Doctors Without Borders says its staffers are "scared" to resume their work in a facility it supports in the northern Yemeni city of Saada after two nearby airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition.
The aid group says in Twitter postings that the airstrikes hit 20 meters from the hospital on Tuesday and bombings have forced evacuation of their facility in the Razeh district in Saada. ... [ABC News - 2/3/16]
Forgotten Yemen [Dawn - 1/3/16]
19 militants killed in counter-terrorism operations led by Afghan army [Khaama - 2/3/16]
At least two civilians and a policeman were killed after five insurgents attacked the Indian Consulate in Jalalabad in eastern Nangarhar province on Wednesday afternoon, local officials said.
In addition, 19 civilians were also injured and admitted to hospital for treatment. ... [TOLO News - 2/3/16]
US drone strikes kill 9 in eastern Afghanistan [Press TV - 1/3/16]
Acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq claimed the lives of 670 people, including 410 civilians, in February 2016, the United Nations political mission in that country has reported.
According to figures verified by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), 260 members of the Iraqi Security Forces and 410 civilians were killed, while 240 security forces personnel and 1,050 civilians were injured.
Although the overall casualty figures were down from the 849 killed and 1,450 injured in January, February was marked by the viciousness of some attacks, including suicide bombers hitting places of worship, a market and a funeral. ... [UN Media Release - 1/3/16]
Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [1/3/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL buildings.
-- Near Hawl, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles and two ISIL buildings.
-- Near Ayn Isa, three strikes destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Mar’a, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL building, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL staging area and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Mosul, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position and damaged a separate ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle, two ISIL tunnel systems and two ISIL vehicle bombs.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Tikrit, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL mortar positions.
NATO Commander brings the anti-refugee hate and hysteria [Deutsche Welle - 2/3/16]:
NATO's top general accused Russia and Syria of fomenting a mass exodus of refugees as a "weapon" against the West.
Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander in Europe for the 28-member military alliance, told US lawmakers on Tuesday that the mass bombing of civilian targets appeared to serve no other purpose than to weaken Europe by creating a massive, and continuous, wave of people desperate for food, shelter and safety.
"Together, Russia and the Assad regime are deliberately weaponizing migration in an attempt to overwhelm European structures and break European resolve," Breedlove told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
@MSF_Sea [2/3/16]: ... 100 #people were able to cross the border to #FYROM last night.10,000 men, women & children wait in the camp.
@MSF_Sea [1/3/16]: 711 Afghans have been stranded in #FYROM for 13days.They say theyll begin a hunger strike if the border isnt opened.
France's 'Jungle' migrants watch helplessly as bulldozers destroy their homes [Yahoo - 1/3/16]:
Viciously cold wind and rain helped dampen resistance in the "Jungle" refugee camp in northern France on Tuesday, leaving migrants to watch helplessly as bulldozers continued the gradual destruction of their makeshift homes.
Nureen, a Sudanese migrant with his jacket zipped up tight around his face to fight the biting cold, watched as the debris from demolished homes was scooped up into a dumpster.
His house was next -- he had been told that police would come knocking early on Wednesday morning.
"Unfortunately, we cannot fight the police," he said.
"There is nothing for us to do. We will just be left in the cold winter."
Lines of riot police in heavy-duty gear guarded the zone where workers were pulling apart the shacks in this grim shantytown on the edge of the port city of Calais.
In the southern half of the camp, that has been earmarked for demolition, many of the shelters had the words "Lieu de vie" (roughly translated as "living space") scrawled on their side.
... These images are taken on the beaches of Calais and in Dunkirk during the winter of 2015/16. ... [Sarah-Jane Field]
The High Court’s ruling that Australia’s offshore detention regime at Nauru and Manus Island is lawful has sparked outrage from a number of humanitarian groups across the country.
Among them is the Bunbury branch of Amnesty International, which held a flash mob protest against the ruling at the City of Bunbury Library.
“We should not be punishing people for escaping a war-torn land,” he [Convenor of Amnesty Bunbury Michael Wild] said.
“Efforts would be better spent on fixing the crisis at its source and helping to end the war.”
Margaret River’s Amnesty branch also held a protest against the ruling, with over 100 people turning out to support the cause.
Amnesty Margaret River president Rod Whittle said it was simply un-Australian for any asylum seeker to be deployed back to Nauru.
