United States continues bombing everyone - especially in Iraq - but apparently not in Syria yesterday [US Department of Defense - 2/11/16]
Defense Secretary Ash Carter today announced new efforts to expand military recruiting and to reinvigorate the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, program on college campuses to attract a broader segment of young people into military and public service.
Carter spoke to an audience at The City College of New York, the first stop during a trip this week to New York, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio to highlight steps the Defense Department is taking to ensure the future strength, readiness and technological edge of the nation’s men and women in uniform. ... [US Department of Defense - 1/11/16]
French authorities will on Wednesday begin transferring about 1,500 unaccompanied migrant minors to reception centers across the country, officials said on Tuesday, as a standoff with Britain over who takes care of the youths drags on. ... [Reuters - 1/11/16]
Syrian refugees: We were tricked into returning to Turkey [Guardian - 2/11/16]:
... According to documents shared by the applicants with the Guardian, the refugees were initially given the chance to apply for asylum after landing in Greece on 9 October.
But 11 days later, before their applications were fully processed, they say they were tricked by EU and Greek officials into returning to Turkey.
“I never knew I was [going to be] deported to Turkey,” said Lawand Haji Mohamad, a 33-year-old from Kobani, Syria, who arrived in Greece with his wife and four children, all aged under five.
Instead, police told his family that they were being flown to the Greek mainland.
“The policemen said leave your dinner, get your stuff, we will take you to a police station for the night and [then] tomorrow morning to Athens,” Haji Mohamad said by phone from a detention camp in southern Turkey called Düziçi. ...
Three Syrian refugees injured in fire at Oraiokastro camp [Ekathimerini - 2/11/16]
Refugees, Tourism and Islamophobia on Samos [Samos Chronicles - 31/10/16]:
... Despite the mountains of reports and statements condemning the treatment of refugees arriving on the Greek islands, nothing improves.
This starkly contrasts with the speed in which security and border hardening measures are implemented and expanded.
So, before another report is commissioned or another journalist despatched to the islands is it not time to investigate why nothing changes; why no action is taken? Why is this cruel situation allowed to continue?
The last thing the refugees need is yet another costly report telling them that their lives in the Camp are basically shit.
Driving through Samos town yesterday evening we saw many refugees out on the streets.
There must have been at least 10 groups of young men and boys fishing along the sea wall. (We had learnt from the refugees at the cricket matches that fishing was now increasingly popular not just because it passed time but because they were catching some decent fish which were then cooked and eaten in the camp.)
The children’s play areas were also busy with young refugee families having fun with their kids.
There were small groups of young mothers walking and talking with toddlers in push chairs. The shops were closed so their general lack of money was not such an issue for them, and the refugees clearly outnumbered the locals.
Quite simply we found the atmosphere to be wonderful. Like many, we are furious and saddened by the treatment of the refugees on Samos nevertheless it is not hell all of the time.
Friendships and relationships have developed; people hang out together, cook and eat together, laugh and joke and support each other.
On evenings such as last night you realise that in their lived reality as well as in their diversity refugees are not easy to demonise when they are around you, laughing and playing on the streets and by the sea.
It is much easier for the system to lie about the refugees – as terrorists, as disease carriers, as religious fanatics ……. when you can’t see them. (Is this why the authorities locked the camp down on Friday morning and would not let any of the refugees out so they would not ‘contaminate’ by their presence the annual theatre of parades which mark Ohi Day (when in 1940 Greece said No to the Italian’s ultimatum of surrender or be invaded)? ...
Day 228 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [2/11/16]
What's news Behrouz? untitled [Cordite Poetry Review - 1/11/16]
Ronnie Knight MP continues slandering Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island. No right of reply. No journalism. [PNG Loop - 2/11/16]
See you in The Hague. Dickhead.
ALP refugee concentration camp profiteers Save The Children continue highlighting their utter hypocrisy [Media Release - 2/11/16]
@nslwin [2/11/16]: At least 300 #Rohingya villagers from West H of #KyeeKanPyin who met with #UN & diplomats arrested just a few mins ago. ...
