Terror attacks continue across Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [28/1/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted five strikes in Syria:
-- Near Palmyra, a strike struck an ISIL improvised explosives manufacturing area.
-- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck an ISIL headquarters and destroyed two ISIL cranes and two ISIL workover rigs.
-- Near Mar’a, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL building.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position, and destroyed three ISIL rocket caches, two ISIL rocket rails, four ISIL mortar tubes, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Ramadi, eight strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed six ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL light machine gun and five ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Defense Department officials today held a video conference to discuss ongoing implementation of the U.S.-Russia memorandum of understanding on flight safety over Syrian airspace, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement. ... [US Department of Defense - 28/1/16]
@PROACTIVA_SERV [29/1/16]: Así termina una acción de rescate hace unos minutos #Lesvos. La historia juzgará lo que aquí pasa, nosotros seguimos
@MSF_Sea [29/1/16]: ... The @Greenpeace and @MSF team has just directed this boat to safety in northern #Lesvos.
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon today? @ItalianNavy [29/1/16]: Nave Aliseo #MarinaMilitare sbarcherà domani a #Taranto i 411 migranti soccorsi e le 6 salme recuperate ieri
Don't ask the UNHCR. Their "Catch 22" Australian branch refers any queries about regional human rights atrocities against refugees to the UNHCR Bangkok office - as if Australia isn't also stopping people from seeking asylum. [UNHCR Media Release - 28/1/16]:
... UNHCR also remains concerned about continuing reports of push-backs and allegations of abuse in Bulgaria for those who try to access asylum in the country.
Many of those people, reported to be pushed-back, could be in need of international protection, who must have access to asylum in Bulgaria. ...
@guardiacostiera [29/1/16]: #StrettodiSicilia secondo soccorso di #NaveDattilo #GuardiaCostiera: salvati 91 #migranti a bordo di un gommone
@guardiacostiera [29/1/16]: Proseguono soccorsi nel Mediterraneo #strettodisicilia Nave Dattilo#Guardia Costiera salva 121 migranti su gommone
Europe's human rights court expects an “influx” of legal actions from migrants seeking to avoid being sent to other European countries.
Guido Raimondi, the president of the European Court of Human Rights, said his office had put in place an “action plan” to cope with a forecast surge in legal cases.
The remarks highlight how the wave of more than one million people may bring with it years of legal wrangling as countries seek to remove them, or prevent their families from joining them.
National governments and migrants may also turn to the courts to halt the European Commission’s plan to move 160,000 migrants from Greece and Italy to other states. ... [Telegraph - 28/1/16]
Taking a photo of storm clouds departing, Surfers Paradise
... Oh where is the silver lining
Shining at the rainbow's end?
'Sunshine After the Rain' is a song originally written by Ellie Greenwich in 1969 and performed by Elkie Brooks in 1977 and Berri in 1994 / 1995. ... [Wikipedia]
@TRAUS [29/1/16]: First 2016 #HighCourtAus judgment coming Wed next week: Plaintiff M68/2015 v MIBP. #auslaw Nauru Regional Processing Centre
Dozens of men have died in disturbing circumstances in privatized, immigrant-only prisons. The Bureau of Prisons itself says there’s a problem. And yet the privatization scheme continues.
Combined with interviews with relatives and cellmates of the deceased inmates, and with correctional officers and medical staff, the files tell the story of men sick with cancer, AIDS, mental illness, and liver and heart disease, forced to endure critical delays in care.
They show prison medical units repeatedly failing to diagnose patients correctly despite obvious and painful symptoms, as well as the use of underqualified workers pressed to operate on the borders of their legal scope of practice.
The files also show men dying of treatable diseases—men who very likely would have survived had they been given access to adequate care. ... [The Nation - 28/1/16]
... Ana Lizeth Mejia Gutierrez was never given an opportunity to call an attorney or family members when ICE agents took her from Atlanta to Texas for deportation. ... Raided families speak out in Southern Poverty Law Centre report [#NOT1MORE - 28/1/16]
Mothers targeted in immigration raids and still detained pen letter to President Obama [American Immigration Council - 28/1/16]:
... Why did you choose us to make an example of to frighten other Central American families, with no regard for the suffering it causes us and our children? ...
South Carolina Senate Committee approves Bill to track refugees [ABC News - 28/1/16]
Nobody believes that Malcolm "we stopped the boats" Turnbull - who spends billions of dollars on refugee concentration camps - cares about the homeless, or abuse victims. Get real turd buffing Australian media.
Merging the ridiculous into reality: Why are we letting the political and media establishment get away with this shit? ----> A teenage suspect discussed with a British accomplice packing a kangaroo with explosives before setting it loose on Australian police officers, prosecutors alleged on Thursday. ... [Mashable - 28/1/16]
Police have charged a man after a car travelling across the Queensland-New South Wales border allegedly evaded police in Tugun this afternoon. ... [QPS Media - 28/1/16]
Man stabbed in Brisbane's CBD [Yahoo - 29/1/16]
Two teenagers are facing serious animal cruelty charges after allegedly running over a possum until its entrails were hanging out and posting footage of the torture on Snapchat.
