“Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they are ever so far away from us, and each other.”



Sojourner Truth






22 killed in US airstrikes, Syria [Naharnet – 5/7/15]

Six civilians, including a child, were among at least 22 people killed in U.S. air strikes on the Islamic State group's de facto Syrian capital on Saturday and Sunday, a monitor said.

The rest of the dead in the raids on the city of Raqa were IS fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Dozens of people were also wounded.







Lebanese Hezbollah, Syrian army enter rebel-held border city: TV [Reuters - 5/7/15]







At least 73 people have been killed in Iraqi government air strikes and artillery fire in the the western Iraqi cities of Ramadi and Fallujah, sources told Al Jazeera.

An air strike on a sports field in Ramadi shortly after midnight on Sunday killed at least 50 people and left more than 30 people injured.

At least 23 people were killed and around 40 wounded after shelling north of Fallujah.

... [Daily Star - 5/7/15]







Fighting gripped Yemen's second city Aden on Sunday as the U.N. envoy was expected in the rebel-held capital Sanaa to press his efforts to broker a ceasefire.

Saudi-led warplanes bombed rebel positions, killing eight people, while rebel rocket fire killed six, including a child, officials said. ... [Naharnet - 5/7/15]





Roadside bomb kills 3 troops, injures 6 in Pakistan [Daily Star – 5/7/15]



NSA’s top Brazilian political and financial targets revealed by new WikiLeaks disclosure [The Intercept - 4/7/15]

Hillary Clinton accuses China of hacking US computers [Reuters – 4/7/15]









PNG Weightlifter Breaks Oceania Records, Takes Gold For PNG [EMTV - 5/7/15]



Iranian female shooter claims gold in 2015 Universiade [Press TV – 5/7/15]



First Arab woman to officiate at Wimbeldon feared rejection because of hijab [Ahram - 4/7/15]





Kyushu Electric to start loading fuel rods into Sendai plant on Tuesday


Japan Today [5/7/15]:

Kyushu Electric Power plans to start loading fuel into the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture on Tuesday.

The utility informed the Nuclear Regulation Authority of its schedule on Friday.

Kyushu Electric said 157 nuclear fuel rods will be inserted into the reactor by crane over a four-day period.

Barring any problems, the Sendai nuclear plant is scheduled to be brought back online in mid-August. A restart of the 890-megawatt No. 1 reactor following stringent safety checks would mark the first resumption of nuclear power generation in nearly two years.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said rebooting the country’s nuclear sector is needed to cut the cost of using fossil fuels for power generation, but he faces a deeply skeptical public after the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Kyushu Electric initially planned to restart the No. 1 reactor in July but operational checks took two weeks longer than previously announced.

The company made no changes to the planned restart of the 890-megawatt Sendai No. 2 reactor in late September.

All 43 of Japan’s operable nuclear reactors are currently offline. However, five of them have received basic clearance and are at varying stages of the review process.


Sites in China, Iran, Mongolia and Singapore inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

UNESCO Media Release [4/7/15]:

The World Heritage Committee this morning approved the inscription of six cultural sites on World Heritage List: Tusi Sites (China), Susa, Cultural Landscape of Maymand (both in the Islamic Republic of Iran), Singapore Botanic Gardens (Singapore), Baekje Historic Areas (Republic of Korea), Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape (Mongolia).

Tusi sites (China)—Located in the mountainous areas of south-west China, this property encompasses remains of several tribal domains whose chiefs were appointed by the central government as ‘Tusi’, hereditary rulers from the 13th to the early 20th century. The Tusi system arose from the ethnic minorities’ dynastic systems of government dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Its purpose was to unify national administration, while allowing ethnic minorities to retain their customs and way of life. The sites of Laosicheng, Tangya and Hailongtun Fortress that make up the site bear exceptional testimony to this form of governance, which derived from the Chinese civilization of the Yuan and Ming periods.

