There were refugees on this boat.
Where are they now?
Canberra Times [5/11/15]:
More than $US30,000 ($42,000) allegedly paid to people smugglers [a boat crew] by Australian officials to return their boat to Indonesia will not be presented as evidence in the men's trial.
An Indonesian police investigation in June found six crew members had been paid between $US5000 and $US6000 to turn back 65 asylum seekers headed for New Zealand.
The prosecution had wanted to present "alleged bribery money from the Australian government" in court as further evidence of people-smuggling, but Prosecutor Alexander Sele said the police had insisted the crew had not committed a crime when they accepted the payments from the Australian officials. ...
Despair and Defiance - Senator Scott Ludlam in Conversation with Julian Assange [VIDEO - Sydney Democracy Network - 4/11/15]
There are plenty of rooms in the Southport Courthouse
Even the LNP wouldn't stoop as low as to throw out a charity from a Courthouse using domestic violence as an excuse.
Rosies volunteers are up in arms after the State Government decided the charity could no longer use their Southport Courthouse room to provide drinks and snacks to locals in court.
The charity, who run a street outreach program for the homeless, have been using the room to provide support to families facing legal battles for more than 15 years but were last week told they would have to move out.
It’s believed the room will now be used for domestic violence cases.
Rosies has not been given a specific move out date, but Rosies General Manager Andrew O’Brien said it could be a matter of weeks.
As yet no replacement room has been offered to the charity at the courthouse, however Attorney General Yvette D’Ath has said she is looking for a solution.
For more information on Rosies, visit http://rosies.org.au/what-we-do/our-branches/gold-coast/
Needs a pianist ...
Nerang Street, Southport [5/11/15]
New Zealand releases TPP text
The government has released the legal text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of the deal's 12 member countries.
Read the TPP text, released today.
It is the first time the public has been able to see what the government has signed up to.
The government has said the trade agreement will boost New Zealand's economy by $2.7 billion a year by 2030 but, until now, the public had been kept in the dark as to what the agreement entailed.
Trade Minister Tim Groser released a statement this evening including a link to the text.
He said he was pleased the public would now finally be able to thoroughly review the full text of the TPP before it was signed by governments.
Work on the legal verification of the text would continue in coming weeks, he said.
"This is a complex agreement, with 30 chapters and associated annexes. The large number of documents released today amount to over 6000 pages of text and market access schedules.
"Understanding the legal obligations of the TPP will require careful analysis of all documents, given the inter-relationship between many provisions in the agreement."
The government has also released extra information on the estimated economic benefits of the TPP for New Zealand, Mr Groser said.
It will put out a legal summary of the agreement when that work is completed.
University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey said the government needed to release the background documents to the talks too, so people could make sense of the legal text.
The agreement's 12 member countries are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.
mjhellscream: Remember, remember... Anon parade out in force in #brisbane today. [5/11/15]
@londoncaat [5/11/15]: Activists shut down department for business innovation & skills in protest against arms sales to Israel
Israel’s response to an upsurge in violence since the beginning of October has seen unprecedented closures of Hebron’s Old City, with residents living in a constant state of fear amid killings by the Israeli army and attacks from Jewish settlers.
Hebron, the largest city in the occupied West Bank, has borne the brunt of violence in recent weeks, with at least one third of the more than 70 Palestinians killed by Israel’s army residents of the district, nine of whom were shot dead in the Old City over the past week. ... [Maan - 5/11/15]
Israeli forces level agricultural land inside Gaza Strip [Maan - 5/11/15]
The State of Israel just validated the very concept of “price tag” violence, which Israel officials have often described — but never legally defined — as terrorism.
The state on Tuesday asked the High Court of Justice to delay the court ordered demolition of a West Bank synagogue built on stolen Palestinian land.
The state’s main argument in asking for the extension, which the court begrudgingly granted, went as follows: “Police believe that demolishing the building is likely to lead to violent acts by extremist right-wing actors against Arabs and Muslim religious symbols.”
