Terror attacks continue across Iraq and Syria

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [4/1/16]:

 

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.

Strike in Syria

An attack aircraft conducted a strike near Ayn Isa, which destroyed five ISIL buildings.

Strikes in Iraq

Coalition military forces conducted 25 strikes in Iraq using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, cratered an ISIL-used road, wounded three ISIL fighters, denied ISIL access to terrain, suppressed two ISIL mortar positions and an ISIL vehicle bomb, and destroyed an ISIL machine gun, an ISIL fighting position, five ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL vehicle bomb, and five ISIL rocket rails.

-- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, four ISIL vehicles, and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Mosul, 12 strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL excavator, four ISIL weapons caches, ISIL engineering equipment, three ISIL heavy machine guns, and 12 ISIL assembly areas.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.

-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and four buildings.

-- Near Sinjar, two strikes destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and suppressed two ISIL machine gun positions.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed 10 ISIL bunkers.


 

 

 

 

 

Dunford arrives in Germany to meet with US Commanders [US Department of Defense - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Afghanistan:  High Peace Council’s Samangan chief gunned down [Khaama - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

1 dead, over 20 wounded in powerful suicide car bombing in Kabul [Khaama - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

The Afghan national security forces have eliminated all four terrorists and ended siege of a building near the Indian consulate after almost 25 hours of resistance.

The provincial government media office said the operation was jointly conducted by the special forces of the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army under the supervision of acting governor Gen. Ata Mohammad Noor. ... [Khaama - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

... The U.S. government is obviously not eager to alienate a government that President Obama has wooed with warm words and over $90 billion in arms sales.

The diplomatic offensive by Saudi-financed flacks and media has provided some space for it to provide a muted response to the execution. ... After executing regime critic, Saudi Arabia fires up American PR machine [Intercept - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

David Cameron has been urged to "come clean" over the role the UK Government played in voting Saudi Arabia on to the UN Human Rights Council in an alleged secret deal. 

The Saudi Government executed 47 people on Saturday causing outrage across the Middle East and sparking renewed concerns over its human rights record.

In response, the leaders of the Liberal Democrat and Green parties have demanded a public inquiry into whether the UK was involved in a secret vote-trading deal in 2013 to secure both countries a place on an influential UN panel.

Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks last year purported to show that UK initiated secret negotiations by asking Saudi Arabia for its support ahead of a ballot. ... [Independent - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

The German Green Party has called for ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid increased tensions between Riyadh and Tehran following the recent execution of a prominent Shiite cleric by Riyadh, party leader Cem Oezdemir said. ... [Sputnik News - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals. ... [Balkan Insight - 21/12/15]

 


 

 

War Is A Racket:  A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC [ICH]

 

 

 


Hidden Vale's James Bond legacy [Queensland Times – 25/6/11]:

 

... [Ipswich City Councillor David] Pahlke says [Sidney] Cotton is "still regarded as the father of aerial photographic reconnaissance" and was fearless in flying his Lockheed 12A Junior Electra with cameras concealed in the cabin floor.

One daring stunt involved flying with Luftwaffe officer Albert Kesslring - later to become one of Hitler's right hand men - along the Rhine River to visit an "alleged maiden aunt."

"But there was no aunt," Pahlke grins.

"Kesselring, a pilot himself, took the controls and while he was doing that Cotton pressed a secret button and photographed fortifications and airfields with the hidden cameras that he'd cut into the wings and fuselage.

"Cotton had a photographic business so he had a legit reason for being in Germany. He would pose as a film producer, a businessman or an archaeologist on these field trips."

Cotton also displayed his maverick side when he flew to Berlin to bring Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering back to England for peace talks.

"But Hitler put a stop to that," Pahlke says.

"Cotton had to fly back to England in a straight line or be shot down. He was in the last civilian aircraft to leave Berlin before the war started.

...

 

 

 

Bomb attacks damage three Sunni mosques in Iraq [Al Jazeera - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Israeli forces shoot, injure 11 Palestinians after funeral [Maan - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Palestinian shot after alleged stabbing attempt in Jerusalem [Maan - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Israel charges two 12-year-old Palestinian boys with attempted murder [4/1/16]:

 

... Amjad Abu Asab, who heads an East Jerusalem committee for prisoners' families, said that both children were detained last Wednesday and were "interrogated in the absence of adult family members and lawyers, which is a serious violation of Israeli law and international law."

