United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 1/9/16]
Migrants are staging demonstrations at four sites around Greece, to protest delays in asylum procedures promised under a European Union agreement with Turkey.
Around 500 migrants chanting "open the borders" gathered Thursday in Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki.
Protests were also held on the islands of Chios and Lesvos, while scores of migrants at a camp near Greece's border with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) blocked the main highway linking the two countries for about 30 minutes. ... [Ekathimerini - 1/9/16]
@moas_eu [1/9/16]: ... 414 people rescued by #Phoenix today from 4 #migrant boats; thankfully all well & recovering ...
@ItalianNavy [31/8/16]: #SAR #MarinaMilitare Nave Bersagliere e Nave Cigala Fulgosi #MareSicuro salvano 967 #migranti
@MSF_Sea [31/8/16]: Many people were separated from their families during Monday's chaos. We're doing what we can to reunite loved ones.
... Yesterday was christened the little Noa Mary, a child of three months from Nigeria saved during a rescue operation in the north of Libya.
Mom, Roman Catholic, asked the chaplain on board to officiate the ceremony. ... Un battesimo sulla fregata Fasan @ItalianNavy [31/8/16]
Full body aches [MSF - 31/8/16]
Migrants’ last hope: A rescue on the Mediterranean [TIME - 31/8/16]:
... When the migrants were pulled aboard after one particularly epic rescue, on Aug. 21, we had 551 survivors from 14 different countries as far away as Bangladesh, on board.
They ranged in age from three months to 52 years.
They were fleeing abusive families, clan conflict, sectarian violence, persecution, poverty, war and tyranny—all the world’s traumas funneled onto southern Mediterranean shores. ...
... They are fully aware of the horrendous implications of western interventionism – including those sold as ‘humanitarian’ interventions – on Libya and Syria and other countries in recent years.
The ongoing tragedy in Yemen, which is advertised in the media as a solely internal Arab conflict, is also rooted in the American so-called ‘war on terror’, which shattered the country to pieces and undermined its internal cohesion.
But, for many, this is too messy, too complicated, and ‘too political.’
It is far easier to declare oneself an ‘activist’ and snap a thousand photos which parade victims of war in total isolation from one’s own moral responsibility. ... ‘Activism’ and its consequences: Syrian refugees are not subjects for a social media gallery, Ramzy Baroud [31/8/16]
Remote control borders: Violating freedom of movement [Beyond Foreignness – 26/6/10]
22 immigrant mothers resume hunger strike at Berks Detention Centre [Democracy Now - 1/9/16]:
And in Pennsylvania, 22 immigrant mothers have resumed their hunger strike at the Berks County Residential Center after suspending the strike for a week, citing intimidation by ICE officials.
The mothers first launched the strike on August 8 to protest Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s claims that the average time in family detention is only 20 days.
As of today, at least three families will have spent a full year in custody at the Berks facility.
This is Margarita.
Margarita: "We are here for one year. We are desperate, really, because it’s traumatic to spend so much time here. So, my son tries to, with his ID, strike around his neck. So, I was worried of him. The psychologist said that he’s going to be OK, that it’s just frustration that he have, but I don’t think that was just frustration, because it’s something more delicate."
Hundreds of Catholic school students and Victorian of the Year join calls to #BringThemHere [CAPSA - 31/8/16]:
Australian of the Year finalist Julian McMahon, Sister Brigid Arthur of the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project and more than 200 Catholic school students will stand in solidarity with the men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia at Birrarung Marr on Friday (September 2).
The Circle of Silence, facilitated by the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), is an act of solidarity for those migrants and refugees who are silenced and not listened to.
CAPSA has supported similar events in New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria to mark Migrant & Refugee Sunday last week.
“The Circle of Silence is a way for the Catholic community to speak out about Australia’s inhumane immigration policies and pray for the injustice faced by vulnerable men, women and children seeking protection in Australia,” explains Julie Edwards, chair of CAPSA.
“We support the #BringThemHere campaign to immediately end offshore detention and bring the people stuck in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island to Australia. CAPSA recently called for a Royal Commission into offshore detention, and we urge political leaders from all parties to stand for and promote the human dignity of each man, women and child seeking asylum.”
The Circle will consist of several speakers including human rights advocate and barrister Julian McMahon and people of refugee backgrounds, a 30 minute period of silence, and end with a session for reflection and prayer led by Andrew Hamilton SJ. Sister Brigid Arthur says the Circle is an opportunity for members of the community to express their support and welcoming for people seeking protection.