@nslwin [2/11/16]: The #Rohingya villagers who can speak Burmese and English are not allowed to go into the crowd. It was in #KyeeKanPyin
Myanmar army reportly pressuring Rohingya villagers not to meet with UN delegation [Rohingya Blogger - 2/11/16]
Weeks after atrocities began, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights issues statement fretting that fleeing Rohingya won't stay where they are [2/11/16]
Protester crashes Dutch royal visit [SBS – 2/11/16]:
... But the royal visit didn't entirely go to plan, with the couple met by a protester outside the Archives reminding the Dutch of their colonial history in West Papua.
"Your royal highnesses, welcome to Australia!" he bellowed with a megaphone.
"Next time you see your government, could you please ask them to apologise to the people of West Papua." ...
@FreeWestPapua [2/11/16]: #WestPapuans carry the body of Onisimus Rumayom, a #FreeWestPapua activist murdered by the #IndonesianPolice in #Manokwari, #WestPapua
@FreeWestPapua [29/10/16]: ... #IndonesianPolice shoot at least 9 #WestPapuan people and kill at least 1 in #Manokwari, #WestPapua #Genocide #Melanesia
Hong Kong leader raises prospect of controversial legal request to Beijing [Reuters – 1/11/16]
A fire that broke out at a karaoke lounge in Vietnam's capital killed at least 13 people, the government said on Wednesday, in a rare accident of its kind for which the prime minister demanded an investigation and punishment for safety violations. ... [Reuters - 1/11/16]
Jinshangou mine: Deadly explosion in China's Chongqing [Al Jazeera – 1/11/16]
A driver is dead after a car and truck collided south-east of Brisbane.
The accident happened about 3.10am Wednesday at the busy intersection of Finucane Road and Old Cleveland Road, Capalaba. ... [Brisbane Times - 2/11/16]
A Queensland police officer has been dragged down the road by a car he stopped for a breath test.
The officer was conducting the test at Maroochydore early Wednesday morning when the motorist drove off, causing him to become trapped in the window and dragging him along until he fell onto the road.
He suffered minor leg injuries.
Police are now hunting for the driver who is aged in his 30s, bald and of large, solid build with a large tribal shoulder tattoo and tattoos on his forearm. [Brisbane Times - 2/11/16]
A traffic controller has been rushed to hospital after being crushed by a bobcat in Caversham on Wednesday morning.
The female, believed to be in her 50s, was rushed by St John Ambulance to Royal Perth Hospital with life-threatening injuries around 10am. ... [WA Today - 2/11/16]
Man rushed to hospital after hit and run in Miami [MYGC - 2/11/16]
Gunman on the run after shots fired into Reedy Creek bakery [MYGC - 2/11/16]
Dead Gold Coast boy had 70 injuries: pathologist [Yahoo - 2/11/16]
Sisters drown in backyard swimming pool at Logan [MYGC - 1/11/16]
Crystal methamphetamine found at Brisbane Airport Air Traffic Service Centre, AFP investigating [ABC - 2/11/16]
Police are attempting to negotiate with a man who is allegedly making threats north of Brisbane.
Police say the man is not armed, but have closed several streets surrounding Sparkes Road in Bray Park.
One of the streets backs onto the rear oval of Bray Park State School. [Yahoo - 2/11/16]
Court hears Mildura man admit he hid girl's body [The Age - 2/11/16]
Man charged with murder over Springvale death [The Age - 2/11/16]
Queensland man in court over Perth woman's shooting [West Australian - 2/11/16]
A drug addict in a WA prison repeatedly threatened to kill his stepmother, saying he wanted to eat her, but the information was not relayed properly to authorities and he murdered her less than a month later, an inquest has heard. ... [West Australian - 1/11/16]
Logan bookseller and thought crime suspect jailed 4.5 years for foreign incursion [ABC - 2/11/16]:
... Justice Atkinson took into account the 90 days Succarieh had spent in solitary confinement.
With time already served, Succarieh will be eligible for parole in less than a year.
