Open letter to the Australian public from the undersigned staff of the University of Sydney [1/10/15]
The state government in Western Australia has come under fire for its continued de-registration of sacred sites around the state.
In June, a site near Perth that is reportedly "older than the pyramids," was de-registered. The location is only one of 11 removed since April this year.
cultural and land protector, Iva Hayward-Jackson told CAAMA Radio the state
government is more committed to protecting colonial buildings than First Nations
"I was concerned for my children," he said.
"If they came out someone would panic and the police officer would shoot them."
After hearing a high-profile death in custody was an accident, Lex Wotton smashed the Palm Island police station windows and invited an officer to shoot him.
"Why are you afraid?" he yelled when the officer did nothing.
"'Cause everyone's watching?"
A Federal Court trial has previously been shown footage of the man, who was jailed for inciting the riots sparked by Mulrunji Doomadgee's 2004 death, telling a crowd "things gunna burn" after the coroner's preliminary report found the local man had died as a result of tripping over a step.
Minutes later, the shirtless plumber walked up the road with an angry crowd and "attacked" the police station with an 80-90cm wrench.
"Hey, you want to kill someone?" Mr Wotton recalled yelling at then-Senior Sergeant Roger Whyte.
"Here, shoot me now."
The police station and home of Mulrunji's arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley, were razed in the riots.
Another video shot by a local shows Mr Wotton holding a shovel and a bent piece of galvanised pipe in the front yard of the police station.
"What were you angry about?" Counsel for the State of Queensland Mark Hinson QC asked.
"They (police) weren't going to come out," Mr Wotton said.
The groundbreaking trial will determine whether alleged police failures after Mulrunji's death were racially discriminatory.
Among the complaints in the class action - launched by Mr Wotton on behalf of Palm Islanders - is that an emergency declaration, subsequent raids and arrests without warrants were excessive.
Mr Wotton said he was tasered after telling his children not to come outside, where balaclava-clad police were telling him to get down and put his hands behind his back.
He thought he'd been shot until he realised he was still standing and felt currents move through his body.
"I was concerned for my children," he said.
"If they came out someone would panic and the police officer would shoot them."
He also denied threatening to kill officers during the riots and said he did not tell them locals would burn them out if they stayed on the island.
Sen-Sgt Hurley was acquitted of Mulrunji's manslaughter in 2007.
Mr Wotton said his first thought upon hearing of the death was "they're going to cover it up".
"I think my prediction was right" he said.
Justice Debbie Mortimer will determine whether the State of Queensland should pay compensation and damages to the community, which has also asked for an apology.
The trial continues in Townsville.
Israeli forces detain 7 in West Bank raids, assault several [Maan - 1/10/15]
Evangelicals flock to Jerusalem for Israel love fest [Times Of Israel - 1/10/15]
... Speaking on the third day of the Assembly’s 70th annual General Debate shortly before the official flag-raising for Palestine as an Observer State, Mr. Abbas cited continual Israeli violations of the accords, which originally set full Palestinian independence for 1999, from non-stop settlement of territory slated for the Palestinian State to deadly attacks by Jewish extremists.
“Is it not time to end the racist, terrorist, colonial settlement of our land, which is destroying the two-State solution,” he said, referring to the establishment of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security.
“Is it not time to end this injustice? Is it not time to stop this suffering? Is it not time for the racist annexation wall to be dismantled? Is it not time for the humiliating and degrading checkpoints and barriers set up by the Israeli occupying forces in our land to be removed, for the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip to be lifted, and for our people to move in freedom and dignity in their own homeland and outside?” ... [UN Media Release - 30/9/15]
Union of Turkish Bar Associations head condemns physical assault on Hürriyet columnist as “fascism” [Hurriyet Daily News - 1/10/15]
Those behind the wave of violence in Central African Republic's capital were trying to stage a coup, the country's interim president charged after rushing back from the U.N. General Assembly.
"This was nothing short of an attempt to take power by force," President Catherine Samba Panza said in remarks broadcast on national radio late Wednesday after she returned to Bangui, cutting short a visit to the General Assembly in New York. ... [Daily Star - 1/10/15]
150 Taliban killed, 90 wounded in Kundoz operation [Khaama - 1/10/15]
The Tala wa Barfak district of northern Baghlan province has been overrun by the Taliban, who also captured the Khawaja Ghar town of Takhar province, residents and officials said on Thursday. ... [Pajhwok - 1/10/15]
Pakistan's military said it had killed 25 militants in air strikes along its restive border with Afghanistan on Thursday as part of a major offensive to clear Taliban and al-Qaida strongholds that began last year. ... [Naharnet - 1/10/15]
Two Red Crescent volunteers were killed in an air strike south of Yemen's capital, the Red Cross said on Wednesday, as military sources said government forces expelled rebels from Marib dam to the east.