Susa (Islamic Republic of Iran)—Located in the south-west of Iran, in the lower Zagros Mountains, the property encompasses a group of archaeological mounds rising on the eastern side of the Shavur River, as well as Ardeshir’s palace, on the opposite bank of the river. The excavated architectural monuments include administrative, residential and palatial structures. Susa contains several layers of superimposed urban settlements in a continuous succession from the late 5th millennium BCE until the 13th century CE. The site bears exceptional testimony to the Elamite, Persian and Parthian cultural traditions, which have largely disappeared.

Cultural Landscape of Maymand (Islamic Republic of Iran)—Maymand is a self-contained, semi-arid area at the end of a valley at the southern extremity of Iran’s central mountains. The villagers are semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists. They raise their animals on mountain pastures, living in temporary settlements in spring and autumn. During the winter months they live lower down the valley in cave dwellings carved out of the soft rock (kamar), an unusual form of housing in a dry, desert environment. This cultural landscape is an example of a system that appears to have been more widespread in the past and involves the movement of people rather than animals.

Singapore Botanical Gardens (Singapore)—Situated at the heart of the city of Singapore, the site demonstrates the evolution of a British tropical colonial botanic garden that has become a modern world-class scientific institution used for both conservation and education. The cultural landscape includes a rich variety of historic features, plantings and buildings that demonstrate the development of the garden since its creation in 1859. It has been an important centre for science, research and plant conservation, notably in connection with the cultivation of rubber plantations, in Southeast Asia since 1875.

Baekje Historic Areas (Republic of Korea)—Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE, including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the capital, Ungjin (present day Gongju), the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, and the Naseong city wall related to the capital, Sabi (now Buyeo), the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital. Together, these sites represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom – one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula (18 BCE to 660 CE) - during which time they were at the crossroads of considerable technological, religious (Buddhist), cultural and artistic exchanges between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan.

Great Burkhan Khaldun Mountain and its surrounding sacred landscape (Mongolia)—The site is situated in the north-east of the country in the central part of the Khentii mountain chain where the vast Central Asian steppe meets the coniferous forests of the Siberian taiga. Burkhan Khaldun is associated with the worship of sacred mountains, rivers and ovoo-s (shamanic rock cairns), in which ceremonies have been shaped by a fusion of ancient shamanic and Buddhist practices. The site is also believed to be the place of Genghis Khan’s birth and burial. It testifies to his efforts to establish mountain worship as an important part of the unification of the Mongol people.

The inscription of sites will continue through 5 July. The Committee will end its 39th session on 8 July.







The historic vineyards, wine cellars and champagne houses of France's Champagne region and the unique soils of Burgundy’s vineyards were listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO on Saturday.  ... [France 24 - 5/7/15]







An adult dose of a hepatitis A vaccine was given to about 250 immigrant children at a Texan detention facility, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

As of Saturday, no adverse reactions had been reported, said Richard Rocha, an ICE spokesman, in an email.

While significant adverse reactions were not expected, healthcare professionals said they would monitor children for any side effects in the next five days. 

“Parents at the facility were advised and counseled by medical professional about potential side effects, with services made available in multiple languages,” said ICE in a statement.

Officials with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs are investigating the mishap at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas.  ... [LA Times - 4/7/15]




Hundreds of torture victims may sue UK over asylum detention [Guardian – 3/7/15]:


Hundreds of torture victims may sue the government for unlawful detention after a landmark ruling in the high court. Many of these cases could now be reconsidered by the Home Office.

Four asylum seekers who fled rape and torture in their home countries brought a test case against the home secretary for locking them up in immigration centres under the detained fast-track (DFT) system in breach of the government’s own rule that torture survivors generally should not be incarcerated.

The judge, Mr Justice Blake, found in their favour and all four are now entitled to claim damages against the government for unlawful detention. The cases of three of them can be reconsidered.

Twenty-one cases were awaiting the outcome of Friday’s case, and it is thought that there are hundreds more vulnerable asylum seekers who should never have been detained and who may now bring cases against the government.

The Home Office conceded that it acted unlawfully by failing to identify vulnerable asylum seekers not suitable for DFT, and so failing to use a rule that should prevent survivors of torture and other vulnerable asylum seekers from being locked up.

