Israeli settler shoots, injures 6-year-old Palestinian near Qalqiliya [Maan - 3/10/15]
Ten Palestinians were wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank on Saturday during a raid by troops hunting the murderers of a Jewish settler couple, Palestinian police and medical sources said.
Palestinians protesting against the raid in the territory's main northern city of Nablus hurled stones at soldiers, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and live ammunition, the sources said.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said "10 people were wounded by live rounds to the legs or stomach," and "four others were wounded in beatings" by security forces. ... [Daily Star - 3/10/15]
Nigeria's Abuja hit by two blasts with at least 15 dead [BBC - 3/10/15]
Nigeria’s ex-petroleum minister has been arrested in London for money laundering [Quartz - 3/10/15]
Over 500 children dead, 1.7 million at risk of malnutrition owing to Yemen violence – UN [Media Release - 2/10/15]
A senior Saudi military commander has been killed in the country’s southwestern province of Asir near the border with Yemen.
The commander, identified as Naser al-Ahmari, was slain in rocket strikes launched by Yemeni forces in al-Rabuah area of the province, Yemen-based Arabic-language Khabar news agency reported on Friday.
Several other Saudi soldiers were also killed and a number of military vehicles were destroyed as Yemeni army forces and allied popular committees targeted the area with dozens of rockets in retaliatory attacks, the news agency further added.
Yemeni forces also targeted a Saudi military base in Jizan, a province in Saudi Arabia's southwest, with rockets and artillery fire and destroyed an armored vehicle and several other military vehicles.
Earlier in the day, Saudi warplanes carried out at least 15 airstrikes on Harad district of Yemen’s southwestern Hajjah province and 14 airborne strikes on Shida district in northwestern province of Sa’ada.
A Saudi missile attack also hit the Munabbih district of Sa’ada. ... [Press TV - 2/10/15]
UN human rights body passes Saudi proposal on Yemen [Gulf News - 2/10/15]
The Saudi-backed Yemeni government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran, state-owned Aden television reported on Friday without elaborating.
Bahrain had recalled its ambassador from Iran on Thursday. ... [Reuters - 2/10/15]
Nearly half of the population of Libya has been affected by violence and needs protection and some form of humanitarian aid, the United Nations says. ... [Ahram - 2/10/15]
Tony Blair urged Gaddafi to stand down and find 'a safe place to go' during Libyan uprising [Independent - 2/10/15]
U.S. ambassador to Lebanon David Hale stated on Friday that his country is doubling the baseline amount of U.S. military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces this year compared to last. ... [Naharnet - 2/10/15]
OECD 'ready to assist' Europe over refugee crisis [Hurriyet Daily News - 3/10/15]
Around 200 migrants tried to get into the Channel Tunnel in France overnight, clashing with staff and police and forcing the suspension of rail services, a spokesman for Eurotunnel (GETP.PA) said.
The disruption was the latest in a series of incidents involving migrants who are camped around the northern French port of Calais in the hope of reaching Britain. ... [Reuters - 3/10/15]
The Russian Air Force has destroyed an ISIL command center and underground depot with explosives near the Syrian city of Raqqa, Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement on Saturday. ... [Sputnik News - 3/10/15]
Thousands of Iraqis demonstrate for reforms [Ahram - 2/10/15]:
Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad and several other cities Friday, urging the government to deliver on its promised reform package aimed at tackling corruption and improving services.
Iraqis have been staging weekly protests since July.
The movement that stemmed from exasperation over power cuts in the searing summer heat gradually led to broader demands for political reform. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, with backing from the country's most revered Shia religious cleric, announced a reform package but change has been slow to materialise and the protests have continued.
"Baghdad will no longer be silent," chanted thousands of protesters in the capital's Tahrir (liberation in Arabic) Square.
Regular protesters -- dominated by secular groups, journalists, artists and social activists -- were joined Friday by supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [2/10/15]:
Kirkuk: The international alliance planes have shelled separated areas in Haweeja city resulted in killing and wounding of persons.......
Ta'ameem: "Two civilians were killed and 7 wounded as international alliance air force shelled the civilians in Rubeidh Al-Asriya Village in Haweeja district",news agencies reported......................
"Baghdad: "5 civilians were killed and 5 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded near lamps factory in Taji north of Baghdad",news agencies reported..........................
Baghdad: "Two persons were killed and 6 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded in Baya'a area ",news agencies reported..........................
Baghdad: "A person was killed and 7 wounded as a roadside bomb exploded near a traditional market in Mahmoudiya district south of Baghdad",news agencies reported..........................
About the time my Daddy left to fight the big war
Saw my first pistol in a general store
In the general store, when I was thirteen
I thought it was the finest thing I ever had seen
So l asked if I could have one someday when I grew up
Mama dropped a dozen eggs, she really blew up
She really blew up, she didn't understand
Mama said the pistol was the devil's right hand ...
'The Devil's Right Hand', Steve Earle 
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 2/10/15]:
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.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL crude oil collection point and destroyed an ISIL excavator, an ISIL building, and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Palmyra, a strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL anti-air artillery platforms.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Huwayjah, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL ammunition cache, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL vehicle bomb assembly area and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Beiji, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 17 ISIL tactical fighting positions and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL command and control node.
-- Near Mosul, a strike destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Sinjar, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Afghanistan: MSF staff killed, hospital partially destroyed in Kunduz following US airstrike [Yahoo - 3/10/15]
Three staff are confirmed dead and more than 30 are unaccounted for after the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) trauma centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was hit several times and badly damaged during sustained bombing at 2.10am on Saturday 3 October.
Our medical team is working around the clock to do everything possible for the safety of patients and hospital staff.
