A U.S. air strike last week targeted a senior leader of the al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab in Somalia, but the Pentagon was still assessing the drone strike operation's results, a spokesman said on Wednesday. ... [Reuters - 1/6/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 2/6/16]
The US-led coalition has been accused of killing at least 15 civilians, including three children, in air strikes on ISIS territory in Syria.
It is providing air cover for a ground operation by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the so-called Islamic State near the Turkish border. ... [The Independent - 1/6/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [2/6/16]: Anbar: The governmnet army has shelled north of Fallujah areas resulted in deaths and injuries-most of them are women and children-......
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [1/6/16]: Nineveh: News agencies: The coalition planes have shelled many neighborhoods in Mosul.............
@willhorner [2/6/16]: Refugee in #moria tells me 50 people injured last night in violence and Pakistanis slept outside on the road #lesvos #Refugees
... Lesvos Mayor Spyros Galinos said anxiety has increased among migrants detained for months and facing deportation to their home countries, which they have spent a small fortune to escape.
“These conditions are psychologically and physically exhausting... and breed exasperation,” he told AFP.
There are an estimated 8,500 refugees and migrants held in special-purpose facilities on Greek islands, where they landed earlier this year after crossing the Aegean from Turkey.
They are detained for a maximum of 25 days. After that point they are allowed to leave the camps but are required to stay on the islands until their asylum applications are processed.
No migrants have been able to leave Greece after Balkan states began shutting their borders in February to stem an exodus of thousands to northern Europe.
As a result, over 50,000 people have become trapped in Greece, most of them in overcrowded camps where poor living conditions have frequently been criticised by rights groups.
The bodies of at least 25 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean have been washed up near the western Libyan city of Zuwara, a Red Crescent official said on Thursday. ... [Reuters - 2/6/16]
... RUBEN NEUGEBAUER: What we need right now is, first of all, a EU mission with a clear mandate for search and rescue, because at the moment the ships that are down there and that are doing a good job in rescue often—they are often military ships that don’t really have a search-and-rescue mandate.
But this is only something we can do just right now starting from tomorrow.
What we also need—and this is the only way to solve that kind of crisis—is to have safe and legal passage.
If we would just allow those people to take a ferry, as everybody else with a European passport can do, we would have no smuggling business at all, right starting from the day that we would allow them to go on the ferries, and we wouldn’t face such tragedies again.
If we only have rescue efforts, which the European Union is already doing, we will face these tragedies ever and ever again, because also these rescue missions stay quite dangerous.
This is what we have faced last week when those capsizings took place, even if rescue boats were around. ... As 1,000 refugees drown under European policies, meet the volunteers who are trying to save lives [Democracy Now - 1/6/16]
FREE THE POLITICAL PRISONERS!
Day 75 refugee protests, Nauru
The key to happiness and success: work hard and surround yourself with good people ...
Image: @SuchNigel [2/6/16]
@elahe_zivardar [2/6/16]: Day 75 of peaceful protest on Nauru.
"I'M IRAQI GUY IN EXILE MANUS BUT MY FAMILY ARE LIVING IN DANGER BETWEEN HELL AND DEATH. 4 YEARS. ENOUGH THAT PLEASE." @racvictoria [1/6/16]: Day 20 of peaceful protests on #Manus 1048 days as #politicalprisoners 'Freedom is our right' #BringThemHere
@Mums4Refugees [2/6/16]: A very successful Occupy Malcolm today with key messages #NoVotesInAbuse #EndTheAbuse #CloseTheCamps
Melbourne mums kicked off a weekly vigil at Bill Shorten's office until the election today asking him as Leader of the ALP and the Alternative Prime Minister to please stop using the people on Manus and Nauru as their political football. Their hope is lost - Australia is holding their fate. #closethecamps, #bringthemhere and #letthemstay [Mums 4 Refugees - 20/5/16]
Inhumane measures to deter people from seeking help and protection from Australia have got to go. We're better than that.
