United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 3/8/16]



IOM helps Greece deport 1,000s of migrants [Ekathimerini - 3/8/16]:


... The majority of those who returned to their homeland were Afghan nationals, followed by Iraqi, Iranian, Pakistani, Georgian, Moroccan, Bangladeshi, Egyptian, Moldovan and Indian nationals. ...



‏@ItalianNavy [3/8/16]:  #SAR Nave Aviere #MarinaMilitare ieri sera ha terminato il trasbordo su CP940 di 279 #migranti soccorsi nel Canale di Sicilia



Colombia will begin deporting thousands of undocumented migrants — including an estimated 1,273 Cubans — who have been stranded in the country after Panama shut its southern border in June, authorities said late Tuesday.

Colombian Migration Director Christian Kruger asked the migrants, many of whom are stranded in the northern town of Turbo, to turn themselves in or face forced deportation.

He said air force and police aircraft were prepared to take the migrants back to Cuba or Ecuador — the last point of entry for many.

Many of the Cuban migrants had been asking authorities for an airlift to Mexico — like Costa Rica and Panama have previously done — so they could make their way to the United States.

But Kruger said that Mexico would not allow the flight, that illegal migration constituted human trafficking and an airlift might spark an even greater influx. ... [Miami Herald - 2/8/16]



8 people believed to be US-bound migrants found drowned in Nicaragua [ABC News - 2/8/16]



UN drafts dangerously pissweak agreement on refugees and migrants [New York Times - 2/8/16]



LA Times [29/7/16]:


The 29-year-old had fled his home in Ghana years before, fearing for his life after protesting against female genital mutilation.

He flew to South Africa and then Ecuador and walked through Colombia — where, he said, he was robbed of everything he owned — Central America and Mexico to reach the United States and what he thought would be safety.

He eventually found himself in Irvine, amid an explosion of new middle-class housing — and people going about largely contented and productive lives — not far from the old El Toro Marine base.

But instead of living the Orange County dream, he was being housed in the James A. Musick Facility — a jail.

At the border in 2014, he had declared himself an asylum-seeker, and that triggered his arrest.

"They said, 'Put your hands on your head, don't move, stand still!' Then they handcuffed us," said the man.

"That was the first time I had ever been handcuffed, and all my spirit went away from me. I thought, 'Why? What did I do?' I was shocked. If you told someone in Ghana that if you go to the United States to seek asylum you'll be arrested, there's no way they would believe it." ...



Day 137 refugee protests, Nauru





Image:  ‏@elahe_zivardar [3/8/16]



Former Nauru MPs to petition court over election corruption [RNZI – 3/8/16]



Thai police capture and detain Rohingya refugees for being refugees - media deliberately conflate them with "people smugglers" to victim blame, dehumanise, and excuse forced deportation [ABC - 3/8/16]:


Police in Thailand have found 60 people from Myanmar apparently abandoned by people smugglers on the Thai-Malaysian border.

Initial interviews by local police suggest the group includes five people from Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslim community.

Police say members of the group sought help after being left for a week at an abandoned house and unsure if people smugglers would return.

"All of them wanted to go to Malaysia as they have relatives there," said Colonel Pongpan Sangsa-nga, superintendent of Padang Besar Police, in Songkhla province.

"They did not come by boat but crossed from the border on land."

Local media showed men and women inside a dilapidated building, who were then put onto an immigration truck for transporting to detention.

"We are still on investigating process to identify who are trafficking victims and who are illegal migrants which will be send back to their original country," said Colonel Pongpan Sangsa-nga.

"This is the biggest number since the crack down in this area."

Thailand began investigating brutal people smugglers networks last year, after the discovery of slave camps and mass graves on the Thai-Malaysia border.

Since then, boatloads of migrants, asylum seekers and trafficking victims from Myanmar have almost completely stopped.


A petroleum company and an NGO are teaming up to survey sea grasses, seabirds and coral reefs along the Rakhine coastline.

The Mawdin Coast Marine Survey, which began in December 2015 and will be completed in November, is a collaboration between Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Woodside Energy Ltd.

The survey is the first step toward preserving the coastline from Gwa township in Rakhine State to Mawdin in the Ayeyarwady delta.

FFI officials say they have a plan to extend the survey area along the coast but they declined to give further details.

