"We were standing at the fence trying to give them legal advice."
Palm Islanders recall death, riots in trial [SBS – 2/10/15]:
... The court heard confusion reigned in the hours after the raids as people tried to find out where their loved ones had been taken.
Indigenous legal service field officer Andrea Sailor said police usually rang her if someone was to give an interview.
But, the court heard, in the days after the riots, she was forced to set up watch outside the police barracks so she could tell people going in that they didn't need to give statements.
She and a solicitor flown in from Townsville were at times overwhelmed by the number of people being interviewed.
"We were standing at the fence trying to give them legal advice," Ms Sailor said.
"Many of them themselves weren't aware why they were being picked up."
Justice Debbie Mortimer will decide whether the state of Queensland should pay compensation and damages to the community, which has also asked for an apology.
... Insp Dini met with the council in his role as cross-cultural liaison officer and was told a reduced police presence would help calm underlying tensions after the riots.
But police did not implement the council's requests. ... [Brisbane Times - 2/10/15]
Hundreds of Israeli forces search Nablus area after settler shooting [Maan - 2/10/15]
... “So here’s my message to the rulers of Iran: Your plan to destroy Israel will fail. Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future,” he declared.
“And here’s my message to all the countries represented here: Whatever resolutions you may adopt in this building, whatever decisions you may take in your capitals, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our State and to defend our people.” At UN, Israeli leader calls on Palestinians to resume peace talks, deplores Iran for annihilation threats [Media Release - 1/10/15]
Another mass shooting: Three killed in Inglis, Florida [Newsweek - 1/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [1/10/15]:
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.
Airstrike in Syria
A remotely piloted aircraft conducted an airstrike near Mar’a, which destroyed two ISIL excavators.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 21 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Huwayjah, seven airstrikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and an area of interest, suppressed ISIL mortar fire, denied ISIL terrain, and destroyed three ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL light machine gun, and eight ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL tunnel.
-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL rocket system.
-- Near Kirkuk, four airstrikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed an ISIL cache, two ISIL heavy machine guns, seven ISIL light machine guns, and 22 ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tactical vehicle and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
Russia’s Aerospace Forces’ jets have conducted 18 sorties against 12 facilities of the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria over the past 24 hours, Russia’s Defense Ministry official spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Friday. ... [TASS - 2/10/15]
The LÉ Niamh is due to return to Cork Harbour today from its humanitarian and search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
The ship will be met by the newly-appointed Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett.
LÉ Niamh was involved in the rescue of more than 4,000 migrants and refugees during its ten-week mission.
LÉ Samuel Beckett, with a crew of 59, is replacing LÉ Niamh in the Mediterranean as part of Ireland's ongoing humanitarian commitment to the region.
So far, the Irish Naval Service has rescued over 7,000 people from the waters between Libya and Sicily. [RTE - 2/10/15]
Refugee emergency in Europe: UNHCR appeals for USD 128 million [Media Release - 1/10/15]:
This year, over half a million people, the majority of them refugees, have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in search of safety in Europe.
European countries have been struggling to deal with this influx of refugees and migrants.
To respond to this emergency, UNHCR established a Special Mediterranean Initiative (SMI) and is working closely with the European Union and its member states, as well as with other countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East affected by ongoing conflict and forced displacement of populations.
UNHCR revised today its appeal for funding for the SMI in 2015 and 2016. The total financial requirements from June 2015 to December 2016 now amount to USD 128 million. This Supplementary Appeal includes activities in Europe but also incorporates programmes in countries of asylum or transit in the Middle East and Africa.
UNHCR is planning for up to 700,000 people seeking safety and international protection in Europe in 2015. While it is difficult to estimate at this point, it is possible that there could be even greater numbers of arrivals in 2016. Planning is based for the moment on similar figures to 2015.
In light of the fast-evolving situation in Europe, and the need to move resources from one location to another in response to the flow of people currently seeking international protection in the region, UNHCR is appealing to donors to provide contributions that can be allocated as flexibly as possible.