“The Australian Government might not appear to care about people seeking asylum, but an action like this shows that the community does.” ...
Day 166 refugee protests, Nauru
Never give up
Image: @elahe_zivardar [1/9/16]
Wilson says will pull out of Australia's offshore concentration camps when contracts end, anti-refugee policy still stands [Australian Financial Review - 1/9/16]
The objective of this audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s administration of health services in onshore immigration detention. ... [Australian National Audit Office - 1/9/16]
Hard to see how much lower Australian politicians can genuflect to these crazies? ---> A senior U.S. soldier said on Thursday Australia must choose between a stronger U.S. alliance or closer ties with China, and urged Canberra to take a tougher stance against Chinese claims in the South China Sea. ... [Reuters - 1/9/16]
Australia's two biggest cities cancel Mao Zedong concerts, citing safety concerns [Reuters - 1/9/16]
A Current Affair exploit's mother's anguish about her son's torture in a Queensland prison. Politicians remain protected and unaccountable and journalism still M.I.A. [Nine MSN - 1/9/16]
An officer has fired his gun multiple times at a[n allegedly] stolen car that rammed a police car in Melbourne.
The gun was fired at the vehicle on Elgin Street in Berwick about 4.30pm on Thursday.
The stolen car was then driven off and police pursued it.
The car was found dumped in Rowville without the driver.
Police believe the man driving the car might have been injured at some point in the ordeal and urge anyone who sees someone who might require medical attention in the Rowville area to call triple zero. [Nine MSN - 1/9/16]
Paraplegic man shot twice by police jailed for six years over Perth siege [Nine MSN - 1/9/16]
Australian workers in retail and fast-food outlets, including Woolworths, Hungry Jack's and KFC, are being underpaid more than $300 million a year, in a national wages scandal centred on deals struck with the shop assistants union. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 30/8/16]
Paedophile priest told to pray to end sexual attraction to children, Royal Commission hears [ABC - 1/9/16]:
... The commission heard from a New South Wales man who was abused as a boy by Ryan, while serving as an altar boy in the 1980s.
Now 46, the man described how Ryan began abusing him at the age of 13, including an occasion at his grandparents' house near Maitland.
The man, known to the commission as CNE, said he was once being abused by Ryan at church when a male parishioner walked into the room.
"He looked directly at Father Ryan standing there holding my head with his erect penis in his other hand," CNE said.
"He turned around and walked out. He didn't even say a word."
CNE explained how he abused a child himself when he was 14 years old and was later charged by police before being sent to Sydney's Long Bay Correctional Centre.
He was horrified to find Ryan in the same prison.
"He was actually living in the wing next to me and we went to the same exercise yard," CNE said.
"I wanted to kill him. He stayed right away from me." ...
Two boys charged with sexually assaulting female student at a primary school on Sydney's northern beaches [Sydney Morning Herald - 1/9/16]
Three remanded in custody over murder of Logan woman, arrogant media dismiss anger at their intrusiveness [Brisbane Times - 1/9/16]
Toddler resuscitated after near drowning at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre [MYGC - 1/9/16]
Police are investigating the "sudden death" of a 75-year-old man in central Queensland on Wednesday morning.
Paramedics were called to the residence in Kabra, south west of Rockhampton, about 7.20am and found the man dead.
Police have set up a crime scene and investigations into cause of death are continuing. [Yahoo - 1/9/16]
An elderly gentleman who was knocked off his mobility scooter in a crash at Redcliffe today has sadly died in hospital.
The 97-year-old man was riding his motorised scooter across a pedestrian crossing on Anzac Avenue around 12.45pm when he was struck by a Hyundai station wagon.
The elderly man was rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital but was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving, police said. ... [MYGC - 1/9/16]
A man has been rushed to hospital after being struck by a car on the Gold Coast this afternoon.
It’s understood the man was riding a pushbike when he was struck on Olsen Avenue at Ashmore just before 4.30pm.
Paramedics arrived at the scene to find the man with severe head injuries. ... [MYGC - 31/8/16]
A 22-year-old woman has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle following the death of a 55-year-old man in a collision southwest of Brisbane.
Police say the man was killed in the accident on April 8 on the Ipswich-Boonah Rd, Washpool in which four women were injured.