Qaed Faisal, 28, and Omar Fareh, 31, died along with several other civilians in a raid on Monday in Al-Swaida area of Taez province, said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
It noted in a statement that the attack took place on the same day that more than 130 people were killed in a reported air strike on a wedding hall near Mokha on the Red Sea.
Also in Marib, a military official said two suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in an apparent US drone attack in Wadi Abida. [Gulf Times - 30/9/15]
Chinese authorities are investigating a fresh explosion in Guangxi province, a day after a series of parcel bombs killed seven people. ... [BBC - 1/10/15]
Iran nearly doubles its death toll from Hajj stampede [Al Jazeera - 1/10/15]
Kiev and pro-Russian insurgents struck a vital agreement on Wednesday to withdraw their entire arsenal of smaller weapons from the buffer zone splitting eastern rebel-held lands from the rest of Ukraine.
International monitors said the two sides' February commitment to pull back heavy weapons from the 500-kilometre (300-mile) line separating their forces was repeatedly violated, causing more than 1,000 deaths.
But a new truce that went into effect on September 1 has been strictly observed, raising hopes that the fighting in which more than 8,000 have died since early last year is finally approaching an end.
The long-debated small weapons pullback should also add impetus to high-stakes talks between President Petro Poroshenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Paris on Friday that will also include the leaders of Germany and France. ... [Ahram - 30/9/15]
Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister moves into 'Millionaires Row' on the Gold Coast [Daily Mail - 11/2/15]
.. At a one-hour rally in Keene, New Hampshire, Trump pulled no punches. “I’m putting the people here on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration that if I win, if I win, they’re going back,” Trump said to cheers. “They’re going back, I’m telling you, they’re going back.” ... [TIME - 30/9/15]
… More than 220,000 people have already died in Syria's civil war and more than 4 million people have fled the country.
Agencies like the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations [say they] do not facilitate the return of Syrians to the war zone.
But emails between Department of Immigration employees that were obtained under Freedom of Information by The Guardian show Australia has been encouraging Syrians in detention to go home.
"I was very open and frank with the transferees, I described the options that they have and I was clear that they would not be settled in Australia or a third country," one email states.
"The transferees were visibly upset and quite anxious.
"They were quite adamant that I would be sending them home to their death."
In the search to find out what happened to Eyad, Lateline spoke to a detainee on Manus Island who was friends with him.
The man, who Lateline has chosen not to name, said Australian authorities are continuing to exert pressure on Syrians to return home.
He said that message was given to him as recently as two weeks ago.
"Anything with immigration and the Transfield, they tell me, 'Why you didn't go back to Syria? Why you stay here?" he said.
"I say, 'I cannot go back to Syria because when I enter Syria I will be dead'."
He said Eyad became sick with kidney stones while he was on Manus Island and was convinced he was going to die.
"He want to leave for Syria... he say I don't want to be dead in this compound jail here in Manus Island," he said.
After meeting with the men at Villawood, Lateline received a phone call from someone who said they had been in contact with Eyad and they passed on a phone number.
Remarkably, more than a month after he was flown off Manus Island, Eyad was at the other end of the phone line.
"My number is EDE 043," he said.
Eyad said he had tried to escape from the Australian immigration officials who had escorted him back to Syria.
"When I went to Qatar, in Doha airport, I tried to escape because I wanted to go to Turkey," he said.
"There is a refugee camp in Turkey and once I am in that refugee camp in Turkey, it is easy to get my wife and my daughter to come live with me in that refugee camp."
Eyad also explained why contact was lost with him for so long.
"I was worried when I get to Syria to be killed or put in jail, and this is what happened. As soon as I get to Damascus I was 20 days in jail," he said.
Hunger striking Manus refugees: "Stop torturing us. ... Hand us to UN" via @rranwa
Letter to UNHCR, UN Committee Against Torture, Amnesty, Australian Human Rights Commission: "we are hostages of Australian government" via @shanebazzi
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Recommendations re "Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014" [December 2014]:
... 4.70 In specific evidence about actual incidents of encouragement to return home, a former employee of Playfair suggested that staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) were 'speaking to transferees, trying to convince them of the benefits of returning home'.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [30/9/15]:
Yesterday, U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Remotely piloted, bomber, and fighter aircraft conducted four airstrikes in Syria:
--Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike destroyed two ISIL excavators.
-- Near Washiyah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL excavator and damaged two other ISIL excavators.
-- Near Palmyra, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL tactical vehicles
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 26 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:
-- Near Huwayjah, eight airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area, 45 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL buildings, six ISIL vehicles, an ISIL trailer and denied ISIL terrain.
-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings, eight ISIL fighting positions and five ISIL weapons caches.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, nine rocket rails and an ISIL recoilless rifle.
-- Near Kirkuk, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL cache, five ISIL vehicles and an ISIL vehicle bomb.
-- Near Kisik, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL cache and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Ramadi, three airstrikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL obstacle belt and denied use of an ISIL resupply point.
-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two airstrikes suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle and an ISIL vehicle.