Abu Asab added that the Jerusalem central court had also ordered each of the boys' families to pay a bail of 5,000 shekels and sign a bail of 10,000 shekels.

According to Israeli watchdog Military Court Watch, there were 407 Palestinian children in Israeli custody at the end of November.

...

 

 

Two Israelis charged in firebombing that killed Palestinian family [Electronic Intifada - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

... Wyatt Roy, who at 25 is Australia’s youngest minister, says he came to Israel because he wants to see the two countries collaborate more.

“I think Australia and Israel are a more natural partnership than Australia and Silicon Valley. We both have strong anti-authoritarian streaks, ‘chutzpah’ and ‘rosh gadol’ (thinking big),” he riffs, using Israeli slang.

“In Australia we support the underdog and always want to challenge authority.”

...

Campbell Newman of the Springfield Land Corps is the former mayor of Brisbane and is now in charge of creating a high-tech precinct in the planned city of Springfield, Queensland. The town currently has 30,000 residents but is expected to grow to 150,000 in the coming decades.

“I’ve been identifying features of the startup nation to be deployed in Springfield,” he says, explaining his motive for joining the mission.

Newman says he has already pitched several Israeli companies to open an office in Springfield.

“It’s a great place to get access to Asian markets and it’s a safe, secure environment with a great legal system.”

Newman currently has 42 hectares of forest and hills that he plans to transform into a cross between an office park and a hip urban hub.

“I am curating this innovation precinct. We’ll have incubators, accelerators, companies and large corporations. But also apartments, wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops. So there’s an active life and buzz.” ... [Times of Israel - 9/11/15]

 

 

 

Reuters reports that Hezbollah bombed the Shebaa Farms border area in retaliation for Israeli shelling and the death of Samir Kuntar, a Hezbollah commander killed in Damascus.

Local Lebanese media reported Israel shelling Shebaa Farms, a town on the Israeli-Lebanese-Syrian border.

Israel claims the attack was a preemptive measure to prevent Hezbollah from seeking revenge for the death of Kuntar. Israel is believed to have been behind the airstrike that killed him, though there is no official confirmation.

Hezbollah claimed the bombing attack and confirmed they were targeting IDF soldiers, according to Reuters. [Albawaba - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Garissa University reopens after massacre that left 147 dead [The Star - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

I’m a cartoonist in a country where cartooning can be a crime. Under my pen name, Zunar, I expose corruption and abuses of power by the Malaysian government. As it happens, I have a good deal of material to work with. For instance, Prime Minister Najib Razak is currently facing questions about a $700 million “donation” made to his personal bank account.

Last February, police raided my home in the middle of the night and hauled me off to jail. I was handcuffed for eight hours and thrown into a cell with all the other criminal suspects. I managed to avoid telling my cellmates what I was in for: using Twitter.

I was accused of sedition over a series of tweets I sent out opposing the jailing of a prominent Malaysian opposition leader. Now I’m facing nine charges under my country’s archaic, colonial-era Sedition Act, which could result in a 43-year prison sentence . The court proceedings against me begin this month.

I was in the United States in November to receive a press freedom award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. While I was discussing my case with American journalists and cartoonists, President Obama was in Kuala Lumpur meeting with Najib — the third time they met face to face.

Obama is eagerly courting Malaysia in his efforts to fight extremism and to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, and his meeting reportedly focused on that to the virtual exclusion of everything else. That’s a grave disappointment and a missed opportunity. Obama has a responsibility to put the issue of human rights on the table. ... Zunar [Washington Post - 1/1/16]

 

 

 

How many refugee boats will the Australian Navy - with the support of the political, media and human rights establishment - tow back today?

 

... By 9am this morning,10 boats carrying #refugees and #migrants had already arrived on the shores of #Lesvos

 

 

 

"tweeted" by ‏@MSF_Sea [4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Which country on this map of  South East Asia is supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?

