... In August last year, Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi met Attorney-General Michael Mischin, Police Minister Liza Harvey and Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan to discuss policing and legislative solutions, including outlawing begging. ...


Big rise in beggars on Perth streets [West Australian – 2/11/15]




Women's Weekly [July 2015]




Former New Zealand solider faces deportation [RNZI - 2/11/15]:



A New Zealand soldier who served in Afghanistan has been arrested in Perth and may be deported despite having no criminal convictions.

Ko Rutene has had his visa cancelled on 'character' grounds because he's a member of the Rebels bikie gang.

Melbourne lawyer Michael Pena-Rees said Mr Rutene had been employed as a mine worker in Australia for the last four years, and has a girlfriend and a one-year-old son there.

Mr Pena-Rees said the Australian Immigration Minister was using the character grounds clause to deport people such as Mr Rutene.

Mr Rutene was a lance corporal in Afghanistan for six months in 2010.

He was arrested yesterday.





The Maori Party says border control officers in Australia are victimising Maori people and deporting them on flimsy reasons.

The party wants the Australian government to immediately return detainees of New Zealand descent from the remote Christmas Island to the mainland.

It has written an open letter addressed to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull which calls on his government to return detainees.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said she presented the letter to an Australian Greens senator [Lee Rhiannon] in Sydney.  ... [RNZI - 1/11/15]





Dust suppression?



Removal of dirt used to capture GC600 race fuel tank leakage, Surfers Paradise [2/11/15]



Metgasco offered $25 million to sell three coal seam gas exploration licences back to NSW Government [ABC - 2/11/15]

Australian banks to operate in low growth environment, Westpac CEO says while announcing $7.8 billion profit [ABC - 2/11/15]





Father jailed for drowning baby son in Logan River [Brisbane Times - 2/11/15]





Bodies of man, woman found at Burleigh Waters property [ABC - 2/11/15]






A man charged over the alleged fatal bashing of his ex-partner is one of two men charged with the murder of missing Gold Coast father Gregory Dufty. ... [ABC - 2/11/15]








A squeegee dripping with kerosene was found at a home north of Brisbane where a grandmother allegedly attempted to kill two children last year, a court has heard. ... [ABC - 2/11/15]







Inconsistent evidence from the alleged victim of a violent home invasion on the Gold Coast will be tested at a committal hearing next year.

Matthew Chivers and Mitchell Thomas Hinde have both been charged with attempted murder over the incident at a Nerang home in May 2014.

On Monday, the pair were ordered to face a committal hearing at Southport Magistrates Court on March 24. ... [Yahoo - 2/11/15]






More former students of one of Queensland's most prestigious schools have come forward with complaints of abuse at the hands of a disgraced paedophile former school counsellor.

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse prepared to hear stories from abuse victims at both Brisbane Grammar School and St Paul's School over the next two weeks, BGS confirmed the inquiry had caused more victims to come out of the woodwork. ... [Brisbane Times - 2/11/15]








A 44-year-old woman has died after the car in which she was a passenger hit a tree near Lockhart River in Far North Queensland.

About 2.30pm the car left Piiramo Road east of Lockhart River and collided with a tree.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The 34-year-old male driver of the car was flown to Cairns Base hospital with non-life threatening injuries. ... [Brisbane Times - 2/11/15]






Fatal traffic crash involving police car, Rosedale (near Bundaberg) [QPS Media - 2/11/15]





A man has been airlifted to hospital in a serious condition after staggering from his car following a head-on crash in southeast Queensland.

Two cars collided at Finnie, south of Toowoomba, where the man was found on the road after stumbling out of his car before 9am, an ambulance spokeswoman said.