“Where to” with the thousands of refugees? Greece cannot solve the crisis alone [Keep Talking Greece - 1/10/15]
Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister continues playing god -----> A letter from master coach Wayne Bennett played the critical role in keeping alive the playing future of a Fijian Rugby League player in Australia. After playing a starring role in the Ipswich Jets Intrust Super Cup grand final win at the weekend, the future of Nemani Valekapa still remains in limbo after a failed visa application. Valekapa's application to extend his sports training visa was denied back in August but thanks to Bennett's letter, the case is being looked at by the Immigration Minister. ... [Brisbane Times - 2/10/15]
Dutton stops ALP MP from seeing refugees exiled from Nauru to Cambodia (now bound for Myanmar) on "privacy" grounds [WA Today - 2/10/15]:
A member of a parliamentary delegation touring South-East Asia says she has been denied access to refugees resettled in Cambodia from the Australian-run detention centre on Nauru.
Western Australian Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan said she had requested the visit to find out why those being resettled were reportedly unhappy, and to see whether the program could be improved.
She said her request was denied by the office of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, on "privacy" grounds.
"It might have been useful for us to talk to them and find out how to make the transition more comfortable," Ms MacTiernan said. ... <------ Seriously? She has no clue about what this multi-million dollar deal is really all about?
...The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is providing initial accommodation for the refugees and some services, yesterday suggested that media access to the refugees would not be forthcoming.
“Media exposure could potentially jeopardise protection needs of refugees and carries high level of risk to their families at home,” an IOM spokesman said.
“While IOM can speak in general terms about what services will be available to refugees, IOM will not disclose any specific details about a refugee’s particular assistance.”
The group said last week that it had “villa-style” accommodation in Phnom Penh readied for the arrival of the four. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 28/5/15]
Voyage of the St. Louis [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]
Turner Classic Movies:
Based on a chilling real-life incident from the early days of World War II, Voyage of the Damned (1976) told the dramatic story of a shipload of European Jews expelled from Hitler's Germany who sailed across the Atlantic in 1939 in a quest to gain asylum in Havana, Cuba, and eventually the United States.
What they found when they arrived was a shocking and ultimately deadly slap-in-the-face that still reverberates today, nearly seventy years later.
The ship was the SS St. Louis, out of Hamburg, and the voyage was actually a Nazi-crafted ruse straight from the warped mind of propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.
The Nazis knew that the U.S. would be reluctant to offer sanctuary to the passengers, therefore the Nazi policy of persecution would be validated and the world would accept their heinous treatment of Germany's Jewish citizens. ...
Australia and the IOM exile two more refugees from Nauru to Cambodia
Cambodia Daily [2/10/15]:
Cambodia will take in two more refugees being held by Australia on the South Pacific island of Nauru as part of Phnom Penh’s controversial resettlement deal with Canberra, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said Thursday, on top of the four refugees already here.
Mr. Kheng made the announcement in an interview broadcast live by local television station PNN on Thursday, following the return of a Cambodian delegation that visited Nauru to meet the applicants and confirm that they were coming voluntarily.
Australia told Cambodia that it had a total of four new volunteers for the delegation to meet, but the minister said two decided to pull out.
“We assigned the officials to interview them,” he said. “The preliminary report I have received from the general department of immigration of the Ministry of Interior is that among the four, only two have volunteered to come and two did not want to settle in Cambodia.”
Mr. Kheng did not say when the two would arrive or why the others had changed their minds.
The news came just over a year after Cambodia signed off on the resettlement deal, under which it agreed to take in an unspecified number of the refugees Australia is holding in camps on Nauru in return for an additional AU$40 million (about $28 million) in aid over four years.
The first four refugees to arrive as part of the deal landed in Phnom Penh in June and have been sequestered inside a gated villa in the south of the city since.
The group includes three Iranians and a Rohingya man from Burma, who has asked to return home.
