Someone has placed an anonymous, heartfelt notice for little Aylan [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/9/15]



The UN refugee agency has less than half the funding to help people fleeing war in Syria than what Australia spends locking up refugees in detention.


UNHCR budget for Syria : USD 931million ... Australian budget for detention : USD 2.1billion (Based on 2014/15 budget figures)


Senator Sarah Hanson-Young [3/9/15]

Greens Media Release [4/9/15]:

Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten's comments, suggesting that Europe should follow Australia's lead on towing refugees back to danger, are embarrassing and have disgraced Australia on the international stage, the Australian Greens have said.

"It is shameful that, while the rest of the world is doing all it can to help Syrian people who are searching for safety, Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten want to see them towed back to danger," the Greens' immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"This response to the Syrian refugee crisis is a disgrace, a humanitarian slur and an international shame.

"Parroting the ugly and callous party line about tow-backs simply won't cut it when it comes to the European situation.

"Their insensitive comments are so out of sync with the rest of the world that they've embarrassed Australia on the international stage.

"I've been to the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon. I've seen firsthand what the rescue missions in the Mediterranean look like. I dare Mr Abbott and Mr Shorten to go to these places so that they can spruik their ludicrous tow-back plan and see what type of response they get."






.... Thousands of refugee parents are risking the lives of their children on unsafe smuggling boats primarily because they have no other choice.

European countries – as well as governments in other regions – must make some fundamental changes to allow for larger resettlement and humanitarian admission quotas, expanded visa and sponsorship programmes, scholarships and other ways to enter Europe legally.

Crucially, family reunification has to become a real, accessible option for many more people than is currently the case. If these mechanisms are expanded and made more efficient, we can reduce the number of those who are forced to risk their lives at sea for lack of alternative options.

Beyond the immediate response, it is clear that this situation will require us to reflect seriously about the future. This massive flow of people will not stop until the root causes of their plight are addressed.

Much more must be done to prevent conflicts and stop the ongoing wars that are driving so many from their homes.

The countries neighbouring war zones, which shelter 9 in 10 refugees worldwide, must be supported more strongly, along with the funding required. At the same time, it is also essential that development cooperation policies are reoriented with the objective of giving people the opportunity to have a future in their own countries. ... Statement by UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres on refugee crisis in Europe [4/9/15]





UNHCR urges region to establish search and rescue effort before next expected wave of refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh [Media Release - 28/8/15]





Piles of burnt rubble riddled with asbestos lay around a prison at Nauru where scores of asylum seekers have been held and government subcontractors have worked, posing a "potentially serious" health risk, leaked emails show.


In other emails, an employee believed to be from Wilson Security describes the asbestos as "a real concern".

She says the reports of contamination were yet to be formalised but recommended staff not visit the prison.

"However, we currently have an asylum seeker that requires visits from our behaviour team once a fortnight … which we will not be undertaking without protective clothing and respiratory mask," she says. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/9/15]





Public servant who led Manus Island inquiry to review adverse ASIO security findings [Guardian – 4/9/15]



The Australians Greens have condemned the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s (PJCIS) report on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015. ... [Media Release - 4/9/15]



Huffington Post [4/9/15]:


Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said “good luck” to dual citizens who have engaged in terrorism, with parliament poised to pass new citizenship stripping laws.

The powerful parliamentary committee investigating proposed anti-terror laws has supported the government’s proposed laws to cancel Australian citizenship from dual nationals who have been convicted of terrorism offences.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security has also backed the government’s bid to apply the laws retrospectively, but only in limited circumstances.  ...



West Papuan leader denied PNG visa again

RNZI [4/9/15]:



The West Papua independence activist, Benny Wenda, has been denied entry into Papua New Guinea.

Mr Wenda was invited to Port Moresby by the city's governor, Powes Parkop, to attend a conference and other events, including next week's Pacific Islands Forum Summit.