He was taken by helicopter to Toowoomba Hospital with a broken leg and injuries to his arms and stomach. [Yahoo - 2/11/15]





Two accidents cause chaos on the M1 [MYGC - 2/11/15]





Body of missing fisherman found, Somerset Dam [Nine MSN - 2/11/15]





Man rushed to hospital following nail gun accident, Helensvale [2/11/15]





Suspicious house fire, Cannonvale [QPS Media - 2/11/5]





... "I don't support the current pending legislation, which would have every tourist and community member forced to have their ID scanned when entering licensed premises," Mr Gordon said. ... Independent Billy Gordon wants changes to proposed liquor and lockout laws [ABC - 2/11/15]






Jury discharged in criminologist's trial after juror raises doubts about his impartiality



 ABC [2/11/15]:



The jury in the trial of high-profile Queensland criminologist Paul Wilson has been discharged just over an hour after being empanelled.

Wilson has been charged with four counts of indecent treatment of a girl under the age of 12.

He is pleading not guilty to the charges, which date back to the 1970s.

The jury was discharged after one of the jurors informed the judge he was not sure he could remain impartial through the trial.

A new jury will be selected tomorrow, at which point the trial is expected to continue.

Wilson is the former head of criminology at Bond University on the Gold Coast.




Yahoo 7 [1/5/14]:

A lead investigator in the indecent dealing case against Queensland criminologist Paul Wilson has denied accusations he had a campaign against the academic.

Wilson, the former head of criminology at the Gold Coast's Bond University, returned to court in Brisbane on Thursday for the third day of a committal hearing.

The 73-year-old faces six charges of indecently dealing with two girls under 17 in 1973 and 1976.

The former lead investigator on the case was cross examined by Wilson's lawyer Bill Potts on Thursday.

Detective Sergeant Charles Heron confirmed the first complaint against Wilson was made in April 2011.

A second woman later made a complaint after she was contacted by Det Sgt Heron.

Both women had modified their statements several times since first making them, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.

One changed a statement saying Wilson had touched her shoulder to say he'd touched her breast.

Defence counsel Bill Potts suggested the women made the changes after encouragement from the detective, whom Mr Potts accused of becoming personally involved.

The lawyer read from emails Det Sgt Heron sent to one woman calling both women "most excellent" witnesses who'd told their stories "very well".

In another email Det Sgt Heron said all police involved in the case had "not the slightest doubt" the women were abused by Wilson and there was a "good likelihood" he'd be found guilty.

"This had become some kind of campaign for you hadn't it?" Mr Potts asked the witness during heated cross examination.

Det Sgt Heron, who was removed from the investigation after 10 months, said he didn't see anything wrong with the emails and part of his job was to support witnesses.

Magistrate John Costello adjourned the court until May 16, when he's due to rule on whether there's enough evidence to commit Wilson to trial.




A leading criminologist has warned of a major escalation in gang-related violence if state governments push ahead with anti-bikie laws.

Professor Paul Wilson, a forensic psychologist and chair of criminology at Bond University, says similar moves in Canada gave rise to greater violence and sparked a bikie war. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/8/09]





An extra $3.2 million is being allocated to "frontline" police investigations into child exploitation, in response to an inquiry into organised crime in Queensland. ... [ABC - 2/11/15]




Last person jailed in Waco shooting involving bikers and police to be freed after 5 months [US News - 1/11/15]


Immunisation experts and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians have warned the federal government's "no jab no play" legislation will do little to boost childhood immunisation rates and could penalise children from lower socio-economic backgrounds who are excluded from childcare. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 2/11/15]




Police will not confirm whether toy pigs with anti-Islamic slogans were thrown at the site of a proposed mosque on the Gold Coast.

Detectives are investigating graffiti and vandalism allegedly carried out at the Currumbin Waters site sometime last month. ... [Yahoo - 2/11/15]





A Frankston man who allegedly bashed a Muslim woman outside Victoria's State Library in Melbourne has been arrested.

The 21-year-old woman from Dandenong was walking along Swanston Street on Thursday when she was punched to the head around 1:10pm.

It is alleged the man tried to pull the woman's hijab off. ... [ABC - 2/11/15]





Premier Mike Baird reveals another multi million dollar package to continue harassing Muslims


Sydney Morning Herald [2/11/15]:


Specialist teams and trained counsellors will identify students at risk of radicalisation and help to counter violent extremism in schools as part of a $47 million package developed by the Baird government.