Image: Mums 4 Refugees [30/5/16]
GE’s man in Myanmar sees Asia’s best currency boosting economy [Bloomberg - 1/6/16]
@WoodsideEnergy [19/5/16]: Learn more about how we’re unlocking potential development opportunities in #Myanmar’s Rakhine Basin.
Controversial census data on religion to be released within two months [Myanmar Times - 1/6/16]:
... The largest population that was not tallied were those in Rakhine State who self-identify as Rohingya, a term the government decided not to allow after a last-minute change.
The International Technical Advisory Board, the United Nations Population Fund and a national-level consultant committee had all backed releasing the full census results after a conference in October. ...
UNHCR's "durable solutions" in South East Asia ---> 8 Rohingya who tried to flee Rakhine captured by authorities and bound like animals [Burma Times - 29/5/16]
Note ANU's Nicholas Farrelly never says anything about Woodside, Australia's complicity in this human rights catastrophe by pushing back its borders, or refugees having THE RIGHT to resettlement [Nikkei Asian Review - 2/6/16]
Indonesia's Defense Minister says communists killed in CIA-backed massacres deserved to die [South China Morning Post - 2/6/16]
CIA tie asserted in Indonesia purge [New York Times - 11/7/1990]:
A dispute has developed over a report that 25 years ago, United States officials supplied up to 5,000 names of Indonesian Communists to the Indonesian Army, which was then engaged in a campaign to wipe out the Communist Party in that country.
The article also said that approval for the release of the names came from the top officials at the Embassy, including Ambassador Marshall Green. ...
AMBASSADOR GREENS QLD VISIT [10 September 1973]
An Indian court has convicted 24 people – 11 for murder – over a massacre during religious riots 14 years ago in Gujarat state, then led by the current prime minister, Narendra Modi.
Judge PB Desai found them guilty of hacking to death and burning 69 Muslims sheltering in a residential complex in the city of Ahmedabad, in one of the single worst massacres of the week-long violence.
They are expected to be sentenced next week. ... [Guardian - 2/6/16]
PNG: Seven killed in tribal fights Laiagam district, Enga [The National - 2/6/16]
PNG soldiers found guilty of mutiny over Hela Province affair [Pacific Islands Report - 1/6/16]
A TV Wan female reporter was assaulted yesterday by a civilian police officer whilst covering a story of some high school students who were behind bars because they were caught drinking. ... [PNG Loop - 2/6/16]
Hundreds of people at Kimbe, West New Britain, turned up yesterday to listen to student representatives from the University of PNG and University of Technology. ... [PNG Loop - 2/6/16]
More than 45,000 Indonesian soldiers have been moved to Wamena, West Papua Province of Indonesia who share the common border with Papua New Guinea. ... [PNG Loop - 1/6/16]
The Supreme Court of the United States will conference privately next week to determine whether or not to accept a petition of ‘writ of certiorari’ from five American Samoans, who are plaintiffs in the US citizenship case, in which defendants include the US State Department and the Secretary of State. ... [Pacific Islands Report - 1/6/16]
Sydney siege inquest witness list to be cut [Nine MSN – 2/6/16]:
The witness list for the Sydney siege inquest will be streamlined, with the most critical decision makers expected to begin giving evidence next week.
Coroner Michael Barnes on Thursday accepted an application from counsel assisting the inquest into the Sydney siege, Jeremy Gormly SC, that the witness list be cut so as to expedite the inquiry process.
The ruling in favour of the application came despite objections from lawyers representing the family of slain Lindt Cafe manager Tori Johnson, who insisted the family had a right to hear from certain witnesses, including a sniper that saw their son in his final minutes.
Mr Barnes said the new witness list could be altered further following applications from counsel, including on the grounds of wanting "to satisfy a bereaved family member".
The streamlined list of about 17 critical witnesses will include the chief of the negotiation team, experts, the commander of the tactical operations unit, the officer in charge of the police snipers, and the two officers who fired shots at Man Haron Monis.
"I am persuaded that there is a pressing need for the report from this inquest to be finalised and published," Mr Barnes said on Thursday, adding that he had agreed with counsel assisting the inquest that there was no need to call every witness to give oral evidence.