Woodside is the financial backer, with FFI providing technology, facilities and surveyors, said FFI marine coordinator U Zau Lunn.

It will also offer training to Pathein University students. ... [Myanmar Times - 1/8/16]



India plans to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Sittwe, Rakhine State, where it has already built a port.

The proposed SEZ by India will rival the Chinese SEZ located 80 km down of strategically located Sittwe as Delhi plans to make it an economic hub, India’s Economic Times reported on 2 August. ... [Mizzima - 3/8/16]



IOM helps Federated States of Micronesia in refoulement of 5 Nepali refugees. Media call them "trafficking victims" in an attempt to diminish empathy [RNZI - 3/8/16]:

Five more Nepalese men have been repatriated after being stranded in the Federated States of Micronesia

They are from a group of 16 Nepalese found nearly starving, along with around 18 Indians, in Micronesia in late 2014 after being swindled by human traffickers.

Hoping to reach the US or Australia, they paid for help from human traffickers who smuggled them to Micronesia on boats via Malaysia and Indonesia before leaving them stranded.

After finding them without any valid travel documents, FSM authorities arrested the Nepalis and sent them to detention centres.

With assistance from the International Organisation of Migration, seven of the group were sent back to Nepal in June.

The rest applied for asylum in Micronesia, including the five sent back this week with one-way fares provided, according to the Embassy of Nepal in Malaysia.

The Himalayan Times reports that four Nepalese have been acknowledged as refugees by the UNHCR.  <---- Who are busy ignoring the plight of refugees in our region.




Tamils protested on Wednesday against the Sri Lankan navy's attempt to acquire 617 acres of land in Mullivaikkal, forcing officials to suspend surveying of the land.

Holding placards and banners Tamil families marched towards the officials surveying the land ahead of the planned acquisition and handed a petition of protest.

"Our houses are still there but we aren't allowed to go see them," one woman who owns three acres of land within the navy camp told Tamil Guardian during the protest. ... [Tamil Guardian - 3/8/16]



Indonesia to assist Sri Lanka in combating radicalism, extremism, terrorism [Jakarta Post - 3/8/16]



Indonesia to help build railway system in Sri Lanka [Jakarta Post - 3/8/16]



Latest North Korea missile launch lands near Japan waters, alarms Tokyo [Reuters - 3/8/16]



It starts when you sink in his arms, and ends with your arms in his sink. Anon.  ---> Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Mrs Lee will be hosted to a State Dinner by US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House as part of his official visit to the United States. ... [Channel News Asia - 3/8/16]



The Royal Thai Police is 100% ready for the Aug 7 charter referendum and there have been no reports of groups preparing to protest on the day, deputy police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piyapan Kongmuang said. ...  [Bangkok Post - 3/8/16]



The regime's detention of a local politician in the powerful northern Buranupakorn family shows the coup-makers are targeting allies of their nemesis, Thaksin Shinawatra. ... [Bangkok Post - 3/8/16]



Ex-child soldier gives meandering testimony at Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Phnom Penh Post - 3/8/16]



CNRP President Sam Rainsy on Tuesday stood by his claims that the government was behind political analyst Kem Ley’s murder, even after Prime Minister Hun Sen filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Mr. Rainsy of incitement and defamation over the accusation. ... [Cambodia Daily - 3/8/16]



The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed early Wednesday that six people were killed in an encounter in Albuera, Leyte.

Police authorities said the encounter took place at 5:30 a.m. at Sito Tinago, Brgy Binulho, Albuera, Leyte, outside the house of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.

Thirteen high-powered firearms and four .45 caliber pistols were recovered in the crime scenes. 

Espinosa surrendered Tuesday after being linked to the illegal drug trade. ... [CNN - 3/8/16]



Councillor says Norfolk struggling under new regime [RNZI - 3/8/16]



... Bratton said that he will now move to work at Teneo, a company that was founded by one of Bill Clinton’s former aides, where he will be executive chairman of Teneo Risk, a division focused on predicting and preventing risk. ... Bill Bratton steps down as NYPD commissioner as race and policing 'in crisis' [Guardian - 3/8/16]



WA police accused of threatening Pilbara teens with guns [2/8/16]:


 Two 14-year-old Aboriginal boys have made an official complaint to WA Police after officers in the Pilbara allegedly threatened them with guns.

The boys were among five passengers in a car which pulled over by officers in South Hedland on April 5.

