Some Australian doctors and journalists don't think Syrians ought to receive health care?
THAT is barbaric.
Massacre today in #Aleppo where over 6 civilians were blown up when rebels missile hit public park [VIDEO - 30/4/15]
Some 123 U.S. soldiers arrived in Turkey as part of a program to train and equip the putatively moderate Syrian opposition, along with weapons that are being transferred to İncirlik Airbase in the southern province of Adana. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 1/5/15]
The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) is investigating Western Australian doctor Tareq Kamleh, after he appeared in a propaganda video for the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group urging other medical professionals to join him in Syria.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) took the unusual step of releasing a statement late on Friday confirming the MBA had taken regulatory action in relation to Dr Kamleh's medical registration.
In the statement, the AHPRA said it would continue to liaise with the Australian Federal Police in relation to the issue.
The medical regulator has also warned other health workers considering travelling to IS-controlled areas that it is an offence to enter a declared area, and that doing so could have a direct and immediate impact on their registration in Australia.
Universal health care
US backed Saudi air strikes kill civilians in Yemeni capital
Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition struck a residential district of the Yemeni capital Sanaa overnight, killing eight to 10 civilians, residents said on Friday.
The Saba state news agency, controlled by the Houthi movement in charge of Sanaa, put the death toll in the Sawan district at 20 and said more than 50 people had been wounded.
It said casualties included woman and children.
Warplanes also struck a military airbase near the capital.
Saba said medics rushed to Sawan to try to rescue residents trapped under the rubble of homes.
The strikes came days after jets bombed the runway to stop an Iranian aid plane landing.
Damage to the airport has stopped aid deliveries, officials said.
Saudi to restructure its oil giant Aramco
Al Arabiya [1/5/15]:
Saudi Arabia approved on Friday the restructuring of the kingdom’s oil giant Aramco, a move that will see it separated from the oil ministry, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.
The country’s Supreme Economic Council approved the restructure plan that had been proposed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The restructuring comes soon after Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced a major government reshuffle.
Prince Mohammad bin Salman, also minister of defense, was appointed as the deputy crown prince earlier this week. King Salman also appointed Saudi Aramco's chief executive Khaled Al-Falih as chairman of the state oil firm and health minister.
In a statement on Wednesday, Aramco described Falih as the outgoing CEO and president, and also as chairman of its board of directors.
The state-owned giant is a world leader in crude exports. Aramco is involved in hydrocarbons exploration, production, refining, distribution, shipping and marketing.
According to the company’s website, Aramco has stewardship of natural gas reserves of 288.4 trillion standard cubic feet (scf) and as of 2014 operates 212 oil rigs.
Nepal: Devastation and despair as IMF vultures circle
Al Jazeera [1/5/15]:
… The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) meanwhile warned on Thursday they were "extremely concerned" about the welfare of hundreds of thousands of people, with those in remote areas outside the Kathmandu Valley facing an unknown fate.
The devastation appeared particularly dire in the Sindupalchowk region, a mountainous area northeast of Kathmandu, which was becoming a major focus of international relief efforts with up to 90 percent of homes destroyed in some parts.
"Six Red Cross assessment teams are reporting that some towns and villages in the worst-affected districts close to the epicentre have suffered almost total devastation," it said in a statement.
Launching an appeal for $415m in aid, the UN said it would take a marathon effort to help the people of one of Asia's poorest countries.
The International Monetary Fund said it was ready to extend aid to Nepal and would send a team to assess the situation "as soon as possible".
Nepalese and Indian military helicopters have also been flying in aid to remote areas of Gorkha district, another badly-hit region, which otherwise takes up to 12 days to reach by foot, the WHO said.
The latest official toll put the number of dead at 5,844 and more than 10,000 are known to have been injured.
More than 100 people were also killed in neighbouring countries such as India and China.
Nepal's forgotten village [BBC - 30/4/15]:
... Then, out of nowhere, a bus arrives carrying dozens of Nepali volunteers.
They are followers of the self-styled guru Master Godangel who stands at the roadside in robes of white and garlands of flowers and promises to help with food and shelter.
"I feel really upset about this government, I feel really, really upset," he says.
"It's a corrupt government. I'm not blaming them, but the way that they work is really very traumatic, very sad.
"They've received billions of dollars in international aid, but they're not doing anything." ...
Greece resumes debt talks with creditors
Greece on Thursday resumed talks with its international creditors on critically-needed bailout funds as officials warned that time was running out for a deal.
"Talks have resumed and are now going on continuously over the coming days," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters.
"They are being held in a constructive spirit...we welcome this step to deepen and intensify contacts," Schinas said.
Another EU source said the talks would run non-stop until Sunday.
Greece needs a deal to unblock 7.2 billion euros ($8 billion) from its EU-IMF bailout before state coffers run dry.
The hard-left [social democrat] government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, elected in January on an anti-austerity agenda, is struggling to pay salaries and pensions without the promised loans.
Greece needs to repay almost a billion euros in debt and interest to the IMF by May 12.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund want Athens to carry out reforms [austerity] pledged by previous administrations before it releases the rescue funds.
"To conclude the review with the IMF, we need a comprehensive package. We cannot conclude the review with just a few measures," the global lender's spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters in Washington.
But the Greek government, in office for three months, insists it will not back down from 'red lines' on labour protection and wage cuts.
A Greek government source on Thursday said Athens wanted a deal without austerity "crimes" against the Greek people.
The official added that Athens would not back down on labour issues, income cuts, the sale of state assets at whatever cost and a hike in VAT.
