At least 24 anti-government armed militants were killed 24 others were wounded in the latest counter-terrorism operations conducted by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said.
The operations were conducted in various provinces of the country to clear the areas where the anti-government armed militants are active. ... [Khaama - 4/3/16]
Nigerians staged fresh protest rallies across the country to call for the immediate freedom of jailed Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
On Thursday, demonstrators took to the streets in several cities, including Zaria, Kano, Kaduna, Yola, in large numbers to protest against the recent killings of Shiite Muslims by the Nigerian army and the continued detention of IMN leader and members. ... [Tasnim - 4/3/16]
Shell faces further suit over Nigeria oil spills [CNBC – 2/3/16]
The United States delivered eight Black Hawk helicopters to Jordan on Thursday to help its regional ally defend itself against the threat of Islamic State militants, Jordanian and US officials said.
They said another eight Black Hawks would begin arriving next year under a military aid deal worth about $200 million.
The helicopters are central to a US-funded "Quick Reaction Force" set up by Jordan to counter Islamic State (IS) group, which controls large swathes of territory in neighbouring Iraq and Syria. ... [Ahram - 3/3/16]
A young Shia Muslim man has reportedly lost his life in captivity after being tortured at the hands of Saudi regime forces in the kingdom’s oil-rich al-Qatif region of the Eastern Province.
Informed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Makki al-Ariz died on Friday "under torture" in police custody in the city of al-Awamiyah, located some 390 kilometers (242 miles) northeast of the capital, Riyadh, Arabic-language Bahrain al-Youm news website reported. ... [Press TV - 4/3/16]
US drone strikes kill 4 in southern Yemen, gunmen kill 16 at an aged care home [Press TV - 4/3/16]
Yemen: UN humanitarian chief urges civilian protection, access to all parts of country [Media Release - 3/3/16]
The government has spent $280,000 hiring a project manager for its Saudi sheep deal, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully says.
In a written answer to the Labour Party, Mr McCully said New Zealand Trade and Enterprise retained a project manager for $280,000 - from January 2014 to June this year.
That was on top of the $11.5 million worth of cash, sheep and agricultural equipment, the government has already given to a disgruntled Saudi sheikh in an attempt to progress a free trade deal with the Gulf States. [RNZI - 4/3/16]
Saudi Arabia and the West: What the Saudi Leaks tell us - an interview with Julian Assange [New Internationalist - March, 2016]:
... ‘In a US cable we published from 10 years ago William Roebuck, the US ambassador to Syria, outlines a smörgåsbord of proposals for destroying the Assad government. It included trying to make it paranoid so that it overreacts and believes that its military forces are engaged in a coup against it; trying to make Sunni Syrians paranoid about Iran and Iranian-backed Shi’a wanting to convert Sunnis; and that it [the US] was going to try and work with Saudi and Egypt to increase these sectarian divisions. ’ ...
Newly translated WikiLeaks Saudi Cable: Overthrow the Syrian regime, but play nice with Russia [Levant Report - 25/2/16]
The prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, wants to send Danish troops to fight the jihadist organisation Islamic State in Syria.
Rasmussen said he would today inform the foreign policy committee, Udenrigspolitisk Nævn, about a Danish contribution in Syria.
“The world is so small today that we can’t turn our backs on this,” Rasmussen said according to Metroxpress newspaper.
“So Denmark must contribute. We already do and we will continue to do so.”
The contribution of Danish forces will most probably consist of F-16 fighter jets and special forces and become part of a battle that won’t end in the near future, according to experts.
It’s not the first time that Denmark has sent troops to fight IS. Danish F-16 jets returned home to Denmark for repairs and rest last October after taking part in the coalition’s bombing campaign against IS in Iraq.
Now they are just about ready to be deployed again. [Copenhagen Post - 4/3/16]
The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s large amphibious assault ship Novocherkassk is expected to arrive at Russia’s naval facility in Tartus with supplies for the Russian forces in Syria, a military and diplomatic source told TASS on Thursday. ... [TASS - 3/3/16]
Two civilians were killed and 25 others were injured in terrorist rocket attacks on al-Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo on Thursday. ... [SANA - 3/3/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [3/3/16]:
Baghdad: News agencies: Dead bodies of woman and child stabbed have been found in a public square in Sayafiya area in Mada'in district south of Baghdad .......................