“We are deeply shocked by the attack, the killing of our staff and patients and the heavy toll it has inflicted on healthcare in Kunduz,” says Bart Janssens, our Director of Operations.
“We do not yet have the final casualty figures, but our medical team are providing first aid and treating the injured patients and MSF personnel and accounting for the deceased. We urge all parties to respect the safety of health facilities and staff.”
Since fighting broke out on Monday, our staff have treated 394 wounded. When the aerial attack occurred this morning we had 105 patients and their care-takers in the hospital and over 80 MSF international and national staff present.
Our hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan, providing free life- and limb-saving trauma care. ... [MSF Media Release - 3/10/15]
... US military spokesman Brian Tribus said they had struck a Taliban hideout in Kunduz City.
"US forces conducted the airstrike at 2:15am against individuals threatening the force. The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation."
Taliban claim shooting down four-engine US aircraft in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar
province [Khaama - 2/10/15]
Afghan National Security Forces have recaptured Baharak District of northeastern Badakhshan province from Taliban. ... [Khaama - 3/10/15]
A new wave of several thousand migrants and refugees has arrived in Presevo, southern Serbia, in the past 24 hours, Tanjug said on Friday afternoon. ... [b92 - 2/10/15]
@MSF_Sea [2/10/15]: ... The #Dignity1 has rescued 128 people from #Mali #Senegal #Guinea #IvoryCoast and #Cameroon
@ItalianNavy [2/10/15]: #UltimOra #SAR Nave Cigala Fulgosi #MarinaMilitare inizia soccorso a gommone con numerosi #migranti a bordo
@ArisMessinis [29/9/15]: An Afghan girl cries upon her arrival to the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey.
Myanmar president is sued in US over alleged abuses of Rohingya Muslims [Reuters - 2/10/15]:
Muslim rights activists have filed a lawsuit in the United States against Myanmar President Thein Sein, accusing him and several ministers of human rights abuses against minority Rohingyas, just a few weeks before an historic general election.
The complaint filed on Thursday in Manhattan federal court accused Thein Sein and top officials of planning and instigating "hate crimes and discrimination amounting to genocide."
According to the plaintiffs, Muslim Rohingya are "subjected to genocide, torture, arbitrary detention, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" by officials controlled by Thein Sein and his ministers.
Myanmar's government spokesman was not immediately available for comment, and did not respond to emailed requests.
The civil lawsuit was filed by Burma Task Force, a group of 19 Muslim organizations, and the Rohingya man Hitay Lwin Oo.
It seeks compensatory and punitive damages for alleged violations of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), a U.S. law often invoked in lawsuits alleging human rights abuses.
The government will have a chance to respond to the lawsuit once it is served. It typically takes at least a few months for a judge to decide whether a case may proceed.
In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court made it harder to pursue many ATS lawsuits. It said claims must "touch and concern" U.S. territory "with sufficient force" to displace the presumption that the law does not cover non-U.S. conduct.
Myanmar does not consider the Rohingya to be citizens, rendering them effectively stateless, while denying that it discriminates against them or that they are fleeing persecution.
A tide of anti-Muslim sentiment swept through the country a year after the military ended its rule in 2011, morphing into communal violence.
At least 200 people were killed and more than 140,000, mainly Rohingyas, were displaced in fighting between Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.
During the flare up of the boat people crisis in Asia in May, Myanmar denied that its treatment of the Rohingya caused their exodus.
Religious and ethnic tensions are rising ahead of Nov. 8 elections in Myanmar. The government has barred most Rohingyas from voting and registering as candidates, drawing criticism from western countries and undercutting Myanmar's efforts to portray the poll as its first free and fair election in 25 years.
Myanmar has defended its decision, with its foreign minister recently comparing the situation to the United States barring foreign citizens who hold "green cards" that let them work in the country from voting in elections.
Aceh NGO determined to punish Rohingya refugees for attempting to escape their detention as the IOM looks on. Where's the UNHCR? [Jakarta Post - 2/10/15]:
... More than 200 ethnic Rohingya stormed out of their camp in Aceh on Tuesday as tensions erupted following claims of rape and torture at the site where the members of Myanmar's long-persecuted minority have been held since arriving four months ago by boat.
The incident occurred after authorities forced a female detainee to go to a hospital. Other Rohingya did not want her to leave, fearing she could be abused more if separated from the group, said Steve Hamilton, deputy chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration, who was at the scene. ...
Japan citizen shot dead in Bangladesh, second foreigner killed this week [Channel News Asia - 3/10/15]
PNG Communications Minister to introduce cross-media ownership laws [EMTV - 2/10/15]
Marijuana pioneer Uruguay said on Thursday it had granted licenses to two companies to grow the plant for commercial distribution, adding that the pot should go on sale in pharmacies next year.
The South American country was the world's first to legalize the cultivation and distribution of marijuana, aiming to wrest control of the trade from drug gangs while regulating and even taxing its consumption.
But the novelty of the endeavor has thrown up challenges preventing the government from meeting its own deadlines in implementing legislation passed nearly two years ago. The country originally planned to distribute licenses a year ago.
"Twenty-two proposals were presented ... and two licenses for production and distribution were given out," Juan Andrés Roballo, head of the National Drug Board, told a news conference.
The two companies chosen were Symbiosys and Iccorp, start-ups financed by Uruguayan and foreign capital, and they were allowed to produce two tonnes of marijuana each per year, Roballo said. He said the government will provide security to secure the perimeter of the companies' marijuana plantations. ... [Reuters - 1/10/15]
"I'm signing because it's time Australia behaved decently."
Open letter to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader signed by over 20,000 Australian women
“Free the Children; Free Everyone; Close Manus and Nauru; End Offshore processing.”