Russia will succeed where West probably didn’t want to – Assad’s aide to RT [1/10/15]
In response to questions about the presence of Russian air forces in Syria, the Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic said that the sending of Russian air forces was carried out upon a request of the Syrian state conveyed via a letter sent by President Bashar al-Assad to President Vladimir Putin. ... [SANA - 30/9/15]
Iva Radivojevic’s Notes from the Border documents the refugee crisis on the borders of Europe during the summer of 2015 through the tale of one man’s journey to the continent. ... [VIDEO - The Intercept - 30/9/15]
Turkish coast guards rescue 97 migrants [[BGN News - 30/9/15]
A woman and a child drowned off the Greek island of Lesvos after their boat sank, although 45 other people were rescued, police said Wednesday. ... [Ekathimerini - 30/9/15]
Athens Mayor calls for empty military camps to host migrants and refugees [Greek Reporter - 30/9/15]
Milan police on Wednesday arrested a 29-year-old Eritrean national on charges of abetting illegal immigration.
Investigators say Mahmoud Kar Mahamud Seid belongs to a migrant trafficking gang that between May and September organized 23 Mediterranean crossings from Libya, two of them deadly - a May 13 shipwreck that killed 17 out of 206 passengers, and a June 27 boat disaster in which all 244 on board perished.
Another nine Eritrean members of the gang are already in custody, police said.
Seid has a residency permit, and his job was to get asylum seekers from Milan to northern Europe. [ANSA - 30/9/15]
No way out: Rohingya refugees captured after attempting to move from Thailand to Malaysia [Phuketwan - 30/9/15]
A ceasefire agreement soon to be signed by Myanmar's armed rebel groups and the government is likely to fall short of its goals and will exclude a major group, officials involved in the talks said on Wednesday. ... [Reuters - 30/9/15]
Working with Burma’s national broadcaster as it transitions to a public service role. [ABC International Development]
Trial of two men accused of killing Reza Barati ends, judgment reserved
The trial has ended in Papua New Guinea of two men accused of killing an Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Berati, in the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island last year.
Mr Berati was allegedly beaten to death with a lump of wood by a group of guards during riots [a brutal attack on the centre], in which 60 other detainees were injured.
Both accused are Papua New Guineans who worked as security guards of the G4S company which was managing the centre at the time.
The pair was represented by the public solicitor's office.
Our correspondent says Justice Nicholas Kirriwom brought proceedings to a close on Tuesday and is expected to release his judgement during the next monthly circuit to Manus.
The ugly Australian [Dominion Post - 1/10/15]
The revolutionary act of telling the truth [John Pilger - 30/9/15]
Everybody knows it, except the Australian political, media and human rights establishment ----> Offshore detention = fascism
Open letter to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader signed by over 19,700 Australian women
Rape of refugees in Australia's island gulags "alarming", but we stopped the boats: Turnbull [ABC - 1/10/15]:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says reports two refugees were raped on Nauru are "alarming" and the Government is committed to ensuring the safety of people who are sent to offshore processing centres.
Two refugees had requested help from Australia after reportedly being raped on Nauru, leaving one of them pregnant.
The ABC's 7.30 program obtained a harrowing video of the moment one of the victims was found by Nauruan police, several hours after the alleged assault occurred.
Speaking on Radio National this morning, Mr Turnbull said he was concerned by the cases.
"The story on 7.30 on Monday night did reveal, as you said, a very alarming issue of safety for women there and we take that very seriously," he said.
"We're taking a number of steps to work closely with the Nauru government to ensure the safety and the security of all the refugees living in that community."
Mr Turnbull said the Australian Government was working with Nauru to provide a "safe environment" for asylum seekers who were sent there after being intercepted trying to reach Australia by boat.
"We fund the deployment of the AFP officers to support and mentor the Nauru police in their basic investigations and their policing," he said.
"The Nauru government has recently established a gender, violence and child protection unit within their department of home affairs.
"The whole government is very committed to ensuring that women - that all of the transferees and refugees, but in this context women and children - are absolutely safe in that environment."
He said a number of the refugees were in a position to be sent back to their home nation and the Government was actively working to achieve resettlement for others. <---- THIS IS REFOULEMENT.
Mr Turnbull said the debate over whether to keep offshore processing was no longer theoretical because the policies were working.
"The one thing we know is these policies, tough though they are, harsh though they are in many respects, actually do work, they save lives," he said. <---- THESE POLICIES ARE NOT "TOUGH". THESE POLICIES ARE TORTURE.
"This is not a theoretical exercise anymore."
He criticised former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd for dismantling the Howard era offshore processing regime, arguing the decision cost billions of dollars and an unknown number of lives.
Mr Turnbull said he personally argued against the Rudd government changes.
"I said don't touch what works Kevin, leave it as it is," he recalled.
