Libyan forces said they captured a residential neighborhood in central Sirte from Islamic State on Monday, leaving just one district of the city still occupied by the militants.
Spokesman Rida Issa said Sirte's neighborhood Number One was "completely liberated", but added that the brigades, backed by U.S. air strikes, were "in the process of clearing any remnants of Daesh (Islamic State)" from the area.
The United States began an air campaign over Sirte on Aug. 1, and had by Sunday carried out 92 strikes against Islamic State. ... [Reuters - 30/8/16]
@MSF_Sea [30/8/16]: This man, rescued by the #Dignity1 became a single father to a newborn when his wife died in #Libya.
@WilliamsJon [30/8/16]: Truly staggering @AP photo across front page of NYTimes: >6,000 rescued in single day off #Libya ...
@SM_Difesa [29/8/16]: #SAR grande impegno navi #MarinaMilitare dispositivo #MareSicuro salvano oltre 2500 #migranti
A Turkish judicial official claiming to have fled the troubled country because he was a victim of persecution, has requested protection from Greek authorities after landing on Tuesday morning on the eastern Aegean island of Chios.
According to a report by the ANA-MPA agency, the 50-year-old man admitted to sailing from the Turkish coast to Chios in a rubber boat with another six asylum-seekers, and presented Greek authorities with his identity card and proof of his professional capacity as a judicial official. ... [Ekathimerini - 30/8/16]
@Theurgia_Goetia [30/8/16]: Turk. prosecutor sentenced to 1mth jail/susp.3years, b/c of illegal entrance into Greece. He'll be transf @ VIAL hotspot, like all refugees
A small group of anarchists who were part of a rally on Monday protesting a firebomb attack last week on a migrant squat in downtown Athens, allegedly assaulted the head of the city’s traffic police. ... [Ekathimerini - 30/8/16]
Canada: Indefinite immigration detention faces legal challenge today in provincial court [CBC - 30/8/16]:
A Jamaican man gets a rare chance today to ask a Superior Court in Toronto to look at whether his ongoing immigration detention is justified.
Alvin Brown, a 40-year-old who was a permanent resident of Canada since he was eight, has already spent five years behind bars.
The government wants to deport him following a robbery conviction but Jamaica won't issue him travel documents.
Last year, Ontario's top court cleared the way for today's legal challenge when it ruled provincial courts have the jurisdiction to hear such cases.
Federal Court normally deals with immigration matters but critics say it provides little oversight of what can amount to indefinite imprisonment.
Last month, detainees went on hunger strike to press for an end to the practice.
Nine Latin America foreign ministers sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Monday accusing the United States of fomenting a migration crisis in the region through its Cold War-era immigration policies for Cuban migrants, arguing that President Barack Obama’s failure to change the law despite the recent thaw in relations with his counterpart Raul Castro has adversely impacted the region.
In the letter, the ministers argue that the 1966 U.S. immigration policy toward Cubans known as the Cuban Adjustment Act has "encouraged a disorderly, irregular and unsafe flow of Cubans" through various countries of Latin America on route to the United States and has contributed to a migration and humanitarian crisis in the region. ... [teleSUR - 29/8/16]
Day 164 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [30/8/16]
Ex-detainees declare 3rd of September as Ex-Detainees’ Day for asylum seekers and refugees [RISE - 30/8/16]:
... Ex-detainees’ Day spokesperson Abdul Baig said – “After discussion and consultation with members of our group, we have outlined 10 demands. Our demands are universal and can be adopted by all those who do not want to be part of the asylum seeker and refugee detention, torture and abuse supply chain. We ex-detainees say NO to the detention of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and the rest of the world, and YES to safety and protection”. ...
Danish politicians denied visas to tour Nauru refugee concentration camp at last minute [Guardian - 30/8/16]
Danes wanted to keep tour of concentration camp secret because of self immolations triggered by last, twisted gawking visit [RNZI - 26/8/16]:
A Danish parliamentian planning to visit Nauru says the study tour of Australia's asylum seeker detention centre was meant to be kept secret.
Martin Henriksen said the trip of the six-party parliamentary delegation had been long in the planning and was to be made public after the MPs' return.
He told Radio24syv that he had been advised that during a recent visit of a United Nations delegation to Nauru people committed self-harm and died.
The travel plans were reportedly instigated at the behest of the Danish People's Party which wanted to study the Australian policy of processing asylum seekers abroad.
Observers in Denmark said it was problematic for a parliamentary delegation to use public funds for a trip which was not declared in advance.
Amnesty International in Denmark said the reason put forward for the trip's secrecy showed what was wrong about going to Nauru.