During his interview, Mr. Kheng said all the paperwork clearing the Rohingya man’s departure from Cambodia had been completed and that his repatriation was now up to Burma.
The Burmese Embassy in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment.
Contacted by telephone, Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Burma had cleared his return and was in the process of preparing his travel documents, which could take another month.
But General Sopheak’s description of the two new volunteers on their way to Cambodia differed from that of Mr. Kheng.
The four volunteers the Cambodian delegation had gone to Nauru to meet included three Iranians and a Rohingya man, like the first group that came in June. But Gen. Sopheak said all four of them had changed their minds and that the two coming to Cambodia were not among them.
“Both of them are Rohingya,” he said of the two who had agreed to resettle here. “The other four, they withdrew.”
Gen. Sopheak said the pair would likely arrive “in a few weeks,” but, like Mr. Kheng, did not know why some volunteers had withdrawn.
... Tan Sokvichea, head of the Immigration Department’s Refugee Division, said yesterday that the government of Australia and the International Organization for Migration will facilitate the process of bringing the two new volunteers to Cambodia.
“These two refugees are men, and both of them are Rohingya,” Sokvichea said. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 2/10/15]
Australia should stop weakening UN efforts to defend human rights in Cambodia [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release – 1/10/15]
The dire humanitarian situation continues in the IDP camps of Rathedaung township as residents have no access to medical care and livelihood.
Hospitals in the area continue to refuse medical treatment for the Muslim population and there is no presence of the international medical charities, presumably due to restrictions by the government.
There is also no access to livelihood as the IDPs are strictly prevented from leaving the camps and as a result there is no access to food. Ration cuts by WFP has worsened the situation and there are chronic food shortages in Anak Parang and Cilkhali.
One correspondent says the camps are full of children who look more like walking skeletons. ... [Burma Times - 2/10/15]
Rising Rakhine party looming threat to Myanmar’s Muslim minority [Burma Times – 2/10/15]
ABC and NGOs still validating the Australian government's cruel "handpicked, non Muslim Syrian refugees who don't come by boat" stunt [ABC - 2/10/15]
Obama administration earmarks $12m for Holocaust survivors
[Times of Israel – 2/10/15]
Go back to where you come from: US to Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide [Yahoo - 1/6/15]:
A senior U.S. official said Monday that resettlement in a third country is not the answer to the swelling tide of boat people in Southeast Asia and called for Myanmar to give citizenship to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution there.
Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for population, migration and refugees, said resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States would entice others to leave their homeland.
"The answer to the issue is peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, and that is the solution," she said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia.
"At the moment, there is tremendous persecution and oppression of the Rohingyas in Rakhine state. They do not have citizenship and we are concerned about their human rights," she said.
Since early May, more than 4,600 boat people from Myanmar and Bangladesh have been brought ashore from Southeast Asian waters. Several thousand more are believed to still be at sea after human smugglers abandoned their boats amid a regional crackdown.
Some are Bangladeshis who left their impoverished homeland in hope of finding jobs abroad. But many are Rohingya Muslims who have fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which has denied them basic rights, including citizenship, and confined more than 100,000 to camps. There are more than 1 million Rohingya living in the country formerly known as Burma.
Malaysia and Indonesia, which initially pushed away boats carrying the migrants, recently said they would give temporary shelter to the boat people on condition that they are resettled within a year.
Richard said 18-24 months would be a more realistic time frame for the United States to resettle refugees.
But she warned that only a small fraction of the world's refugees will be resettled, mainly including torture victims, widows and orphans or those with medical needs.
"Resettlement is not the solution for most refugees on Earth," she said. "The most important solution is people don't have to leave their country in the first place."
Richard earlier visited some 1,100 Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants who arrived in northern Malaysia by boats last month. She said the immigrants were detained in fairly modern and clean buildings at a facility in northern Kedah state.
