'Everything's Fine', The Saints 
Supervision and support processes: Young people at risk of self harm handcuffed at Townsville detention centre [Yahoo - 5/8/15]
Checking faces we do not know: Expect enhanced class and race based policing with a view to evicting public housing tenants during Mt Isa Rodeo [North West Star - 5/8/15]
Billy Gordon police investigation completed. No charges laid
[Brisbane Times -
Migrant workers' unpaid wages should go to government: Productivity Commission [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/8/15]
Window cleaner falls from Apple store on George Street [Sydney Morning Herald – 5/8/15]
Truck driver charged with manslaughter after forklift clash [Herald – 4/8/15]
... Manfred and Narelle Wagner found Karl's decapitated body on their Myrtleford deer farm, less than 200 metres from their house, when they returned from holiday on August 1.
The devastated couple raised the 10-year-old red deer from a calf.
Karl was a gentle giant, so tame children could ride on his back, Mr Wagner said. ... [Nine MSN - 5/8/15]
Is Evans River dredging attracting sharks? [Tweed Shire Echo – 5/8/15]
Man seriously injured after being hit by car, Woolloongabba
Brisbane Times [5/8/15]:
A 40-year-old pedestrian has serious injuries after being hit by a car on Brisbane's southside.
The man was walking on Balaclava Street at Woolloongabba when he was struck by the car around 8.30am on Wednesday.
He suffered leg injuries and a possible head injury, an ambulance spokeswoman said.
NSW traffic light overhaul: Sequence change at 560 intersections to make pedestrian crossings safer [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/8/15]
Innocent man in hospital after Sydney police pursuit results in dangerous collision
Nine MSN [5/8/15]:
An innocent driver has been left with serious injuries after being caught up in the aftermath of a high-speed police chase through Sydney's west.
Three people have been taken to hospital after a car that had been pursued by police crashed into an innocent motorist in Sydney's west.
The crash happened just after 6.15pm last night on Woodstock Avenue in Hebersham when a Commodore that was earlier being chased by police collided with another vehicle.
Police said they had stopped the Commodore earlier on Jersey Road but it took off when officers approached the car.
A pursuit was initiated but police say they terminated it due to safety concerns.
Father-of-three Karim Saidi was driving home from a family dinner when the Commodore slammed into his car at more than 130km/h.
"I looked to my right (and) felt this massive impact," he said.
Mr Saidi was taken to Westmead Hospital with broken ribs and some internal bleeding.
He and his family are angry with police for pursuing the two men in the first place.
Two men in the Commodore, aged 46 and 29, were also taken to Westmead Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and remain there under police guard.
Authorities said an investigation into the incident is underway but are confident of laying charges soon.
Indonesia arrests former US policeman over alleged murder
A former US policeman has been arrested on the Indonesian resort island of Bali over alleged links to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend, officials said Wednesday.
Vontrey Clark was detained on Friday after Interpol, acting on a request from the FBI, issued a red notice for his arrest.
"He was arrested last Friday by investigators in Bali," the secretary of Interpol's national central bureau for Indonesia, Brigadier-General Amhar Azeth, told AFP.
"He is wanted for murder."
US media reported that the former Austin policeman was being investigated for possible involvement in the death of police counsellor Samantha Dean in February. He has not been charged.
Dean's body was found with three gunshot wounds to the head behind a vacant shopping centre on February 4, local newspaper The Austin Chronicle reported.
Bali police spokesman Heri Wiyanto said Clark arrived in Jakarta on July 18 on a tourist visa. He was later arrested at a north Kuta hotel.
Indonesia and the United States have no extradition treaty, but Azeth said arrangements were being made for Clark to be flown back to the US on August 13.
"English course" organised by IOM targets Rohingya refugees [Jakarta Post - 5/8/15]
IOM assists in deportation of Bangladeshi refugees [Jakarta Post - 5/8/15]
IOM given authority to interview slave boat crew members [RNZI - 5/8/15]
New Zealand PM remains concerned about Nauru
New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand remains deeply concerned about what it sees happening in Nauru and wants a resolution on the issue.
Five Opposition MPs have been suspended and are either facing criminal charges or have had their passports taken away.
Mr Key says New Zealand will have to make a decision in the next month on the next tranche of aid due for the country's justice sector which is funded by New Zealand.
He says New Zealand disagrees with Nauru about whether democracy is being applied fairly and lawfully, especially in the case of the opposition MP, Roland Kun, who has not been allowed to return to his family in New Zealand.