According to the complaint filed by the Aboriginal Legal Service, the police car had been following the vehicle when the driver "panicked" and veered off the road.

When the car became stuck in a ditch, everyone got out and "started running".

Police caught the two 14-year-olds and one other boy, as others hid in bushes or ran away.

The boys allege they were told to "get down" and one of them said he "could feel the officer aiming a gun on the back of his neck".

The officer then allegedly yelled at them to "stop crawling away or I'll shoot you with the gun".

One of the 14-year-olds claimed he was tackled to the ground and hit in the face and ribs before being kicked in the ribs and hit on the leg with a baton.

The complaint letter claims a witness saw the officers aiming a gun, heard them tell the boys to shut up, and used abusive language.

A witness is also alleged to have seen "the officers" hit one of the boys on the "back of his head with their gun".

 The two 14-year-old boys were handcuffed and taken to South Hedland Police Station, where they say they were strip searched and detained.

A third boy was also taken to the station.

No charges were laid against the trio, but they all spent the night in cells.

The driver of the vehicle, who was not detained on the night, was later charged with failing to stop and driving without a valid licence.

He pleaded guilty to the charges and was referred to the Juvenile Justice Team.

 The WA Police Internal Affairs Unit has started investigating the complaint, which was filed by the ALS late last month.

The officers remain on full duties while the initial assessment of the complaint is carried out.



Happy Birthday IBM!



IBM wins $9.6m to host eCensus in 2016 [IT News - 6/11/14]



IBM renews $484 million contract with the DHS [Australian Financial Review - 11/3/16]



The Queensland government won't continue to pursue tech giant IBM over its role in the state's $1.2 billion health payroll debacle.

The former Newman government unsuccessfully tried to sue IBM after thousands of staff were unpaid or paid incorrectly under the system, with the Supreme Court on Monday ordering the state pay IBM's costs and on Thursday formally dismissing the case.

"We think it's time to close the chapter and move on," acting Premier Jackie Trad said on Thursday when asked whether the government would appeal the court's rulings. [Yahoo - 7/4/16]



... IBM's tax bill came in at a tiny $5.8 million from its taxable income of $60 million, and total earnings of $4 billion. ... [IT News - 17/12/15]



Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM's pivotal role in the Holocaust -- all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination.

Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company's co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews. ... [Huffington Post - 28/2/12]



Imaginary journalist asks US Ambassador to Nauru:  Given the similarities between US concentration camps (eg Guantanamo Bay, Berks) and torture, and Australia's concentration camps and torture, are you proud of the US influence in the Pacific?


... When Pacific Standard reached out to Nauru Ambassador Judith Cefkin for her thoughts on the refugee camp conditions, she sent back only a boilerplate response: “We encourage all countries to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers.” ...


Nauru: A ‘Human Dumping Ground’, Julie Morse [Pacific Standard - 12/4/16]



US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]




@AmbCefkin - Judith Cefkin - US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu [29/7/16]:  Good discussions @StateDept Great catching up with Counselor @KristieKenney and DAS Matt Matthews @USAsiaPacific

‏@AmbCefkin [29/7/16]:  Thanks for the time @KristieKenney ! Appreciative your words of wisdom on the the many issues we seek to advance.




The Australian government’s secretive system of refugee torture on Nauru [Amnesty - 2/8/16]:


... Dr. Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International, who conducted Amnesty’s investigation, revealed that the Australian Government has “designed a system of deliberate abuse” in Nauru, to deter people who are seeking safety that arrive by boat.

“It is essentially like an open-air prison for these refugees & people seeking asylum”.

"I've conducted over 60 investigations into human rights abuses in countries like Afghanistan, Syria, Zimbabwe, China but few other countries go to such lengths to deliberately inflict suffering on people searching for safety and freedom. I was not expecting this kind of shocking abuse.”

“Australia’s atrocious treatment of the refugees on Nauru over the past three years has taken an enormous toll on their well-being,” said Michael Bochenek, Senior Counsel on Children’s Rights at Human Rights Watch, who conducted the investigation on the island for the organisation.


Amnesty International calls on the Australian Government to immediately:


Settle all the people assessed to be refugees in Australia.

Assess all people applying for refugee status in the Australian community.

Close the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.




‏@racvictoria [3/8/16]:  Due to the death on #Manus, there was obviously no protest last night. #Kamil was a close friend and participant in the protest group.



