, statewide effort to support the Year 7 move to secondary.
She said the State Government had supported Marist College Ashgrove with $12.5 million in recurrent funding and $2.5 million in capital assistance funding over the past five years. ...
And the Vatican's contribution?
"Flying Start" - bipartisan, neoliberal scam which funnels public money to unaccountable, profit seeking private and religious schools:
From 2015 Year 7 will become the first year of high school in Queensland.
To ensure a smooth transition of Year 7 to high school, the Queensland Government has planned a comprehensive package of measures, backed by significant financial resources for state, Catholic and independent schools.
The government has invested up to $328 million in upgrading facilities in state secondary schools in preparation for the move of Year 7 and has provided a further $110 million to Catholic and independent schools.
This investment will ensure appropriate classrooms and facilities are in place to give students the best learning and engagement outcomes.
Twenty state schools began moving Year 7 to high school from 2012. The insights from this pilot program have been shared with all high schools to help them prepare for next year. ...
Meanwhile, you could provide an oncologist for Thursday Island, or you could pretend "tele-chemotherapy" is equitable health care [Media Release - 28/4/15]:
... Health Minister Cameron Dick said the tele-chemotherapy program will allow nurses on Thursday Island to administer cancer-fighting drugs locally while being guided over a video link by medical specialists in Cairns. ...
Imaginary journalist to State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham: Will ASF's casino be built on public land south of Sea World on the Gold Coast Spit?
The Queensland Government has suspended all discussions about the proposed multi-billion-dollar cruise ship terminal on Wavebreak Island in the Gold Coast Broadwater. ... [ABC - 28/4/15]
Developer Brookfield Multiplex has advised the Government it would withdraw its proposal to redevelop land south of Sea World at the Gold Coast Spit.
Brookfield Multiplex had been selected as the short-listed proponent following a competitive expression of interest process to develop the five-hectare parcel of land owned by the State Government, known as the Northern Development Area.
Brookfield Multiplex formally withdrew their proposal on Monday afternoon.
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade Andrew Fraser said the company had advised the government it was unable to meet the commercial requirements agreed to as part of the development process.
“Although disappointed by this news, we recognise that this parcel of land is an important asset to the Gold Coast community, and to the growth of the tourism industry,” Mr Fraser said.
“The Government will consider its options for the site’s future development and use, given the decision by Brookfield Multiplex to withdraw from the process.”
The State Government has called for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) on a 5ha land parcel on the Gold Coast Spit, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.
Mr Hinchliffe said the announcement marked the start of a competitive bidding process for the State-owned site located between Sea World and the Versace Hotel.
The site is part of the 8.2ha area previously known as the Northern Development Area (NDA) under the former Gold Coast Marine Development (GCMD).
The State Government previously sought to develop the area however bids received failed to meet State Government’s timeframes and objectives.
As a result the State ended the bidding process in June 2010. Since then a number of unsolicited proposals have been received and interested parties are now invited to formally submit applications as part of the EOI process.
“The Bligh Government is committed to delivering jobs and investment within the Gold Coast tourism industry,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.
“A competitive bidding process will now begin with all interested parties encouraged to submit their ideas prior to the March 4 deadline.
“It is important however to emphasise that this project is not proposing any development east of Sea World Drive or at Doug Jennings Park.’’
Proponents have until 12pm Friday 4 March 2011 to submit their EOIs.
It is anticipated a decision will be made by mid 2011.
To receive the Expression of Interest Invitation email company name details and at least two contacts to: GCSDproject@dip.qld.gov.au
Development options for the remainder of the State-owned land, which formed the GCMD, are not part of the current EOI process and will be considered in the future.
Development Gold Coast style
Tearing up dunes and seagrass for land reclamation works as part of GC2018 corporatised recreation development - Broadwater Parklands, Southport [28/4/15]
"The Broadwater belongs to the people of the Gold Coast," Dr Lynham said in a statement.
Cost of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games velodrome blows out by $3 million
There is an existing "national standard" velodrome at Nerang, which could have been redeveloped.
Queensland Premier Media Release [28/4/5]:
Queensland’s first indoor cycling velodrome is closer to completion after nine towers to provide temporary support for the $58 million structure were erected, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today.
Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland State Velodrome, which is under construction at Chandler and set to support 185 jobs, will create a new hub for the community and for elite cyclists in the South East.
Ms Palaszczuk was joined by Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones and Federal member for Bonner Ross Vasta to inspect progress on the facility which will host the track cycling competition for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. ...
JOINT STATEMENT Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games [15/8/14]:
Up to 185 jobs could be created when Queensland-based construction group Watpac builds the new $55 million Queensland State Velodrome at Chandler in Brisbane for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said a total of $320 million would be invested in sport and community infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games over the next four years, providing an unrivalled opportunity for south east Queensland businesses.
