Dozens of Calais refugees try to storm Channel Tunnel [BBC – 4/7/15]








... "We are asking the Hungarian government and public representatives to ensure that any amendments to its national asylum legislation is in conformity with international and regional protection standards, and is not contrary to those standards." ... [UNHCR Media Release - 3/7/15]









United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria



Reuters [4/7/15]:




U.S.-led forces conducted 14 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and nine in Iraq on Friday, the task force conducting the operation said.

The strikes in Syria included six around Hasaka, the northern city where militants briefly seized a residential area before being pushed back by the Syrian army, the Combined Joint Task force said on Saturday.

In Syria, coalition forces also carried out four strikes near Aleppo, three near Kobani and one near Tal Abyad, destroying fighting positions, vehicles, tactical units and staging areas belonging to the militants, it said in a statement.

The air strikes in Iraq targeted militants and their holdings near Falluja, Makhmur, Mosul and Sinjar, it said.




Charleston massacre suspect was in online contact with white supremacists, officials say [New York Times – 3/7/15]

Syria conflict: Mosque blast 'kills 25 al-Nusra Front rebels' [BBC - 3/7/15]



Destruction at Palmyra site 'perverse' attempt to deny Syrian people their heritage, UNESCO chief warns [Media Release – 3/7/15]:




... "The destruction of funerary busts of Palmyra in a public square, in front of crowds and children asked to witness the looting of their heritage is especially perverse,” she said, explaining that the busts embody the values of human empathy, intelligence and honor the dead. They also represent a wealth of information on costumes, jewelry, traditions and history of the Syrian people.

“Their destruction is a new attempt to break the bonds between people and their history, to deprive them of their cultural roots in order to better enslave them, "she declared. ...







Hezbollah fighters and Syrian army troops launched fresh attacks Saturday on the southern Qalamoun city of Zabadani, near the Lebanese border. ... [Daily Star - 4/7/15]




34 killed in new Saudi air raids on Yemen [Press TV – 4/7/15]





Five killed in east Libya car bomb attack: Report [Ahram – 4/7/15]


Israeli troops deploy in Shebaa outskirts, position close to Lebanon's Blue Line  [Naharnet - 4/7/15]

Three children and a woman were killed Saturday in a blast and when a shell struck a house in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula where troops are battling Islamic State group jihadists, officials said. ... [Naharnet - 4/7/15]






Tunisia declares state of emergency [Ahram - 4/7/15]









Afghanistan:  The executive chief for Bangi district was died in a landmine blast, provincial police chief said, claiming police gunned down Taliban shadow governor for western Herat province on Saturday. ... [Pajhwok - 4/7/15]



Civilian among two dead in Sar-i-Pul clash [Pajhwok – 4/7/15]


3 school girls attacked with acid in Herat [Pajhwok – 4/7/15]







Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) condemns the violent intrusion by armed members of Afghan Special Forces in the organisation’s trauma centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan. The incident is an unacceptable breach of International Humanitarian Law, which protects medical services from attacks. ... [Media Release - 3/7/15]






Kiev in violation of heavy weaponry clause in E. Ukraine – OSCE [RT – 4/7/15]




About 1,000 Ukrainian pro-government fighters and far-right supporters have marched through the centre of the capital, Kiev.

Many burned tyres and wore balaclavas; some carried white supremacist flags.

They called on the government to end the Minsk ceasefire accord and declare war on pro-Russian rebels in the east.

The demonstrators say the Russian government is bringing troops and equipment into Ukraine, a claim that Russia has always denied. ... [BBC - 3/7/15]






Police in the Netherlands have detained about 200 people in The Hague after rioting in a mainly immigrant area of the city.

It was the fourth night of unrest in Schilderswijk, triggered by the death of a Caribbean man in police custody. ... [BBC - 4/7/15]


Nauru opposition MPs still detained

RNZI [4/7/15]:

Two opposition MPs on Nauru want the Supreme Court to rule on their right to a lawyer of their choice, after their Australian lawyer was refused a visa to enter the country.

Squire Jeremiah and Sprent Dabwido remain in the island's prison after they were arrested for their alleged role in fomenting a protest outside parliament two weeks ago.

The pair were again denied bail when they appeared in court on Thursday, but the reasons why remain unclear.

They had no legal representation because their counsel, Australian lawyer Jay Williams, has been refused a visa.

