Calls for US to stop bombing Syria as US airstrike kills dozens [Telegraph - 29/7/16]
Russia says United States stance on Syria allows terrorists to regroup [Reuters – 28/7/16]
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered an amnesty on Thursday for rebels who lay down their arms and surrender to authorities within three months.
The amnesty offer, announced on state media, came as pro-government forces tightened their control around rebel-held districts of the northern city of Aleppo, where at least 250,000 civilians are believed to be trapped.
Russia, which is supporting Assad, said on Thursday three corridors would be established by the Russian and Syrian militaries for civilians to leave the city. [Reuters - 28/7/16]
Child among execution victims; 68 killed in Iraq [Antiwar - 28/7/16]
EUROPE: OPEN THE BORDERS - CHILDREN ARE DYING @AlbaFerrs [28/7/16]: Athens: demonstration in solidarity with the eviction yesterday in Thessaloniki. (pic Nasim Lomani)
US Ambassador to Hungary tours "transit zone" at Serbia border as refugees continue hunger strike, 15 hospitalised [Budapest Business Journal - 29/7/16]
Former British judo champion jailed for attempting to smuggle Albanian asylum seekers into UK [Independent - 29/7/16]
Italy launches repugnant Australian-style campaign in an attempt to convince refugees to stay where they are and accept their fate [The Local - 28/7/16]:
... “The campaign will help stop people from suffering and dying needlessly,” said the Federico Soda, a director for the Mediterranean at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“Italy has a moral duty to help migrants make an informed decision before they choose to cross.”
@ItalianNavy [29/7/16]: #SAR, 3 Unità #MarinaMilitare #MareSicuro prestano soccorso a migranti in difficoltà.
@PROACTIVA_SERV [29/7/16]: Huir de la miseria y la persecución.Que el camino mate a tu madre y te lance al mar como único futuro.Y ser niño
@SantiPalacios [29/7/16]: About 150 migrants wait aboard an overcrowded dinghy to be assisted by an NGO on the Mediterranean, north of Libya.
@guardiacostiera [28/7/16] #SAR #StrettodiSicilia #GuardiaCostiera coordina soccorsi: 1095 persone salvate in 9 interventi da unità @MOAS_eu @MSF_Sea e @seawatchcrew
Day 132 refugee protests, Nauru
SHUT DOWN! OFFSHORE!
Image: @elahe_zivardar [29/7/16]
Save the Children are now forever tainted by their acceptance of concentration camp contracts from the ALP government. If this person (who was on Nauru when Omid self immolated in front of - and apparently because of - the UNHCR) truly cared about the kids' welfare, he (and the journalist) would be exposing anything and everything they could. ---> ... Most Save the Children workers left Nauru late last year after its contract to provide welfare services was not renewed.
However, the charity's education technical adviser, Jason Ross, remained on the island until May this year to assist the Nauru Government.
Mr Ross said as little as 15 per cent of asylum seeker and refugee children at Nauru attended the local schools, partly due to bullying and harassment.
"[Nauruan students] would tell them go back home, and [would say]: 'You don't belong here, we don't want you here, you are terrorists, you make bombs'," Mr Ross said.
"I witnessed . . . some of the senior [Nauruan] boys whacking, hitting the girls, taking their school bags. The asylum seeker and refugee kids just felt threatened a lot of the time."
The poor attendance contrasts with a refugee and asylum seeker schooling program run by Save the Children until last year, which saw attendance rates of up to 90 per cent.
The federal government closed that program, forcing the children to attend local schools. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 29/7/16]
What did Thomas Albrecht say to the men on Manus Island during his April visit? ---> ... Paradoxically, Behrouz Boochani was granted "PNG refugee status" (i.e. exile) he did not want, during a visit by the UNHCR in April. ... Life within the Australian Guantanamo [Lamarea.com - 26/5/16]
Behrouz Boochani's defiant protest at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Island [Guardian - 24/4/16]:
... The positive determination came through on Monday.
The Guardian reported this week that at least 45 other asylum seekers, out of a group of about 60 who refused to put their claims to PNG, were told they had received a negative assessment. Those who receive two negative assessments face deportation.