"But in the end we
are sending as blunter a message as we can to the Nauruans that we expect
there to be change."
Australia suppresses coverage of refugees on national security grounds
Reporters Without Borders [4/8/15]:
Australia’s Border Force Act, which took effect on 30 June, reflects a disturbing desire to deny access to information about the often deplorable treatment of refugees in detention centres by classifying this information as “protected” on national security grounds.
Approved by the two main political parties, the act provides for two-year jail terms for “entrusted persons” working in Australia’s refugee detention centres – including the centres on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Ocean island of Nauru – who disclose information about conditions in the centres and how refugees are treated.
Without prior permission from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, doctors and health professionals working in these centres are now forbidden to talk about the conditions in which asylum-seekers are being held and to report any abuses or human rights violations. They are nonetheless the only people who could act as whistleblowers about what is going on in these centres, to which the public has no access.
“We firmly condemn this act, which effectively censors all sources of information about the problematic issue of refugees in Australia,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.
“Doctors and other care personnel are potential whistleblowers. They have long been the only people able to talk about conditions in these centres and the health of the detainees. As such, they are a link between these closed and secret centres and the media and public opinion. By threatening this link, which is essential for media coverage, the authorities are clearly flouting the right of Australia’s citizens to question their government’s stance on human rights and democracy.”
The government already imposed drastic curbs on journalists’ access to refugee detention centres in 2011 after several refugees died in detention. These restrictions constituted a grave violation of the right to information, which is supposed to be guaranteed by the law.
“They are trying to prevent any information about conditions in detention centres reaching the public,” said well-known Melbourne-based barrister Julian Burnside.
“A journalist who requests information or records from an entrusted person can be charged with aiding and abetting the commission of that offence,” human rights lawyer George Newhouse added.
Many people have spoken out against this latest attempt to prevent doctors, social workers and other employees of detention centres for asylum-seekers from the telling the media about any human rights violations and abuses they might witness.
A health workers collective has held demonstrations in various Australian cities to protest against the Border Force Act. One of its members, University of Sydney professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, said doctors have a duty, both as professionals and citizens, to report human rights violations.
Although some of the law’s opponents have said they will circumvent it, “many are afraid of losing their jobs, which is stated in the act, or imprisonment up to two years,” Singh said.
In a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council on 9 March, Juan E. Méndez, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, criticized Australia’s treatment of refugees and voiced particular concern about the detention of immigrants, including children, in the centres located in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
The report says Australia is violating its obligations under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment by failing to guarantee sufficient protection for refugees, and that the conditions in which it detains asylum-seekers and recent changes to its maritime laws violate international conventions on immigration. The Australian government has disputed these conclusions.
Since October 2014 Australia has refused to accept any more UNHCR refugees.
PNG PM: Expats and moonlighting Australian soldiers using Manus Island refugee death camp as a recreational facility to be subject to alcohol/drug testing
... A former employee for Transfield subcontractor Wilson Security told Guardian Australia the guards’ online posts provided a glimpse of the mindset of ex-defence force personnel who “frequently referred to asylum seekers in their care as ‘the enemy’”. ... [Guardian - 14/4/15]
PNG Loop [5/8/15]:
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has directed that the alcohol ban at the Manus Regional Processing Centre (RPC) be effectively enforced and that regular alcohol and drug tests be undertaken.
He made the call while awaiting a report on allegations of sexual assault relating to Australian workers at the RPC.
“We do not have a clear picture of what happened on the night of the alleged assault as the matter is under investigation, but what we do know is that alcohol played a part in what did transpire,” Mr O’Neill said.
“This is not the first time we have heard of inappropriate expatriate behaviour as a result of alcohol consumption, and this has to stop.
“The RPC is a dry facility and staff are not permitted to consume alcohol while they are posted to the centre.
“However, as the company in charge of contract personnel have not maintained discipline, the Chief Migration Officer will impose stricter controls.
“Staff will now be subject to alcohol and drug testing for which there will be zero tolerance.
“Any staff who break the rules and are found to consume alcohol or drugs will be dismissed.
“The foreign workers at the RPC have signed agreements as part of their employment that come with strict conditions.
“The foreign workers are already very highly paid so I am sure they can go without alcohol while they are engaged at the RPC.
“Many of the RPC staff are former military personnel so they should have the discipline not to need to drink while they are away on a posting.”
