You've got the gun, I've got a cigarette
... You got me on the run ...
Brisbane Times [28/8/15]:
A man has surrendered to police ending a three-hour siege south of Brisbane.
The 25-year-old man emerged from a house on the corner of Andella and Omar streets in Woodridge about 10.45pm.
A neighbour said the man was smoking a cigarette when he emerged.
A police spokesman said the man was yet to be charged, and investigations were continuing.
QPS Media [28/8/15]:
Police have declared an emergent situation under the Public Safety Preservation Act (PSPA) following an incident at a residence in Woodridge tonight.
Around 7.30pm tonight police attempted to intercept a vehicle in the Woodridge area.
The occupants of the vehicle failed to stop and police followed the vehicle to an address in Andella Street, Woodridge.
The occupants of the vehicle entered a house in the street and police set-up a cordon around the house.
Four people surrender to police and were taken into custody and one man who is believed to be in possession of a gun is still with in the house.
Police declared an emergent situation at 8.22pm and have sent up a 200 metre radius cordon around the house.
Traffic disruptions are minimal but motorist are urged to avoid the area.
Nearby residents are asked to stay indoors while police respond to the situation.
There is no further information available at this stage.
information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers
anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Hungarian policemen arrest a Syrian migrant family after they entered Hungary at the border with Serbia, near Roszke, Hungary [Reuters - 28/8/15]
... First thing she learns is she's a citizen
Some things they turn out right
When you're under the USA
Someone rings a bell
And it's all over ...
'Day-In Day-Out', David Bowie 
Husband begs Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister for wife's release [Brisbane Times - 28/8/15]:
He has not seen her since authorities took her from Brisbane on August 7 after her asylum claim was rejected.
Ms Shamsalipoor was three months from graduating from Yeronga State High School and had ambitions to become a midwife.
"This is the longest period of being apart from each other; this has been the greatest challenge we both have faced in our lives," a teary Mr Jafari told supporters in a Brisbane park.
"Mojgan and I are in a very bad state ... we are mentally and physically exhausted.
"Mr Dutton, please help me protect my wife."
Ms Shamsalipoor's classmates, teachers and refugee advocates echoed her husband's plea.
School captain Eden Boyd accused Mr Dutton of "hiding behind a veil of silence".
"Mr Dutton, if you are choosing to ignore us, if you think we will disappear, you are in for a shock," she said.
The rally was the third action of the campaign to highlight Ms Shamsalipoor's plight.
Mr Dutton's office did not respond to AAP's requests for comment on Friday.
Ms Shamsalipoor arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 after fleeing sexual abuse and an arranged marriage to a man in his 60s in Iran.
Her asylum claim was rejected last year after she had lived in Australia for two years on a bridging visa.
Australia: Gestapoesque application of immigration laws upon domestic population cancelled after public outcry.
Refugees still being tortured in offshore Guantanamos, onshore concentration camps.
Beautiful scenes of liberation on the streets of Melbourne right now against #BorderForce ...
Image: @ddsSully [28/8/15]
@FFFADmelbourne [28/8/15]: Stop racism now! Shutting down flinders st against the #borderfarce ops.
@FFFADmelbourne [28/8/15]: Students shut down Melbourne against the #borderforce ...
Human Rights Law Centre [28/8/15]:
The Human Rights Law Centre today expressed grave concerns over statements by the newly formed Australian Border Force that they would be stopping individuals in Melbourne’s CBD.
“The comments are deeply concerning. There’s simply no legal justification for Border Force officers to randomly stop people going about their business in Melbourne,” said Hugh de Kretser, the HRLC’s Executive Director.
The ABF said in a statement this morning they would be “positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking to any individual we cross paths with.”
But after numerous concerns were raised, by 2pm, the ABF had issued a “clarifying” statement to say the ABF “does not and will not stop people at random in the streets.”
“The backdown is welcome but the whole incident reinforces concerns around the militarisation of our immigration officials. The comments this morning reflect a disturbing attitude around how the Border Force will conduct itself” said Mr de Kretser.
Victoria Police later called off the entire operation.
“While common sense has prevailed today, the events raise many questions. The legal basis for the entire operation and the sharing of information between police and the Border Force is murky,” said Mr de Kretser.