But Boochani – who refused to present his refugee application to Papua New Guinea because, he told Guardian Australia in November, he was brought to the country against his will – has refused to accept the determination that he should be resettled in PNG.
“I have been imprisoned here for almost three years and have been under a lot of pressure to fill in the protection application in PNG but I have constantly denied to do so,” he said in a statement released by refugee advocates.
“I did not arrive in PNG and did never give the PNG government my case for asylum. I have never wanted to resettle in this country.” ...
... Behrouz told the Refugee Action Coalition, “I have never accepted their positive result. I want to show to all people that their process is fake. Where would you find an asylum seeker who would rather be in a ‘negative’ prison than be found to be a refugee? Only in Manus.” ... [Media Release - 24/4/16]
@MahirZeynalov [29/7/16]: Cemal Kalyoncu. He knew nothing in his life besides reporting and editing. Arrested because he did not bow to power.
@MahirZeynalov [29/7/16]: Ahmet T. Alkan. He made his point through satire. Was a marvelous novelist. Now with head held high, going to jail.
21 Turkish journalists referred to court over failed coup investigation [Hurriyet Daily News - 29/7/16]
@wikileaks [29/7/16]: CBS Reality Check: Why #DNCLeak is Much Bigger Than Bernie Sanders ...
@wikileaks [28/7/16]: Bernie Sanders Delegates drop this Wikileaks Banner as Hillary Clinton speaks ...
@MsJodieEvans [28/7/16]: We love you @JulianAssange_ I was chanting release Julian - celebrate @wikileaks truth for #democracy #DNCinPHL
Singaporean man (also a La Trobe uni PhD) administratively detained 2 years for thought crimes and Facebook posts [Channel News Asia - 29/7/16]
A man who went on a stabbing rampage at a care facility for the disabled near Tokyo earlier this week said in February “Hitlerism” had occurred to him, local officials said Thursday.
Satoshi Uematsu, a 26-year-old former employee at the facility, is suspected of killing 19 and injuring 26 others in the Tuesday attack at Tsukui Yamayuri En in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, in what became one of the worst mass killings in postwar Japan.
Uematsu said on Feb 20 at a mental hospital he had been committed to the thought that came upon him two weeks before, although he did not give any further details, according to the officials. ... [Japan Today - 29/7/16]
US military says it will hand back token portion of land to Okinawans - with a catch ---> ... Once new helipads are completed, the U.S. military will hand back 4,000 hectares (40 square kilometers) of land to the Japanese government, which is 17 percent of the area it controls. ... [Reuters - 29/7/16]
New Kagoshima Gov Satoshi Mitazono, elected on an antinuclear platform, said Thursday he will request a temporary halt of reactivated nuclear reactors in the southwestern Japan prefecture, currently the only reactors operating in the country. ... [Japan Today - 29/7/16]
Former French prime minister Alain Juppé has conceded France's nuclear testing in the Pacific has impacted on the environment and peoples' health.
Mr Juppé was Prime Minister from 1995 to 1997 under President Jacques Chirac, who made the controversial decision to resume nuclear testing in French Polynesia.
That decision led to riots in Tahiti in 1995, and testing was eventually ended in 1996.
Mr Juppé, 70, is a member of the right-wing Les Républicains, and has been considering a bid for the French presidency in 2017.
The lobby trail this week led him to Tahiti where he met with several of the territory's anti-nuclear organisations.
After a two-hour meeting, Mr Juppé emerged to say the assertion France held until 2009 that its nuclear testing programme was clean was not based on fact.
"The affirmation which was to say that nuclear tests were clean is not right," Mr Juppé said.
"It is not the truth. Nuclear tests had, and still have, an impact on the environment which is worrying, it also has an impact on peoples' health."