... "I will be travelling to Manus [Island] and will spend 21 days to collate the 277 signed affidavits for filing by the first week of August," Ben Lomai, the lawyer representing the asylum seekers, said. ... [More than 200 asylum seekers on Manus Island join legal challenge to contest detention - ABC - 23/6/15]
The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea is being challenged by a group of asylum seekers who say their detention is a breach of their constitutional rights.
The 25 asylum seekers were detained on suspicion of encouraging protests at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island in February.
They are now being represented by human rights lawyer, Ben Lomai, who is preparing an application for release and seeking compensation for breaching their constitutional rights.
The lawyer is now in the province to obtain statements from his clients.
The asylum seekers involved are from Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.
Ben Lomai, who was granted entry to the facilities by the Supreme Court, arrived in the province on Sunday with lawyer Greg Toop and a team of paralegals and support staff to interview and prepare affidavits to be filed in court.
Lomai told EMTV News that he will be preparing an application to release the detainees and seek redress for breach of their constitutional rights.
The team commenced their interviews on Monday at the East Lorengau Transit facility.
Lomai says they have spoken to 11 refugees so far, residing at the East Lorengau Transit Centre, who have been processed and are awaiting resettlement in PNG.
There are currently 1,004 asylum seekers detained at the Australian-run detention centre with reportedly more than 80 who have been processed, however only 11 are currently residing at the transit facility.
Due to limited time, Lomai says he does not expect to interview all refugees, however he will be asking the courts to grant him more time to return and finish interviewing the remaining refugees.
Mr Lomai said immigration officers including the Chief Migration Officer, their lawyers and staff on ground at the detention centre have been very helpful in terms of logistics, and hopes this continues for the duration of the period it takes to finish interviewing his clients.
The team of lawyers are expected to conclude their interviews on the 17th of this month, and appear before the Supreme Court in Port Moresby on 22 April, with their findings.
Death toll from US drone strikes in eastern Afghanistan jumps to 75 [Press TV - 5/8/15]
Civilian casualties in Afghanistan touched a record high in the first half of 2015, according to U.N. figures released Wednesday, revealing a fragile security situation six months after the NATO combat mission ended.
Total casualties -- defined as the number of civilians killed or wounded -- increased one percent between January and June compared to the same period last year, with 1,592 civilians killed and 3,329 injured, the United Nation's Mission's for Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report. ... [Naharnet - 5/8/15]
3,600 provided with artificial limbs, says Red Crescent [Pajhwok - 4/8/15]
Over 300 killed in Kenya ethnic clashes in 2015: UN [Daily Star - 5/8/15]
Gunmen attack convoy in Indian-administered Kashmir [Al Jazeera - 5/8/15]
A Kentucky sheriff's deputy now faces a federal lawsuit for handcuffing elementary school children who were acting out as a result of their hyperactivity disorder and other disabilities, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
The ACLU is suing Kenton County sheriff's Deputy Kevin Sumner, who works as a school resource officer at Latonia Elementary School in Covington. Sumner is accused of handcuffing an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, who both have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ... [CNN -5/8/15]
Autism cage inquiry stalled [Canberra Times - 17/6/15]
McGraw-Hill's departure from high-stakes testing signals market shifts [Education Drive - 3/8/15]
... Where NAPLAN testing fails is that it is a Neanderthal blunt club of a tool to determine progress.
I have been working with students gently and systematically in trying to build their confidence and writing skills. Many have benefitted but may not star on NAPLAN.
The data may say they are even weak students.
The data may say I am a failure as a teacher and my school may have to "please explain" to parents why some students do not do well. ... [The Age - 12/5/15]
Los Angeles school board president Steve Zimmer beat an unprecedented effort to unseat him by corporate education reformers. He relays how Michael Bloomberg, who gave $1 million to defeat him, didn't even know who he was. [VIDEO - AFTHQ - 14/7/15]
Sandra Bland’s mother files wrongful-death lawsuit [New York Times - 4/8/15]
Prisoners at Utah State Prison in Draper have launched a hunger strike against restrictive housing conditions that keep them in their cells for 47 out of 48 hours. ... [ACLU Media Release - 2/8/15]
States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [4/8/15]:
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 strikes that took place yesterday, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter-attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Huwayjah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL checkpoints.
-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Haditha, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL machine guns.
-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL rocket launcher, an ISIL tank, an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL excavators, an ISIL bunker and an ISIL observation post.