"The government does not have a public mandate to bring a deal outside the red lines, and for this reason it will not do so," the Greek official added.
The government, according to the Wednesday edition of Greek daily Kathimerini, has proposed measures generating around 1.3 billion euros in new revenues, including alternative tax proposals sparing the poor.
Proposals on the list included higher taxes on the very rich and on luxury goods, the sale of TV licences, and a more effective fight against those operating in black markets, Kathimerini said.
Greek daily Ta Nea reported Thursday that other measures include additional tax for hotels, high-end bars and restaurants on Greek island tourist destinations during peak travel seasons.
It is unclear, however, as to whether the package addresses contentious topics such as the liberalisation of the labour market, raising value-added tax, or the thorny issue of cutting state pensions -- all of which have been pushed by the IMF, and rejected by the Tsipras government so far.
"The Greek government is ready to accept an honest solution with its creditors that will allow financial aid to be unblocked, and to end the financial asphyxia caused by the memoranda," Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told radio station Sto Kokkino, referring to hated austerity measures imposed by Greeces creditors.
Yet Greek junior foreign minister Euclid Tsakalotos -- who on Monday was tapped to replace the defiant and controversial Varoufakis to head Greece's team of negotiators -- noted that while Athens will not cross "red lines" it has laid down in talks, it was still ready to be flexible elsewhere.
"When you have a political plan, you can find solutions and make some compromises," he said.
But the Syriza-led government, elected in January on an anti-austerity platform, has resisted demands for sweeping reforms and privatisations and to honour a series of heavy loan repayments due this summer.
A new sign of concern over the government's resistance to that pressure came Wednesday, when ratings agency Moody's cut Greece's credit grade further into junk territory to Caa1.
It also assigned Greece a negative outlook due to Athens' continuing
inability to reach a deal with its EU-IMF partners.
Dotcom's extradition hearing postponed
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has succeeded in getting an extradition hearing postponed until September.
He was fighting an order that which would see him extradited to the United States to face charges there.
His extradition was due to be considered by the North Shore District Court in June.
But his lawyers said Mr Dotcom did not have enough funding for him to be prepared for the hearing by that date.
In a ruling today in the High Court in Auckland, Justice Katz said the hearing should not take place before September.
He said that should give Mr Dotcom and his lawyers enough time to
prepare his case.
Thousands march through the streets of Tokyo on Labour Day
Channel News Asia [1/5/15]:
It’s not a public holiday here in Japan on May Day (May 1), but thousands are holding rallies nationwide. Here in Tokyo alone, there are a number of rallies, with attendance ranging from hundreds to the thousands.
One rally is believed to have gathered 28,000 people.
These protests take place as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government works towards revising Japan's basic labour policy. Mr Abe wants wages to be decided based on performance. He also wants to ban overtime pay, as that’s seen as one of the reasons the Japanese are known for working one of the longest hours among industrialized countries.
“There are many dying from overwork,” said Mr Tomoki Oyama, a Shinjuku assembly member. “Death from overwork will increase through the revision of such Bill."
Protestors are expressing their unhappiness beyond labour issues. They’re also voicing their concerns about Japan going into war. Mr Abe had in Washington DC, stated his willingness to expand the role of Japan's self-defence forces beyond the country. That’s even before gaining public support and approval in the Japanese diet.
Protestors also tried to attract the public to their stance for a non-nuclear world, opposition towards the protection of state secrets, and other actions that could violate the freedom of knowledge and speech.
One worker died and 63 others were injured in industrial accidents at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in fiscal 2014, double the casualty figure from a year earlier, the plant operator said. … [The Asahi Shimbun – 1/5/15]
After a Turkish policeman kicked him during a May Day demo in Istanbul, a stray dog has chased a patrol car, in scenes that went viral on social media.
The stray dog was kicked away by a policeman who was detaining a protester near Taksim Square on May 1.
Soon after the incident, the dog started to chase a police car at the square, barking. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 1/5/15]
Afghanistan: Several shops burnt as market catches fire in Kabul city
A huge fire swept through a market in Mandawi area in the first police district of Kabul city on Friday morning.
The incident took place around 10:00 am local time in Nawab market with preliminary reports suggesting at least 20 shops were burnt.
The market was mainly occupied by the sellers of dry fruits and it has been reported that the traders have suffered enormous financial loss due to the incident.
The main cause of the incident has not been ascertained so far but it has been reported that the fire swept through the market due to a short circuit.
A huge fire has swept through a market in the same area nearly three years ago leaving around 600 shops in ashes while incurring a loss of $50,000 to each shop owner.
Commercial buildings with low standards and lack of standard precautionary measures by shop owners are believed to be the main motives behind devastating fire incidents in the country.
EU threatens France with court action over air pollution
France 24 [30/4/15]:
France has just two months to act over dangerously high levels of air pollution or face being hauled in front of the European Court of Justice, the European Commission said Wednesday.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said in a statement published on its website that France has failed to comply with European rules requiring member states to limit citizens’ exposure to fine dust particles, known as PM10 particles.
These small particles, typically produced by vehicles, heating and heavy industry, can cause a variety of health problems including asthma, cardiovascular problems and lung cancer.
“If France fails to act within two months, the Commission may take the matter to the EU Court of Justice,” it said.
The warning comes after authorities in Paris were last month forced to ban half of all traffic amid a spike in pollution which briefly made the French capital the most polluted city in the world, ahead of regular offenders such as Delhi and Beijing.
The latest figures from the French authorities show that maximum daily limits for PM10 particles are being exceeded in 10 regions across the country, including the cities of Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Toulon, said the Commission.
