Terror attacks continue across Iraq and Syria

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [3/2/16]:

 

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.

Strikes in Syria

Attack, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, two strikes destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL tactical vehicle.

-- Near Ayn Isa, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, four strikes struck four gas and oil separation plants.

-- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mar’a, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL rocket rail and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, three strikes destroyed seven ISIL weapons caches, three ISIL assembly areas and 14 ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle bomb facility and an ISIL logistics facility.

-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery piece, an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL recruiting station, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL assembly area and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

...

 

 

 

 

The United Nations said it had received reports that three aid workers were killed on Wednesday by an air strike near the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The three relief workers were not employed by the United Nations. ... [Ahram - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

 

‏@MSF_Sea [4/2/16]:   Everyday they flee. Some live. Some die. They say "its the wind/waves/winter" but it's #Europe 's fences to blame.

 

 

 

 

‏@MSF_Sea [3/2/16]:  "What do I want? I want peace in Kunduz, so I can go back.”- Ajabgul (18) fled violence in #Afghanistan 4 months ago

 

 



Perhaps Frank "The boats have stopped. They will stay stopped." Brennan can tell us how many refugee and asylum seeker boats the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy pushed back and/or abandoned in the last 24 hours?  ---->   ‏@guardiacostiera [3/2/16]:  #Egeo,Samos @Frontex. Affonda unità: #GuardiaCostiera italiana salva tutte le 11 persone a bordo, tra loro 4 bambini

 

 

 

... After five days at sea, their boat reached Australian waters, but the engine failed as they struggled to make their way closer to Christmas island. The Rohingya desperately waved to the crew of a passing Australian Navy vessel, which Mr Abdul said did not respond.  ...  [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]

 

 

 

SBS [20/11/15]:

 

...  Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson said locals spotted the fishing boat early on Friday morning about 100 to 200 metres from Smith Point, the entry to the island's harbour.

By the time he arrived to join onlookers at Smith Point before 7am, the boat was being towed by an Australian navy patrol boat and was about 3 to 5km out to sea.

 

"I saw the navy patrol boat towing the Indonesian fishing boat out to sea away from Christmas Island," he told AAP.

 

"It's a wicked thing to do."

 

 

 

 ‏@wikileaks [4/2/16]:   Assange UN case. The foreign ministers of UK, Sweden and Australia are in London today. ...

 

 

 

Alexander Mosesov — The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) refused to confirm or deny media reports that it had found WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's detention illegal before an official statement on the issue had been released.

Earlier in the day, the BBC reported that OHCHR’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention panel had decided in Assange’s favor that detaining him is illegal, meaning that the United Kingdom and Sweden would immediately have to release him and pay compensation. ... [Sputnik News - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention will announce its verdict in Julian Assange v Sweden and the United Kingdom on Friday, 5 February 2016 ‏@wikileaks [4/2/16]:

Should the U.N. announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.

However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.

 

 

 

Hospitals in Central Java report spread of dengue fever [Jakarta Post – 4/2/16]

 



 

 

The Jakarta administration faces difficulties in both preventing the trade in human organs, and monitoring hospitals that might facilitate such illegal activities, because existing legislation does not sufficiently regulate organ transplantation, a health official has said. ... [Jakarta Post - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

The parent company of U.S. apparel giant Timberland has launched an investigation into claims that security guards at a special economic zone in Kandal province viciously attacked the workers that make the brand’s clothing and footwear, a company representative said Wednesday.

Eight workers from the Star Light Apparel Manufacturing factory inside the 7NG Special Economic Zone (SEZ) were injured when about 40 SEZ security guards and hired thugs attacked them with meat cleavers and steel pipes as they attempted to board trucks on their way to a protest in Phnom Penh on Monday, union representatives said.