Baghdad: News agencies:A roadside bomb exploded near the housing buildings in Siha neighbourhoods in Doura today evening killing two persons and wounding 5................
Baghdad: News agencies:A roadside bomb exploded near shops in Furat neighbourhood west of Baghdad today evening killing a person and wounding 7................
UNHCR issues 6 recommendations to help States solve quickly deteriorating refugee situation in #Europe.
#1 Implement fully “hot spot” approach and relocation of asylum-seekers out of Greece & Italy.
#2 Increase support to Greece to handle humanitarian emergency, incl. for refugee status determination, relocation, return or readmission
#3 Ensure compliance with all the EU laws and directives on asylum among Member States.
#4 Make available more safe, legal ways for refugees to travel to Europe – humanitarian admission, private sponsorship, family reunion, etc
#5 Develop systems to protect children, prevent & respond to sexual & gender-based violence, save lives by cracking down on smuggling, etc.
#6 Create registration centers for asylum-seekers in main arrival countries & distribute asylum requests in equitable way to Member States
UNHCR calls for solidarity & strong leadership from #Europe. "There is no other option than working together to solve this" @RefugeesChief
Equitable sharing for responsibility key to managing situation, i.e. through system of % of asylum-seekers for each Member State to take
Europe will set Greece a deadline of May 12 to register all migrants in an orderly fashion or face more border controls, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a German newspaper on Friday. ... [Ekathimerini - 4/3/16]
@PROACTIVA_SERV [4/3/16]: Idomeni, border with Macedonia. For some, this image is only a woman and one child more. For others it is a picture of European barbarism ...
@pmarsupia [3/3/16]: 15.000 personas durmiendo en frontera Grecia-Macedonia. Ahora llueve a mares. Imaginad la noche q les espera.
@pmarsupia [1/3/16]: "Cruzamos el mar, pero ahora estamos bloqueados. Tengo 4 hijos y ya no me queda casi dinero ni tengo otro plan"
A Turkish court on Friday sentenced two Syrians to four years in jail over the drowning of five people including toddler Aylan Kurdi, the image of whose dead body sparked global sympathy last September over the fate of migrants, Dogan news agency said.
Three-year-old Aylan, whose body washed up on a beach in southwest Turkey, drowned along with his mother and brother among a group of migrants trying to reach Greece by boat.
The two Syrians were each sentenced to four years and two months in jail for smuggling, Dogan reported. They were acquitted of a charge of causing death through conscious neglect. ... [Reuters - 4/3/16]
Proactiva Open Arms [3/3/16]:
Yesterday we took a step forward. Refugees' voice was heard inside the European Parliament.
Our testimony, as sharp as real, gave visibility to thousands of tragedies invisible to the eyes of those who make decisions there.
The vulnerability of refugees women and children stopped being a subject to be measured in quotas or statistics.
We talked about the abuses they suffer, about the risky journey in only 8 km between Turkey and Europe, a zone that has become the deadliest point on the refugees route fleeing horror and war.
It is encouraging to hear dissenting voices about the decisions taken there fighting to have European solidarity and unity versus the selfishness of dehumanized States. It all adds up.
EU Council President Donald Tusk echoes anti-refugee views of Australian political and media establishment [Reuters - 3/3/16]:
... "I want to appeal to all potential illegal economic migrants wherever you are from: Do not come to Europe. Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing," Tusk said. ...
@RYP__ [4/3/16]: I took a photo of Christopher Catrambone and the #Phoenix. They head out to the #AndamanSea next week. #MOAS
Grandmothers Against Detention Protest on 16 March:
The group Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children will be protesting on the lawns of Parliament House at 9am on Wednesday 16 March, calling for an end to detention with the message “Our grandchildren do not belong in detention, and nor do anybody else’s.”
“We are going to tell our elected representatives we will NOT stand by and allow the detention of babies, children, and their families.