“The Commission considers that France has failed to take measures that should have been in place since 2005 to protect citizens' health, and is asking it to take forward-looking, speedy and effective action to keep the period of non-compliance as short as possible,” it said.
The Commission also announced it has referred France to the European Court of Justice over its failure to comply with EU legislation on the treatment of waste water in urban areas.
Some 17 towns and cities in France do not currently have waste water treatment up to EU standards, it said.
The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) has increased the pressure on controversial columnist and public hate figure, Katie Hopkins, by filing evidence with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) alleging incitement by her, and her employers, to persecute migrants.
The SBL has taken the unprecedented step of filing the allegation against the owner of the Sun newspaper, Rupert Murdoch, the paper's editor, David Dinsmore, and the owner of Global Radio (LBC), Ashley Tabor, as well as Hopkins herself. ... [Solicitors Journal - 1/5/15]
Mass Rohingya graveyard found near Thai Malaysian border
The Phuket News [1/5/15]:
Thai authorities today (May 1) found a mass graveyard near the Thai Malaysian border in Padang Besar district of Songkhla.
The graceyard was found in Songkhla province.
The graveyard was found to have the decomposed bodies of 33 people, believed to be Rohingya migrants.
The finding came after Thai border authorities were alerted by a Malaysian national that a large graveyard was found near the Padang Besar border.
Police and district officials went to inspect the area and found 33 tombs where the bodies were buried.
Another decomposed body was also laid at the area and was not yet buried.
Investigations later revealed that the area was earlier used by some 200-300 Rohingya migrants who smuggled into the country, and lived there.
Villagers said these migrants died of sickness and some died fighting after having quarrels among themselves.
However as the authorities arrived at the area today, the area was left vacant and all Rohingya migrants had escaped, believed to have crossed the border into Malaysia.
Royal Thai Police commissioner Pool Gen Somyot Phumphanmuang confirmed the graveyard finding but said it was used as a detention centre by human traffickers.
Coast guard rescues over 300 refugees in western Turkey
Middle East Monitor [30/4/15]:
Turkish coast guard teams have rescued 303 migrants in operations held in the western Aegean Sea regions over four days ending on April 30, local officials said.
Four people -- including a Turkish citizen and two Georgian nationals -- who were found aiding the illegal migrants have been detained, the governorate of Turkey's western Izmir province said in a statement.
Among the migrants, 148 were of Syrian origin and 98 from Afghanistan, the statement said.
The outgoing United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia today noted that the country has come a long way over the past six years, but advised Government and opposition leaders “to be principled in what they do” to make a liberal democracy a reality for all its people. ... [Media Release - 30/4/15]
The American Psychological Association secretly collaborated with the administration of President George W. Bush to bolster a legal and ethical justification for the torture of prisoners swept up in the post-Sept. 11 war on terror, according to a new report by a group of dissident health professionals and human rights activists. ... [New York Times - 30/4/15]
How to stop people being upset by Australia's torture and exile of refugees?
Discipline the journalists and shut down the internet.
ABC [AUDIO - 1/5/15]:
A pressure group in Australia that works with refugees on Nauru says the shutdown of Facebook will severely impact those in the detention centre who use the social media network to communicate with the outside world.
Ian Rintoul dismisses claims by the government that they are simply trying to crack down on internet pornography.
HRW urges withdrawal from refugee deal [Phnom Penh Post - 1/5/15]
Call for immediate moratorium on sending asylum seekers offshore [Refugee Council of Australia Media Release - 24/4/15]:
Joint statement by Australian organisations and community groups
We, the undersigned, call for an immediate moratorium on the transfer of asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island until the safety and security of vulnerable asylum seekers can be guaranteed.
The recent Immigration Department-commissioned independent investigations, the Moss Review into the failures of protection for children and women on Nauru, and the Cornall Report into the ruinous conditions on Manus Island, illustrate the inappropriate levels of protection and security inherent in the current system.
The Australian Government, in accepting all recommendations of the Moss Review, has acknowledged that major changes are needed at Nauru to ensure that women and children can be kept safe from physical, psychological and sexual abuse.
The Moss Review also highlighted serious deficiencies in conditions at the Nauru detention centre and noted that asylum seekers had concerns about their personal safety and privacy. The Review concluded that asylum seekers’ safety should be considered paramount and that the Australian Government needs to do more in relation to infrastructure, policing and staffing, including ensuring that staff are properly trained on issues of personal safety and privacy for asylum seekers.
Conditions at Manus Island are no better: after two years of operation, a majority asylum seekers have still not had their applications processed and only a handful of people have been moved to the Lorengau transitory facility. Over 950 men remain at the Manus Island detention centre, continuing to live in fear. Recommendations from the Cornall Report into the Manus Island detention centre have not been implemented to a satisfactory standard.
As appropriate care is not available on Manus Island or on Nauru, over 200 asylum seekers and accompanying family members who have been in offshore processing facilities are currently in Australia for medical treatment. Many of those detained on Manus Island and Nauru are now suffering significant mental distress including post-traumatic stress disorder. Returning those people, including children, to the place of their suffering and even to the place where they may have experienced sexual abuse, amounts to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.
Fear of return to Manus Island and Nauru is so acute that self-harm and attempted suicide have rapidly escalated amongst this group. Part of their fear is due to the Government’s removal of procedural fairness, which means they are held incommunicado, without phone access to lawyers, family or friends, for hours and have their personal belongings packed by detention centre officers while they wait to be removed offshore. Because the Immigration Department does not reveal who will be transferred each week, hundreds of people have heightened anxiety for days before each scheduled transfer.