But he says his visa application was denied with no explanation, and his lawyers say there was nothing wrong with the application.

The denial follows Mr Wenda's deportation from PNG last year when it emerged he did not have a required visa.

Mr Wenda says he received assurances he was clear to enter PNG again, but he suspects he may be on some immigration blacklist.

"The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has already stated in a media interview that 'if Benny applied for a visa, he's free to come in'. So I tried to apply for a visa to enter the country, but again [I was] rejected for the second time. So I don't know whether it's a country decision to not allow me to enter."

A call has been made to Papua New Guinea's Immigration Department, but they are yet to respond.





The Government has intervened to correct the Pacific Journalists immigration blunder where seven journalists from the pacific were detained and their passports held back in Port Moresby this week. ... [PNG Loop - 4/9/15]





A union leader in Papua New Guinea has written to the Governor-General and the Prime Minister seeking regulation on the principle of separation of church and Government. ... [RNZI - 4/9/15]





Marshalls' nuclear evacuee housing in spotlight

RNZI [4/9/15]:

There's been a call in Marshall Islands for the US to pay for improvements to substandard housing for the hundreds evacuated from a nuclear test site in the 1960s.

A report from the Kwajalein Atoll Development Authority shows 700 people originally from Kwajalein atoll are living in crowded, substandard homes on Ebeye with limited access to bathrooms and many prone to flooding.

They were relocated from Kwajalein to Ebeye in 1965 away from the pathway of the United States dummy nuclear warheads being tested from the Reagan Test Site missile base on Kwajalein.

The report's author Carl Hacker says very large growth in the relocated population over the last 50 years has produced a very poor quality of life for almost all of the households.

He says enough of the Ebeye Special Needs Funds under the Compact of Free Association need to be shifted to meaningfully address the poor living conditions.

Mr Hacker is gearing up to produce a housing solution for the evacuees most of whom don't have land rights to Ebeye.




Saudi arms resupply readied by US as King to visit White House [Bloomberg - 4/9/15]




Saudi King Salman to visit President Obama in royal fashion and goes big [USA Today - 3/9/15]




Yemen: UN calls for unimpeded access to people in need as fighting intensifies in southwestern region [Media Release - 3/9/15]:


... In its latest crisis update, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that from 14 to 27 August, at least 95 civilians, including 52 children and 20 women, were killed, and 129 civilians, including 14 women and 36 children, were injured by indiscriminate airstrikes and shelling.





Saudi military aircraft have conducted a fresh round of attacks against several areas across Yemen.

Local media outlets reported late on Thursday that the Saudi warplanes targeted three areas, including a technical institute, in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

The Saudi jets also hit areas in the northwestern province of Hajjah and a dam in the western province of Ma’rib. Earlier in the day, Saudi fighter jets targeted a residential area and a market in the northwestern province of Sa’ada, leaving a girl dead.

In a separate development in the impoverished Arab country, three Yemeni civilians were killed and eight others wounded in a car bomb explosion in the southwestern city of al-Bayda. [Press TV - 4/9/15]




Blasts in Egypt's Sinai injure six peacekeepers, including four Americans: Pentagon [Ahram - 4/9/15]




United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT) commander Lieutenant General Charles Q Brown Jr. met the Egyptian Air Force’s commander-in-chief Air Marshal Younes Hamed in Cairo during a two-day visit to Egypt, the US embassy in Cairo has announced. ... [Ahram - 3/9/15]




Two bombs rock Cameroon town previously attacked by Boko Haram [Ahram - 3/9/15]




32 killed in US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan [Press TV - 3/9/15]




Palestinian youth shot in the leg during Qalandiya refugees camp raid [Maan - 4/9/15]




Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian child near the shores of the Beit Lahiya village in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.