Five expert teams will be deployed across NSW schools to respond to incidents of violent extremism and help schools that have been "identified" as being at risk.

The teams, which will cost about $15 million, include former principals, psychologists and student support workers and will help schools to develop strategies.


NSW Deputy Opposition leader and shadow education minister Linda Burney said she supported the government's package.






Protected and unaccountable Foreign Minister Julie Bishop meets and enthusiastically tweets her meeting with the Zionist Federation of Australia - media report her apparent (and sudden) support for equal marraige:



‏@ZionistFedAus [2/11/15]:   Zionist Federation Retweeted Julie Bishop Thank you @JulieBishopMP - a wonderful friend to the @ZionistFedAus




It is not very pleasant when serious people around the world – historians, psychiatrists, diplomats – ask themselves if my prime minister is completely sane. But this is happening now. And not only abroad. More and more people in Israel are asking themselves the same question. ... Uri Avnery - Adolf, Amin and Bibi  [ICH - 31/10/15]





Australia's "Opposition" travels to PNG to reinforce the "we stopped the boats" lie [SBS - 2/11/15]





Welcome to Australia! --->  Turkey returns to single-party rule [Reuters - 2/11/15]





UN panel calls for Anwar Ibraham's release, says charges 'politically motivated'

Channel News Asia [2/11/15]:

The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which comes under the UN Human Rights Council, has concluded that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's detention was arbitrary, and that his sodomy charges were political motivated to discredit him.

This comes after the working group considered persuasive evidence which was not contested by the government despite given over two months to do so.

Among the basis of the working group findings, it concluded that Mr Anwar was denied access to a fair trial, and that there was no due process in court - the judge was biased, including chief prosecutor, as well as the haste of the appeal hearing and sentencing.

The working group has requested the Malaysian government to immediately release Mr Anwar and reinstate all his political rights.

Mr Anwar, 68, was found guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan in early 2015. It is his second conviction since 2000; his first conviction was overturned in 2004 after six years in jail.

Mr Anwar was sentenced to five years' imprisonment this time, and was subsequently disqualified as a Member of Parliament in March.



PNG: Justice Minister and Attorney-General charged [The National - 2/10/15]:

Justice Minister and Attorney-General Ano Pala has been charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, perverting the course of justice and abuse of office.

He went to the National Fraud and Anti-Corruption office on Friday after he was requested by police to voluntarily go there for questioning. He was accompanied by his lawyer Ralph Saulep.

He later appeared at the Waigani District Court where he was granted a K6000 bail.

He will appear in court again on Dec. 2. His guarantors Margaret Aila and Ralph Saulep pledged K500 each.

Director of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Directorate Superintendent Matthew Damaru said Pala was interviewed in relation to his role in the case involving the warrant of arrest taken out against Prime Minister Peter O’Neill by a magistrate court in Port Moresby.

Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed an application by Pala to have a warrant of arrest taken out against him stayed. The warrant was issued last July.

Damaru said he had written a letter to Pala requesting him to voluntarily surrender himself for questioning.

“We are pleased with the leader for cooperating. That’s what we expect from anybody to cooperate with the law and let the law take its own course,” Damaru said.

Pala said on Friday “in the spirit of pursuing a proper legal process, I have accepted the charges and will now defend myself in court”.

Pala was interviewed by police officers for two hours before he was taken to the Boroko police station.





... When what is known as the "Feb. 26 Incident" broke out in central Tokyo in 1936, he [Centenarian Takeji Muno] was preparing for his graduation exam.

In the bloody incident, a band of young radical officers with the Imperial Japanese Army attempted to overthrow the government in a push for political reform.

Although they assassinated several politicians, they failed in killing the sitting prime minister and in achieving their goal. The culprits surrendered three days later.

Muno recalled that students were kept away from the university, which was located in the vicinity of the Imperial Palace back then, with a large number of armed troops forming a barricade around the area.

