... #CanberraRally kids offering #flowers to Australian police as a #GiFT ...
Image: @NajafiAbdul [3/4/17]
@NajafiAbdul [3/4/17]: #AshrafGhani gave bullets to the peaceful protectors of Kabul against the Flowers but #Aussie police gives a nice smile. #CanberraRally
SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL @Qodratollah [3/4/17]
... Thousands of ethnic Hazaras have rallied outside Government House in Canberra to protest the arrival of Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
The demonstrators fear Mr Ghani - the first Afghan president to visit Australia - is in Canberra to negotiate a deal that would see Hazara refugees returned to their homeland, though there has been no official indication such a deal is on the table.
"If any Hazara is sent back home, they will be killed," protester Najeeba Wazefadost, a member of the ethnic minority, told SBS News.
"They will be discriminated [against] and they will be persecuted." ... [SBS - 3/4/17]
UN official criticises Australia's disturbing number of Aboriginal children behind bars [ABC - 3/4/17]
Australian prison's "youth unit" incapable of being lawful, court hears [The Age - 3/4/17]
@JulianAssange [3/4/17]: I cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days (with or without his tax haven millions) ...
@JulianAssange [3/4/17]: Some 'liberals' were betting on a right wing banker to help them violate refugee laws ...
Ecuador made history on Sunday choosing a prominent disability rights activist as the world’s first head of state elected with paraplegia.
While many people with a disability have been elected to high office, none have been elected head of state while placing the rights of people with disabilities at the center of their work.
Since he became paraplegic in 1998 — after being shot in the back during a robbery — Moreno has made the social and economic inclusion of people with disabilities a priority and helped transform a country in the process. ... [teleSUR - 3/4/17]
New Zealand Prime Minister rules out inquiry into allegations of war crimes committed during a 2010 SAS raid in Afghanistan [Stuff.co.nz - 3/4/17]
Army veteran pleads guilty to strangulation, assault charges in Canberra court [ABC - 3/4/17]:
An Army veteran who broke into Canberra's RSPCA shelter to reclaim his assistance dog has pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to trying to strangle an animal inspector.
Shane Rene Van Duren, 42, was charged after a physical altercation that took place when police and animal inspectors tried to collect the dog from his house.
The dog, a Belgian shepherd, was given to Van Duren to help with post-traumatic stress disorder.
But the RSPCA said the dog had been picked up as a stray.
Van Duren broke into the shelter, cutting through wire fences to free the dog in December 2015.
He later posted a message on social media, saying he had "sprung" the dog, suggesting the police would likely be called when the RSPCA realised the animal was gone.
When police arrived with inspectors to take the dog back, Van Duren was cautioned and arrested.
Court documents show he resisted, telling police: "He is my property so I cut the fences there and got him back and when I get out, I'll just go back and get him."
Van Duren let the dog into the backyard as he argued with police — grabbing a police officer in a headlock and injuring him.
The fight escalated when Van Duren saw the RSPCA inspector.
He tried to strangle her with his left hand, while trying to grab a can of OC spray she was holding with his right hand.
Van Duren eventually let go after another officer struck him multiple times on the back of his legs.
"You're dead bitch, this is only 50 per cent of what I can do," he told the inspector.
The dog was reclaimed and taken away.
Van Duren was arrested and charged with several offences.
Today he pleaded guilty to unlawful strangulation and assault causing actual bodily harm.
He will be sentenced next month.
Queensland mother pleads guilty to killing newborn son [Nine MSN - 3/4/17]:
A newborn baby was alive when his mother wrapped him in a towel and left him in the laundry for 16 hours before calling the ambulance, a court has heard.
Prosecutor Glen Cash told the Brisbane Supreme Court today that Jodie Renee Tarnawskyj told authorities she believed little Oliver was stillborn when she delivered him in the toilet of her Gold Coast home on June 8, 2014.
But he said this was "not a reasonable belief to have been held" as an autopsy showed the 3.6kg full-term baby survived for "minutes or even hours" after his birth.
The cause of death is not known, but the court heard it could have been asphyxiation from the towel Oliver was wrapped in, or from an undiagnosed medical condition.
Tarnawskyj, 38, pleaded guilty to Oliver's manslaughter on the basis that she failed to seek medical assistance immediately after the birth.
Justice Martin Burns sentenced her to five years, taking into account her very early guilty plea, her lack of criminal history, her co-operation with authorities and her remorse.
He suspended the sentence immediately as she had already served 885 days in custody.
The court heard Oliver was her third child and that she had made several inquiries about termination during the pregnancy but had done nothing about it.