The 22-year-old woman will appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on September 20. ... [Yahoo - 31/8/16]
A woman has been charged with manslaughter after she allegedly failed to engage the handbrake on her car and it careered out of control, killing another woman in southeast Queensland.
Police say the car's automatic transmission was still in drive when, on November 11, 2015, the car rolled down the driveway of a car park on Brisbane Road, Booval and hit a 33-year-old woman who died at the scene.
A 29-year-old Brassall woman has been charged with manslaughter and is due to appear in the Ipswich Magistrates Court on September 20, 2016. [Yahoo - 31/8/16]
Motorist killed after slamming into truck on M1 at Yatala [MYGC - 30/8/16]
Two teenagers have been charged over recent shootings on the Gold Coast.
The 17-year-old woman from Ormeau and 16-year-old boy from Edens Landing were arrested by Gold Coast detectives at an address in Collingwood Park, Ipswich on Monday evening.
They have both been charged with one count of discharge firearm and two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. ... [MYGC - 30/8/16]
Police charge women with child stealing following domestic violence incident, Cairns [Yahoo - 1/9/16]
Three charged with taking alcohol into Apartheid far north Queensland [Yahoo - 1/9/16]
Sydney man Hamdi Alqudsi has been sentenced to a minimum of six years' jail for helping young Australians travel to Syria to fight in the country's civil war. ... [ABC - 1/9/16]
And Ice will still be peddled on the streets tonight ---> The head of a significant criminal syndicate that allegedly supplied drugs to outlaw motorcycle gangs across south-east Queensland and Darwin was one of 33 people, including Nomads motorcycle gang members, charged as part of Operation North Sigil on Thursday. ... [Brisbane Times - 1/9/16]
A Queensland magistrate has been asked to excuse himself from a case involving two lawyers over comments about "dodgy Gold Coast lawyers".
Magistrate Noel Nunan is presiding over the committal hearing of Jason Murakami and Ron Behlau, formerly employed by Gold Coast firm Nyst Lawyers.
They are facing charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice, with Murakami also accused of conducting transactions to avoid reporting requirements.
Their hearing was close to wrapping up in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday when Murakami's lawyer, Craig Eberhardt, applied for Mr Nunan to recuse himself from the case.
Mr Eberhardt made the application over Mr Nunan's ability to impartially decide the matter following comments he made while hearing submissions. ... [Yahoo - 31/8/16]
@wikileaks [1/9/16]: Response to New York Times article on WikiLeaks ...
Dilma Rousseff ousted, Temer installed as Brazil's President [teleSUR - 31/8/16]
Two children tell stories of abuse in Israeli jails [PNN - 1/9/16]
Israeli soldiers open fire on two Gaza sites [PNN - 1/9/16]
Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station [Maan - 31/8/16]
A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday threw out a $655.5 million judgment against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization after they had been found liable to a group of American families who accused them of supporting terrorist attacks in Israel. ... [Reuters - 31/8/16]
A bomb blast killed a Syrian woman and wounded at least eight other people in eastern Lebanon on Wednesday, the state-owned National News Agency reported.
The explosion hit near the mainly Christian town of Zahle, NNA said, publishing a photograph of the elderly woman with her white shawl stained with blood.
The Red Cross said one of the wounded was in serious condition. ... [Naharnet - 31/8/16]
Somalia: Deaths as car bomb explodes in Mogadishu [Al Jazeera - 31/8/16]
A Saudi airstrike has killed a Yemeni imam and at least 16 members of his extended family in the country’s northwestern Sa’ada province.
According to witnesses of the Wednesday attack, Saudi warplanes fired missiles on Saleh Abu Zainah's home, killing him, his two sons and other family members, including four children. ... [Press TV - 31/8/16]
More than 100 US airstrikes in Libya throughout August [Stars and Stripes - 31/8/16]
Russian Foreign Ministry: Any operation in Syria must abide by international law [SANA - 31/8/16]:
... She also underlined the need to resolve the issue of separating terrorists from so-called “moderate opposition,” adding that the US actions regarding the situation in Syria are chaotic and inconsistent, and that the Americans are firing from both hands in unknown directions and at unknown targets.
Zakharova called on the Turkish regime which is carrying out a military aggression on Syrian territory in Jarablos under the pretense of fighting ISIS to “choose its targets carefully” and to not carry out arbitrary attacks, including areas where Kurds are present. ...