Hundreds of workers at the Star Light Apparel factory have been protesting since early last month to demand the reinstatement of eight employees who lost their jobs over an earlier bout of labor strife. According to Seang Rithy, president of the Cambodian Labor Solidarity Union (CLSU), which has been leading the industrial action, the factory supplies major brands including Tim­berland, Giorgio Armani and The North Face. ... [Cambodia Daily - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple arrested for pressing more than 20 children into labour as snack vendors in the capital were convicted yesterday on charges of “subjecting a minor to working conditions harmful to his or her health”. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than 220 ethnic Tompuon families in Ratanakkiri’s Lumphat district yesterday filed a complaint to rights group Adhoc over a 2,000-hectare land dispute against an economic land concession.

The ELC’s 9,000 total hectares were granted to Chinese company Jing Zhong Ri Co Ltd in 2011, and in 2014, local tycoon Roth Sokhorn became a major stakeholder in the concession and began clearing land on the 2,000 hectares that Tompuon villagers claim as their own.

The community said it already lost half of their land to Sokhorn’s cashew plantation and more clearing is on the way. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Representatives from Sweden’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm visited Myanmar in the end of January 2016.

The Deputy Head of the Department for Asia and the Pacific, Erik Widman, joined by Elenore Kanter and Christian Fogelström from the same department, spending four days meeting local and international partners as well as the NLD.

They also visited Rakhine state to learn more about the situation there, including visiting camps for displaced Rohingya and Rakhine people and meeting with the Chief Minister for Rakhine. [Burma Times - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

 

Tamil torture victims who suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan government called on the UN Human Rights chief to ensure that an “internationalised justice process” takes place, ahead of his visit to the island this week.

In a report by UK-based charity Freedom From Torture and the survivor activist network Survivors Speak OUT, victims called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to “deliver a strong message to the President and Prime Minister about the need for Sri Lanka to comply with the commitments it made to the UN Human Rights Council and the consequences if it fails to do so” during his visit to the island.

“It is imperative that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gets the justice deal back on track," said Sonya Sceats, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Freedom from Torture.

"The agreement was struck by the new Sri Lankan government at the UN just a few months ago.”

The torture survivors also called on the High Commissioner to “visit Jaffna, the Vanni and Batticaloa to speak, without any interference by the military, with people who are still affected by the legacy of the conflict and ongoing repression”.

The group expressed concern that if the High Commissioner’s visit to the island is shaped by the Sri Lankan government “he will see a distorted picture of the current reality of the day-to-day life faced by the Tamil community”. ... [Tamil Guardian - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

The International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTB) on Tuesday sentenced  two men to death for crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh's war of independence in 1971.

Obaidul Haque Taher and Ataur Rahman Noni were found guilty  of three counts of "of participating, aiding and contributing to the commission of offences of murder, abduction and torture as crimes against humanity" and one count of "abetting, contributing, facilitating and complicity in the commission of offences of murder, abduction, confinement, torture, and other inhumane acts as crimes against humanity" under Section 3(2)(a)(g) and (h) of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act, 1973.

Since the formation of the tribunal in 2009, 25 people have been convicted. ... [JURIST - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

Australian government excludes political group from using local radio station on Norfolk Island [RNZI - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

 

PNG Supreme Court hears laws establishing Australia's refugee concentration camp are constitutionally invalid [PNG Loop - 3/2/16]:

 

 

A High Court challenge to the Manus Island detention centre has heard laws establishing the facility are constitutionally invalid.

The challenge has been launched by an Iranian man who is fighting the legality of his removal from Christmas Island to Papua New Guinea (PNG) after he claimed asylum.

His lawyers say the Government's offshore processing laws set up a situation where the international convention on refugees could be ignored.

The minister is required to consider assurances about the treatment of asylum seekers, but these do not have to be legally binding.

The court heard in this case there is a semblance of compliance with the international convention but no legal guarantee and that risks Australia breaching its obligations.

The lawyers have also targeted a law allowing the declaration of PNG as a regional processing country.

The court heard the process of declaration is at odds with several sections of the Constitution, with regards to aliens, immigration and external powers.

Lawyers have told the court the law only requires the minister to weigh the national interest in making a declaration.

