... Born on different sides of life
But we feel the same and feel all of this strife
So come to me when I'm asleep
And we'll cross the line and dance upon the streets ...
'Through The Barricades' Spandau Ballet 
Afghanistan: UN strongly condemns 'tragic, inexcusable' Kunduz hospital airstrike [Media Release - 3/10/15]:
... From Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said there must be a swift, full and transparent investigation into the airstrikes that hit the clinic.
“This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable, and possibly even criminal,” Mr. Zeid said in a news release.
“International and Afghan military planners have an obligation to respect and protect civilians at all times, and medical facilities and personnel are the object of a special protection. These obligations apply no matter whose air force is involved, and irrespective of the location."
According to MSF, pro-Government forces had been informed of the precise location of the medical facilities.
While it has yet to be established whether or not the hospital or immediate surroundings were the target of the attack, or were recklessly endangered by it, airstrikes reportedly continued to hit the area for a further 30 minutes after pro-Government forces were informed they were endangering a medical facility. ...
The Intercept [3/10/15]:
… This strike on a hospital in Afghanistan comes days after the Saudi-led coalition bombed a wedding in Yemen that killed more than 130 people.
After days of silence from the U.S. Government – which has actively participated from the start in the heinous bombing of Yemen – Ambassador Power finally acknowledged the wedding massacre, but treated it like some natural disaster that has nothing to do with the U.S.: “Terrible news from Yemen of killing of innocent civilians & aid workers. Urgently need pol solution to crisis,” she tweeted.
Her accompanying statement claimed that “the United States has no role in the targeting decisions made by the Coalition in Yemen,” but yesterday, the Saudi Foreign Minister told CBS News that “We work with our allies including the United States on these targets.”
There’s no dispute that the U.S. has lavished the Saudis with all sorts of weapons and intelligence as it carries out its civilian-massacring attacks on Yemen.
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [3/10/15]:
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, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL headquarters building, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL fighting position and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Kobani, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL headquarters building and wounded two ISIL fighters.
-- Near Abu Kamal, two strikes struck an ISIL crude oil collection point.
-- Near Hawl, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL bunker complex.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL tactical vehicles.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck two ISIL rocket rails.
-- Near Huwayjah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position, suppressed an ISIL mortar position and wounded three ISIL fighters.
-- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL homemade explosive cache.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three heavy machine guns and four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL buildings, an ISIL tunnel, an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL sniper position, an ISIL bunker, two ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL obstacles and wounded two ISIL fighters.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three heavy machine guns and four ISIL fighting positions.
Six boats, carrying a total of about 150 migrants, have been detected off the coast of Spain, according to the local Maritime Rescue Service.
The rescue service said on Saturday that all the refugees would be transferred to the Andalusian ports of Almeria and Motril in Granada province. ... [Sputnik News - 4/10/15]
@katrinkaputt [4/10/15]: Republic of Croatia #bapska south now has a baby changing station #refugeeswelcome #NoBorders #Croatia #hrvatska
@katrinkaputt [3/10/15]: #refugees crossing the #border in #bapska. We need lights! ...
@MSF_Sea [3/10/15]: ... The 128 people rescued by the #Dignity1 yesterday have disembarked in #Pozzallo.
@MSF_Sea [3/10/15]: Two years on from the #Lampedusa tragedy and #EU policies are still forcing men, women and children into the sea
@moas_eu [3/10/15]: The #Phoenix has just departed for its month-long journey to the Bay of Bengal. Bon voyage! ...
... "While children and young people are living in circumstance of intentional deprivation by government decree in detention centres and Manus Island and Nauru managed by Transfield, it cannot and should not be business as usual."
The comments prompted a standing ovation from much of the audience and several academic staff on stage. ... Joanne McCarthy receives University of Newcastle honourary Doctorate of Letters, blasts Transfield deal [The Herald - 2/10/15]
Young refugees attacked on Nauru
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [4/10/15]:
Two eighteen year-old refugees have been attacked on Nauru.