Medics told Ma'an that Bilal Abu Amro, 11, was shot in the thigh while he was with his father, a fisherman. ... [Maan - 3/9/15]




Three shot, one killed, near Sacramento City College, California [NBC - 4/9/15]





3 corrections deputies in California charged with murder in death of mentally ill inmate [New York Times - 3/9/15]




Beautiful One Day: Play that tells tale of Palm Island to be performed at home for first time [ABC – 3/9/15]



Mt Isa politicians, police and "community representatives" hold meeting to discuss what to do about nuisance displaced people [North West Star – 3/9/15]




Hundreds of people in remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia will be forced to abandon the land their families have lived on for generations.

The state government is reviewing plans to cut services to up to 150 towns. ... [Al Jazeera - 3/9/15]




Bulgaria detains 39 Syrian refugees near the Serbian border [Daily Star - 4/9/15]




A tense stand-off between police and migrants on a train in Hungary is continuing into a second day. ... [BBC - 4/9/15]




The father of a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach in an image that shocked the world returned to his hometown Kobane on Friday to bury his family, an Agence France Presse photographer reported.  ... [Naharnet - 4/9/15]





Why I tweeted the photo of the dead Syrian toddler [Washington Post - 3/9/15]:




...  He died because of a war the world can’t or won’t solve and immigration policies that say: We don’t care. ...



@sommervillebbc [3/9/15]:   This was the hometown Galip & Aylan Kurdi left behind. I visited Kobane in Jan. Worth risking everything to escape?




United States, "allies" continue bombing Syria and Iraq




US Department of Defense [3/9/15]:

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

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hawl, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Raqqah, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL bridge.

-- Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL bunker entrances.

-- Near Mar’a, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL vehicle.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL light machine gun firing position.

-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL excavators.

-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL boat and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Haditha, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL vehicle bombs and an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL mortar tubes.

-- Near Kisik, an airstrike destroyed two ISIL bunkers.

-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL observation tower and destroyed two ISIL checkpoints, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings and an ISIL tank.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL artillery piece, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tuz, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.









The U.S. government has authorized the voluntary departure from Turkey of family members of American personnel at Incirlik Air Base and the U.S. consulate in Adana.

"This decision was made out of an abundance of caution following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Air Base," Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said today at a news conference.

The move is not in response to a specific new threat, Cook said. "We've been at an elevated force protection level in Turkey at Incirlik for some time now," he added.

Personnel at the air base, which is in southern Turkey, recently began participating in the air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  ... [US Department of Defense - 3/9/15]




Airwars [3/9/15]:



A newly-declassified CENTCOM document – published by Airwars and international media partners for the first time today –  reveals that by early May of this year, the anti-ISIL Coalition had already internally investigated dozens of events involving at least 325 possible civilian deaths from airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Yet despite often significant published evidence of civilians killed in Coalition strikes, most allegations were dismissed as “Not credible” within 48 hours – with few signs of later follow-ups.

The document also reveals for the first time that French, Canadian, Dutch and Australian aircraft have all been involved in problem incidents in Iraq, which between them allegedly killed up to 30 civilians.


A woman and child may also have been injured in a major Australian airstrike at Fallujah on December 21st 2014. That attack was focused on a’suspected weapons factory’ in the city.

Military surveillance revealed a woman and child walking through the immediate strike area some minutes after the last missile impacted. The child was then observed being taken to the local hospital, while the woman “walked to the median strip on the road and lay down, and was not observed any further.”





Civilians in Syria suffering ‘a living tragedy’ with no end in sight, UN human rights expert warns [Media Release - 3/9/15]







... “And we should never forget what lies behind so many of the stories of families seeking sanctuary in Europe: terrible conflicts such as that in Syria, which already has forced some 2 million children to flee their country. Only an end to these conflicts can bring an end to the misery of so many.”  ... ‘Shock must be matched by action,’ UNICEF chief says as Europe’s refugee and migrant crisis deepens [Media Release - 3/9/15]







@MSF_Sea [3/9/15]:   When you find refugees you forget the money that you lose if you don’t work. It’s sea solidarity- Anis, fisherman





‏@MSF_Sea [3/9/15]:   Refugees or migrants? It doesn't matter when they need to be rescued from a boat like this ...