In other words: we do not want to enforce the law because we are afraid the criminals will punish us for it. Or, in even clearer and scarier words: we have accepted that terrorists will make us pay a price for carrying out pre-declared, court-ordered, and government sanctioned duties. ... [+972 - 4/11/15]
@CharESilver [4/11/15]: Hebrew University is forcing its janitorial staff to wear badges that identify them
... The new company, which will seek to divest its mining interests, will raise A$15 million ($11.4 million) in new capital, according to James Ellingford, non-executive director of Capital Mining. The Australian, American, and Canadian partners expect to complete the transformation by the end of May.
If the Capital Mining deals go through, the new company will be the second marijuana specialist to be traded Down Under, following the IPO in January of PhytoTech Medical, a small-cap company from Western Australia backed by Yissum, an arm of Israel’s Hebrew University. PhytoTech sold A$4 million in shares on Jan. 22, with the stock price almost quadrupling in the first two days of trading, to 78 Australian cents.
Its co-founder and executive director, Ross Smith, resigned shortly after the IPO and the stock has since plunged to 32 Aussie cents. On March 25, PhytoTech and Vancouver-based medical marijuana company MMJ Bioscience unveiled a merger, with the combined company planning on maintaining PhytoTech’s Australia Securities Exchange listing. ... [Bloomberg - 1/4/15]
Mexico’s Supreme Court opens door to legalising marijuana [Vallarta Daily – 4/11/15]
UN divers search South Sudan plane crash site [Daily Star - 5/11/15]
Pakistan factory collapse kills 18, dozens trapped [Channel News Asia – 5/11/15]
Afghanistan: 29 "IS-Khorasan militants" killed in Nangarhar [Khaama - 5/11/15]
US drone crashes in central Afghanistan [CNN - 4/11/15]
President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday condemned the stoning of a girl in western Ghor province as un-Islamic and inhuman act.
On Oct. 25, local Taliban publicly stoned to death a 19 years old girl, Rokhshana, on the charge of adultery with an unmarried man, who was also whipped in Awdak Ghaleem village on the outskirts of Ferozkoh, the provincial capital. ... [Pajhwok - 4/11/15]
Corbyn condemns Cameron's decision to welcome Egyptian president to No 10 [Guardian - 4/11/15]
Saudis bomb farm in Sanhan, Yemen [SABA - 4/11/15]
The Ukrainian army was shelling the northern outskirts of the city of Donetsk throughout last night, a source in the law enforcement agencies of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told Donetsk News Agency. ... [TASS - 5/11/15]
Iran to meet Rouhani timetable on ending sanctions: nuclear chief [Reuters - 5/11/15]
Representatives of the Free Syrian Army have agreed to meet representatives of the Russian Defense and Foreign ministries in Abu Dhabi at the end of next week, one of the coordinators of the event told Sputnik. ... [Sputnik News - 5/11/15]
Free Syrian Army groups say not meeting Russians [Daily Star - 5/11/15]
Kremlin says will not comment on missile systems in Syria [TASS - 5/11/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [4/11/15]:
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
Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Hawl, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes destroyed three ISIL cranes, four ISIL rigs, two ISIL excavators, an ISIL front end loader, and two ISIL pipefitters.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, ground attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Albu Hayat, two strikes struck two separate large ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL mortar system, an ISIL building, and four ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Beiji, one strike wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Mosul, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle bomb, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL building and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, nine strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bomb-making facility, an ISIL staging facility, three ISIL staging areas, four ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL headquarters location, an ISIL bed-down location, 10 ISIL fighting positions, and two ISIL vehicles.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [4/11/15]: Ta'ameem: 9 air raids have targeted Haweeja in Kirkuk resulted in wounding of civilians..................................
Turkish army kills 16 Kurdish rebels in latest clash near Iraq border [Daily Star - 5/11/15]
Two successful military actions this week in Syria against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant show that U.S. efforts to train and supply friendly Syrian forces are paying off, the Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today.
Army Col. Steve Warren briefed Pentagon reporters live this morning via video conference from Baghdad.