WE will NOT stand by and watch 267 asylum-seekers in Australia be returned to Nauru – babies, children and families.
We’ve participated in numerous rallies, vigils, walks, chants and postcard and letter-writing campaigns.
Now we’re heading for Federal Parliament.”
This is not a RAC [Refugee Action Committee Canberra] event, but we encourage our supporters to join in if they can.
You don’t have to be a grandmother to participate, but come dressed in purple if you want to fit in.
I call on professional "advocates" to stop exploiting refugees to get the ALP elected by default.
Protest ALL anti-refugee politicians.
... Mr Burke said Australia would not resile from sending unaccompanied children to detention centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and said asylum seekers would be sent to Nauru soon. ...
[Sydney Morning Herald - 15/8/13]
Minister Tony Burke listens to asylum seekers during his tour of facilities in Nauru. [Department of Immigration - 26/7/13]
Asylum seeker advocates have condemned the Australian government for releasing pictures of a group of Iranians apparently distraught at being told they will never be allowed to settle in Australia under new immigration rules.
The photographs and videos – which are blurred to preserve individuals' identities – show some of the 81 Iranian people whose boat was intercepted by Australian customs north of Christmas Island on Saturday morning, the minister for home affairs, Jason Clare, told Guardian Australia.
They include a photograph of a woman crying, with head in hands, captioned: "A female asylum seeker comes to terms with the fact she won't be settled in Australia."
Immigration minister Tony Burke said he made "no apologies" for the photographs on Monday evening, adding he was "determined to get the message out as quickly and as forcefully as possible that anyone who comes by boat now without a visa will not be settled in Australia.
"Getting this message out is critical to stopping people from drowning at sea and I make no apology for maximising that opportunity to get the message out," he said.
... 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]
A prison within a prison for gay refugees on Nauru [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/3/16]:
... The refugees, known by the pseudonyms Nima and Ashkan, live in the Nauruan community.
They say they spend their lives confined in a tiny unit with the doors locked and window shades drawn - leaving just once a week to buy food, escorted by a case manager.
"We would love to live in a country where we can love each other without any barriers … and Australia is such a country," Nima told Fairfax Media through an interpreter, speaking on the phone from Nauru.
In one alleged assault one evening in July last year, the men were walking home carrying their shopping when their path was blocked by three local men.
The refugees allege the men asked if they were partners, which they confirmed, before the men said "f*ck you" and beat them with sticks, forcing them to the ground.
The refugees said they sustained bruising and were taken to hospital.
Ashkan allegedly suffered concussion and was kept overnight In an attack the following month,
Nima was allegedly punched in the head by two men on motorbikes, who yelled "you f***ing gays".
ABC churns out "good" refugee yarns as sadism continues being perpetrated in our name [4/3/16]:
This year's Olympics in Brazil will feature a unique team, made up entirely of refugees. Their inclusion is part of an International Olympic Committee pledge to help elite athletes who've been displaced. Australia has nominated one athlete to be part of the team, but the Australian Olympic Committee is searching for more.
Stop the lies and false choices: Australia no longer accepts refugees and is stopping people from seeking asylum by pushing boats back, incarceration and torture [SBS - 10/7/15]
Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.
In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.
The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014.
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
... For the chance to live again ...
Stand With Us (Remix), Scattered People (2005)
"Everything seemed designed to take away the dignity of any person" Refugee Action Coalition hosted a forum about what women endure on Nauru [VIDEO - Green Left Weekly - 2/3/16]
IWD 2016 Melbourne Rally:
This year’s International Women’s Day rally will take place TUESDAY, 8 MARCH 2016 at 5:30PM at the STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA on Swanston Street.
We will rally at the library and march through the streets of Melbourne (see the march route posted below).
WOMEN OF THE WORLD UNITE FOR WOMEN'S LIBERATION, DECOLONISATION, AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE!
Rally and march for the liberation of all women, irrespective of race, ethnicity, class, ability, age, caste, origin, or immigration status.
Decolonise Australia. Decolonise the world. Sovereignty and self-determination for First Nations peoples. Treaty Now. Justice for the Stolen Generations. Stop child removals. Pay back stolen wages. End the NT intervention. Stop the forced closure of Aboriginal communities. Stop Aboriginal deaths in custody.