"Declining to call a particular witness does not mean his or her evidence is being concealed or suppressed," Mr Barnes said.
Mr Gormly had warned in making his application that the inquest was at risk of spilling "well into 2017" in terms of its ability to report its findings.
He argued an expedited process was necessary because of the "risk of another terrorist incident", and that authorities in Australia and around the world were watching proceedings closely.
But Dr Peggy Dwyer, counsel assisting the family of Mr Johnson, objected to the application, saying it would mean witnesses the family needed to hear from, including a sniper who saw their son in the minutes before he was killed by Monis, would not be called.
"He's a sniper who saw Tori in the minutes before Tori was shot, on his knees with his hands above his head," Dr Dwyer said.
"You can imagine how important it is for the family: how he could communicate that information and if there were barriers, whether those barriers could be removed," she said.
"It is of great importance to Tori's family that if lives can be saved from the tragic loss of their son next time, that they are."
Dr Dwyer said it was "really distressing" to the family to have arguments about the witness list at such a late stage in the inquest, putting forward that to hear from all witnesses would only take an additional two weeks.
Mr Barnes, however, said he was not satisfied that calling all witnesses would only add two weeks.
... Around 2,300 people are employed by Peabody's mines in New South Wales and Queensland.
Climate and finance lawyer David Barnden, from not-for-profit legal firm Environmental Justice Australia, has studied the accounts of Peabody Australia Holdco.
"Our research suggests that the Australian operations are intimately connected with the US bankruptcy proceedings," Mr Barnden said.
"It may be operations as usual, but we don't see how Peabody can finance those operations."
Peabody's Australian operations are also used as collateral by Peabody Energy US for some of its credit facilities.
No dividends were paid or declared by Peabody Australia Holdco for 2015 and 2014.
Peabody Australia is seeking to expand its mines at Wilpinjong and Wambo in New South Wales.
Last month, the company said it would sell undeveloped exploration tenements in Queensland's Bowen Basin for $65 million.
Queensland government pretends merger of Energex and Ergon isn't further privatisation by stealth [Media Release - 2/6/16]
Man fighting for life after attack in KFC car park, Morayfield [Yahoo - 2/6/16]
A court has doubled the sentence handed down to a soldier booted from the army over a one-punch attack that left his victim with a fractured skull.
Mark Pawa Dransfield, 23, was jailed for five months after pleading guilty to recklessly causing serious harm in relation to the attack on Liam Sutcliffe in Adelaide in January 2015.
South Australia's Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday upheld an appeal against the sentence by the Director of Public Prosecutions, ordering Dransfield to serve at least 10 months in jail. [Nine MSN - 2/6/16]
A 31-year-old man has been charged with stabbing his parents at Ipswich west of Brisbane.
Police found the injured couple in their 60s after being called to a Redbank Plains home on Tuesday afternoon. ... [Yahoo - 1/6/16]
Attempted armed robbery, Tanah Merah [QPS Media - 2/6/16]
Drovers have been rounding up cows on a southern Queensland highway following a cattle truck rollover.
There were 64 cows on the truck when it crashed on the Warrego Highway, near Warra, just before 11.30am (AEST) on Thursday.
The driver was taken to the Chinchilla Hospital with abdominal pain, while emergency services shut the highway down to one lane as drovers tried to recapture the cattle. [Yahoo - 2/6/16]
Car engulfed in flames at Robina [MYGC - 2/6/16]
Serious crash causes major delays on M1 [MYGC - 2/6/16]
Students escape unharmed as school bus bursts into flames in Sydney’s south-west [Nine MSN - 12/6/16]
... Maurice Blackburn has previously said that RiverCity investors relied on information in the toll road company's product disclosure statement, including AECOM's forecasts, when buying shares and were "misled" into thinking that the tunnel project would have plenty of traffic. ... RiverCity IPO investors secure $121m in successful Clem7 class action [Brisbane Times - 1/6/16]
An AFP officer looked up details of a pimp on the police database for an ex-girlfriend, an alleged sex worker who said she wanted to work for someone else.
