US veterans arrive at DAPL protest camp in North Dakota [Reuters - 2/12/16]:
... U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday said for the first time that he supports the completion of the pipeline.
Trump's transition team also said Trump supported peaceful protests.
"We respect all Americans’ first amendment right to peacefully protest, and we hope that local and federal officials continue to give support to local law enforcement so they are able to continue to protect these protesters," said the Trump transition team's daily note sent to campaign supporters and congressional staff. ...
Although the Coalition makes extraordinary efforts to strike military targets in a manner that minimizes the risk of civilian casualties, in some cases casualties are unavoidable.
Four past reports of possible civilian casualties and three of the reports received in October were determined to be credible resulting in the unintended death of 54 civilians. ... Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve [CENTCOM - 1/12/16]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 2/12/16]
Thousands of civilians trapped inside rebel-held parts of Aleppo as fighting intensifies [RT - 2/12/16]
This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong [The Independent - 2/12/16]
A murder investigation has been launched after a man died following an assault at an immigration facility in Greater London.
Three men were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after police were called to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre on Thursday morning.
The 64-year-old victim was taken to hospital but died at 9.30pm, police said. ... [Telegraph - 2/12/16]
@JigginoRuss [2/12/16]: Una sindacalista della CGT spagnola, arrestata all'aeroporto di Atene per aver cercato di aiutare un curdo iracheno a raggiungere Barcellona
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or I
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way
(Now read from bottom to top)
We all have family.
Sisters, brothers, mums
dads, wives and children
Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island, June 2016
The US-Australia "deal" is BULLSHIT, but as usual the Murdoch press are lying, and running cover for Australia's anti-refugee policy ----> US politicians write to US Secretary of State and US Secretary Homeland Security requesting specific details of bogus "resettlement" deal [22/11/16]
The Burmese military have held hundreds of Rohingya women as hostages at ‘Myau Taung’ village in northern Maungdaw since Thursday morning, reliable sources report.
The hostages including children are currently confined without food and being tortured at the south hamlet of Myau Taung village tract.
The troops have put a condition to the women either to call their men and make them surrender or to continue to suffer for indefinite time. ... [RVision TV - 2/12/16]
Bangladesh trumpets pushing back 6 more boats of Rohingya refugees [Dhaka Tribune - 2/11/16]
Greenlighted by the US lifting sanctions and the UN playing along with regional anti-refugee forums such as the Bali Process and its "durable solutions" of deportation, indefinite detention and death. ---> @melissarfleming [2/12/16]: 30,000 men, women and children are in “desperate need” of food, shelter and medical care, 10,000 fled. @JanePerlez
US Envoy on Refugees, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia [Anne Richard] press conference with UNHCR and IOM fobs off concerns about Myanmar human rights atrocities and regional refugee bottleneck - signals turnbacks as an acceptable course of action [3/6/15]:
... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.
You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.
And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.
But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country.
So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...
... Goledzinowski [Australia’s ambassador for people smuggling issues, Andrew Goledzinowski] said resettlement was raised during the Bangkok meeting on 29 May.
“All who spoke on resettlement said that this was not a durable solution for the Rohingya problem and that it would constitute a pull factor,” he told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday.
“The UNHCR was the most articulate on this point.”
He engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from some of the other 16 countries in attendance, and is adamant that at least one will seek further briefings on adopting Australia’s key asylum seeker measures.
“We also were able to talk a little bit about our own experiences during operation sovereign borders where we’ve been very successful in disrupting people trafficking and smuggling networks,” Goledzinowski said.
Woodside gets busy ---> Australian oil and gas giant Woodside Energy has handed Indian IT consultancy Wipro a three-year contract to provide managed IT infrastructure services and digital transformation for its global operations. ... [IT News - 2/12/16]
Fascists –-> US State Department runs trade seminars in Colombo [Tamil Guardian – 2/12/16]:
The US State Department held a series of seminars on trade policy from Novemebr 29 till December 1st.
Over 70 key decision makers and technical experts from various Sri Lankan ministries, agencies, research institutes, trade policy think tanks, and Chambers of Commerce were present, the US embassy said.