-- Near Ramadi, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL roadside bombs and an ISIL supply trailer.
-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, three ISIL light machine guns and five ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed 11 ISIL bunkers, three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Tuz, one airstrike struck an ISIL mortar position.
At least one Saudi soldier has been killed during clashes with Yemeni forces in the country's southwestern province of Aden amid ongoing Saudi airstrikes on the impoverished Arab country.
The soldier was killed late on Tuesday night during fierce clashes between Yemen's Ansarullah fighters backed by allied army units and Saudi forces in the province, Yemen's al-Masirah TV reported.
The fighting erupted as Riyadh continues to amass its tanks and military vehicles in the war-torn country.
Long columns of M1 Abrams battle tanks were seen rolling out of the port city of Aden northward to the al-Anad airbase base in Yemen’s southwestern Lahij province. ... [Press TV - 4/8/15]
... Mr Ettinger is the grandson of Meir Kahane, the American-born anti-Arab extremist legislator who was assassinated in 1990 and who, along with another racist rabbi, Yitzchak Ginsburgh, appear to have helped shape his grandson’s world view.
Rabbi Kahane preached the expulsion of Arabs from Israel and the occupied territories and the reshaping of Israeli society along the lines of strict religious law so that, for example, the Sabbath would have to be observed in public.
He also believed that democracy is incompatible with an authentically Jewish state. ... Far right Jewish activist held over attack in which 18-month-old Palestinian boy was burned alive [Independent - 4/8/15]
Israel: Right-wing MKs boycott special anti-Jewish-terror meeting [Haaretz – 4/8/15]
Today I visited Holot, Israel's concentration camp for 2,000 African
German MP Patzelt opens home to two Eritrean refugees [BBC - 4/8/15]
Refugees on a rubber dinghy wait to be rescued by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) ship MV Phoenix, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the coast of Libya, August 3, 2015. Some 118 migrants were rescued from a rubber dinghy off Libya on Monday morning. The Phoenix, manned by personnel from international non-governmental organizations Medecins san Frontiere (MSF) and MOAS, is the first privately funded vessel to operate in the Mediterranean. [REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi -3/8/15]
Another day, another report deliberately conflating refugees with people smugglers and traffickers.
Where's the IOM's report on how many refugees died trying to reach Australia over the past year?
Or their report on the number of refugees who have died (or have been mentally and physically injured/abused) in Australian concentration camps where the IOM operate with impunity?
Or their report on the number of refugees who have been killed after being deported from Australia - with the IOM's assistance?
More than 2,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean already this year while trying to reach the safety of European shores, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.
That is considerably more than the 1,607 people who died during during the same period last year on boats heading for Europe, while for 2014 in total, 3,279 migrants died, the organization said.
The vast majority of migrants head for Italy's southernmost shores, which are close to Libya, the point of departure for many of those fleeing violence, famine and war in their homelands.
Most of the victims so far this year died in the crossing between North Africa and Italy at the hands of human-smugglers, the IOM said.
"As in 2014, the overwhelming majority died in the Channel of Sicily on the central Mediterranean route connecting Libya and Italy, where unseaworthy vessels used by smugglers and traffickers significantly increase the likelihood of tragedies occurring," said the organization's report.
It added that its analysis of the statistics suggest that route is "far more dangerous than other routes".
Some 1,930 migrants died to date this year trying to reach Italy compared with 60 deaths among those trying to reach Greece, said the report.
Yet the numbers of migrants heading for the two countries was not very different - about 97,000 bound for Italy compared with 90,500 trying to reach Greece.
According to the IOM, the most recent deaths that tipped the total number of victims over 2,000 occurred last week "when a total of 19 people lost their lives in the Channel of Sicily".
It added that the remains of 14 of the migrants were brought to the Sicilian port of Messina on July 29 by the Irish Navy Ship Le Niamh. They were part of a larger group of 456 people rescued at sea, said the organization.
It added that in interviews with the IOM, survivors said the drinking water on board the boat they were travelling in was entirely used to cool down an overheated engine.
As a result, 14 migrants died of heat exhaustion and thirst, they said.
"It is unacceptable that in the 21st century, people fleeing from conflict, persecutions, misery and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences in their home countries, not to mention en route, and then die on Europe's doorstep," said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
The organization praised "the extraordinary efforts of maritime forces in the Mediterranean, who continue to save migrants at sea on a daily basis".