Pakistani refugee drowns at waterfall on Manus Island [Guardian - 3/8/16]



UNHCR Australia pays for content on the Guardian website?   Before they raise one more cent, the UNHCR should be held to account for their role in the suicides on Nauru, and their lack of advocacy for the rights of refugees in our region.



... In a 2014 grievance, Coestly claimed that while on suicide watch in Winn's Cypress unit he was jolted awake by two guards who dragged him out of his bunk, cuffed him, made him stand naked in the hallway, and slammed him against the wall repeatedly.

In another complaint, he wrote that he and other inmates were left on suicide watch with no guards to monitor them.

He claimed that two inmates then came into the tier and threw milk cartons full of feces on the inmates in the suicide watch cells while the guards stood by, doing nothing to stop them.

"Check the cameras ASAP because this incident is going to ruin Winnfield's reputation with this criminal act," he wrote.

"I fear for my life back here in Cypress because there's nothing but chaos back here." (It is not clear if CCA received or reviewed these complaints.) ... Damien Coestly committed suicide at the private prison where I worked as guard. His family says he didn't have to die. [Mother Jones - 2/8/16]



Australian prison's torture of intellectually disabled Aboriginal man referred to UN [ABC - 3/8/16]:


...  Malcolm Morton, 25, is being held in the maximum security wing of the Alice Springs Correctional Centre and has been forcibly restrained in a chair and sedated on about 17 occasions since 2012, according to his guardian.

Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs said it has received at least 10 complaints from the guardians of other intellectually disabled prisoners, most of them Aboriginal, who have also been forcibly restrained in prisons.

"I'm aware over the last two or three years of something like 10 or so of these kinds of complaints," Professor Triggs said.

Professor Triggs said that when the issue has been raised with the Federal Government, "they have quite simply washed their hands of the whole affair and said it's nothing to do with the Commonwealth". ... <--- So why didn't you expose it at the time?


The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists describes the use of restraint as an "extreme" measure that should only be used as a last resort.

"We would not support the use of restraint chairs or indeed some of the other very restrictive and aggressive measures that we saw highlighted [in the Four Corners program] last week," said the College's president Malcolm Hopwood. <--- And the use of "zipping" and waterboarding to punish refugees?

The Greens' Indigenous affairs spokesperson Rachel Siewert, who was re-elected to the Federal Senate this week, said she would move to restart a parliamentary inquiry into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive impairment.

Senator Siewert said the use of restraint on people such as Mr Morton should be urgently investigated. ... <---- Or you could demand that it END, you pointless apologist.



Perhaps a journalist could ask Senator Claire Moore if she's ever considered how expensive torturing folks could become for the Australian taxpayer? ---> Three intellectually disabled men who say they were mistreated while detained in state care are suing the New Zealand government for up to $1.4 million [RNZI - 27/7/16]



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 protected and unaccountable  Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.  



Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:


... Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice.

Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.



"All he has is a toy truck": The shocking police shooting of therapist caring for autistic patient [Democracy Now - 2/8/16]:


... HILTON NAPOLEON [Lawyer]: Well, as you know, Arnaldo has severe autism, and he was sitting in the middle of the street playing with his toy truck. A passerby, who was in a car, I believe, saw him sitting in the roadway and called the police. When the police initially arrived, they got out of their vehicles with assault rifles and pointed them at my client. And they approached in a military format.

They yelled at my client, "Get on the ground! Get on the ground!" My client complied immediately, laid flat on his back and put his hands in the air.

And even though, as you heard on the video, he repeatedly told the officers that he’s holding a toy truck, that it’s not necessary to have your guns drawn, the officers still shot him in the leg, even though he was unarmed and it was clear from the video, and really clear from the officers’ vantage point, that Mr. Soto had a toy truck in his hand.

But the really troublesome part and the part that, you know, we’re really trying to wrap our heads around is that—what happened afterwards.

If they really made a mistake and shot my client, there was no reason to handcuff him, and there was definitely no reason to fail to render aid. I mean, they basically left him there bleeding in the street and didn’t render him any aid.

They didn’t put any pressure or a bandage on his wound. And that’s problematic, especially if they’re claiming that this was a mistake. That’s not how you treat an individual who you shot by mistake.