 

 

 

Who was Australia's representative? The People Smuggling Ambassador? ---->  ... "They focused on an information campaign, that's all. Not about helping people at sea and not about humanitarian assistance," a U.N. official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. ... Thai migrant crisis meeting ends without any solution on offer  [Reuters - 4/12/15]

 

 



South East Asia refugee and migrant genocide can continue being covered up with weasel words, the complicity of a racist, victim blaming media, and the ability to ignore the elephant in the room i.e. the regional pariah's example setting human rights atrocities against refugees and asylum seekers [UNHCR Media Release - 4/12/15]

 

 

 

US Envoy on US Refugee, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia, UNHCR and IOM press conference fobs off regional concerns about Myanmar human rights abuses and refugee exodus [3/6/15]:

 

... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.

You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.

And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.

But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...

 

 

 

The world’s clogged asylum system - brought to you by exceptionalist, isolationist US client states such as Australia [IRIN - 4/1/16]:

 

... Despite the dangers back in Afghanistan, Ahmadi now wonders if he made a mistake by leaving.

As night fell, Ahmadi and the other teenage Hazara refugees packed in tight along the sidewalk. It’s the only place they said they feel safe sleeping after being attacked around the corner a few weeks ago.

The boys said a large group of Indonesians confronted them during the night and began to shout. Most of the refugees had been in the country only a matter of months and none spoke enough Bahasa Indonesian to understand what was being said. But they all remembered one man shouting, “Disini Indonesia!” (“This is Indonesia!”), before punching one of the boys in the face, breaking his nose.

Ahmadi and his friends eyed the Indonesian teenagers strumming an acoustic guitar and singing down the block with suspicion.

Ahmadi sat on his scrap of cardboard in socks and a stretched out t-shirt as he rifled through his backpack to pull out a worn notebook.

He removed a pristine white envelope from between its pages and gently opened the letter before smoothing it out on the ground.

The letter listed his refugee information and the date of his next interview with UNHCR.

The appointment is in five months time. ...

 

 

 

Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.

 In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.

The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014. ... [Guardian - 11/12/15]

 

 

 

 

Refugees and people smuggling:  What the Australian media refuse to challenge [Independent Australia - 26/10/14]:

 

... In November 2000, the UN drafted and approved a Smuggling of Migrants protocol, which excluded the movement of refugees from the criminal elements of crossing borders without papers and stating clearly that people must not be punished simply for being smuggled.

[See the legal opinion by Professor Ben Saul, an international law expert, here.]

There have been two Senate inquiries into the stories of people smugglers, after children as young as 13 were found to be gaoled in adult prisons in Western Australia.

Not one expert agreed with the Government position that seeking asylum had anything to do with people smuggling, because it is legal to cross borders without papers for the purposes of seeking asylum, even under Australian law.

Even after those two investigations, children being gaoled in adult prisons, other children being kidnapped by Australia and their families in Indonesia forced to think they had died at sea, we continue to have a media that refuses to ever concede it is not people smuggling to seek asylum in any other country but here. ...

 

 

 

The Phuketwan journalists say this picture of emaciated Rohingya on the beach was given to them by the Thai navy [BBC - 1/9/15]

 

 

 

... On January 1, 2013, Phuketwan reporters travelled by speedboat to intercept a Rohingya boat off the southern Phuket destination of Rawai. This boat was different to other boats: there were women and children on board. We were shocked to see whole families in the basic primitive conditions that usually only the Rohingya menfolk experienced. This was because two outbreaks of violence in Burma's Arakan state in 2012 had led to the torching of family homes, and the refugee camps were being deprived of essentials by the Rohingya's hateful neighbors. The children said they were fleeing ''certain death.'' Those families were trucked back to Ranong and put back on another boat.  ... [Phuketwan - 7/12/13]

 

 

 

A Ranong Immigration truck heads for the Andaman Club pier on Saturday [Phuketwan - 21/10/13]

 

 

 

Rangoon mosque banned from holding celebrations on independence day [Burma Times - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

After being left stranded at sea, what happened to the Rohingya migrants and refugees? [AUDIO - NPR - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

Woodside scores drilling success with gas find off Myanmar

 

 

 

[Sydney Morning Herald - 4/1/16]

 

 

 The CEO of Australian company Woodside, Mr Peter Coleman, and Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Woodside's investment in Myanmar on 12 May 2015.  Australian Embassy in Myanmar

 

 

 

Security forces vandalised and robbed shops belonging to Rohingya Muslims in the adjoining villages of Godusera and Kiladong of Maungdaw South.