Succarieh gave a thumbs up to his supporters as he was led away from the dock after his sentencing.
At least 10 of his supporters were in court for the hearing, and at one stage, Justice Atkinson told them to sit apart so they were not in a large group.
None of them spoke to waiting media as they left the court precinct.
ABC can barely contain their enthusiasm for Frank Lowy's hard right Islamophobic think tank - who prepared a report for the prosecution [2/11/16]
... "I know many people in the community think that if you've committed a crime, then you should do time," society president and criminal lawyer Bill Potts said.
"Well, I welcome them to actually go and see the circumstances under which we treat people.
"For people to be jammed in a cell sometimes two up, and sometimes three up, in a cell that's designed for one, is in fact a disgrace.
"You would not keep a dog in the same situation."
He said local lawyers have complained to him about the overcrowding.
"They've told me anecdotally of prisoners complaining to them about delays in having their complaints dealt with internally," Mr Potts said.
"They're not able to see a doctors or psychologists, often the courses involved in drug rehabilitation are massively overcrowded.
"Their main complaint is that they simply are living in unsanitary and often dangerous circumstances with people who are aggravated and are annoyed simply because effectively they're living on top of each other like sardines in a can." ... Capricornia Correctional Centre - designed to accommodate 410 inmates - currently occupied by about 529 [ABC - 2/11/16]
Townsville Christian school told raped student's parents to 'leave it alone', child abuse Royal Commission told [ABC - 2/11/16]:
A north Queensland school principal allegedly discouraged the parents of a girl who was raped by four boys from reporting the matter to police, the child abuse Royal Commission has heard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is looking into how Townsville's Shalom Christian College handled the sexual assault of a 14-year-old female student known as CLF.
The girl's parents gave evidence at a hearing in Sydney on Wednesday, and said the school's principal at the time, Christopher Shirley, told them the boys involved were from influential Indigenous families in the area.
"At this point I got [Christopher] Shirley's message, get over it and leave it alone," said the girl's mother.
"He was in shut down and protecting the school mode. He was also treating us like we were dumb black people."
The parents also alleged Mr Shirley implied their daughter had been "promiscuous" and "asking for it" before the rape.
They told the hearing the school failed to notify police of the attack, and they only found out about it while attending the campus in relation to another matter, several days after the incident.
The Commission was also told the girl was never taken to hospital or offered any professional counselling. ...
Ex-Queensland Transport worker jailed for fraud [Yahoo - 2/11/16]
Prominent journalists, writers and activists call for an end to repression in Kashmir [Scroll.in - 1/11/16]:
... It is unconscionable on the part of the Indian state to exacerbate the situation by choking the lifeline of people in Kashmir.
There are reports of vandalism and violence during raids by the police and security forces.
As the pillars of a modern democracy are wrecked with the media gag, the abuse of the impunity accorded to the law enforcement agencies is bound to escalate.
There have been instances of harassment, abuse and baseless arrests of Kashmiris working and studying, not only in Kashmir but also in different parts of India, for having voiced their political views.
A blockade on the channels of non-violent protest by the arrests of human rights defenders, legal activists and even volunteers supplying aid in hospitals on baseless grounds has aided the creation of spaces for violent protests.
The wanton use of force along with the lack of accountability has contributed immensely to the crisis prevailing in Kashmir. ...
India, Pakistan trade fire across Kashmir border, 8 killed [Kashmir Dispatch - 1/11/16]
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has sacked the commander of the UN force in South Sudan after a report said it had failed to protect civilians in July.
The report backed claims by aid workers that the UN troops refused to respond when government soldiers attacked an international aid compound in Juba.
In the fighting between the army and former rebels, a local journalist was killed and aid workers were raped.
The clashes derailed efforts to form a unity government and end the civil war ... [BBC - 1/11/16]
Sudan government says US President Barack Obama’s order to extend sanctions “unjust” [Sudan Tribune - 1/11/16]
Ex-army commander Michel Aoun elected Lebanese president [Africa News - 1/11/16]
Kuwait's election authorities on Tuesday barred 47 candidates from contesting parliamentary polls later this month for being convicted in courts or not fulfilling nomination requirements, candidates said.