The DFT system determines cases very quickly, and campaigners say it fails to give torture survivors time to obtain expert reports about scarring, PTSD and other conditions related to torture, nor to obtain proper legal representation.

Friday’s ruling is linked to a statement issued by the immigration minister James Brokenshire on Thursday announcing the immediate suspension of the detained fast-track system because of concerns about unfairness.

About 800 cases are expected to be reviewed and more than 100 people are expected to be released. Many were released immediately prior to or just after the announcement was made. Last Friday the court of appeal declared the seven-day limit for asylum seekers to prepare their cases as “structurally unfair”.




Refugee Council attends NGO consultations in Geneva, delegates from around the world ask him: WTF is Australia doing?




Refugee Council of Australia Media Release [3/7/15]:

The Australian Labor Party would lose any credibility in international refugee protection discussions if it adopted the Liberal-National Coalition’s policy of forcing boatloads of asylum seekers out of Australian waters, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) said today.

Speaking from Geneva where he is attending a global gathering of non-government organisations working with refugees, RCOA chief executive Paul Power said the policy of boat turnbacks and indefinite offshore detention meant Australia had the harshest and most heartless approach to persecuted people of any industrialised nation.

The three-day UNHCR NGO Consultations, which has brought together more than 500 NGO representatives from 90 countries, ends later today. Over the past 10 days, Mr Power has attended UNHCR’s Standing Committee, which brings together the 90 governments which participate in UNHCR’s governing body, and the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement, which draws together government, NGO and UNHCR representatives from 30 resettlement nations.

“At all three meetings, I have been asked again and again by government and NGO representatives from many nations why Australians think it is acceptable to respond so harshly to people fleeing persecution,” Mr Power said.

“As an Australian, I am appalled by how much people from every corner of the world know about the cruellest aspects of Australia’s refugee policy and how unacceptable it looks in the eyes of the world at a time of the greatest level of displacement since records began.

“More than 59 million are displaced by conflict and persecution or are stateless, with more than 18 million people living as refugees, too many of them living in appalling circumstances. UNHCR and humanitarian agencies across the world cannot cope with the scale of human need because they cannot find sufficient resources.

“In this global climate, there is widespread disgust that Australia continues to spend billions of dollars each year on deterring, expelling and detaining people trying to seek refuge.

“It would be tragic for Australia if the Opposition meekly mimicked the Government’s approach of turning back boats because it lacked the intestinal fortitude to argue for a more principled and practical response to the global need for protection from persecution.

“It is completely unrealistic for Australia to believe that it can opt out of international systems of refugee protection and hope that it can turn away or scare off every desperate person seeking safety. It is also unrealistic for Australia to believe that it will suffer no adverse consequences if it continues to push responsibility for the most desperate on to its much poorer neighbours.

“The eyes of the world truly are on Australia. Many people will be watching carefully to see whether or not both of Australia’s main political parties end up with policies rejected by all mainstream conservative and social democratic political parties across the industrialised world.”



CFMEU, member cop $24,000 fine for racial abuse against American [Sydney Morning Herald – 5/7/15]






Kalgoorlie party declared "out of control" after police arrive [WA Today - 5/7/15]




Australians urged to boycott Eid dinners hosted by AFP in 2015 [Sydney Morning Herald – 5/7/15]



Petitioning Muslim community leaders, Imams, organisational executives, spokespeople, media personnel, academics Boycott AFP Eid Dinners




Microsoft's Asia Pacific Cities Summit attracts lanyard wearers, suckers, neocons and corporate vultures to Brisbane [Brisbane Times – 5/7/15]





Accelerate your business opportunities at 2015APCS






‏@ZaraRattue [5/7/15]:   V-22 Osprey on display in #Darwin ahead of Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015 ...






Two car bombs killed 11 people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Saturday, police and medical sources said, striking as many people were ending their daily Ramadan fast.

One bomb hit the mainly Shi'ite Amil district in the southwest of the city around dusk, killing eight people and wounding 27. The other hit a bus garage in Doura in the south of the capital, killing three people.