"They are safe right now, but it was clear to me that those people have gone through a terrible, terrible experience. They are not in good shape in terms of their general well-being. They don't know what's going to happen to them next," she said, calling for their status to be reviewed quickly by Malaysian authorities.
Richard also said she was encouraged that Myanmar attended an emergency conference on the boat people in Bangkok that drew 17 regional countries on Friday. The meeting ended with no major breakthroughs in how to resolve the crisis, but was praised as a good first step in getting the countries to talk face-to-face about the crisis.
"One thing that was really good was that Myanmar was there and stayed for the whole meeting and was very engaged," said Richard, who attended the meeting. "We hope Myanmar will stay engaged."
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday the U.S. was urging Myanmar to work with the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration to assist hundreds of migrants who were rescued May 29, but remain held offshore.
"There's a group of 727 migrants off the coast of Burma and we believe that they need to allow them to disembark immediately and provide humanitarian assistance to them," Harf told reporters, referring to the alternative name for Myanmar.
Myanmar's navy briefly detained journalists who tried to the migrants Sunday.
Rohingya refugees flee Indonesian camps following rapes and beatings [New York Times - 29/9/15]
Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees sheltering in Aceh are progressively being deported by the IOM [TRIBUNnews.com - 27/9/15]
Some 100 refugees from Bangladesh being accommodated at Blang Mangat immigration office in Lhokseumawe city, Aceh province, have been repatriated, according to local immigration spokesman Albert Djalius.
"We hope that all the Bangladeshi refugees can be repatriated in mid-August 2015," Djalius stated here on Wednesday.
He remarked that some 100 refugees who were stranded in Aceh in early May, this year, had complete immigration documents, and therefore, they were flown back to their country of origin from Kuala Namu Airport in Medan, North Sumatra, on Tuesday.
However, he noted that 71 other refugees are still being accommodated in shelters, awaiting a clear demographic data from the Embassy of Bangladesh to Indonesia in Jakarta.
According to Djalius, the repatriation was managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which has been making all the necessary arrangements for providing accommodations.
230 Bangladeshi refugees ready for deportation: Aceh immigration [ANTARA - 15/7/15]
Qatar gives Indonesia $49m to "host" Rohingya refugees [Jakarta Globe - 29/5/15]:
Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said that at a meeting in Doha, she had spoken with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, about the regional efforts to help the refugees.
Most if not all of the people made it to Indonesian shores in recent weeks are Muslims.
Indonesia currently receives aid from the International Organization of Migration, which has allocated $26 million to "help" refugees stranded in Southeast Asia.
“The donation is in a form of financial aid from Qatar to Indonesia to help cover expenses allocated for Rohingya refugees,” Tamim said on Friday, as quoted by newsportal Detik.com.
President Joko Widodo said last week that Indonesia would need international aid to cover expenses it would incur in hosting refugees, most of whom are fleeing persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Dotcom's lawyers try to halt hearing
Lawyers for Kim Dotcom and his co-accused are arguing again that an extradition hearing should be halted.
Mr Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato face extradition to the United States on copyright and money-laundering charges, related to their file-sharing website, Megaupload.
Last week, Judge Nevin Dawson refused to hear several applications from the men for a stay in proceedings, saying they could be heard in the context of the main hearing.
The Crown has finished making its arguments for extradition, and the men's lawyers are now arguing the stay applications should be heard before they present their defence.
Mr van der Kolk and Mr Ortmann's lawyer, Grant Illingworth, said the United States had refused to let the men use frozen funds to pay for expert witnesses.
Mr Illingworth said it would be a miscarriage of justice for the hearing to continue.
Sun reporter: I lied to police
Sun reporter Jamie Pyatt lied in his police interview when he denied paying a police officer, he told his trial at the Old Bailey today.
Minutes after entering the witness box, Mr Pyatt admitted that he had not been straight with Scotland Yard detectives who had arrested him on suspicion on making unlawful payments to a Surrey police officer.
Mr Pyatt, the paper's Thames Valley reporter, emailed Chris Pharo, the Sun's news editor, requesting cash payments running into thousands of pounds for his Surrey police contact.