Those barred include former opposition MPs Bader al-Dahum and Safa al-Hashem, as well as controversial Shiite ex-MP Abdulhameed Dashti who has been sentenced in absentia to jail for insulting fellow Gulf states Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. ... [Naharnet - 1/11/16]
Bahrain court postpones rights activist Nabeel Rajab’s verdict [Al Manar – 31/10/16]
Impunity emboldens those who attack journalists, it leads to fear and self-censorship. Society suffers. - Irina Bokova #ENDImpunity for crimes against journalists, 2 November [UNESCO]
Rudd's cemetery visit to honour veterans of the Indonesian National Revolution upsets Balibo Five widow [ABC - 13/6/2008]
Enforced journalist disappearances: International Federation of Journalists counts the missing days [29/8/16]:
… Across the region, the missing include, Juanita Nielsen (Australia), Prakash Singh Thakuri, Chitra Narayan Shrestha, Milan Nepali, Madan Paudel (all of Nepal), Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla (Maldives), Zeenat Shahzadi (Pakistan), Joey Estriber (Philippines), and Prageeth Eknaligoda, Subramaniam Ramachandran and Vadivel Nimalarajah (all of Sri Lanka).
The IFJ said: “Enforced disappearances are aimed to spread terror and fear. These 11 cases are indicative of the endemic impunity problem for attacks against journalists in the Asia-Pacific. The lack of progress in the cases only increases the suffering and loss; and serves to stifle press freedom in communities and societies more broadly.”
“The fact that Australia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines are yet to sign [the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances] is also a red card on their human rights responsibilities,” the IFJ said. ...
@wikileaks [1/11/16]: Here is the UN ordering our editor's release on Feb 5, 2016. He is still effectively detained. ...
UN Victory in Assange Case: Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers - but was roundly dismissed by Australia's establishment "refugee advocates" and international law "experts", who ignored the majority decision and inexplicably focussed on the minority dissenting opinion [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]
Tour and Solidarity visit to Holot refugee prison, 5 November 2016
No asylum seekers have entered Israel over Egypt border fence in past six months [i24 - 31/10/16]:
... "The Israeli government’s mistreatment of refugees and the constant threat of imprisonment are enough to pressure the refugees to leave. It’s not mass deportation but slow deportation; something quiet and disheartening."
As of the end of September, some 40,721 asylum seekers who entered Israel without a permit were living in the country, including 29,367 Eritreans, 8,066 Sundaese, 2,780 from other African countries, and 508 from the rest of the world, the Immigration Authority says.
Under Israel's Anti-Infiltration Law, "infiltrators" -- a government term for illegal migrants -- can be held in Saharonim detention center for up to three months, after which he or she will be moved to the Holot detention facility for a period of up to 20 months.
Since asylum seekers are not permitted to work during this period, many have been pressured into leaving the country through a "voluntary departure" program in which Israel provides a $3,500 grant and free plane ticket to a third country - - often back in Africa.
The Immigration Authority said that the number of asylum seekers voluntarily leaving Israel had increased slightly this year, with 2,798 having left the country as of September.
Of those who left, 81 percent were Eritreans.
Human rights organizations have criticized the government program, claiming it is not "voluntary departure" when the only other alternative to staying in Israel is incarceration.
There is no journalism and there is no opposition.
"It's our policy"
Shorten: Offshore regional processing is an important part of defeating the crime gangs. #auspol #asylumseekers [Image: @ABCNews24 - 4/2/16]
Murdoch hate propagandists report that refugees condemned by the ALP in July 2013 are to be exiled to the US and Canada [RNZI - 2/11/16]:
Australian media reports say refugees held on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru will be offered permanent resettlement in Canada and the US as part of an Australian government plan.
The Australian says the government is in the final stages of negotiations to offer permanent resettlement to most of about 1800 refugees.