Response to @RACVictoria’s “Open Letter to the Refugee Movement” by @xBorderOps [2/10/15]:
RAC-Vic recently posted an Open Letter on the renewed push by the Greens and GetUp’s ‘No Business In Abuse’ to remove children from detention.
We share RAC-Vic’s concerns at the reductive call for the removal of only children from detention.
The call for “children out” is a backward step in the campaign to close the detention industry down.
We do not see it as pragmatic but as a recurrent attempt, over the span of more than two decades, by pro-detention groups to obscure their own practical support for and links to the detention industry, and as a means to limit the movements for freedom and against the camps.
Implicit in the call to remove only children from detention is an assumption that children are “innocent” and therefore that adults (without children) deserve to be detained.
There is nothing pragmatic about supporting these racist arguments for detention.
There is nothing “tactical” about peddling racist assumptions while imagining that this might serve to lessen or be a challenge to that racism.
GetUp’s various positions are therefore inexplicable as part of a strategy to close the detention industry down. If this were indeed the aim, the approach is tactically incompetent, conveys no information about the financial and corporate arrangements in the detention industry, and is so contradictory, ambiguous and without legal significance that any detention industry contractor could, for instance, agree to sign GetUp’s ‘pledge’.
Given the successes of the boycott and divestment campaign, we are particularly concerned with GetUp’s attempts to derail that momentum by aligning it with the reductive call for ‘children out’ and a ‘corporate code of conduct.’
This is merely their latest effort at astro-turfing .
Here are the previous and ongoing boycott and divestment campaigns: DivestFromDetention.com
To be clear, GetUp’s NBIA are in no position to assure companies that divestment and boycott campaigns will cease if those companies engage in the window-dressing that NBIA have offered them.
xBorder has never supported detention  – every reason for detention is ultimately an argument for institutionalised racism.
... Greens national co-convenor Penny Allman-Payne, from Queensland, said there were clearly people who were upset about the reshuffle.
“I would only say that we work best as a national organisation and that this is an issue that is being worked through at the national council level,” she said. ... [Greens lurch to the right - The Saturday Paper - 26/9/15]
Four days out from the High Court Challenge ...
The Nauruan government has said asylum seekers would be granted full freedom of movement around the island.
In a statement, the Nauruan Department of Justice and Border Control said asylum seekers would be allowed to come and go from the detention centre without any restrictions from Monday, October 5.
"Open Centre arrangements of the Regional Processing Centre will be expanded to allow for freedom of movement of asylum seekers 24 hours per day, seven days per week," the statement said.
"It is the intent of the Government of Nauru that these arrangements are enshrined in legislation at the next sitting of Parliament."
All detainees on Nauru are currently allowed to leave the camp during the daytime, but are subject to a curfew at night.
The ABC understands a 9:00pm to 9:00am curfew has been in place, while no-one is allowed to leave the camp on Thursdays.
The Nauruan government said the network of community liaison officers would be expanded to provide assistance in the transition, with other security measures being put in place.
Almost 200 refugees on Nauru arrested as police crack down on peaceful protests [Guardian - 5/3/15]:
... They [refugees] are restricted by government decree in where they can go: they cannot visit schools, the hospital, the harbour or airport, but are, usually, free to move about the small island.
Video from the island at the weekend shows police clashing with demonstrators, including women and children, and it shows one man attacking a refugee as he peaceably filmed the demonstration.
The video, shot on mobile phone, shows a group of demonstrators walking slowly towards a police line on a road.
The group is noisy, chanting “justice”, but peaceful. Several protesters have their hands crossed above their heads and some are kneeling.
A policeman holds up his hand to stop the protesters.
As the protesters come close to the police, scuffles break out between police and some demonstrators, including one woman wearing a chador.
One refugee close to the camera is filming the demonstration on his mobile phone.
A Nauruan man, not wearing any uniform, steps from behind the police line to punch the refugee in the face while he is not looking.
The refugee staggers, and drops his phone, but picks it back up and resumes filming. He does not retaliate.
The assailant retreats behind the line of police officers.
The Nauru government has said protesters threw stones at police, injuring three and damaging a car.
Nauruan president Baron Waqa said in a statement: “There has been no violence against refugees from police, but police will continue to enforce the law, which includes preventing mobile protests that endanger lives”.
The emergence of the video comes as refugees and asylum seekers were given a four-page document from Corey Caleb, the director of police of Nauru.
In the document dated 2 March, Caleb writes that while the Nauru constitution protects a person’s “right to freedom of expression”, the Queensland Criminal Code of 1899 – which is operative law on Nauru – states that “any person who takes part in an unlawful assembly is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment”.
The director of police writes that any assembly of three or more people on Nauru can be broken up by a justice of the peace, saying: “His excellency the president of Nauru charges and commands all persons here assembled to immediately disperse themselves and peacefully to depart to their habitations or to their lawful business or they will be liable to be imprisoned. God save the president of Nauru.”
The missive from Caleb says demonstrators will be given 15 minutes to break up any protest.
“Any persons who, being so assembled, continue together to the number of three or more, and do not disperse themselves within the space of a quarter of an hour after the giving of the command are guilty of an offence, and each of them is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment.”
Calls to Caleb from Guardian Australia were not returned.
Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees… [Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to exiled refugees grows on Nauru - The Conversation - 20/11/14]
"I'm proud of what Transfield is doing" ---> @AusFrontPage: AFR Weekend - Saturday 3 October 2015 ...