The attack took place around 11.30pm on Wednesday, 30 September as the two refugees returned to their camp at Ewa.
The two men, Jafar, an Afghan refugee, and Zijah, a Pakistani refugee, were ambushed as they were walking into the Ewa refugee camp, by up to 12 local Nauruan men.
Along with the abuse hurled at the refugees, the attackers demanded money and stole their mobile phones.
Zijah was left with severe cuts on his knee, his hand as well as extensive bruising and scratches on his back from being knocked to the ground.
The Ewa camp has also been the site of a rape and a number of attacks on single refugee women; but, in what has become typical of the lack of local police response to attacks on refugees, the police did not attend.
The refugees themselves went to the police station to make a statement.
They later went to the hospital for treatment for the cuts and abrasions, when the ambulance also failed to attend the scene of the attack.
“This has got to stop,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The situation on Nauru is badly out of control. The safety of the refugees cannot be guaranteed.
“There is no security in the community or the refugee camps. There is no lighting. The government has simply created camps where single women and young refugees are preyed upon with impunity.”
Responding to the announcement that the Nauru government intends to create an “open camp” arrangement for asylum seeker, Ian Rintoul, said, “The vicious attacks on refugee women in the community and these latest bashings make the ‘open camp’ arrangement a meaningless gesture. The Australian government is trying to avoid elements of the M68 case before the High Court starting 7 October.
“Some people found to be refugees are just too afraid to leave the detention centre. One Iranian refugee was savagely raped in May while she was in the community under the open camp arrangement.
“The whole of Nauru is a dangerous gulag if you are an asylum seeker or a refugee.”
Save the Children workers deserve redress BUT refugees on Nauru are being subjected to death threats and rape.
WHO WILL SPEAK FOR THEM?
With no explanation, Fairfax deletes a story about the AFP pursuing whistleblowers (rather than those who allegedly raped and assaulted refugees on Nauru), and publishes another version of an old story about workers seeking an apology [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/10/15]:
... Save the Children last week wrote to Immigration Department secretary Michael Pezzullo calling for an urgent response to the Moss report's recommendation.
Acting chief executive, Mat Tinkler, said while the former staff had been exonerated, there had been no apology from the department or minister. ...
Save the Children suggest things Turnbull can do to make Australia's refugee concentration camps fluffier since they lost the Nauru welfare contract [25/9/15]
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
... Writing in The Australian, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds makes a more reluctant argument for the same conclusion: that organisations supporting refugees should embrace the opportunity for bipartisan consensus by abandoning active support for the principle of non-refoulement:
Although we may not like turnbacks, it is clear the policy is here to stay. Now we and other advocates for the rights of asylum-seekers must look beyond this aspect of the policy and concentrate our efforts on implementing a genuine regional framework, which we have long called for.
As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.
But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.
They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’ ...
Who would want to convey the clear message that refugees: 1. Should go back to where they come from and accept their fate; 2. Should not be allowed freedom of movement if they do manage to flee; 3. Will be subjected to attacks, threats, torture and rape for even daring to hope for sanctuary; 4. Will be punished if they complain about their rights; and 5. The UNHCR is not interested?
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. ...
Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees sheltering in Aceh are progressively being deported by the IOM [TRIBUNnews.com - 27/9/15]
Stay where you are: US Embsssy in Colombo to provide $1m for "resettlement efforts" in North-East Sri Lanka [Tamil Guardian - 25/8/15]
US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [17/8/15]
Judith Cefkin - US Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu [Term of Appointment: 11/20/2014 to present]
All Gov [11/10/14]:
... Since 2013, Cefkin has been senior advisor for Burma (Myanmar). She has spent much of the time working on normalizing relations between the United States and that nation, traveling there as part of that effort.
US Envoy on US Refugee, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia, UNHCR and IOM press conference fobs off regional concerns about Myanmar human rights abuses and refugee exodus [3/6/15]:
... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats. You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not. And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come. But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...
Myanmar failed to ensure justice after riots: UN chief [Myanmar Times - 3/10/14]:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accused the government of largely failing to take legal action against those responsible for outbreaks of religious violence over the past two years.