The report said several countries would likely be involved, suggesting the US and Canada are among them.
New Zealand offered to take some of the refugees but Canberra has declined the offer. ...
Amputee pens letter to Turnbull asking him to reconsider fortifying Shorten's anti-refugee policy on the basis of their utility [SBS - 2/11/16]
Shorten supporters climb on Dutton's roof to protest the banishing of refugees condemned by the ALP in July 2013 ---> @Annerley_Labor [2/11/16]: Passer-by arrested at Dutton roof protest
Detention Watch Network calls on DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to declare a moratorium on immigration detention expansion [Media Release – 1/11/16]
Immigrant rights groups hold funeral procession from White House to ICE HQ as news broke last week of another death in detention [Detention Watch Network – 1/11/16]:
... "I was locked up in Eloy Detention Center for almost two years, and I know how dangerous and detrimental the system is,” said Alejandra Pablos, Field Coordinator for the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network.
“I was scared for my life and for the lives of the other women. I saw a young mother leave Eloy in a body bag. No one should ever be denied their dignity and that is why I am proud to be here today and to be participating in this action."
The national actions come during an unprecedented moment of record-breaking detention numbers, with over 40,000 people behind bars. ...
@DetentionWatch [1/11/16]: The names of 165 people who have died in @ICEgov detention centers. Stop the deaths! #detentiondeaths #dayofthedead #enddetention
@wikileaks [1/11/16]: Here is the UN ordering our editor's release on Feb 5, 2016. He is still effectively detained ...
@wikileaks [1/11/16]: "Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp... Crush him as hard as you can." Joel Johnson, Clinton insider, DC lobbyist ...
@wikileaks [1/11/16]: NEW book: Hillary Clinton: the Goldman Sachs speeches with an introduction by Assange & annotations ...
The emails currently roiling the US presidential campaign are part of some unknown digital collection amassed by the troublesome Anthony Weiner, but if your purpose is to understand the clique of people who dominate Washington today, the emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta.
They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers. ... [Guardian - 31/10/16]
Apparently outraged by constant robberies aboard commuter buses on the outskirts of Mexico City, an armed passenger fatally shot four men who had just held up a busload of passengers, prosecutors said Monday.
The case described by prosecutors in Mexico State, which borders the capital, was the latest instance of vigilante-style killings in the crime-plagued suburban bus system.
In August, local media reported that an armed passenger in another part of Mexico State shot at four thieves on a bus, killing two of them. ... [Yahoo - 1/11/16]
@ATEmbassy [2/11/16]: Brave man taking on a white privileged terrorist [Brisbane]
@radio4eb [1/11/16]: The 4EB family mourns the loss of Manmeet Alisher. Our sincere condolences to family and fiends. A tragic loss.
"Do you think you were acting like God?" Asks an Australian Greens politician of a specialist's expert medical discretion [ABC - 1/11/16]:
... Dr Grygiel, giving evidence at a NSW parliamentary inquiry, said he decided on a level of chemotherapy dosage 12 years before guidelines were introduced in 2006.
He said he had not changed because there was no evidence that there was more effective treatment.
"You have to realise that maybe I'm not the only person who uses those sort of doses," he said.
Dr Grygiel told the inquiry his superiors knew he used lower doses of chemotherapy as far back as 2006.
He said he explained to all patients that he used lower doses than listed in 2006 guidelines and that he had a discussion with his boss about it.
"There was never any indication from my boss, Dr Dalley, that I should adopt the guidelines that had just been promulgated," he said.
"And the basis of that was that there was an agreement that there was no correct dose."
He told the inquiry he stood by his practice of giving low doses.
"I don't believe that any patient has not had the benefit ... the total benefit of the drug," he said. ...