"During the course of the pregnancy she vacillated between the idea that carrying the child to term was a desirable one or an undesirable one," Mr Cash said.
He said Tarnawskyj refused to look at Oliver before she wrapped him and left him in the laundry for 16 hours while she tended to her other two children.
Her defence lawyer, John Allen, said his client was filled with "a profound sense of guilt, remorse, and loss".
"She was a single mum of two young children with little support,obviously struggling with the care of the children, and that provides some context with her ability to cope with the pregnancy," he said.
Justice Burns agreed Tarnawskyj was "overwhelmed, unsupported and isolated", but said her devotion to her two older children made it difficult to understand her conduct in relation to Oliver.
Man stabbed to death at Holland Park West [Brisbane Times - 3/4/17]
Army firefighting chemical exposure levels revised down by federal regulator [ABC - 3/4/17]
BHP Billiton brings mines back online after Cyclone Debbie [SBS – 3/4/17]:
... BHP Billiton said it has committed $250,000 to the Salvation Army for disaster relief work.
Murdoch owned media and government powerless to regulate mine run off into Queensland rivers [Morning Bulletin - 3/4/17]
Girl escaped car that entered Tweed River, three other passengers feared dead [ABC - 3/4/17]:
A nine-year-old girl is in a stable condition after she freed herself from a car in the flooded Tweed River near Tumbulgum, in northern New South Wales, as authorities work to recover the three other occupants of the vehicle.
The girl was able to escape when the car entered the river, still swollen by extensive flooding, and she raised the alarm with residents nearby.
Emergency services were alerted at about 1:40pm.
Matt Grinham was travelling along Dulguigan Road near Tumbulgum when traffic stopped as the car went into the river.
He and two others went into the water to try and rescue the occupants, with the car having floated down about 40 metres from where it entered the river.
Mr Grinham struggled to open his eyes in the murky floodwaters as he followed the bubbles made by the submerged car.
"Even though we were diving down to the bubbles we couldn't get deep enough to touch the car," he said.
"It was just one of those things I suppose, you just felt helpless, couldn't do anything."
A local resident found the vehicle underwater about 5 metres off the riverbank using a fishing boat with sonar gear.
Emergency services are working to recover the other people who were inside the car.
"That is a tragic event, and we're concerned it is a tragic event that will unfold over the evening and we understand that it is going to have a major impact on the family and the Tweed community," NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Jeff Loy said.
The girl was taken to Tweed Hospital and is being looked after by family members.
... The Tugun Desalination Plant is operational. ... DISASTER OPERATIONS SHIFT TOWARDS RECOVERY - 1PM - 2 APRIL [Gold Coast City Council]
Several people are recovering in a Brisbane hospital after a rented house balcony collapsed on them during a party in Brisbane last night.
Police say a small rear deck gave way while people were dancing on it around 7:30pm last night.
Nine people from the rented house on Highland Terrace, St Lucia were transported to hospitals in Brisbane.
An ambulance spokesman said the injuries ranged from severe bruising to suspected broken bones and fractures. ... [ABC - 2/4/17]
... "Next time you see your broken face in the mirror, you'll remember all the innocent Serb kids you killed". ... NATO pilot beaten in Swiss restaurant after boasting of bombing Serbia in 1999 [MINA - 31/3/17]
A total of 262 asylum requests from Turkish citizens who have worked as diplomats or soldiers are currently being reviewed by Germany's Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), "Der Spiegel" reported on Saturday.
According to the news magazine, the BAMF had not yet made a decision on any of the cases. ... [Deutsche Welle - 1/4/17]
Scotland Yard is examining allegations of war crimes by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, the Guardian can reveal, triggering a possible diplomatic row with Britain on the eve of Theresa May’s visit to the Arab state.
The Metropolitan police confirmed that their war crimes unit was assessing whether criminal prosecutions could be brought over Saudi Arabia’s devastating aerial campaign in Yemen.
The force’s SO15 counter-terrorism unit revealed to a London human rights lawyer that it had launched a “scoping exercise” into the claims before Maj Gen Ahmed al-Asiri’s visit to the capital last week. ... [Guardian - 3/4/17]
Sisi and Trump to discuss security, economy on first US visit [Ahram - 3/4/17]
... The more than $1 billion Obama has pledged to request for Egypt makes the country the second-largest recipient of military aid.
Obama told el-Sisi in their phone call that beginning in 2018. that assistance would be channeled into specific categories, including counterterrorism and security in the contested Sinai region.