‏@MSF_Sea [3/9/15]:   As night falls on the #Mediterranean, the deck of the #Argos is alive with song and prayer





@MSF_Sea [3/9/15]:   All the way from #Afghanistan this 1 month old baby spends a 6th day in a tent on side of the road in #Kos.





Libya's coastguards said they rescued more than 100 African migrants on an overloaded rubber dinghy bound for Europe that was about to sink off the coast of Tripoli on Thursday.  ... [Yahoo - 3/9/15]





Greece will ask the European Union for about 700 million euros  to build infrastructure to shelter the hundreds of refugees and migrants arriving on its shores daily, the government said on Thursday.

The cash-strapped country has seen a rise in the number of refugees and migrants -- mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan -- arriving on rubber dinghies from nearby Turkey.

Aid agencies estimate about 2,000 people cross over to Greek islands including Kos, Lesbos, Samos and Chios every day.

The interim government said it planned to set up a new operations centre and take steps to improve conditions at existing refugee centers.

Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said the country will seek EU funds earmarked to address the crisis.  ... [ - 3/9/15]





New Zealand:  Protesters at Parliament call for refugee quota increase [ - 4/9/15]




A senior United Nations official has called on Britain to take more people fleeing Syria after shocking pictures of a drowned refugee boy ratcheted up the pressure on Europe's leaders to act.

Peter Sutherland, the UN special representative on international migration, said while some countries were "massively bearing the burden" of the migrant crisis, the UK was among those that "can do more".  ... [Care/Press Association UK - 3/9/15]




Boys’ tragic deaths highlight the human costs of Canada’s inaction on Syrian refugees [Canadian Council for Refugees Media Release – 3/9/15]:

In the wake of the tragic deaths of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi and his five-year-old brother Galip, the Canadian Council for Refugees reiterates its call for Canada to open its doors to Syrian refugees. The boys died with their mother while trying to reach Europe after their application to resettle to Canada was refused.

“These small boys could be alive today, if Canada had responded more appropriately to the Syrian refugee crisis,” said Loly Rico, CCR President.

“We shouldn’t need to wait for a tragedy like this to realize we must open our doors. We call on an urgent basis for Syrians with family in Canada to be allowed to travel here immediately and complete processing in Canada where they can be safe. We don’t want to see any more children die in this way.”

The Canadian Council for Refugees calls for:

•Flexible measures (such as Temporary Resident Permits) for Syrians with family in Canada. (Aylan and Galip had an aunt in Canada and likely would have been able to get a Turkish exit permit if they were leaving to reunite with family).

•A commitment to a minimum of 10,000 government-assisted resettlement places for Syrians to be brought to Canada immediately, funded by the government and additional to Canada’s regular resettlement numbers (current Syrian announcements are within existing commitments so the numbers simply displace other refugees). Refugees should be selected solely based on need.

•Elimination of barriers to the private sponsorship of refugees, including restoration of full Interim Federal Health coverage and lifting of the document requirements for Group of Five sponsorships.

•Priority to be maintained for resettlement of other refugees (currently Syrian refugee applications are expedited at the expense of processing for other refugees).

In past refugee crises Canada has responded quickly and decisively.

In 1999 Canada took extraordinary measures to evacuate thousands of Kosovar refugees.

The same level of commitment is needed now.


Like the United States and Australia, EU foreign affairs head declares war on refugees so they die out of sight [Channel News Asia - 3/9/15]



Refugees incarcerated in Australia's Guantanamo on Manus Island file Supreme Court challenge to voided Human Rights Inquiry




The National [4/9/15]:



Detainees at the Manus Regional Processing Centre have filed a slip rule application challenging a high court decision to declare void their human rights inquiry into their detention. 