Enhancement of the Triton operation has been important in saving lives, with more vessels patrolling in international waters, it added.
Operation Triton is a border security operation carried out by Frontex, the European Union's border security agency.
About 188,000 migrants have been rescued in the Mediterranean so far this year, said the IOM.
It added that it expected that figure to exceed 200,000 "very soon".
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [4/8/15]:
The almighty Border Force has decided to try again. "Allen" our young Tajik asylum seeker friend has today been given a new removal notice. He has been told he will be deported on 11th August 2015.
Nothing has changed since the government's last attempt to deport this vulnerable young man. He still faces possible death if he is sent back.
Please contact the Afghan Embassy and UNHCR stating that no one should be forcibly deported to Afghanistan, which at present is nothing short of a war zone.
Afghan Embassy in Australia:
Ambassador: Mr Nasir Ahmad Andisha
Phone: (02) 62827311
UNHCR Office Canberra
Phone: (02) 6281 9100
As voices of opposition MPs, locals and refugees continue to be censored, Nauru PM says he's happy about Pacific Islands Forum's backpedalling
The Nauru Government has welcomed comments by the Pacific Islands Forum and says it is working hard to restore transparency in the country's justice system.
Dame Meg said the Nauru Government feels very strongly the issues of sovereignty and the political issues that have emerged will be resolved.
Nauru's President, Baron Waqa, claims Opposition MPs, who have been expelled from Parliament for nearly 15 months, are trying to cover for their lack of performance when they were in government and to try and regain power.
The President says his government has added more Supreme Court judges, established a futures fund with international oversight, repaid outstanding government workers' wages and is upgrading houses and infrastructure.
Nauru receives tens of millions of dollars each year from Australia for hosting its asylum seekers and refugees.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Dame Meg Taylor says issues in Nauru are for the country to work out and she has dismissed immediate action by the regional grouping.
Dame Meg has been in Nauru for three days as part of a tour of all Forum countries before the Forum leaders meet in September.
Her visit comes amid concerns about a breakdown in democracy and the rule of law on Nauru, and the ongoing suspension of five opposition MPs from parliament.
Dame Meg says she had long and extensive discussions with the President Baron Waqa, as well as talks with the opposition MPs, civil society and members of the judiciary.
"I can't say that I absolutely know for sure that everything is perfect, but as the Secretary General, from the conversations that I had I believe that due process is being applied."
Dame Meg says Mr Waqa feels very strongly about the issues of sovereignty and that the political issues that have emerged will be resolved.
"This has to be worked out in Nauru. I don't think it's going to be worked out by speculation by me or anybody else. I think that this is something that people in Nauru have to work out and hopefully the conversations I've had with leadership in Nauru will stimulate consideration of some issues."
Dame Meg has dismissed intervention by the Forum in Nauru at this stage.
"The situation has to be examined much more thoroughly than my three day visit. My three day visit was to try and get an understanding of what is going on in Nauru. I wasn't there on an investigation mission. I was there to have conversations with various parties, let people talk to me, express their concerns and for me to have a discussion with the chair of the Forum."
Dame Meg says it will be up to the chairperson, the president of Palau Tommy Remengesau, to decide whether to take things forward if at all.
Secretary General says Pacific Islands Forum has a mechanism to intervene in Nauru [ABC – 8/7/15]
Civil society organisations say island nations are being held hostage to the PACER PLUS free trade agreements.
The criticism comes as the latest round of talks get underway in Samoa with a focus on labour mobility, development assistance and trade in goods.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says the so-called "development agreement" is forcing Pacific countries to shoulder the burden of legal commitments while Australia and New Zealand offer voluntary commitments. … [RNZI – 4/8/15]
Turkey FM starts three-day visit to Malaysia [Anadolu Agency - 3/8/15]:
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has started a three-day visit to Malaysia, during which he attended the opening of the 48th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers Meeting.
Diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency that among subjects discussed at the opening were the situation of Uighur Muslims currently being held at detention centers in Thailand.
The sources - who cannot be named due to Turkish government policy - said that Thai Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn had said that Thailand "closely follows" the situation of 109 Uighur migrants sent to China from a group of around 350 people detained in Thai immigration centers for around two years.
The move - which followed the relocation of around 180 Uighur Turks to Turkey - caused outrage among Turkish rights groups.
The Thai government has since said it has sent a fact-finding team to China and the Uighur were being treated "well" by the Chinese government.