Pure fascism ----> Last month the Coroners Court of Victoria handed down their findings, which emphasised Mr Seemanpillai's despair at the prospect of being sent back to Sri Lanka as a significant factor in his death. ... [Tamil Leo Seemanpillai's parents are still not allowed in to visit his grave - The Age - 3/10/15]
Protected and unaccountable Fluffy pushes against an open door ---> State governments are being encouraged to open up the delivery of health and education services to the private sector. The push for more competition was recommended by the Harper Review, which will be put before state and territory treasurers at their next meeting, scheduled for later this month. The federal treasurer, Scott Morrison, told News Corp Australia on Saturday the review highlighted a number of areas overseen by the states “where they thought things could be done a lot better”. ... [Guardian - 3/10/15]
A contractor International Health and Medical Services, or IHMS, says it supports an Australian Bill that would allow its staff to use force against detainees in immigration centres.
Mary Baines reports.
"In its submission to changes on the Migration Act, IHMS, which has 260 staff at Australian-run detention centres, says it has seen an increase in violent and aggressive behaviour.
It says that includes the damaging of furniture, walls and doors, throwing objects, and some isolated incidents of inappropriate touching and physical aggression.
It says there has been a small number of serious attempts to harm IHMS staff in which individuals have had to be physically restrained by security staff.
It says given the serious repercussions should security personel not have the capability to restrain an individual who is harming themselves or another person, IHMS supports the Bill.
Opponents of the Bill say it would allow immigration officers to beat asylum seekers to death with impunity, and allow excessive force to be used in almost any circumstance."
AMA welcomes powers to sedate ice addicts [Canberra Times - 27/9/15]
Some Australian medics refuse to be silenced over refugee abuse at detention centres, Brian Martin [Open Democracy - 1/10/15]:
... The effects of long-term detention are horrific: After months or years in isolated camps in unhealthy conditions, with uncertain futures, limited opportunities for self-development, and incidents of sexual abuse, many detainees suffer physical and mental problems. Traumatized in their home countries, they are additionally traumatized by their life in the camps. Children — some of them born in the camps — are especially badly affected.
Harsh, punitive treatment of asylum seekers is a scandal. Australian politicians cultivate a fear of “boat people” for electoral purposes. Each major party has tried to outflank its opponent by being tough in the hope of causing splits in the other party, a process called “wedging.”
However, the government, whichever party is in power, also needs to reduce public outrage from its policies.
When governments break the law, harm people or do something else that might generate concern, they typically use several methods to reduce public outrage.
One common method is cover-up: If people don’t know about an abuse, they won’t be worried. Most detention centers were set up in remote parts of Australia. In recent years, they have been set up outside the Australian mainland, in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Most journalists are prevented from gaining access to the camps.
Another key method to reduce outrage is devaluation of asylum seekers. They have been persistently called “illegals,” even though seeking asylum is legal, and “queue jumpers,” even though there is no formal queue for refugees. Some politicians suggest, without any evidence, that asylum seekers might be terrorists, though actually most are fleeing wars and terrorism.
The government provides numerous rationalizations for its policy. “Stopping the boats” has been reinterpreted as a matter of national security, to be handled by the Australian Navy, rather than a humanitarian issue.
The government has undertaken legal manipulations that are ingenious in getting around refugee commitments. For example, in 2013 parliament excised the Australian mainland from “Australia” for the purposes of the refugee convention, so that arriving at Darwin or Sydney by boat does not count as arriving in Australia and thus triggering treaty commitments. It is now impossible for asylum seekers arriving by boat to be permanently resettled in Australia.
Then there is intimidation, a technique used for several purposes. The idea of detention and, in some cases, indefinite imprisonment in harsh conditions is to send a message to potential asylum seekers not to come to Australia. Intimidation is also applied to those seeking to expose the government’s actions. This brings us to the 2015 Border Force Act, criminalizing the reporting of conditions in camps.
[New Zealand] Labour says an alleged assault at the Serco-run prison in Wiri is yet another sign the company is unfit to run New Zealand prisons and should go. ... [RNZI - 3/10/15]
New Zealand: Israeli soldiers' talk 'a propaganda exercise'
A university-hosted talk from two Israeli soldiers was an opportunity for them to celebrate the loss of Palestinian life in 2014, and should have never been allowed to go ahead, a group of academics says.
Raphael Wein and Naftali Gross, both 26, say they are students travelling New Zealand to observe the High Holy Days in Christchurch, but protesters say the trip is purely propaganda from the Israeli Government.
The men spoke about the part they played in Operation Protective Edge last year to a crowd of over 100 people at the Victoria University of Wellington on Tuesday to a background of chanting from protesters, and opposition from a group of academics.
Protesters lined the hallways outside the lecture room, and some managed to get inside, chanting 'free free Palestine' and 'murderers'.
A group of 23 academics also penned a letter opposing the soldiers' talk, saying it gave them a platform "to celebrate the very conflict that led to such massive Palestinian loss of life".
"Hosting Israel Defense Force apologists at Victoria will have a chilling effect for Palestinian and Arab students studying in our community, many of whom have experienced either direct loss as a result of the conflict or the more generalised threats of anti-Arab racism generated by the Israeli rhetoric of Palestinians as 'terrorists'," the letter said.
The operation was launched by Israel with the stated aim of ending rocket attacks from Gaza and destroying tunnels used by Palestinian militants.
More than 2000 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip during the operation which ran between July 8th and August 27th. The United Nations said of about 2104 Palestinians killed, 495 were children and 253 women.
Israel lost 66 soldiers, six civilians and a Thai national.
The soldiers shared their stories of death and disaster during the Gaza war in 2014, and their hopes for peace.
Mr Wein, who was born in Australia but had moved to Israel to study, was a reservist for the Israel Defense Force having already completed his mandatory military training in 2010.
He was a university student when the war broke out in 2014, sparked by the deaths of three Israeli teenagers. The country was soon in the throes of war, with rockets showering down upon the land and 80 percent of the country under attack, he said.