"Domestic policies are like a gate valve, you change them and the arrivals will start again, the people smugglers will start again." <------ AUSTRALIA'S POLITICIANS ARE ABLE TO CONTINUE GETTING AWAY WITH SPOUTING THIS ILLOGICAL NONSENSE BECAUSE THE MEDIA REFUSE TO HOLD THEM TO ACCOUNT.
Greens Leader uses national forum to say S.F.A. ---> Richard Di Natale's National Press Club Address [30/9/15]
Australian branch of the UNHCR continues ignoring the plight of refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.
@cosmicgirltron [30/9/15]: Welcoming Committee for Diane Smith-Gander at the @uwanews Business School event on social responsibility ...
Divest From Detention:
... The campaigns and networks linked on this site are not trying to improve the conditions of detention but to end it – divestment is not a call for nicer cages.
These campaigns are independent of current and potential detention contractors, and are not affiliated with any political parties or groups who support any form of mandatory detention. ...
Nauru local loses benefits over protest [RNZI - 1/10/15]:
A Nauru local has lost his over-60 benefits for allegedly participating in anti-government riots [protests] more three months ago.
Ronald Sandy Deduna received a letter from the Nauru government on Monday advising him his welfare payments and Nauru airline benefits had been revoked.
The letter says Cabinet made a decision last week that people involved in protests, riots and other criminal activities should cease to receive government privileges.
It says Cabinet has been advised Mr Deduna was involved in the riots [protests] and he would no longer be receiving any benefits.
After the riots [protests], several dozen people were sacked from their jobs.
PNG Law Society president says travel ban imposed on two Australian-based lawyers is a violation of the rule of law [The National - 30/9/15]:
Papua New Guinea Law Society president Peter Kuman says the travel ban imposed by the State on two Australian-based lawyers is a violation of the rule of law.
The ban was issued by the Chief Migration Officer Mataio Rabura on lawyers Greg Egan and Terence Lambert.
Kuman said Egan and Lambert held valid practising certificates for 2015 and were entitled to practise law in PNG.
“All lawyers in this country must be able to practise law in this country without fear or favour,” Kuman said in a statement.
Kuman said the ban was a concern to the law society as they were involved in on-going court proceedings relating to the issuance of a warrant of arrest for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
The lawyers are acting for Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim, National Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate head Chief Superintendent Matthew Damaru and Chief Inspector Timothy Gitua.
Kuman said while it was the prerogative of the Government to ban anyone from entering the country if it was in the national interest to do so, such decisions must be made in accordance with the laws and based on proper principles.
He said the ban might be viewed as an attempt to pervert the course of justice or to strife legal representation if it was related to sensitive cases in the National and Supreme Court.
Why are the US Ambassadors operating in our region protected from scrutiny by the media?
Six women whose business plans were the winning award entries of the “Smart Economics” Business Plan Competition were announce today by the U.S. Embassy, ExxonMobil PNG, and Population Services International (PSI).
“Smart Economics” is a public-private partnership between the U.S. Embassy and ExxonMobil PNG, which provides some of Papua New Guinea’s most at-risk women with basic business training, knowledge, and resources they can use to launch a small start-up private business practice. The three Port Moresby and three Lae business competition winners were among a total of 20 women business entrepreneurs who vied for the “Smart Economics” awards. … [US Embassy Port Moresby Media Release – 29/9/15]
U.S. Ambassador Judith Cefkin exploring and learning about Fiji's diverse marine life. Learn how you can help preserve our beautiful oceans … [US Embassy Suva 21/9/15]
@wikileaks [30/9/15]: Hillary, Assange, 60 Minutes. TV tampering at the State Dept: Another great moment in the Clinton emails ...
Governor Fallin issues stay of Richard Glossip execution while state reviews protocol questions
Media Release [30/9/15]:
Governor Mary Fallin has issued a 37 day stay of Richard Glossip’s execution to address legal questions raised today about Oklahoma’s execution protocols. The stay will give the Department of Corrections and its attorneys the opportunity to determine whether potassium acetate is compliant with the state’s court-approved execution procedures.
“Last minute questions were raised today about Oklahoma’s execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection,” said Fallin. “After consulting with the attorney general and the Department of Corrections, I have issued a 37 day stay of execution while the state addresses those questions and ensures it is complying fully with the protocols approved by federal courts.”
The new execution date will be Friday, November 6.
“My sincerest sympathies go out to the Van Treese family, who has waited so long to see justice done,” said Fallin.
These barbarians control Australia's political and media establishment ---> "The jury never heard it": Richard Glossip to be executed in Oklahoma despite new evidence [Democracy Now - 30/9/15]
@helenprejean [30/9/15]: Other good news in the death penalty sphere: A preliminary injunction was granted today to block the execution of Alfredo Prieto tomorrow.
Pacific trade ministers trying to seal TPP trade pact
Japan Today [1/10/15]:
Trade ministers from the United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim countries opened final-stretch negotiations Wednesday trying to seal a deal on the world’s largest free-trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ministers are under pressure to bridge differences over a handful of key issues which prevented an agreement during top-level talks in Hawaii in July.