The seminar also included experts from the US International Trade Administration Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Bank.
“Sri Lanka can count on the United States as a partner to help unleash the trade potential of Sri Lankan companies,” said the US ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap.
German BND-NSA Inquiry exhibits [WikiLeaks – 1/12/16]:
Today, 1 December 2016, WikiLeaks releases 90 gigabytes of information relating to the German parliamentary inquiry into the surveillance activities of Germany's foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and its cooperation with the United States' National Security Agency (NSA).
The inquiry was established in 2014 in the wake of the Snowden revelations, which showed that not only was the NSA spying on the whole world, but it had also partnered with the intelligence services of particular states to spy on their citizens and those of the surrounding regions.
One of these countries is Germany, which has had a close relationship with the US in military and intelligence matters since its occupation by US forces in WWII.
The US has been shown to use its bases in Germany and its relationship with German intelligence to spy on German citizens as well as European Union institutions.
WikiLeaks revelations of NSA spying on Angela Merkel and top officials at German ministries, the EU and France also contributed to the political impetus of the inquiry.
The depth of this relationship had been unknown to the German public and much of its government. The outrage that was sparked by the Snowden NSA revelations led to the establishment of the inquiry, which later called for Mr Snowden to testify at it.
Whereas there was initially unanimity among German political parties in 2014 for Snowden to provide expert testimony, the government deemed that guaranteeing that he would not be handed over to the US (a condition imposed by Snowden for testifying) would damage Germany's political relationship with the United States.
Subsequently, the Greens and the left-wing party (Die Linke) filed an official complaint to force the German Parliament to hear Mr Snowden.
Last week, on 21 November 2016, Germany's Federal Court of Justice upheld the complaint and ruled that the committee was obliged to hear Edward Snowden in person.
However, at the next inquiry hearing three days after the ruling, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Union bloc and the Social Democrats removed Snowden's invitation from the agenda of the inquiry and are contesting the Court's decision. ...
FBI to gain expanded hacking powers as Senate effort to block fails [Reuters – 1/12/16]
Law enforcement agencies are dramatically increasing their use of Opal card public transport data to track the movements of people in New South Wales, with approvals for data more than doubling this year. ... [Guardian - 2/12/16]
Right-wing, anti-Islamic German journalist admits to being a CIA stooge (implicates Australian, NZ journalists) [RT - 18/10/14]
Neil Young is calling on President Barack Obama "to step in and end" what he calls the "violence" against protesters demonstrating against an oil pipeline being built in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation. ... [CBC - 29/11/16]
Is Neil Young boycotting Australia? ---> One of Bluesfest’s biggest 2017 draw-cards, Neil Young, has dropped out of the event, just days after it was announced his nationwide tour had been cancelled.
Frontier Touring told media on Wednesday that the 1970s folk icon had pulled out of the tour although Bluesfest management remained tight-lipped about his marquee appearance there. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 2/12/16]
Aboriginal Tent Embassy [2/12/16]:
... We want the world to know the truth about what is happening in Australia.
To our original first nations.
To those seeking asylum.
To the workers, the working poor and unemployed.
To our pensioners and youth.
To our Muslim countrymen and women.
To our LGBTQI community.
To all of us.
We must stand together or we all fall together, the politics of division is what keeps us at each others throats and keeps us at their feet.
We want Australia to step up and remember who really holds the power in this land, the people united.
The front line is being reactivated.
In 2017 the Aboriginal Tent Embassy Canberra will be back in business, for over 40 years we have kept that line held on behalf of all people against injustice, we once stood on those steps in great numbers together.
Standing rock has been a wakeup call for many, how many have forgotten or never knew we had our own such camp on the footsteps of parliament?
It will open it’s doors again for all the voiceless but first we need to rebuild it’s foundations. ...
Great Barrier Reef 'not dying', Australia insists [Yahoo - 2/12/16]
A Melbourne man remains under police guard in hospital, after a French tourist was stabbed to death in front of his wife at a remote Northern Territory roadside rest stop. ... [Nine MSN - 2/12/16]
A 19-year-old man has been charged over the stabbing of a 17-year-old youth following a roadside incident in north Queensland.