"Every 20 minutes you are running for cover, you can't get through a lecture, you can't get through an exam, you can hardly go to the bathroom."
Operation Protective Edge was launched after failed attempts by the Israel Defense Force to secure a ceasefire, Mr Wein said.
He said he was in the middle of a lecture when he received a phone call that would throw him into action. An automated voice told him a code and a meeting place.
"By Sunday morning we had all our gear, all our guns, all our bullets. If anything happens to Gaza we are going to serve."
He was in charge of 30 soldiers and their job was to protect the villages closest to the Gaza Strip from attacks out of the numerous tunnels dug under the Gaza border and into Israeli towns.
One day he had to pick up the bodies of five 18-year-olds who were shot dead by soldiers that tunnelled into Israel from Gaza, he said.
"I went to sleep that night and I literally cried myself to sleep thinking there were five new mothers entering the family of bereavement in Israel."
Mr Wein reiterated to those attending the lecture that Israel never stops believing in peace.
"We are not fighting a war in foreign lands, we are not fighting halfway across the world, we are defending ourselves. We are here defending our borders, our towns and our families."
The other speaker, Naftali Gross, has a different story, but it's a similar message of sparing civilians, serving his country and preventing terrorism.
He is medical student in Jerusalem, and has lived in Israel since he was six-months-old, undergoing his mandatory military training from 2009 to 2011.
Mr Gross was in the middle of medical exams when he was drafted by the IDF into Operation Protective Edge.
His mission was to protect the West Bank barrier, a controversial separation wall built in 2002 by the Israeli Government to reduce suicide bombings and terrorist attacks.
As a medic he walked with patrols from the separation wall into the city of Hebron during the early hours of the morning to avoid public attention.
They would enter houses whilst children and women were sleeping, and he would have to calm down the family while his patrol bound the wrists and covered the eyes of those they wished to arrest.
"I didn't know what was going to jump out, I always had to be sharp and 100 percent ready for someone to stab or shoot me."
One man was released with a warning as they feared his deteriorating health meant he wouldn't make it back to the fence without having a cardiac arrest, he said.
He goes further to defend the IDF's reputation, saying people need to open their eyes about the Gaza conflict and realise the efforts IDF goes to to protect civilians.
He finished his address by saying the conflict in Israel was between Israel and Hamas, terrorists and non-terrorists and that he hoped for peace.
More than 20 academics from Victoria University joined a group of students opposing the soldiers' talk.
The academics signed a letter opposing the visit, describing the talk being allowed to take part on university grounds as "astonishing".
Their letter said the operation killed 2194 people over 51 days, 1523 of which were civilians - a toll the UN said "may amount to a war crime".
"This attack had a devastating effect on educational and academic life in Gaza. Three universities, seven United Nations schools and at least 140 local schools suffered severe damage from Israeli attacks," the academics said in the letter.
"Our academic colleagues in Palestine are unable to play their part in normal scholarly life due to Israeli blockades, disruptions, and harassment of Palestinian life in Gaza and other occupied territories.
"Palestinian students have their movements restricted, and are thus unable often to take up opportunities for studies abroad or for other normal exchanges.
"It is astonishing, therefore, that an exercise in propaganda and apologetics for military violence should be hosted at a university setting under the guise of education and learning opportunities.
English Lecturer Dougal McNeill said the two men were not just travelling students and their visit was instead driven by the Israeli Government.
Mr McNeill believed the soldiers would not be allowed to speak about the operation without approval from the Israeli Defense Force.
He said it was an attempt to recover from the social media damage done during the Gaza conflict with images and personal narration ruining Israel's reputation.
"This is a desperate rear-guard attempt using academic freedom and personal experiences to win back that ground they lost."
He warned that this would not be the last time New Zealand will see such tactics.
"We should expect more of this. The Israeli state and its apologists worldwide are rattled by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, they are rattled by growing sympathy for the Palestinian cause."
The Students for Justice in Palestine group, who picketed the university's hallway, agreed with Mr McNeill, saying the soldiers were touring the world as part of the Israeli government's attempt to justify Operation Protective Edge.
Protest organiser Ian Anderson said the talk should never have gone ahead.
"Hosting it on university grounds legitimises the occupation and the killing of civilians."
An indigenous group is calling on the United Nations to help them stop an Indian coal group building a $16.5 billion mine on their lands in Queensland.
Adani's Carmichael mine, expected to export at least 50 million tonnes of coal a year, is slated for the Galilee Basin on traditional lands of the Wangan and Jagalingou people.
Members for the indigenous group are now urging the UN's Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples to intervene to protect their lands from "irreversible destruction". ... [Nine MSN - 3/10/15]
Private dinners, lavish parties and shoulder rubbing. How coal giant Adani charmed Australia's political elite [Guardian – 21/8/15]:
... In October 2010, Queensland’s then Premier Anna Bligh travelled to India on a trade mission to promote the state’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games and “strengthen Queensland’s position as an ally and destination for future trade and investment in the eyes of the Indian market and nation leaders”.
A report tabled to the Queensland Parliament shows that Bligh’s first official meeting with Indian figures was with Adani, where the company’s owner Gautam Adani and his international development executive Harsh Mishra got to quiz the Premier about policies relating to rail lines, underground coal gasification and support for mining in the Galilee Basin.
Bligh also “agreed to attend the opening” of Adani’s offices in Brisbane later that month and extended an invitation for Adani to meet with its co-ordinator general when they were next in Brisbane.
After Campbell Newman won power for the Liberal National Party in Queensland, he led a trade mission to India too.
While there, Newman joined former Labor Resources Minister Martin Ferguson and a 76-strong business delegation for a tour of an Adani port and a power plant, reportedly getting there on a private jet.