Mr Jeremiah told the court that the director of legal aid would not provide alternative legal representation.

The prosecution told the magistrate the two MPs could not simply reapply for bail, but had to establish new facts and circumstances had arisen since they were last denied bail.

It said this would need to be accompanied by written documents setting out their arguments.

The magistrate, Emma Garo, rejected the prosecution's call for Mr Dabwido and Mr Jeremiah to have family members prepare the documents, saying unrepresented defendants could not be expected to know what documents were needed.

Although Ms Garo said she would accept a verbal bail application, the defendants said they were unable to make an application without legal representation.

They told the court they want the Supreme Court to rule on their right to choose a lawyer and also to consider whether the charges brought against them were unconstitutional.

The case has been adjourned until the 10th of July and they will remain in custody until then at least.




Motorcylists protest bipartisan anti rights laws in Brisbane.


Unions say: Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last!




Brisbane Times [4/7/15]:



Hundreds of motorcyclists rode into Brisbane on Saturday as part of a national July 4 "Independence Day" protest against anti-association laws.

About 400 bikers voiced their continued outrage at the draconian legislation at the Roma Street forum on Saturday as part of a coordinated national campaign, prompted by South Australian and Tasmanian plans to introduce Queensland-style laws in those states.

Queensland's Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act has, among other measures, made it illegal for groups of three or more outlaw motorcycle club members to meet in public.

The legislation has led to police pulling over riders with no links to outlaw clubs.

Rallies were also held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, along with a ride around Parliament House in Canberra.

Mike Smith, whose son formed part of the so-called 'Yandina 5', said it had been a "long battle" against Queensland's anti-association laws that he had no intention of ending.

"To me, it means the right to have a beer in the pub with my sons," he said.

"Right now, I still can't stand here with my two sons for fear of being arrested, whether it's a week later or a month later."

Mr Smith, a former member of the Rebels' Sunshine Coast chapter, had harsh words for both the former LNP and current Labor governments. [The ALP supported the VLAD laws in Parliament. They are never going to repeal them, and if the laws are replaced, it will be with something even more draconian.]

"When Newman brought these laws in, he thought we were all stupid, that we'd just roll over and play dead, but just look as us here still fighting over a year later," he said.

"Sadly, Annastacia Palaszczuk's making the same mistake, she's treating us like a bunch of dickheads and, unless we keep this up, she'll continue to.

"…The executive of this government has the power to suspend these laws, but they haven't. You know why? Because they don't care about us."

Mr Smith then led the crowd in a "f--- the government" chant as a small contingent of police looked on from the sidelines.

Chris Main, from Irish Bentley Lawyers, urged supporters to maintain their opposition against VLAD.

Irish Bentley represented the United Motorcycle Council of Queensland in its High Court challenge against the VLAD legislation last November.

Mr Main said there were positives to come out of the result of that unsuccessful High Court challenge.

"It wasn't a loss, it was actually a big win for us," he said.

"The High Court really did give us some indication that you guys are on to something."




Rallies held around country to protest anti-rights laws in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia [ABC - 4/7/15]:




... "The judge last week when he adjourned my son's cases said the executive of this Government have the power to suspend these laws but they haven't," Mr Smith said. [Yandina Five member Mike Smith]

Despite the determination to fight on, lawyers do not believe the legislation will be overturned - but they are advising people not to give up.

"Unity is important. Support for the cause is very, very important. Especially for those who are, I suppose, putting their neck out and being charged under these laws," lawyer Chris Main said.

In Melbourne, motorcyclist Max Iddles told the protest that bikies would fight similar laws from ever being introduced in Victoria.

"There's nothing in there about bikes, bikies, bikers, bike gangs. They are anti-people laws. They want control of the clubs," he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said in March that a national approach was needed to deal with criminal groups.

Dale Maggs from the Freedom Riders Association said bikies would stand together to prevent any tougher legislation that targets them.

"It has to stop and it has to stop now. We have to lobby hard and we have to be strong as a united group."


Man dead after workplace incident at transport business in the Hunter




Herald [4/7/15]:

A man has died following a workplace incident at Sandgate on Saturday morning.

The incident occurred at a transport business on Old Maitland Rd, Sandgate around 9.30am Saturday.

Emergency services were called to the location after reports of an incident.

Paramedics treated a 47-year-old man but he died at the scene.

The incident is being investigated by WorkCover NSW and Officers from Newcastle City Local Area Command.