Asylum seekers and refugees have legitimate fears for their safety, and the Australian Government has not implemented meaningful changes to detention conditions at Nauru or Manus Island to ensure they comply with both its own commissioned reports as well as Australia’s obligations under international law.
We call for an immediate moratorium on transfers to offshore detention centres, at least until such a time as all recommendations of the Moss Review and Cornall Report have been fully implemented, and the Australian-funded detention centres comply with minimum international standards for the treatment of the people detained there.
Children in detention: a joint statement from Australia's peak health professional bodies [RACGP Media Release - 18/3/15]:
* UPDATE* The Manus case in the PNG Supreme Court has been adjourned for two weeks so papers can be served on the Australian government - as they are the party responsible for the management of the centre..
Australia's "opposition" immigration spokeperson visits Manus refugee death camp to confirm solidarity with Dutton and the IOM
ABC still censoring outcome of Thursday's Manus hearing in the PNG Supreme Court.
... Mr Marles said he had seen nothing on Manus Island to suggest Labor should abandon its support for offshore processing.
"Offshore processing has been utterly critical to saving lives at sea and that remains an important focus, and we must never walk down a path again where we see people dying in their hundreds, and ultimately their thousands on our border," he said. ...
@RichardMarlesMP [30/4/15]: Fantastic to catch up with my old friend Rim Pato, PNG's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration. ...
"Stop the boats" is a lie.
"Deterrence" is a lie.
"Resettlement" is a lie.
Australia indefinitely incarcerates, tortures and exiles refugees.
#SOSBlakAustralia #Canberra reaches the House
National day of action to protest closure of remote communities.
Image: @DunneBreen [1/5/15]
Racist media jackals don't even know the MP for Cook's name
A second woman has spoken to the media about disgraced MP Billy Graham saying he subjected her to violent and “controlling behaviours”.
The unnamed woman has told Channel 9’s A Current Affair that he owed her more than $20,000 in child support.
“He used controlling behaviours, violence, and verbal, physical and emotional abuse towards me in the seven years we were together,” she said.
The woman, Graham’s former partner of seven years says in the interview to air tonight she wants him to “man up” and “admit his wrongs”.
… In response to this civil unrest, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team have sent crisis-trained chaplains to be help in the midst of chaos. By late Tuesday, 11 chaplains were already on the streets in Baltimore with more to be added in the coming days. … [Media Release - 28/4/15]
Bill to put Billy Graham in US Capitol passes NC House [WBTV – 17/4/15]
Children hospitalised following crash involving suspected stolen vehicle that just happened to have been "observed" by police, Garbutt [QPS Media - 1/5/15]:
Police are investigating a traffic crash that occurred early this morning in Garbutt.
At around 4.20am, police were called to the intersection of Meenan and Gordon Streets when a suspected stolen vehicle collided with a truck parked on the side of the road.
On arrival, patrolling police have observed four juveniles allegedly running from the scene.
Two girls and a boy were apprehended by police at the scene, and another boy was taken into custody a short time later.
The two girls have been transported to Townsville Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries and the two boys are currently assisting police with their enquiries.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Man charged with assault after being tasered, Rockhampton [QPS Media – 1/5/15]
Police have charged a 48-year-old man from Rockhampton following an incident in Rockhampton overnight.
Police were called to a hostel on Denham Street at around 10.15pm, following reports of a disturbance between two men.
Upon arrival officers spoke to the men, during which police will allege the 48-year-old man grabbed a knife and attempted to assault the other man.
Police successfully deployed a Taser to subdue the man, who was taken into custody without further incident.
He has been charged with Assault and obstructing police and is due to appear is Rockhampton Magistrates Court this morning.
The other man was not physically injured during the incident. Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Real sexual relationships are not hard to find. There are plenty of adults of both sexes who are willing to have sex if someone treats them well, and asks. But there lies the problem. Some people do not want an equal, sharing relationship. They do not want to be nice. They do not want to ask. They like the power involved in buying a human being who can be made to do almost anything.
How Prostitution Works
Illegal prostitution arrests, North Brisbane [QPS Media - 1/5/15]:
Investigators from State Crime Command’s Licensing Enforcement Unit charged five people in an operation that targeted premises allegedly being for the illegal provision of prostitution.
Officers working in partnership with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, executed search warrants at residences in Deagon, Lawnton, Chermside and Caboolture South and seized mobile telephones, computer equipment and $46,785 in cash.
Five people, a 48-year-old Rochedale woman, a 71-year-old man and 55-year-old woman from Deagon, a 40-year-old Indooroopilly woman, and a 43-year-old woman from Sunnybank Hills were charged with a total of 11 offences.
The offences included possession of tainted property, engaging in the provision of illegal prostitution and carrying on the business of illegal prostitution.
The offenders will appear before the Brisbane and Sandgate Magistrate Courts over the next month.
“The investigations occurring today were a result of information from the public who were concerned about these businesses being operated in residential areas.”
“The results achieved during this operation demonstrates what can be achieved when the community and Queensland Police Service work together to address the provision of illegal prostitution businesses across the State,” Acting Detective Superintendent Scott Knowles of the Drug and Serious Crime Group said.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
... Farley, a clinical psychologist who practiced for more than 40 years and authored two books on prostitution and trafficking, cited research suggesting that 2 percent of female prostitutes work in the “elite” class – a role glamorized by “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
But in reality, Farley said, there’s nothing glamorous about the business.
More than 97 percent of prostitutes are in the trade without a choice, either through direct enslavement or inequality.
