Ship carrying nuclear waste arrives in Australia [Gulf Times - 5/12/15]
Thirty-two workers have been killed and 42 rescued from an offshore oil platform that caught fire in Azerbaijan-controlled waters in the Caspian Sea, the head of an independent committee said on Saturday.
Azeri state energy company SOCAR declined to comment. ... [Reuters - 5/12/15]
UN climate talks approve draft text, many disputes remain [Reuters - 5/12/15]
Here in Paris, a group of mayors from around the world have issued an open letter calling on cities to divest from fossil fuels. The mayors represent a dozen cities, from Portland, Oregon to Oslo, Norway to Moreland City, Australia. All of the mayors who have signed the letter have already committed to either fully or partially divesting the city’s investments and pension funds from fossil fuels. They are part of a global movement in which more than 500 institutions with $3.4 trillion in assets have committed to fossil fuel divestment. [Democracy Now - 4/12/15]
Russia could become the world's largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food, said President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. He also called on the country to become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020. ... [RT - 3/12/15]
A huge majority of MPs backed the government's plans to send German forces to Syria in a vote on Friday morning. ... [The Local - 4/12/15]
US military opens all combat roles to women [Reuters - 4/12/15]
A section of Art Basel Miami Beach was transformed into a crime scene after a fight escalated to a stabbing at the show’s main event inside the Miami Beach Convention Center on Friday night, police said.
A woman pulled an X-Acto knife and stabbed another woman in the arms and neck, said Miami Beach police spokeswoman Det. Kathleen Prieto.
“The injuries are non life-threatening,” Prieto said.
The victim was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital; the assailant, whom police did not identify, was arrested at the scene.
Both women were patrons of the art show, not exhibitors. Some patrons thought the stabbing was a performance art presentation.
Others believed the police tape cordoning off an area of the convention center was part of an art installation. ... [Miami Herald - 4/12/15]
... I'm just living out the American dream
And I just realized that nothing
Is what it seems ...
'American Life', Madonna, Mirwais Ahmadzaï 
Australia. I think we need to have a conversation with ourselves about cultural imperialism and selling out.
... I've seen fast food chains nearly every place that I go ...
KFC TV commercial feat Xavier Rudd [TV Commercial Songs]
Muslims and Christians gather in Perth to discuss 'tough issues' [WA Today - 5/12/15]
Body uncovered on the banks of Pimpama River [MYGC - 5/12/15]:
Police are this morning investigating after a man’s body was uncovered in North Jacobs Well.
Officers were alerted to the scene at Tippler’s Passage overnight where a body was located on the riverbank.
A police spokesperson has indicated the body had begun decomposing making it difficult to identify the man’s age.
Forensic police are carefully trying to uncover the happenings that led to the man’s death.
Suspicious death, Capalaba [QPS Media - 5/12/15]:
Detectives are investigating the suspicious death of a man at Capalaba today.
Around 12.50pm the man was located deceased in a gully off Degen Road.
The man is yet to be formally identified.
A crime scene has been established. 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.
Meanwhile, party pooping fun police keep busy looking for (and creating) trouble in certain localities i.e. Kingston [QPS Media - 5/12/15]
Gladstone police have charged a man following the investigation of an unlawful wounding in Benaraby.
It will be alleged around 1.10am yesterday two men were involved in an altercation at a caravan park on the Bruce Highway in which one of the men sustained a stab wound to his back.
A 26-year-old West Gladstone man has been charged with one count of unlawful wounding and one count of use a carriage service to make a threat to cause serious harm.
He is due to appear at Gladstone Magistrates Court on Monday, December 7
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. [QPS Media - 5/12/15]
A former Navy seaman who punched a man in the face and knocked another unconscious should never have been sent to prison, a district court judge has found.
Matthew David Scott Payne was sent to jail for 18 months with parole after three, after pleading guilty to assault occasioning bodily harm during a night out on the Sunshine Coast.
But in reasons published on Friday, Maroochydore District Court Judge John Robertson found the presiding magistrate made "multiple errors both in law and in fact" and the 29-year-old should never have gone to jail. ... [Brisbane Times - 5/12/15]
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey and Australia's Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell gave the traditional salute to Brisbane's respected army troops on Saturday which marked 50 years of service to Brisbane. ... [Brisbane Times - 5/12/15]
A house fire that killed the wife and three daughters of celebrity chef Matt Golinski is likely to have been started by Christmas tree lights or a power board, Queensland's Coroner has found. ... [ABC - 5/12/15]
Armed robbery, Heathwood [QPS Media - 5/12/15]
Two women have escaped unhurt from a six-hour siege at a Rye cafe, where they were being held by a lone gunman since morning.
One of the women, the 45-year-old owner of the cafe, was the man's ex-partner, while the other woman was a 32-year-old worker.
