All they have left is hubris and PR ---> Would Harvey Milk object to his name on a warship? [Advocate - 29/7/16]



United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 30/7/16]



Tens of families went out of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo, while a number of gunmen turned themselves in to units of the Syrian Army.

SANA reporter in Aleppo said that tens of families went out on Saturday through the corridors Aleppo Governorate has specified for the safety departure of the civilians besieged by the terrorist groups in the eastern neighborhoods, adding that they have reached Salah-Eddin neighborhood where the Army received them and sent them in cooperation with authorities concerned to makeshift centers.

The reporter added that later today, a number of women, aged over 40 years old, got out of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city through Salah Eddin corridor and the concerned parties transferred them into makeshift centers prepared by Aleppo governorate and offer them immediate assistance.  

Aleppo Governorate made on Friday procedures and arrangements to receive the residents of the eastern neighborhoods of the city and prepared makeshift centers equipped with all living and relief requirements.

Local sources and media reports affirm that the armed terrorist groups try to prevent the families from getting out the eastern neighborhoods.

On Thursday, President Bashar al-Assad issued a legislative degree No 15 for the year 2016 stipulating for granting an amnesty for those who turn themselves in to the competent authorities and lay down their weapons and those who set free in safe way persons they kidnapped. [SANA - 30/7/16]



 ‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center  [30/7/16]:


Ta'meem: A roadside bomb has exploded in Multaqa nahiya southwest of Kirkuk resulted in 6 deaths and injuries including women and children ............................


Baghdad: A roadside has exploded near a popular market in Mahmoudiya district south of Baghdad resulted in two deaths and 8 injuries....


Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in Furat neighborhood west of Baghdad today evening killing a person and wounding 8 ....................



...  While the position of the Iraqi government is very clear, to cooperate with the United States and accept its support in their fight against terrorism, it would be foolish to think that repercussions—coming from the al Sadr camp—have been spared.

On July 15 in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, shouts of “America leave!” could be discerned from crowds of Sadr supporters.

The group also called for a shutdown of the US Embassy and an expulsion of any person working under the US Government. al Sadr himself took this one step further, accusing Iraqis working with US institutions and seeking asylum in the US of “having no honor.” ... [Lima Charlie News - 29/7/16]



Iraqi militias to be given official army status, says Prime Minister [Middle East Eye - 27/716]



Libya's UN-backed government has signed a deal with an armed brigade controlling the major oil ports to end a blockade and restart exports.

The two major Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports had shut down since December 2014.

Mousa Alkouni, Libyan Presidential Council deputy, signed the agreement late on Thursday with Ibrahim al-Jathran, commander of the Petroleum Facilities Guards, one of Libya's many armed brigades that has controlled the terminals. ... [Al Jazeera - 30/7/16]



‏@ItalianNavy [30/7/16]:  #UltimOra #SAR Nave Vega #MarinaMilitare ha concluso 3 eventi di soccorso recuperando circa 300 #migranti




@ItalianNavy [30/7/16]: #SAR #MarinaMilitare Aboard Ship Bettica #MareSicuro was born the small Joy Aurora. parents disembark in late morning at Augsburg



@MSF_Sea [30/7/16]:  "We are so lucky to be alive" say these women onboard the #Aquarius & trying to put the trauma of #Libya behind.




Day 133 refugee protests, Nauru



Image: ‏@elahe_zivardar [30/7/16]




Thousands across Australia protest juvenile detention torture [Huffington Post - 30/7/16]




"We were left in there for weeks to rot":   Over 1,000 attend Brisbane protest against torture of youth in Australian prisons [Brisbane Times - 30/7/16]


... Brisbane's Sam Watson called on indigenous people to send a delegation to Canberra to insist the Royal Commission be extended to Queensland.

A 2015 study found just over half (54 per cent) of youth in detention centres on any one night were indigenous, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2015.




‏@katgallow [30/7/16]:  'Police haven't changed since Fitzgerald Inquiry! Culture amongst themselves!' ...


@katgallow [30/7/16]:  In George St, heart of govt in Qld, calling on minister to protect these kids ...


‏@katgallow [30/7/16]:  They locked us up in youth detention, in the mental ward, gave us drugs, told us we were mad ...



‏@katgallow [30/7/16]:  'The motherf*ckers put me in the lockup the 3rd time out after I was 18. Just started Uni' ...