Fighting between Muslims and Buddhists in Rakhine State in July and October 2012 left around 200 dead and 140,000 displaced, while serious conflict has also occurred in Meiktila, Mandalay, Lashio and elsewhere.
Yet those responsible for the clashes have not been brought to justice, Mr Ban said in his annual report to the General Assembly's Third Committee.
“Legal proceedings against the perpetrators remain blocked,” he said. “[And] the suffering and complaints of the affected people, especially the Muslim communities in the internally displaced persons camps, whose basic rights have been severely curtailed, remain largely unassuaged.”
Police forces have routinely rounded up dozens of suspects in public shows of force following outbreaks of violence. However, rights groups say these mass arrests have largely targeted Muslim men and other individuals involved in the violence have not been prosecuted.
Presidential spokesperson and Minister for Information U Ye Htut declined to comment on the specifics of the report as he had not read it in its entirety. He did say, however, that the government welcomed the secretary-general’s acknowledgment that progress had been made in Rakhine State and Myanmar more broadly.
Mr Ban has regularly expressed concern about the conflict in Rakhine State, saying just last week that he was “deeply troubled” by the continued rift between the Buddhist and Muslim communities. He also called for the government to address the citizenship status of Rohingya Muslims, who are not recognised as citizens of Myanmar under the current country’s current legal framework.
The government has said it will only consider assessing their claims to citizenship if they agree to be called Bengali rather than Rohingya.
Mr Ban’s comments contrasted with those of the Myanmar delegation at the General Assembly. Last week it began lobbying to be dropped from the UN’s human rights agenda, arguing that reforms undertaken by President U Thein Sein’s government mean it should no longer be singled out.
Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin told officials at the UN General Debate on September 29 that the country had addressed “all major concerns related to human rights”.
The UN General Assembly has adopted resolutions against Myanmar for its poor human rights record every year since 1992.
Nauru: Australian government and AFP pursue whistleblowers instead of those who allegedly assaulted and raped refugees
My Informs [2/10/15]:
The federal government called in the Australian Federal Police to investigate information leaks from the Nauru detention camp six times in as many months, prompting claims it is pursuing whistleblowers instead of those who allegedly assaulted and raped asylum seekers.
While Immigration Minister Peter Dutton insists that crimes allegedly committed in the Nauru centre should be dealt with by the island's local police, his department routinely asks Australia's top law enforcement body to probe who is disclosing information from inside the camp.
Leaks about alarming incidents at the Australian-funded facility add fuel to domestic and international claims the government has abandoned its human rights obligations by allowing asylum seekers to live in dangerous, inhumane conditions.
In the six months to March this year the Department of Immigration and Border Protection asked the AFP to investigate six alleged cases of "unauthorised disclosure of Commonwealth information" from the Nauru centre. Four were investigated but there was insufficient evidence to make any prosecutions.
It is believed one referral related to a submission by Save the Children workers to a Human Rights Commission inquiry into children in detention.
Legal experts claimed such use of anti-whistleblower laws was draconian and designed to intimidate others into silence.
Figures supplied to Fairfax Media show the department was by far the heaviest user of anti-whistleblower laws – specifically, section 70 of the Crimes Act.
In the period the department made six Nauru referrals, just three other referrals were made relating to Commonwealth operations.
One was by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who referred the office of former Immigration Minister Scott Morrison over the alleged release of Nauru information to a journalist.
A department spokesman said it did not identify specific offenders when asking the AFP to investigate unauthorised disclosures.
While such disclosures should, in some circumstances, be referred to the AFP, "sexual assault in Nauru is a matter for the Nauruan Police Force", he said, adding the government was committed to helping provide safe conditions for detainees and refugees.
A Senate inquiry into the Nauru centre in August found local police, which are reportedly under-resourced, had laid charges in just five out of 50 cases referred to them.
It said the department and the AFP should fully audit all criminal conduct allegations from the Nauru facility.