4,245 killed in Iraq during August [Antiwar - 31/8/16]
Australia to pass laws allowing ADF war crimes against Iraqi, Syrian civilians, and indefinite detention for thought crimes [Reuters - 31/8/16]:
Australia will expand its military action against the Islamic State militant group in Syria and Iraq after amending its domestic laws, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Thursday.
Australia joined the U.S-backed coalition against Islamic State in September 2014, and has steadily increased its military participation against the group that has repeatedly called for attacks against the United States and other Western countries.
However, Turnbull said Australia's role had been hamstrung by differences between domestic and international law, a loophole that his government would close with new legislation.
Australian law currently only allows the targeting of people who were playing an active role in hostilities, which Turnbull said was more restrictive than international law.
"This legal risk posed a major challenge to the effectiveness of our operations. It meant that the [Australian Defence Force's] targeting base in Iraq and Syria was restricted, and we could not operate as freely as our coalition partners," Turnbull told the Australian parliament.
Turnbull said military operations could expand to target "a broader range" of Islamic State combatants once the law was changed.
In addition to outlining the expansion of its offshore response to the rising threat of Islamic State, Turnbull said his government would also press ahead with measures to combat domestic acts of terror.
A staunch U.S. ally, Australia has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014, having suffered several "lone wolf" assaults, including a cafe siege in Sydney in which two hostages and the gunman were killed.
In July, Australia proposed legislation to indefinitely detain people convicted of terrorism-related charges if it felt they posed a danger to society upon their release.
The legislation would be introduced to parliament next week, Turnbull said.
Turnbull also flagged stronger surveillance of potential Islamic State supporters in Australia.
He said approximately 200 people were being investigated in Australia for providing support to individuals and groups in the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
"There are still people outside our country, and some within it, who hate the freedoms that we enjoy and would seek to threaten them and undermine them with violence," said Turnbull.
Abbott acknowledges Gillard more fascist than he could ever be, says he should have helped her create more regional misery [Address to the Samuel Griffith Society - Stamford Plaza Hotel Adelaide - 12/8/16]:
.. I wonder, though, about the former government’s people swap with Malaysia.
The 800 boat people that could have been sent to Malaysia was less than a months’ intake, even then.
I doubt it would have worked. Still, letting it stand would have been an acknowledgment of the government-of-the-day’s mandate to do the best it could, by its own lights, to meet our nation’s challenges.
It would have been a step back from the hyper-partisanship that now poisons our public life.
In the last parliament, I could invariably count on Bill Shorten’s support on national security issues.
On deploying the armed forces or strengthening anti-terror laws, there were cabinet ministers harder-to-persuade than the Leader of the Opposition! ...
1. Australia's gulag archipelago is not "broken", the imprisonment, torture and exile of refugees is intentional.
2. The ALP is not "weak", immigration detention is their policy.
Labor and Liberals vote down immigration detention Royal Commission [Greens Media Release - 31/8/16]:
Labor and the Coalition have voted together to reject a Royal Commission into Australia's detention centres including Manus Island and Nauru.
Greens spokesperson for Immigration Nick McKim said the abuse and cover-ups in immigration detention centres, and the government’s failure to adequately respond, needed investigation at the highest possible level.
“The disinfectant of sunlight needs to be shone on Australia’s broken immigration detention network, and there is quite enough evidence that a Royal Commission is warranted,” Senator McKim said.
“Labor’s opposition to a Royal Commission is yet another weak display of bipartisanship with the government on immigration detention.”
Labor will be supporting this legislation because it is our policy. "Opposition" Leader, Bill Shorten speaking on the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 [House of Representatives Hansard - 24/6/15]
ALP helps LNP lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]
LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK ----> "WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" @InsurrectNews [31/8/16]
"WHAT'S HAPPENED TO HODAN?" @elahe_zivardar Monday 18th July day121- peaceful protest in Nauru
"STOP THIS POLITICAL GAME. WE ARE DYING HERE. ENOUGH REVENGE. ENOUGH SUFFERING. WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS." @racvictoria [31/8/16]: Day 111 of #Manus Protest. ...
Manus refugees' court case continues amid Australian media censorship and UNHCR's "durable solutions" weasel words [PNG Loop - 27/8/16]:
... The residents’ lawyer, Ben Lomai, filed for summary judgment on Thursday.
They will be seeking their release from the detention centres and compensation for breach of their constitutional rights. ...