... What I can tell you (and what every reporter who covers immigration will tell you) is that releases by the ABF and those that are sent to journalists are subject to a remarkable level of scrutiny by the organisation and by the immigration minister’s office. ... Paul Farrell [Guardian - 28/8/15]
Submission 100 Nauru Senate Inquiry:
... I was asked to assist in processing 150 Tamil asylum seekers into the RPC 3. These Tamil asylum seekers were transferred during the night from Australia with no knowledge after being held at sea for an extensive period of time.
The asylum seekers spoke of being roughly handled by staff in Australia, pushed onto planes and sent to Nauru without their knowledge.
Immigration in Australia had attempted to separate families onto planes and this caused upset as they didn’t know where they would be going.
Some Men arrived to RPC1 with no shirts or shoes on, women had no bras on and were wearing oversized clothing and some children had no pants and no underwear on.
When asked what had happened the asylum seekers stated they were in the middle of doing their washing after being held on the boat for so long. Whilst they were doing washing they were forced onto the plane and all their belongings were left behind.
Men stated that their shirts were ripped off their backs and women’s bras were broken when they were man handled to get onto the plane to Nauru. They stated they were scared as they didn’t know where they were going and Australian staff were separating families.
They spoke of trauma from being on the boat where the Australian Navy separated the men women and children, splitting families up. Children were sick on the boat and medical care wasn’t provided.
Only allowed one hour outside their room on the boat per day.
Items being destroyed by Australian Navy
I worked with a family from boat id starting with SGN who stated that all their possessions were destroyed by the Australian Navy on the water. They were transferred to a the Navy boat and were told to leave their belongings behind and they would be transferred later.
The family discussed that once everyone was transferred to the Navy boat the Navy lit the boat with all their belongings on fire.
The family discussed their sadness watching all their life belongings sink to the bottom of the ocean. These belongings included money, passports, photos and clothing.
Tamil asylum seekers not illegally detained at sea: High Court [SBS - 28/1/15]
... HESTA, which sold $23 million worth of shares based on concern Transfield's financial value was at risk, said an information blackout made assessing the risk difficult.
The board of NGS Super last week agreed to dump $5.5 million in Transfield shares. The fund's chief executive, Anthony Rodwell-Ball, said the divestment decision was made on moral grounds but could be justified on economic grounds.
This was because NGS "will actively seek replacement sources of earnings and growth in the market, such that our members' retirement outcomes will not be prejudiced by the decision". ... [Australian Financial Review - 28/8/15]
More expats face charges on Manus Island - if they return
PNG Loop [28/8/15]:
The two expatriates involved in the car accident on Wednesday night in Lorengau will be facing charges once they return back into the country.
Police say that both men will face charges of dinking under the influence while driving.
The incident occurred at around 9:30pm when the two were returning from a night out at a hotel in town.
They were making their way back to Lombrum.
Manus Police Commander Alex N’Drasel says the two men were speeding at the time of the crash which occurred on the left hand side of the Lolak bridge.
He said the car was badly smashed as a result of the intensity of the crash.
The two men who were engaged with a contract company at the asylum center are from New Zealand and the United Kingdom respectively but are both now residing in Australia.
Police were alerted by the nearby locals to attend to the two men.
They were airlifted for treatment in Australia late yesterday afternoon.
Vassiliki Thanou: Greece’s first female Prime Minister to take the country to elections
Keep Talking Greece [27/8/15]:
For the first time in its history, Greece will have a female Prime Minister, albeit PM in an interim government.
After fruitless negotiations to form a new coalition government following PM Tsipras resignation, the President of the Republic named Vassiliki Thanou, top judge of the Supreme to form a caretaker government and lead the country to the early elections next month.
Vassiliki Thanou is considered as “an anti-austerity advocate who has argued against wage cuts for judges and court officials,” due to her role as President of the Greek Association of Judges and Prosecutors (SAD), a position she has been holding since 2012.
She will be sworn in as the country’s first female prime minister at 8 p.m. local time today Thursday.
Thanou is expected to announce the members of her interim government on Friday, the new cabinet will be sworn in on the same day. Several names have been leaked to the press as candidates for the interim government’s top positions, the name of Chouliarakis has been mentioned as Finance Minister.
Giorgos Chouliarakis was member of Tsipras’ negotiation team with the creditors.
Varoufakis in conversation with leading academics as Syriza splinters and election beckons in Greece [The Conversation - 27/8/15]
Newly revealed documents show the US pressuring other countries to arrest and extradite Edward Snowden [NRK - 27/8/15]
2 French journalists held for 'attempted blackmail of Morocco king' [Ahram – 27/8/15]
Police blocked off parts of the Malaysian capital as thousands of protesters prepared to descend on the city for a weekend rally demanding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s resignation.