The decision to dismiss the human rights inquiry was made by the Supreme Court on Aug 5 after it found that trial judge Justice David Cannings had made an error when he started the human rights proceedings. 

The detainees’ lawyer Emma Wurr, from the Public Solicitor’s Office, advised the Supreme Court in Waigani yesterday about their application to challenge the decision of Aug 5 during a hearing of a constitutional reference relating to the start of the human rights inquiry into the detention. 

The reference was filed on March 31 last year by the principal legal adviser to the National Executive Council seeking the Supreme Court’s interpretation of sections 57, 58 and 59 of the Constitution.

Wurr told the court that the slip rule application was filed on Aug 7 and the State was yet to be served. 

Lawyer Asher Chillion, representing the  legal adviser, said the slip rule application should be heard before the reference.

Chillion said the slip rule application would affect constitutional questions raised in the reference. 

The reference filed pursuant to section 19 of the Constitution raises constitutional questions which, among others, include:

Does the power granted to the National Court under section 57 of the Constitution to “act on its own initiative” permit the court to initiate proceedings, set what are tantamount to its own terms of reference, and conduct an inquiry similar to a commission of inquiry?

Amnesty International is the first intervener and the detainees the second intervener in the reference. 

A panel comprising of Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Justice Nicholas Kirriwom, Justice Stephan Kassman, Justice Derek Hartshorn and Justice Terence Higgins adjourned the hearing of the reference to a later date.





Jakarta Post [3/9/15]:


Thirty-six Rohingya migrants recently arrived in Jakarta from Aceh, seeking help from the city administration.

Jakarta National and Political Unity Office (Kesbangpol) head Ratiyono revealed that the group had sent a letter to the city administration and that the letter had been read by both him and Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

Ratiyono cautioned, however, that the city administration could offer only limited aid to the Rohingyas, as the city had “enough problems of its own”.

“Unfortunately, we cannot offer much help to the Rohingyas. We may be able to put them in homes managed by the Jakarta Social Agency,” he told reporters at City Hall on Wednesday.

More than 500 refugees, members of the Myanmarese Rohingya minority group, entered Indonesia earlier this year.

The government gave the migrants leave to stay one year while looking for a permanent home.




Situation worsening for Rohingya in Rathedaung villages [Burma Times - 4/9/15]




Amid ongoing crisis largely ignored by world, Myanmar floods deal major blow to agriculture – UN agency [Media Release - 3/9/15]




Every day Mohamed Eusoof Sarlan looks at his beloved homeland, a few hundred metres away from where he lives - but Myanmar's soldiers will not allow him to return to his country.

He is among thousands of Burmese Tamils living in the north-eastern Indian town of Moreh in Manipur state, which borders Myanmar, also known as Burma. ... [BBC - 3/9/15]




Tamil Guardian [3/9/15]:

A domestic investigation into Sri Lanka’s war crimes and crimes against humanity would not be acceptable to the Tamil people, a Vadamaradchi Christian group has said.

“We have suffered many bitter betrayals,” Vadamaradchi Christian Union said in a statement.

“Therefore we cannot accept the domestic investigation put forward by the United States and Sri Lanka.”

“Only an international investigation can uncover and bring justice for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka.”

“So an international investigation is essential. We appreciate the resolution passed by the Northern Provincial Council emphasising this fact.”

The union also emphasised the importance of reaching an autonomous political solution for the Tamil people and called for more direct participation by the Tamil people in the process.





Refugees are also migrants. And All migrants matter [Border Criminologies - 3/9/15]


Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees nearly a year ago. Why are the media protecting Morrison, Dutton and Barnaby Joyce?






South East Asia



Parliament has not stood up for the rights of ordinary Australians, they have not spoken up to ensure that the government complies with the freedoms we take for granted.

Nine MSN [3/9//15]:



In passing dozens of laws that infringe on Australians' rights, federal parliament has failed the people, Gillian Triggs says.