The fallout from the attempted coup continued to rock Tokyo.

Muno said graduation exams were given in March, but he has no recollection of a commencement for the university's graduates being held that month.

Muno, who resides in Saitama, has worked as a freelance journalist after he quit The Asahi Shimbun on Aug. 15, 1945, the day the emperor announced Japan's surrender in a radio broadcast to the nation.

Muno, who covered many battles as a correspondent, left the daily to “take responsibility for reporting on the losing war effort as if Japan was winning.” ... [Asahi Shimbun - 1/11/15]




Berlin Wall blunderer Guenter Schabowski dies at 86 [BBC – 11/11/15]:

A senior East German official whose impromptu announcement at a news conference led to the demise of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has died aged 86.

Guenter Schabowski said travel restrictions on the ex-state's citizens would be immediately lifted, prompting tens of thousands to cross to the West.

Officials had intended to phase in changes the next day, but the mass of people hastened the Wall's rapid fall.

The measures were intended to stem an exodus to Hungary amid mass protests.

Less than a year later, East and West Germany were reunited into one country, ending 45 years of division.

Mr Schabowski was a spokesman for the East German regime in 1989, when Communist governments across Eastern Europe were facing a wave of popular protest.

The government had decided to make it easier for East Germans to travel to Western Europe, in an attempt to curb a flood of people crossing into Hungary, which had itself opened its western borders.

On 9 November he gave a news conference outlining the changes, but the late BBC correspondent Brian Hanrahan - who witnessed the events - said he had jumped the gun as they were supposed to be announced early the next morning.

And asked when the changes would come into effect, he said: "This occurs, to my knowledge... immediately... without delay."

In 1997, Mr Schabowski was jailed for three years for his role in East Germany's policy of shooting those who tried to cross into the West, but was pardoned after a year.

In 2009 he wrote an autobiography denouncing the regime as being fatally flawed.





Palestinian shot dead after alleged stabbing attempt near Hebron [Maan - 1/11/15]





Israeli forces shot and wounded at least 2,617 Palestinians with live and rubber-coated steel bullets through October, the Palestinian Red Cross said Sunday, as clashes carried on into the new month.

A Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma'an that at least 760 Palestinians were shot with live rounds across the occupied Palestinian territory, while another 1,857 were hit with rubber-coated steel bullets.

He said that a further 5,399 Palestinians were treated for excessive tear gas inhalation during the period, while another 246 were injured in other ways, including assault by Israeli soldiers and burns from tear gas canisters.

The spokesperson said that it brought the total injured during October to 8,262 Palestinians. ... [Maan - 1/11/15]





Israelis execute injured Palestinian — video and eyewitness [Electronic Intifada - 30/10/15]





Saudi warplanes pound Yemen’s capital, Sa’ada Province [Press TV - 1/11/15]






Cyclone Chapala has killed one and injured nine others after hitting the Yemeni island of Socotra and is on its way towards the war-ravaged country’s mainland, officials say.   ... [Press TV - 1/11/15]





Afghanistan:  US drone strike kills "TTP commander" in Kunar [Khaama - 1/11/15]





Thirty Taliban fighters were killed and scores others wounded during an hours-long clash with police in southern Helmand province, an official said on Sunday. ... [Pajhwok - 1/11/15]





Referring to recent decision by Germany to send the Afghan migrants back home, the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation declared Sunday that Afghanistan will not accept the deported asylum seekers without a mutual agreement between the government of Afghanistan and the European Union. ... [TOLO News - 1/11/15]





Somalia:  Freelance journalist killed, another wounded in Mogadishu’s hotel attack [Geeska Africa - 1/11/15]





14 aid workers kidnapped in Eastern DR Congo [Naharnet - 1/11/15]





South Sudan rebels release 13 UN contractors, official says [Daily Star - 2/11/15]





Construction of British base in Bahrain begins [Daily Star - 2/11/15]







Saadi Gaddafi , a son of Libya's slain dictator Moamer Gaddafi , appeared in court Sunday to face trial on charges of murder and repression during the 2011 revolution.