No further details are known at this time.

A woman has alleged that surgery by a former University of Newcastle associate professor of gynaecology ‘‘had the effect of something like a sexual assault on her’’, a court has heard.

The woman has applied to have the NSW Supreme Court hear her damages claim of more than $1million against Dr Richard Reid after surgery in 2010.

The claim is higher than the NSW District Court limit of $750,000.

... [Herald - 3/7/15]





Serious assault, Coolangatta

QPS Media [4/7/15]:

Police are investigating a serious assault in Coolangatta this morning which has left a 39-year-old man with facial injuries.

At 12.50am, an altercation took place between a group of males on Griffith Street.

A 39-year-old man was punched in the back of his head, and fell to the ground hitting his face on the pavement.

He was taken to Tweed Heads Hospital with a broken nose and possible facial fractures.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Man charged with "serious assault police" after being capsicum sprayed and "restrained", Townsville



QPS Media [4/7/15]:


Police have charged a man after an incident in Flinders Street Townsville in which a police officer was punched in the face several times early this morning,

At 2.45am, police were called to a licensed premises in relation to a disturbance between a man and security guards.

It will be alleged the man refused to leave the area and violently resisted arrest before he pushed a male Senior Constable, causing the officer to fall to the ground.

The man allegedly fell on top of the officer, and punched him several times in the face.

The man was restrained following the deployment of capsicum spray and the assistance of other police officers.

The officer did not sustain any physical injuries.

A 22-year-old Yeppoon man is scheduled to appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on July 22 charged with fail to leave a licensed premises, and two counts of serious assault police.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.




Drug charges, Gladstone

QPS Media [4/7/15]:

A man has been charged following the discovery of an alleged drug lab at an Off Lane, Gladstone address yesterday.

It will be alleged at 4pm police executed a search warrant at the premises and seized a quantity of cannabis, methylamphetamine, other drug items and a clandestine laboratory.

A 27-year-old South Gladstone man is scheduled to appear in Gladstone Magistrates Court on July 21 charged with two counts of possessing dangerous drugs, and one count each of producing dangerous drugs, permitting use of a place, failing to take reasonable care and precautions in respect of a syringe or needle, possessing property suspected of having been used in connection with the commission of a drug offence, and possessing pipes.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Teenagers injured by hit and run, Perth



WA Today [4/7/15]:



A 17-year-old girl is in hospital with critical injuries after being hit by a hoon driver on Friday night.

Police had been called to a car park on Westport Parade in Darch around 10.50pm after reports of a driver doing "burn outs".

The driver lost control, hit a parked car and then drove up a kerb onto a grassed area and hit a group of people who were standing there.

The 17-year-old was left with critical injuries to her left leg. Another girl received a minor ankle injury.

The hoon driver, a 17-year-old boy, ran from the scene but was detained by police a short time later at his home in Darch.





Fatal traffic crash, Clontarf

QPS Media [4/7/15]:

A man died yesterday afternoon following a two vehicle traffic crash at Clontarf.

Initial information suggests around 1.50pm a motor cycle collided with a sedan at the intersection of Yacht Street and Cornelius Street.

The 21-year-old rider of the motorcycle died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

The 28-year-old male driver of the sedan was not physically injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Serious traffic crash, Tannum Sands

QPS Media [4/7/15]:

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating a serious single vehicle traffic incident in Tannum Sands this morning which has left a 34-year-old man in a critical condition.

Initial information suggests at 12.15am, a motorcycle was travelling southbound along Cremorne Street when it left the road, crossed onto the opposite side of the street and went onto the footpath between Latrobe and Pryde Streets.

The motorbike collided with a carport and two vehicles.

The man was transported to Gladstone Base Hospital with serious head injuries, a broken leg and fractured ribs.

He will be airlifted to Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Road closures for Gold Coast Marathon




QPS Media [4/7/15]:

Acting Inspector Ben Nielsen from Gold Coast District Major Events Group has advised people intending on coming to the Gold Coast on Sunday 5 July to take the GC Airport Marathon into consideration. Road closures will be in place from Paradise Point (north), down to Miami (south) from 4am to 2pm.

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon is a great tourism event, but unfortunately there will be some traffic disruption. Please consider your journey into Southport, Main Beach, and Surfers Paradise.

