The Supreme Court Chief Justice’s father has been kidnapped by unidentified men in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, an official said on Monday.
Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News that CJ Syed Yousuf Halim’s 90 years old father Syed Hassan was kidnapped last week. ... [Pajhwok - 28/3/16]
Two border policemen killed in Balkh roadside mine blast [TOLO News - 28/3/16]
Insurgents fired off three rockets at the new Afghan parliament building in Darul Aman in Kabul on Monday morning.
TOLOnews reporter, Mirabed Joyenda, who was at the scene at the time of the attack said one of the rockets hit the parliament building, another fell inside the yard and the third one landed near the building.
The rocket attack took place while senior officials from the country's security agencies were in parliament answering questions.
Officials from the Interior and Defense ministries and the National Directorate of Security (NDS) were present at the time.
No casualties were reported and the parliament session continued as usual. [TOLO News - 28/3/16]
... The Parliament building, built with Indian aid, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December last year. ... [NDTV - 28/3/16]
Saudi-led coalition announces Yemen prisoner swap [Al Jazeera - 28/3/16]
Saudi Arabia stages fresh airstrikes against Yemen [VIDEO - Press TV - 27/3/16]
South African President Jacob Zuma called for strengthening his
country's economic ties with Saudi Arabia, during a visit to the kingdom on
Sunday. ... [Naharnet
@mehdirhasan [25/3/16]: I asked the Saudi ambassador to the UN why he supports democracy in Syria but not in Saudi Arabia - @AJUpFront clip ....
Dozens killed in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast: Sources [Ahram - 28/3/16]
U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday doubled down on his criticism of NATO, a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy for decades, and called for the alliance's overhaul days before world leaders convene in Washington.
President Barack Obama will host the Nuclear Security Summit on Thursday and Friday with 56 delegations in attendance.
While preventing nuclear terrorism will headline the discussions, Trump's views could be a topic as well, particularly behind the scenes.
"NATO is obsolete," Trump said on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
The 28-country North Atlantic Treaty Organization was set up in a different era, Trump said, when the main threat to the West was the Soviet Union. It was ill-suited to fighting terrorism and cost the United States too much, he added. "
We should readjust NATO ... it can be trimmed up and it can be, uh, it can be reconfigured and you can call it NATO, but it's going to be changed," he said. ... [Reuters - 28/3/16]
Three Russian strike helicopters, aircrew leave Hmeimim airbase in Syria [TASS - 28/3/16]
Top ISIS leader killed by US. Not the first time we've killed him, either [Boing Boing - 25/3/16]
The village of Al-Asriya, south of Baghdad, prepared Saturday to bury its sons, killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up after a football tournament.
"There are 32 dead and also 84 wounded, 12 of whom are in critical condition," an official in Babil province health directorate told AFP.
"Seventeen of those killed are boys aged between 10 and 16," the official said. ... [Astro Awani - 26/3/16]
Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [27/3/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack and ground-attack aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria:
-- Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mar’a, a strike destroyed six ISIL fighting positions.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Baghdadi, three strikes struck an ISIL staging facility.
-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position and two ISIL tactical units, and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL security headquarters and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes suppressed an ISIL rocket firing position and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed three ISIL assembly areas and suppressed two ISIL mortar positions, an ISIL surface-to-air firing position, and an ISIL tactical unit.
@ItalianNavy [27/3/16]: Oggi #sar Recuperati 730 Migranti da CP940-941,Nave Aliseo e Grecale #Marinamilitare con #MareSicuro hanno fornito la cornice di #Sicurezza
@ItalianNavy [27/3/16]: #MarinaMilitare Nave Aliseo e Grecale #MareSicuro hanno fornito cornice #Sicurezza. ...
@guardiacostiera [27/3/16]: #CanalediSicilia:#CentraleOperativa #GuardiaCostiera coordina soccorsi:#NaveDiciotti salva 627 #migranti su 5gommoni
@Voicesonsite [26/3/16]: Un niño en campo d detención en #Chios intenta romper la verja con cuchillo d plástico.Por: @blidfinnur #WeDenounce
DAY 9 Protesting. Locked in the hell hole camp Nauru. Human Rights where are you?