He said that during one of the operations, on Oct. 31, vetted Syrian opposition groups and Syrian forces trained in Turkey by U.S. forces pressured ISIL fighters on the Turkish-Syrian border.
“These are the very forces that we exfiltrated out of Syria months ago, trained in Turkey and infiltrated back in,” Warren said, noting that the Syrians are from the first two classes that took place over the summer.
“I'm highlighting that because we've heard so much discussion of how this was a failed program and … a program that we've discontinued. But the results of that program are out there on the battlefield right now,” he said. ... [US Department of Defense - 4/11/15]
Student fatally shot by campus police after stabbing 4 at University of California, Merced [CNN - 5/11/15]
@MSF_Sea [5/11/15]: ... Its a busy day on the Central #Mediterranean. #Dignity1 has heard 8 distress calls relayed to rescue boats
@tsanga10 [5/11/15]: No more victims in the Aegean. #safepassage
@tsanga10 [5/11/15]: Open the fence, no more deaths! #refugeesGr
@clemente_raul [5/11/15]: Tsipras and Schulz are coming... #lesvos #refugeesGr
... If one adds the crowd of their assistants, translators, secretaries and security guards, the members of the official Farewell Committee were as as many as the refugees flying from Athens to Luxembourg. ... [Keep Talking Greece - 4/11/15]
One child drowned and another was missing off the Greek island of Kos on Thursday after a boat carrying migrants sank, the country's coastguard said.
A search and rescue operation was in progress, authorities said. Fourteen people have been rescued, including a man who said his six-year-old child was missing after toppling out of the boat into the sea. ... [Ekathimerini - 5/11/15]
Beach rescuers in life-and-death struggle on Lesvos [Ekathimerini - 4/11/15]
When? ----> Amnesty to take up Adeang's UPR invitation to visit Nauru
Amnesty International says it's heartened by Nauru's invitation to international bodies to go to the island and check out its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Nauru issued the invitation during its human rights review at the United Nations on Tuesday.
Amnesty's Pacific campaigner Rebecca Emery says Amnesty has not been able to get in to check out the situation around asylum seeker processing but will now apply.
She says the group would like to see how policies like the ban on social media are working.
"On the face of it we'd be concerned it's an excessive and disproportionate restriction but we are keen to have a closer look at the situation that Nauru described in the UPR review for ourselves to see what is actually happening with women and children in Nauru." [What about the men?]
Rebecca Emery says Amnesty is encouraged by the steps taken by Nauru since its last review.
@tightorbit [4/11/15]: SAR @moas_eu PHOENIX 3NOV S Andaman Sea, N Banda Aceh entering Malacca Straits 8kn heading Bangkok due 11NOV @cpcatrambone @ReginaCatrambon
... To the Government of Australia: Reverse policy on non-resettlement of refugees who registered with UNHCR-Indonesia after 1 July 2014 ...
Which country on this map of South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?
Southeast Asia: Deadly Journeys - The Refugee and Trafficking Crisis in Southeast Asia [Amnesty International – 20/10/15]:
In May 2015 three boats carrying 1,800 women, men and children landed in Aceh, Indonesia. Most of the passengers were Muslim Rohingya, a persecuted religious and ethnic minority from Myanmar. All those who arrived had endured weeks or months at sea, in overcrowded boats controlled by ruthless traffickers or abusive people-smugglers. The report includes testimonies from the Rohingya on the shocking conditions and human rights abuses they suffered on the boats for weeks or sometimes months on end, including killings and beatings while they were held hostage for ransom.
Southeast Asia’s sailing season began as this report was being finalized in October 2015, after the monsoon ended. Traffickers and smugglers will undoubtedly resume their trade and grave human rights abuses will again be perpetrated on the seas of Southeast Asia.
Amnesty International is calling for urgent action to address Southeast Asia’s refugee and trafficking crisis. Governments in the region – in particular Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – must cooperate to put in place effective measures to combat human trafficking and protect people from human rights abuses by traffickers and smugglers.