Dressed in prison-issued blue uniform, Saadi, 42, sat in the dock as the presiding judge consulted with a defence lawyer.

Minutes later the judge announced that he was adjourning the trial to December 6. ... [Ahram - 1/11/15]





Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said Sunday that in light of the advance achieved by our Armed Forces on several fronts, in cooperation with the Russian Air Force, Syria refutes all allegations and lies promoted by some hostile and conspiring mediums on the random use of weapons in the efforts exerted to combat terrorism.

The Ministry said in a statement that Syria’s efforts are continuous to eliminate terrorism and restore security and stability to the whole country. [SANA - 1/11/15]





The censored reality of the refugee crisis [VIDEO - The Empire Files - teleSUR - 31/10/15]:



Today 60 million human beings are displaced by war and extreme poverty.

Many European countries are responding to the crisis with racist hysteria and polices, backed by police measures.

Abby Martin exposes the facts that are left out of the mainstream reporting: the role of criminal wars, disastrous neoliberal economics and why mass displacement is a permanent feature under this system.

Featuring interviews with: Atossa Abrahamian, journalist and author of the new book "The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen" (Twitter: @atossaaraxia) Professor Saskia Sassen, sociologist and expert on human migration, currently serving as co-chair of Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. She just published her latest book on the subject, "Expulsions." (Twitter: @SaskiaSassen)






Meanwhile --->   ... The new rich have developed their own annual migration pattern. While the wealthy of the past traveled mainly for leisure and climate — the ocean breezes of New England in the summer and the sunny golf greens of Palm Beach in winter — today’s rich crisscross the globe almost monthly in search of access, entertainment and intellectual status. Traveling in flocks of private G5 and Citation jets, they have created a new social calendar of economic conferences, entertainment events, exclusive parties and art auctions. And in the separate nation of the rich, citizens no longer speak in terms of countries. They simply say, “We’ll see you at Art Basel.”  ... [New York Times - 20/6/15]




Facts That You Need To Know About Australia’s New Significant Investor Visa (SIV) [Australian Immigration Lawyers]




Doha opens slave camp for 70,000 migrant workers [Arab News - 2/11/15]




United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria




US Department of Defense [1/11/15]:


Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter, attack, bomber, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Syria:

- Near Al Hawl, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL fighting complex and wounded an ISIL fighter.

- Near Mar'a, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive device (VBIED), and wounded two ISIL fighters.

- Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL headquarters building.

- Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes struck an ISIL crude oil collection point, an ISIL petroleum pump, an ISIL pump station, and destroyed an ISIL crane and an ISIL mobile pump.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, ground-attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 30 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Al Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.

-- Near Al Qaim, one strike struck an ISIL logistical facility.

-- Near Bayji, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL artillery pieces, and another fighting position in a separate strike.

-- Near Qayyarah, one strike struck an ISIL staging area.

-- Near Ramadi, seven strikes struck three separate tactical units and destroyed two ISIL rocket rails, an ISIL trench, 12 ISIL fighting positions, eight ISIL buildings, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL weapons cache, three command and control nodes, suppressed an ISIL fighting position, and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, 11 strikes struck 10 separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL VBIED, an ISIL homemade explosives cache, an ISIL assembly area, two ISIL bunkers, wounded an ISIL fighter and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL excavator and wounded an ISIL fighter.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL checkpoint and wounded two ISIL fighters.






The U.S. military on Sunday hailed the success of a complex $230 million test of the U.S. missile defense system that it said showed the ability of the Aegis and THAAD weapons systems to identify and destroy ballistic and cruise missiles at once. ... [Reuters - 1/11/15]






‏@ArisMessinis [1/11/15]:   More bodies of #refugees and #migrants washed out at beaches of #Lesbos.





Merkel's conservatives align refugee policy but coalition still at odds [Reuters - 1/11/15]





In Lesbos tragedy, the shape of Europe’s migrant scandal
[Human Rights Watch - 31/10/15]:

... Why is it that months into this crisis it is still almost exclusively volunteers who are providing those arriving on Europe’s shores with such life-saving assistance?