The Obama administration suspended its assistance to Egypt amid the army's violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, who rallied in support of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the Arab nation's first democratically elected leader.
The Obama administration refused to label the incident a coup, which would have required cutting all humanitarian aid. ... Obama lifts freeze, ships arms to Egypt [CNN - 31/3/15]
Protesters march through Jerusalem to denounce Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories [Middle East Eye - 2/4/17]:
... The demonstration's organisers and media estimated that some 2,000 people marched from West Jerusalem to near the Old City's Jaffa Gate to a platform bearing both Israeli and Palestinian flags.
Saturday's event was the first in a series organised by Standing Together, an umbrella movement consisting of pro-peace organisations and left-wing parties, marking 50 years since the Six-Day War, Haaretz said.
The rally is meant to "protest against the continued Israeli control over the territories and especially East Jerusalem, and in favour of a peaceful solution and justice for both peoples," the movement said in a statement. ...
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 2/4/17]
Trump expands Pentagon’s war authority [Antiwar.com - 2/4/17]
US Coast Guard to Congress: Don't move us to Pentagon [Military.com - 1/4/17]:
... "The Coast Guard is an armed service," Zukunft [Coast Guard Commandant] said during his March 16 "State of the Coast Guard" address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
"Yet we are not postured to benefit from vital national security investments because our funding is classified incorrectly," he said.
"Our men and women are military members who operate on the front lines to secure our nation and our borders. Our service must be categorized and funded accordingly."
Bill Clinton laid the groundwork for Trump’s ugly immigration policies [Truthdig - 27/3/17]
... Bill Clinton continued the Bush policy of keeping refugees at Guantanamo indefinitely.
But Clinton introduced a new policy as well: testing the Haitians for HIV, and segregating those who tested positive.
In doing so, he created “the world’s first HIV detention camp.” ... [Jacobin - 22/10/16]
Military operations kill 9 civilians in Helmand province, Afghanistan [Xinhua - 2/4/17]
At least 54 Taliban have been killed and 32 others wounded during a week of ongoing operations in southern Uruzgan province, security officials said on Sunday. ... [Pajhwok - 2/4/17]
The United Nations has cut in half a cash incentive for Afghan refugees in Pakistan to return to their country, according to officials.
The reduction – from $400 to $200 – comes as a voluntary repatriation operation is set to resume on Monday, with 16,000 people based in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province registered to head home.
Under the UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) scheme, which was launched in 2002, as many as 370,000 registered Afghan refugees had repatriated voluntarily by the end of 2016. ... [Al Jazeera - 2/4/17]
Four-day-old baby among hundreds of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean by humanitarian ship [Reuters - 2/4/17]:
A four day-old baby was one of over 480 migrants rescued by humanitarian ships on Saturday during search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean Sea.
The baby was traveling on one of two rubber boats carrying over 200 migrants from North and Central Africa, Sri Lanka and Yemen and seen drifting some 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha ...
The operation was carried out by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open arms and lasted three hours.
Migrants were transferred into the former fishing trawler Golfo Azzurro, expected to reach the Sicilian port town of Augusta on Sunday afternoon.
The other rescued migrants, on board two other rubber boats, were rescued by staff on the supply vessel Vos Prudence, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard told Reuters.
Those migrants were due to reach Italy on Monday, but the destination is still unknown, the Coast Guard added. ...
A 17-year-old boy is in serious but stable condition after being brutally attacked by a gang in the British capital for being an asylum seeker.
The Kurdish-Iranian refugee was waiting at a bus stop with two friends in Croydon, south London, on Friday, when he was approached by about eight people.
"The suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack," Detective Sergeant Kris Blamires said in a statement on Saturday.
"He has sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers," he added.
The 17-year-old was taken to a London hospital for treatment, while his two friends escaped with minor injuries.
Police appealed for information and witnesses and said they were treating the attack as a hate crime.
No arrests have been made. ... [Al Jazeera - 2/4/17]
Bolivia's Morales announces World People's Summit on migrants [teleSUR - 9/3/17]:
... English Immigration experts from around the world and representatives of progressive governments will participate in the conference scheduled for June 20 and 21.
Morales added that the World Peoples' Conference will include two discussion panels, one dedicated to universal citizenship and one against military interventionism.
@wikileaks [3/4/17]: With 91.08% of the vote counted in the Ecuadorian election @Lenin leads @LassoGuillermo 51.05 to 48.95%
US progressives are clinging on to false heroes like the FBI and CIA in their existential battle to dethrone Trump. [Al Jazeera - 1/4/17]:
... Not surprisingly, these easily impressed progressives have, as well, welcomed the who's who of neo-con scribes and think-tank foreign policy wonks aboard the Trump resistance train.