The Sundale Bridge (between Southport and Main Beach) will be slow going from 6am to 2pm. If you need to get to Main Beach (Seaworld) or Surfers Paradise, look at alternate routes from the south; via Chevron Island, Isle of Capri or even Broadbeach.

If you are a participant or spectator attending the race precinct, check out the Gold Coast Airport Marathon website for transport options.

 The G:link light rail service is free to registered participants from 4am to 3pm, and a great way to access the race precinct, as parking in Southport will be limited.

The full road closures are listed below  ...





Solar-powered plane lands in Hawaii, pilot sets nonstop record

Channel News Asia [4/7/15]:


A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun's energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel.

Pilot Andre Borschberg's 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.

Borschberg, who took off from Nagoya, Japan, on Monday on the seventh leg of the journey, landed at 5:55 a.m.(1155 EDT) on Friday in Kalaeloa after five days and nights.

The aircraft, piloted alternatively by Swiss explorers Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, set off on its 22,000-mile (35,000-km) journey around the world from Abu Dhabi on March 9.

The next leg would be from Honolulu to Phoenix, Arizona, and then Borschberg and Piccard will fly together across the Atlantic on a return path to Abu Dhabi.

Borschberg navigates alone in an unheated and unpressurized cockpit, sleeping in bursts of 20 minutes while on autopilot.

Addressing the pilot on a live online broadcast from the Solar Impulse Mission Control Center in Monaco, an ecstatic Peter Frei, head of the project's conceptual design and aerodynamics, congratulated the team on 12 years of work culminating in what he called a historic moment.

"Andre, what you did is unbelievable," Frei said. "I can't even imagine what it takes to be five days up there, with so little sleep and such a complex and crippled aircraft."

Studies, design and construction took 12 years and a first version of the plane rolled out in 2009 and broke records for heights and distances traveled by a manned solar plane.

The plane was created in order to encourage governments to replace pollutants with clean technology.

"Our airplane has not been built to carry passengers but to convey a message," says Piccard.



Shell to drill for oil in Arctic despite mass protests [teleSUR -2/7/15]





Under the Dome: Investigating China’s Smog (2015):



 A controversial film by celebrity journalist Chai Jing investigating China's air pollution problems

Chai Jing started making the documentary when her as yet unborn daughter developed a tumor in the womb, which had to be removed very soon after her birth.  Chai blames air pollution for the tumor.

The film, which combines footage of a lecture with interviews and factory visits, has been compared with Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth in both its style and likely impact. 

It clocked up over 200 million views before the government got so worried that they banned it from all Chinese websites.






... Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
The blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
In the streets!

Pablo Neruda



On the St,in front of a Hospital in #Gaza an injured man with his x-Ray& child Waiting to be treated ...

Image: @DrBasselAbuward [29/7/14]



The destruction in Beit hanoun #gaza is almost beyond belief ...


Image: @OliverWeiken - Photographer for European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) [26/7/14]




UN rights body calls for Gaza war crimes trials [France - 4/7/15]:


The United Nation's Human Rights Council called overwhelmingly Friday for those responsible for war crimes during last summer's Gaza conflict to be brought to trial.

Forty-five countries, including France, Germany and Britain supported the resolution, with only the United States voting against.

Israel's representative Eviatar Manor lambasted the decision, accusing the council of being an "agent provocateur", while his Palestinian opposite number Ibrahim Khraishi was jubilant.

The vote comes in the wake of a scathing UN report detailing "possible war crimes" during the 51 days of fighting.

The head of the UN's inquiry Mary McGowan Davis said investigators had found "serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by Israel and Palestinian armed groups, in some cases amounting to war crimes."

The resolution did not point the finger at those responsible but said they should face justice in either national or international courts.

Although the council does not have the power to order that suspects be brought before the International Criminal Court (ICC), it urged both Israel and Palestinian authorities to "cooperate fully" with any criminal inquiries that may be opened.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the resolution saying it "sends a strong message that the perpetrators of serious violations should be held to account. Israel and Palestine, as well as Hamas, should respect the resolution?s call to cooperate with the International Criminal Court."

Palestinians have been trying to bring criminal proceedings against Israel at the ICC as part of an increased focus on diplomatic manoeuvring and appeals to international bodies.

More than 2,140 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed during the conflict in July and August 2014. Of the 73 deaths on the Israeli side, most were soldiers.