"tweeted" by @childrennauru - Free The Children Nauru [28/3/16]
A group of villagers from Panama staged a demonstration against the Sri Lankan military on Sunday, demanding the return of their land.
The land in Amparai has been occupied by the military, and is reportedly earmarked for the construction of hotels. [Tamil Guardian - 28/3/16]
US Navy's 7th fleet flag ship "Blue Ridge" docks in Colombo [Tamil Guardian - 27/3/16]
China, Vietnam vow to boost military ties during 3-day visit by Defense Minister [South China Morning Post - 28/3/16]
Japan on Monday switched on a radar station in the East China Sea, giving it a permanent intelligence gathering post close to Taiwan and a group of islands disputed by Japan and China, drawing an angry response from Beijing.
The new Self Defence Force base on the island of Yonaguni is at the western extreme of a string of Japanese islands in the East China Sea, 150 km (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
China has raised concerns with its neighbors and in the West with its assertive claim to most of the South China Sea where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.
Japan has long been mired in a territorial dispute with China over the East China Sea islands. ... [Reuters - 28/3/16]
Japan concerned over possible set-up of Russian Pacific Fleet base [TASS - 28/3/16]
The Balikatan joint military drills are not directed to any country despite China's aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, a military official clarified on Monday.
Balikatan 2016 Assistant Exercise Director Maj. Gen. Rodolfo Santiago said that China should not be threatened by the Balikatan exercises between American and Filipino troops. ... [Philstar - 28/3/16]
Malaysia yesterday indicated its reluctance to escalate tensions near the South China Sea over dozens of allegedly Chinese fishing boats found in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). ... [The Straits Times - 28/3/16]
A Cambodian-American man was sentenced to 18 years in jail in Alaska on Thursday for attempting to sexually exploit children in Cambodia and attempting to arrange a child-sex tourism trip, according to a statement released by the U.S. Justice Department on Friday.
Jason Jayavarman, 45, of Anchorage, was convicted of the crimes in March last year. ... [Cambodia Daily - 28/3/16]
Detectives have charged a man with attempted murder after he allegedly drugged a woman and attempted to suffocate her at home north of Brisbane.
The man is accused of giving the woman a drug at a home in Warner before trying to smother her on Saturday night, police said.
The woman, who is known to the man, managed to escape and raise the alarm at a home nearby.
A 41-year-old man has been charged with one count each of attempted murder and administering a stupefying drug with intent to commit an indictable offence and is expected to front Maroochydore Magistrates Court on Monday. [Brisbane Times - 28/3/16]
A man accused of killing his housemate in a violent argument acted in self-defence and suffered defensive wounds in the fight, a Brisbane court has heard.
Aaron Llewellyn Jones, 28, is accused of the manslaughter of his 30-year-old flatmate, Joel Russell Charlesworth, at a Murarrie home just before midnight on Saturday.
Mr Jones fronted the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday, looking tense and emotional.
It will be alleged he put Mr Charlesworth in a headlock at least twice before he developed breathing problems and died.
But Mr Jones's lawyer, Tim Clements, said his client had suffered significant defensive injuries including a torn ear lobe, and injuries to his forehead and limbs. ... [Brisbane Times - 28/3/16]
Four Queensland police officers injured in separate incidents over Easter [Brisbane Times - 28/3/16]
Gold Coast police chopper spotlighting along the length of the Surfers Paradise Hilton in the middle of the night for seemingly no apparent reason. [VIDEO - 25/3/16]
Another dangerous, resource-wasting, class and race-based police pursuit, Logan [Yahoo - 28/3/16]
A man has allegedly punched another man in the face during an early morning argument outside a kebab shop in Brisbane's CBD.