“This is inhumane,” he said.
“Children, particularly, are being traumatised, and a growing number of Australians are speaking out.”
“The fact is those detained in disgraceful and hopeless conditions on Nauru and Manus are victims of years of political brawling in Australia that has completely skewed the issue.” [Bunbury Mail - 2/3/16]
@PplJustLikeUs [2/3/16]: "Please raise your voice to help refugees get out of the human dumping ground." @nagaveeran1 #RefugeesSpeakOut
@PplJustLikeUs [2/3/16]: "Nauru is a human dumping ground." @nagaveeran1 #RefugeesSpeakOut
@PplJustLikeUs [2/3/16]: "Inhuman politics are killing my friends softly in detention" - Ravi
@SaysSemi [2/3/16]: Ravi: "Don't think people are surviving in the detention centres, they are dying...dying... dying." @PplJustLikeUs #RefugeesSpeakOut
@PplJustLikeUs [2/3/16]: "For 10 months I was kept in a desert isolation camp only blue sky and red soil to look at." @AmirHjavan
@PplJustLikeUs [2/3/16]: Hani Abdile recounts her experience with the Australian Navy as she was drowning #refugeesdpeakout #peoplejustlikeus
@S4R_wa - Students
For Refugees [2/3/16]: We're
pleased to announce that @MurdochUni VC Andrew Taggart has accepted our
invitation in saying #letthemstay #closethecamps tomorrow
To #LetThemStay we need to #CloseTheCamps:
On Festival Day, Students for Refugees are organising a photo-op for Murdoch students and staff, to join more universities across the country who are leanding their voices to the #LetThemStay campaign.
Recently, Murdoch’s marketing team was of the opinion that the #LetThemStay campaign wasn’t aligned with the university’s 'brand'.
The Murdoch 'brand' is made up of the Murdoch community, we want to show that the staff and students *are* the brand.
We want to show the world that the Murdoch community supports the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and demands an end to the injustice of the mandatory detention system. Murdoch has always held these values, it is known as the ‘Murdoch Ethos’.
"...I believe Murdoch should respond to that need for humane and vital intelligence. Humane in that it is oriented towards development of the maximum human potential for creativity, growth, love, community and joy rather than towards exploitation of man and nature. Vital in that it is deeply rooted in the real emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of men rather than being mere cleverness. If Murdoch is to succeed in fostering such humane and vital intelligence, it must play the role of a healer. At first glance this may seem an unusual goal to suggest for a university, for universities (at their best) have traditionally tried primarily to nurture critical thought by preserving, exploring, and goading. While I do not denigrate either this goal or these means, I believe that in a world as profoundly troubled and pathology-riddled as ours, the highest calling may be that of healing." - Foundation Professor John Raser, 1973
#LetThemStay is so much more than the 267 people currently in danger of being deported back to Nauru.
To us, #LetThemStay is about bringing and end to mandatory detention, offshore-processing and Australia's entire system of deterrence.
Bringing to an end, the system which allows private corporations (like Serco) to profit from the oppression and exploitation of refugees and asylum seekers.
The two-party illlusion, Jeff Thomas [ICH - 1/3/16]:
... People need to believe that they have a choice. Interestingly, though, they seem to be content with only two choices. A skilled politician therefore limits the number of choices to two and, today, this is the way it’s done in most “advanced” countries. Whether it’s Democrat vs. Republican, or Tory vs. Labour, there are two dominant parties.
Each is represented by a group of individuals seeking to gain or maintain public office.
Initially, in order to sell the two-party concept to voters, it’s important for each party to have a philosophical identity. These two identities would seem to need to be based on opposing primary principles or ideologies, such as a free market system vs. collectivism, or empire-building warfare vs. a commitment to peace.
The US did, indeed, follow this route in developing its own primary sports teams, the Democrats and the Republicans.
And, along the way, it learned that the public can be best manipulated if they are blindly devoted to either one team or the other. (Those in the red T-shirts detest those in the blue, and vice versa.)
ZERO chance of Turnbull using the "stroke of a pen" while the "opposition" support the policy.
@PeterDutton_MP we are demanding #closethecamps #LetThemStay
Image: @WalkingG20 [2/8/16]
Dutton LIED - and was defended by Marles - 21 mins in --> Wilkie moves censure of Immigration Minister [VIDEO - 22/2/16]
Greens introduce bill to stop government and "opposition" holding children in refugee concentration camps [Media Release - 2/3/16]
Had a lot of fun with this little action @ iconic Bells Beach last night. ...