For choice to be possible, she said, physical safety, equal power and true alternatives must be present.
“Sex inequality, ethnic and racial inequality, and economic inequality are the bars on the cage of trafficking,” she said.
“The side imposing consent has almost all the power, and the consenting side has little or no power. For a woman performing a sex act for a cheeseburger or a tank of gas, that’s not a real choice.”
“Resource extraction is often accompanied by prostitution and human trafficking” she said.
“The ecosystem destruction caused by fracking to access oil and gas is paralleled by the quieter destruction of trafficked woman.”
Special Agent Carla Croft of the FBI and Cyndee Peterson, an assistant U.S. attorney in Montana, also noted the jump in trafficking that has followed growth in the Bakken. ... [Sex trafficking easy to find in Montana, speakers at University of Montana say [The Missoulian - 17/4/14]
Australian Thriller Reveals A Dark Underbelly In Human Trafficking: Brisbane International Film Festival Screens 'The Jammed' [Review from 2007]:
One of the Australian films screening at this year's Brisbane International Film Festival is 'The Jammed', a story set amidst the human trafficking and illegal prostitution that is taking place in our cities.
The film begins as Crystal (Emma Lung), a young Indonesian girl, is questioned by immigration officials and about to be sent to a detention centre.
It then shifts back three weeks, as insurance clerk Ashley Hudson (Veronica Sywak) is drawn into Melbourne's sinister underworld when she reluctantly agrees to help a Thai woman Sunee (Amanda Ma) find her daughter Rubi (Sun Park).
Speaking at yesterday's screening of 'The Jammed', writer and director Dee McLachlan said that her film presents a "huge cultural calamity" currently taking place in Australia.
"This is about displaced people," she said, referring to the victims of human trafficking - 30% of whom have no idea they will be working as prostitutes.
"They work for nothing, and then get deported," she said.
Ms McLachlan said that the inspiration for 'The Jammed' came from a series of court cases, in particular the case of Gary Glasner who in the late 1990s, was found guilty of violations of the Victorian Prostitution Control Act (the federal slavery and sexual servitude legislation had not been introduced at that stage). Glazner received a penalty of 18 months imprisonment (fully suspended for two years) and a $31,000 fine.
According to Ms McLachlan, one criticism of the film, put to her by a human rights advocate was that the girls should have been shown working in a legal brothel, because in reality, that's where they are.
Actress Veronica Sywak (who had initially auditioned for the role of Vanya - played by Saskia Burmesiter) also spoke at the screening. Of her role as Ashley, Ms Sywak said she had to "plumb the depths of human debauchery and sadness."
"It was an incredibly emotionally charged set," she said.
Ms McLachlan said that such was the potency of the subject matter, on difficult days the assistance of a "talent alignment" person was sought for counselling purposes.
The Jammed' is a powerful piece of cinema that delves into Australia's dark underbelly - a confronting and unpleasant place - that like Ashley Hudson, many of us would prefer to turn our back on.
It was interesting to see Debra Lawrence (Pippa from 'Home & Away') in the role of the heartless DIMIA Case Officer, and Kate Atkinson ('Seachange's' Constable Karen Miller) as Ashley's detached, middle class friend Gabi.
My instinct tells me women and children being murdered and abused is business as usual in Queensland
What is urgently needed is the immediate funding of shelters/refuges, professional counselling, financial and legal support and research to resolve the root causes (eg inequality, societal glorification of war and the bullying of the weak, domination and aggression, misogyny, objectification etc.)
Minister for Women announces another expensive awareness campaign to maintain the status quo [1/5/15]:
Queenslanders are being urged to trust their instinct and take action if they suspect someone they know is experiencing domestic and family violence.
Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman is today launching the ‘Trust Your Instinct’ campaign, as Queensland marks Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month from 1 to 31 May.
The campaign calls on friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues to listen to their gut instinct if they suspect domestic and family violence is happening.
“Domestic and family violence takes many ugly forms, including verbal abuse, stalking, threats or controlling what a person can say or do. This sort of behaviour can also lead to physical abuse,” Ms Fentiman said.
“There are about 180 reports of domestic and family violence incidents to Queensland Police every day and many more go unreported,” she said.
“These figures are shameful. We need to act now if we are to end domestic and family violence.
“I’m calling on Queenslanders to support this campaign, we must all work together to end domestic violence. This begins at home, in our streets, in our workplaces and schools. [Take personal responsibility for societal violence.]
“If you suspect that a friend, a colleague, or a family member is suffering from this sort of violence, please trust your instinct and take action.” [People try to take action but because the government has abandoned its responsibility to protect vulnerable citizens they have to fend for themselves - as well as deal with sexist authorities, an unsympathetic bureaucracy and judgmental charities.]
The Queensland Government’s ‘Trust your Instinct’ campaign will run throughout May, encouraging people to call DVConnect for confidential advice and support if they suspect someone they know is experiencing domestic and family violence. [i.e. bully the victim into contacting a stress inducing labyrinth of "computer says no" and/or give them a pamphlett or fridge magnet.]
The Queensland Government’s Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland report, released by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence earlier this year, highlighted the increasing incidence and severity of domestic violence in our community.
The Government is developing its detailed response to the report’s 140 recommendations. [Which will be cherrypicked as an excuse to further undermine the rule of law by removing rights.]
The Government is investing $49 million over five years in new domestic and family violence services to support Child and Family reforms and address service gaps. [i.e. weasel words and plenty of lolly available for corporate and religous charities - who are known for turning desperate women away.]
In addition, Queensland will also be a key part of COAG’s jointly-funded $30 million national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children. [More pointless awareness campaigns probably booked in the misogynist Murdoch Press.]