Northeast of Baghdad, in the town of Balad Roz, a third car bomb killed two people, local police said.

...  [Reuters - 4/7/15]




Some say the Americans are everywhere. Some say they are nowhere. Still others say they are everywhere and nowhere at once. But the shadowy U.S. presence in this strategic port city in war-torn southern Somalia has clear consequences for anyone with a share of power here. That includes Somali regional officials who are quick to praise American counterterrorism efforts, African Union forces who rely on U.S. intelligence as they battle back al-Shabab, and even the al Qaeda-linked militants themselves, who are increasingly hemmed in by a lethal combination of AU-led counterinsurgency, airstrikes, and raids by U.S. special operators. ... [Foreign Policy - 2/7/15]






Grievous bodily harm charge, Kallangur




QPS Media [5/7/15]:




Police have charged a man with grievous bodily harm after an alleged altercation at Kallangur yesterday.

Shortly before 3am on July 4 police responded to a disturbance at a Galway Drive address where it is alleged a man struck a woman to the head.

The man and woman are known to each other.

The 23-year-old woman was taken to the Royal Brisbane hospital in a critical condition.

An 18-year-old Kallangur man has been charged with one count of grievous bodily harm and is due to appear in the Pine Rivers Magistrates court on July 6.

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.





Incident, Eli Waters




QPS Media [5/7/15]:



A 60-year-old man is assisting police with their investigation into an incident in Eli Waters yesterday which has left an elderly woman with life-threatening head injuries.

At 2.30pm, emergency services located a 75-year-old woman at a Currawong Court address with severe injuries to her head.

She was transported to Hervey Bay Hospital where she remains in a critical condition.

An Investigation Centre has been established at the Hervey Bay Police Station.

Officers are encouraging anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.









Women fleeing domestic violence in NSW are being turned away from refuges in droves as frontline workers say a culture of silence has blanketed the sector more than year after the government overhauled crisis accommodation services. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 5/7/15]





SA police search scrub after woman's death [Nine MSN - 5/7/15]:



 Police investigating a woman's death in a remote South Australian town are searching scrubland for a male suspect.

Three people known to police brought the unresponsive 34-year-old woman to an Oodnadatta clinic on Friday afternoon, where she died shortly afterwards.

 Police are searching scrubland northeast of the town, looking for a male suspect who was known to the woman.







Update: Public assistance sought to identify man, Hervey Bay




QPS Media [5/7/15]:




Police have identified the man who was found early this morning on a Hervey Bay street unconscious and suffering head injuries.

The 45-year-old local man was found lying unconscious on The Esplanade at around 2am this morning. 

The man was found with serious head and facial injuries.

The man remains in a serious condition at Hervey Bay Hospital.

The cause of the man’s injuries are still unknown at this time.

Anyone who has information in relation to the man sustaining these injuries is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.




Man found with throat cut dies in Crown Metropol hotel in Melbourne [ABC - 5/7/15]




Update: Fatal traffic crash, Tamborine




QPS Media [5/7/15]:




Police are appealing for public assistance as they continue to investigate a fatal traffic crash in Tamborine overnight.

Initial information suggests at 6.40pm a sedan was travelling east on Beaudesert Beenleigh Road when it left the road, hit a culvert and rolled several times before it caught alight.

The driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Officers are encouraging anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the vicinity of the crash to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Investigations by the Forensic Crash Unit are continuing.





Traffic crash, Mount Nebo




QPS Media [5/7/15]:




Police investigating a single vehicle traffic crash at Mount Nebo this morning are appealing for witnesses.

The crash involving a vehicle into an embankment on Mount Nebo road was discovered around 6am.

Police attended the scene and located a man alleged to be the driver of the vehicle walking along Mount Nebo Road.

A 20-year-old Gap man has been charged with drink driving (UIL) and is expected to appear at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on July 24.

Investigators are appealing for anyone who travelled along Mount Nebo road early this morning to contact Crime Stoppers.

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.