The 17-year-old boy was stabbed on Wednesday night after he had pulled over on a road at Kelso, southwest of Townsville, because an unknown object had hit his vehicle.
The 19-year-old, who is accused of stabbing him in the lower abdomen, has been charged with grievous bodily harm and is expected to front Townsville Magistrates Court on Friday. [Yahoo - 2/12/16]
A 41-year-old man will appear in court in late January after being refused bail in relation to a ‘pattern of domestic violence’ that lasted more than ten years. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 2/12/16]
Carrara shooting: 18-year-old hands himself into police, search continues for woman [Nine MSN - 2/12/16]
Five arrested in Gold Coast bikie raids, 75 grams of crystal meth seized [MYGC - 1/12/16]:
... Meanwhile, officers raided a house in Carrara yesterday where they allegedly found approximately 75 grams of ‘ice’, a stash of cannabis and drug utensils.
As a result, a 44-year-old Carrara man who police allege is a patched member of the Nomads outlaw motorcycle gang was arrested and charged with multiple offences including possessing dangerous drugs and ammunition.
He was remanded in custody overnight to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court today.
Two women, aged 32 and 33, were also arrested at the Carrara address.
The younger woman from Carrara was charged with possessing dangerous drugs and ammunition and will face Southport Magistrates Court on 10 January. ...
Gold Coast police officer Chris Hurley has been fined $900 after being convicted of assault.
The Senior Sergeant was found guilty in Southport Court of assault after grabbing a man by the throat during a roadside stop at Robina three years ago.
He was found not guilty of punching and kicking the man. ... [MYGC - 2/12/16]
Man beaten and robbed in Southport [MYGC – 1/12/16]
Man falls from building in Broadbeach [MYGC - 2/12/16]
Before they raise ONE more cent, UNHCR should be held to account for their lack of advocacy for the rights of refugees in our region.
... Why do people set themselves on fire in front of UN? Because they remind us how human rights is a big business in this country and there is no real action. ...
Mina Taherkhani - political prisoner of the Australian government, Nauru [Guardian - 7/11/16]
Fascism 101: Smile and ignore the human rights atrocity ---> Australia represented by @SenatorCash & @AusAWG [Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AM, Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls] at the opening session of #CSW59 [The fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women]
Questions the UNHCR have not yet answered ---> ... Why we are treated so inhumanely??? Why the humanitarian organizations around the world (UNHCR, Amnesty International, US Committee for Refugees) are the silent spectators on the inhumane treatment and harsh policy of Australian Government. To UNHCR from refugees on Nauru [13/5/16]
Why are the UNHCR only calling for the "immediate movement" of refugees, and not urging Australia to immediately CLOSE its offshore camps and resume meeting its international obligations under the refugee convention? Why doesn't the UNHCR want the refugees on Nauru and Manus immediately RELEASED and GENUINELY resettled?
They act as if we are slaves.
... In a letter obtained by Guardian Australia, protesters say they suffer under “catastrophic conditions” and “have been caught in the [sic] hell”.
“The desperate situation is much worse than you imagine.”
The men complain that in the tropical heat of PNG, they are crammed more than 50 men to a room in stifling conditions, that toilets are filthy and food “horrible”.
“But to make matters worse, the behaviour of most of those working here, especially officers, is terribly appalling. They act as if we are slaves.”
One man has a seriously infected ear that is bleeding. He says he can’t hear or talk and is in constant pain. He says he fears he will die from the infection. ...
WHY UN IS SILENT?
WHY UN SUPPORTS SLAVERY?
... Few other official avenues are open to the refugees to lodge their concerns. Earlier this year, five Nauruan opposition MPs – Roland Kun, Mathew Batsiua, Dr Kieren Keke, Squire Jeremiah and former president Sprent Dabwido – were suspended for talking to the international media.
Kun, speaking from New Zealand, agrees that the refugees are far from free.