‏@katgallow [30/7/16]:  Acknowledgement of all the refugee children locked up by Aust ...




UN rights office shocked by inhumane treatment of children in Australian detention centre [Media Release - 29/7/16]:


... Mr. Colville noted that the announcement by the Government of Australia of an investigation into youth detention in the Northern Territory is an “important step.”

In that regard, he encouraged the Government to extend the scope of the investigation beyond the Northern Territory to establish that such treatment is not occurring in any other place of detention in the country.

“We call on the authorities to identify those who committed abuses against the children and to hold them responsible for such acts. The children who were abused at Don Dale should receive psychosocial rehabilitation to overcome the trauma they have suffered,” the spokesperson said, stressing that compensation should also be provided.

He also called on Australia to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. ...



Last year, when the UN found Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers violated the Convention Against Torture, the then Prime Minister Tony Abbott said that Australians were "sick of being lectured to by the United Nations".

The "opposition", human rights organisations and media opinionators (apparently being OK with torture), reserved their criticism for Abbott's comments, rather than Australia's torture.

UN Human Rights Council - Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez  [6/3/15]:

... The Rapporteur welcomes the Government’s initiatives to investigate and review the events of 16-18 February; however, he regrets that the Government has not to this date submitted, as announced in its initial reply, any substantive reply.

The Rapporteur hence finds that the Government, in its reply, does not sufficiently address the concerns, legal obligations, and questions raised in the initial communication, which prompts him to infer that the Government fails to fully and expeditiously cooperate with the mandate issued by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 25/13, as well as to comply with its obligation, under international customary law, to investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as codified, inter alia, in the Convention against Torture (CAT).

In the absence of information to the contrary, the Rapporteur concludes that there is substance in the allegations presented in the initial communication, reiterated above, and thus, that the Government of Australia, by failing to provide adequate detention conditions; end the practice of detention of children; and put a stop to the escalating violence and tension at the Regional Processing Centre, has violated the right of the asylum seekers, including children, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as provided by articles 1 and 16 of the CAT.

Allegations concerning the situation of two groups of Sri Lankan asylum seekers and migrants (203 in total), including a significant number of Tamils, and their incommunicado detention and imminent deportation to Sri Lanka by the Australian Government, in contravention of Australias non-refoulement obligations.

The Special Rapporteur thanks the Government of Australia for its reply, dated 10 July 2014, to the present communication.

The Rapporteur finds that the Government, in its reply, does not sufficiently address the concerns, legal obligations, and questions raised in the initial communication, which prompts him to infer that the Government fails to fully and expeditiously cooperate with the mandate issued by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 25/13, as well as to comply with its obligation, under international customary law, to investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as codified, inter alia, in the Convention against Torture (CAT). The Government in July 2014, stating that these matters were currently before the High Court of Australia. The Special Rapporteur has not received any communication since.  ...



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.  



Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:


... Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice.

Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.




Why stopping people from seeking asylum is more than just wrong [Jesuit Refugee Service - 28/7/16]:


... What about the people who would have boarded boats headed for Australia, but have not done so because of its current policy of absolute deterrence?

Has a “stop the boats” policy resolved the global challenge of forced migration?

Evidence has emerged in a recent paper by Caroline Fleay and Lisa Hartley [1] that “Australian policies are having disturbing impacts beyond our borders.”

The authors describe how the Australian government’s direct collaboration with Sri Lankan security agencies has prevented the departure of people who are in fear of persecution and would like to seek asylum elsewhere.

The paper also outlines how the government’s policies restrict the ability of people seeking asylum to move beyond transit countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, and effectively warehouse them in countries that deny them access to health services, education, and the labour market; these people also have little to no prospect of resettlement.

Alarmingly, the paper cites community members in Malaysia who claim that, because the route to Australia has been blocked, “those seeking safety and protection from their home countries are now undertaking longer and more hazardous journeys to Europe.”

This troubling development points to an uncomfortable truth: all because people are not drowning on their way to Australia, this does not mean that they are not dying elsewhere.

The complacency in Australia about the fate of those who can no longer arrive here by boat can be summed up in the old adage: out of sight, out of mind. ...


@Mums4Refugees [30/7/16]:  Day 132 protests Nauru 1,105 days of detention. We are asking the world to free us from the hell. ...



"WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS, DON'T FORGET THAT"  ‏@Mums4Refugees [30/7/16]:  Day 78 peaceful protests on Manus. ...