Police said the dispute related to a combination of a relationship and a business breakdown. ... [The Age - 5/12/15]
A Richardson man has been accused of kicking in the front door of his former partner's home and threatening to smash the woman's head with a hammer.
The 32-year-old man was denied bail in the ACT Magistrates Court on Saturday, but his lawyer said there were concerns about the strength of the charges against him as the woman had failed to provide a statement to police since the alleged incidents on November 23. ... [Canberra Times - 5/12/15]
California mass shooters discreet, devout Muslims: attorneys [4/12/15]:
Attorneys representing the family of the California mass shooters described the couple on Friday as devout Muslims but said there was no sign they had become radicalised.
Syed Farook, 28, and his 27-year-old wife Tashfeen Malik died in a shootout with police, hours after killing 14 people at a year-end party organised by Farook's employer in San Bernardino on Wednesday.
The FBI said the shooting, the deadliest in the country in three years, was being treated as an “act of terrorism” but there was no evidence yet linking the pair to a network.
“There is no sign that the alleged shooters belonged to a larger organisation or a terrorist cell,” David Chesley, one of two attorneys representing the family, told a news conference.
The family's attorneys said the couple, who lived in a townhouse with their baby daughter and Farook's mother, were quiet and kept to themselves.
Chesley said Tashfeen, who met Farook on an online dating site in 2013 and married him a year later in Saudi Arabia, was traditional and devout.
“There is very little information we have about her,” he said, describing her as a “typical housewife.”
Attorney Mohammad Abuershaid said few people came in contact with Tashfeen, who was born in Pakistan, wore the full-face veil and did not drive.
“The women (in the family) communicated with her. Farook didn't want anyone else to talk to her,” Abuershaid said.
“She was very soft-spoken and nice.”
When Farook's family members came to visit, he said, the women sat in one room and the men in another. “This is a very traditional way of acting,” Abuershaid said.
“So the men did not interact with her.”
He said the men in the family had never seen Tashfeen's face as she wore the burqa, or full-face veil.
“They just knew her as Syed's wife,” he said.
The attorneys said the family was aware that Farook had guns but didn't think much of that as he had acquired them legally and enjoyed target practice.
“As a gun owner myself, I probably have 4,000 to 5,000 rounds that I keep at home,” Chesley said.
“And the reason we buy them in bulk, is they're cheaper that way.”
He and Abuershaid said Farook's family were interviewed for four hours on Thursday by FBI agents trying to piece together what prompted the carnage.
“If there's anything remarkable about the (interview) that took place yesterday, it is that no ties (to extremist groups) could really be established to the point of frustration on the part of the FBI,” Chesley said.
He also appeared to downplay reports that Tashfeen had posted a message on Facebook around the time of the attacks expressing support for the leader of the militant Islamic State group.
“The entire world is digging for information and the most we've gotten so far is somebody looked at something on Facebook,” Chesley said.
At least 14 people were killed and another six wounded when a mortar allegedly fired by Afghan National Army (ANA) troops hit a mosque in the Syedabad district of central Maidan Wardak province on Friday, residents said.
Elders of the district had gathered in a mosque in Wotali village when a mortar shell fired from an ANA checkpoint hit the mosque, killing 14 people, a former district chief of the Daimardad district, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The dead included two children, Hajji Fazal Rabi told Pajhwok Afghan News.
He said it was unclear as to why the troops fired the mortar, but said local residents had decided to take the dead bodies to the governor’s house in protest. ... [Pajhwok - 4/12/15]
Afghan-US forces free 40 from Taliban prison [TOLO News - 4/12/15]
Three Pakistani Taliban militants were killed in a NATO drone strike in the eastern province of Kunar, officials said on Friday. ... [Pajhwok - 4/12/15]
Finland is planning to keep troops in the NATO-led military training scheme in Afghanistan until the end of 2016, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said on Tuesday. ... [TOLO News - 3/12/15]
Civil rights activists marched in Kabul on Thursday, calling on government to come up with more inclusive measures to bring peace and security to the country.
Protestors, chanted slogans and sang songs in a bid to promote peace in front of the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) offices where they also renamed the street "Tolerance Road". ... [TOLO News - 3/12/15]
Cairo nightclub petrol bombing leaves 16 dead [Yahoo - 5/12/15]
The Chilean Supreme Court sentenced Friday three former secret agents who worked for the former dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) for the murder of a theology student and activist in 1978.
The victim, German Rodriguez Cortes, was killed at the age of 29. He was a former seminarian of the Fathers of the Holy Family and a member of the Political Committee of the Revolutionary Left Movement during the dictatorship.