The video showed the possum struggling under the car wheel and a young man smiling and throwing his arms up in the air as the severed animal tries to scamper away.
The footage came to the attention of RSPCA Queensland, which has now charged Callum Gibson Mckenzie, 17, and Hunter Lawrence Jonasen, 17, with serious animal cruelty, an offence which carries a maximum seven years' jail. [Yahoo - 29/1/16]
Cardinal George Pell's appearance at Child Abuse Royal Commission in doubt due to poor health [The Age - 29/1/16]
Two former priests convicted of child sex offences deny they were part of a pedophile ring as one fails to keep his new identity secret. ... [SBS - 28/1/16]
The death of a man in a house fire in Dalby has now turned into a homicide investigation, Queensland Police say.
Mark Wilkes, 45, was found dead in the front room of the south-east Queensland home after the fire on January 20.
Police believe the father of three was murdered. ... [ABC - 28/1/16]
Woman injured in Whitsundays seaplane crash [ABC - 28/1/16]
Chinese tourist drowns at Palm Cove resort in far north Queensland [ABC - 28/1/16]
A construction company has been fined $82,500 for the death of a worker who was struck by a reversing road grader at a Macgregor building site in 2011.
Justice John Burns described the death of Wayne Vickery, 45, as tragic and avoidable as he sentenced Canberra Contractors in the ACT Supreme Court on Friday morning. ... [Canberra Times - 29/1/16]
A man has lost his arm after it became stuck machinery at a waste management site in Bayswater today.
It is understood the 24-year-old’s arm became caught in a conveyor belt at the Instant Waste Management on Clune Street about 4pm. ... [West Australian - 28/1/16]
Woman attacked by dog in Surfers Paradise [MYGC - 28/1/16]
A prominent Queensland street artist dubbed "Brisbane's Banksy" has been found guilty of wilful damage by graffiti after he painted several sites across the city without permission.
36-year-old Anthony Lister argued he didn't intend to damage five sites he painted across Brisbane between 2009 and 2014, saying he had blessed the property with his well-known work.
However, he was found guilty on one charge of wilful damage by graffiti in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this afternoon.
The charge was brought by Brisbane City Council, which has previously commissioned Lister to paint traffic signal boxes across the city. ... [Brisbane Times - 28/1/16]
Queensland Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg will give evidence for several hours at the inquiry into the suicides of three teenagers following the closure of an Ipswich mental health facility.
Mr Springborg was the state's health minister when the Newman government closed the Barrett Adolescent Psychiatric Centre at Wacol in January 2014.
Within eight months of the closure, former inpatients Will Fowell, Talieha Nebauer and Caitlin Wilkinson-Whiticker took their own lives. Mr Springborg will spend the morning of February 26 in the commission of inquiry witness box.
The Southern Downs MP, who is scheduled to attend from 9.30am-1pm, is one of 45 witnesses listed to give evidence over four weeks. ... [Sunshine Coast Daily - 28/1/16]
"New and improved" Greens indicate no opposition to ALP or LNP neoliberal education policy in Federal parliament [Media Release - 28/1/16]
What is Gonski? Union supported poor expression and guaranteed public funding for independent and private schools (as well as outsourced, corporate programs like "Jolly Phonics") ----> ... The review, headed by respected businessman, David Gonski, said Australia was under-investing in education and not delivering funded to where it was needed most. ... [I Give A Gonski]
Education Minister Hekia Parata confirmed the closure of the charter school in Northland today, saying the challenges facing its board were too great. PPTA [Post Primary Teachers' Association] president Angela Roberts said the union and Ministry advisors warned the government of all those challenges and risks - but were ignored.
She said state schools could have made good use of the millions spent to prop up a school that was never viable.
Ms Roberts said the 39 children who attended the ill-conceived charter school were the true victims of the venture, along with the taxpayer. ... [RNZI - 28/1/16]
"New and improved" Greens too busy attacking Clive Palmer to represent their constituents and voters [Brisbane Times - 28/1/18]:
Doctors have urged people who lived near the proposed Adani Carmichael mine, and the transport links that would service it, to get their health checked now to arm themselves for possible action down the track.
Doctors for the Environment Australia member David King, a Brisbane-based GP and senior lecturer at the University of Queensland's school of medicine, said those residents needed a "baseline" with which to compare their health down the track, should they fall ill as a result of the mine's activities. ...
NATO: The Empire's Armed Wing :
"NATO: The Empire's Armed Wing" is a teleSUR documentary produced by Argentine filmmaker Marcelo Borrego.
In unvarnished terms it reveals the true face of NATO as an instrument of aggressive U.S. foreign policy in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Far from its declared goal of being a defense organization, NATO has intervened militarily to pursue Washington's broader economic and strategic objectives in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the Ivory Coast, and other countries.
Russian fighter jet intercepts US Air Force spy plane over Black Sea [TASS - 29/1/16]
US asks NATO for surveillance planes in war on Iraq and Syria [Ahram - 28/1/16]
Syria peace talks derailed as opposition stays away [Reuters - 28/1/16]
A Saudi-led coalition fighting in neighboring Yemen has targeted civilians with air strikes and some of the attacks could be a crimes against humanity, United Nations sanctions monitors said in an annual report to the Security Council.