On Saturday at around 6pm, police and BGP [Border Guard Police] forces entered Godusera from the east.

They claimed the villagers were sheltering terrorists and moved into a stall which they vandalised. They then broke into the cashier and looted everything. Similar robberies were committed in other stalls of Godusera before the security forces moved into Kiladong. Here also the security forces broke into shops.

Rohingya shopkeepers who protested at the robbery committed by the security personal were badly beaten up. Altogether four Rohingyas have been reportedly injured in beatings by the police and BGP. ... [Burma Times - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rohingya Muslims in Kyauktaw are in a stranded state following heavy clashes between the military and the Rakhine insurgent outfit Arakan Army. ... [Burma Times - 3/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Simon Lewis, a volunteer lifesaver, flew from Melbourne to Lesbos, in order to help rescue refugees crossing the Aegean by boat. ... [Neos Kosmos - 3/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Ourstralia, an initiative of Balmain for Refugees, has created a series of videos to spark conversation and awareness about Australia’s current treatment of asylum seekers.

The online videos are the beginning of a campaign seeking to highlight the excuses made to avoid taking responsibility around the issues of refugees and asylum seekers.

The underlying message of the humorous videos is that the more we make excuses for ignoring the cries of those in desperate need, the crueller and more punitive our policies become.

Ourstralia is hoping the videos will prompt conversation amongst the Church and broader community, with a view towards crowdfunding to have the videos shown on free-to-air television. ... [Crosslight - 1/12/15]

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka’s main opposition demanded the military vacate private land that it was occupying, whilst welcoming President Sirisena’s commitment to returning government seized lands.

Speaking to Agence France Presse Tamil National Alliance MP MA Sumanthiran, said, “We welcome this as a very positive development but our stand is that the military must vacate all private lands they are occupying.”

The president told AFP on Sunday that land would be given to displaced civilians by the middle of the year. [Tamil Guardian - 4/1/15]

 

 

 

Tamils in Northern Sri Lanka protest against military occupation of their land. [Tamil Refugee Council - 4/1/15]

 

 

 

 

 

Consultation needed before changing preference to Buddhism in Sri Lanka constitution warns party leader [Tamil Guardian - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

10th anniversary of 'Trinco 5' killings, still no justice [Tamil Guardian - 2/1/16]

 

 

 

Are Australians so arrogant they cannot imagine ever becoming a refugee?  ---->  China's first landing of a plane on one of its new island runways in the South China Sea shows Beijing's facilities in the disputed region are being completed on schedule and military flights will inevitably follow, foreign officials and analysts said.

China's increasing military presence in the disputed sea could effectively lead to a Beijing-controlled air defence zone, they said, ratcheting up tensions with other claimants and with the United States in one of the world's most volatile areas.

Chinese foreign ministry officials confirmed on Saturday that a test flight by a civilian plane landed on an artificial island built in the Spratlys, the first time Beijing has used a runway in the area.

Vietnam launched a formal diplomatic protest while Philippines Foreign Ministry spokesman Charles Jose said Manila was planning to do the same. Both have claims to the area that overlap with China. ... [Channel News Asia - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

A powerful earthquake struck South Asia before dawn on Monday, killing at least nine people and injuring nearly 200, with efforts to rescue those trapped in rubble hampered by severed power supplies and telecommunication links.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake of magnitude 6.8 was 57 km (35 miles) deep and struck 29 km (18 miles) west of Imphal, the capital of India's northeastern state of Manipur, bordering Myanmar.