Miguel Krassnoff Marchenko, Basclay Sandoval Zapata Reyes and Enrique Arancibia – three former officials with the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) – were sentenced by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision to 10 years and a day in prison. ... [teleSUR - 4/12/15]
A fine journalist vanishes into Egypt’s gulag [Counterpunch - 4/12/15]
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the targeted killing of national radio and TV journalist Hindiya Mohamed in Mogadishu today.
Mohamed, who worked for Radio Mogadishu and Somali National TV, was badly wounded by a bomb planted in her car and died from her injuries in Madina Hospital a few hours later. ... [Media Release - 3/12/15]
Suspected US drone strike targets Al Shabaab base in Somalia [All Africa - 2/12/15]
Arabsat blocks Al-Manar TV broadcast via its satellites [Al Manar TV - 4/12/15]
In Chicago, court records show that police officer Jason Van Dyke, who has been indicted for shooting African American teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times, may have also played a role in the cover-up of another fatal police shooting a decade ago.
The family of Emmanuel Lopez says that in 2005, five Chicago police officers shot Lopez 16 times and then falsely claimed he had tried to run over an officer with his car.
In a deposition, Van Dyke admitted that he copied the statements of his fellow police officers in order to corroborate their story.
Lopez’s family has brought a lawsuit over the killing, which goes to trial in February. [Democracy Now - 4/12/15]
US police officers trained to use lethal Israeli tactics [Electronic Intifada - 4/12/15]:
US police officers are being tutored by Israel on how to employ the tactics that have brought death and serious injury to huge numbers of Palestinians in the past few months.
Officers from 15 US police agencies recently traveled to the Middle East for lessons from their Israeli counterparts.
For 10 days in late November, police officers from New York, Miami, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and US Customs and Border Protection observed the daily operations of the Jerusalem police, the Israeli Border Police and the Shin Bet secret service, all of which play a vital role in administering Israel’s system of control over Palestinians.
The training junket was hosted by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a neoconservative think tank that claims to have organized Israeli training sessions for some 9,500 law enforcement officials since 2004 through its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).
2 Palestinians shot dead near Ramallah after alleged attacks [Maan - 4/12/15]
Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers in Hebron overnight Friday after an alleged stabbing attack on an Israeli soldier, Israel's army and locals said. ... [Maan - 4/12/15]
The EU missions In Jerusalem and Ramallah made a statement this Friday regarding the demolitions and confiscations of Palestinians houses/structures in the Area C. ... [PNN - 4/12/15]
American Muslims began tweeting photographs of their homes with the hashtag #MuslimApartment after several news networks, including MSNBC and CNN, sifted through the contents of the apartment of Sayed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, two suspects in Wednesday’s San Bernardino shooting. ... [National Journal - 5/12/15]
@Leotriolo [5/12/15]: My sleeper cell #MuslimApartment
Web activists, tech professionals and rights groups in Nigeria have joined forces to call for the withdrawal of a draft bill which, they claim, will limit freedom of expression in Africa’s most populous country.
Using the #NoToSocialMediaBill hashtag, they took to Twitter on Friday to oppose the proposed law, which has passed a second reading at the Senate.
The draft bill to "Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith," proposed by senator Bala Ibn Na'Allah from the ruling All People’s Congress party (APC), starts by making it illegal to start any type of petition without swearing an affidavit that the content is true in a court of law.
Its proposals include up to two years in prison, or a fine of $10,000, or both, for anyone posting an "abusive statement" via text message, Twitter, WhatsApp, or any other form of social media. ... [Al Jazeera - 4/12/15]
French police detained dozens of activists defying a government ban on protests by entering a corporate activity held in conjunction with the COP21 Climate Change summit. The demonstrators were protesting the role of transnational corporations. Two teleSUR journalists were detained, beaten, and subsequently released without any further explanations. [VIDEO - teleSUR - 4/12/15]
Eighteen patients have died in an intensive care unit in the southern Indian city of Chennai after heavy flooding caused disruptions to generators running life-support systems, officials have said.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said on Friday that an inquiry will be conducted into the tragedy at the MIOT International hospital, which took the official death toll in flood-related incidents to 280. ... [Al Jazeera - 4/12/15]
Scores of mercenaries – including high-ranking commanders – fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia against Yemen have been killed in retaliatory attacks by Yemeni forces in the country’s al-Jawf region, a report says.
They were killed in operations carried out jointly by the Yemeni army and Popular Committees in al-Jawf’s al-Wadiyah region on Friday, Yemen’s al-Masirah television said in a news flash.
Meanwhile, allied Yemeni forces have begun large-scale operations against Saudi Arabian military bases, including those in the southern Nijran region.