... do one good thing every day that everyone else is scared to do.
Leymah Gbowee - Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2011
Nobel Laureates call on militaristic United States to renew pledge to protect human rights [Democracy Now - 27/4/15]:
... AMY GOODMAN: This is before the Iraq War, you were saying talk to them.
MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Before the Iraq War, yes. So, what we were coming to America to say to the diplomats and to the government—and to walk with the American people—these problems can be solved without bombing each other, through dialogue, through negotiation. So I came then to America to be part of that process. But, you know, we can campaign against war, against militarism, but until we change our consciousness and our mindsets that we really have to stop killing each other, because we are technological giants, we have a great deal of knowledge—we know how to kill each other, and we can’t undo that knowledge. So what we have to do is really in our own minds decide that we are not going to kill each other.
AMY GOODMAN: You also went to Syria?
MAIREAD MAGUIRE: We went to Syria, and we went to Syria twice. And we went into Syria with a delegation of 40 Iranian peace activists. And the whole message coming out of these countries is: Don’t invade us, don’t occupy us; we can solve our problems through dialogue, through negotiation. Again, it comes back to the thing, if you listen to the news, people would almost despair: "Oh, my god! The world is coming apart. What can we do?" But, you know, we have a wonderful world, and there’s a great deal happening. And the vast majority, 99 percent of people in the world, do not want to kill each other. They have never killed each other. They care for the fact that children are dying in all these countries. But tragically, we seem to be caught in this trajectory that our governments take us to war, and we don’t want to go to war.
MAIREAD MAGUIRE: We want to do it through peace.
AMY GOODMAN: You also were on one of the Gaza flotillas challenging the Israeli blockade against Gaza?
MAIREAD MAGUIRE: Yes, I was, because I passionately believe that there could be peace between Israel and Palestine, if you had the political will to sit down the political leaders and say, "There is a solution to this. Find it." Because going out and bombing women and, increasingly, children on the ground, it is horrific. It’s not acceptable. But I would challenge the American government, because I think the American government’s policies are totally wrong. Their approach of going out to militarism and war and bombing countries is uncivilized, illegal and absolutely dreadful in the 21st century. So I do believe that America has a moral and ethical responsibility to the world to listen, that the people in the world want peace. Everybody has a right to peace. They can do it through dialogue and through negotiation. And let’s give peace a chance.
AMY GOODMAN: Is there a chance? I mean, you have the Obama administration now. Under the Obama administration, more weapons have been sold in the world than under any previous administration. And the highest number, amount of the weapons have been sold to Saudi Arabia. Jody Williams, you’re from the U.S.
JODY WILLIAMS: Of course we can change the world. Sometimes, as Mairead says, when we look at that—when I look at my own country, I’ve been fighting the U.S. foreign policy since Vietnam, my first protest, 1970, University of Vermont. But change is possible. And because I believe, like Mairead, the majority of people of the world are sick to death of this, and we are starting to stand up and say no. We’re starting to challenge and not accept, you know, words out of one side of the face and the actions which are different. You know, I never thought, unfortunately—I didn’t drink the Obama Kool-Aid. That man fired or authorized more drone strikes in the first three months of his administration than George W. Bush did in eight years in office. We have to, as Americans—I agree with her—accept the responsibility that we have the most militaristic nation in the world, and take responsibility to stop it. ...
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria [Reuters
U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with five air strikes from Sunday to Monday morning and conducted 26 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
Four of the strikes in Syria hit targets in Kobani, striking an Islamic State tactical unit, and destroying fighting positions and a heavy machine gun.
The coalition forces also hit eight fighting positions with a strike near Al Hasakah, the military said in a statement on Monday.
In Iraq, eight air strikes near Fallujah destroyed Islamic State fighting positions, mortar tubes, an excavator and a vehicle, and hit seven tactical units.
Seven strikes near Bayji destroyed fighting positions, vehicles, a warehouse and a mortar system, and hit six tactical units. Strikes targeted the Islamic State near Al Asad, Mosul, Ramadi and Tal Afar, as well.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [27/4/15]:
The war and unmanned planes have shelled by missiles and grenades Jubeil ,Shuhada'a ,Nazzal and Sina'i neighbourhood in Fallujah during noon prayer.........
Breaking news: Global agencies:P ersons have been killed and wounded
as a roadside bomb has exploded in Mansour neighbourhood in Baghdad.....
Anbar: Zoba'a Villages paralleled to Dweiliba have bee shelled by planes and violent blasts heard................
Anbar: 8 persons including a child have been killed and 14 wounded due to the random bombing of the government's forces and Hashid militias on Fallujah.......
Saudis continue US-backed airstrikes, Yemen [28/4/15]:
... Yemen is expected to be the focus of a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers Thursday, ahead of a leaders’ summit on May 5.