Mr Juppé, mayor of Bordeaux in south-western France, said he would modify compensation laws to allow more people to claim for the effects of nuclear radiation if elected as president next year. ... [RNZI - 29/7/16]
Chinese families of MH370 victims protest decision to suspend search [Malaysiakini - 29/7/16]
Killing TPP would hand China 'keys to the castle' says US trade representative Michael Froman [Reuters – 29/7/16]
Among all the speakers and protests at this week’s Democratic National Convention, one act of resistance toward Hillary Clinton stood out in a singular way.
According to NBC News, Cheri Honkala organized a fart-in on Wednesday inside and outside the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Philadelphia to protest Clinton’s party nomination. ... [VIDEO - REMEZCLA - 28/7/16]
Two children tortured in Australian prison being counter-sued by state [Reuters - 29/7/16]
Propaganda for the Intervention, new and improved offshore refugee gulags - and now - privatised youth prisons in the NT - just like Queensland's! Thanks Aunty! ---> The Northern Territory's chief minister wants to know if the Four Corners program on youth detention centre abuse was politically motivated and how many of the lawyers interviewed were Labor party members.
Adam Giles has also questioned whether several current Labor politicians should be serving given they were in power when much of the damning footage was filmed.
Meanwhile, a report led by Keith Hamburger, the former director-general of Queensland's corrective services, on the entire NT prison system will be released next week. [HOT 100 - 29/7/16]
Keith Hamburger AM - Managing Director [Knowledge Consulting]:
... Keith, as Director-General of Corrective Services (1988 to 1997), led a major successful reform of the Queensland Prison System.
This success was demonstrated by Commonwealth Industry Commission reports showing Queensland to have, at the conclusion of Keith’s stewardship, the most cost-effective system of Corrections in Australia, including the lowest return to prison rate.
Keith has considerable expertise in the area of outsourcing of public services to the private sector, including issues relating to the separation of “purchaser” and “provider” roles, specification of deliverables and the auditing and monitoring of “provider” services.
Under Keith’s leadership Queensland Corrective Services became the first jurisdiction outside of the United States of America to successfully outsource the management of high security prisons to private sector correctional service providers.
Anti-Apartheid freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela’s long time comrade and founder of the ANC-allied Congress of Democrats on resistance to UK-backed apartheid to the controversial appointment of Boris Johnson as Britain's new foreign secretary. [RT - 27/7/16]
... I was a Staff Sergeant in the South African Police during and after the Apartheid era and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I have never witnessed the injustice and ill-treatment of human beings that I witnessed at Bravo Camp, RPC Nauru. ...
Nauru Senate Inquiry, Submission 98 [June - August, 2015]
THESE MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN NEED OUR SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY WITH THEIR DEMANDS FOR FREEDOM AND JUSTICE - NOT MORE OPINIONATING AND ANALYSIS. ---> @elahe_zivardar [28/7/16]: Thursday 28th July -.day 131 of peaceful protest in Nauru
@racvictoria [29/7/16]: Day 77 of peaceful protests on #Manus 1107 days of illegally incarcerating #PoliticalPrisoners
This is a jail cell some of the female refugees were imprisoned for 30 hours and given only one bottle of water to share. ... [Refugees on Nauru - 5 March, 2015]
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [5/3/15]:
Almost 200 refugees including up to 80 women have been held in detention overnight after mass arrests on Nauru, throughout Wednesday, 4 March.
The underage children being held by police, including one 7 year old who had been arrested early Wednesday morning, were removed from police cells by case workers, yesterday.
However, many then spent the night without their parents who remained in custody.
More information emerged about Wednesday’s draconian police action, including that the police had arrested refugees inside the family compound as early as 4.00am.
The police action continued throughout the day with a further 50 refugees being arrested outside the police station at Yaren, in the afternoon, as they waited for news of those arrested and demanded their release. ...
Barcelona unveils installation that tracks refugee deaths as Australia continues torturing, killing and pushing back their boats [Yahoo - 29/7/16]
@McCallumJames [28/7/16]: @tanya_plibersek's office occupied by @Mums4Refugees ...
@DullaMun [28/7/16]: Courageous women ...
... Racist, genocidal acts against First nations people in Australia have been carried out for over 200 years and the Australian government shamelessly continues to add more oppression by choosing to close down Indigenous communities one by one against their will and disproportionately criminalise their communities.