Australia offered illegally detained political prisoners on Manus Island huge amounts of money to return to persecution and/or death [ABC - 30/7/16]:


The Federal Government has doubled its financial offer to convince asylum seekers on Manus Island to return home, Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said.

Mr Rintoul said the offer was increased from $10,000 after Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers was illegal in April.

"It's a huge amount of money to try to coerce people to return home," he said.

 "There's no one who has taken up the offer so far. ...



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'.

4.71 In contrast, government representatives re-confirmed their view that any returns from Manus Island RPC were strictly voluntary. For example Lieutenant General Campbell stated that '[i]t is really important to note these are voluntary returns'.

 4.72 In terms of the number of returns from the Manus Island RPC, the department provided information that:

As at 1 August 2014, 203 transferees have been voluntarily returned from an Offshore Processing Centre (OPC) and 174 transferees from the Manus OPC since 18 February 2014 with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). ...



The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]



Each time an asylum seeker complains about their human rights or about the conditions in the centre, they are offered an appointment with IOM to discuss voluntary return.


Submission 94, Nauru Senate Inquiry



Signing the Strategic Partnership Framework with @IOM_news Director General William Lacy Swing [Image:  ‏@PeterDutton_MP - 28/4/15]



US Embassy in Port Moresby awards two new grants totalling US$1 million to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) [Radio Australia - 16/12/14]



@BajIpress [28/7/16]:  ... The medical care system in US immigration detention is dangerously inadequate. ...



This is child abuse: Social Worker breaks silence over conditions inside US immigrant detention centre [Democracy Now - 29/7/15]:


... OLIVIA LÓPEZ: Well, I was hired as the lead licensed social worker there to do social work with the women and supervise two other employees that would also assist in that effort. And so, what I discovered in my experiences there were that social work in that setting at Karnes City was much different than the social work that I know as—in employing and as I know as a social work professor. And that is to say, the basic functions of advocacy, empowerment and then just engagement were really not part of the interpretation of social work at Karnes City residential center.


And so, you know, they would take the kids and the mothers back to the rooms to draw blood. And the kids, really, were just so frightened and terrified, and they cried and they screamed. And we all heard it—I did—for the week or so that it happened. And then, just one day, I just came out of my office during the time when they were taking the blood draws, and I witnessed a small child, less than two, try to escape the medical department. He was so afraid about the blood draws. And all the kids really were, but he was the one that tried to escape. And that’s what I spoke about yesterday.

AMY GOODMAN: You talk about the women being put in isolation?




When the maddened King stamps his foot, refugees are no longer refugees.  Have a nice day! --->   The recent increase in undocumented Cuban emigration — 44,353 reached the United States in the past eight months alone — is complicating the Obama Administration's drive to normalize relations with Havana and cut the migrant flow through Central America.

Trying to halt the massive and almost permanent flow of Cubans treking north toward the Mexico-U.S. border, Washington appears to be promoting the same policy it follows at home — large-scale deportations of undocumented migrants. ... [InCuba Today - 29/7/16]



US State Department feigns concern for hunger-striking Cuban dissidents [Reuters - 29/7/16]



... Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have shown up to talk about how Hillary practices the “poetry of doing.”

Doing what, one might ask? Steenburgen, a native Arkansan, is the woman Bill Clinton reportedly took out to dinner the night he executed the brain-damaged Ricky Ray Rector to boost his poll numbers in the 1992 campaign.

There’s ice running through those Clinton veins.

Mary Steenburgen, the woman Bill Clinton took out to dinner the night he executed the brain-damaged Ricky Ray Rector to boost his poll numbers in the 1992 campaign.

It’s one thing to mock the disabled; it’s something else entirely to put them to death for your own political advancement. ... [Counterpunch - 29/7/16]



As Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination, hundreds protest outside convention arena [Democracy Now - 29/7/16]:


... JACINTA MACK: My name is Jacinta Mack. I’m 35 years old. I’m from Queens, New York. And I’ve been in Philadelphia since Sunday. I’m here as a Bernie supporter and protesting.

SAM ALCOFF: And can you describe this sign that you’re carrying?

JACINTA MACK: It is a big poster board that is carved out with Bernie’s name on one side and "Never Hillary" on the other side. When I was younger, my family was on welfare, and Bill Clinton was in office. And they passed welfare reform. We weren’t qualified for food stamps any longer. The monthly money that we got was cut. And then the subsidized housing was also cut. And my mother was required to go out and apply for a certain number of jobs, but she was a single mother of six children and wasn’t able to meet their requirements. We struggled tremendously. And my mother actually became a sex worker.