The report on the trade mission, tabled to Parliament, shows that Mr Adani then hosted a lavish reception at his home for the entire delegation.
Judging by one freelance photographer’s images, the event was quite an affair with much handshaking all-round.
The event was part of “OzFest” – Australia’s “largest cultural festival” for which Adani was a “platinum sponsor”
In 2013, the Queensland Governent was again in India for a trade mission led by then Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and, again, the Adani company was on hand.
Seeney’s delegation travelled with Adani executive Harsh Mishra to visit an Adani-owned port and power station before Seeney had a private lunch with the company.
Later that same day, Seeney met with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (now the Indian Prime Minister) and… Gautum Adani.
Laguna Quays: Homes no longer under threat from large Queensland bushfire [ABC - 2/10/15]
1. The VLAD act doesn't even mention "bikies".
2. The ALP voted for the VLAD laws.
D'Ath is pissfarting around.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills [Meda Release - 2/10/15]:
Chairman of bikie laws Taskforce to undertake additional statutory review
The head of the Queensland Government’s bikie laws Taskforce has agreed to also undertake a separate statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009.
Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the statutory review would assist the Palaszczuk Government in determining whether the Criminal Organisation Act 2009 should expire on April 15, 2017 or whether it should continue in its current, or an amended, form.
Mrs D’Ath said the statutory review would use the expertise of former Supreme Court Justice Alan Wilson QC, complementing his work as the chairman of the Taskforce into the Organised Crime Legislation, which was due to report back by December 18.
She said that date will now be extended to March 31, 2016 so that Mr Wilson could undertake the statutory review and have that work inform the final report.
“Since the Taskforce’s work began on June 22 this year it has focused its resources on making a full and careful inquiry into the extent of the so-called bikie laws that were introduced by the former LNP government, including whether they are effective in detecting, investigating, preventing and deterring organised crime in Queensland,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“As the chairman for the VLAD Taskforce review, it makes sense for Mr Wilson to also complete the statutory review of the Criminal Organisation Act 2009 and to ensure a consistent and integrated approach to organised crime in this state.”
Mrs D’Ath said Mr Wilson would be required to complete the statutory review by December 15.
“After considering the additional work Mr Wilson will be required to do as part of the statutory review and in order to give the Taskforce appropriate time to make its recommendations, I made the decision to provide a small extension of three months.
Mrs D’Ath said the extension of time would allow the Taskforce’s members, including police, departmental staff, barristers, lawyers and the Public Interest Monitor, to assess additional material as part of its ongoing scope.
“This extension will also provide the Taskforce with additional time to consider the finding and any recommendations from the Commission of Inquiry into Organised Crime that is due to report on October 30,” she said.
“The Palaszczuk Government wants to shine a light on organised crime in all its forms, not just bikie gangs, and that’s why the Taskforce’s review is such a critical piece of the puzzle.”
Mrs D’Ath said she wished to thank Mr Wilson for his commitment to undertaking the statutory review while also chairing the Taskforce.
Individuals who have unfair convictions from unjust laws that criminalised homosexuality should be able to have their names cleared – and a major research report from legal and community organisations has developed a blueprint for reform in Queensland. ... [Human Rights Law Centre Media Release - 29/9/15]
Feel safe Queensland? Gold Coast police chase man into Broadwater then rescue and arrest him
Anyone who behaves in an anti-social manner towards other members of the community, such as acting aggressively or in an intimidatory manner, can expect to be dealt with to the full extent of the law.
[QPS Media - 7/1/14]
Tweeting on the beat with #GCPolice & PSRT. Loads of people out enjoying a glorious Sunday arvo.
Crowds well behaved - Surfers Paradise - Image: @QPSmedia [29/9/13]
QPS Media [2/10/15]:
There is never an ordinary day when it comes to policing and officers from Southport Police Station demonstrated that recently.
At about 9:00am on Wednesday, September 30 the officers were conducting Operation Nucleus which involved a combination of bicycle patrols, quad vehicle patrols and traditional foot patrols, to provide a highly visible policing presence within the Southport CBD and Broadwater Parklands precincts.
Police were speaking with a 50-year old man on the foreshore of the parklands when they established he was wanted for breaching his court bail.
As police went to arrest the suspect he ran into the Broadwater and swam away from police towards Marina Mirage. Police called for Water Police to assist but observed the male starting to struggle in the water.
Thinking quickly, Acting Sergeant Will Davies of Southport Station gained the attention of a passing Jet Ski and sought the owner’s assistance to allow police to use the Jet Ski to arrest/rescue the suspect, who was about 200m into the Broadwater. Acting Sergeant Davies rescued the offender and towed him to shore before promptly arresting him.
The offender thanked police for saving him, before he was charged with breach of bail offences and obstruct police.
The ingenuity and resourcefulness of police in rescuing this person from the Broadwater is another example of the excellent work Southport Police do on a daily basis, and goes to show there is never a boring day at the office.
Police reject claims Tara Brown was turned away before her murder [MYGC - 1/10/15]:
A leading police officer claims young Gold Coast mother, Tara Brown, was not turned away by police in the days leading up to her murder.
Ms Brown was allegedly murdered by her ex-partner, Lionel Patea, after he ran her off the road in Molendinar last month and then beat her to death as she lay trapped in the vehicle.
There were several media reports following the incident claiming that Ms Brown had visited police a week beforehand to seek advice on breaking up with her former partner.
It was claimed Ms Brown was told to “go elsewhere”.
Gold Coast acting Chief Superintendent Michelle Stenner told AAP says those reports are inaccurate.
“The Tara Brown matter is a horrific incident, as well as the other domestic-related homicide that we had,” Supt Stenner told AAP.