Police say the 23-year-old pushed another man, 28, to the ground before delivering several blows to his head in the early hours of Monday morning.
He will face two charges including assault occasioning bodily harm in Brisbane Magistrates Court on April 12. [Yahoo - 28/3/16]
Police are investigating the suspected arson of a Bracken Ridge home last night. ... [QPS Media - 28/3/16]
A man facing serious explosives and weapons charges has been remanded in custody after appearing in a Brisbane court.
Daniel Fing, 32, faced the Roma Street Magistrate's Court today after being extradited from New South Wales.
Fing did not apply for bail. He is due back in court on April 18.
In 2014, police declared an emergency when stockpiles of chemicals and suspicious items were found at a Pullenvale house, west of Brisbane.
Fing was a former resident of the home, where 50 kilograms of explosive material was found.
It sparked a week-long police operation with the bomb squad carrying out controlled detonations on the property. [ABC - 26/3/16]
Queensland government continues disincentivising public transport use [Brisbane Times - 27/3/16]
Police are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle traffic crash in Fortitude Valley this evening.
Initial investigations indicate around 6:40pm, a vehicle struck a pedestrian on the Ann Street on-ramp to the Story Bridge.
A 47-year-old man from Margate was transported to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a serious condition for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the vehicle was not injured during the incident.
The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating. Investigators are appealing for anyone who may have been travelling southbound on the Story Bridge at around 6:40pm to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. ... [QPS Media - 26/3/16]
Queensland tradie has $596m in bank, court told
[Brisbane Times - 26/3/16]:
A Tewantin tradie could not explain to the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Saturday morning how he acquired a $596 million bank account, with another $1.56 billion worth of property.
Phillip Johnathan Harrison, 29, a carpenter-brick layer, of Tewantin, was charged with seven offences including possession of various drugs including ice and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Sean Francis said Harrison had a "relatively significant quantity" of methamphetamines and MDMA powder when he was intercepted. Police observed some aberrant behaviour and apparent delusional thoughts.
The court heard that Harrison told police that he was worth $12billion and the government was after him when they caught him driving a luxury sports car that he claimed was "given to him".
"It's one of the most bizarre cases I have ever come across," duty solicitor Nick Hanly told Magistrate Anthony Gett who was trying to determine whether Harrison needed a mental health assessment or bail.
Asking for bail, Mr Hanly suggested that Harrison appeared to have the financial means to substantiate his claims.
Mr Hanly said he saw Harrison's bank account details after logging into the Commonwealth Bank website with Harrison's username and password.
However, Harrison claimed that various confidentiality obligations prevented him from explaining the origins of his wealth.
"Now, given the context of his apparent vast wealth, this doesn't appear so delusional," the duty solicitor said.
Harrison had been consuming ice because of personal turmoil over a relationship breakdown with the mother of his two-year-old daughter.
"He did not make any attempt to run and he was not trying to hide the drugs or evade police," the solicitor told the court.
"My instructions are that the car was given to him."
Harrison given bail on the condition that he surrender his passport and the matter was adjourned to April 18.
WA Parliament announces inquiry into Aboriginal youth suicide rate [WA Today - 28/3/16]
There are concerns for the safety of two young Aboriginal children who have become serial runaways from a Western Australia residential facility for children in care.
The children, aged four and seven, have absconded from the family group home in the town of Newman, more than 1,000 kilometres north of Perth, three times in the past fortnight. ... [ABC - 27/3/16]
Victims of some of the worst sexual abuse perpetrated by the Catholic Church are being denied access to a vast archive of clergy crime, as the church continues to ensure the offending is kept secret, despite the files being handed over to the Royal Commission.
The nearly 2000 files – which include evidence about at least 63 offenders – have been amassed by the church's insurers, but the church appears intent on paying millions of dollars in victims compensation settlements to ensure the documents are not made public. ... [The Age - 28/3/16]
Does it worry the AMA - and other professional organisations - that Australians are losing trust in a health system that so obviously prioritises profit over patient care and ethics?