The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, or Bersih, expects about 200,000 people to demonstrate in Kuala Lumpur in its third major protest since Najib came to power in 2009.
Police have deemed the gathering illegal and around 4,000 of them will be deployed. ... [Malay Mail Online - 28/8/15]
Malaysia blocks Bersih rally websites [The Straits Times - 27/8/15]
In Guatemala, a judge has ordered that former Vice President Roxana Baldetti must remain in prison while her corruption trial takes place.
The ruling comes on the heels of the Guatemalan Supreme Court’s decision Tuesday to lift the immunity from prosecution for President Otto Pérez Molina, clearing the way for his impeachment.
The court passed the impeachment recommendation along to Congress.
A general strike has been called in Guatemala for today.
We are joined by Allan Nairn, longtime journalist who has covered Guatemala since the 1980s. ... [Democracy Now - 27/8/15]
Urging end to ‘delaying' tactics, UN rights experts call for fairness in Guatemala’s genocide trial [Media Release - 27/8/15]
Several international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have called on the Bahraini regime to immediately release human rights activist, Abduljalil al-Singace, who has been on hunger strike for the past 160 days.
On Thursday, a total of 41 NGOs called on the international community, the United States and the European Union in particular, to press the Al Khalifa regime for Singace’s freedom.
The appeal for the release of the 53-year-old Bahraini activist comes as some other rights organizations, among them the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) and Index on Censorship, have called for actions to be taken regarding Singace’s case and an end to human rights abuses in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom. ... [Press TV - 27/8/15]
National campaign begins to reject Blair-Hamas 'temporary state solution' [Maan - 27/8/15]
Dozens of Palestinians protested Thursday in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran near the town of Hura in the Negev, as Israel's construction of a Jewish town on the village's land continues, local sources said.
The Umm al-Hiran community -- around 700 strong -- is unrecognized by the Israeli government and residents' lands were claimed by the state in 2013 in order to make way for the expansion of the Beersheba metropolitan area.
As a march set off from the village and moved towards the site of construction, protesters said they were able to force Israeli police to remove the bulldozers from the area.
Leaders and members of national and Islamic parties, Palestinian members of the Knesset, members of committees for Palestinians in the Negev, and Jewish-Israelis took part in the march. ... [Maan - 27/8/15]
NATO stages huge airborne drill in Europe, says 'acting in purely defensive manner' [RT - 27/8/15]
The Ukrainian artillery bombardment of the settlement of Alexandrovka in Donetsk on Wednesday evening has left three people wounded, the Donetsk Mayor’s Office said on Thursday. ... [TASS - 27/8/15]
An older couple died and younger two family members were wounded seriously in a shooting Thursday, authorities said.
The 50-year-old gunman, whose estranged wife is in critical condition at a local hospital, followed her to the parking lot of the Social Security office, confronting her and the others before shooting them. She likely had moved the 330-plus miles Garden Grove, Calif., to Salinas to get away from her husband, police said. ... [USA Today - 27/8/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [27/8/15]:
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.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted four airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Al Hawl, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker complex, three ISIL bunkers and an ISIL excavator.
-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 21 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Beiji, five airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, three ISIL small tactical units, denying ISIL an avenue of approach and destroying 19 ISIL buildings, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL mortar tube and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Kisik, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL checkpoints and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings, two ISIL weapons caches and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL small tactical units and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun and three ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tuz, six airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, two ISIL small tactical units and three ISIL staging areas and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [27/8/15]:
Nineveh: The alliance airforce shells separated areas in Mosul................
Baghdad: News agencies: 6 persons were either killed or wounded as a roadside bomb exploded in Hurriya area north-west of Baghdad..................................
Syria approves visas for UN staff [Naharnet - 27/8/15]
... "His visit underscores the importance of the strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday aboard Air Force One, adding that the talks would be aimed a strengthening ties. ... Saudi King Salman to meet with Obama Sept. 4: White House [Ahram - 27/8/15]
Human Rights Watch has accused Saudi-led coalition forces of using cluster bombs that are illegal under international law in its conflict with Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In a statement released on Wednesday, HRW said the coalition troops used cluster munition rockets in at least seven attacks between April and July in Yemen's northwestern Hajja governorate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians. ... [Al Jazeera - 27/8/15]
Saudi Arabia’s ground troops have entered Yemen’s northern territories to counter growing retaliatory attacks by Yemeni forces on Saudi soil, a military official says.
Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, a Saudi military spokesperson, said on Wednesday that the Saudi troops have pushed their way into the northern Yemeni regions which overlook the southwestern Saudi province of Jizan.
Assiri further noted that the Saudi soldiers have taken some areas under their control in the invasion. ... [Press TV - 27/8/15]
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee [AJSC] records 39 cases of threats, violence against journalists [Pajhwok - 27/8/15]
At least 35 Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) soldiers were reportedly killed and nearly 60 wounded in a Taliban attack on Musa Qala district of Helmand province, officials confirmed Thursday. ... [TOLO News - 27/8/15]
UNHCR facilitates the return of 51,000 Afghans refugees from Pakistan [Media Release - 27/8/15]
Clashes in Central African Republic force thousands to seek refuge at UN peacekeeping base [Media Release - 27/8/15]
Yesterday, 52 people suffocated on a boat. Today, 50 people suffocated in a truck. European policies are responsible.
"tweeted" by @MSF_Sea [27/8/15]
Another 1,400 refugees rescued off Libya, 52 found dead [Yahoo - 28/8/15]
A Swedish coastguard ship docked at the Sicilian port of Palermo on Thursday carrying more than 570 migrants and the bodies of 52 people, officials said.
The Italian coast guard said it had rescued around 1,400 people off the coast of Libya on Thursday, a day after it pulled another 3,000 to safety from the same area.
Italian media said a refrigerated lorry was waiting at the dock to take away the bodies for examination by forensic experts.
Palermo's prosecutor opened a murder inquiry similar to that launched by Catania earlier this month after the discovery of 49 bodies in the hold of another packed fishing boat.
Shortly after the bodies were brought ashore, Libya's coast guard announced that another boat, carrying around 200 migrants, had capsized off the country's coast.
At least 10 people drowned in that incident.
The search for survivors was ongoing.
Swedish officials said the Poseidon coastguard vessel had rescued 130 people Wednesday from a rubber dinghy and another 442 people from a wooden boat found drifting off the Libyan coast.
They said 52 people had been found dead in the hold of the wooden boat.
Many of the bodies found were at the bottom of the hold, lying face down in water, while other bodies were underneath them, completely submerged, Dr Simon Bryant told AFP.
He said only one survivor was pulled unconscious from the hold and flown to an Italian hospital for treatment. ...
As many as 50 refugees were found dead in a parked truck in eastern Austria on Thursday, the Krone newspaper reported, saying initial indications were that they suffocated.
An interior ministry spokesman confirmed that a tractor trailer had been found on a motorway by the town of Parndorf.
"Unfortunately there are many dead people in there," he added, but said he did not have an exact number of the people involved, who he described as refugees. ... [Reuters - 27/8/15]
Refugees expose Europe’s lack of decency [The Automatic Earth - 27/8/15]:
… Do you even know what “a life” is anymore, either yours or that of someone else? Have you ever known? A life means caring about other people. A life is not trying to make sure your own ass can sit as pretty as it can.
As for finding a solution to the refugee issue, Europe has done nothing to find one. The EU still wants the problem to just go away, and it wants the refugees to just go away. But it won’t and they won’t.
Yes, we have a mass migration on our hands. And these are invariably hard to deal with. But our first priority should always be to approach the people involved with decency and compassion. And that is not happening. We are approaching them with the opposite of decency. With stun grenades and police dogs. And with misleading terminology such as ‘migrants’.
The EU doesn’t seem to have any idea what’s causing the wave of refugees entering ‘its’ territory. When the refugees themselves state “we’re here because you destroyed our countries”, Brussels will simply say that is not true. That kind of admission is way beyond the consciousness of the ‘leadership’. But it’s a denial that won’t get them anywhere.