The quake struck while many residents were asleep, and roofs and staircases of some buildings collapsed in the city of about 270,000 people. ... [Channel News Asia - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

‏@clayton_dixon [5/1/16]:   Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, first protest action for #2016, blocked Queen St in Brisbane, commemorate resistance warrior Dundalli

 

 

 

#Dundalli Remembrance Day about to start in PO Square ... @ArchieM00re [5/1/16]

 

 

 

... On January 5 every year, Brisbane's indigenous people commemorate Dundalli at the site of his cruel death, now the Brisbane central Post Office. ... [AUDIO - 4ZzZ - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

 

Dundalli:  Queensland history's hidden warrior [Brisbane Times – 3/5/15]:

... From 1841 and into early 1842 settlers pushed out into the Brisbane Valley, but it was when up to 60 Aboriginal people were poisoned at the MacKenzie's station near Kilcoy that relations changed.

"The owner was away and the Yaggerah Aboriginal people to the west had already attacked a nearby station to the west," Dr Connors said.

"And in December, January is the big bunya nut gathering time which happened at nearby Baroon Pocket."

She said "hundreds of Aboriginal people" came to look at these new white people and their new animals after the bunya nut gathering.

"There are descriptions of how the Aboriginal people would just camp near a hut or camp near the head station and just watch the Europeans."

Dr Connors said there was confusion among Aboriginal people.

To the west, the Yaggera people said these Europeans were bad, would not share and complained when they took sheep on their lands.

To the north, the Dalla people – who were interested in their metal and food – said they were talking to them and wanted them to plant food on their land.

"There was obviously this period, when all the people to the north of Brisbane were saying they were not sure how to respond," Dr Connors said.

In the absence of the Shepherds, who owned and ran the Kilcoy property, staff panicked and poisoned either the flour, the meat or the bread to ward off the Aboriginals.

Between 1842 and 1843, "the bora" – the collective council of the aboriginal people – met twice to decide their strategy against the Europeans.

And Dundalli slowly became the warrior for these people.

...

 

 

 

Media companies linked to the Murdochs pay the least tax [Australian Financial Review - 5/1/16]

 

 

'Courier-Mail' stenographers despise the rule of law AND the disabled.

 

 

Boycott Murdoch.

 

 

@chrismurphys [7/4/13]:   Mission Australia bonds with Murdoch gang to attack the most defenceless of us all. What have we become?...

 

 

 

... On a personal level I would urge Professor Cunningham as a well known cinephile to take a look again at Istvan Szabo's 1981 film Mephisto. There he will see how compromises on such issues as compassion towards the weak and the right to free speech might well serve one's own ambitions but can also lead to the triumph of totalitarianism. [QUT dispute --Brian Laver in response to Prof Cunningham of QUT  - Left Click Blog - 2007]

 

 

 

"After seven years as a sports journalist for the Quest suburban newspaper group and a time before that as an accountant, Noonan, pictured, is now clear about what he wants to do with his life: ``I want to make films,'' he said." [Tess Livingstone, 'Courier-Mail', 16 June, 2007]

 

 

Peter Greste returns to Australia's public speaking circuit one day after medieval exile laws pass in another Senate bipartisan stitchup

 

 

Peter Greste says Julie Bishop’s death stare helped get him out of prison [Buzzfeed - 26/3/15]

 

 

 

Already happened in Australia - where were you New York Times [4/1/16]:

 

 

... But Mr. Hollande wants to go further, and amend France’s Constitution to make it easier for the government to declare a state of emergency, remove the possibility of legal challenges to government actions under a state of emergency, including warrantless searches and preventive detention, and make it possible to strip French-born dual nationals convicted of terrorism-related crimes of their French citizenship. (Naturalized dual-national citizens can already be stripped of their French citizenship.)

The majority of the more than three million French-born dual nationals hold their second citizenship in a Muslim majority country where one or both of their parents were born. In effect, the citizenship amendment is aimed at French-born Muslims. It has provoked a storm of controversy, as it did when former French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed it in 2010. At that time, Mr. Hollande and other prominent French Socialists roundly condemned the proposal, arguing that doing so would effectively torpedo one of the cornerstones of France’s democracy: the equality of all citizens before the law. Last month, France’s Council of Ministers accepted the proposed changes to France’s Constitution. The amendments will be debated in Parliament in February.

Last month, France’s Council of Ministers accepted the proposed changes to France’s Constitution. The amendments will be debated in Parliament in February.

The Parliament should reject these unnecessary and divisive constitutional changes. The push to diminish civil liberties and end judicial oversight will only magnify the potential for the abuse of power, without making the public safer.