When police later searched the officer's Queanbeyan property, they found MDMA and methamphetamine, which he said he had bought over the internet. ... [Canberra Times - 2/6/16]
Police are investigating the death of an elderly patient at a Brisbane hospital.
The 81-year-old man was admitted to the Prince Charles Hospital in the city's north on April 29 and was involved in an incident the next day.
It is understood the man became agitated and a security guard was forced to restrain him, at which point they both fell heavily to the ground.
It is also understood tests the following day showed the patient had a fractured skull.
He was transferred to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, but died two weeks later.
A Metro North Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman offered condolences to the family.
"We are working closely with the Queensland Police Service on this matter and as such, we are unable to comment further," she said in a statement. [Brisbane Times - 2/6/16]
A house has been destroyed by fire at Loganholme north of the Gold Coast in the early hours of Thursday morning. ... [MYGC - 2/6/16]
A man in his 40s has been seriously injured in a factory fire in Perth's south. ... [Nine MSN - 2/6/16]
A man has suffered burns to half his body after a fuel tank exploded at a Townsville business in north Queensland.
Paramedics were called to the address in Idalia shortly after 10:00am.
The man is in a serious condition and has been taken to Townsville Hospital. [ABC - 2/6/16]
... The health effects of the PFOS and PFOA chemicals remain unclear. Oakey town water now comes from Toowoomba.
Meanwhile, the federal Health Department said mothers affected by the Oakey contamination issue should not avoid breastfeeding.
Updated United States guidelines said such chemicals could be passed on through breast milk.
The department said it was not recommending people stop breastfeeding because the benefits far outweighed any potential risk.
... In a post-match interview on Channel Nine, an exhausted Thurston said he liked his side's chances to make it two games from two.
Then he stared straight at the camera to deliver an encouraging message to the students at the Aurukun campus of the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy, in far north Queensland.
"I just want to say a quick hello to the Aurukun State School," he said.
"There's obviously been a lot of trouble up there, so to all the students there, I just want you to believe in yourselves and keep turning up to school." ... [Brisbane Times - 2/6/16]
A three-month inquiry will urgently look at whether Indigenous inmate Steven Freeman was adequately cared for prior to his death last week.
Mr Freeman's death came after a public outcry about his treatment a year earlier, when he was viciously bashed in a near-fatal attack in his prison cell within hours of arriving at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. ... [Canberra Times - 2/6/16]
Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers on Wednesday morning have invaded agricultural lands close to the borders in the southern and central parts of the Gaza Strip. ... [PNN - 1/6/16]
A Jewish extremist arrested in the wake of a deadly arson attack that killed three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family in the occupied West Bank last summer was released from administrative detention on Wednesday. ... [Maan - 1/6/16]
At the police headquarters in Gaza City on Tuesday morning, three Palestinians convicted of murder were executed by hanging and firing squad.
In attendance were the families of those the three men had been accused of killing.
Hamas carried out the executions despite multiple attempts by Palestinian human rights organizations to halt the killings. ... [Electronic Intifada - 1/6/16]
Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally [Mondoweiss - 1/6/16]
French court overturns “illegal” ban on BDS event [Electronic Intifada - 31/5/16]
@StuntmanRon [2/6/16]: Appears a bit of a #protest a happen' at Wilsons Melbourne Central Carpark...
#LetThemStay blockade of #Manus #Nauru human rights violator security contractor Wilsons [2/6/16]: "Morning friends we are currently blockading Wilson Security car park which is connected to their HQ at Melbourne Central. We want the profiteering off refugees to stop and pay your tax Wilson! #CloseTheCamps " #CancelTheContracts #BringThemHere
Please stop going to film festivals, book launches, giving each other awards and START MAKING SOME CLEAR DEMANDS.
The refugees are.
Protest in RPC2 tonight 35 days #Nauru via @fawaz_ss088129 [1/6/16]
"KIDS IN DETENTION AFTER 3 YEARS. AUSSIES DON'T BE SILENT PLEASE." @elahe_zivardar [1/6/16]: 74th day of peaceful protest on Nauru.