Image: @marksmith0257 [2/3/16]
Story about 60 minutes "assault" while doing anti refugee story in Sweden looking dodgier by the day [The Age - 2/3/16]:
... One reporter for tabloid newspaper Expressen wrote that taking Sjunnesson's guidance "would be like a Swedish crew coming to Australia and using Pauline Hanson as a fixer to cover immigration related issues."
"Avpixlat is not being taking seriously by established media in Sweden, as it is regarded as too extreme," he wrote.
Another reporter for public service broadcast network SVT said Avpixlat "is a far right-wing extremist site which only produces racist articles about refugees with the goal to stop immigration to Sweden completely". ...
She has been told she has two options: return to Iran (where she faces a minimum of imprisonment, maximum of execution) or remain in detention indefinitely.
Julian Burnside [1/3/16]:
Mojgan was living in Brisbane when she was taken from her husband and put in immigration detention. She was behind detention centre wire when she received her year 12 certificate
You can see photographs of Mojgan and her husband here.
If she returns to Iran she will be tortured. Her friend Sarah Smith has sent this note:
“… [Mojgan] has finally received a response from Dutton. She has been told she has two options: return to Iran (where she faces a minimum of imprisonment, maximum of execution) or remain in detention indefinitely.
… This evil is beyond anything a dystopian novelist could create. At least in fiction the government imprisons those perceived as a threat.
Here in sunny Australia, we imprison young women who fled childhood sexual abuse, who are sweet and intelligent, who want to become midwives, and who love to dance.
Here an Australian resident can wake up one morning and find the government has stolen his wife and imprisoned her hundreds of kilometers away, on the other side of prohibitively expensive airfares, and away from the support network they both spent years establishing.
Here we allow government contractors to physically assault traumatised women, drag them by their hair, and force them out of their communities, for no other than the oft-cited “Operational Reasons”.
Furious. Devastated. Emotional rage. Utterly diminished these days, as is anyone with a conscience.”
If you are outraged by this, send a message to Dutton, who doesn’t know how to behave decently; and to Turnbull, who does. [No he doesn't, and the immorality is bipartisan. The only way to progress the issue is to exert pressure on the "opposition" too.]
For Australia's political and media establishment who argue the UN Refugee Convention is outdated [New Observer - 1/3/16]:
... The Vermaaks were farmers in Zimbabwe when the black government there decided to violently expel the last of the whites. They were subjected to violent attacks, beatings, and extended periods of persecution.
With their lives clearly in danger—and many other white Zimbabweans having been butchered by black mobs—the Vermaaks decided to apply for asylum in Australia, where they have extended family members.
According to a petition started by family member Cathy Vermaak, the two whites were “threatened that they would be found and killed for a number of years by three rogue CID officers in Kariba, Zimbabwe, right up to the day before they managed to leave Harare and come to Western Australia on a 457 Business Long Stay Visa, as this was the quickest way for them to leave.”
The Vermaaks managed to escape Zimbabwe four years ago, and have been living in Western Australia ever since. They have applied for a Protection Visa—which, according to the Australian government’s own definition, is granted to anyone who is a “refugee as defined by the Refugees Convention”—which the Vermaaks clearly are.
The petition points out that if the Vermaaks are returned to Zimbabwe, they would be in “fear for their lives” and that they have many family members in Australia, including grandchildren, son and daughter-in-law, brother and sister-in-law, mother, sister, cousins etc., who are all residing in Western Australia and are citizens of Australia.
“If our parents return to Zimbabwe this will be devastating to the whole family as the likelihood of them being murdered is extremely high. They also fear they will never see their grandchildren or any of their family again,” the petition reads.
However, the Australian government has now formally turned down the Protection Visa application.
“They are currently appealing to the Immigration Tribunal in the hope that they will understand the horrific ordeals that they have been through, and that it is extremely unsafe for them to return to Zimbabwe,” the petition says, ending with an appeal for signatures to be presented to the Australian government to ask that these “hardworking, law-abiding people be allowed to stay in Australia.”