What’s the protocol for chemotherapy and are low doses less effective? [The Conversation - 4/8/16]
Ballina nursing home murders might have gone unnoticed if they happened on different days, court told [ABC - 1/11/16]
Why is torture and murder occurring in Australia's health and aged care facilities? Last August, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
The OPCAT and what it can do for aged care in New Zealand [Human Rights Commission - 2/6/16]
North Dakota Dakota Access pipeline protester charged with attempted murder of police officer [RT - 1/11/16]
President Obama, they shoot horses and teenage boys on the Dakota Access pipeline [Huffington Post - 31/10/16]:
... It is a little over two years later and these people whom the president claimed as his own are being arrested on minor charges by a seemingly omnipotent Sheriff in Morton County.
They are herded into dog kennels at Fort Rice and the insides of their arms are marked with a number in black ink.
Women suffer broken bones from batons wielded by police officers and deputies.
Memories of others wearing brown shirts in 1939 Germany, who also marked people with black ink, cause fear and apprehension. ...
TigerSwan is one of several security firms under investigation for its work guarding the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota while potentially without a permit.
Besides this recent work on the Standing Rock Sioux protests in North Dakota, this company has offices in Iraq and Afghanistan and is run by a special forces Army veteran. ... [Counterpunch - 31/10/16]
Rwanda accuses 22 French officers over 1994 genocide [Yahoo - 2/11/16]:
Rwanda has published a list of 22 French officers it accuses of helping plan and execute the 1994 genocide, in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
Rwanda's National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (known by its French acronym CNLG) issued the list on Monday, a month after French investigators said they were re-opening a probe into who shot down then-president Juvenal Habyarimana's jet triggering the genocide in which 800,000 mostly Tutsi people were killed.
"High-ranking French officers and political figures committed very serious crimes in Rwanda," the CNLG said in a statement.
"The refusal to put an end to the judicial investigation and to exonerate Rwandan leaders who ended the genocide is designed to camouflage these responsibilities." ...
The prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is ready to initiate a full investigation of a range of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including some by U.S. personnel, according to several knowledgeable sources.
The ICC move would mark the first time that a formal ICC investigation has scrutinized U.S. actions and sets up a possible collision with Washington.
In order to charge Americans with war crimes, Bensouda would likely also have to demonstrate a link between the conflict in Afghanistan and U.S. detention policies, which may not be easy; the United States reportedly brought several detainees to Afghanistan from other parts of the world.
Perhaps most controversial, the prosecutor’s office would have to determine that the United States has failed to address allegations of torture through its own domestic prosecutions, investigations, and reviews. ... [Foreign Policy - 31/10/16]
7 killed as explosion targets wedding-bound vehicle in North of Afghanistan [Khaama - 1/11/16]:
... This comes as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released the latest civilian casualties report late last month which stated at least 3726 civilians were killed or wounded between January and June of this year.
The UN mission said the civilian casualties in the country has reached to a record number since counting began in 2009, with 5,166 civilians recorded killed or maimed in just the first six months of this year, of whom almost one-third were children. ...
At least 19 militants including an Egyptian national leading the group were killed during the operations in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said Tuesday the militants were killed during the separate operations conducted in Asmar and Dangam districts. ... [Khaama - 1/11/16]
Wave of insider attacks hits Afghan army [Military.com - 31/10/16]:
... Overall, the inspector general's report painted a grim picture of Afghanistan's challenges, which likely will require a U.S. military presence and economic support indefinitely.
One of the most difficult challenges is the culture of corruption that pervades the state, the report stated. ...
US should suspend Saudi arms supplies instead of condemning them [Press TV - 1/11/16]:
Human Rights Watch says the US should stop supplying arms to the Saudi Arabia instead of calling on Riyadh to halt its deadly airstrikes on Yemeni civilians.
During remarks made to the UNSC on Monday, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called on Riyadh to halt its airstrikes on schools, hospitals and other civilian targets.
"Ambassador Power's remarks, calling for an end to unlawful strikes that kill civilians and hit protected civilian objects, are certainly welcome. But the US has repeatedly failed to acknowledge its own role providing vital support to those airstrikes by refueling coalition planes and continuing to supply Saudi Arabia with US weapons," HRW’s senior emergencies researcher Priyanka Motaparthy was quoted by ABC News as saying on Tuesday.