And while states must investigate and bring to justice in fair trials those involved in trafficking, governments must also ensure that law enforcement measures do not endanger lives at sea, or trap people in Myanmar and Bangladesh without any means of escape.
An essential component of any law enforcement effort against those involved in human trafficking in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea must be the implementation of coordinated search and rescueoperations, coupled with safe and predictable disembarkation procedures.
It is imperative that states in Southeast Asia learn from the May 2015 crisis in order to avert another human rights disaster at sea.
The international community must provide technical assistance with maritime search and rescue, as well as funding to ensure the humane reception of recently disembarked people and to help refugees and host populations meet their basic needs.
One Rohingya in Aceh told Amnesty International that his boat was turned away by a government ship.
A 17-year old boy said that in May 2015 his boat was intercepted by the Indonesian navy, who gave them food and towed them towards Malaysia, but they were then apprehended by the Malaysian navy, which towed them back towards Indonesia.
He was likely on a boat carrying 800-900 passengers that UNHCR reports as following an identical trajectory: interception by Indonesia, provision of food and water, being towed towards Malaysia, and then turned away by Malaysian authorities.
This boat eventually reached Aceh on 15 May 2015, where local fishermen rescued its 820 passengers.
Available information about the search and rescue operations that took place in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea in May and June 2015 suggests that these were inadequate, although the scarcity of publicly available information makes a full and independent assessment challenging.
UNHCR reports that the Bangladesh and Myanmar navies rescued hundreds of passengers on the 12, 21 and 29 of May.
The US conducted joint aerial surveillance missions over the Andaman Sea with Malaysia (between 25 May and 13 June) and Thailand (between 30 May and 11 June).
Other countries provided assistance; for instance a Turkish ship joined search and rescue efforts.
However, UNHCR does not record any rescues at sea by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The Rohingya who spoke with Amnesty International were not rescued by a government ship but rather by Acehnese fishermen.
In the long term, Amnesty International has concerns about the situation of the Rohingya in Aceh.
The central government has not yet confirmed whether the Rohingya arrivals from May 2015 will be permitted to stay past the anticipated departure date of May 2016, even though the determination of their asylum claims and resettlement applications will likely take years.
Under the principle of nonrefoulement, the dire situation in Myanmar may require Indonesia to offer longer term protection to the Rohingya.
Furthermore, the accommodation of the Rohingya in Aceh is still being conceptualized as a reactive, emergency response. In August 2015, local officials said that they found it challenging to make plans for the Rohingya population because the central government had not yet informed them of the timeframe.
Furthermore, although there is a multi-stakeholder taskforce in the area, one highly placed official told Amnesty International on condition of anonymity that there is very little coordination of roles and responsibilities.
This lack of clarity may be partly due to the absence of a clear and operational legal framework for refugees and asylum-seekers in Indonesia.
The country’s constitution recognizes the right to claim asylum, and since 2011, authorities have been developing a Presidential Regulation on asylum seekers
Reputable sources who have read the most recent draft, from April 2015, say that it is positive.
In the meantime, however, all those who work with refugees in the country are operating under a 2010 Directive, in which all refugees and asylum-seekers are presumptively treated as “illegal migrants” and subject to an initial period of mandatory detention.
The capacity of UNHCR, which determines the pace of resettlement and refugee status determination (RSD), is another cause for concern. In Indonesia, which has not ratified the Refugee Convention, UNHCR is entirely responsible for RSD; this is a country with a population of 250 million spread out over thousands of islands, and which is currently host to 13,170 “persons of concern”160 to UNHCR.
The agency must do so with a budget of 4.2 million USD (for 2015), and a staff of 68 people.
The average time for the completion of an RSD procedure in 2012 was calculated at 34-47 months.
There is no publicly available data on the average time between a positive RSD decision and departure for a resettlement country, but UNHCR reported that 898 people left Indonesia for resettlement in 2013, and 838 departed in 2014.