Fatal crash, Beechmont




QPS Media [4/7/15]:




 Police are investigating a motorcycle crash that occurred at Beechmont this afternoon.

Initial inquiries indicate that shortly after 3.00pm a motorbike was travelling south on Beechmont Road Beechmont when the bike has left the roadway and collided with a tree.

The 32-year-old rider died at the scene.

The Forensic Crash Unit are investigating

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.





Fatal traffic crash, Advancetown




QPS Media [4/7/15]:




Police are investigating a single vehicle fatal traffic crash this afternoon at Advancetown.

Preliminary information indicates that around 4.20pm a motorcycle was travelling south on Beechmont Road when it has collided with a vehicle travelling north.

Police and emergency services attended the crash and the male 39-year-old motorcycle rider died at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle was not injured. Investigations by the Forensic Crash Unit are continuing.

Police are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the crash to contact Crime Stoppers.






Update: fatal traffic crash, Townsville



QPS Media [4/7/15]:




A 37-year-old man from Douglas, injured in a single vehicle traffic crash on July 2, has died as a result of his injuries.

Initial investigations suggest at 9:40pm a motorcycle was travelling east towards the city when it failed to negotiate a turn in the road, colliding with a power pole.

The rider, was transported to Townsville Hospital where he passed away today.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.








A woman has died after she fell from a quad bike as it was being towed by an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) at Daly River, south of Darwin, police say.

In a separate incident, a couple aged in their 50s suffered multiple injuries and were flown to hospital when their ute rolled over, also in the Daly River region last night. ...[ABC - 5/7/15]








House fire, Brassall




QPS Media [4/7/15]:




Police are appealing for witnesses after a house was destroyed by fire at Brassall early this morning.

Initial investigations suggest the fire started in the unoccupied house on Glenelg Drive before 2am.

The house is currently unoccupied with no one injured as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined with investigators currently working to establish the cause of the fire.

Investigators are asking anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact Crime Stoppers.






Armed robbery charges, Toowoomba




QPS Media [5/7/15]:




 Police have charged a man and a girl following the armed robbery of a bottle shop in Toowoomba overnight.

Police will allege that around 8:30pm the pair, who were part of a group, entered the bottle shop on Ruthven Street and helped themselves to bottles of alcohol. 

Police will further allege that when the shop attendant interrupted one member of the group, he observed the male was holding a bladed weapon.

The employee retreated and the group ran from the shop. The 37-year-old male shop attendant was not physically injured during the incident.

An 18-year-old Harlaxton man was charged with one count each of enter premises with intent to commit indictable offence and armed robbery. 

He is due to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court tomorrow morning.

Police also charged a 15-year-old Wilsonton girl with one count each of enter premises with intent to commit indictable offence and armed robbery. 

The girl will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justices Act.

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.





What's Wrong With Australian Tennis?



Pat Rafter advertising the Dove Men+Care Skin Cleansing Range [2011]



Bernard Tomic suspended from Davis Cup after comments about Tennis Australia [CTV - 4/7/15]:

Australian Bernard Tomic has been suspended from this month's home Davis Cup quarterfinal against Kazakhstan for his verbal attack on Tennis Australia officials, including Pat Rafter and chief executive Craig Tiley.

Australian Associated Press reported from Wimbledon on Saturday that Tennis Australia president Steve Healy said Tomic's disrespectful post-match comments following his third-round loss to top-seeded Novak Djokovic on Friday effectively ruled him out of contention.

Healy said Tomic's behaviour "was unacceptable ... playing for our country is an absolute privilege, and with that privilege comes an obligation to behave appropriately. He didn't."

Tomic's comments included accusing the governing body of abandoning him after he underwent hip surgery last year, and that former player Rafter, Tennis Australia's director of player performance, had no idea how to control the budget for player funding.

"The allegations are misinformed and untrue and he publicly derided some outstanding people," Healy was quoted as saying. "We are trying to build a strong culture underpinned by a philosophy of opportunity, not entitlement. This behaviour is just not on."