 

 

 

The incoming Liberal government is expected to uproot several constitutionally contentious laws and policies sown by the defeated Conservative government.

So far, the Liberals have pledged to repeal or amend at least six pieces of Conservative legislation, most notably the two signature proclamations of the Tory era: the Fair Elections Act and Bill C-51, otherwise known as the Anti-terrorism Act of 2015.

The Grits say they also will repeal sections of Bill C-24, the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act, which allows senior government politicians to strip Canadian citizenship, without a trial, from dual nationals convicted of serious crimes. ... [National Post - 28/10/15]

 

 

 

Bill C-24 Allows revocation of citizenship of Canadian-born residents [Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Centre]

 

 

 

Journalist Mohamed Fahmy says Tory law made him fear losing Canadian citizenship [Huffington Post - 9/11/15]

 

  

 

TBIJ [27/2/13]:


An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and published in the Independent has established that since 2010 the Home Secretary Theresa May has revoked the passports of 16 individuals many of whom are alleged to have had links to militant or terrorist groups.

Critics of the programme warn that it also allows ministers to ‘wash their hands’ of British nationals suspected of terrorism who could be subject to torture and illegal detention abroad.

They add that it also allows those stripped of their citizenship to be killed or ‘rendered’ without any onus on the British government to intervene.

At least five of those deprived of their UK nationality by the Coalition government were born in Britain, and one man had lived in the country for almost 50 years.

Those affected have their passports cancelled, and lose their right to enter the UK – making it very difficult to appeal the Home Secretary’s decision.

Last night the Liberal Democrat’s deputy leader Simon Hughes said he was writing to the Home Secretary to call for an urgent review into how the law was being implemented.

The leading human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce said the present situation ‘smacked of medieval exile, just as cruel and just as arbitrary’.

Ian Macdonald QC, president of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, described the citizenship orders as ‘sinister’.

‘They’re using executive powers and I think they’re using them quite wrongly,’ he said.

‘It’s not open government, it’s closed, and it needs to be exposed because in my view it’s a real overriding of open government and the rule of law.’

Laws were passed in 2002 enabling the Home Secretary to remove the citizenship of any dual nationals who had done something ‘seriously prejudicial’ to the UK, but the power had rarely been used before the current government.

The Bureau’s investigations have established the identities of all but four of the 21 British passport holders who have lost their citizenship, and their subsequent fates. Only two have successfully appealed – one of whom has since been extradited to the US.

...

 

 

 

 

"A good bloke"  ----->  The bodies of a father and his two young children have been pulled from a car that appeared to have been deliberately driven off a wharf in the South Australian town of Port Lincoln on Monday.

Police divers made the discovery shortly after recovering a rifle from the Ford station wagon that drove at high speed off Brennan Wharf, South Australian police said. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

...  The most recent figures from the Australian Institute of Criminology show there were 22 cases of filicide nationwide between 2008 and 2010.

Dr Buchanan said men who killed their children often blamed the mother for feelings of powerlessness and sometimes believed the children had been ''infected'' by her.

''Our children represent our spouses, they've got that symbolic representation of the mother but they are more vulnerable,'' he said.

''In the cases I've seen, it's very rare for them to blame the children; the children are a proxy by which they're getting back at the mother.''

Domestic Violence Resource Centre senior researcher Deborah Kirkwood said fathers who killed their children ''feel entitled to take their lives because they're his possessions … It's about making the mother suffer.'' ...  [The Age - 23/4/14]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study: Family annihilators are usually men and fit one of four distinct profiles [Wired.co.uk - 16/8/13]

 

 

 

In Mexico, the mayor of the city of Temixco has been killed one day after taking office. Gisela Mota was a member of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, which has been targeted by political assassinations in the past.

Mota was beaten and shot to death at her home Saturday. Police said they killed two suspects and detained three others. [Democracy Now - 5/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US closes drone base in Ethiopia [Anadolu Agency - 4/1/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‏@nickturse [17/11/15]:   Are there more U.S. military bases in Africa than there are countries in Africa? (Yes!)  ...

 

 

 

 

5 January 2016

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