The case will continue next week when the Government will argue its laws are constitutionally sound.

 

 

 

Manus Island locals question mysterious drone flights over Lorengau [PNG Loop - 4/2/16]

 

 

Another "exclusive" interview, but who will challenge Australian politicians to defend their demented, lying "deterrence" ideology?

 

 

When will Mark Colvin and his colleagues take the next logical step?

 

 

ABC [4/2/16]:

 

... DAVID MARK: The Australian Human Rights Commission released a report today on the mental and physical health of children who've spent time in Nauru, and they found that they're amongst the most vulnerable and traumatised that they've ever seen.

How does that accord with your experiences on Nauru?

EVAN DAVIS [Teacher]: Oh, I would have to agree with that.

From my experience, from the students that I taught and also the parents, it was quite obvious that they were traumatised by it - I mean a lot of these people have gone through very, or come from backgrounds that are violent, are life threatening situations and they're genuinely trying to escape those places.

They come to Australia, or try to come to Australia seeking refuge from that and end up on a tiny little Pacific island and they're subjected to abuse, they're subjected to deprivation of their liberty.

And I clearly see that a place like Nauru and the way it's set up and the way it's operated just adds to that trauma that they've already experienced, and if they didn't have it they would certainly be traumatised now.

They should be at school learning. For example the Tamil students were exceptionally good students, probably the nicest kids I've ever taught, and they were being completely denied an education and yet they're literally crying for an education.

I look at those kids and you could see the next generation of doctors and teachers and nurses and any opportunity that they have has been robbed of them.

So I find it really hard to reconcile that imposing that type of abuse and creating that type of trauma on these students is justified under the fact that it stopped the boats.

DAVID MARK: Two-hundred-and-sixty-seven asylum seekers now face the prospect of being returned to Nauru as a result of the High Court decision yesterday.

What's your reaction to that?

EVAN DAVIS: Well, the students that are currently in Australia - I know them - I can only imagine that they'd be having nightmares about going back.

I think that this is just adding to their trauma, about the thought of actually going back there is just an absolutely cruel process. There's no question about it.

If anybody has any doubt that this is a cruel way of treating people, then you only have to meet this kids and you'll realise that sending them back there is the wrong thing to do.

DAVID MARK: You're taking a risk by speaking - there's a potential two-year jail term for people who speak out about what they've seen on Nauru.

Why are you taking that risk?

EVAN DAVIS: Ever since I came back, and I've been back in Australia since July, I don't think a day goes past where I don't think about these students.

But I also just constantly think about the damage that we're doing to them by detaining them on the island, and also the damage that we'll be doing to these people if we return them.

So I just can't live with myself, with the thought that I've witnessed this, I've witnessed this first-hand, I'm probably one of the few people that has actually had the privilege of teaching these students and getting to know them, and I just think that the Australian public should realise what's happening to these people.

It's a cruel, it's an inhumane way of treating people and there's no question about it, that these young people, and also the parents as well, are suffering greatly as a result of the policies and the way they're being treated, and I just think that it's irresponsible for someone who knows about this not to speak up about it.

...

 

 

 

 

Asylum seeker amnesty motion proposed by Greens voted down by Coalition and Labor [ABC - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

 

Australian political and media establishment continue reinforcing "we're closed" message to world [ABC - 4/2/16]

 

 

 

Whose interests are Australian politicians representing?

 

 

When will Australian journalists start holding them to account for their lies?

 

 

... We have some asylum seekers, but that’s pretty much stopped.

We have stopped the boats with our policies, which are regarded as cruel by many people.

But I have to say again, our policy on border protection is harsh, but it has been absolutely demonstrated that it is better than any other alternative. ...

 

 

Israel and Australia: A conversation with Turnbull [Jewish Journal - 25/8/15]

 

 

 

 Shorten: Offshore regional processing is an important part of defeating the crime gangs. #auspol #asylumseekers

 

 

Image:   ‏@ABCNews24 [4/2/16]

 

 

 

 ... Claims made as to the effectiveness of deterrence strategies are largely ideological and not based on empirical research. ...