Supt Stenner said she believed police did a good job, but admitted there was always room for improvement.
“I’m not saying we’re perfect,” she said.
“We can always do things better and it’s about educating our own service as well about an attitudinal change to sexual violence and domestic violence.
“In terms of our training, we have a limited time in which we can train the people that we recruit to the service, but the majority of their training is on-road and during the first five years of their service.”
Claims she was turned away are being investigated.
Murder charge after Melbourne 'hit-run' [Nine MSN - 3/10/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Woolloongabba
QPS Media [2/10/15]:
Police are appealing for witnesses after a man died after being struck by a car at Woolloongabba earlier this evening.
Initial investigations indicate around 6pm the man was crossing O’Keefe Street near the bus station when he was struck by a car.
The 80-year-old Mansfield man was taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital but was pronounced deceased on arrival.
The 27-year-old female driver of the car was not injured.
Investigators from the Forensic Crash Unit are appealing for anyone who many have witnessed the crash or who may have driven through the area around 6pm to contact Crimestoppers.
Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
Fatal traffic incident, Mount Isa
QPS Media [2/10/15]:
Police are investigating a traffic incident in which an 86-year-old man has died in Mount Isa today.
Initial information suggests around 11.15am a road train was travelling east on Marian Street when a male pedestrian entered the roadway from the footpath and made contact with the side of [was hit by] the vehicle.
The man was transported to Mount Isa Base Hospital in a critical condition but was pronounced deceased this afternoon.
The 56-year-old male driver of the truck was uninjured and is cooperating with police inquiries.
Mount Isa Forensic Crash Unit is continuing to investigate the incident and is appealing for any witnesses of the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Serious traffic crash, Springwood
QPS Media [2/10/15]:
Police are investigating a traffic crash in Springwood overnight.
Initial inquiries indicate at about 9.10pm a vehicle was travelling northbound on the Pacific Motorway when the driver stopped on the shoulder of the road to inspect the roof top cargo.
Whist inspecting the cargo he has been struck by a passing vehicle.
A man in his thirties has been taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.
The driver of the other vehicle stopped and has been interviewed by police.
Investigations are continuing.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.
A man has died after his truck rolled down the side of a mountain near Wongawallen on Thursday afternoon.
According to police, the truck was travelling along Tamborine-Oxenford Road at 3.00pm when it left the road and crashed down the embankment, leaving the driver trapped.
Police and emergency services were quick to attend the scene and removed the man from the truck.
Unfortunately, he died a short time later. ... [MYGC - 2/10/15]
Fatal traffic crash, Flinders View [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
Appeal for witnesses – Palm Beach traffic crash [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
Former Kleenmaid director jailed over offences that contributed to company's collapse [ABC - 2/10/15]
Armed robbery, Indooroopilly [QPS Media - 3/10/15]
Robbery charge, Highgate Hill [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
Armed robbery charges, Brisbane Region [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
Armed robbery, Coopers Plains [QPS Media - 1/10/15]
Steroid seizure, Morningside [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
The Taskforce Maxima Road Policing Unit have arrested a 24-year-old man for a number of serious drug offences as a result of a traffic intercept at Browns Plains yesterday.
Officers conducted a search of the man and his vehicle about midday, allegedly locating a quantity of Ice and about $6000 in cash.
He also tested positive to Methylamphetamine during a roadside drug test. The test will be sent for further analysis and pending the outcome further charges possibly will occur. ... [QPS Media - 2/10/15]
Drug charges, Durack [QPS Media - 1/10/15]
Police shutdown online synthetic drugs shop, Upper Mount Gravatt [QPS Media - 1/10/15]
Gold Coast security guard allegedly underpaid more than $7,000 [MYGC - 2/10/15]
Man taken to hospital after becoming trapped in lift for over an hour, Southport [MYGC - 2/10/15]
Four former council workers have launched damages claims worth $1 million in Queensland over alleged sexual harassment by a foreman.
The four tradesmen claim they were sacked by the Gold Coast City Council after complaining about unwanted sexual comments and behaviour directed at them by the male supervisor at their depot. ... [Yahoo - 2/10/15]
MH17 victim's partner in compensation fee dispute [Yahoo – 1/10/15]
Ralph Nader’s Tort Museum [New Yorker – 28/9/15]
Man in critical condition following workplace accident, St Lucia
A man's heart has been pierced after he was accidentally shot with a nailgun on a Brisbane worksite.
The 45-year-old was struck in the chest by the high-powered tool in St Lucia just before noon.
"The nail actually penetrated his heart," Queensland Ambulance Service's Dr Stephen Rashford said.
A number of critical care paramedics were dispatched to the site and urgently treated the man, he said.
The man was then rushed to an operating room at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in an induced coma.
He is in a critical condition.
A portable ultrasound was used to diagnose the injury to his heart.
Workplace Health and Safety have been advised about the incident.
Stories police officer funnelled to the Sun for cash were in public interest: Reporter
Open Democracy [2/10/15]:
All the stories a police officer funnelled to the Sun for cash were in the public interest, the reporter who made the payments told the paper's corruption trial today.
Jamie Pyatt, the Sun's Thames Valley reporter, said he had not received a single complaint about any of the stories for which the constable provided information or photographs.
Mr Pyatt, 52, is on trial at the Old Bailey in London for aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office by paying Officer 2044 for stories published in the Sun between 2002 and 2011.
Chris Pharo, 46, Assistant Editor (News) at the country's biggest newspaper, on trial alongside Mr Pharo for the same charge, allegedly approved payments to Officer 2044.
Mr Pyatt admitted during his first day of evidence that he had lied to detectives when he told them he had not paid any police officers for their help. He now accepts that he paid Officer 2044 on 11 occasions for 13 stories.