The sources said that the two ministers also discussed boosting bilateral economic and political relations with the thoughts of reviving Joint Economic Commissions and Turkey becoming a "dialogue partner" to ASEAN.
Cavusoglu also thanked Malaysian counterpart Anifah Aman for sheltering around 1,000 Rohingya boat people, who arrived on Malaysian shores in May after Thailand began to clamp down on smuggling camps on its border.
Malaysia - along with Indonesia - has said it will shelter the boat people for one year, but then the international community must find homes for them elsewhere.
Established in 1967 in Bangkok, ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
According to Turkey's Foreign Ministry website, institutional relations between Turkey and the Southeast Asian grouping were initially established in 2010 when Turkey became a signatory of the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia "and thus the foundation of sectorial cooperation was laid down".
... The Minister yesterday paid tribute to the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership as he formally opened new police housing facilities in Morobe.
Mr Atiyafa says that he wants the AFP to be more involved in training PNG police personnel. ... [RNZI - 5/8/15]
... When the British government offered to provide free training to the military—to the tune of $400,000 in funding—they set no preconditions before providing the training, such as ending the culture of impunity around sexual violence. The British government claimed that the training was about human rights, and then attempted to withhold details of the training from Burma Campaign UK. These details revealed that in the course of a sixty-hour training program, just one hour was dedicated to human rights. ... To end sexual violence, British government can’t avoid elephant in the room [Irrawaddy – 3/8/15]
There is no evidence that aid is reaching the
people who need it.
Myanmar appeals for urgent help to tackle massive floods as rescuers struggle to reach isolated regions [South China Morning Post – 5/8/15]:
... “Myanmar authorities have today formally requested international assistance,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement, adding that the UN and other aid agencies have however been part of the response since late July.
Military helicopters and commercial airlines have helped deliver international food aid as Myanmar shows a willingness to allow foreign assistance that was unthinkable under the paranoid former junta. ...
... “But our teams, as well as other UN and non-governmental organizations, have so far managed to reach camps for internally displaced people in Rakhine’s provincial capital Sittwe, as well as in nearby townships such as Pauktaw and Myebon,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.
“In 24 camps assessed so far, a quarter of the temporary shelters are damaged, and more than 21,000 displaced people affected as a result. Several years on from their construction, many of these shelters had become fragile and unable to withstand severe weather,” he explained.
UNHCR and its partners are still assessing the impact on the existing displaced populations in Rakhine and Kachin states, with a view to identifying immediate needs and distributing relief. Rakhine state has been declared one of four 'natural disaster zones' by the Myanmar Government, alongside Chin state and Sagaing and Magway regions. ... [UN Media Release - 4/8/15]
Médecins Sans Frontières teams have responded to the flooding in Minbya Township in eastern Rakhine, mostly through Non-Food Item (NFI) distributions to approximately 4,000 displaced persons. In northern Rakhine in Maungdaw township, Médecins Sans Frontières teams have been doing assessments and mobile clinics to affected areas with no major needs identified at this time. Médecins Sans Frontières is currently on standby to assist with Non-Food Item distributions there if necessary. ... [MSF - 4/8/15]
Flood victims in Arakan (Rakhine) State yet to receive aid [BNI Online - 3/8/15]
... Tom: You won't do anything about it - you're doing the f - -ing opposite! You could clean up on renewables for God's sake.
Mack: Don't you understand? They like climate change! They like it! Carbon dioxide's the wind and the stars and stripes now - it's part of our foreign policy. The Himalayas melt, no show from the monsoons, drought, rice crops failing, famine in China, hundreds of thousands of people die, probably millions.
Tom: That's foreign policy?
Mack: No, this is the way they think. It's cheaper than the military - it's definitely more efficient. Political, economic, military dominance assured. God bless global warming! They're just trying to protect their interests Tom - it's their job. ...
Tom: Do you think America's somehow immune?
Mack: No, It's just a question of who's the last man standing.