The UN report criticised the "huge firepower" Israel used in Gaza, particularly against residential buildings and UN schools, and questioned whether a policy of civilian attacks had been "approved at least tacitly by decision-makers at the highest levels of the government of Israel."

It also condemned the "indiscriminate" firing of thousands of rockets and mortars by Palestinian forces at Israel, which it said appeared to have been intended to "spread terror" among Israeli civilians.

Five countries including India and Kenya abstained from Friday's vote.






Another Yavneh alumnus hurt in Gaza [Australian Jewish News - 1/8/14]




Aussie Zionists training to fight for Israel [ABC - 29/11/12]








Thousands of people have flooded the streets of EU cities in mass demonstrations expressing solidarity with Greece ahead of this weekend’s referendum on a cash-for-reform deal with its Troika of creditors.

The participants of UK-based Global Justice Now staged a solidarity protest at the British Museum. The banners read: “OXI [No in Greek],” “No More Looting” and “Support Greece.”

“We’re here to say OXI to the modern-day looting of Greece through forced austerity and privatization to pay off the reckless loans of European banks,” said Jonathan Stevenson from the Jubilee Debt Campaign while taking part in the protest.  ... [RT - 3/7/15]



Brisbane's Greek community shows solidarity with its homeland [Brisbane Times – 4/7/15]



A Way Out for Greece, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs [Project Syndicate - 3/7/15]








@RhettBurnie [4/7/15]:   Hundreds roll into North Terrace protesting the state government's tough new bikie laws ...






‏@RhettBurnie:  Protesters show their patches on steps of SA State Parliament, furious with new bikie laws. ...





Callout to protest against Constitutional Recognition

Ghillar Michael Anderson, First Nations Telegraph [1/7/15]














We were all sleeping at night when the sound of dogs woke me.

It was about 1 o’clock in the morning. I saw through the window of my room that about 40 anti-riot guards with dogs had attacked on the front doors of the rooms of people whose names were on a list to be returned to Nauru.

They took everyone, including me, violently, to the buses that waited for us.

When anyone resisted, they tied their hands by the use of force with plastic handcuffs. We were all so scared.







Janet Galbraith, The Saturday Paper [4/7/15]:

... Arezo is a woman trapped by abuse. Her story first appeared in The Saturday Paper last year, before it became part of the Moss review into conditions on Nauru.

She told the review of how – barely conscious after a suicide attempt – she was sexually assaulted by a male nurse contracted to fulfil the responsibilities of the Australian government.

She detailed her experience of guards masturbating and laughing as they accompanied her and the other women from a medical appointment.

In the published document of the Moss review, much of Arezo’s testament is redacted. But immigration and others are aware of the abuse Arezo has endured.


“Having had previous surgeries, a doctor in my country warned me that if I have another cyst and I don’t take it seriously or get medical help soon enough, I will lose my ovary or my womb,” Arezo told me.

“Today I told the doctor: ‘If you say I’m good, then why do I have such pain? If you say I am good, why can’t I control my urine?’

The doctor told me: ‘Why do you want to show yourself sick?’

They tell me that I don’t have any physical problem. Again I told the doctor that I have urine control problem. I said: ‘Isn’t it a problem?’

She said: ‘Almost everyone here has this problem and they pee in their beds.’

I said: ‘Is it really normal?’

She said: ‘No, but it’s not dangerous.’

The only thing that is not important here is a human being’s life.”





Darwin's former youth detention centre is being used as a holding area for asylum seekers before they are transferred to offshore detention on Nauru. ... [ABC - 3/7/15]



Moves against Nauru opposition MP go against international human rights law: Experts [RNZI - 4/7/15]:

Lawyers specialising in international law say moves against an opposition MP in Nauru go against international human rights law.

The Nauru government has cancelled Roland Kun's passport over security fears, preventing him from returning to his family living in New Zealand.

A council member of the Australian/New Zealand Society of International Law Kim Rubenstein says the moves against Mr Kun are an assault on his rights to free speech, movement and family life as laid down in an international covenant.

"Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights protects freedom of expression, the cancellation of his passport in Nauru has an impact on his freedom of movement and Article 12 affirms the right to liberty of movement and the capacity to be free to leave any country including your own country."

Professor Rubenstein says she is preparing a letter for members to sign which will go to the Foreign Ministers of Australia and New Zealand highlighting their concerns.

Nauru signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 2001.