The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission delivered a lecture in Darwin on Thursday night on the creeping powers of government and how they infringe on civil liberties.

She said it was "particularly troubling" that the major political parties had agreed with each other in a "complicit and compliant parliament" to pass laws threatening civil and human rights, compounded by the militarisation of the government and criminalisation of behaviour that had previously been legal.

She cited dozens of new laws, including the metadata retention laws, foreign fighter laws, mandatory detention of asylum seekers and refugees, paperless arrests, and laws banning doctors and people in public employment from speaking about conditions in detention centres.

Professor Triggs said no MPs in the House of Representatives challenged the laws giving the Australian Border Force additional powers, such as those it wanted to use during the raids planned for Melbourne last weekend in cracking down on anti-social behaviour and visa breaches.

She said the only people in the upper house to object were Greens senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Scott Ludlam.

"Parliament has not stood up for the rights of ordinary Australians, they have not spoken up to ensure that the government complies with the freedoms we take for granted," Professor Triggs said.

"I'm afraid we've turned a blind eye to what's happening to the children and their families and what's happening in the Manus and Nauru detention centres because it was too far away and we didn't see it, but when the same Border Force officials are starting to exercise some of their perceived powers in our shopping malls, we start to see the very same disrespect for human dignity and freedoms actually now being turned back onto Australian citizens themselves," Professor Triggs said.


"When we allow the rights of others to be abused, that will turn back on us and our rights will be abused."



Queensland mayor's fraud case in court


Yahoo [3/9/15]:

A far north Queensland mayor facing serious fraud charges will not front court again until December.

Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council mayor Greg McLean, 48, is accused of receiving four payments, worth a total of $58,400, from a council-owned entity.

The payments were allegedly justified with fraudulent material and arranged by another council worker who is accused of organising himself a $500,000 severance payment.

The matter was adjourned at Cooktown Magistrates Court until December 1.




Another disaster looms because Queensland politicians were never held to account for the last one

Yahoo [3/9/15]:

 ... Health Minister Cameron Dick has unveiled a plan to allow patients to be monitored electronically and have their file notes digitally stored in state hospitals.

The first hospital to go digital will be Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital in November, if it is clinically safe to do so.

Mr Dick says Labor envisages a network of "digital hospitals", sharing information with each other, across the state.

It's all part of the government's 20-year health strategy.

"It's about delivering better patient care, but (also) more effective hospital operations for clinicians, so clinicians can focus on the patients not on the paperwork," he said.

The minister promised the government would tread carefully after previous government bungles involving technology in health sector.

He was particularly contrite about the Bligh Labor government's failed health payroll system, which was rolled out in 2011.

The debacle ultimately cost taxpayers $1.2 billion to fix and was described by Richard Chesterman QC, who headed an inquiry into it, as one of the nation's worst failures of public administration.

"The payroll system roll out in Queensland Health hit many, many people and it hit them hard," Mr Dick said.

"They should not have been subjected to this. That is why today I apologise to them for what happened."



Woman joins mango tree protest in Cairns

Yahoo [2/9/15]:

A second north Queensland activist has climbed into a Cairns mango tree as the first protester descended to meet with council representatives.

Former Greens candidate Geoff Holland spent the night in a hammock in one of the trees at Munro Martin Park, which is set to be removed to build an entertainment precinct.

But he told AAP a woman known as "Del" took his place in a "completely spontaneous" move when he came down to meet council officers on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Holland said he'd asked council to consider tweaking the redevelopment plans to spare the tree.

"There were three of us that attended that meeting and they said they wouldn't cut it down until a decision had been made, which could be later today," he said.

If the eventual answer was unfavourable, he said it was "hard to say" what disgruntled activists might do.

"People are very angry," he said.

A council spokeswoman declined to comment on the content of the meeting, but said it had taken place.

She couldn't confirm when a final decision on the tree's fate would be made.