Solidarity and indefinite detention forever ----> Immigration staff threaten rolling strike action over pay conditions [ABC - 2/3/16]
CPSU Media Release [30/6/15]:
… *Customs officers can receive allowances for a range of workplace situations including being at sea, using firearms, meeting high fitness standards, working long hours, unusual shifts and performing dirty and/or dangerous work. Some of the allowances at risk in the new agreement include:
•Use of Force Allowance: for officers required to maintain specified fitness level so they can carry firearms
•Marine and Marine Accommodation Allowances: for officers deployed at sea for up to 36 days at a time
•Detector Dog Unit Allowance: for officers who work with dogs detecting controlled substances
•Removals Allowance: for officers required to escort deportees anywhere in the world, including high risk environments
•Extended Commitment Allowance; for immigration officers working for long periods in isolated locations (e.g. Christmas Island)
A gentle reminder: unions are part of the detention industry [xBorder - 22/7/15]
Mexican migrants no longer being deported back to Mexico in the middle of the night is one important feature in new Local Repatriation Agreements finalized between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Mexican Government last month at the annual Repatriation Strategy and Policy Executive Coordination Team (RESPECT) meeting.
In all, there are nine agreements that govern repatriation from all locations along the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas.
According to DHS, each of the new agreements is the result of a year-long process and includes “statements regarding the general repatriation procedures, location-specific information, and specific measures for vulnerable populations, such as unaccompanied minors and those with medical conditions.”
The agreements include many provisions long sought by advocates.
While the nine agreements vary slightly, they all include a provision ending nighttime repatriations between 10 P.M and 5 A.M. ... [American Immigration Council - 1/3/16]
Effective monitoring of child detention facilities, Geneva - 7 March 2016: Association for the Prevention of Torture
PNG Foreign Affairs Minister disputes claims PNG is treating Australia's human trash like human trash [PNG Loop - 1/3/16]
The former commander of the US's Guantanamo Bay detention centre ignored a summons to appear in a French court on charges of torture and arbitrary detention on Tuesday.
The case was brought against two-star General Geoffrey Miller by two French nationals who were detained there between 2001 and 2004.
Miller, who is now retired from the military and working as a consultant, was in charge of Guantanamo from 2002 to 2004 before being put in charge of detention in Iraq, a role that included oversight of the notorious Abu Ghraib facility. ... [RFI - 1/3/16]
While US admits “pending future prosecution” of Julian Assange, Sweden refuses to abide by UN ruling on his arbitrary detention [The Indicter - 1/3/16]
The Rohingya are a people without a nation, Christopher Catrambone [1/3/16]
... In early March, MOAS will launch its South East Asian Mission to Track Rohingya Refugees.
Based in international waters near Malaysia and Thailand, the team will use long-distance drones to measure movements of ships that may be carrying migrants.
All data collected will be shared through our on-board data gathering and cultural liaison, the Bangkok-based Fortify Rights, as well as the Malta-based NGO Migrant Report, a news organisation that focuses on migration issues.
If we find a vessel in distress, MOAS search and rescue professionals will respond, whilst strictly following maritime laws and coordinating with appropriate government bodies.
The goal of the mission is to generate a better understanding of the movements by the Rohingya people. By providing first-hand data on movement, we hope to spark active discussion about the conditions and treatment of Rohingya. Knowing migration patterns could help streamline future rescue efforts.
Bangladesh has released a French aid worker months after he was arrested for allegedly helping Myanmar's Rohingya refugees.
Moussa Tchantchuing, also known as Moussa Ibn Yacoub, was released on Tuesday after being granted bail by the high court, the AFP news agency reported.
French embassy press attache Shakhawat Hossain said that he was freed "after 70 days in jail on condition that he cannot leave Bangladesh territory without the prior permission of the judge". ... [Al Jazeera - 1/3/16]
Rohingya still attempting to flee through Thailand despite being criminalised and attacked by authorities [Asia One - 1/3/16]
Number of politically motivated arrests on the rise in Burma, says Asian Human Rights Commission [Karen News - 1/3/16]
Woodside 2015 Full-Year Shareholder Review [1/3/16]
China has stationed up to five ships around a disputed atoll in the South China Sea, preventing Filipino fishermen from accessing traditional fishing grounds, media in the Philippines reported on Wednesday.