... Conflating refugees and migrants can have serious consequences for the lives and safety of refugees. Blurring the two terms takes attention away from the specific legal protections refugees require. It can undermine public support for refugees and the institution of asylum at a time when more refugees need such protection than ever before. We need to treat all human beings with respect and dignity. We need to ensure that the human rights of migrants are respected. At the same time, we also need to provide an appropriate legal response for refugees, because of their particular predicament. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 27/8/15]
Refugees vulnerable in South East Asia as global displaced hits record high [Channel News Asia - 22/8/15]
Time to reign in corporate colonisation, Nathan Willis [30/1/15]:
... My thoughts on the topic are informed by my own research in Rakhine State, Myanmar, where the following facts are notable:
1. the Australian company, Woodside Petroleum, has an interest in gas reserves off the coast of Rakhine state;
2. a gas and oil pipeline has been laid from that location to Yunnan province in China;
3. gas has begun flowing through this pipeline;
4. land has been confiscated from local communities in order to facilitate this process; and
5. Rohingya refugees are fleeing the region. While the violence that they are fleeing is traced by most commentators to ethnic and religious conflicts, these conflicts have been fuelled by the land confiscations just mentioned. A further fact worth noting is that many of these refugees are now incarcerated in detention centres such as Manus Island that are run under agreement with the Australian government and at great expense to the Australian people.
Are we observing criminal behaviour, or activity that constitutes a serious breach of human rights, in this case? While many individuals along with corporate interests are profiting from the gas and oil pipeline that runs through Rakhine State, it is premature at this point to conclude that their investment in Myanmar in itself amounts to criminal behaviour.
A malevolent political and media establishment - along with the silence of regional human rights groups - is invisibilising refugees in South East Asia.
... So, how did it happen that the military of a government- accused by Human Rights Watch of Crimes against Humanity and ethnic cleansing of Rohingya -should be considered an appropriate body to “rescue” the very same people fleeing their persecution? ...
The trafficking of stateless Rohingya: A problem of organised crime or state crime? Natalie Brinham [London International Development Centre - 27/8/15]:
... The risk of mass violence against the Rohingya and other Muslims in Rakhine State is increasing ahead of Myanmar’s scheduled elections in November, with the intensification of the de-nationalisation process and the enacting of more discriminatory laws.
If lessons from the past are learnt, there is one sure way to increase the risk of a situation of ethnic cleansing turning into one of mass killing - and that is to shut off escape routes.
Of course the killing, torture, rape and extortion of Rohingya on route to a safe country should never be allowed to go unprosecuted. However, there are real risks that come with prosecuting traffickers when the result is to close escape routes.
When anti-trafficking frameworks in the region do not provide adequate protections for victims and when organised crime is tackled without addressing the root causes of displacement - namely persecution - it is the victims that pay the ultimate price, not the traffickers.
Rohingya children arrested in Yangon [Burma Times - 28/8/15]
Myanmar monk wants “descendants of foreigners” banned from poll [Turkish Weekly - 26/8/15]
Volunteers in Toronto joined forces on Thursday to help a local humanitarian organization's efforts in Myanmar.
More than 80 volunteers responded to GlobalMedic's request to assemble and pack more than 2,000 household water purification and hygiene kits. ... [CBC - 27/8/15]
Rohingyas in one of the worst flood hit regions in the country have been blockaded and prevented access outside their neighbourhood. As a result of the blockade imposed by security forces and Rakhine miscreants, Rohingyas from Mamra are cut off from essential supplies and livelihood options.
Already three infant children have died as their parents were prevented from leaving the area in search of treatment from informal doctors or chartable organisations. Mainstream clinics do not provide treatment for Rohingya Muslims. ... [Burma Times - 27/8/15]
Australia's protected and unaccountable "Border Force" work with Victorian Police to expand racial profiling pogram strategy to Melbourne's CBD.
Your papers please.
Media Release [28/8/15]:
This weekend Australian Border Force (ABF) officers will for the first time join forces with a diverse team of transport and enforcement agencies to target crime in the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) as part of Operation Fortitude.
Tonight and tomorrow evening (Friday 28 and Saturday 29 August 2015) Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, the Sheriff’s Office, Taxi Services Commission and the ABF will join Victoria Police as part of the inter-agency operation.
With a particular focus on people travelling to, from and around the CBD, the group of agencies will work together to support the best interests of Melbournians, targeting everything from anti-social behaviour to outstanding warrants.
ABF Regional Commander Victoria and Tasmania, Don Smith, is proud the ABF will be participating in the operation.
“While the ABF regularly conducts a range of compliance field-work, this is the first time we’ve been involved in an inter-agency operation of this nature and we’re very proud be able to support each of our organisations to achieve our common mission of promoting a secure and cohesive society here in Melbourne.”
“ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with,” Mr Smith said.
“You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out.”
The inter-agency outfit will continue to work together on an ongoing basis to target crime in and around the Melbourne CBD to make the city a safer place for everyone.
Public transport officers used excessive force to detain teenage girl: Ombudsman [The Age - 12/2/15]
28 August 2015