He and Mr Pharo are in the second week of their trial for aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office between 2002 and 2011. They deny the charge.
Starting his evidence, Mr Pyatt was asked whether there was any dispute from him that he had paid Officer 2044.
"No, none at all," Mr Pyatt told the jury.
Yet, his barrister Richard Kovalevsky QC pointed out, he had told the detectives who arrested him in November 2011 that he had not paid a police officer: was that true?
Mr Pyatt, 52, said: "No, it was a lie."
Mr Pyatt, with the Sun for 28 years, explained he felt under an obligation in his Sun contract and the PCC code to protect his sources. But now he realised he would have been better off staying silent in his police interview.
"I lied and I regret it, but I lied," he said.
Outlining his relationship with Officer 2044, Mr Pyatt, who was Sun news editor in the early 1990s, said he first became a contact in 2000 - having been passed on by the newsdesk.
Mr Kovalevsky QC, asked: "Did you know he was a police officer when you got him?
The reporter replied: "I was told by the newsdesk he had identified himself as a police officer
Mr Pyatt added that he satisfied himself that Officer 2044 was indeed a police officer.
He said he followed the journalism law book McNae's, but it contained "nothing" about paying a police officer.
During the eight years he had paid Officer 2044 11 times he had written around 800 stories. Information from Officer 2044 was "a tiny part of my output."
The case continues.
Ex-SBS journalist Scott McIntyre free to challenge Anzac Day Twitter sacking [Canberra Times - 2/10/15]
He tweeted the unsayable about imperial Australia, much of it the truth; and all decent journalists - or dare I say, his freedom-loving compatriots - should be standing up for him. John Pilger [28/4/15]
Malcolm Turnbull denies influencing SBS sacking of Scott McIntyre for ANZAC tweets [Guardian – 27/4/15]:
SBS staff have been told that sports reporter Scott McIntyre was sacked not for his “offensive” Anzac Day tweets but for refusing to take them down, while the communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has denied having any influence on the network’s decision.
The director of sport at SBS, Ken Shipp, told staff at a meeting on Monday morning that McIntyre was sacked for disobeying an order to delete the posts which had caused outrage on Twitter on Saturday night.
When contacted by Guardian Australia, Shipp declined to comment. ...
@History_Qld [25/4/15]: Camp of 3rd Light Horse Brigade at Belah, Palestine (@slqld collection) #Anzac100 #WW1
@History_Qld [25/4/15]: Invalid soldiers return to Brisbane during the First World War, 1916 #Anzac100 (@slqld pic)
War correspondent Jon Stephenson has won a legal battle with the New Zealand Defence Force over his visit to a Kabul base. ... [RNZI - 1/10/15]
Bombs Kill Shock [Craig Murray - 1/10/15]
… Mister Reagan says 'We will protect you'
I don't subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too ...
'Russians' Sting 
Ronald Reagan shooting a rifle out of a window of Air Force One, 1983.
Image: @History_Pics [8/1/15]
The gunman who opened fire at Oregon's Umpqua Community College targeted Christians specifically, according to the father of a wounded student.
Before going into spinal surgery, Anastasia Boylan told her father and brother the gunman entered her classroom firing.
The professor in the classroom was shot point blank. Others were hit, she told her family. Everyone in the classroom dropped to the ground.
The gunman, while reloading his handgun, ordered the students to stand up if they were Christians, Boylan told her family.
"And they would stand up and he said, 'Good, because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,'" Boylan's father, Stacy, told CNN, relaying her account.
"And then he shot and killed them." ... [KTLA5 - 1/10/15]
Tulsa sheriff indicted, resigns in wake of shooting by volunteer deputy [CNN – 1/10/15]
From the Archives : Michael Moore on Gun Violence and "Bowling For Columbine" [Democracy Now – 27/7/12]:
… AMY GOODMAN: Wow! So it is breaking box office records already. Talk a little about Bowling for Columbine in this time, in this day, in the United States.