PROTESTER 2: I just got a message from inside that the DNC is locked down, the arena, to prevent the delegates from walking out.

PROTESTER 3: [echoed by the people’s mic] The delegates are locked inside right now. We will wait for them. We will wait for them. We will stand with them.

AMY MADDEN: My name is Amy Madden. I am one of the volunteers called by the Sanders campaign to the national convention to help our delegates. There were 200 of us from all over the nation, some people here on our last dime. And we were told that we were going to be getting credentials every morning to go inside and to do our job. And we—on Monday, we waited and waited, and by the end of the day, they had not received anything. We finally got to go in. We were put in nosebleed seats. And on Tuesday morning, the leader of our volunteer group told us that we would not be receiving credentials for the rest of the week, and no reason was given. ...



San Diego police have released the name of a suspect arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of one police officer and wounding of a second officer.

San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told reporters Friday that 52-year-old Jesse Gomez was taken into custody and is in critical condition from a gunshot wound but expected to survive.

Police arrested a second man, 41-year-old Marcus Antonio Cassani, on an unrelated warrant.

Zimmerman says police are investigating whether he was involved in the early morning police shootings.

Zimmerman says Cassani was arrested outside a house that SWAT had surrounded for hours. She gave no further details. ... [ABC News - 29/7/16]



Israeli forces detain 2 in Bilin protest, Black Lives Matter activists among protesters [Maan - 29/7/16]



Palestine Youth Orchestra’s triumphant UK debut [Electronic Intifada - 29/7/16]



Children’s football team from Palestine arrive for match A children’s football team from Gaza, whose arrival in Ireland was delayed because of difficulties getting Israeli travel permits, are to line out against a group of Dublin children tomorrow.

The 14 children from Al-Helal Football Club, aged between nine and 14, arrived at Dublin Airport, before they were taken to the Mansion House to meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr and Palestinian ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek. ... [Irish Times - 29/7/16]



The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) prevented Wednesday evening nine Palestinian footballers from Gaza’s Khan Younis Youth Club from leaving the Gaza Strip via Israel-controlled Erez border crossing to play a scheduled match in the West Bank. ... [PNN - 29/7/16]



Israeli Naval Forces arrest 7 fishermen, confiscate their boats [PNN - 28/7/16]



Israeli occupation forces used a Caterpillar excavator in the apparent extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian man, using the so-called pressure cooker procedure in which construction equipment is employed as a weapon, analysis by The Electronic Intifada shows. ... [Electronic Intifada - 28/7/16]



Israeli human rights group B’Tselem released a report Thursday evening revealing that Israeli authorities have steadily increased their use of administrative detention -- Israel's policy of internment without charge or trial -- on Palestinian minors since October. ... [Maan - 28/7/16]



Libyan forces battle Islamic State snipers for streets of Sirte [Reuters - 29/7/16]



Turkey's army said on Friday that five soldiers were killed and eight wounded in clashes with Kurdish militants in the southeastern district of Cukurca. ... [Reuters - 29/7/16]



The United Nations has temporarily suspended aid deliveries in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, the former stronghold of jihadists Boko Haram, after a humanitarian convoy was attacked, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said on Thursday.

UNICEF said in a statement that unknown assailants attacked the convoy on Thursday as it returned to Maiduguri from delivering aid in Bama, injuring a UNICEF employee and an International Organization for Migration contractor. ... [Reuters - 28/7/16]



United States continue bombing everyone especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 29/7/16]



Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan said on Friday he was not optimistic about the future of Syria.

"I don't know whether or not Syria can be put back together again," Brennan told the annual Aspen Security Forum.

His comments were a rare public acknowledgement by a top U.S. official that Syria may not survive a five-year civil war in its current state. [Reuters - 29/7/16]



Syria condemns in the strongest terms targeting innocent civilians and infrastructure by the so-called international coalition and armed terrorist groups, said the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Friday.

In two letters addressed to head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, the ministry called for stopping attacks and atrocities committed against civilians, calling for bringing the perpetrators to justice. ... [SANA - 29/7/16]



Deadly air strike hits Idlib maternity hospital [Al Jazeera - 29/7/16]




30 July 2016