MSF protest in Greece boosts calls for Australian refugee concentration camp boycott [Canberra Times - 28/3/16]:
A decision by international aid group Doctors Without Borders to pull medical care from a Greek refugee camp shows a doctor boycott of Australian detention centres would be ethically justified, a Queensland doctor says.
Doctors Without Borders, also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, announced last week it has suspended work at the Moria refugee centre on the Greek island of Lesbos in protest over a European Union plan to force refugees who land in Greece to return to Turkey.
Other international organisations including the UNHCR and Save the Children have also reportedly halted their logistical and aid programs at Greek Island refugee camps, saying they want no part in a system of detention and deportation. [Not in Australia.]
MSF spokeswoman Marie Elisabeth Ingres said it took the difficult decision because "continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider to be both unfair and inhumane".
Those advocating a doctor boycott of Australian detention centres also argue that doing otherwise lends credibility to an inhumane regime.
Queensland GP and refugee advocate John-Paul Sanggaran, who has worked at the Christmas Island detention centre, said MSF's decision showed "what it means to have integrity and act in accordance with medical ethics".
"MSF refuses to be complicit with a system that does not respect human rights and cynically prevents people from claiming asylum," he said.
"We should possess the integrity and fortitude to act in kind."
The issue of doctor boycotts of Australian detention centres was debated on the international stage last week, in an article in the prestigious British Medical Journal.
David Berger, district medical officer in emergency medicine at Broome Hospital, argued that Australia's treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, including mandatory detention of children on foreign islands, was "inhumane".
"Doctors cannot work ethically within the present system ... however compassionate their intentions, doctors who treat people who have been tortured and then acquiesce in the continuation of torture are supporting torture," he wrote.
Dr Berger said there was strong evidence that the immigration detention regime delivered "very substandard healthcare" and "no matter how well meaning, doctors risk being corrupted by an immoral system".
He said doctors and healthcare professionals should still offer to provide healthcare to immigration detainees, if conditions inside detention improved - including opening the facilities to scrutiny.
Immigration Department chief Michael Pezzullo has previously rejected suggestions of "torture" in detention centres as offensive and wrong. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says medical care in detention centres is adequate and hospital facilities at Nauru are better than some found in regional Australia.
Also writing in the British Medical Journal, Steven H. Miles, Maas Family Foundation chair in bioethics at the University of Minnesota, said doctors should not walk away from Australia's detention centres despite being "rightfully shamed and angered by the flagrant abuses being committed by their government".
"Rather than standing down from their posts, Australian physicians should rise to their duties of station," he wrote, adding a boycott would deny adequate care to "desperately undeserved" detainees.
He said the Australian Medical Association should help frontline clinicians to "transmit reports, pictures, and data through encrypted and anonymous web channels to international human rights organisations".
It should also establish a legal fund to defend any doctor prosecuted under laws preventing detention centre workers from discussing the conditions inside, he said.
The government says the laws apply to many Commonwealth agencies and do not mean that doctors who speak out risk being jailed.
The “patients first” argument, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran [The Guardian - 5/3/16]:
... This argument puts forward that the clinicians’ duty is to attend to the patient first. That is, they should provide care irrespective of the circumstances and this act is in and of itself a justification for working in immigration detention.
It is important to consider that health care staff are not functioning in a humanitarian role at present, they are well remunerated – a recent position for a doctor working on Nauru was offering $13,000 a week.
This unfortunately lends credence to accusations of profiteering.
Certainly no one can criticise an individual clinician for doing their best to deliver care to a patient at any single point, this is however a particularly myopic assessment.
Any acts of care cannot justify maintaining a system of suffering.
By providing labour for this system, you are in effect part of it, whatever rationalisation used to excuse this fact.
One must consider the patients’ best interests.
Does it in fact serve a patient’s best interests to provide the documented substandard care?
Or is the patient better served by the withdrawal of medical services so that the pretence of care is not maintained?