Healy ruled out legal action being taken against Tomic, while Tiley hoped the 20-year-old would accept the punishment rather than go down a "destructive path" so that he could return to Australia's Davis Cup team.

"The sanction of not selecting Bernard in this tie is sufficient," Healy said.

Tomic was particularly critical of Rafter, calling him a "mask" for Tiley.

"Pat is a nice guy," Tomic said. "If the Australian public don't know Pat, he's a good actor, he's well-spoken, always prepared and knows what to say. He's prepped by Tennis Australia to know what to say."

The grass-court quarterfinal in Darwin is set for July 17-19. Australia's team will now likely include Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, Sam Groth and Thanasi Kokkinakis.




An Open Letter to Coaches – Opinion Article by Paul McNamee [The Australian Tennis Professional Coaches Association Ltd - 20/2/13]:


... As a young bloke, I was fortunate enough to be in the locker room when Rod Laver (“Rocket”), not so long after being the #1 player in the world, came off court at the Sydney Indoors, a super event run by a great promoter, the late Graham Lovett. Waiting for Rocket was his long-time coach and mentor, Charlie Hollis, who is rightly attributed in arming Rod with a flowing topspin backhand, at that time unheard of for left handers. The conversation went along these lines.

Charlie opened with “Rodney, what were you doing out there on your first serve? How many times have I told you to throw the ball up? You’re only 5 feet nothing and you’re trying to hit it like you’re over 6 foot tall!” Rocket said “Yes Charlie, I suppose…..” Charlie didn’t let him finish “I drove all the way from Canberra to watch that rubbish? Don’t waste my time again”. I think possibly the greatest player ever got the message, and you can bet his ball toss was different for the rest of the tournament!

What is revealing is the special relationship built on mutual trust and respect, a bond to be precise, that existed between Rod Laver and his ageing mentor, Charlie Hollis. No need for niceties. Charlie cut to the chase right away.

If you look back through tennis history, most successful players can name the one person who made the difference…..like Charlie Hollis for Rod Laver, or Ian Barclay for Pat Cash. Or Pete Smith for Lleyton Hewitt, the late ‘Nails’ Carmichael for Pat Rafter and Darren Cahill, or Barry Phillips Moore for Mark Woodforde, just to name a few.

Not that you need to win a Wimbledon title as Aussies regularly did. Every player has their own journey, but the point is, all players have a far greater chance of reaching their potential if they enjoy a fruitful one on one bond with their coach.

It’s fair to say that coach may come from anywhere, and may pop up at any moment, but it’s equally true that the most likely person to play that role is your coach in your formative teenage years, just like Ian Barclay was to Pat Cash. Well, at least that’s how it used to be until the Tennis Australia (TA) juggernaut decided to engage in and endeavour to monopolise the coaching industry, including directly employing coaches itself and designating which talented players they work with.

What is the consequence of the Tennis Australia approach? At the junior level, how many players have been lured away from their private coaches into “the system” and placed under the care of a “better” coach?

Worse than that, the players have been subjected to the TA coaching merry go round. Several of our most talented players in recent years have been shunted from one coach to another, under the direction of our governing body. At Wimbledon this year, I saw an Aussie player, part of the TA system, with the fourth coach in 12 months.

I don’t need to tell you that a mix of inputs like that, however knowledgeable and well meaning, is a recipe for disaster. I don’t blame the individual coaches for accepting a very attractive employment option but, as our results demonstrate, the TA player development strategy is fatally flawed in my view. After all, systems do not produce champions, people do.

As a consequence, and I’m not alone in saying this, we’ve pretty much lost a generation of players who have not transitioned to the Tour. For each one of those players, there’s one of you coaches out there who’s hurting and bemoans that fact, and who wished the outcome had been different. For the sake of Australian tennis, this must not continue.

The experience I have had as a coach is revealing. Early last year, I was in discussions in relation to working with a talented Australian female player. It was early days and nothing had been consummated. However, wind of it reached TA. During an unrelated discussion I was having with a senior TA official, he said to me “I’ve heard that you might be working with such player. I’ve spoken to our guys and we’re not approving that”. Simple as that. In other words, the player’s financial coaching support package would be pulled. I replied “That’s where you’ve got it completely wrong. It should be the player’s decision, and mine, but not Tennis Australia’s!”