For confidential advice about safety strategies and available support, call DV Connect Womensline on 1800 811 811 (24 hours a day, seven days a week), Mensline (9 am to midnight, seven days a week) on 1800 600 636. In an emergency, call police (000).
The government has funded 36 organisations to run activities across the state during May, to help bring public attention to the issue of domestic and family violence.
There are many opportunities for people to show their support, by attending a local event or simply by talking about the issue with others and bringing it out into the open. [IT IS out in the open. Where is the honesty and the action?]
For more information about the campaign and local events, including images for use on social media, visit www.qld.gov.au/trustyourinstinct or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/trustyourinstinctnow (external site)
The Trust your Instinct campaign is proudly supported by Brisbane Roar, Netball Queensland and Queensland Firebirds, Queensland Reds, Gold Coast SUNS, Clubs Queensland, Brisbane Lions, Queensland Rail, Queensland Police Service, Heritage Bank and Bunnings Warehouse.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria and Iraq between 8 a.m., April 29, and 8 a.m., April 30, local time.
In Syria, Coalition military forces conducted six airstrikes using attack, bomber and fighter aircraft.
Separately in Iraq, Coalition military forces conducted 15 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense using attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.
“The coalition remains undistracted in the execution of the mission, said Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, CJTF-OIR Chief of Staff. “Our focus continues to be dismantling and defeating Daesh.”
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
Near Al Hasakah, an airstrike struck an ISIL staging area.
Near Ar Raqqah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL fighting position, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL trench system.
Near Kobani, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL armored vehicle.
Near Al Asad, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL weapon system.
Near Bayji, four airstrikes struck one large and three small tactical units, destroying three ISIL vehicles and an ISIL fighting position.
Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL fighting positions.
Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL structure.
Near Sinjar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL fighting position.
Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL excavators, an ISIL building and an ISIL fighting position.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
4 soldiers killed in an explosion during a raid of a mosque south of Baghdad [IraqiNews.com – 1/5/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [30/4/15]:
Maysan : Agencies/security source: Unknown insurgents killed a civilian today morning in Khaleej neighbourhood in the middle of Umara and fled ........................
Diyala: A forty- age-woman and her son have been assassinated by unknwon insurgents in Arkaba area at the road linking Ba'aquba to Muqdadiya opposite to Shimoos elementary School near a checkpoint for the government's army and the killers have withdrawn .........................
Diyala : A girl university student from Muqdadiya studying
in Yarmouk College at the road linking Ba'aquba to Muqdadiya has been kidnapped
by unknown insurgents ,it is worth mentioning that this case is the second in
Muqdadiya after kidnapping a girl employee in Abu Seida
Anbar: Launchers shelling has targeted Saba'a Nissan neighbourhood in Fallujah resulted in damaging of home and wounding of women and children.........
Baghdad: Agencies:5 persons have been either killed or wounded as a roadside bomb has exploded near Husseiniya Garage in northern east of Baghdad........
Saudi warplanes carry out new airstrikes against airport in Sana’a [Press TV – 30/4/15]
At least eight people have been killed in rocket attacks by Takfiri militants in the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Dara’a.
According to Syrian police officials, two rockets fired by the Takfiri militants hit the Public Park in the central part of the northwestern city of Aleppo on Thursday, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
The officials said that as many as 34 other people, including women and children, sustained injuries in the attack. ... [Press TV - 30/4/15]
Syrian opposition chief meets with US Secretary of State [Naharnet - 31/4/15]:
... The situation in Syria "is simply unsustainable, catastrophic. It has profound impact... on each of the surrounding communities" with some three-quarters of the Syrian population now displaced, Kerry said.
Assad's regime "has lost all sense of any kind of responsibility," the top U.S. diplomat said, adding there must be a transition "towards a government that represents all of the people and can repair this extraordinary damage." ...
American Samoa raises future political status with UN
The American Samoa Government will tell the United Nations this month the territory wants to have a serious discussion about its future political status.
A draft statement by Governor Lolo Moliga to be presented to the UN Committee on Decolonisation says American Samoa's position as an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the United States is not sustainable nor economically secure.
Lolo says there are significant shortfalls in American Samoa's form of government.
He points to the limits on the legislature's veto override and its inability to change the territory's constitution without the approval of the US Congress, despite Congress having not approved that constitution to begin with.
And Lolo says the Secretary of the Interior still appoints the senior members of the judiciary.
The governor also talks of American Samoa being exposed to the "bullying tactics of federal agencies".
Lynch [v]: (Of a group of people) kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging. ...
… Gray was taken from the police station to hospital with a broken neck. He died on 19 April, prompting a wave of protests over police brutality.
“The second stop has been revealed to us in the course of our investigation and was previously unknown to us,” Baltimore deputy police commissioner Kevin Davis said at a press conference. Davis said the stop was filmed by a private CCTV camera.
The video footage of the previously undisclosed van stop was filmed by cameras above the entrance to CR Grocery, a shop on the corner of the two streets mentioned by police.
Jung Hwang, the owner of the shop, told the Guardian on Thursday that detectives visited him one day last week following Gray’s death and appeared to take copies of the footage that was stored on his laptop computer.
However, the shop was then looted during Monday’s unrest, said the shop owner, who is Korean and speaks little English. “The laptop was stolen,” he said.
Hwang said he did not see what the footage showed and did not know the vehicle had stopped outside on 12 April because the shop was closed. A friend who spoke English and called 911 to report the looting confirmed the shopkeeper’s account.