'Burn Up' 
... Concern remained high in coastal Rakhine state, where more than 130,000 people displaced by ethnic conflict live in badly built and poorly located camps. The damage done by monsoon rains was multiplied by the effects of a cyclone last week. ... Myanmar floods move downriver, risking more populated areas [ABC News - 4/8/15]
The frame of a damaged shelter is seen in Rohingya IDP camp outside Sitttwe, Rakhine state [REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun - 4/8/15]
Obama is beginning to sound like a climate leader, when will he act like one? [Democracy Now - 4/8/15]:
Naomi Klein: ... But that’s at—you know, the problem is not that this plan itself is bad. If this was announced in Obama’s first year in office, I would be the first to celebrate this and say, "OK, great. So now let’s bring on a carbon tax. Let’s prevent leasing of new oil and gas and coal on public lands. You know, let’s do the rest of the package. Let’s have huge investments in public transit, and we’ll really be on our way." But at the end of his two terms in office, or coming near the end, you know, frankly, this does not buy a climate legacy. It’s not enough, because it isn’t in line with science, and it also isn’t in line with technology. I mean, the team at Stanford University under Mark Jacobson is telling us that we could get to 100 percent renewables, powering our entire economy with renewables, in two decades. So, if the scientists are telling us we need to do it, and the engineers are telling us we can do it, then all that’s missing are the politicians willing to introduce the bold policies that will make it happen. And that’s what we’re missing still.
BG Group has an interest in four exploration blocks located in the Rakhine Basin offshore Myanmar. We operate blocks A-4 and AD-2, holding 45% and 55% of those licences respectively. We also hold 45% of A-7 and AD-5, which are operated by Woodside Energy.
"Failed" refugees threatened with deportation in secret, unjust process.
Possible interference in legal process as silence of UNHCR, Refugee Council, human rights groups and legal profession continues.
Media does PR for Transfield.
Protected and unaccountable Dutton free to continue committing human rights atrocities.
End game as Australia and the IOM's Guantanamo of the Pacific refugee torture/exile experiment appears beyond criticism from even the international community?
... Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, said the advocacy group would seek injunctions against the removal of any asylum seekers from PNG until a constitutional challenge to Manus Island detention centre is heard by the supreme court.
The challenge argues asylum seekers have been systematically denied due process and the protection of their rights under PNG law, and demands enforcement of their rights under the constitution.
Rintoul said the injunction would be sought when the case is back before the court on 17 August. ...
"We are 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us" #Manus via @shanebazzi
... "TO AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. STOP TORTURING US. IF YOU THINK WE DON'T DESERVE AUS. THEN HAND OVER ALL OF US TO THE UN. WE DON'T WANT YOUR HELP!" ... [CNN - 21/1/15]
"Guantánamo of the Pacific": Australian asylum seekers wage hunger strike at offshore detention site [Democracy Now - 22/1/15]:
A massive hunger strike is underway at what some are calling "the Guantánamo Bay of the Pacific."
The Manus Island detention center is paid for by the Australian government and run by an Australian contractor, Transfield Services, but located offshore on Papua New Guinea’s soil.
The inmates are not accused of any crimes — they are asylum seekers from war-ravaged countries who are waiting indefinitely for their refugee status determinations.
They are asking the United Nations to intervene against the Australian federal government’s plan to resettle them in Papua New Guinea, where they say they could face persecution.
Some have barricaded themselves behind the detention center’s high wire fences; others have resorted to increasingly drastic measures such as drinking washing detergent, swallowing razor blades, and even sewing their mouths shut to protest their confinement.
We speak with Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Alex Kelly, a social justice filmmaker who organized a New York City vigil in solidarity with the Manus Island detainees.
Pleas from #ManusProtest ...
Image: @rranwa [16/1/15]
... The judges also queried whether Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were aware they could apply for legal standing to bring a case on behalf of asylum seekers.
Mr Stephens says the comments are likely to "galvanise" activity by human rights groups on behalf of those detained in Manus.
"I don't know whether they've been deliberately deceived but it does seem that somebody has been making a serious error in not letting them know what their rights are," Mr Stephens [Transparency International PNG spokesman Lawrence Stephens] said. ...
WE HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE that, subject to any restrictions imposed by law on non-citizens, all persons in our country are entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever their race, tribe, places of origin, political opinion, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the legitimate public interest, to each of the following:—
(a) life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law; and
(b) the right to take part in political activities; and
(c) freedom from inhuman treatment and forced labour; and
(d) freedom of conscience, of expression, of information and of assembly and association; and
(e) freedom of employment and freedom of movement; and
(f) protection for the privacy of their homes and other property and from
unjust deprivation of property, and have accordingly included in this Constitution provisions designed to afford protection to those rights and freedoms, subject to such limitations on that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations primarily designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the acknowledged rights and freedoms by an individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the legitimate public interest.
5 August 2015