Residents said warplanes flew between 15 and 20 sorties against Houthi fighters and arms depots in the Al-Dalea provincial capital, Dalea, and the nearby city of Qataba, setting off a chain of explosions that lasted for two more hours.
The latest air raids hit five schools converted by the Houthis into military bases in Ataq, the capital of the southern province of Abyan, military sources said.
The raids killed at least 12 insurgents and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied himself with the northern rebels against the government of President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, the sources said.
Also in Abyan, warplanes targeted rebel positions on the outskirts of Loder, the province’s second largest city, witnesses said. Clashes were ongoing southwest of Loder between rebels and southern forces that have sided with Hadi, they added. Fierce fighting also raged in the central city of Taiz, with the warring parties using tanks and rocket-propelled grenades inside residential areas, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government declared three areas – Aden, Taiz and Dalea – as “disaster” zones, saying there is no electricity or water there and that these cities have run out of fuel, medical supplies and food.
The United Nations says more than 1,000 people have been killed in fighting in Yemen since late March, when Riyadh assembled the coalition in support of Hadi.
“It was difficult enough before, but now there are just no words for how bad it’s gotten,” International Committee of the Red Cross spokeswoman Marie Claire Feghali said. “It’s a catastrophe, a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Yemeni Human Rights Minister Izzedine al-Asbahi agreed.
“The war and its results have turned Yemen back 100 years, due to the destruction of infrastructure ... especially in the provinces of Aden, Dalea and Taiz,” he told a news conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Top Kandahar public health official shot [Pajhwok - 28/4/15]:
Unknown gunmen shot and injured the public health department director for southern Kandahar province on Monday, an official said.
Though provincial officials said the director, Dr. Abdul Qayum Pukhla, had escaped unhurt in the gun attack, a source told Pajhwok Afghan News he received bullets in one hand and one leg.
The attackers on a motorcycle opened fire at Dr. Pukhla in Kandahar City’s Do Rahi area in the jurisdiction of 14th police district at around 8:30pm after he left office for home, said Zia Durrani, the provincial police spokesman.
He said Dr. Pukha was unhurt in the attack. He also said police had cordoned off the area and were trying to arrest the attackers.
The governor’s spokesman, Samim Khpalwak, also said the public health director had escaped unhurt in the attack.
But a source close to Dr. Pukhla told Pajhwok Afghan News the director had sustained bullet injuries in his one hand and one leg. However, he said his injuries were not grave and he was currently under treatment.
There was no word of responsibility for the attack.
NATO Framework Nation Ambassadors Visit Afghanistan [Khaama - 27/4/15]
A UN inquiry has blamed Israeli security forces for seven deadly attacks on UN schools in Gaza that were used as shelters for safety during last year's offensive.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement on Monday that he deplored the attacks that killed at least 44 Palestinians and injured at least 227 others at the UN sites. ... [Al Jazeera - 27/4/15]
Israel invites tenders for more settlement buildings [Al Jazeera - 27/4/15]
Anti-Brutality protesters battle Police and news media in Baltimore [The Intercept - 27/4/15]:
For the second time in five months, an American city erupted in protests and unrest following a police killing of an unarmed black person. On Saturday evening, scores of people took to the streets of Baltimore to protest the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody a fortnight ago.
City officials reported that 31 people were arrested, and a half dozen police officers hurt, after demonstrators clashed with police, destroyed a few cruisers, smashed storefront windows, and ransacked several convenience stores.
Christie Lleto, a reporter with CBS Baltimore, reported breathlessly, “This seems to be the work of a few outside agitators.”
Another anchor on Baltimore’s Fox affiliate actually remarked, “The police have said that outside agitators are responsible for this, so it must be true.”
In fact, according to the mayor, only one of those arrested hailed from outside Baltimore.
But “outside agitator” is an old slur. As Richard Seymour, writing in Jacobin at the height of the Ferguson protests last August, put it, the term “reeks of good old boy vigilantism, the co-mingling of race-baiting and red-baiting that was typical of Southern counter-revolution in the dying days of Jim Crow.” ...
My first Uber lift was in South Carolina. My driver was from Sudan originally, but had emigrated to the US 20 years ago. Being the curious sort, I asked him about his life in Sudan and why he moved. He said that he left when his country had crumbled too far, past the point where a reasonable person could have a reasonable expectation of personal safety, when all institutions had become corrupted making business increasingly difficult. So he left.
Detecting a hitch in his delivery when he spoke of coming to the US, I asked him how he felt about the US now, 20 years later. "To be honest," he said, "the same things I saw in Sudan that led me to leave are happening here now. That saddens me greatly, because where else is there to go?" ... [Rising police aggression a telling indicator of our societal decline - ICH - 27/4/15]
No escape for robbery offender with [police dog] Hondo on the case [QPS Media - 27/4/15]
28 April 2015