... "You can't complain on security because if you do then his friends will take a revenge for his friend." ... RNZI interviews one of Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island [30/8/16]
Crunch Time (2013): As elections in Australia loom, Kevin Rudd is taking on the refugee issue. But as this potent report reveals his hardline policy is coming at a huge human cost as refugees continue to risk the gauntlet. ...
There are more than 150,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia - 90 percent of them are from Myanmar [Reuters - 30/8/16]
Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum is planning to begin its Myanmar drilling campaign in 2017 after making promising discoveries in two offshore fields, online publication Asian Oil and Gas said last week.
Shwe Yee Htun-1 and Thalin-1A are in the Rakhine Basin in the Bay of Bengal, where Woodside is one of the largest acreage holders, holding stakes in six blocks, AOG said. ... [Frontier Myanmar - 29/8/16]
Chief Minister calls for security of Tamil students at Peradeniya [Tamil Guardian - 30/8/16]
Enforced journalist disappearances: International Federation of Journalists counts the missing days [29/8/16]:
… Across the region, the missing include, Juanita Nielsen (Australia), Prakash Singh Thakuri, Chitra Narayan Shrestha, Milan Nepali, Madan Paudel (all of Nepal), Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla (Maldives), Zeenat Shahzadi (Pakistan), Joey Estriber (Philippines), and Prageeth Eknaligoda, Subramaniam Ramachandran and Vadivel Nimalarajah (all of Sri Lanka).
The IFJ said: “Enforced disappearances are aimed to spread terror and fear. These 11 cases are indicative of the endemic impunity problem for attacks against journalists in the Asia-Pacific. The lack of progress in the cases only increases the suffering and loss; and serves to stifle press freedom in communities and societies more broadly.”
The IFJ today commended Sri Lanka for ratifying the ICPAED convention on May 25, 2016. A breakthrough in the case of Prageeth Eknaligoda has seen the case two accused of involvement is his abduction facing local courts in May 2016, is also demonstrative of steps being taken by the new Sirisena government to repair press freedom.
The Convention came into effect on 2010 with the aim to prevent enforced disappearances, uncover the truth, and make sure survivors and victims’ families receive justice and reparation.
So far 96 states have signed the convention and 52 have ratified the convention. Most countries in Asia-Pacific are yet to sign.
“The disappearance of Zeenat Shahzadi has brought immense suffering to her family and is understood to be linked to Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI. Political leaders in these countries must take action on these cases.”
“The fact that Australia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines are yet to sign is also a red card on their human rights responsibilities,” the IFJ said. ...
O’Neill to chair Pacific Islands leaders summit in Hawaii [PNG Loop - 30/8/16]
A primary school teacher and two other men were killed in separate incidents in Tari, Hela, last Friday.
The teacher was reportedly shot dead at the Andaya Oval.
Tagali local level government manager Garry Tawila said the teacher was not involved in any tribal conflict.
He said the attack was in retaliation for the killing of two tribesmen earlier at the same location.
Tawila said the teacher’s tribesmen were not involved with the clans engaged in ongoing tribal fights.
Tawila said tribal fighting among the Kikita tribesmen took place in Tari town.
He said the fighting had claimed at least 19 lives.
Meanwhile, local leader Joseph Gulu Matane called on the Government to declare a state of emergency in Hela following the killings. [The National - 30/8/16]
Health authority suspended over walkout [The National - 30/8/16]:
The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority has been suspended because of the ongoing strike by doctors, nurses and administrative staff.
Health and HIV/AIDS Minister Michael Malabag appointed an interim hospital board and administration saying the protest was putting the lives of innocent people in the area at risk.
He said health workers and administrators must act professionally to address issues and not to take administrative issues as industrial matters.
“The results have strained health service delivery,” Malabag said.
He said the Health Department was dealing with the issues raised by the National Doctors Union and an investigation was underway.
Malabag said the boards and management structures and unions were created under various legislations to safeguard services. ...
Floods hit several areas of Jakarta, many roads inundated [Jakarta Post - 30/8/16]
Tahiti's baby sea lion dies [RNZI - 30/8/16]
East Timor on Monday urged an international court to help end a decade-long dispute with Australia over a maritime border which cuts through lucrative oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea.
Australia argued the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague -- the world's oldest international tribunal -- has no jurisdiction in the battle that has soured ties between the two maritime neighbours. ... [Expatica - 29/8/16]
US to deploy new naval Osprey variant in Japan possibly from 2021 [Japan Times - 30/8/16]:
... The U.S. military has deployed MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture.
It plans to locate the CV-22, the air force variant of the MV-22, at Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo in 2017.