UN Human Rights Council condemns systematic gross violations of human rights against Rohingya in Rakhine


UN Human Rights Council adopts texts on enhancing the efficiency of the Council, Rohingya Muslims, the protection of the family, and Ukraine [Media Release - 3/7/15]:

The Human Rights Council this morning adopted four texts, a Presidential Statement on enhancing the efficiency of the Council, and three resolutions on the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the protection of the family, and technical cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights.

In the Presidential Statement on enhancing the efficiency of the Council, the Council the decided to improve further the voluntary yearly calendar for thematic resolutions of the Human Rights Council, and requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop, manage and support, as soon as possible, a more distinguishable, accessible and user-friendly webpage for the Human Rights Council, its mechanisms and procedures, including a user-friendly extranet.

With regard to the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, the Council condemned the systematic gross violations of human rights and abuses committed against all, including Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, and called upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure the protection of human rights of all persons in Myanmar, including Rohingya Muslims.

It called upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure the return of all refugees and persons displaced from their home; and urged it to grant full citizenship rights to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State.

Myanmar, speaking as the concerned country, said this resolution was counter-protective. The notion of Muslims in Myanmar being subjected to human rights violations was totally wrong and baseless. The constitution guaranteed freedom of religion. Myanmar rejected the draft resolution as a whole.

Concerning the protection of the family, the Council reaffirmed that the family was the natural and fundamental group unit of society and was entitled to protection by society and the State. The Council requested the High Commissioner to prepare a report on the impact of the implementation by States of their obligations under relevant provisions of international human rights law with regard to the protection of the family. The Council adopted the resolution by a vote of 29 in favour, 14 against, and 4 abstentions.

Regarding cooperation and assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights, the Council welcomed the technical assistance to Ukraine in the field of human rights provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and acknowledged the further need for such assistance. The Council invited the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to present orally to the Council the findings of each of the periodic reports of the Office of the High Commissioner on the situation of human rights in Ukraine, as part of the interactive dialogues, until the thirty-second session of the Council. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 21 in favour, 6 against and 20 abstentions.

Introducing texts this morning were Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Africa, Norway, Uruguay, Pakistan, and Ukraine.

Speaking in general comments were: Russian Federation, United States, Japan, Estonia, Viet Nam, Algeria, Mexico, Venezuela, China, Qatar, Bangladesh, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Latvia on behalf of the European Union.

Speaking on taking action or no-action on Amendment L.37 on draft resolution L.25 were China, Indonesia, Brazil, and United Kingdom.

Cuba, Venezuela, Qatar, Netherlands, Morocco, Mexico, Latvia on behalf of the European Union, South Africa, Paraguay, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Japan, United States, Sierra Leone, Russian Federation, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Ireland, and Saudi Arabia spoke in explanation of the vote before or after the vote.

Action on Resolution on the Human Rights Situation of Rohingya Muslims and Other Minorities in Myanmar

In a resolution (A/HRC/29/L.30) on the human rights situation of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar, adopted without a vote, the Council condemns the systematic gross violations of human rights and abuses committed against all, including Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State; calls upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure the protection of human rights of all persons in Myanmar, including Rohingya Muslims; calls upon the Government of Myanmar to take the necessary measures to address the spread of discrimination and prejudice against Muslims; and urges the Government of Myanmar to protect places of worships belonging to all religions. The Council calls upon the Government of Myanmar to ensure the return of all refugees and persons displaced from their home; and urges it to grant full citizenship rights to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. The Council requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present an oral update to the Council at its thirtieth Session and a report at its thirty-second Session on the human rights violations and abuses against Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.

The Council started its consideration of this resolution on 2 July and a summary can be seen here.


Photo project shows life through the eyes of Rohingya refugee children [Coconuts Yangon – 3/7/15]




I need pub lock-out evidence: Gordon

SBS [4/7/15]:

Queensland MP Billy Gordon wants proof that the state government's proposed 1am lock-out of pubs and clubs is actually required.

The Labor-turned-independent MP, whose support Labor needs to pass laws in parliament, says the proposal could hurt tourism and small businesses in his far north Queensland electorate.

"It's premature as to whether I would support this or not. But anecdotally I don't see substantive evidence to put in blanket legislation like this," Mr Gordon told the [Rupert Murdoch's FNQ hate rag the] Cairns Post.