ABC and UNHCR legitimise sham Manus assessment process, dodge FACT Australia is not meeting its international obligations under the UN Refugee Convention [1/9/16]
... Ms Thompson is the first staff member to publicly resign from Manus Island following a recent outbreak of violence [attack on refugees] which left one dead.
She was originally bought in to conduct refugee-assessment interviews and claims she was told to tell inmates their only option was resettlement in Papua New Guinea.
Ms Thompson said she knew their only option was indefinite detention, and so did they.
"I would not go back because there is no process, nothing for me to do, no process to assist people with - it's fake," she said.
"It's not designed as a processing facility, it's designed as an experiment in the active creation of horror to deter people from trying in the first place."
Ms Thompson told Dateline she was given a script to follow while conducting refugee assessments.
"We were informed that we were not to discuss resettlement, we were not to discuss third country options," she said.
"It was made very clear to us every day, sometimes even twice a day, under the threat of being removed from the island, we were not to talk about a third country, we were not to suggest there were any resettlement options, we were not to suggest they would be able to get off PNG," she said.
“We knew that this was ridiculous, but we were lying to people and we were told to keep that message going to keep it clear."
"What's not happening is any clarification on where they are going to end up."
“There is no process, the process doesn’t lead anywhere except indefinite detention." ...
UNHCR "welcomes" Australia's lies about releasing refugees on Nauru [5/10/15]
Or you could have just written to Turnbull and Shorten telling them to END THE POLICY ---> An 88-year-old retired judge has offered to swap places with a refugee held in offshore detention, volunteering to live the rest of his life on Manus or Nauru in exchange for one refugee being sent to Australia.
“I believe you have considerable power that could be deployed to end this shameful situation once and for all,” he wrote in his letter to Shorten.
Dutton’s office has been contacted for comment. [Guardian - 1/9/16] And has Shorten's office been "contacted for comment"? He' the one who started it ---> I urged Gillard to challenge Rudd: Bill Shorten [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/6/2010]
The Gillard government's offshore dumping policy [Project SafeCom]
... But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989.
It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores. (The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981. It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. They were not detained on arrival.)
There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke.
Hawke’s high-profile foreign minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border.
The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public.
Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees.
He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program .
The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since. ... Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/2004]
... Why, the Rudd government, it was reported, had made a special allowance in 2009 of $21 million for two years of "covert operations" to try to stop the people smuggling trade out of Indonesia.
The money went to the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/6/15]
US government admits providing false information to Supreme Court [American Immigration Council - 31/8/16]:
Last week, the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to the Supreme Court alerting the Justices that it had provided the Court with incorrect information regarding how long certain noncitizens were held in detention.
DOJ initially had provided this false information to the Supreme Court in 2002 for the case, Demore v Kim.
The Court heavily relied on the misinformation provided by DOJ in holding that the immigration agencies may deny bond to immigrants subject to mandatory detention in removal proceedings.
This extraordinary error has contributed to years of prolonged detention for thousands of immigrants, denying them access to the most basic due process of a bond hearing.
Back in 2003, the Court found, based on data provided by DOJ, that in cases where an individual was charged with removability on grounds that trigger mandatory detention under the immigration laws, the average detention period was 47 days where there is no appeal, with 15 percent of immigrants who appeal a deportation order being in detention for four and a half months.
However, according to last week’s letter from Acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn, the actual average detention periods were much longer—in fact, more than three times longer than they had originally reported.
The letter concludes by stating that, in light of this error, the Supreme Court may wish to “amend its opinion.” ...
@ABCPolitics [29/8/16]: .@POTUS has deported more people than any other president ...
11 Cuban migrants who reached Cayman Islands over past week, imprisoned and/or forcibly deported [Cayman Compass - 28/8/16]:
Eleven Cuban migrants who landed in the Cayman Islands over the past week and a half are being held in Immigration custody.
The first two migrants arrived on Aug. 17 in Grand Cayman.
On Aug. 24 a makeshift vessel carrying 33 migrants arrived in Cayman Brac.
Nine from this group decided not to continue the journey and are awaiting transfer to Grand Cayman.
Within the past week, three flights to Havana, Cuba, have repatriated 16 migrants.
Seventy-three Cuban migrants are currently in Immigration custody.
The U.S. government on Wednesday granted eight U.S. airlines permission to begin scheduled commercial flights to Havana starting as early as this fall, with American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O) being awarded 35 direct flights a week. ... [Reuters - 31/8/16]
1 September 2016