Don't exaggerate the problems: Suu Kyi on Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya [Yahoo – 5/11/15]:
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told reporters not to "exaggerate" the problems of the country, in response to a question about Rohingya, the country's persecuted Muslim minority living in western Rakhine State.
Speaking at a news conference in Yangon ahead of the Nov. 8 election, Suu Kyi said that the whole of Myanmar was experiencing a "dramatic situation", not just Rakhine State.
The political activity of the radical Buddhist group Ma Ba Tha, which has sharply criticized her National League for Democracy for not supporting a raft of legislation seen as anti-Muslim drafted by the group, was unconstitutional, she said.
Fears remain over exclusions days before Myanmar vote [Anadolu Agency - 5/11/15]
Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) sought to ease investor concerns over its planned $70 billion takeover of BG Group (BG.L) on Tuesday, announcing further benefits and cost cuts aimed at making the deal work with an oil price in the mid-$60s a barrel. ... [Reuters - 3/11/15]
BG and Woodside to invest more than $1 billion after PSC [Myanmar Times - 23/3/15]:
UK-based BG Group and Australia’s Woodside Energy have committed to investing more than US$1 billion in four offshore blocks.
The two firms and their local partner signed Production Sharing Contracts with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise last week, allowing the companies to begin exploration and eventually production at the blocks, which they won in a 2013 tender.
The two international oil companies will invest US$545.5 million in the two shallow water blocks and $535.1 million in the two deepwater blocks.
They will also pay $82.4 million in signature bonus and $3.7 million as a data fee for the four blocks in the offshore Rakhine basin, according to a statement from the Ministry of Energy.
“The Rakhine basin is an emerging oil and gas province that fits very well with Woodside’s proven capabilities in deepwater exploration and development,” said the firm’s vice president of global exploration Phillip Loader in a press release.
Tamil political prisoners declare intention to fast unto death unless granted amnesty [Tamil Guardian – 4/11/15]
International community, Army bear responsibility for assisting proposed war crimes court [The Island – 3/11/15]
When Australian politicians promote the detention, torture and refoulement of refugees as "it's better than the alternative", THIS is the "alternative" ---> Former boat refugee now a leading orthopaedic surgeon
Tweed Shire Echo [3/11/15]:
… In his book Walking Free, Associate Professor Al Muderis details his story of escape from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, via people smuggler boat and detention on Christmas Island, to becoming a leading orthopaedic specialist transforming the lives of former soldiers.
This remarkable 15-year journey included a period as a medical intern at Lismore Base Hospital and Dr Al Muderis has made time in his busy schedule to return to Lismore on 28th November for a special author’s talk at Goonellabah Library.
In 1999 Dr Al Muderis was a trainee surgeon in Iraq when and he was ordered to cut off the tops of the ears of army deserters. Unable to carry out this cruelty he fled via Jordan and Java and over-crowded people smuggler boat to Christmas Island where he was held in detention for nine months.
Now 15 years after starting his medical training again, Dr Al Muderis is an orthopaedic specialist pioneering a new form of prosthesis that is transforming the lives of amputees, including soldiers mutilated in the Iraq War.
It was during his time at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital that Dr Al Muderis fulfilled his dream to become an orthopaedic robotics limb surgeon. He is now one of the world’s leading specialists in Osseo integration, a procedure which involves using titanium implants instead of old socket prosthesis.
In 2013, British Iraq War hero and double amputee Michael Swain flew to Australia for treatment after hearing about Dr Al Muderis innovative procedure. And the former soldier invited the doctor to be by his side when he walked up to receive his MBE from The Queen in June last year.
From Iraq to Christmas Island to Buckingham Palace, it has been quite a journey.
Hear first-hand Dr Al Muderis’s inspiring story at Goonellabah Library on November 28 from 7pm.
... Sydney-based orthopaedic surgeon Munjed Al Muderis, who fled Iraq in 1999, said he still met people who judged him because he arrived in Australia by boat.
At a recent high-profile event, a "senior member of Australian society" had asked how the 43-year-old -- who has met Britain's Prince Harry because of his pioneering work with amputees -- came to be invited after he revealed he was a boat refugee, Al Muderis told AFP.