AMY GOODMAN: That is Charles Kinsey from his hospital bed. This is just so astounding. Hilton Napoleon, you’re his attorney. He asked the police officer, "Why did you shoot me?" And he said, "I don’t know." And then the police union came out the next day and said that it was a mistake, that the officer did not mean to shoot Charles Kinsey, they meant to shoot Arnaldo Rios, the autistic young man?

HILTON NAPOLEON: Well, you know, to be quite honest with you, I don’t know what they were thinking. As an advocate, I can tell you one thing for sure: They would have been better off not saying anything. But they made the situation so much worse when they claimed that they tried to shoot an autistic kid. I don’t believe for one second that that was actually the case.

That’s not how you treat someone after you shot them. You don’t leave them on the ground. You don’t leave them bleeding. And you don’t approach them and handcuff them. So, to try to later backtrack and say that, "Oh, we were really aiming at the autistic gentleman who was also sitting on the ground," I mean, to be quite frank with you, I don’t know what’s worse: shooting a man who has his hands straight up in the air and telling you that he’s unarmed while he’s lying on his back or shooting a 26-year-old who has no idea what’s going on. They’re equally reprehensible. And it’s a shame that they would actually try to state that they were shooting at Mr. Rios instead of my client. ...



Palestinian teenage girl detained near settlement for allegedly carrying a knife [Maan - 2/8/16]




Hunger strikers' family finds hope in Bethlehem sit-in [Maan - 2/8/16]:


... In April, Israeli forces detained her 14-year-old daughter Nuran at the 300 Checkpoint in Bethlehem, accusing her of possessing a knife, an allegation which Sanaa and others vehemently denied. ...



Israeli prison authorities reportedly assaulted and transferred a critically ill Palestinian prisoner to solitary confinement on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Israeli forces transferred 42-year-old Alaa al-Hums, one of the oldest Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, to solitary confinement while he continued to suffer from a tumor in his throat and chest.

Al-Hums’ heavy medication regimen has also reportedly caused him to develop a stomach and nerve disease, and in 2012 he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. ... [Maan - 2/8/16]




Black student censured in St. Louis for challenging Israeli spin [Electronic Intifada - 2/8/16]




Palestinian PM calls on international community to stop Israeli destruction of Palestinian villages [PNN - 2/8/16]



... After stomping on her bike, the Israelis send the child home in tears, then take her bike and throw it in nearby bushes. ... [Press TV - 2/8/16]



Huda Jalal is still mourning the death of her baby in late May.

The 32-year-old went into premature labor and gave birth before her baby’s lungs had developed sufficiently.

The hospital put the baby, Sami, in an incubator at which point he should have received a Betamethasone injection.

Betamethasone is used to stimulate growth of the lungs in premature babies.

But the drug, which is not expensive according to Mahmoud Deeb Daher, head of the World Health Organization’s Gaza sub-office, was not available.

Sami passed away after only one day in the incubator. ... [Electronic Intifada - 27/7/16]




Nabeel Rajab trial postponed a second time, faces 15 years imprisonment over tweets [Bahrain Center for Human Rights - 2/8/16]




Family of Singaporean man issues statement in response to his detention for Facebook posts and thought crimes [The Online Citizen - 2/8/16]



Although she supports President Duterte’s war on drugs, neophyte Senator Leila de Lima demanded on Tuesday an end to the spate of killings in the country.

“I must admit, the public reaction to these executions is not in favor of those who oppose it. A 91% approval rating for the President and what he stands for is a formidable record. But we cannot base our reactions to these killings on the popularity of the President. Popular or not, MURDER MUST STOP. S-T-O-P. STOP. Stop the killings now!” De Lima said in her first privilege speech. ... [Inquirer - 2/8/16]


China holds live-fire navy drills in East China Sea [ABC News – 2/8/16]



A FBI electronics technician pleaded guilty on Monday to having illegally acted as an agent of China, admitting that he on several occasions passed sensitive information to a Chinese official.

Kun Shan Chun, also known as Joey Chun, was employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 1997. He pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to one count of having illegally acted as an agent of a foreign government. ... [Reuters - 1/8/16]



Turkish justice minister says second document sent to US demanding Gülen extradition [Hurriyet Daily News - 2/8/16]



Turkey issues arrest warrants for Ankara Hospital staff [Anadolu - 2/8/16]



Turkish police units have detained 19 employees, including three foreigners, at Turkey’s biggest petrochemicals company Petkim in the Aegean province of İzmir on Aug. 2, as part of the probe into the July 15 failed coup attempt.