Forgotten, of course, is their long, ghastly record of acting as giddy cheerleaders for the "liberation" of Iraq engineered by the man they universally touted as a geopolitical genius, George W Bush.
The revisionism is as instructive as it is appalling.
Even Bush Jr's tattered reputation and disastrous tenure as president are being rehabilitated by agreeable "liberal" talk show hosts who treat him like he's a cuddly, if somewhat misunderstood, elder statesman principally because president 43 doesn't remotely resemble that nasty narcissist, president 45.
The necessary corollary to this re-writing of history is to paint former philosophical allies like WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as not only nefarious tools of Trump, but indeed, Russian collaborators.
Gone permanently, it seems, are the halcyon days when progressives rushed to Assange's defence as a free speech martyr who was being persecuted and trapped in Ecuador's London embassy for sharing uncomfortable state secrets with you and me.
Instead, progressives wish that Assange gets what's coming to him quickly and bluntly - whether it's in Sweden, Britain or the United States. ...
Violence erupts during Paris protests demanding justice for Chinese man who was gunned down by police [The Independent - 2/4/17]
The Chinese Embassy has condemned the killing of Chinese businessman Zheng Bingen in Eastern Highlands two weeks ago. ... [The National - 3/4/17]
Girl hit, Chinese men attacked [The National - 3/4/17]
A Chinese businesswoman in Kimbe, West New Britain was arrested and charged with abusing a local female employee last week.
Provincial police commander, Supt Jim Namora said last Thursday the woman identified as Zhen Yifang, 52, from Fujian province in China, was arrested and charged with one count of using abusive language under Section 7 (b) of the Summary Offences Act. ... [The National - 3/4/17]
The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority will be charging high fees for PNG and dual citizenship because it is a naturalisation process, an official says.
Acting chief immigration officer Solomon Kantha explained that it was a constitutional process outlined under Section 64 of the Citizenship Act. ... [The National - 3/4/17]
Reza, they are more ruthless that the dictators of our own countries.
They kill people at once there but here, they kill slowly and by torture.
Australian media attempts to present a human rights abuser as nice man. @gembath - Gemma Bath - 2GB reporter [20/2/15]
Letter for Reza from men incarcerated on Manus [via Refugee Rights Action Network WA – 17/2/15]:
... Your murderers and their masters are walking freely and they are showing off, blocking the way which your blood is beside it.
Reza I don't know if you know what they have done to us in this year that you weren't here.
It's been really hard. Reza, they shed the blood of those like you and Hamid Khazaei in the name of human rights and they did not even care.
Do you know what Scott Morrison said after your death? He said "the way to stop these deaths is to stop the boats".
It is shameful.
Reza, they are more ruthless that the dictators of our own countries.
They kill people at once there but here, they kill slowly and by torture.
They killed Hamid ruthlessly as well, maybe he's told you himself or maybe his pride hasn't let him to tell you that, how they did treat him ruthlessly.
He died slowly slowly in front of our eyes in less than a week.
Reza, this is end of the world, no one helps us.
They completed their racist confrontation by killing you and Hamid to show how mean they are. ...
Submission 67 Nauru Senate Inquiry  ... We were expected to "manufacture" Individual Management Plans as this was what the Department of Immigration wanted. ...
After the murder of Reza Barati, we were told to lie to our clients and tell them it was a "riot" to deter them from protesting. ...
Michael Rowland, Virginia Trioli and Liam Cochrane establish Manus "riot" lie with dodgy, looped footage and victim blaming [ABC - February 2014]
This was a brutal attack, not a “riot” - Refugee Action Collective – Manus Island Fact Sheet [2/3/14]
Scott Morrison's day has come.
It's now time for the Immigration Minister to step up and take responsibility for the fight against terrorism.
Nobody is better qualified.
Nobody would bring the same sense of reassurance, confidence and security that the country now needs. ... Taking the fight to terrorism is a job for Morrison, Barrie Cassidy [ABC - 18/9/14]
... the Minister sought to unfairly apportion blame to the asylum seekers themselves for the violence that was done to them on the night of 17 February 2014.
The Minister was clearly selective in the facts he chose to use in his initial statements on the incident, and should have more quickly acknowledged that the violence occurred inside the centre. ... Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee Recommendations re "Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014" [December 2014]
Scott Morrison lies [Guardian - 23/2/14]
3 April 2017