Shortly after that rebuff, I was asked by Su wei Hsieh if I could help her at Wimbledon. Being from a nation where the Federation has no money, she has no support, and has to do it all on her own. At 25 years of age, her ranking at that time was so low that she didn’t even get in qualifying for the singles, and she proceeded to lose first round in the doubles.

I asked Australia’s highest ranked doubles player, Paul Hanley, if he would play mixed doubles with her. Paul obliged, and they went on a terrific run all the way to the Wimbledon semi finals. That was just the boost she needed. Just over 12 months later, Su wei Hsieh has won 7 singles tournaments, including 2 career first WTA titles, as well reaching the semi final of doubles at the 2012 US Open. In that time, her singles ranking has gone from 343 to 25, and she’s very likely to be seeded at the Australian Open.

Why am I working with a Taiwenese player? Because she asked me and I was in a position to do so. It was a decision made not by a Federation but by Su wei and myself, coach and player, without interference. As it should be. ...




Nauru opposition politicians still jailed.


No lawyers, journalists allowed.


Facebook still shutdown.


Welfare of locals and Australian citizens unknown.


Refugees fair game.


Australia continues deflecting its responsibility.




 Canberra Times [5/7/15]:




... Steven Ratuva, director of the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of Canterbury, said Nauru had struggled with an unstable political system since independence in 1969 and had undermined its own sovereignty by allowing Australia to set up its refugee processing centre for cash.

Professor Ratuva said the "repression" by the current Nauru government was unwarranted and Australia and New Zealand should respond as a matter of principle.

"Unfortunately, Australia itself is directly embroiled in the mess and its hands are tied. New Zealand will not raise a voice because it might hurt Australia," he said.

Fairfax Media has reported Australian federal police are expected to bring criminal charges after a long-running investigation into allegations Nauru's President Baron Waqa and Justice Minister David Adeang accepted bribes from an Australian company –claims both men deny.







... Dr Caroline Gribble, an infant feeding specialist, explained that disrupted feeding was not unusual after trauma such as forced removal.

Gribble told the rally that infant mortality on Nauru was ten times what it is in Australia. ...  Sydney rallies to ‘Bring Back Asha’ [Green Left Weekly – 4/7/15]







Put your energy into a dead political system and elect an ALP government! [Perth - 5/7/15]:




Natalia Velma Moorin:   I'm a bit disappointed there's no trans speaker at this event tomorrow. Like, trans women of colour are some of the people who kickstarted the queer movement in the mid to late 60's [and even earlier in some incidents]. Trans people have incredibly high rates of suffering from physical violence, mental illness, sexual assault and even death. Trans people can't access mental health services because we will have our mental illnesses taken as proof that we are not trans. Trans women can't access domestic violence services because women's shelters refuse to acknowledge trans women as women - no womens shelters in WA accept trans women. Trans people who suffer economic hardship can't access potentially life saving treatments because we can't afford them, because we can't say that we graduated high school without outing ourselves to employers. Trans people cannot be employed, or earn money to find adequate services and doctors, which continues into a negative spiral for us. Why are we not represented at this event?







... JENNICET GUTIÉRREZ: Good morning, and thank you for having me again. I do believe the U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision, and this is a huge victory for the LGBT community and for justice in this country. However, you know, many people in the LGBTQ, especially people of color, marriage is not a priority. So we’re facing many challenges. ... [Democracy Now  - 29/4/15]








... We need to send a powerful message to the world in a unified voice: that we can fight for social justice for everyone, everywhere and change the world, not just get married. ... Chelsea Manning [Guardian - 27/6/15]



Malaysians urged to sponsor Rohingyas via ‘Iftar For Rohingya’ project.

Australians keep pretending we are not part of South East Asia.

The Rakyat Post [4/7/15]:

Despite rising living costs, Malaysians have not changed their behaviour in being generous toward donating their money and goods to the needy, especially during the month of Ramadan.