Groceries were strewn around the back room of Hwang’s shop on Thursday. Cables hung from the two surveillance cameras, which had apparently been disconnected.
You will be surprised who the outside agitators really are in Baltimore, Max Blumenthal [AlterNet - 28/4/15]
... Gerald Horne, a professor of history and African American Studies at the University of Houston, sees the legacy of slavery as an underlying factor in the policing of majority black cities like Baltimore.
“The origins of the urban police department lies precisely in slavery,” Horne remarked in a recent interview with The Real News founder Paul Jay. “That is to say, slave patrols that were designated to interrogate, to investigate Africans who were out and about without any kind of investigation. You fast forward to 2015 and you still see more than remnants of that particular system.”
The Gilmor Homes area where Freddie Gray was violently apprehended and later killed by Baltimore police officers is one of the city’s most heavily policed areas. Eddie Conway, a local civil rights activist who served 43 years in prison after a dubious conviction for killing two cops, explained in an interview with Democracy Now! that Gilmor Homes is “a ‘broken windows’ police area in which people and residents in that area are arrested for sitting on their own steps. They are loitering in their own community, on their own steps, and they're harassed constantly.” ...
Foreign Firms In North Korea's Kaesong Complex -- Great Idea Or Choco Pie In The Sky? [Forbes - 23/2/14]:
… But how can the U.S. and South Koreans justify moves to internationalize the Kaesong complex when North Korea shows signs of preparing for a fourth nuclear test while brutalizing its own people? A report prepared by the commission of inquiry on the North’s egregious human rights violations reveals in graphic detail the depth and breadth of policies and practices that the North shows no sign of abandoning.
Tom Pinansky, a long-time lawyer in Seoul, argues the case for opening up Kaesong – in violation of sanctions as they now stand – in a talk that he gave at the Korea Institute at Harvard on the theme, “Economic Reintegration of the Koreas: Time to Get on With It.” In the talk Pinansky strongly criticized the provision in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement that bans the import of goods made in Kaesong.
The reason for the ban is obvious. North Korean workers at Kaesong make a fraction of the wages paid American workers or even the low-paid workers of countries that export their products at bargain prices and enormous profits for foreign firms. As long as others can do it, Pinansky believes international business interests should be able to set up shop in Kaesong and export to world markets.
Pinansky cites Italy as a country that might pave the way for foreign firms to open up in Kaesong – with the blessing, of course, of the Park government, which in turn would want the support of its American ally. “Countries like Italy and Singapore would be deemed less objectionable,” he said. Rather than object, he added in response to a question, ”Our own government needs to be silent.”
In his talk at Harvard, and a conversation with me, Pinansky scoffed at the objections raised by the State Department to Google GOOG -2.11% Chairman Eric Schmidt’s visit to Pyongyang a year ago. “It’s hard to imagine our State Department panned the Schmidt visit,” he said over lunch in Seoul’s glitzy high-rise Kangnam district. “We should all be supportive to find a way to get more interaction with responsible private-sector actors.”
As a symbol of the inroads that capitalist companies might make into North Korean society by opening facilities in Kaesong, Pinansky pointed out the popularity of South Korean Choco Pies, the double-layered creamy confection that South Korean companies have been serving as snack food to their workers at Kaesong.
Outcome of yesterday's PNG Supreme Court Manus hearing censored.
Evidently the Australian media blackout of refugee concentration camps is not not enough information control.
And once again the so called human rights establishment are silent.
Opposition MPs say the Nauru government has forced the country's only internet provider to shut down access to Facebook on the island.
The opposition said it was no surprise given the government's inability to cope with any form of media criticism.
One of five opposition MPs who have been suspended since May last year, Mathew Batsiua, said it was the final stage in Justice Minister David Adeang's obsessive desire to rule by a mix of dictatorship and fear.
He said yesterday's claim by Mr Adeang that he was simply stopping access to pornography sites was just an excuse.
"They foreshadowed that they were concerned with the criticisms of their actions by Nauruans on Facebook and they foreshadowed this by a statement by the President [Baron Waqa] in Parliament a few weeks back, and now they have acted upon it," he said.
"Now they have censored citizens from accessing Facebook."
Mr Batsiua said the Facebook ban meant the island now had no independent media, after an earlier directive from Mr Adeang for local media not to interview any members of the opposition or any person who disagreed with government policy.
The leadership tribunal today recommended the dismissal of Manus MP Ronny Knight from office as the Member for Manus Open electorate.
In handing down the ruling today, Tribunal Chairman Justice Salatiel Lenalia said the conduct of the leader amounted to serious culpability and the public policy and good require the tribunal to recommend that the leader be dismissed from office. ... [PNG Loop - 1/5/15]
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has opened a preview one of the world's biggest collections of Pacific artwork at an event in Sydney.
At least 200 artefacts from 16 Pacific nations and territories are on display at the Australian Museum's Pacific Spirit exhibition, which opened today.
When the organisers of the exhibition approached Ms Bishop about the idea, she jumped at the chance to support the gallery, as part of a wider campaign of cultural outreach within Australia and across the Pacific.
"I was immediately captivated by the opportunities to build bridges between the Pacific islands and Australia and the Pacific Islander communities in Australia, through this display of significant artefacts," she told Pacific Beat.
Dion Pieta, the museum's coordinator for Pacific and international collections, said the exhibition was a testament to the diversity of Pacific culture.
"I think there's something for everyone in the collections. There's beautiful artistry ... there are objects that would stir the imagination," he said.
The collection boasts 23 sacred masks from Papua New Guinea which date back to the 1800s.