Authorities accidentally release man accused of bashing, choking girlfriend [Canberra Times – 3/9/15]




A woman has been charged after allegedly stabbing her ex-husband in the chin, neck and shoulder on Sydney's lower north shore. ... [West Australian - 4/9/15]





Man charged as police investigate death of 85-year-old woman, Bateman [West Australian – 4/9/15]








A woman who allegedly ran amok at a mining office in the Perth Airport precinct has been extracted from a roof space where she was hiding and has been taken, screaming, into an ambulance.

It is understood she is being taken for a mental health assessment. ... [WA Today - 3/9/15]

Two men arrested after firearms and suspicious package found in Perth hospital, prompting evacuation [Nine MSN – 3/9/15]





Inmates stage disturbance at Lithgow's maximum security prison in New South Wales [ABC – 3/9/15]




Lawyers acting for a woman accused of preparing to blow up a north Queensland naval base are hoping to remove some of the 17 witnesses involved in the case.

Kalisa Winn, 32, has been held in custody since February when she was arrested over an alleged plan to blow up HMAS Cairns naval base using petrol.

The matter has been listed for trial later in the month but the Cairns Magistrate Court on Wednesday heard the defence did not have a full brief of evidence. ... [Yahoo - 2/9/15]




Banyo siege gunman told hostages he wanted 'pay back' for alleged affair [ABC - 2/9/15]




A jury has failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the case of a man accused of the stabbing murder of his Gold Coast housemate. ... [ABC - 2/9/15]

A 50-year-old man has been forced to jump overboard after his boat caught fire on the Gold Coast.

The man suffered burns to his hands when the fire broke out on his vessel at Labrador on Thursday afternoon.

He is currently in a stable condition at the Gold Coast University Hospital, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman told AAP. [Yahoo - 3/9/15]



Fire destroys demountable classrooms, forces evacuation of Slacks Creek school [ABC – 2/9/15]




Detectives are investigating after a Bedford Road educational facility at Andergrove was vandalised early this morning.

When staff arrived at the facility at 5am today, they discovered that four buildings had been damaged, with approximately 12 large windows smashed. It is unknown what object was used to smash the windows. ... [QPS Media - 2/9/15]




Truck and car collide on Pacific Motorway Burleigh Heads [MYGC - 2/9/15]



Canberra driver who hit 80-year-old denied he was speeding, on drugs, court hears [ABC – 2/9/15]



Donate to corporate charities if you like but note Australia spends 5 TIMES the UNHCR Asia budget incarcerating and torturing refugees on Nauru and Manus


 "Let's show what Melbournians can achieve in 24 hrs" - #trainstrike fundraiser for refugees #donateyourtrainfare



"tweeted" by ‏@UNrefugees - UNHCR for Australia [4/9/15]




Selectively "helping" some refugees while torturing, exiling, repelling and invisibilising others is GROSS.





Abbott, the ALP and media are LYING.  Australia has NOT "stopped the boats". We push refugees out to sea where they are dying.  [Irish Times - 3/9/15]:

An overloaded wooden boat believed to be carrying dozens of Indonesian migrants sank off the coast of Malaysia on Thursday, killing at least 14 people, maritime officials said.

Thirteen of the dead are believed to be women.

The boat, which maritime officials estimated had about 70 people aboard, had left Sabak Bernam in Malaysia’s western state of Selangor for Sumatra in neighbouring Indonesia when the incident happened.

Initial conversations with survivors led officials to believe the passengers were Indonesian, said Muhammad Aliyas Hamdan, an official of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The boat sank due to overloading and bad weather, he added.

The number of survivors stood at 19, the agency’s director of search and rescue operations, Capt Robert Teh Geok Chuan, told Reuters, including 15 rescued by fishermen earlier, though the death toll could rise.

“We fear the casualty numbers will rise as it’s been several hours since the boat sank,” he added.