Muhammad Nur’Ayunnie Hazim Shafi’i from the Muslim Students’ Association at Taylor’s University said substantial number of Malaysians still show a willingness to make contributions.

He said the association raised RM12,000 in a week for its project called “Iftar For Rohingya” whereby the money will be used to sponsor buka puasa meals and daily essential kits for 400 Rohingyas.

The donation drive was made mostly within the campus ground and through social networking sites such as Facebook. Most of the money collected was received through bank transfer.

“Donations still keep coming in even after we exceeded our goal.

“The surplus will be used for other charitable purposes, and we will make it accountable,” he added.

The meals and daily essential kits will be handed over to the Rohingyas on July 9 at a venue in Batu Caves.

“When it comes to personal involvement in their communities and social causes, a significant number of Malaysians indicate that they are willing to give.

“I believe that Ramadan is also a factor, as people would be especially generous and giving,” he told The Rakyat Post.

For the “Iftar For Rohingya” project, the association is working together with a group of working adult volunteers who call themselves the Happy Bank.

Happy Bank leader Nurainie Haziqah said the success of the donation drive showed that Malaysians still acknowledged that contributions, big or small, were important.

“It is certainly encouraging to see Malaysians, including from non-Muslims, increasing their acts of generosity during the month of Ramadan,” she said.

Nurainie, a lawyer by profession, added that they were still collecting clean and wearable clothing for the Rohingyas.

For further details, call Hazim at 016-6338815.








… The silence surrounding the pogroms against the Rohingya Muslims is best exemplified by the refusal of Aung San Suu to denounce these acts of cruelty. The winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, once the most famous prisoner of conscience and a much-beloved and respected figure in the West as a champion of human rights in her country, has been unable to find the words to condemn the treatment of the Muslim minority in Myanmar. In a 2013 interview she used the theory of the two demons - a popular narrative used by those who supported the dirty wars in Latin America. The narrative goes like this: both sides used violent means and both sides are to blame equally for the current violence. In the case of Myanmar, however, this theory does not take into account that it is only the Rohingyas who live in fetid camps, who face restrictions on their lives, jobs, family size and access the basic services. It is only the Rohingyas who face starvation and death and are driven to despair. … Professor S.Sayyid [Daily Sabah - 2/7/15]



Woodside takes up more acreage in Myanmar with BG [Australian Financial Review - 23/3/15]




‏@moas_eu [4/7/15]:  #Photo from last night: 217 people transferred on board the #Phoenix. We are now heading to #Pozzallo #refugeecrisis







@moas_eu:  'My parents were killed by #BokoHaram.I felt lost.I escaped from #Nigeria to save my life' Jeof tells #MOAS #refugees








... "I think that when the people are out at sea and dying there are no politics that should be involved. There are human rights and it is an international law of the sea that there is an obligation to rescue them. It is not an option," Regina [Regina Catrambone founder of Migrant Off-Shore Aid Station] said. ...  [ITV - 3/7/15]

Why the people crossing the Mediterranean aren’t ‘migrants’ [Reuters – 2/7/15]:


... While Europe gave birth to the Refugee Convention as a result of the mass displacement caused by World War Two, the continent is precariously close to regressing to nationalism and selfishness in the face of human calamity — and causing the “slow death” of the Refugee Convention, as Egeland put it.

Little has been said — or continues to be said — about the fact that less developed countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey shoulder nine-tenths of all global displacements.

The focus remains on “overwhelmed” — yet rich, by relative standards — Europe. ...




... the US response left the Refugee Convention in tatters in the Caribbean, its fundamental proscription of refoulement savagely violated, its contribution to the anti-immigration, anti-refugee mood sweeping North America and Europe clear and wide-ranging.  ...  Migration emergencies and human rights in Haiti: Paper prepared for the Conference on Regional Responses to Forced Migration in Central America and the Caribbean, Patrick Gavigan [Organisation of American States - September 30-October 1, 1997]:





5 July 2015