Brisbane Times [18/2/16]:
"Public numbing and indifference" towards state abuses in Nazi Germany resembles that enabling Australia's immigration detention centres, a prominent psychiatrist says, also likening public complicity in the detention regime to the White Australia policy.
On Thursday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, in Washington to discuss border protection at a Five Country ministerial meeting, repeated the Turnbull government's insistence that asylum seekers and refugees in Australia for medical care, and their families, would be returned to Nauru once their treatment has finished.
"The government has been consistent all along in relation to our strong stance to make sure we keep our borders secure," he said.
In a paper published in the Australasian Psychiatry journal this month, Dr Michael Dudley, a psychiatrist at Sydney Children's Hospital and a senior University of NSW lecturer, wrote that prolonged immigration detention shows "reckless indifference and calculated cruelty".
Such policies misuse health and welfare professionals to "underwrite state abuses and promote public numbing and indifference resembling other state abuses," he said, citing the so-called "war on terror" and, with qualification, Nazi Germany.
Dr Dudley said various modern states have purported to protect citizens by identifying security threats, targeting "undesirables" and eliminating public scrutiny.
"Australians may be psychically numbed about boat interceptions and gulags, but cannot claim ignorance," he wrote.
He later told Fairfax Media that the Nazi regime relied on an underlying ideological commitment in which "the end is seen as justifying the means".
"We haven't seen Nazi death camps in Australia … but we have had some pretty extraordinary policies historically in this country, which include policies towards indigenous people.
"I think White Australia has links to our current policies towards boat people in our unwillingness to systematically think about this issue, to contemplate alternatives."
He said like gulags, detention centres were "places out of sight, out of mind where terrible things are happening and we are assuming the state is looking after us".
In the journal, Dr Dudley said health and welfare workers who assisted the Nazi regime were usually ordinary people motivated by "peer and situational pressures, careerism and ideological commitments", and that "euphemism, bureaucratic routines and missionary zeal facilitated psychic numbing and denial".
He called for the healthcare of asylum seekers to be transferred from the immigration bureaucracy to state and federal health departments to strengthen clinical independence and help uphold ethical codes.
Dr Dudley said health professionals working in the detention regime were "lending credibility to abuses", whether deliberately or inadvertently.
His comments came as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists on Thursday released new guidelines for those working in immigration detention.
It includes a statement that advocating against policies that harm mental health is a "non-partisan activity integral to delivering quality healthcare".
A spokesman for Mr Dutton said the government had a "compassionate approach toward vulnerable people, but our hardline against people smugglers remains resolute. We are not going to allow the deaths at sea to recommence." <--- He is able to continue getting away with lying because the "opposition" would be worse, and the Greens and human rights organisations are pissweak, neocon apologists.
Keep singling out Abbott and giving him the attention he craves.
ALL Australian politicians involved in stopping people from seeking asylum are bound for The Hague.
Turkey detains Rohingya refugees trying to reach Greece [Relief Web - 27/3/16]:
The Turkish coastguard on Sunday stopped five boats carrying dozens of migrants, mostly from Myanmar, who were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, local media reported.
A coastguard vessel spotted the boats about four miles off the shore of Dikili town in Izmir province as they tried to reach Lesbos, the private Dogan news agency reported.
The coastguard stopped the boats and took the migrants back to shore where they were handed over to the police.
Most of them were from Myanmar.
"There is a planned massacre against Muslims in the country we live," one of the migrants told Dogan, saying the combination of danger and poverty had forced them to leave.
His remarks suggested they were members of Myanmar's Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority which has been targeted by violent attacks and state-sanctioned discrimination in the Buddhist-majority state, earning them a reputation as one of the world's most persecuted peoples.
Pope's Easter address urges people to offer "welcome and assistance" to those fleeing war and poverty [Yahoo - 27/3/16]:
Pope Francis on Sunday spoke out against the "rejection" of refugees as the European migrant crisis saw its latest desperate scenes on the Greek border with Macedonia.