The man changed his tone after his wife revealed she had read about Al Muderis' life story in the media.
"He realised I'm a human being, I'm normal, I can speak English and I can articulate and... I'm the guest of honour, not him."
Company responsible for torturing refugees in
Australia's death camp on Manus Island denies food poisoning outbreak and teeth
in food [Guardian - 5/11/15]
Not muzzled: Red Cross denies it paid Immigration multimillion-dollar bond [The Age – 5/11/15]
The International Committee of the Red Cross today released copies of its World War II files, some of which provided verification that it knew of the persecution of Jews in Nazi concentration camps but felt powerless to speak out.
The files, 25,000 microfilmed pages, were turned over to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. ... [New York Times - 19/12/1996]
Nauru opposition MP rejects Justice Minister's UN testimony (only the Australian media believed any of it!) [RNZI - 5/11/15]:
A Nauru opposition MP has rejected the justice minister's testimony to the United Nations.
Roland Kun had his passport cancelled by the Government in June following a protest outside parliament that the Government alleges was a violent riot.
His appeal to the Supreme Court, to enable a visit to his family in New Zealand, has been delayed for months, with Government attempts to strike it out.
The Justice Minister David Adeang told the UN's Universal Periodic Review process that Mr Kun has been charged with offences, but Mr Kun rejects that.
"That is absolute nonsense, there are no criminal charges laid against me. It's been four months since David Adeang has been talking about criminal charges being laid against me and there hasn't been any. Police officers have not come to interview me. The Government of Nauru has cancelled my passport on their own back and without processing through the judiciary because they don't have any criminal charges. They talk about it and it's all in their imagination, as is the investigation."
Roland Kun says if he doesn't get a hearing date
by December, the court will close and he won't be able to join his wife and
children for Christmas.
Many UPR delegates recommended that Nauru release the UN sub-committee on prevention of torture report (based on the May 2015 visit) ----> Nauru Review - 23rd Session of UPR [VIDEORECORDING OF WEBCAST - 3/11/15]
The French delegate (Ch 41) referred to the simulated drowning (waterboarding) of refugees (as revealed in the August 2015 Senate Inquiry).
What's happening with Mohamad Jeanie? Why has his facebook page been shut down? ----> Facebook page for refugee Mohamad Albederee - incarcerated on Manus Island - gone.
Jeanie M Walker, National Spokesperson for Asylum Seekers, Australian Democrats [15/9/15]:
... Mohammad was beaten until he was unconscious and sustained serious injuries to his shoulder which resulted in nerve damage causing extreme pain and numbness in his hand. He also suffered kidney damage causing blood in his urine due to the severity of the assault. This has resulted in severe chronic pain for over a year.
Mohammad was supposed to be brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment in February 2015 by medical request, but this did not happen.
He was told by Wilson Security that he had a flight if he signed a form saying he would never make a complaint against the guards that beat him.
When he would not sign the papers he was told that he would never leave Manus Island alive. ...
We don't need anymore "what you can do", "turning compassion into action" panels and "plan for change" forums.
... And we who cried for mercy
From the bottom of the pit
Was our prayer so damn unworthy
The Son rejected it?
So gather up the killers
Get everyone in town
Stand me by those pillars
Let me take this temple down ...
'Samson In New Orleans', Leonard Cohen 
1. CLOSE THE CAMPS.
2. BRING THE REFUGEES TO AUSTRALIA.
3. START ADHERING TO THE UN REFUGEE CONVENTION.
4. BOYCOTT COMPANIES AND POLITICAL PARTIES THAT SUPPORT AUSTRALIA'S CRUEL AND INHUMANE REFUGEE POLICY.
5. BRING HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSERS TO JUSTICE.
... But there is a solidarity forged of their shared experience. Even at the height of divergence, there is still fraternity: “excuse me my brother, I think you are wrong”.
And a consistent theme, a single word, emerges over several hours of conversation with Manus Island’s refugees, that same word Mohsen keeps mentioning: freedom.