Omid [ABC - 29/4/16]
The attitude of Australia's UNHCR representatives toward refugees is no secret.
During their April visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".
Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"
By failing to directly challenge this war of attrition, human rights organisations and the Greens are allowing the lives of these men, women and children to be sacrificed.
@wikileaks [1/6/16]: Marine Le Pen Marine Le Pen calls for France to offer Assange asylum
The judge overseeing the premiere military tribunal at Guantánamo Bay effectively conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to defending the accused architect of the 9/11 attacks, according to a scathing court document.
Army Col James Pohl, who this week at Guantánamo is presiding over a resumption of pretrial hearings in the already troubled case, “in concert with the prosecution, manipulated secret proceedings and the use of secret orders”, the document alleges, preventing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s defense team from learning Pohl had permitted the Obama administration to destroy the evidence. ... [Guardian - 1/6/16]
Murder-suicide kills two at UCLA, shuts down campus [Reuters - 1/6/16]
In Vermont, a transgender man has died of his injuries after being beaten at a homeless encampment in Burlington.
Police say they are investigating the death of Amos Beede and whether it was connected to his transgender identity.
At least 11 other transgender or gender nonconforming people have been murdered this year, following a record of more than 20 killings in 2015. [Democracy Now - 1/6/16]
Pakistan Army Chief: US drone strikes regrettable and must stop [Indian Express - 1/6/16]
Afghan refugees internally displaced by war reaches 1.2 million: Amnesty International [Global News - 31/5/16]
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) in expressing serious concerns over detentions of a journalist by the security agencies in Afghanistan.
The IFJ and the AIJA call on the Afghan government to explain the detention of the journalist.
Naimatullah Karyab, a local correspondent of BBC and AIJA provincial head for Kunar province was arrested by the US force in Jalalabad province on May 28 and handed over to the National Security Agency.
During the detention, he was searched, and his communication equipment was seized.
He was released after three days with security forces claiming that he was confused for another person with same surname. ... [International Federation of Journlists - 1/6/16]
Taliban behead two Kunduz bus passengers [TOLO News - 1/6/16]
Four suicide bombers, four civilians and a policeman were killed in an attack on central Ghazni province's Appeal Court on Wednesday, local officials said.
In addition, 12 others, including a woman, were injured in the attack. ... [TOLO News - 1/6/16]
Bismillah, police chief of Sholgara district in northern Balkh province, was killed in a mine blast on Wednesday morning, local officials said. In addition, three of his bodyguards were injured. ... [TOLO News - 1/6/16]
Local police commander, 2 others killed in Nangarhar blast [TOLO News - 1/6/16]
Unidentified gunmen shot dead a teacher in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of central Logar province on Wednesday, an official said.
Mohammad Shahpor Arab, Education Department Spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the incident took place before noon when unknown assailants shot dead the teacher of Kamankhelo Intermediate School. ... [Pajhwok - 1/6/16]
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced to death 14 of its citizens for terrorism in the Shi'ite Muslim minority area of Qatif, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television reported on Wednesday.
In January it executed 47 people, including 43 Sunni Muslim militants and four Shi'ites convicted of attacks on police during protests in Qatif.
Several attacks by Islamic State group since 2014 have targeted Shi'ites in Qatif and other areas. [Reuters - 1/6/16]
HMAS Perth has successfully completed an intense training and assessment phase prior to the ship deploying in support of Operation MANITOU.
The period culminated in Perth being declared ‘mission ready’ by Commodore Training, Commodore Michael Rothwell recently.
Perth has spent the past few weeks aggressively defending herself against air, surface and sub-surface threats as well as responding to asymmetric attacks from small boats and land-based missile strikes.
A highlight of the mission rehearsal training was the support provided by the Australian Special Air Service Regiment who employed boats to create high-threat encounters. ...[Naval Today - 28/4/16]
Combined Maritime Forces: US global naval force in the Arabian Sea [Global Research – 30/6/12]
2 June 2016