The stakes were high for many, with farm and pharmaceutical industry lobbyists from various countries and civil society activists gathered at the same Atlanta hotel to defend their interests.
And as the ministers began meeting Wednesday, a handful of protestors marched through the lobby of the hotel chanting “No TPP! Stop Corporate Greed.”
Chief among the politically sensitive final issues under negotiation are US import barriers on some Japanese car parts, market openings to Australia and New Zealand dairy products, and the length of patent protections for life-saving new-generation drugs.
Time is also a source of stress for negotiators. Washington, the main driver behind the pact since discussions began in 2008, wants a deal soon to avoid having to ratify it at the height of the 2016 presidential and congressional election campaigns.
While ratification of the TPP is presumed in many of the 12 countries, in the United States it remains a potential challenge. A senior senator, Orrin Hatch, sent a sharp warning Wednesday that the administration of President Barack Obama should not give away too much.
“No one—at least no one from our side of the negotiations—should be in a hurry to close talks if it means getting a less-than-optimal result for our country…. If the agreement falls short, I will not support it.”
If completed, the TPP would form the world’s largest free trade region, its members comprising about 40 percent of the global economy—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
In driving the talks, the United States is hoping to lock in rules on trade and intellectual property protection that global trade heavyweight China would eventually have to heed.
China, however, has already begun trying to set up its own Asia trade agreement, which analysts worry could take concrete shape if TPP talks fail.
The trade ministers’ meeting follows four days of intense detailed discussions between their main negotiators, but it was not clear how much progress they had made on the most difficult issues.
Robert Pettit of the Dairy Australia industry group, said they were worried that refusal of their U.S. rivals to open up the American market to their products was one of the key holdups.
“We are an industry with no subsidies, we are free-traders,” he said.
According to a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, the stimulus from the TPP pact could add $295 billion in annual global income after the 10-year implementation period.
The negotiations have covered a range of issues, from governments’ protection of state-owned enterprises, to setting up extraterritorial tribunals to settle disputes between governments and foreign investors, to the use of capital controls in a country’s financial system.
Among key issues still on the table after Hawaii were the opening of U.S., Japanese and Canadian markets to New Zealand and Australian dairy product exports; U.S. barriers to sugar imports; and U.S. barriers on auto parts imports from outside the U.S.-Canada-Mexico NAFTA free-trade region.
Japanese automakers would benefit if the U.S. part barriers are lowered, but Mexico and Canada have both bristled at the idea, making it one of the most challenging TPP issues.
But the details of the talks are couched in deep secrecy, drawing the ire of civil society groups who, citing some leaked preliminary texts, say they are likely to help businesses while hurting ordinary people.
The Washington group Public Citizen says large pharmaceutical companies are using the agreement to lengthen protections for their products, especially biologic drugs—drugs that are produced using living organisms and have shown great potential in fighting many diseases, including cancer.
“This would reverse the past U.S. approach, which allowed poorer countries more flexibilities permanently to ensure their populations had access to affordable medicines,” the group said.
US diplomatic cables reveal a coordinated assault against Latin America’s left-wing governments [Jacobin Magazine - 29/9/15]:
... Unable to force Morales to do its bidding, the State Department began focusing instead on strengthening the Bolivian opposition. The opposition-controlled Media Luna region began receiving increased US assistance. A cable from April 2007 discusses “USAID’s larger effort to strengthen regional governments as a counter-balance to the central government.”
A USAID report from 2007 stated that its Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) “ha[d] approved 101 grants for $4,066,131 to help departmental governments operate more strategically.” Funds also went to local indigenous groups that were “opposed to Evo Morales’ vision for indigenous communities.”
A year later, the Media Luna departments would engage in open rebellion against the Morales government, first holding referenda on autonomy, despite these having been ruled illegal by the national judiciary; then supporting violent pro-autonomy protests that left at least twenty government supporters dead.
Many believed an attempted coup was unfolding. The situation only calmed under pressure from all the other presidents of South America, who issued a joint declaration of support for the country’s constitutional government.
But as South America rallied behind Evo, the United States was in regular communication with the leaders of the separatist opposition movement, even as they spoke openly of “blow[ing] up gas lines” and “violence as a probability to force the government to . . . take seriously any dialogue.” ...
Tweed Shire Council opposed to Gold Coast Airport runway’s destruction of wetland
Tweed Shire Echo [30/9/15]:
Gold Coast Airport’s plan for a major expansion of its runway into NSW Crown land will have major ‘permanent and irreversible’ impacts on a huge swathe of endangered native vegetation, according to Tweed Shire Council.
The company behind the multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the terminal, apron and runway, has put a draft plan on public exhibition, but Tweed Council, in a late submission, has called for the 32 hectares of native vegetation to be retained, not destroyed.