Tossed down the memory hole because it contradicts the "Nauru is suddenly fluffy and kind - Turnbull is 'concerned' and 'alarmed' - and the refugees are now sort of free" narrative?
Speaking on Radio National this morning, Mr Turnbull said he was concerned by the cases.
"The story on 7.30 on Monday night did reveal, as you said, a very alarming issue of safety for women there and we take that very seriously," he said.
"We're taking a number of steps to work closely with the Nauru government to ensure the safety and the security of all the refugees living in that community."
Mr Turnbull said the Australian Government was working with Nauru to provide a "safe environment" for asylum seekers who were sent there after being intercepted trying to reach Australia by boat.
"We fund the deployment of the AFP officers to support and mentor the Nauru police in their basic investigations and their policing," he said.
"The Nauru government has recently established a gender, violence and child protection unit within their department of home affairs.
"The whole government is very committed to ensuring that women - that all of the transferees and refugees, but in this context women and children - are absolutely safe in that environment."
He said a number of the refugees were in a position to be sent back to their home nation and the Government was actively working to achieve resettlement for others. ... <---- REFOULEMENT.
Australia's refoulement and disappearing of 65 refugees scandal: AFP travel to Rote to get their money back - and investigate how and why the New Zealand media managed to get their hands on (and publish) the refugees' account of what happened? [Sydney Morning Herald - 11/6/15]
South China Morning Post [14/6/15]:
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused again on Sunday (June 14) to deny allegations an official paid thousands of dollars to turn back a boatload of asylum-seekers, despite calls from Indonesia for answers.
The claims - that the captain and five crew of the boat were each paid US$5,000 (S$6,719) by an Australian immigration official to turn back to Indonesia - were made to Indonesian police on Rote island in the country's east.
... "They all looked so wet and cold," Mr Semuel said.
"I said: 'Don't worry about returning the clothes because God will pay us back."
Mr Semuel's wife cooked noodles, fish and rice but some of the asylum seekers were too petrified to eat.
One of the Bangladeshi men, who spoke broken Indonesian, said they were scared the police would come and shoot them.
"I calmed them down and said: 'Don't worry, the Indonesian police are very kind'," Mr Semuel said. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/6/15]
And in all the racist, exceptionalist sound and fury not one Australian media outlet - or politician - has considered the welfare of the 65 refouled refugees - still detained in Indonesia. [Times of Malta - VIDEO - 13/6/15]
... A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees. [RNZI - 13/6/15]
Read the letter sent to the New Zealand Government by the refugees
Sure Australia abuses human rights, but there are nations worse than us: Bishop [West Australian - 4/10/15] ----> ... "And particularly when there are other countries that get elected to the human rights council whose record is dubious, to say the least," the minister told ABC television.
From the UN to the MCG, Australia's war mongering, refugee hating Foreign Minister is protected and unaccountable [West Australian - 4/10/15]:
... “I have enjoyed my eight days in the UN representing Australia, but there’s nothing like a grand final at the MCG with our home team the Eagles playing,” she said.
“I can’t think of anything more exciting. It means a lot to me to be at an Eagles grand final, without doubt.” ...
Refugee services "ramping up programs" as PR for Australian government's cruel "handpicked, non-Muslim Syrian refugees who don't come by boat" stunt continues [SBS - 3/10/15]
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
Police "raid" Parramatta mosque?
Really? Or is the Australian media - particularly the ABC - deliberately fanning Islamophobia?
Why are dogwhistling politicians "holding discussions" with the Muslim community?
Why isn't there any journalism in Australia anymore?
The Parramatta Mosque has been raided, a senior police source has told the ABC, as investigations into Friday's fatal shooting of a civilian police force employee continue.
The ABC's Fran Kelly told the Insiders program that a phone hook-up between "the Premier, the Police Commissioner and the Prime Minister with seven or eight members of the Muslim community" took place last night.
She said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used the phone call to convey the message that "we have a remarkably cohesive society, respect is key to that and [urged] everyone to work together to expose preachers of hate".