We fully support First Nations sovereignty, self-determination and stand in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of Australia.
We ex-detainees at RISE stand in full support of First Nations community groups call for a national wide action this weekend on ‘Justice for the children tortured in Don Dale and all prisons’. ... [RISE Refugee - 28/7/16]
Torture is endemic (and fetishised) across Australia - and in our offshore refugee gulags and boat turnback regime - but the media and human rights establishment's persistent, narrow focus on NT proves they're not serious, and they don't care.
... Ronalds [lawyer] said Palm Islanders had been victims of systemic racism that was “so entrenched that it is apparently invisible to those who did it and those who manage and supervise it”. ...
SERT pointed guns at children in Palm Island raids, court told [Guardian - 21/9/15]
Last August, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because protected and unaccountable Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
Australia's juvenile detention centres are more secretive than Guantánamo Bay [Guardian - 28/7/16]:
... Solitary confinement in juvenile justice does vary significantly from state to state, and the Northern Territory does appear to be more lax than others; the children’s commissioner in the Northern Territory has compared the legislation across Australia.
In Tasmania and South Australia isolation can’t be used as a punishment in juvenile facilities at all.
In Victoria they can, but must be referred to health authorities.
In Queensland separation can only be used to protect the person or restore order to the centre and not as a punishment. ...
Corrections records indicate a teenager was placed in isolation for up to 10 days at Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre in central Victoria during the past year, according to the state's Commissioner for Children and Young People.
A teenager also received a fractured limb after being restrained by staff, while rolling "lockdowns" — where children were unable to leave their rooms — were found to be common place in Victorian youth justice centres. ... [ABC - 26/7/16]
Amnesty report details how Australian Government could reduce numbers of young Indigenous people incarcerated across the country [2 June, 2015]:
... Queensland treats 17-year-olds as adults in its criminal justice system.
CRC states that those under 18 must be treated as children in the eyes of the law.
In 2012 the Committee on the Rights of the Child again recommended that Australia remove 17-year-olds from the adult justice system in Queensland.
Ignoring this recommendation, in 2014, the Queensland Government amended its Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld) to require all 17-year-olds with six months or more left of their sentence to be transferred to adult jails.
In 2014 the Queensland Government introduced a further law which says that the court must disregard the principle that detention be a last resort, in direct conflict with CRC. ...
Tear gas and prison dogs reportedly used to pacify a "riot" at the Maryborough jail [Fraser Coast Chronicle - 1 December, 2014]
... Solicitor Kevin Henshaw from the Kempsey Aboriginal Legal Service says the Tasercam footage shows one of the worst cases of police brutality he has seen in his long career.
"Watching the tape, watching the child crying and screams, and the fact that police weren't really concerned, that was the most distressing part of this incident," he told 7.30.
"His treatment is akin to torture... no-one deserves to be treated like that."
The incident occurred at Crescent Head on the New South Wales mid-north coast. ... [ABC - 14/11/12]
Gold Coast Dogs on Patrol Induction Day – Paw Enforcement [QPS Media - 28/9/15]:
... Please bring your family and friends along to this event and don’t forget your adored four legged friend.
There are competitions to be won, demonstrations to watch (QPS Dog Squad) and stalls to visit.
Once you sign up to Dogs on Patrol, your dog will receive a dog tag and a Certificate of Induction.
Watch your dog become the envy of all other dogs, as they transform into a confident, proud, self-assured canine, as they prance around the park displaying their new bling. ...
Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014 [Senate Report]:
Events of the night of 17 February
5.49 Correspondence between G4S and the department indicates that on the night of 17 February, the PNG police force present at the centre was 46 officers, comprising 36 mobile squad members and ten dog squad members (with four dogs). ...
A US Soldier in a flak jacket appears to be using both hands to restrain a dog facing an Iraqi detainee in the Abu Ghraib prison. [Antiwar.com - 17/2/06]
QPS Media [7/8/15]:
Meet the 39 dogs of the Queensland Police Dog Squad calendar. They range in colour, breed, locations, type of work and personalities. Read all about them. ...