In a report to be debated at council’s planning committee meeting tomorrow (Thursday), planning chief Vince Connell says that while Gold Coast Airport Pty Ltd’s plans will meet growing demand by tourists and domestic passengers, council has grave concerns for the large state-significant wetland area the runway is proposed to extend into.
Mr Connell says that despite the airport offering an offset planting strategy to make up for the loss of the 32.5 hectares, no details had been provided to date.
First-stage works are expected to start late next year.
He says there are also concerns about the acid-sulfate impact on surrounding surface and groundwater by the proposed draining of the area, resulting in a drop of the water table by around 2.3 metres.
And a proposed temporary construction road to the Pacific Highway could clash with traffic plans to facilitate major Tweed development on the opposite side of the highway, with a traffic-light intersection planed for that which the airport also wants to use when finished.
The federal government has previously given the green light to a master plan for the airport expansion.
Key aspects of the plan include: redevelopment of the existing terminal building; five additional aircraft parking stands with associated taxiways; site preparation, including drainage, earthworks and clearing of native vegetation; and thje uilding of the construction road to the highway.
Stage one, due to e completed by 2017, will include site preparation, vegetation clearing, drainage realignment, three new aircraft parking stands and terminal redevelopment.
Stage two, set to start in late 2020, will include an additional two aircraft parking stands and due for completion in early 2021.
In his report, Mr Connell said the plans for the Commonwealth-leased airport ‘will have significant, permanent and irreversible long term impact on endangered ecological communities and numerous threatened species of sState significance, being approximately 32.5 hectares of native vegetation’.
‘By the same token, the proposed redevelopment and expansion will increase the airport’s terminal and apron capacity to meet forecast busy hour demand to 2023, and deliver faster and more efficient service for travellers, and more retail choice,’ he said.
‘In this regard it is noted that the airport is a major employer and economic driver for the broader NSW and QLD region, and its wider potential is limited only by its capacity to meet growing and project demand.
‘Because the land in question is Commonwealth leased property, Council has no regulatory role.
‘However, the proposed Council submission to GCAPL recommends retention of this vegetation and notes that while an offset strategy is proposed, no details have been provided for consideration.
‘Potential acid sulfate soils occur on the site which will be impacted by the construction of a drainage channel resulting in a drop the level of the water table by up to 2.3 metres leading to the potential oxidation of these soils and result in long-term ongoing concerns for the quality of surface and groundwater.
‘While traffic matters have been discussed as they relate to a current planning proposal for the Border Park Raceway site, Council will most likely only have a concurrence role in assessment of any traffic generating development on land surrounding the proposed signalised intersection on the Pacific Highway,’ Mr Connell said.
Much of the area to be cleared he said was ‘of state significance, including 16 hectares of Swamp Sclerophyll Ecologically Endangered Community, significant areas of heathland and known habitat for threatened species.’
Sun news editor: The editor did cash payments
The Sun's news chief, Chris Pharo, today insisted he had no role in authorising cash payments for stories in the newspaper.
Giving evidence for the second day of his trial at the Old Bailey, Mr Pharo, the Sun's Assistant Editor (News), said the editor and deputy editor alone were responsible for approving payments to reporters' contacts.
Mr Pharo – who denies he helped foster a “corrupt relationship” with a Surrey Police officer – said he had a multitude of other roles in addition to receiving reporter requests for payments.
Among them were co-ordinating reporters, rewriting stories, negotiating contracts with celebrities and contesting super-injunctions in court. Cash payments to sources took up only a “tiny” amount of his time, he told the court.
Even then, he told the jury, his role was to “value” the stories for which payment requests had been made, then to pass those requests up the managerial line for authorisation.
Judge Charles Wide asked how the executive could be sure that an extra £500 cash he had agreed for a request by his co-accused, Thames Valley reporter Jamie Pyatt, would be approved at editor level.
Mr Pharo replied: "Very few were turned down when taken in to be authorised."
He reiterated that reporters would have gone over his head direct to the editor or deputy editor if he had tried to stop the payments system.
He assumed cash payments to sources were well known about by everyone at News International, including Rupert Murdoch.
Another dangerous, resource wasting class and race based police pursuit, Perth [WA Today - 30/9/15]
Gable Tostee case delayed by police admin error [Brisbane Times - 30/9/15]
A 48-year-old Gold Coast teacher has been charged with a string of child sexual abuse offences, after allegations of sustained offending against a teenage student.
The man, a former teacher at the private school, is alleged to have sexually abused the 15-year-old girl a number of times over an eight-month period, while he was teaching at the school.
The man from Mermaid Beach has been charged with seven offences, among them indecent treatment of a child under 16, grooming a child under 16 and common assault.