MICHAEL MOORE: Well, the film, probably I should say right from the beginning, is — really isn’t about guns or Columbine or school shootings. I mean, it is the jumping-off point in the film, but what I wanted to say in this movie goes far beyond that. I wanted to take a look at why — you know, when the NRA says, "Guns kill” — “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people," I sort of — I came to believe that they were partially right when they say that, except I would alter it to "Guns don’t kill people, Americans kill people,” because we’re the only ones who do this. And we do it not just personally and locally, we do it globally.
And I wanted to take a look at the connections between the kind of local and personal violence to our global violence and why we always want to just run in and, you know, bomb another country because we don’t like what they’re doing. So that is sort of the journey through the film.
And I wanted to know, too, why Canada, who turns out to have — they’ve got like seven million guns and ten million homes — why they have all these guns laying around, and they don’t shoot each other, and what is it about their society that’s different from ours. And so, that became, you know, the sort of mission of the movie, but through my particular eye and lens in the way that I, you know, am wont to look at things.
Did a rogue NSA operation cause the death of a Greek Telecom employee?, James Bamford [The Intercept – 29/9/15]:
… The day before his death, Costas’ boss at Vodafone had ordered that a newly discovered code — a powerful and sophisticated bug — be deactivated and removed from its systems.
The wiretap, placed by persons unknown, targeted more than 100 top officials, including then Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his wife, Natassa; the mayor of Athens; members of the Ministerial Cabinet; as well as journalists, capturing not only the country’s highest secrets, but also its most intimate conversations.
The question was, who did it? …
PNG Judge reopens trial to hear from defence witnesses in Reza Barati's murder at Australia's refugee death camp on Manus Island
A Papua New Guinea judge has allowed the murder trial of two men accused of killing asylum seeker Reza Barati to be reopened to hear from more witnesses.
Justice Nicholas Kirriwom had reserved his decision in the wilful murder trial of Joshua Kaluvia and Louie Efi on Manus Island after hearing closing submissions on September 29.
They are accused of hitting Mr Barati, causing him to die from a serious head wound on February 17 last year.
The defendants wrote to Justice Kirriwom saying their constitutional right to a fair defence had been breached, because their state-appointed defence lawyer had not called any witnesses other than the defendants themselves.
Justice Kirriwom has ruled that the defence may reopen its case to hear from more witnesses when he returns to Manus Island on November 30.
Kaluvia and Efi both deny allegations they were part of a group of men who attacked Barati during violent protests at the [a brutal attack on the] Manus Island detention centre last year.
Kaluvia is alleged to have hit Mr Barati in the head with a piece of wood and Efi to have dropped a large rock on his head.
The PNG police investigator for the case told the court he had evidence implicating expatriate guards, one Australian man and one New Zealander, in Mr Barati's death, but had been unable to secure their return to PNG for questioning.
Australian government paid PNG’s legal bills to halt first human rights inquiry into Manus [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release - 27/5/15]
Australian of the Year Rosie Batty has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to close Australia's offshore detention centres, saying they are "by their very design, unsafe and dangerous places".
Ms Batty's intervention, along with strong protests by other prominent women, academics and MPs within the Coalition, heaps more pressure on the government to take action amid allegations of rampant sexual violence, self harm and mental torment on Nauru and PNG's Manus Island.
"These centres cannot be patched up. They must be shut down," Ms Batty said.
"The people forcibly held there are those who sought protection in this country. They deserve care, not punishment."
Ms Batty, a leading campaigner against domestic violence, made the remarks in a letter sent to Mr Turnbull on Thursday by Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites, a group of academics concerned by human rights abuses in the centres.