“It is still pretty much an incarceration situation,” he says.
“Nauru is not in a position economically or physically to resettle anyone … and don’t call it resettlement if it is temporary.” ...
'On Nauru the scarcest commodity is freedom, for refugees and residents alike' by Nick Olle and Vlad Sokhin [Guardian - 5/12/14]
Hamid Kehazaei's inquest hears evidence about ethical constraints to medical neglect aspect of Australia's anti-refugee policy [Nine MSN - 1/12/16]:
... Emergency physician at the clinic Leslie King told the coronial inquest into Mr Kehazaei's death on Thursday that his symptoms improved when he was first admitted.
"We thought we were winning that day," Dr King said.
But after 36 hours as an inpatient Mr Kehazaei stopped responding to the multiple medications given him and Dr King suspected he had another infection, the Brisbane Coroners Court heard.
"He was not improving despite our best efforts," she said via telephone.
"I just remember saying we need to evacuate him."
Dr King said she wanted to get Mr Kehazaei on a commercial flight on the 25th because he was still alert, walking around and laughing.
The request for a medevac happened on the 26th when Mr Kehazaei's condition significantly deteriorated and he became delirious, the court heard.
"I would agree that he did look septic," Dr King said.
Dr King said the decision was made not to intubate Mr Kehazaei because medical staff did not know when he would be flown out and if they had enough medication to keep him sedated and paralysed for that long.
"To say would've, could've, should've as you're comfortably sitting in Australia is very different to working in the environment that I was working in," she said.
The inquest continues.
The medical neglect won't end until the people demand AN END TO THE POLICY ---> ... This photo shows how IHMS and immigration are playing with refugees health and using sickness as a tool to torture people. ... Behrouz Boochani via These Machines Cut Razor Wire [28/11/16]
Image from the vigil held outside Mater Hospital in Brisbane ... Image: @MaxChalmers90 [4/9/14]
Political prisoner and journalist Behrouz Boochani details sadistic mind games played by staff at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Island after Hamid Kehazaei's death [Guardian - 28/11/16]
Australian doctors should boycott working in refugee concentration camps, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran [The Age – 19/2/16]
... It is important to consider that health care staff are not functioning in a humanitarian role at present, they are well remunerated – a recent position for a doctor working on Nauru was offering $13,000 a week. ... The “patients first” argument [The Guardian - 5/3/16]
... Dr Dudley said health professionals working in the detention regime were "lending credibility to abuses", whether deliberately or inadvertently.
He later told Fairfax Media that the Nazi regime relied on an underlying ideological commitment in which "the end is seen as justifying the means". ... Australia has a very sick - and very dangerous - political, media and human rights establishment [Brisbane Times - 18/2/16]
Johnson & Johnson hit with over $1 billion verdict on hip implants [Reuters - 1/12/16]
New report exposes “Patient Advocacy” groups as a Big Pharma scam [The Intercept - 2/12/16]:
“Patient advocacy” groups have a unique power on Capitol Hill. They claim to represent the true voice of constituents, untainted by special interest bias.
Politicians and the Food and Drug Administration use their endorsements as reflective of genuine public support.
But a new study shows that nearly all of these patient advocacy groups are captured by the drug industry.
David Hilzenrath at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reports that at least 39 of 42 patient advocacy groups who participated in discussions with the FDA over agency review processes for prescription drugs received funding from pharmaceutical companies.
And at least 15 have representatives of drug or biotechnology companies on their governing boards. ...
US Department of Homeland Security review recommends ICE continue using private-prison companies [Quartz - 1/12/16]
@DetentionWatch [1/12/16]: ... DWN's new report, A Toxic Relationship: Private Prisons and U.S. Immigration Detention ...
Interview with Pentagon attorney, James G Connell III who represents tortured prisoners in Guantanamo [RT - 30/11/16]
Trump picks Gen. James Mattis as Secretary of Defense [Antiwar.com - 1/12/16]
The United States is the world’s indispensable nation, but that status is not guaranteed and military leaders must continue to look for new, innovative ways to maintain U.S. leadership in the future, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Nov. 29 in New York City.