He is due to face Southport Magistrates Court on October 13. [Brisbane Times - 30/9/15]
Man dies when truck rolls on car near Ipswich [Brisbane Times - 1/10/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Mackay [QPS Media - 1/10/15]
... A trailer carrying horses is believed to have overturned on the M1 near exit 41 in Yatala, blocking three of the four southbound lanes. ... [MYGC - 30/9/15]
Suspicious fires damage homes in Kallangur and Cairns [Brisbane Times - 1/10/15]
Police hunt bomb-maker after two pipe bombs found in Cairns [Nine MSN – 30/9/15]
Armed robbery, Annerley [QPS Media - 1/10/15]
Some prisoners are still in 23-hour lockdown three months after riots at Melbourne's Metropolitan Remand Centre.
Corrections Victoria says while most prisons are back to normal operation after the riots in early July, the Metropolitan Remand Centre and another high security facility still have the restrictions in place.
Repairs are to blame for the delays, a corrections representative said, but most of the works have been completed. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/15]
In the days before Parwinder Kaur was doused with fuel and fatally set alight, she was optimistic about single life and was seriously considering having a baby, an inquest into her death has heard.
Parwinder wanted to show her abusive husband she could live happily alone, her sister-in-law Amanpreet Kaur told Glebe Coroners Court on Wednesday. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/15]
Queensland town in Defence water contamination scare [Brisbane Times - 1/10/15]
A woman who developed asbestos-related cancer after working next to Brisbane's famous Expo 88 site has warned the risks of asbestos exposure are still being ignored.
Tonya Fenton was working in South Brisbane in 1985 when large parts of the suburb were being demolished in preparation for the city's biggest party.
"It was really dusty," she said.
"We actually had a company that would come in and bring handtowels for us. We would wipe off our desks.
"We didn't really talk about it. It was just expected — it was a demolition site and there would be dust."
The 55-year-old was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma last year, decades after being exposed to the potentially deadly material. ... [ABC - 30/9/15]
A Launceston PCYC building shut down amid asbestos concerns has passed air quality tests but remains closed.
Dust found on internal rafters last Friday was suspected to have contained particles from when an asbestos roof was removed from the building in 1976, prompting the building's immediate closure. ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/15]
Environmental disaster waiting to happen at many Queensland mines [Lock The Gate Media Release - 29/9/15]
Australians 2 to 3 times more likely to
avoid seeing a GP due to cost in some areas
Women's Weekly [July 2015]
Australians' experiences with access to health care in 2013–14, MyHealthyCommunities web update [National Health Performance Authority – 1/10/15]:
Nearly 10% of people living in some parts of Australia say they have delayed or avoided seeing a GP due to cost – more than two to three times the rate seen in some other parts of the country, new information shows.
The first national figures to show people’s experiences with the health care system specific to each of the new 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas also reveal that in 2013–14, people in some areas were more than two to three times as likely to delay or avoid filling a prescription due to cost.
The data update reveals people’s experiences across 14 measures of the health care system including access, cost barriers to care, admissions to hospital, whether Australians had a preferred GP and how they rated their health.
PHNs were established by the Australian Government in July to support primary health services across Australia. Today’s new information provides the first nationally comparable picture of people’s experiences with health care across PHN areas, and is intended to help these new organisations to better understand the health care needs of their communities.
The data update shows that in 2013–14:
•The percentage of adults who said they delayed or did not see a GP due to cost could be two to three times higher in some PHN areas compared to others. Rates range from as low as 2-3% in some areas (Central and Eastern Sydney, Northern Sydney, Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains and Hunter New England and Central Coast) to as high as 7-9% in other areas (South Eastern NSW, Murrumbidgee, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory and Murray)
•The percentage of adults who said they delayed or avoided filling a prescription due to cost could be more than twice as high in some PHN areas compared to others. Rates range from as low as 4-5% in some areas (Northern Sydney, Country WA, Central and Eastern Sydney and South Eastern Melbourne) to as high as 10-13% in other areas (Brisbane North, Northern Queensland, Perth North, South Western Sydney, Brisbane South and Darling Downs and West Moreton).
The data also show big differences in GP waiting times across Australia, with people living in some areas more than twice as likely to report waiting too long for a GP appointment as in others. Rates ranged from as low as 15-17% in some areas (Gold Coast, Brisbane North and Northern Sydney) to as high as 30-38% in other areas (Country WA and Western NSW).
The data update also includes some measures of the extent to which Australians use health services. A higher or lower score on these measures does not indicate good or bad performance, but may still be useful to PHNs when considered alongside other information about outcomes.
Across Australia, the percentage of adults who said they saw a GP in the previous 12 months ranged from as high as 85-86% in some PHN areas (South Eastern Melbourne, Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast, Adelaide, Tasmania, Australian Capital Territory, North Coast (NSW) and Nepean Blue Mountains) to as low as 69-75% in others (Western Queensland, Gold Coast and Country WA).
The percentage of adults who said they saw a medical specialist in the previous 12 months ranged from as high as 40-41% in some areas (North Western Melbourne, Western Victoria, Northern Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains and Gippsland) to as low as 23-28% in other areas (Western Queensland and Country WA).