Search operations would continue through the night, Mr Teh said, with ships, boats and a helicopter deployed in the hunt for survivors. Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said it was on standby to assist its Malaysian counterpart.

Southeast Asia faced a huge migrant crisis after Thailand cracked down on people-smuggling gangs in May, with more than 4,000 people landing in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, and Thailand. Hundreds are believed to have drowned.

A fresh surge of refugees and migrants from Burma and Bangladesh is expected to set out in boats for southeast Asia when the monsoon season ends in about a month, the United Nations has said.




Father of Alan Kurdi, drowned Syrian boy, describes desperate ordeal to save family [CBC - 3/9/15]:


... Kurdi's sister Tima immigrated to Canada several years ago and said she has been trying since at least March to help Abdullah and another brother and their families come to Canada, but Citizenship and Immigration clarified Thursday that no formal application for refugee status was made on behalf of Abdullah's family.

"There was no record of an application received for Mr. Abdullah Kurdi and his family," a statement from the department said.

The department confirmed that an application was made on behalf of his brother, Mohammed.

"An application for Mr. Mohammed Kurdi and his family was received by the department but was returned as it was incomplete as it did not meet regulatory requirements for proof of refugee status recognition," the statement said.

NDP MP Fin Donnelly, who represents New Westminster–Coquitlam and is running in the Port Moody–Coquitlam riding in the Oct. 19 federal election, said Wednesday that Tima Kurdi approached his office in March and requested help with sponsoring her relatives as refugees.

"She was very concerned, obviously, with what was going on in Syria and wanted to get her family out," Donnelly said.

Donnelly said after considering the options, they decided to write to the Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander directly — a letter that Donnelly said he delivered.

"[Alexander] promised that he would look into it, to me. I thought … he would actually do it," said Donnelly.

"We did get some requests for detailed information about the family from his staff to mine … then nothing."

Donnelly said Canada must do more to help and shelter Syrian refugees.

"Obviously, this is devastating for the family," he said.

"We need to address the situation. We need to look at how we can bring people into our country." ...








Where is the AMA?  Where are Australia's peak legal bodies?  Do they agree with such overt misogyny, racism and punishment culture? ----> Nauru asylum seeker transferred after rape is yet to see a lawyer   [ABC - 4/9/15]:

… ANGELA LAVOIPIERRE: The man is allowed to speak with his sister during supervised two minute phone calls, every two days.

When he last saw her, she was on the brink of kidney failure, and her life was in danger.

The man says he's been told that he doesn't have the right to know his sister's condition.

BROTHER OF ASYLUM SEEKER: They respond negative to me because they said this is not your right to asking to knowing about your sister's medical information.

ANGELA LAVOIPIERRE: Lawyer Dimi Ioannou, a principal at Maurice Blackburn, is trying to see the woman in hospital.

So far, the Department of Immigration has said she's not well enough.

Trauma specialist Dr Helen Driscoll has also been trying to negotiate access, without success.

She's sceptical about the department's reasons for turning her away.

HELEN DRISCOLL: It's ridiculous and rubbish about saying that she's not well enough to be seen by a lawyer or by a trauma specialist.

ANGELA LAVOIPIERRE: Dr Driscoll has serious concerns about the way the woman is being treated, in light of her mental health.

HELEN DRISCOLL: It's the secrecy and the isolation from family. I understand she has guards with her 24/7. Now that, it's like treating her like a criminal.

ANGELA LAVOIPIERRE: The woman's brother is worried that his sister will be returned to Nauru, and miss out on the care she needs as a result.

BROTHER OF ASYLUM SEEKER: Don't sacrifice her because of the political reason or policy. Something happened to her that she needs appropriate help.






Psychiatrist warns of risk to raped asylum seeker and family [Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites Press Release - 3/9/15]





Australia's protected and unaccountable Foreign Minister says aid to Nauru not under threat [Nine MSN – 3/9/15]




4 September 2015