But Mr Pieta said the museum was "extremely proactive" in repatriating culturally significant items, "especially if they're human remains".
Museum director Kim McKay said she has much bigger plans for promoting Pacific artwork and culture.
"I think the museums of the future aren't just places where you look at objects, but where you do experience culture," she said.
"So we want to see a lot more of the Pacific community in the museum, performing, singing, sharing their culture with the wider public.
"We have a lot of knowledge at the museum here, and skills, so we want to share that with Pacific communities, so we've got a program in place where we want to do exchanges with museums."
She said her plan is to develop two permanent galleries - one for Melanesia and one for Polynesia - and spend half of her budget on outreach.
The Foreign Minister said her many travels in the Pacific showed her cultural diplomacy is just as important as sports diplomacy.
She said the Government's Colombo plan - now in its second year - is another signature policy aimed at fostering ties.
"This year 280 young Australian undergraduates from universities across Australia will be living and studying and working in communities in the Pacific," she said.
"This is part of our commitment to the Pacific and part of our commitment to broader [and] deeper engagement."
The Australian Queens Council, Paul Maritimos, has encouraged upcoming lawyers to uphold their professional code of conduct in office. Mr Maritimos revealed this in his presentation titled ‘Court Etiquette” at the University of Papua New Guinea yesterday.
He announced to over 300 participants that lawyers conduct is an important virtue in official conduct. ...
Lawyer seeks access for another visit to Australia's refugee death camp on Manus [PNG Loop - 22/4/15]:
Lawyers for the 25 asylum seekers detained at the Australian-run processing center on Manus have been told to file and serve applications seeking access to another visit to their clients on the island.
Lawyer Ben Lomai appeared before Chief Justice Salamo Injia today (Wednesday) at the Supreme Court where he was told to file and serve an application seeking request for another access to the center.
He told the court he and his team were in Manus for 14 days (6th -17th March) before returning to Port Moresby on Sunday.
He said whilst in Manus they were able to see some 300 clients apart from their initial 25.
Lomai said he is seeking the court to grant him and his fellow Australian Human Rights lawyer another one or two weeks with their clients.
Chief Justice Injia ordered Lomai to file and serve the application before Friday 24 April.
He is also expected to discuss the matter with counsel representing the PNG Chief Migration Officer.
The matter returns before the Chief Justice on April 30 for directions to be made.
The asylum seekers involved are from Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.
They initially made contact with Lomai through an intermediary while they were being detained without charge at the Manus Island provincial prison, accused of stoking protests at the detention center in January this year.
Lomai told PNG Loop the first visit early this month was to see if there has been a breach of the detainees’ rights under section 58 of the Constitution.
He [said] if there was, they will push for compensation or damages to be paid.
PNG: Woman and disabled daughter slashed to death
PNG Loop [1/5/15]:
The bodies of a mother and her disabled daughter were recovered by Madang police at Dalam village yesterday following an attack on the family by a group of men armed with bush knives at 5 o’clock yesterday morning.
The mother, while trying to escape, was slashed on the head and arm resulting in instant death, and her daughter, said to be the last born in the family, was also slashed to death because she is disabled and could not run.
The body of the daughter is said to have been hidden in a bucket while the mother’s body was left beside a river.
Meantime the father also received severe knife wounds to his head and back while trying to escape, and is fighting for his life at the Modilon General Hospital’s Intensive Care unit.
The family’s three remaining sons and a daughter managed to escape when the men attacked.
The Madang police said the case might be related to a rape case that they are still investigating, that involved the other daughter of the mother who was slashed to death, or might be related to the recent land disputes in the area.
The City of Gold Coast and the Papua New Guinea Government have entered into a partnership to build closer ties in the lead up to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games™.
Mayor Tom Tate and the Hon. Justin W Tkatchenko BEM,OL, MP, the PNG Minister for Sports, Pacific Games and National Events, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Gold Coast today. ... [Media Release - 30/4/15]
Surf Lifesaving Queensland urges caution in the surf following periods of heavy rain
SLSQ Media Release [1/5/15]:
With heavy rain and turbulent weather continuing to batter the South East, Surf Life Saving Queensland has appealed to swimmers to use common-sense and avoid putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
SLSQ chief lifeguard Greg Cahill said the surf conditions along Queensland’s coastline could be ‘deceptively dangerous’ following days of heavy rain and winds.
“The surf conditions over the next couple of days are likely to be unstable and unpredictable, so it’s really important that people continue to put their safety first at all times and only swim at patrolled beaches between the red and yellow flags,” Mr Cahill said.
“The same goes for rivers, river mouths, estuaries and streams which could all be experiencing similarly hazardous conditions across the weekend,” he said.
A number of beaches across South East Queensland were closed on Friday in the interests of public safety and Mr Cahill urged would-be swimmers and surfers to respect this decision and steer clear of the water.
Lifeguards will continue to monitor conditions closely over the coming days and would reopen beaches only if and when conditions were deemed safe to do so.
While the murky waters make it harder to predict conditions, Mr Cahill said they also hide a less likely, but equally as dangerous, hazard.
“The recent rain could have potentially dislodged dirt, tree logs, rubbish and branches and eroded sandbanks, all of which may be hidden in the murky waters and not visible to the naked eye, so it’s really important for anyone venturing into the water to exercise extreme caution.”
“The debris that has become dislodged could also create a haven for fish, which in turn can attract sharks,” he said.
As a result of the dangerous conditions, SLSQ has also announced it will postpone Round One of the Ocean Roar IRB series, which was due to be held on the Gold Coast this weekend.
1 May 2015