Two new measures previously not reported by the Performance Authority – the percentage of people who said they needed to see a GP but did not, and the percentage of people who said they saw a GP after hours in the preceding 12 months – are also included in the data update.
Protected and unaccountable Fluffy Morrison puts a price signal on child abuse - and the media unquestioningly lap it up [ABC - 14/8/15]:
PETER LLOYD: Income management will be introduced in Adelaide as a child protection method, following the death of a four year old girl in a case that shocked the state.
The coroner who investigated the death of Chloe Valentine made a raft of recommendations, including that income management be used when children are deemed at risk.
The Federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison today announced the strategy would be rolled out in Adelaide, and may be used in other states in the future.
But it won't be happening outside of Adelaide, despite the coroner saying it makes no sense to restrict the practice of money management to a geographical area.
In Adelaide, Natalie Whiting reports.
Inquest into the death of Chloe Lee Valentine [SA Coroner - April 2015]:
… I make it quite plain that child protection income management was not available during Chloe Valentine’s lifetime. Its relevance in this finding is not to demonstrate that another tool that was available at the time was not used, but rather to:
1) Note the existence of this tool from mid 2012;
2) Consider what preventative opportunities the use of this tool might have afforded had it been available during Chloe’s lifetime;
3) Consider the use that has been made of child protection income management by Families SA between mid 2012 when it became available and today;
4) Make appropriate recommendations.
14.11. It seems to me to be an unnecessary burden on the effectiveness of income management to require a person’s consent. It is quite clear from the evidence that I heard in this case that Ashlee Polkinghorne would never have consented to income management, and yet it is obvious that it would have been highly effective in diverting her income to Chloe’s welfare rather than to drugs for Ashlee’s personal use. In short, the imposition of a requirement that consent be obtained before this tool is used effectively renders it impotent in this State. This is clearly demonstrated by the statistics I have referred to above.
14.12. Mr Cantwell also gave very helpful evidence about the mechanics of income management arrangements. For example, if a person living in the Playford area becomes subject to child protection income management, they cannot escape its consequences merely by moving out of the Playford area. Once they are subject to income management they remain subject to income management. Mr Cantwell said that there are a large number of merchants who accept the ‘basics card’ that is provided by Centrelink for income management purposes. He also said that Centrelink replaces basics cards that are lost free of charge and immediately upon the person presenting to a Centrelink office. Thus in that respect the cards are more convenient than bank issued credit cards. Mr Cantwell also said that it would be possible for a child protection worker in South Australia through a conversation with his or her counterpart in Mr Cantwell’s Department to negotiate the application of child protection income management upon a person who was not resident in the Playford area if the child protection worker wished to do so.
$9.5 million for an inquiry into the Newman government's closure of the Barrett Centre when the ALP could have re-opened it the day after they were elected ----> The decision to close the Barrett Adolescent Psychiatric Centre at Wacol in January last year is being investigated by a commission of inquiry, which held its first public hearing in Brisbane on Wednesday. Present was Caitlin's mother, Justine Wilkinson, who is certain her second-born child would still be here had the Barrett Centre stayed open. "It was just like a lifeline," Ms Wilkinson told AAP of the facility. "To pull that rug out from under these kids by closing the centre was just unbelievable, when there was nothing else for them." ... [Nine MSN - 30/9/15]
... Sue Hewlett, 59, has just wrapped up six weeks of therapy using the deep breathing technique to target her breast cancer.
She said breathing into the snorkel apparatus was challenging at first because she'd just completed a gruelling course of chemotherapy, but she eventually got used to it.
"I just had to really concentrate," the former Princess Alexandra Hospital nurse said.
"It's a little bit uncomfortable, having your nose pinched and having something in your mouth for sometimes up to 15 minutes." ... [Brisbane Times - 30/9/15]
... Tahlia Meredith, 32, received a shock diagnosis of cervical cancer in 2012, despite having been vaccinated.
"It was just a routine pap smear," she said. "I was expecting everything to be fine."
The cancer was picked up early and she is now clear of the disease, but still has to get pap tests every six months to make sure it does not return. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 1/10/15]
High proportion of women experience anxiety following false-positive
screening mammography - study results can help health care providers give women
objective information on pros and cons of screening
[American Association for Cancer Research - 26/8/15]:
... “Our results show that psychosocial consequences of false-positive screening mammograms are common and can persist over time, with approximately one-third of women experiencing psychosocial consequences up to one year after the diagnostic work-up,” added Bolejko.
“This is important, because women invited to attend mammographic screening should be informed about the potential benefits and harm of the program, and the risk of long-term psychosocial consequences of false-positive screening mammography should be acknowledged.” ...
... However, Adjunct clinical associate professor Ian Haines, a cancer specialist at Monash University and Cabrini Hospital, said Australian men should be avoiding the test.
"I think the very small number of men who may be helped by PSA and treatment are far outweighed by those who are harmed by unnecessary treatment," he said. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 22/9/15]
1 October 2015