She noted that the rights group has on multiple occasions called on Washington to stop selling arms to the Saudis and to stop fueling their jets.
“It's time for the government to go beyond just statements and suspend their support," she added. ...
... At last week’s Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference — bankrolled by oil companies Chevron, ExxonMobile, and ConocoPhillips, and weapons contractors Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Boeing — the Saudi ambassador was the keynote speaker. ... Saudi Ambassador to the US vows to keep hitting Yemen, “no matter what” [The Intercept - 2/11/16]
Turkish General Staff chief arrives in Russia to discuss military cooperation [TASS - 1/11/16]
Russia hasn't used warplanes in Syria's Aleppo for 16 days [TASS - 1/11/16]:
The beginning of the political process in Syria has been postponed indefinitely because of the actions of the "moderate opposition" in Aleppo, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a video conference on Tuesday.
He noted that "militants shoot dozens of civilians every day for trying to approach the humanitarian corridors."
"Is that the opposition it is possible to hold negotiations with? To eliminate terrorists in Syria, it is necessary to work together rather than put a spoke into partners’ wheel.
The gunmen use this for their own benefit," the minister said.
"As a result, the prospects for the beginning of the political process and the Syrian people’s return to peaceful have are postponed indefinitely," he said.
He also said that "over 2,000 so-called moderate opposition members carried out attacks on residential areas, schools and hospitals with the support of 22 tanks, 15 IFVs, multiple launch rocket systems and eight vehicles with suicide bombers." ...
Syrian army enters Metro Damascus Town, driving rebels further back [Antiwar - 31/10/16]
Four people were injured, including two little girls, as a rocket shell fired by terrorists hit al-Hamadaniyeh neighborhood in Aleppo city on Tuesday, according to a source at Aleppo Police Command. ... [SANA - 1/11/16]
A tank shell hit the United Nations office in western Aleppo on Sunday, damaging the top floors of a building that is well known to be the U.N. base in the contested Syrian city, a U.N. statement said on Monday. ... [Yahoo - 1/11/16]
Iraqi Kurds visit Russia amidst ongoing Mosul offensive [ARA News - 2/11/16]
A Japanese freelance journalist covering the fighting in Iraq has been detained by Kurdish authorities.
Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday in Tokyo that “we are aware that he is currently being detained” and that Japan is trying to determine why.
Japan’s Kyodo News agency says that journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka was reporting on the battle to recapture the city of Mosul from the Islamic State group.
Kyodo reported he is being held by the Kurdish militia known as the peshmerga.
Suga said that the Japanese Embassy in Iraq is requesting access to Tsuneoka.
He added that “we are still confirming the details of his charges with local authorities.” ... [Japan Today - 1/11/16]
US General: Warplanes will kill fleeing ISIS fighters around Mosul [Antiwar.com - 31/10/16]:
According to Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigan, the commander of US air forces in the Middle East, the anti-ISIS coalition is now planning on carrying out airstrikes against any fleeing ISIS fighters around Mosul, trying to prevent escape from the massive city with aerial surveillance and targeted strikes.
This appears to be a response to growing concerns, both within the region and internationally, that the fall of Mosul will mean thousands of seasoned ISIS fighters popping up elsewhere around the world, destabilizing the Middle East and Europe.
Preventing them from escaping Mosul, however, raises a major concern that the relative lack of US intelligence on who it is targeting, and determination to shoot first and ask questions later is going to lead to US warplanes attacking groups of fleeing civilians that they come across.
The “solution” to this appears to be preventing civilians from fleeing the city as well, despite it being an open combat zone that will likely be facing months of combat. Iraqi officials are now said to be warning Mosul civilians not to try to escape, insisting they will be safer if they stay put.
Staying put in a city during an invasion is far from safe, but suggests US warplanes are going to be particularly indiscriminate in targeting people fleeing Mosul.
In the recent offensive against the ISIS city of Manbij, US warplanes killed hundreds of civilians they “mistook” for ISIS, and Mosul is a much larger city with a lot more people to be mistaken for ISIS.
2 November 2016