The U.S. military maintains that the Ospreys are safe, but a series of crashes have sparked concern in Japan about their reliability.
Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan hit by suspected suicide car bomb [Reuters - 30/8/16]:
A suspected suicide car bomber rammed the gates of the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek on Tuesday, killing the attacker and wounding at least three other people, officials said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said the car exploded inside the compound and quoted Deputy Prime Minister Janysh Razakov as describing the blast as "a terrorist act".
Police cordoned off the building and the adjacent area, and the GKNB state security service said they were investigating the bombing that occurred around 1000 local time (0400 GMT).
China condemned the assault and urged the Kyrgyz authorities to "quickly investigate and determine the real situation behind the incident. ...
At the upcoming summit between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the two sides are to build on the progress made on bilateral cooperation and address their differences, the White House said Monday. ... [Manila Bulletin - 30/8/16]
Obama expected to continue greenlighting Duterte's massacres [Philstar.com - 30/8/16]:
United States President Barack Obama is expected to raise concerns about some of the recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte in their upcoming meeting in Laos.
The two leaders are set to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' summit at Vientiane, Laos on Sept. 6.
"We regularly meet with the leaders of our treaty allies where we have differences whether it relates to human rights practices or derogatory comments.
We take the opportunity of those meetings to raise those issues directly," White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a media briefing on Monday.
Rhodes made the statement after he was asked if the "inflammatory remarks" of Duterte about women, journalists and other issues would be discussed.
The White House official added that the recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea would also be one of the topics of the bilateral talks. ...
US, India sign military logistics agreement [Reuters – 29/8/16]
Kashmir: Non-lethal options to pellets were cleared in 2012 but file gathers dust [The Indian Express - 30/8/16]
... Since mid-July, when the current wave of protests against the Indian military presence started, more than 570 patients have reported to Srinagar’s main government hospital with eyes ruptured by lead pellets, sometimes known as birdshot, fired by security forces armed with pump-action shotguns to disperse crowds. ... [New York Times - 29/8/16]
Mir Quasem Ali, known as the financier of the Jamaat-e-Islami, has lost his last legal battle to avoid the death sentence on him for 1971 war-time atrocities through the Supreme Court's rejection of his review petition.
The verdict from the top appeals court on Tuesday now means that there is now no legal bar to executing his death sentence for the abduction, torture and killing of teenage freedom fighter Jasim Uddin Ahmed during Bangladesh’s nine-month War of Independence from Pakistan. ... [bdnews24.com - 30/8/16]
... The Election Commission initiative will require citizens to provide biometric details (all ten fingers and iris impression). ... Bangladesh to launch "smart" national ID cards on Oct 2 [bdnews24.com - 30/8/16]
US will have ‘more engagements, presence’ in Bangladesh against terrorism, extremism, says Kerry in Dhaka [bdnews24.com - 29/8/16]:
... According to him, the US engagement with Bangladesh was “extremely open and broad”.
He mentioned the recent financing under a new project, GCERF, to help support grassroots efforts against terrorism. Bangladesh is a pilot participant in that effort. ...
Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake reduced Cannes Film Festival critics to tears [Huffington Post - 14/5/16]
Ukraine: Authorities must commit to a thorough investigation after 13 people released from secret detention [Amnesty - 29/8/16]
British MPs on Norfolk Island fact finding trip [RNZI – 30/8/16]
Sri Lanka police on Monday arrested a 17-year old school boy on suspicion of hacking into the president's official website, demanding that his university entrance examination dates not be changed, officials said on Monday. ... [Reuters - 29/8/16]
Kim Dotcom has been given permission to livestream his appeal against extradition on Youtube. ... [RNZI - 30/8/16]
Protesters shut down TransCanada pipeline approval hearing [Reuters - 29/8/16]
@wikileaks [29/8/16]: #TTIP & #TPP may be dead. But they will live on through their big brother #TiSA ...
Design flaws and a series of problems over six years led to the collapse of a mine dam and the loss of 19 lives in Brazil's worst environmental disaster, mining giant BHP Billiton said on Tuesday. ... [Yahoo - 30/8/16]
Protests across Brazil as Dilma Rousseff defends herself [teleSUR - 29/8/16]
... Their candidates have been rejected.
And yet, as a result of this impeachment process, the very party and the very ideology that the Brazilian people have over and over rejected, when asked to vote, when asked to consider their candidates, is now ascending to power.
And their agenda of privatization and cutting social programs and keeping taxes low to benefit the oligarchs is now gradually being imposed, as is their foreign policy of moving away from BRICS and regional alliances, and becoming once again extremely subservient to the United States and to Wall Street and to international capital.