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford told members of the nonprofit think tank, The Center for the National Interest, that while the U.S. military can meet the challenges of today, the security environment can change quickly.
“My responsibility is to ensure that my successor in 2025 is as confident about our competitive advantage, then, as I am here tonight,” he said.
The chairman discussed the “four-plus-one” model the department uses to look at future capabilities.
The “four” are Russia, China, North Korea and Iran. The “one” is the threat of violent extremism.
He said it is a “useful framework to inform our planning, our capability development and our assessment of operational and strategic risk.” ... [US Department of Defense - 1/12/16]
An honest assessment of the 1917 October Revolution is necessary in view of its upcoming 100th anniversary, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his key annual address to the Federal Assembly. ... [TASS - 1/12/6]
Erdogan backtracks on Syria goals after call with Putin, says terrorists are only target [RT - 1/12/16]
A bill expanding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power will be submitted to parliament next week, just months after he survived a coup attempt that led to a massive crackdown on his opponents.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), co-founded by Erdogan, proposes to change Turkey's parliamentary system to create an executive-style presidency, like that of the United States or France. ... [Middle East Online - 1/12/16]
US and Israel lone voices amidst worldwide condemnation of Palestinian occupation [Big News Network - 1/12/16]:
The United States and Israel, along with a handful of tiny island nations, and Justin Trudeau's Canada were abandoned by the rest of the world, in a raft of resolutions that were overwhelmingly passed in the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
In one vote, the Jerusalem resolution numbered A/71/l.22, the world body, in reference to Jerusalem and its holy sites, resolved that “any actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to immediately cease all such illegal and unilateral measures."
Israel and the United States managed to recruit just five other countries to stand with them in opposing the resolution.
They were Canada, the Marshall Islands (population 53,158), Micronesia (population 107,154), Nauru (population 9,267) and Palau (population 20,879).
147 member states voted for the resolution, including all European nations such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and France. Even Italy, which has a strong relationship with Israel, voted for the resolution.
Australia abstained, as did Guatemala, despite the Guatamalan president's visit to Israel earlier this week. Panama (population 3.9 million), Papua New Guinea (population 7 million), Paraguay (population 6.8 million) and Vanuatu (population 286,000) also abstained. In all, six resolutions were tabled, all condemning Israel and supporting the Palestinians.
The last resolution adopted by the assembly, resolution A/71/l.8, adopted by a vote of 103 in favor, 6 abstentions and 56 votes against it, demands that Israel withdraw from all of the Golan Heights up to the line of June 1967 and hand it over to Syria. ...
People from Massaken Hanano neighborhood in Aleppo city have started to return to their houses after the army and supporting forces have expelled the terrorists from the neighborhood.
SANA reporter said Aleppo Governorate is working to provide all services to the families that have arrived in the neighborhood and rehabilitate the damaged infrastructure and facilities in the area. [SANA - 1/12/16]
Power outage in Quneitra due to terrorist attack on voltage power line [SANA - 1/12/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [1/12/16]:
Baghdad: News agencies:Two roadside bomb have exploded in Bab Al-Sheikh and sadr City east of Baghdad,further details unknown.
Nineveh: Sources:The Islamic State has re-controlled Zalat hill west of Mosul after 3 roadside bombs exploded and clashes occurred killing 15 elements of the government army and destroying of military vehicles .
Nineveh: Clashes have occurred between the Islamic State and Hashd Militias supported by the US-led coalition air force in Tala'far west of Mosul.
The UN has sounded the alarm over the dire humanitarian situation and terrorist atrocities being endured by the residents of Mosul, Iraq, who have been cut off from water by fighting and threatened with death by Islamic State militants if they flee.
“The situation in eastern Mosul city close to the front lines remains fraught with danger for civilians. Mortar and gunfire continue to claim lives.
The limited supplies of food and water are running out, amid concerning reports of food insecurity emerging from the city,” the UN humanitarian coordinator’s office said on Wednesday. ... [RT - 1/12/16]
2 December 2016