The ABC understands the community leaders were impressed by the move and communicated their willingness to work with governments. One leader said the conversation reset the relationship.
Man accused of McDonald's gas bottle explosion was on bail after attempting to torch restaurant, court hears [Canberra Times - 2/10/15]
Hit-and-run in Canberra's south: Man hit in Tuggeranong suburb of Monash
Canberra Times [3/10/15]:
A man has been left with a broken collar bone and shoulder blade after a hit and run in Canberra's south in the early hours of Friday morning.
Police continue to search for witnesses after a vehicle hit pedestrian David Todd, from Richardson, at the intersection of Barraclough Crescent and Ashley Drive, Monash.
At about 1.40am ACT Policing received a report a 28-year-old man had turned up at Canberra Hospital with serious injuries.
It is believed a vehicle hit Mr Todd at 12:10am and that the vehicle fled the scene, police said in a statement. Mr Todd could not describe the vehicle. Speaking from the hospital on Saturday, he said he had suffered mild concussion and was set to have surgery to repair the broken bones on Sunday.
Police called for anyone who may have witnessed the incident or seen the 28-year-old man in this vicinity to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via act.crimestoppers.com.au.
Information can be provided anonymously.
Second Victorian cyclist in hit-run incident
A female cyclist has suffered serious injuries in the second hit and run incident in Victoria in less than three days.
The woman was riding on the Gisborne-Melton road, northwest of Melbourne, on Saturday when she was hit by a car about 12.45pm.
A detailed description of the car and its young male driver, who did not stop, has been released.
Police are looking for a white Commodore sedan that has damage to the passenger-side windscreen, mudguard and side mirror.
The driver is Caucasian, has a shaved head and tattoos on his neck and arm.
The earlier hit and run incident occurred in inner Melbourne on Thursday evening.
A 22-year-old man was cycling in Carlton when he was struck by a black VW sedan and thrown from his bike.
The car, which sped off, has some damage and is missing a side mirror, police say.
The male cyclist is recovering in Royal Melbourne Hospital with minor back injuries.
Stolen bakery truck, Runaway Bay
QPS Media [3/10/15]:
Police are investigating following an incident this morning involving a stolen bakery truck at Runaway Bay.
Around 6:30am the driver exited the truck while completing a bread delivery at a Lae Drive shopping centre before an unknown man got into the vehicle and fled the scene.
Police sighted the vehicle and attempted to intercept it on Hope Island Road at Helensvale a short time later, but the truck failed to stop.
Around 8:30am, the vehicle was sighted at an address on Armstrong Road at Biddaddaba where police arrested a man.
A 22-year-old man is currently assisting police with their enquiries.
No one was injured during the incident.
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.
Man accused of McDonald's gas bottle explosion was on bail after attempting to torch restaurant, court hears [Canberra Times - 2/10/15]
A Queensland man who violently killed a dog last year will be examined by a forensic psychiatrist prior to being sentenced for the worst category of animal cruelty offences.
Preston Arapere Barton-Cootes, 23, on Friday pleaded guilty to two counts of serious animal cruelty and three counts of wilful damage, including of police property, in the Brisbane District Court.
In October 2014, police found the blood of two small dogs throughout a house at Kallangur in Brisbane's north.
One had been bashed to death and the other had been injured after being stuffed in a plastic bag and swung around.
Jennifer O'Brien, for the Crown, told the court a psychologist's report tendered by the defence team found "underlying patterns" made it difficult to predict whether Barton-Cootes would offend in the future.
A "thorough neuropsychological investigation" could shed more light on the problems of the defendant, according to the report. ... [Yahoo - 2/10/15]
Love your police state [QPS Media - 23/9/15] ---> ... Yesterday, local police held a ‘Junior Detective Day’ for the kids in the area on school holidays. ... Their hard work paid off and they found the long-haired culprit and arrested him. ... Feel safe Queensland?
Fortescue helped fund Wirlu-Murra Yindjibarndi Aboriginal elders' campaign against mine land owners [ABC – 28/7/15]
4 October 2015