An end to racism
End all wars and make reparations. End racist oppression, Islamophobia, and white supremacy. End Australia’s racist immigration policies. Open the borders. Close the camps. Free the refugees. Let them stay. Combat the rise of fascism in all its forms in Australia and worldwide.
A liveable income for all women. Security in employment and an end to precarious work. Increase the minimum wage, protect a strong safety net of minimum conditions, and maintain penalty rates. Equal pay for equal or comparable work, paid maternity leave, and free and accessible childcare. Affirmative action to ensure equality in women’s retirement income.
The right to join and contribute to unions and organise free from harassment and intimidation.
Comprehensive income support for the unemployed, parents of children up to the age of 18, the aged, carers, and people with disabilities. An end to work for the dole and all forms of income management.
Recognition of and compensation for women’s unpaid labour. Protection from discrimination, free healthcare, and affordable housing for all.
Full reproductive rights and justice for all women, irrespective of class, race, sexuality, and ability. Reproductive choice controlled by women for women. Free, accessible abortion on demand and the right for lesbian and single women to access reproductive treatment. An end to forced sterilisation. The freedom and resources to raise our children in safety.
Sexual liberation and transgender rights
The right to express our gender and sexuality free from discrimination, harassment, and violence.
An end to violence against women
An end to all forms of violence against women, including sexual, physical, psychological, social, and financial abuse. Restore and increase funding to domestic violence, crisis prevention, legal, and support services.
Equality, justice, and visibility for women of all and varying abilities. The end to discrimination in work and education, and access to housing and health services for women with disabilities. An end to violence, abuse, and oppression of people with disabilities.
Immediate action to stop environmental destruction
Stop climate change, hold the corporations to account, and compensate all victims worldwide. Move towards a just transition to a sustainable world.
Free, accessible education
Free public education. No fees for degrees. Restore full government funding to TAFEs, adult, and community education, and not-for-profit organisations.
“They keep us in detention because we are found to be innocent,” he said.
“They don’t want to say, ‘We were wrong’. They think, ‘We should keep them in detention to avoid embarrassment.’”
UN called for Sayed Abdellatif's release in April 2015 [Guardian - 7/12/15]:
… Abdellatif and his family arrived in Australia in May 2012. Australia assessed his claim for protection and found that he and his family had legitimate claims to refugee status.
But while the family were in immigration detention in 2013 Australian authorities were alerted to an Interpol red notice that said that in 1999 Abdellatif was convicted – in a mass show trial in Cairo of 107 men – of premeditated murder, destruction of property, and possession of firearms and explosives. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The trial, criticised by rights groups at the time, was later found to have been fraudulent. Evidence against Abdellatif was obtained by “severe torture”, including electric shocks.
Concerning Mr. Sayed Abdellatif, Ms. A, and their six children: B, C, D, E, F and G [UN Human Rights Council, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention - April 2015]
Arbitrary Detention: UN expert group releases its Opinions on 29 detention cases from 14 countries [OHCHR Media Release - 3/3/16]
UN Victory in Assange Case: Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]
Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton playing god, as media praises him for it - is WRONG [The Age - 3/3/16]
Feel safe Australia? -----> 20-year-old jailed for a month until he gave answers to the ACC "that satisfied them" [Guardian - 4/3/16]:
... “The Australian Crime Commission regime where they have very draconian powers to force people to give evidence is a great concern. These powers are now obviously being exercised frequently and regularly,” said Stephen Blanks, the president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.
“There is almost no scrutiny or accountability with how the ACC works. And it is entirely possible that its activities are a significant factor in deterring people in the Australian community from cooperating with law enforcement agencies because of the fear that draconian powers will be used against them.” ...
Former Anonymous member Adam John Bennett given suspended sentence for website hacking [ABC - 3/3/16]
... One bomb, the whole block gone
Can't find me children and dust covers the sun
Everywhere is noise, panic and confusion
But to some another fun day in Babylon ...
'Bombs', Faithless 
4 March 2016