The police told Doğan News Agency that the total number of warrants issued was 31. ... [Hurriyet Daily News - 2/8/16]



Six killed in car bombing of Turkish police vehicle: security sources [Reuters - 1/8/16]



Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has called for “radical changes” in the country after a tense stand-off with 20 anti-government gunmen holed up in a police station left two officers dead and triggered mass protests. ... [Gulf Times - 1/8/16]



The CEO of the Democratic National Committee and two other high-level staffers left the organization on Tuesday in the wake of the committee's hacked email controversy.

Amy Dacey is the highest-ranking official at the DNC to step aside due to the matter, a senior Democratic official said.

The DNC also announced the departure of CFO Brad Marshall and and Communications Director Luis Miranda in a press release Tuesday afternoon.

Dacey is well-respected by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the DNC circle, a source familiar with the resignation said.

But the committee is looking to clean house in the wake of leaked emails that appeared to show the committee favoring Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the primary. ... [CNN - 2/8/16]




US announces new bombing campaign against Libya [Democracy Now - 2/8/16]:


... JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Phyllis, if I can, under what authorization does the Obama administration even launch these attacks, since there are basically three competing governments claiming to be running Libya?

PHYLLIS BENNIS: You know, Juan, one of the things they’re saying is that this attack was in response to the request of the U.N.-backed government. Now, as you say, there are three competing governments.

One of them was essentially created by the United Nations negotiators to try and pull together all the forces. It hasn’t worked. It’s one of three that are competing for legitimacy, competing for military and political power. So, the U.S. has gone in on the side of that government.

What’s interesting is they have not even made the claim that there was an immediate threat to the United States or to American citizens. That could be used to justify an immediate presidential order.

They have not tried to say, because that certainly that isn’t the case—there is no threat to the United States coming out of the chaos in Libya—  ...



A car bomb targeting security forces in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi killed at least 22 people and wounded 20 on Tuesday, a commander of the forces and medical officials said.

The blast occurred in a residential area in the Guwarsha district, the scene of fighting between security forces loyal to Libya's eastern government and an alliance of Islamists and other opponents. ... [Reuters - 2/8/16]



Salafists blow up 16th-century mosque in Yemen [Gulf Times - 1/8/16]



US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power poses as human rights defender while covering up Saudi atrocities [Alternet - 1/8/16]:


... Power’s true role in shielding Saudi Arabia was exposed in June, when U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted that he removed the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from a "list of shame" of armed forces that violate the rights of children after the Gulf monarchy threatened to withdraw funding from U.N. programs in retaliation.

The move touched off a firestorm of outrage among leading human rights groups, which issued a joint letter declaring, “evidence of grave violations against children in Yemen by the Saudi-led Coalition is overwhelming.

The U.N. Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, which operates at multiple levels and gathers, reviews, and verifies information from all relevant U.N. agencies operating in a country, has documented over a thousand children killed and injured as a result of Saudi-led aerial attacks in Yemen, as well as dozens of airstrikes on schools and hospitals.”

Yet, U.S. officials were conspicuously silent, with Mark C. Toner, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, telling an unnamed reporter on June 9: “Look, I’m not going to second-guess the UN’s decision and the secretary-general’s decision. It’s up to him to explain and defend his rationale for doing so.” ...



Unidentified gunmen have killed two members of Pakistan’s Hazara Shia community in an attack in the country's troubled southwest.

A Pakistani police official said the fatalities occurred in the suburbs of Quetta, the provincial capital and largest city in Balochistan province, on Monday. ... [Press TV - 1/8/16]



A public inquiry on Monday accused the Nigerian army of killing 347 Shia Muslims and dumping them in a mass grave in the northern city of Kaduna late last year.

Two days of violence began on December 12 when Shia worshippers attending a religious ceremony obstructed the convoy of Nigeria's chief of army staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai.

"The Nigerian Army used excessive force," said the 193-page report, which is available online. In total 349 people were killed including one soldier and one Shia worshipper who died later in custody.

The commission, setup by the Kaduna state government, said those responsible for the killings should be prosecuted, confirming the conclusions of an earlier Amnesty International report. ... [Al Jazeera - 2/8/16]




3 August 2016