Adani shown the door by traditional owners [Brisbane Times - 4/7/15]:



... So here we have a deal which is no only an utter white elephant on a financial basis but which does not have consent from the traditional landowners in the Galilee Basin.

They say the mine will destroy their land, yet the Labor government of Queensland came out this week in ardent support of it.

We welcome the "sustainable development of the Galilee Basin", was the line from Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Wednesday, notwithstanding revelations in Fairfax Media the day before that Queensland Treasury thought the project unbankable.

There is zero chance of "sustainable development". Adani's own financial modelling assumes coal prices have to double for the project to make money.

As one incredulous hedge fund source pondered this week: "Peabody does 36 million tonnes per annum and they'd take $2 billion any day of the week ... what am I missing here? Money laundering?"










Come into the fold "comrade":  Senator's independent voice clearly bothering the duopoly fascists [The Saturday Paper - 4/7/15]





… And here’s the kicker: though they might appear to be natural enemies, though they have no common staff and have separate listings with the corporate regulator, the two lobbying concerns share a couple of important things other than an operating model.

First, clients: they regularly refer clients to one another. But second, and more importantly, they share an owner.

The most politically connected company in Australia is one most people would never have heard of.

Its name is STW Group, and it is Australia’s largest marketing company. It owns about 75 businesses: PR firms, research companies, marketing PR, web design, all manner of communications and content outfits, and political lobbyists.

... [The Saturday Paper - 4/7/15]






US responses lack credibility. France and Germany, if they are serious about protecting their economic and political integrity, can insist, as with nuclear treaties, on site inspection rights and a verification protocol.  

WikiLeaks [3/7/15]:



Today, Friday 3 July 1900 CEST, WikiLeaks continues its "Euro Intercepts" series, adding to US and UK intercepts of the French and German leadership published last week.

Today's Top Secret US intelligence intercept details intelligence gathered based on communications relayed in December 2011 between French president Nikolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a future European financial crisis.

German Chancellory EU Affairs Chief Landrut was also intercepted reporting the positions of his French counterpart Presidency Secretary-General Xavier Musca and EU Council President Herman van Rompuy.

The classified report details Franco–German approaches to, and positions on, the drafting of a new financial treaty to help prevent future European financial crises.

Notably, the publication shows US intelligence interest in a wider European field. For example, it includes Sweden's "outrage[d]" reaction to the UK withdrawing from the proposed treaty.

Today's publication is the first intercept published based on intelligence gathered through the infamous joint NSA and CIA collection unit, SCS (Special Collection Service).

The SCS is a covert signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection programme, where NSA employees work under diplomatic cover to conduct foreign surveillance from US embassies.

The intelligence appears to have been conducted from US embassies in both Berlin and Paris, both of which installed "SCS" interception sites.

The Top Secret intercept published today is part of the daily reports created by the NSA Summary Services Office and distributed to the US Executive.

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said: "Today's publication demonstrates yet again that the United States' has for years waged a very serious economic and political espionage campaign against the heart of Europe. A crime has been committed and ample proof has been provided. US responses lack credibility. France and Germany, if they are serious about protecting their economic and political integrity, can insist, as with nuclear treaties, on site inspection rights and a verification protocol. The 'Open Skies' policy was an important element in policing state behaviour in the Cold War. Perhaps it's time for 'Open Spies'."

The intercept for today's publication can be found here.






An Attack on Press Freedom: SPIEGEL Targeted by US Intelligence [Spiegel - 3/7/15]


Statements by French politicians regarding Assange asylum [Justice 4 Assange - 3/7/15]:

The French Presidency stated in response to the Assange open letter on 3 July 2015 that:

"Mr. Assange has not made an asylum request, since Ofpra [the authority that considers asylum requests] has not received an application. We have carefully read the political, legal, and technical details of his situation."

In relation to misreporting earlier, mainly via Le Monde who had reported that JA had made an asylum request and it had been rejected, the Presidency said that following:

"Our reply was clear, nevertheless it was important to move quickly because one is aware of the shortfalls of the media."

The Presidency’s spokesperson also told Mediapart that Mr. Assange should make an asylum application.





Julian Assange : « En m’accueillant, la France accomplirait un geste humanitaire » [Le Monde - 3/7/15]









Australian No.1 Bernard Tomic has launched an extraordinary attack on Tennis Australia, claiming he's been abandoned by the governing body.  ... [SBS  - 3/7/15]






4 July 2015