They write it on banners, mark it on their bodies, and litter it through their conversations, a shibboleth that is both idee fixe and unattainable goal.
They are still not free. And they don’t know, they can’t see, how they ever will be.
Mohsen is exhausted, almost broken, by the struggle.
“It has been two years in hell. I don’t
care about your policy, I don’t care about your politics. I am tired. I am
sick. I just want to get out of this cage. Send me away. Hand me
over to the UN. Just let me be free.” ...
A life in limbo: The refugees who fled torture only to end up incarcerated indefinitely by the Australian government on Manus Island [Guardian – 5/9/15]
What sort of country tears up its railway lines?
It is only a small step, but work has began to remove Newcastle’s heavy rail line near Wickham railway station.
A handful of workers began detaching metal clips that connect sleepers and the rail line behind the Hunter Water building on Thursday morning.
It is believed the majority of the rail in that section, between the site for the planned transport interchange and the first pedestrian crossing, will be removed over the next week or so.
The operation is being conducted quietly, without any fanfare or protest after what has been one of the city’s longest running sagas.
The Newcastle Herald reported last month that the legal dramas over the removal of the heavy rail looked over, with a bill to close the line at Wickham passing through NSW Parliament by 17 votes to 14 in its upper house.
It paved the way for the tracks to be removed and major works to get under way, more than 10 months after the government ceased running trains into Newcastle station.
Man killed in Yatala oil factory fire
A fierce oil factory fire has claimed the life of a man in Yatala this morning.
Emergency services rushed to the scene on Sandy Creek Road just after 8.15am following reports of an explosion.
It’s believed a truck was dumping a load of material near an open air container when a fire ignited.
A man, believed to be aged in his late 30’s, died at the scene as a result of injuries sustained in the blaze.
Workplace Health and Safety will investigate the incident.
Police will prepare a report for the Coroner.
Man threatens woman with gun, machete, Middle Park
A southeast Queensland man who allegedly threatened to kill a woman with a gun and a machete has been charged with attempted murder.
The woman, 31, was allegedly assaulted by a 34-year-old man known to her at a Middle Park home west of Brisbane on Wednesday night.
A neighbour heard the disturbance and tried to reason with the man, police say.
When officers confronted the man, he threatened them with the machete before being subdued with a Taser.
Police say no one was injured, although a gunshot was fired into an empty room.
The man will face 10 charges, including attempted murder, at Richlands Magistrates Court on Thursday.
A teenage girl has been stabbed in the stomach by a man west of Brisbane.
Police say there was a short altercation between the 17-year-old and the man outside a house in the Toowoomba suburb of Wilsonton on Wednesday night before the teenager was stabbed.
The man, who ran off after the attack, is described as Caucasian, aged about 20, about 165cm tall and of medium to solid build with facial stubble.
The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries. [Yahoo - 5/11/15]
Wounding charge, Wilsonton [QPS Media - 4/11/15]
Man charged after hit-and-run in Broadbeach [MYGC - 5/11/15]
A Queensland man who shot his girlfriend in the head in a fit of jealous rage after realising their relationship was ending has been found guilty of murder.
A Brisbane Supreme Court jury on Wednesday afternoon delivered the verdict against Christopher Charles Koani, 31, who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but not guilty of murder, at the start of the week-long trial.
Koani testified he did not mean to kill his girlfriend of six months, Natalie Leaney, 26, at their Logan unit on March 10, 2013, as his rifle fired unexpectedly. ... [Nine MSN - 4/11/15]
A man was stabbed to death by a stranger in the street following a row over 50 cents, a court has heard.
The Brisbane Supreme Court heard an audio recording from the harrowing emergency call made to police as Mark Hennings was stabbed through his heart on December 17, 2012 as he walked home with his partner.