As well as Ms Batty's Luke Batty Foundation, other signatories to the letter to Mr Turnbull include the Australian Council of Social Service, the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance, the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children and the Australian Muslim Women's Association. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 2/10/15]
Violence in Offshore Detention: Out of Sight is NOT Out of Mind [Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites]
Australian immigration detention costs double that of US and Europe – report [Guardian – 1/10/15]
There Are Alternatives: Revised Edition [International Detention Coalition]
Is Turnbull prolonging Rudd's bigotry or his random cruelty?
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [2/10/15]:
From every boat that arrived after the 19th of July 2013, there are people who are settled in Australia, while others from the same boats were sent to Nauru and Manus Island.
The men on Manus and their supporters are now asking Malcolm Turnbull what the basis of this decision was; #why? were some people allowed to be settled and some to suffer horrendously cruel and degrading treatment on Manus and Nauru.
#Why? can't these people come to Australia when others from the same... boats are here?
ABC and South Burnett Council survey claims even handpicked, non-Muslim Syrian refugees (who don't come by boat) are not welcome [1/10/15]
Revocation of Nauru benefits labelled an 'abuse of power' [RNZI – 2/10/15]:
A Nauru opposition MP says the revoking of pensioners' benefits for allegedly participating in anti-government protests in June is a blatant abuse of power.
Mathew Batsiua says he knows of two pensioners who received letters from the finance minister David Adeang this week, advising them they would no longer receive welfare payments or Nauru Airline benefits.The letter says Cabinet made a decision last week that people involved in protests, riots and other criminal activities would stop receiving government privileges.
Mr Batsiua says the two pensioners have not been charged with any crime, nor had a chance to appeal the government's decision about their benefits.
"They've been using this carrot and stick approach for a while now, where they take a stick to those who are critical of government actions to make sure they keep them in line, while rewarding those who are obedient with free travel and whatever. This carrot and sticks approach by Mr Adeang and his government is standard operation for them but we say it is an abuse of power."
David Adeang could not be reached for comment.
Preschooler faces deportation from Australia [RNZI - 1/10/15]:
The Department of Internal Affairs is looking into the case of a preschooler facing deportation from Australia because his mother has been unable to pass on her New Zealand citizenship to him.
An advocate for the family, David Faulkner, said the child's mother was born in Samoa but was taken to New Zealand as a child by her parents who were New Zealand citizens, and granted citizenship by descent.
She moved to Australia as an adult and was granted a visa like any other New Zealander.
"She just considered herself a New Zealander, she never realised that her New Zealand citizenship by descent had any drawbacks.
"Well, it didn't have any drawbacks for her, but it's had some significant ones for her child born in Australia."
Mr Faulkner said it was only when she applied for a New Zealand passport for her child that she learned he was not entitled to it.
Without New Zealand citizenship, he is not entitled to a visa to remain in Australia and faces deportation to Samoa.
Mr Faulkner said the family had exhausted all their appeals to the Australian authorities.
However, Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne had the power to grant citizenship to the child of a New Zealand citizen by descent.
When considering an application, the Minister can take into account whether the child has an "ongoing demonstrable link to New Zealand" or whether there are any exceptional circumstances or public interest involved.
A spokesman for Mr Dunne said he was unable to comment on the case as it was currently being considered by Internal Affairs.
Mr Faulkner said he knew of one other mother whose baby been denied a visa to stay in Australia, but there could be as many as 1500 children in the same predicament who did not know it.
High-profile Maori women call for American singer Chris Brown to be allowed into New Zealand to perform [RNZI - 1/10/15]:
Several high-profile Maori women have called for the American singer Chris Brown to be allowed into the country to perform.
Brown was convicted of domestic-violence assault in 2009 and is automatically blocked from entering New Zealand.
Dames Tarian Turia, June Jackson and June Mariu fronted a news conference this afternoon, along with Lady Tureiti Moxon and the former chief executive of Women's Refuge, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait.
They acknowledged what they called New Zealand's long shameful history of domestic violence but Ms Raukawa-Tait said Brown, who has a conviction for assaulting pop star Rihanna, had changed his behaviour and now had his daughter back by his side.
2 October 2015