Entering the witness box for the second day, Mr Pyatt was asked by his barrister Richard Kovalevsky QC: "Did you ever have any complaint from anybody about the content of any of these stories?"
Mr Pyatt told the court: "No, I didn't have any complaint from anybody."
Mr Kovalevsky went on: "Are they all justifiable in the public interest?"
"Absolutely," the journalist replied.
Mr Pyatt explained much of the information for the stories "was already in the public domain," saying: "One of the primary reasons for having a source was to check information."
Asked about his relationship with the police, Mr Pyatt said that he had previously had a good working relationship with officers because they appreciated that his presence on their patch meant he was a "conduit" to the country's biggest newspaper.
One example of that relationship was that in 2009, Mr Pyatt had received information from a "police contact" who had alerted him to the fact that detectives had interviewed Jimmy Savile for abusing girls at Duncroft approved school.
He told the court the police contact was not Officer 2044, a detective constable.
Mr Pyatt explained he had followed up the Savile story by contacting former Duncroft pupils on the Friends Reunited website. In an attempt to "expose" Savile while he was still alive, Mr Pyatt said he persuaded "four or five" ex-pupils to go on record saying that Savile had molested them.
But, he added, a Sun executive, whom he believed was Victoria Newton, had decided the Sun would only run the story if Surrey Police confirmed it, because Savile was "very litigious" and had previously been awarded £200,000 damages against the paper.
Mr Pyatt said Surrey police press office would not help and the Sun did run the story, against his best judgement.
He said that although phone records showed he phoned Officer 2044 several times on another story, when detectives were checking whether a body in a river was Milly Dowler, he had not managed to get through to him.
Mr Pyatt said a cash payment for help on that story had not gone to Officer 2044 - as the Crown claimed - but to a member of the public who had rung into the paper with the initial tip-off.
The veteran reporter said Officer 2044 had
passed him a photograph of the "Trophy Rapist" Tony Imiela, which allowed him to
investigate a tip-off that the sex offender was also a regular user of sex
Their narrative --> "Radicalised youth from a middle eastern background."
Previous examples indicate that what this actually means is "Victimised, monitored and prejudged".
Cue a parade of deeply unpopular, bigoted Australian politicians jumping on the bandwagon with the same dogwhisting lies.
... Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied ...
'Everybody Knows' Leonard Cohen 
Australia’s declared war on Muslims, Ghali Hassan [Countercurrents.org - 31/12/14]:
... Muslim Australians are not “radicalised”. These are false accusations to demonise the entire Muslim community.
If some Muslim youth are “radicalised”, it is because of Australia’s complicity in U.S.-led war of aggression on Islamic countries, and more importantly, Australia’s systemic racism and racist attitudes toward Muslims in particular.
Muslim Australians are marginalised, discriminated against and often abused because of their religion and the colour of their skin. They are alienated and made to feel they do not belong here.
The government and its agencies, the Anglo-Zionist media, the police, the justice system, and the education system, including universities cannot function without a daily concentrated dose of insidious racism.
Whether in government departments, the media, the Justice system or the universities, the most indoctrinated and insidiously racist Australians control key positions.
They decide who is “Australian” and who is not. Who they employ and who they don’t. Employment in these departments and the universities is based entirely on racism and nepotism, and it is exclusively for white Anglo-Europeans. It creates a very corrupt apartheid-like system. ...
... Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2004 to 2013, 316,545 people died by firearms on U.S. soil. (2013 is the most recent year CDC data for deaths by firearms is available.)
This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.
According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2004 to 2013 was 277. ... [CNN - 2/10/15]
Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) is exploring merging some of its information technology and services businesses, with a value of about $4 billion, with another government services contractor, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The contemplated transaction would create the largest government services contractor in the United States and would generate an estimated $2 billion windfall for Lockheed, the people said.
Lockheed, the Pentagon's largest supplier, is looking to pay down debt following its agreement in July to acquire Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), for $9 billion in cash. ... [Reuters - 2/10/15]
Nine dead, 600 missing in Guatemala landslide [Yahoo - 3/10/15]
The fate of more than 30 crew aboard a cargo ship missing off the Bahamas in heavy seas whipped up by Hurricane Joaquin was unknown on Friday as the powerful storm battered the island chain for a second day.
News the vessel had lost contact with shore came as forecasters shifted the likely track of the potentially catastrophic storm further away from the U.S. East Coast, but there were still warnings about the possibility of severe flooding in the Carolinas from unrelated heavy rains. ... [Reuters - 2/10/15]
A Government sanctioned environmental audit into the extraction of water at Londolovit river on Lihir island by Newcrest’s Lihir Gold Limited (LGL) has found breaches in the Environmental Permit held the company.
Australia’s North Victorian based company Moroka Pty Ltd carried out the environmental audit of the Londolovit river between May and August this year after been commissioned to do so by Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) of the PNG Government. ... [PNG Facts - 2/10/15]
Queensland Government failed to charge Santos over 250,000 litre oil spill despite evidence [ABC – 1/10/15]
Kill Kill Kill. It's all they know. ---> Feral horses to be culled in north Queensland after teenager's death on Bruce Highway [ABC – 1/10/15]
... Commuter advocate Jeff Addison said the transport network would not cope with the massive population increase.
"There's no infrastructure to support it," he said.
"I mean it borders on negligence by the State Government to allow this to happen when the Sunshine Coast is predominantly serviced by a single line track." ... $5b Caloundra South housing development to create new suburb 'Aura' [ABC - 1/10/15]
France, Germany, Poland ... ten European nations to go GMO-free [The Ecologist – 30/9/15]
Mars, Nestlé and Hershey face fresh cocoa child labour class action
lawsuits [Confectionary News – 30/9/15]
3 October 2015