ADF and Queensland Police dogs sniff each other's bums [QPS Media - 24/2/15]
Fascism is when police dogs receive better health care than refugees - and this is unremarkable
Healthy and happy: Police Dog Maui underwent the preventative surgery [QPS Media - 15/9/15]
UQ News [16/9/15]:
German shepherd PD Maui and his canine colleagues are lean, keen policing machines, thanks to important surgery at The University of Queensland’s Gatton campus.
The UQ Veterinary Medical Centre Small Animal Hospital is treating Queensland Police Service dogs to minimise their risk of developing gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV).
Police Dog Maui has had laparoscopic surgery to prevent GDV, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency veterinary treatment.
Animal surgery senior lecturer Dr Jayne McGhie said GDV, also known as bloat, occurred when the stomach became dilated and twisted into an abnormal position.
Dogs can die quickly without prompt medical attention.
“GDV is common in large, deep-chested dogs such as great danes, German shepherds, weimaraners, setters and standard poodles,” she said.
“High drive dogs such as working dogs, anxious dogs, dogs that eat rapidly and dogs with a first-generation relative that have had the condition are at higher risk,” Dr McGhie said.
The Brisbane Dog Squad’s PD Maui had his day surgery at UQ’s Veterinary Medical Centre Small Animal Hospital, where he was treated by a team of veterinary surgeons, anaesthetists and nursing staff. ...
... Teenagers are also held in solitary. Six 19-year-olds have been placed in Chauka. … [Manus Island asylum seekers put in solitary confinement at a rate of three a week – Guardian – 12/12/14]
Guardian [VIDEO - 23/1/15]:
... Video footage obtained by Guardian Australia shows dozens of asylum seekers and refugees held in a single, windowless prison cell.
There is no furniture in the cell. Almost all the men lie close together and motionless in tight lines on the floor.
A man speaking on the video – whose voice has been altered to avoid identification – alleged the men were beaten by security guards employed by Wilson and by police while in custody.
“They have beaten everyone in this camp. We are totalling 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us,” he said.
The video shows marks on some of the men’s bodies.
It ends abruptly when a noise is heard, apparently outside the cell. ...
As Australia's stooge human rights luvvies continue spruiking Obama's upcoming bogus refugee summit ---> ... When unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, also called the Northern Triangle, began showing up in large numbers at the U.S. border with Mexico two years ago, the Obama administration recognized “a humanitarian crisis,” to which it responded by opening new detention centers and stepping up the deportation of children and families. ... Central Americans are running for their lives but toward detention and deportation [Concord Monitor - 28/7/16]
Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning received a document from Army officials today informing her that she is being investigated for serious new charges related to her July 5th attempt to take her own life.
If convicted of these “administrative offenses,” she could be placed in indefinite solitary confinement for the remainder of her decades-long sentence. ... [ACLU Media Release - 28/7/16]
Poverty protests at RNC/DNC Conventions [Consortium News - 27/7/16]:
... DB: You’re about to lead this march…in Cleveland. Could you talk about what are some of the multiple struggles that poor people face, that you represent? What are the kinds of everyday struggles we’re talking about now?
CH: Well, a big thing that we’re dealing with now is the nonprofit industrial complex, where many mega-organizations are getting multi-million dollar budgets and still can’t find ways to house poor people in this country. And it’s a question of greed. ...
@fivek [28/7/16]: If you think flag burning is grotesque & shocking, then you should go talk to someone who's survived being burned alive by US imperialism.
@fivek [28/7/16]: Obama wants to put me in the same category as his contras who behead children. Fuck you, buddy.
'Fart-in' protest of Clinton coronation no laughing matter [NBC - 18/7/16]:
.. Tsou's own participation in the fart-in derives from his support of single-payer health care, a cornerstone of Sanders' campaign, which called for providing universal coverage to all Americans.
"I think the current healthcare system is really too market-driven and not much public-good driven," said Tsou, a professor of public health policy at the University of Pennsylvania.
"There are too many people who fall through the cracks in our current system." ...
29 July 2016