Why should volunteers still be providing life-saving medical care on the rocks of Lesbos, with not an ambulance provided by any government or inter-governmental organization in sight?

The truth is the debt-stricken Greek government is unable to provide for the huge numbers of new arrivals, even the basics. But what is the European Union doing? It can and should do more to help these often-forgotten victims, by assisting Greece on a plan to protect the rights and well-being of migrants and asylum seekers arriving on its shores. EU member states need to provide human resources, such as doctors, and technical capacity.

There is no doubt that the rescuers faced severe weather conditions during Wednesday’s disaster, with near-gale-winds. Both Frontex and the Greek army deployed helicopters as well as available vessels in the rescue effort. But the reality is that, despite months of pleas for more assistance and preparation, the resources deployed by Greece and the EU remain woefully inadequate for the task at hand, and much of the most dangerous work is done by volunteers.

Sadly, this is the reality not only in Greece, but all along the dismal journey that these people fleeing war and persecution follow through the Western Balkans to reach asylum in Western Europe. All along the route, there is virtually no humanitarian response from European institutions, and those in need rely on the good will of volunteers for shelter, food, clothes, and medical assistance.

When I met the head of the Hellenic Coast Guard on Lesbos three weeks ago, I asked him what he needed to deal with the ever-growing numbers of new arrivals on his small island—over 110,000 in September alone, according to his statistics—and his immediate response was more rescue boats from European countries. He freely admitted that his Coast Guard service was completely overwhelmed, and told me he had been begging for more EU assistance for months.




More than 100 Syrian refugees found in Bulgarian refrigerated truck [Ahram – 31/10/15]




In May, I attended a graduation party in Tel Aviv for Taj Jemy, a 28-year-old asylum seeker from Sudan. He gave a speech about the war in his home, Darfur, and how he wished his family could be in Tel Aviv to see him graduate and receive his bachelor’s degree. Africans, dressed in their best clothes, and some Israelis, filled the room, clapping and celebrating. He ended, “If I can do this, you can as well,” and everyone gathered there wanted to believe him.

The celebration was interrupted by the Israeli police, who burst into the room, scattering the crowd. The partygoers recalling their skills of hiding, ducking and fleeing, spilled onto the street to find it barricaded and surrounded by horses. Seven people were arrested that night for not having their visas with them.

Israel’s policy toward African asylum seekers is to pressure them to self-deport or, as the former interior minister Eli Yishai put it, to “make their lives miserable” until they give up and let the government deport them.

About 60,000 African asylum seekers have entered Israel since 2005, most of them Muslims from the Darfur region of Sudan, and Orthodox Christians from Eritrea; today that number is closer to 45,000.  ... [New York Times - 31/10/15]




Protected and unaccountable Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton visits Middle East for a selfie with the UNHCR - who continue to maintain their stoic silence about Australia's incarceration, refoulement, exile and torture of refugees




Refugees are not being processed in Jordan but the political, media and human rights establishment are pretending that they are [Sydney Morning Herald - 2/11/15]




Stay where you are and accept your fate ---->  ‏@UNHCRJo - UNHCR Jordan [1/11/15]:  Huge announcement today from @ZaatariCamp from @eu_echo w/ additional €28 million to support Syrian crisis ...





New Yorker [November 2015]:



... It can take up to two years for Syrian refugees to be vetted. The ostensible reason for the delay is concern for national security, but in fact the obstacles are mostly bureaucratic.

Throughout the region, refugee-processing centers are understaffed and underfunded.

For more than a year, interviews with refugees in Lebanon—where a million displaced Syrians live—have been suspended while the U.S. Embassy undergoes renovations.

The interviews could be conducted through video conferences; the State Department could deputize and train private organizations to carry out the initial screening and relieve overwhelmed United Nations field offices; the Administration could establish a visa program that would accelerate the petitions of Syrians with relatives in this country.

These technical fixes would be relatively easy to make.