 

 

There's no evidence that asylum seeker deterrence policy works [The Conversation - 24/7/12]:

 

... Policies of deterrence have become the “common sense” approach when it comes to what should be done about asylum seekers – both in terms of stopping the boats and in terms of saving lives.

The problem is that both these assumptions are largely unjustifiable based on the evidence.

 Deterring irregular border crossings does not necessarily decrease border related deaths.

Evidence suggests in some contexts deterrence can simply displace deaths to another site, or changes the demographics of who dies.

In the US, research has found a relationship between deterrence policies and an increased number of border deaths.

...

As a criminologist, the idea that an illicit market, such as people smuggling, can be dealt with through enforcement-related strategies and broad deterrent messages has serious limitations.

Historically, the most effective approaches to reducing illicit markets have been found through regulatory measures and harm minimisation approaches, not deterrence.

There is simply not enough evidence that deterrence works to justify the expense and potential harm of its implementation.

 

 

 

 

... Initially, Homeland Security officials said they were detaining the families to send a message to others in Central America to deter them from coming to the United States illegally.

In February, a federal court in Washington, D.C., ruled that strategy unconstitutional.

Officials stopped invoking deterrence as a factor in deciding whether to release mothers and children as they seek asylum in the United States. ... [New York Times - 25/7/15]

 

 

 

Federal Court blocks government from detaining asylum seekers as tactic to deter others from coming to US [ACLU Media Release - 20/2/15]

 

 

 

If it isn't "Vote 1 Bill Shorten", what is the strategy after Turnbull and Dutton decree whether or not to #LetThemStay ?

 

Another editorial from 'The Age' calling for an end to offshore processing - yet nothing will change until ALL Australian politicians are held to account for their "deterrence" lies [The Age - 4/2/16]: 


... Australia causes asylum seekers to be on these islands. It funds and facilitates the arrangements, and contracts the services of the companies that detain them. It plucks asylum seekers off the islands when they require appropriate medical care here, then it deposits them right back in the sad, desolate state that hundreds have endured for years.

This cannot go on indefinitely. As we have said previously, the time has come for an amnesty. Asylum seekers want to be productive members of our community. They want hope. They deserve better than this wasteful and now aimless policy that promotes despair and human damage. ...

 

 

 

WHAT ABOUT THE REFUGEE CHILDREN WHO ARE IMPRISONED ON NAURU NOW?

 

 

 

WHO WILL OFFER THEM SANCTUARY?

 

 

Why aren't Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce also using their community standing to call on the government - and opposition - to CLOSE THE CAMPS?

 

 

 

 

 

Best interests of the child must come first, UN child rights committee reminds Australia [Media Release - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Where were the UN when men held captive by the Australian government on Manus Island were calling for assisted suicide?  [Independent - 2/12/15]

 

 

 

Another major factory fire in Bangladesh shows “industry safeguards” are failing [Quartz - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is worried about a new wave of violence against journalists in Mexico, with two murders in the space of two days in the southern state of Oaxaca.

The need for effective government measures to protect journalists and guarantee their safety is imperative.

The latest victim in Oaxaca province was Reinel Martínez Cerqueda, 43, who presented musical programmes for community radio station El Manantial. He was gunned down in the town of Santiago Laollaga on 22 January.

Marcos Hernández Bautista, 38, was killed by a shot to the head as he was getting into his car on the outskirts of the town of San Andrés Huaxpaltepec on 21 January.

He was a reporter for the newspaper Noticias Voz e Imágen and worked for several radio stations.

 The Oaxaca police and judicial authorities are investigating both murders but have yet to find any clues likely to lead to the identification of the perpetrators. ... [Media Release - 29/1/16]

 

 

 

 

3 Palestinians shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills Israeli officer [Maan - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

A group of settlers from the illegal Kiryat Arbaa settlement east of Hebron assaulted a young Palestinian man on Tuesday, locals told Ma'an.