And so, you can call it a coup, you can debate whether that word applies, but what it is is a complete reversal of democracy in a way that is ushering in an agenda that benefits a small number of people that the Brazilian citizens have never accepted and, in fact, have continuously rejected. ... Complete reversal of democracy: Glenn Greenwald on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment [Democracy - 29/8/16]
Guardian Australia and counter-revolutionary political party of refugee concentration camps/child torture continue blaming Pauline Hanson for everything - including neoliberal education policy [30/8/16]
From Nauru and Manus, Australian funded IOM gulags in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand - to Spain, the Greek Islands, Texas and Arizona ----> "UN: WE ARE NOT CAGED ANIMALS. WE ARE HUMANS."
via @Fotomovimiento [29/8/16]
@riserefugee [30/8/16]: Morning all. I'm a stateless refugee and an ex-detainee. I was detained onshore/offshore for 4 years by your politicians. #Exdetaineesday
@riserefugee [30/8/16]: We didn't make any crime to be treated like animal. We crossed borders to seek protection not be indefinitely detained. ...
"WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" via @elahe_zivardar [29/8/16]
"TRAPPED BY A COUNTRY THAT PREACHES FREEDOM" via @racvictoria Day 109 of peaceful protests on #Manus ... [29/8/16]
Murdoch Press continue campaigning for a Manus refugee concentration camp goon (and his wife) who want special citizenship privileges for a local baby that they stole ---> A Brisbane couple want a two-year-old boy, who was born on Manus Island and they consider their "son", to be granted Australian residency to prevent him being deported.
Craig and Karen Wells say they have cared for the child, who they have called "Cal", for more than a year and have not been able to contact his parents since Christmas.
The couple, from Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, claim the boy's Papua New Guinea-based father, who worked with Mr Wells at the Manus Island Detention Centre, gave them permission to raise the child when he visited Australia last year.
Mr and Mrs Wells say Cal's father told them he did not have the means to take care of Cal himself and the boy was going to be given away to another village. ... [Yahoo - 5/7/16]
Australia's "Vietnamese community" pledges $500K to UNHCR to help refugees who aren't in our region [ABC - 30/8/16]
“We run when we see the police truck coming … we hide in the mangroves, sometimes until 10 pm, too afraid to come out.” Sabah's undocumented children - living on the run, and invisibilised by organisations like the UNHCR [VIDEO - Al Jazeera - May 2015]
Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.
Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.
In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.
The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014. ...
@CovertAnonymous: YourAnonGlobal: #Australia Protests in seven cities for the closure of #Manus and #Nauru detention centers [27/8/16]
Department of Homeland Security must follow Department of Justice example, cut profit-motive and address urgent crisis in detention [#NOT1MORE - 29/8/16]
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will study whether to discontinue using privately run detention centers, which the Justice Department recently called unsafe, for migrants and shares of private prison operators fell on Monday after the news. ... [Reuters - 29/8/16]
Unscrupulous attorneys prey upon immigrants held in federal detention, advocates say [LA Times - 28/8/16]
Suspend reality ---> The Obama administration will meet its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year a month ahead of schedule and is working with Congress to increase the target by a few thousand in 2018, the White House said on Monday.
The 10,000th Syrian refugee was scheduled to arrive in the United States on Monday afternoon, national security advisor Susan Rice said in a statement. ... [Reuters - 29/8/16]
Russia has condemned jihadists’ attempt to disrupt a vital UN humanitarian aid mission in Aleppo and urged western “sponsors” of armed extremist groups to exert influence over the responsible opposition militants on the ground. ... [RT - 30/8/16]
Medicine shipment from Cuba arrives in Damascus [SANA - 29/8/16]
Syrian Foreign Ministry: Violations and massacres committed by Turkish regime are condemned aggressions [SANA - 29/8/16]
The player of al-Wathba Kickboxing Team Khaled Salem Kalo was killed on Sunday when terrorists fired a rocket shell on the Municipal Stadium on the western outskirts of Homs city.
In a statement to SANA sport bulletin, Omar Atiki, the coach of the late player said that Kalo was killed while he was training at the hall of the Municipal Stadium.
He added that the martyr had achieved the Republic Boxing Championship three times before turning to kickboxing sport, pointing out that the martyr Kalo was performing his daily workouts in preparation for his participation in the upcoming Republic Championship.
On Sunday, a source at Homs governorate said in that terrorists located in al-Waer neighborhood targeted al-Ghouta area on the western outskirts of Homs city with a rocket shell that fell on Municipal Stadium, killing two civilians and injuring many others. [SANA - 29/8/16]
30 August 2016