The pontiff used his Easter address to urge people to offer "welcome and assistance" to those fleeing war and poverty, as Europe struggles with its worst migration crisis since World War II.
Countries along Europe's "Balkan route" have toughened their stance on migrants in recent weeks, closing their borders to those seeking to transit in search of a better life in the continent's wealthier northern states.
The shutdown has led to a bottleneck at the Greece-Macedonia frontier, where the Greek authorities have been trying to evacuate an estimated 11,500 people stranded at the squalid Idomeni camp.
But on Sunday, dozens of migrants who had left, rushed back to the camp following a rumour that journalists and Red Cross officials would help them force their way across the fence into Macedonia.
... the recent closure of the Balkan route has left around 50,000 migrants stuck in Greece.
In Idomeni, about 300 people gathered by the border fence, singing and shouting slogans, an AFP correspondent said, in a largely peaceful demonstration watched by Greek riot police.
Some in the crowd attempted to move towards the police line but were blocked by others who formed a human chain, the correspondent said.
As the border with Macedonia remained sealed, calm returned to the camp on Sunday afternoon and Greek authorities resumed transporting migrants away from Idomeni to other centres.
Libya coastguard detains 600 refugees attempting to cross Mediterranean [Yahoo - 27/3/16]
... It has not been revealed were the detained migrants were taken. [Libya Herald - 27/3/16]
@MSF_Sea [26/3/16]: In #Samos ~400 #people are detained. Communication is attrocious. None have yet been able to claim asylum.
"Resilience" IS futile.
Unless you wish to be complicit in torture, RESIST AND BOYCOTT.
The Conversation [22/3/16]:
... Building resilience can truly be a creative act of survival. Every week I work with people who have lived through all manner of terrible things. Part of our work together always involves strategies to stretch to bear the unbearable. How to exist with untimely death, violence, trauma and abuse of all kinds and still keep living with some vibrancy and direction. How not to be broken by what has happened.
But there is a second, crucial part to supporting people’s internal flexibility; the development of a capacity to refuse to squander energy and personal resources on the people, communities and institutions that are draining them. Without this step, the environment remains unchanged and unchallenged, and the conditions that often unfairly demand their disciplined attention to shoring themselves up, continue to flourish.
The best example I have of this second step is in my supervision of counsellors who have worked in our detention centres. Some of this supervision is by necessity education in resilience building. They have to survive the experience after all. But it is not enough to survive, and it’s arguably impossible in the long term.
The next step is always to speak, to challenge and to refuse to participate again. Resilience is always a circular relationship, a looping interaction between the individual and their environment, each affecting and changing the other.
When we keep training the same people to withstand the same pressures, how to manage the increasing stress of the workplace, the pain and fear of war, the inequality of the schoolyard, we simply reinforce the same systems that cause the same distress in a never ending and self-perpetuating cycle. And it’s always the same people who are being asked to take better care of themselves, needing to become more and more flexible as the pressures mount.
The study of human resilience began with observing people in situations we hoped would never happen again and circumstances we wanted to change. If the structures that erode our strengths go unchallenged, then training in resilience becomes just another efficient way to get the most vulnerable to continue to prop up the system that wears them down.
US Intelligence Veterans warn against torture [Truthout - 27/3/16]
AFP asked to investigate Defence Housing Australia [ABC - 27/3/16]:
... Former DHA boss Peter Howman said he was baffled by the Finance Department's move on the agency.
"From what I understand, the statement from the AFP and Department of Finance is referring to Defence Housing Australia — it's not referring to myself, and it's really a matter for DHA to respond to, not myself and the Department of Finance and the AFP, and I wouldn't want to get involved with any discussions they may be having," Mr Howman said.
Senior figures in the military said they believed some inside the Federal Government were pushing to privatise DHA, which manages a real estate portfolio worth more than $10 billion.
At present, the organisation's two major shareholders are the Department of Finance and the Department of Defence.