The report by the U.N. panel that monitors the conflict in Yemen for the Security Council, seen by Reuters on Wednesday, sparked calls by rights groups for the United States and Britain to halt sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in such attacks.
The panel of experts documented 119 coalition sorties "relating to violations of international humanitarian law" and said that "many attacks involved multiple air strikes on multiple civilian objects." ... [AllGov - 28/1/16]
Yemen airstrikes: 'there are no sirens, you just hear the boom' [Guardian - 28/1/16]
A suicide car bombing killed at least eight people at a checkpoint outside Yemen's presidential palace in the southern city of Aden on Thursday, security and medical officials said.
The dead included soldiers and civilians and at least 12 others were wounded, a medical source said.
A security source said the attack appeared to target the convoy of a local businessman who was entering the presidential complex. ... [Ahram - 28/1/16]
Kidnapped Al Jazeera journalists freed in Yemen: network [Reuters - 28/1/16]
The New Zealand Government still intends to give a $3 million abattoir to Saudi Arabia despite being concerned by the mass executions there this month. ... [RNZI - 27/1/16]
Libya: UN envoy strongly condemns abduction of parliamentarian, calls for his immediate release [Media Release - 28/1/16]
... “The health situation in Libya is rapidly deteriorating, with extensive displacement, damage and closure of health facilities in conflict areas,” stressed Reida Oakely, Libya’s Minister of Health. Of great concern are health risks such as increased communicable diseases, outbreaks of measles and polio, mortality, as well as limited healthcare, services and prevention especially for vulnerable groups.
“We need both financial resources and the international humanitarian community to step up efforts to help save the lives of children, mothers and the elderly who are most at risk,” said Mr. Hussain, adding “this is not about politics; it is about health needs.” ... [UN Media Release - 28/1/16]
US considering fresh military action in Libya [Guardian – 28/1/16]
International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Thursday her office has collected a "vast body of evidence" against former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo, accused of fomenting post-poll violence in his west African nation.
"We have obtained a vast body of evidence against the two accused," Bensouda told the Hague-based court as the trial of Gbagbo and former militia leader Charles Ble Goude got underway five years after 3,000 people died in political upheavals following the bitterly disputed 2010 elections. ... [Naharnet - 28/1/16]
4 soldiers killed in Mali's north in explosion, attack [ABC News - 28/1/16]
Four killed in twin suicide attack in North Cameroon [Naharnet – 28/1/16]:
... The attacks took place next to a school sheltering people displaced from their homes by Boko Haram's six-year campaign of terror, initially confined to Nigeria but which last year saw a sharp increase in cross-border attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon. ...
Israeli forces open fire on farmers, shepherds in Gaza [Maan - 28/1/16]
Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq said on Thursday that he was not surprised the Israeli Supreme Court had delayed its decision on whether or not to release him, his lawyer said.
Lawyer Jawad Boulos said al-Qiq, who has been on a hunger strike for 65 days, confirmed that he would continue his strike until he was either released or dead.
Boulos said that al-Qiq informed the medical staff and the Israeli Prison Service that he refused to be fed or treated medically by force, even if he fainted or died, adding that the prisoner was barely awake and in critical condition.
The prisoner made the decision without outside pressure, and fully accepted the consequences of his decision, Boulos added. ... [Maan - 28/1/16]
Israel destroys Negev mosque, issues mass demolition order in Nablus [Maan - 28/1/16]
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was Thursday hosting a three-way meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras focused on energy cooperation between the Mediterranean states. ... [Naharnet - 28/1/16]
How York University should respond to a Zionist donor’s blackmail [Electronic Intifada - 28/1/16]
Kidnapped two days ago, an 8-year-old child has been found dead near the capital of western Farah province, while gunmen kidnapped four civilians in neighboring province of Nimroz, officials said on Thursday.
The child had been kidnapped two days ago by unknown gunmen from Darabad village on the outskirts of Farah City and his dead body was recovered from a water well on Wednesday night in the same village, deputy governor Mohammad Younus Rassouli told Pajhwok Afghan News. ... [Pajhwok - 28/1/16]
In Afghanistan, three prisoners who were formerly held at the secretive U.S. Bagram military prison and are now being held in Afghan custody have launched a hunger strike to protest their continued imprisonment.
Two of the three prisoners, brothers Sa’id Jamaluddin and Abdul Fatah, were captured by U.S. forces during a military raid in 2008 and were sent to the Bagram prison.
In 2010, the U.S. military found the brothers posed no risk to the U.S.
The brothers were transferred to Afghan custody in December 2014, as the U.S. moved to close its military prisons in Afghanistan.
Two months later, an Afghan court ruled that they were entitled to release, but they remain in custody to this day.
An Afghan court has also ruled that the third hunger-striking prisoner, Musa Akhmadjanov, is not guilty of any crime under Afghan law and is also entitled to release, yet he too remains imprisoned. [Democracy Now - 28/1/16]
29 January 2016