In a move that would likely raise tensions in the disputed region, the Philippine Star newspaper said China began deploying ships to Quirino Atoll, also known as Jackson Atoll, after a fishing vessel recently ran aground in the area. It quoted unidentified Filipino fishermen and officials in the area. ... [Channel News Asia - 2/3/16]
Australia's war on refugees delays deployment of military aid to disaster struck Fiji [Fiji Times - 2/3/16]
The signing of a Pacific free trade deal in June has been thrown into doubt with the largest island nation Papua New Guinea saying it favours Australia and will damage local industries. ... [SBS - 1/3/16]
The city administration evicted dozens of families living in makeshift houses under the Pluit toll road in North Jakarta on Tuesday, one day after the administration demolished buildings in the Kalijodo red-light district in West and North Jakarta.
"We will finish all buildings under the Pluit toll road today," Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama told journalists on Tuesday. ... [Jakarta Post - 2/3/16]
Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Silwan, shoot 3 [Maan - 1/3/16]
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Monday morning have demolished about ten facilities that include tents, barns and residential structures in the Khillat Khader community in Al-Farisiyya area east of Tubas district, northern Jordan valleys, under the pretext of “no building permit.” ... [PNN - 29/2/16]
Residents of Qalandiya refugee camp on Monday morning buried 22-year-old Iyad Omar Sajadiyya, just hours after he was shot dead by Israeli forces during an overnight raid into the camp.
Sajadiyya's body was moved from the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to his family home near Qalandiya.
From there, it was taken to a local mosque for funeral rites, and then to the camp's cemetery, where he was laid to rest. ... [Maan - 1/3/16]
Thousands of Palestinian teachers demonstrate across West Bank [Maan - 1/3/16]
Pennsylvania grand jury finds widespread sex abuse by priests [Reuters – 1/3/16]:
... Revelations that some priests had habitually sexually abused children and that bishops had systematically covered up those crimes burst onto the world stage in 2002 when the Boston Globe reported widespread abuse in the Boston Archdiocese.
That report, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was the subject of last year's Academy Award-winning film "Spotlight," set off a global wave of investigations that found similar patterns at dioceses around the world.
They led to hefty lawsuits and seriously undermined the church's moral authority.
Syria: UN-mediated peace talks to resume on 9 March [Media Release - 1/3/16]
Journalists from China, Canada, Bulgaria and Russia wounded in shelling in Syria [TASS - 1/3/16]
At least three Syrian civilians were killed and eight more were wounded in artillery shelling by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in Syria’s province of Latakia, a source familiar with the situation in the area said on Tuesday. ... [TASS - 1/3/16]
The Pentagon awarded a $682.9 million contract to sell to Turkey an unspecified quantity of smart bombs through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) scheme.
One Turkish military official said: “The deal came timely as we are deeply engaged in asymmetrical warfare and need smart bombs.”
Turkish fighter jets have routinely bombed the strongholds of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.
Clashes between the Turkish military and the PKK intensified after the Kurdish militants ended a two-year-long ceasefire last July. ... [Defense News - 1/3/16]
The United States has warned its citizens to be ready to leave Iraq in the event of what it has said could be a catastrophic collapse of the country's largest hydro-electric dam near Mosul.
Iraqi officials have sought to play down the risk but Washington urged its citizens to make contingency plans now. ... [Al Jazeera - 1/3/16]
At least 40 people were killed by a suicide bomber at a funeral in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala while a suicide blast at a security checkpoint in Baghdad's western outskirts killed eight members of the security forces, police said on Monday.
The larger attack in Muqdadiya, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad, killed six local commanders of the Hashid Shaabi umbrella group of Shi'ite militias who were attending the funeral of a commander's relative, security officials and police in Diyala said.
A further 58 people were wounded, the sources said. ... [Reuters- 1/3/16]
Utah: Hundreds protest police shooting of 17-year-old Somali refugee [Democracy Now - 1/3/16]
Virginia: Army sergeant kills wife, police officer [Democracy Now - 1/3/16]
Meanwhile in Raleigh, North Carolina, a police officer shot and killed an African-American man while he was trying to flee arrest.
A witness told local news the officer opened fire after he fell trying to follow the suspect as he fled over a fence.
The man has been identified as Akiel Denkins, a father of two. Police say a gun was found, but have not said if it was Denkins’ gun or if he threatened the officer. [Democracy Now - 1/3/16]
Man tasered by police during alleged domestic violence incident, Townsville [Brisbane Times - 1/3/16]
2 March 2016