Suicide bomber kills 65, mostly women and children, in Pakistan park [Reuters – 27/3/16]
Thousands protest NATO in Belgrade [Sputnik News - 27/3/16]:
On February 19, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic signed a confirmation of the country’s cooperation plan with NATO.
Serbian lawmakers ratified an agreement giving the alliance freedom of movement across Serbia and granting its members diplomatic immunity.
The moves caused a series of protests across the country. Representatives of several opposition movements, including the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), the political Dveri and Zavetnici movements called for a referendum on Serbia's accession to NATO.
"Our main message was "Not in NATO" and the demand to hold a nationwide referendum on Serbia's cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance on April 24, on the day of snap parliamentary elections.
We passed a request for a referendum to the Serbian government on the anniversary of the start of [NATO] bombing on March 24," the leader of Dveri party, Bosko Obradovic told RIA Novosti.
According to Obradovic, Belgrade should hold a referendum on NATO membership as most citizens oppose the membership of the alliance.
At the same time, Serbia has also been an observer state of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since April 2013. In 2007, Serbian lawmakers adopted a resolution upholding the republic’s neutral status toward military alliances.
Тысячи сербов вышли на митинг против НАТО в Белграде [Geo-politica - 27/3/16]
Riot police fired water cannon at far-right demonstrators who invaded a square in the Belgian capital on Sunday, shouting anti-immigrant slogans at the memorial to the victims of the Brussels attacks.
Approximately 200 men wearing black, some of whom were masked, shouted nationalist and anti-immigrant slogans and made Nazi salutes as they moved in on the Place de la Bourse, where people had laid flowers and candles in honour of the 28 people killed and 340 injured in last week’s suicide bombings at Brussels airport and metro.
Riot police with shields and water cannon cleared the square and 10 people were arrested.
The protestors chanted slogans including “this is our home” as people who had gathered earlier to light candles at the memorial in front of the former Brussels stock exchange shouted back: “No to hatred.” ... [Guardian - 28/3/16]
Thousands line streets of Dublin to commemorate 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising [RTE - 27/3/16]
Moqtada al-Sadr enters Green Zone as 1,000s continue sit-in at fence [Reuters - 27/3/16]
Thousands of desperate civilians were fleeing fighting Sunday on the new front opened by Iraqi forces against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) south of the city of Mosul.
Families crammed in the back of pickup trucks, sometimes bringing dead and wounded with them, emerged from the dust after crossing the front line and were met by Kurdish forces.
Iraqi army troops and allied paramilitary fighters on Thursday launched a major offensive aimed at retaking the northern Nineveh province, the capital of which, Mosul, is the main hub of ISIS in Iraq.
The forces have been advancing from their base in Makhmur towards the town of Qayyarah, about 60km south of Mosul.
A bearded man in a yellow dishdasha traditional gown emerged from the dust, holding the body of a young girl wrapped in a blanket.
"She is dead, she is dead," he cried, his face caked in dust.
His daughter, whose back was riddled with shrapnel when shells rained down on their escape, was covered in blood.
"Some entire families have died," the father said. ... [AINA - 27/3/16]
Iraqi forces preparing for Mosul assault, Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman says [US Department of Defense - 4/3/16]
Israel's top court on Sunday struck down a landmark deal aimed at paving the way for the exploitation of Mediterranean gas reserves, in a major defeat for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A panel of Supreme Court justices said in their ruling that a clause in the plan that prevented it from being changed for a decade was unacceptable.
"We have decided to cancel the gas deal because of the stability clause" that would have barred future governments from altering the deal, the justices said.
The court however suspended the ruling for a year to enable the parliament to amend the agreement.
Critics of the deal between the Israeli government and a consortium including US firm Noble Energy say it is overly favorable to the companies involved. ... [Daily Star - 27/3/16]
NSA Chief visited Israel secretly to co-ordinate cyber warfare [Jewish Press - 27/3/16]
Rafeef Ziadah We Teach Life Australian Tour 2016
28 March 2016