Jamie Lloyd Murray, 21, has admitted killing the 49-year-old in Bluebell Park at Caboolture but pleaded not guilty to murder on the first day of his trial on Wednesday. ... [Yahoo - 4/11/15]
A man extradited from New Zealand to Australia has appeared in court charged with the murder of a pool builder who went missing on the Gold Coast in July. ... [Yahoo - 4/11/15]
Two more men have faced court charged with the kidnapping of another man following a home invasion south of Brisbane earlier this year.
Alistair John Kennedy and Jay Lewis Sewell are both facing six charges including kidnapping for ransom, deprivation of liberty, robbery and trafficking a dangerous drug.
It's alleged the pair were part of a group of men who stormed the Jimboomba home of a Jake John Hodges on June 27. ... [Yahoo - 4/11/15]
A man has been charged with bashing a far north Queensland mayor.
Peter James Cameron, 56, was charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly attacking Carpentaria Shire Council mayor Fred Pascoe on Monday. ... [Yahoo - 4/11/15]
Police are appealing for public assistance after a 29-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed at Bellbird Park yesterday morning. ... [QPS Media - 4/11/15]
Drug trafficking arrests, Surfers Paradise [QPS Media - 5/11/15]
More than 100 WA police officers faced criminal charges in the past five years and more are being reported by colleagues.
Allegations of serious assaults, child sex abuse, stealing and dangerous driving causing death were among 149 charges against 106 officers between July 2010 and June this year. ... [West Australian - 5/11/15]
San Diego police surround 'contained' gunman, flights affected [Reuters - 4/11/15]
Man’s death in Detroit jail leads daughter to file $25 million wrongful death lawsuit [RT – 4/11/15]
In Colorado Springs, dispatcher brushed off reports of a man with a gun, witness
says [Washington Post – 3/11/15]
City University of New York University Faculty: Don’t let undercover NYPD officers spy on our Muslim students [Mint Press - 3/11/15]
A group of Southport Police Officers recently attended All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) training in Broadbeach. ... [QPS Media - 4/11/15]
A man has been charged following investigations into a fatal traffic crash near Lockhart River on November 2. ... [QPS Media - 5/11/15]
Man injured in motorbike crash, Labrador [MYGC - 4/11/15]
Man injured in single-vehicle Helensvale crash [MYGC - 4/11/15]
A woman is in a critical condition after crashing her car on the Gold Coast this morning.
The accident occurred around 8.00am, with reports the 30-year-old woman lost control on Goolabah Drv in Tallebudgera, crashing down an embankment and hitting a tree. ... [MYGC - 4/11/15]
A paedophile counsellor left completely unchecked as he abused scores of boys in his Brisbane Grammar School office didn't need more supervision, a royal commission has heard.
A former master and deputy headmaster from the 1980s addressed the child abuse royal commission on Wednesday afternoon to deny victim testimony the school was told about Kevin Lynch's depraved behaviour and say it wasn't their responsibility to monitor him. ... [Brisbane Times - 5/11/15]
Fire destroys Gatton Imperial Hotel [5/11/15]
House fire, Loganholme [QPS Media - 4/11/15]
Queensland Catholic teachers stop work again [Yahoo - 5/11/15]
Thanks for numbering every box and putting the LNP last! -----> Queensland government continues outsourcing project - abandons state's most vulnerable to judgmental religous charities and tax todging corporations [Yahoo - 4/1/15]
Mt Isa Mayor proposes job creating, and young indigenous population incarcerating, prison [North West Star - 4/11/15]
Why? ---> Jacobs Well Police Beat conducted patrols whilst local youths participated in Trick or Treating.
I played spooky sounds over the patrol vehicle P.A speaker while handing out over 400 pieces of candy to all the monsters and goblins. ... [QPS Media - 4/11/15]
Academics and Israel, Letter to the Editor [Irish Times - 4/11/15]:
Sir, – As scholars associated with Irish institutions of higher education, north and south, we are deeply disturbed by Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement.
We are also disturbed by the involvement of Israeli higher education institutions in Israel’s military and security industries, by EU institutional involvement in funding Israeli research, and by the research and development collaboration between Irish and Israeli higher-education institutions.
5 November 2015