Locals said that Raad Muhammad al-Haddad, 21 was evacuated to the public hospital in Hebron after he sustained bruises from the attack.

Issa Amro, an activist with the group Youth Against Settlements, told Ma’an that he had heard several people had been beaten by the group of settlers, who reportedly pelted houses in the Old City of Hebron with stones.

Youth Against Settlements has been staging a sit-in for 28 days demanding that Israel remove the closed military zone which has been in place in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida since Nov. 1. ... [Maan - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Jewish peace groups reveal role in spoof New York Times that criticised paper's stance on Israel [Democracy Now - 3/2/16]:

 

 

A Palestinian village has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Israel is throwing open its doors to refugees.

Those were some of the headlines that appeared in a fake version of The New York Times distributed across New York City on Tuesday.

The paper carried the slogan "All the news we didn’t print." The prank copy of the revered "Gray Lady" also announced Democratic presidential candidate "Hilarity Clifton" planned to quit the presidential race to head up a women’s nonprofit based in Ramallah.

The edition even has fake ads. Volunteers distributed 10,000 copies of the fake paper, but no group took responsibility—until now. Jane Hirschmann of Jews Say No! tells Democracy Now! her group and Jewish Voice for Peace produced the paper. We speak to Hirschmann and Ben Norton, journalist at Salon.

...

 

 

 

Senior UN humanitarian official deeply concerned at Israel’s administrative detention practices [Media Release - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

A Saudi court overturned the death sentence for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh on Tuesday, his lawyer announced in a statement the same day.

Fayadh was sentenced to the death penalty in November for “apostasy" and allegedly emitting “blasphemous statements” in some of his poetry.

The poet’s sentence has been changed to eight years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court of the city of Abha in southwestern Saudi Arabia. ... [Maan - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Dozens killed in Yemen as army moves towards Sanaa [Al Jazeera - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Suicide attack in Yemen's Aden wounds security chief [Reuters - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

On January 17, Yemeni journalist Almigdad Mojalli was killed in a Saudi-led airstrike while reporting on civilian casualties in Jaref, a resort about 32 miles south of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa.

Mojalli was on assignment for Voice of America. Bahir Hameed, a photojournalist who accompanied Mojalli that day, was injured in the attack.

The following is Hameed’s account of what happened, as told to Mohammed Ali Kalfood, a journalist in Sanaa. ... [The Intercept - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

"Avete creato voi Daesh": giornalista freelance si scaglia contro Kerry nel vertice della Farnesina [VIDEO - Meridiana Notizie - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

10 things they won't tell you about the Flint water tragedy. but I will, Michael Moore [Huffington Post - 1/2/16]:

 

... A few months after Gov. Snyder removed Flint from the clean fresh water we had been drinking for decades, the brass from General Motors went to him and complained that the Flint River water was causing their car parts to corrode when being washed on the assembly line.

The governor was appalled to hear that GM property was being damaged, so he jumped through a number of hoops and quietly spent $440,000 to hook GM back up to the Lake Huron water, while keeping the rest of Flint on the Flint River water.

Which means that while the children in Flint were drinking lead-filled water, there was one -- and only one -- address in Flint that got clean water: the GM factory.

...

Here's a story which has received little or no coverage outside of Flint. During these two years of water contamination, residents in Flint have had to contend with a decision made by the Pentagon to use Flint for target practice. Literally.

Actual unannounced military exercises- - complete with live ammo and explosives -- were conducted last year inside the city of Flint.

The army decided to practice urban warfare on Flint, making use of the thousands of abandoned homes which they could drop bombs on. Streets with dilapidated homes had rocket-propelled grenades fired upon them.

For weeks, an undisclosed number of army troops pretended Flint was Baghdad or Damascus and basically had at it.

sounded as if the city was under attack from an invading army or from terrorists. People were shocked this could be going on in their neighborhoods.

Wait -- did I say "people?" I meant, Flint people. As with the governor, it was OK to abuse a community that held no political power or money to fight back. BOOM!