The President could also declare a humanitarian emergency and, under the Refugee Act signed by Carter in 1980, increase the quota of refugees beyond the annual limit.

What’s missing is political will. ...



Citizenship discrimination for refugees who arrive by boat [Refugee Council of Australia - 19/10/15]:


... “A number of applicants have received letters of approval from the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection, stating that the final step to gain citizenship is to attend a citizenship ceremony. However, these people have not been invited to participate in a citizenship ceremony, despite regular, often monthly, citizenship ceremonies occurring in each local government area.

“We have also heard from applicants who received a call or text message the night before they were due to attend the ceremony indicating that the ceremony was cancelled. However, months later, they still have not been invited to attend another event. ...




Secret freeze on refugee citizenship processes [The Saturday Paper – 5/9/15]:


... After being alerted to the widespread delays in awarding citizenship for refugees, the Refugee Council of Australia began an online survey to find the patterns. Since it was launched two weeks ago, more than 160 refugees have responded, saying their citizenship is not being processed. A further 50 people have attended the council’s offices to raise their concerns.

“The common thread between these people is that the vast majority of them arrived seeking protection in Australia by boat,” the council’s chief executive, Paul Power, says.

“The evidence we have collated suggests this denial of citizenship for those who arrived by boat appears to have started around the time the present government was elected. We have contacted the minister for immigration to clarify if there has been a change of policy, because nothing on this front has been made public. He has not responded as yet.” ...





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.

The emails support reports from Guardian Australia in March, showing that Syrians detained offshore told Australian immigration department officials they would be killed if they returned to Syria, but the department facilitated plans for their repatriation nonetheless.

This included sharing asylum-seeker identity documents with the Syrian consulate in Australia, booking flights via Jordan, and endeavouring to issue an “ultimatum” to force them into a decision on repatriation, despite a number of them being severely mentally ill.

At no point in any of the disclosed emails is conflict in Syria, which has seen more than 100,000 people die and 2.56 million refugees flee the civil war, discussed. And at no point are concerns about the asylum seekers’ safety back in Syria articulated.  ... [Guardian - 14/8/14]





Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.





The national consultation process [Refugee Council of Australia]:



Each year since 1984, RCOA invites people from across Australia to participate in its annual national consultations on the future of Australia’s refugee and humanitarian program. These consultations inform RCOA’s annual submission to the Minister for Immigration on issues the Australian Government should consider in planning the coming year’s refugee program.

2016-17 Refugee and Humanitarian Program

RCOA is conducting local consultations around Australia to seek input to inform its submission to the Minister and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on Australia’s 2016-17 Refugee and Humanitarian Program. This year, RCOA is seeking feedback on international refugee needs, Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program, post-arrival settlement support and Australia’s policies towards asylum seekers.

How to get involved

If you cannot attend a face-to-face consultation or provide written responses, call RCOA’s Sydney office on (02) 9211 9333 or email admin@refugeecouncil.org.au to arrange a time for a phone interview. Written responses can be emailed to admin@refugeecouncil.org.au by Friday 13 November 2015.






Militarised ‏border control techonology begins to creep into mainstream ----> @And_Harper - UNHCR Jordan [28/1015]:  Similar to what we are doing for @refugees op in #Jordan w @irisguard "Australia to trial cloud passports ...



...  The idea of cloud passports is the result of a hipster-style-hackathon held at the Department of Foreign Affairs, which culminated in an X-Factor style audition before the secretary Peter Varghese, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, Assistant Minister Steve Ciobo and Chris Vein from the World Bank. ...

Under a cloud passport, a traveller's identity and biometrics data would be stored in a cloud, so passengers would no longer need to carry their passports and risk having them lost or stolen. ...





REST, the superannuation fund for workers in retail, warehousing and the fast-food industry, is a major shareholder in Transfield Services Broadspectrum.

According to Broadspectrum’s 2015 Annual Report, REST has just under 25 million shares. ... [xBorder Operational Matters - 1/11/15]





2 November 2015