The operations involve the use of heavy missile and artillery fire.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry says at least 30 different positions and military bases held by Saudi Arabian forces have been completely cleared in the preliminary phase of the large-scale offensive. ... [Press TV - 4/12/15]
Yemen: Ban calls for prompt investigation after Saudi-led airstrikes destroy another health clinic [UN Media Release - 3/12/15]
The [New Zealand] Government is building a $2.6 million abattoir on a Saudi sheikh's desert farm and opposition parties are asking why.
The project was confirmed yesterday as part of the $11.5m deal with Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf. ... [3 News - 4/12/15]
The United Nations food agency has warned that food supplies in Yemen are deteriorating quickly and that the country is at risk of slipping into famine.
Ten out of Yemen's 22 governorates were now classified as facing food insecurity at "emergency" level, which is one step below famine, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday. ... [Al Jazeera - 4/12/15]
Thousands flee South Sudan fighting to Democratic Republic of the Congo [UNHCR Media Release - 4/12/15]
End of empire ----> Dick Cheney marble bust unveiled in US Capitol [ABC News - 3/12/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [4/12/15]:
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.
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 20 strikes using attack, fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft:
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, six strikes struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.
-- Near Abu Kamal, two strikes struck an ISIL oil field well head.
-- Near Ayn Isa, four strikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Mar’a, eight strikes struck seven separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle, four ISIL staging areas, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, an ISIL compound, and wounded four ISIL fighters.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, and attack aircraft conducted six strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Kisik, one strike suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 14 ISIL heavy machine guns, five ISIL RPGs, an ISIL recoilless rifle, two ISIL anti-air artillery pieces, three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL sniper positions, three ISIL staging areas, three ISIL bed down locations, two ISIL compounds, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Mosul, one strike damaged an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb storage location.
Russian warplanes destroy 12 fuel pump stations in Syria in a week — Defense Ministry [TASS - 4/12/15]
Russia fights terrorism in Syria upon official request by the legitimate Syrian authorities, Putin asserts [SANA - 4/12/15]
Turkish soldiers training Iraqi troops near Mosul: sources [Reuters - 4/12/15]:
... A statement from the Iraqi prime minister's media office confirmed that Turkish troops numbering "around one armed battalion with a number of tanks and cannons" had entered its territory near Mosul without request or permission from Baghdad authorities.
It called on the forces to leave immediately. ...
Reports of abuses by Iraqi, Kurdish forces against Sunni Arabs increasing, UN rights office says [Media Release - 4/12/15]
Major defense contractors Raytheon, Oshkosh, and Lockheed Martin assured investors at a Credit Suisse conference in West Palm Beach this week that they stand to gain from the escalating conflicts in the Middle East.
Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President Bruce Tanner told the conference his company will see “indirect benefits” from the war in Syria, citing the Turkish military’s recent decision to shoot down a Russian warplane. ... [The Intercept - 5/12/15]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [4/12/15]: Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded near a medical compound in Nue'iriya area east of Baghdad resulted in death and 7 injuries.....
Important lecture about seeking asylum - and how Australia is trashing the UN Refugee Convention ----> Professor Alison Mountz, of Harvard University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, responds to and challenges the crisis narratives unfolding in the media as she discusses political struggles over the erosion of asylum taking place globally. This talk explores shifting geographies of migration and border enforcement in major transit sites where migrants and asylum seekers seek entry and protection. The talk dwells in islands and enforcement archipelagos, offshore sites where struggles over entry and exclusion transpire and where the infrastructure of border enforcement and detention are growing. ... [VIDEO - Centre for International Governance Innovation - 12/11/15]
Even The Saturday Paper is now legitimising the Australian government's deceitful "handpicked 12,000 Syrians who don't come by boat" stunt ----> One Syrian refugee's new life in Australia [The Saturday Paper - 5/12/15]
Another "nice" refugee story as Australia continues to imprison and torture 30,000 refugees in our region ------> A Chinese-Australian businessman has donated 100,000 winter jackets to Syrian refugees in Germany.
Henry Ngai, the founder of ABC Tissue Products, which makes Quilton toilet paper, bought the heavy-duty jackets without knowing how to get them to Europe.
His donation has spurred a major logistical effort involving China Southern Airlines, the German government and the German Red Cross to transport the clothing to where it is needed.
At a publicity event in Sydney restaurant on Friday, a member of the German embassy, Lars Olberg, offered his thanks to Mr Ngai.
"We need help to be able to help the people coming to Germany," he said. Mr Olberg said Germany expected to receive 1.5 million refugees this year and was overwhelmed by the challenge of providing for them.
"As you might know, Germany is well known for its 'ordnung'," he said. "Everything is properly ordered and we have a plan.
"In this case, we don't have a plan."
Federal government MP Philip Ruddock was at the event and commended Mr Ngai on his philanthropy and contribution to Australian business. [Yahoo - 4/12/15]
5 December 2015