...

 

 

 

The Iraqi air force has taken delivery of two more F-16 fighter jets, bringing to six the number of the sophisticated U.S. planes it now has, an official said Wednesday.

Baghdad-based U.S. military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the Iraqis had purchased a total of 36 F-16s, and the only thing holding up their delivery was the availability of trained Iraqi pilots. ... [Naharnet - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Hundreds more American troops are in Iraq than the Pentagon previously stated, an official said Wednesday in an acknowledgement underscoring the sensitivity of U.S. deployments to the war-torn nation.

Officially, the Pentagon long said about 3,500 American troops are stationed in Iraq to train and equip local security forces, primarily so they can fight back against Islamic State jihadists who control large parts of the country.

But the Pentagon has now increased that number to 3,870 troops, according to spokesman Captain Jeff Davis.

Baghdad-based military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren went further, saying it was "fair to say" there are hundreds more troops than even that tally. ... [Naharnet - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [3/2/16]:

 

Baghdad: News agencies: Unknown gunmen attacked a car owned by a lawyer by guns while it was passing through Sho'la area today evening killing him and his son................

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded near a traditional restaurant in wardiya area in Mada'in district today evening killing two persons and wounding 5.........

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded near shops in Binook area today evening killing a person and wounding 7.........

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in Swep area southwest of Baghdad today morning a person and wounding 7.....................................................

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded in Siba' area in the middle of Baghdad today morning killing two persons and wounding 6.....................................................

 

 

 

Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded near a traditional market in Tarmiya district north of Baghdad today morning killing two persons and wounding 8.....................................................

 

 

 

 

... Speaking after de Mistura's announcement, Riyad Hijab, the HNC head who joined the opposition team in Geneva just hours earlier, announced that the delegation would leave and not come back until there was a change on the ground and an end to ongoing air strikes.

"The opposition will only talk about a ceasefire when there is a political transition that does not involve [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad," he said.

"The HNC is fully ready to join efforts with the international community to implement anything that can lead to the transitional governing body. We ask the international community to put pressure on the Syrian government and its allies to end the violence in Syria."

Hijab said the opposition expects "the government to lift the sieges, allow humanitarian aid, release prisoners and end all attacks and air strikes on the Syrian people".

Speaking for the government, Bashar al-Jaafari, Syria's ambassador to the UN, criticised the HNC team for "coming four days late and refusing to participate in the indirect negotiations" with de Mistura.

He called the HNC representatives' statements "childish" and accused them of wanting to leave on the orders of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Jaafari further suggested that de Mistura announced the suspension of the talks to justify the opposition's decision to leave. ... Syria peace talks plunged into new crisis [Al Jazeera - 3/2/16]

 

 

 

Operation Streamline:  The Empire Files obtained footage of rarely-seen mass deportation trials, which send hundreds of refugees to private prisons in less than an hour. ... [VIDEO - teleSUR - 31/1/16]

 

 

 

Opening the borders to transnational capital as they're closed to human beings:   LIVE: TPP signed, protests block roads [RNZI - 4/2/16]

 

TPP protestors still on way to SkyCity. It's a huge and vocal crowd with plenty of chants prepared. #TPP

 

Image:  @borisjancic [4/2/16]

 

 

 

Senator Elizabeth Warren - Congress should oppose the TPP trade deal [VIDEO - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

 

US: Santa Ana community blocks plan to detain more trans and other immigrants [Orange County Immigrant Youth United - 2/2/16]

 

 

 

The United States has recently rejected 30 Syrians out of thousands seeking to enter the country, Obama administration officials told a congressional panel on Wednesday, as the United States tightens vetting of immigrants and other visitors following attacks in California and Paris.

In addition, hundreds of applications from Syrian refugees have been put on hold and many might ultimately be rejected, Leon Rodriguez, director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services unit of the Department of Homeland Security, told the committee. ... [Reuters- 3/2/16]

 

 

 

4 February 2016

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