Protest today at Anibare refugee accommodation





Refugees on Nauru [7/4/15]:



Nauruan police initially made an attempt to stop refugees leaving their accommodation and preventing any refugees from other accommodation sites from going to the protest in Anibare. Eventually the Nauruan police left and the protest went on as planned.






Open letter from current and former Nauru staff [7/4/15]:



... It is also important for the people of Australia to know that the people who are now recognised as refugees live in the Nauruan community in a "settlement camp" where they are subjected to harassment, threats and violence.  Several of the perpetrators who sexually exploited, assaulted and harassed women and children in the Nauru detention camp, live on the island of Nauru.  As such, even though some of them were dismissed from their jobs inside the detention centre, they now have easy access to some of the same women and children whom they assaulted as they are now required to live in Nauru as refugees. Nauru is such a small island that it is impossible for people to avoid local perpetrators. ...


Greenpeace activists board Shell oil rig bound for the Arctic

Reuters [7/4/15]:

Six activists with the environmental group Greenpeace climbed aboard a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic on Monday, the organization said.

The group said in a statement its team would occupy the underside of the Polar Pioneer's main deck and plans to unfurl a banner with the names of millions of people opposed to Arctic drilling, adding that they would not interfere with the vessel's navigation.

"We're here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil," 32-year-old Johno Smith, one of the six to board the Blue Marlin, the ship carrying the rig, said in the statement.

"Shell's actions are exploiting the melting ice to increase a man-made disaster. Climate change is real," he added.

Shell said in an emailed statement that it has met with groups against oil drilling off Alaska's shores and "respect their views" but condemned the boarding.

"We can confirm that protesters from Greenpeace have illegally boarded the Polar Pioneer, under contract to Shell, jeopardizing not only the safety of the crew on board, but the protesters themselves," Shell said.

The move comes just days after the U.S. Interior Department upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas exploration in the Arctic since it suffered mishaps in the region in 2012.

Many environmentalists oppose offshore energy exploration in the Arctic, saying that once production begins any oil spill would be extremely difficult to clean up.

Oil industry interests say the Arctic will be important to the country's energy security in coming decades when output from shale formations is expected to wane.

Images published by Greenpeace showed the activists using climbing gear to move from an inflatable boat onto the Blue Marlin heavy-lift vessel towing the Pioneer, one of two drill rigs heading to the region, as it cruised some 750 miles (1,207 km) northwest of Hawaii.


Malaysia passes controversial anti-terror bill

BBC [7/4/15]:

Malaysia has passed a controversial anti-terrorism bill, which the government says is needed to tackle the threat from Islamic extremists.

The bill reintroduces indefinite detention without trial - something the prime minister had repealed in 2012.

Human Rights Watch called the move "a giant step backwards for human rights".

It was passed hours after the police announced the detention of 17 suspected militants believed to be planning attacks in the capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said those arrested, the youngest just 14, were planning to attack police stations and army bases to gather weapons.

Two of the suspects had just returned from Syria, police said.

Debate on the anti-terrorism bill went late into Monday night in parliament.

Under the legislation, suspects can be held without trial for up to two years, with multiple extensions allowed after that. Decisions on their detention will be made by a terrorism board, rather than the judiciary.

It also allows the authorities to revoke travel documents, both Malaysian and foreign, of people travelling to or from Malaysia to support or engage in terrorism.

The bill still needs approval from the Senate, but the chamber is dominated by the ruling coalition and it is expected to pass.



Bust of Edward Snowden installed in Brooklyn




ANIMAL [6/4/15]:



UPDATE: Parks Department put a tarp over the bust and removed it this afternoon.


While most people slept, a trio of artists and some helpers installed a bust of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in Brooklyn on Monday morning.

The group, which allowed ANIMAL to exclusively document the installation on the condition that we hide their identities, hauled the 100-pound sculpture into Fort Greene Park and up its hilly terrain just before dawn.

They fused it to part of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, a memorial to Revolutionary War soldiers. As of press time, the sculpture was still there.

The idea for the Snowden tribute was conceived about a year ago by two New York City-based artists with a history of pulling off notable public interventions. They linked up with a renowned sculptor on the West Coast who was sympathetic to their cause.


Health experts worried as Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations conclude [Sydney Morning Herald - 7/4/15]

US defence secretary Ashton Carter hails Trans-Pacific Partnership as underscoring 'our lasting commitment to Asia–Pacific' [ABC - 7/4/15]







Business as usual: Queensland's Police Minister REALLY wants to know if you think you are getting value for money from this legalised corruption


Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said she was "happy to consult with the community to ensure Queenslanders were seeing the benefits of sponsorship arrangements and that they are in step with the community's expectations".



Murdoch's Gold Coast Bulletin visual pollution at Surfers Paradise [October 2013]





Queensland police received $15,000 from Rupert Murdoch's 'Courier-Mail'.

ABC [7/4/15]:

Mining companies, banks, media organisations and security firms are among a raft of sponsors behind almost $475,000 in donations to the Queensland Police Service last financial year.

The donations for this financial year are on track to reach the same level.

The ABC first asked for a list of sponsors and the sponsorship amounts four months ago, after environmentalists alleged it was a conflict of interest.

The QPS executive has now provided two lists of donations and a brief description of the programs, but the names have been withheld.

Last financial year, there were 65 cash and gift donations worth about $475,000.

Cars, bicycles and motorcycles were given, and an unnamed insurance company paid for a mobile police community office, a donation valued at $25,000.

Donations this financial year are on track to match the previous year: by December 2014, some $190,000 had been shored up.

There have been 23 donations recorded to date for things including a gala dinner, sponsored cars and trips for selected officers overseas for training opportunities.


In a statement to the ABC, a police spokesman said sponsorship arrangements were generally in place to assist police in partnering with other entities to deliver crime prevention initiatives for the community.

"The initiatives might be in the form of in-kind or financial support for the delivery of crime prevention programs or conferences," the spokesman said.

"Any sponsorship arrangements are over and above internal QPS funding distributed throughout the state to deliver operational policing services."

Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said she was "happy to consult with the community to ensure Queenslanders were seeing the benefits of sponsorship arrangements and that they are in step with the community's expectations".

Similar police sponsorship arrangements have been in place in several other states for decades, but their restrictions vary from state to state.

Western Australia Police accepts sponsorships but these are for specific projects rather than for mainstream policing functions.

For example, the WA Police does not seek or agree to sponsorship of aircraft and vehicles.

Accusations that Victoria Police used excessive force to be investigated by anti-corruption watchdog



ABC [7/4/15]:

Allegations of excessive force used by police officers in Ballarat will be examined by Victoria's anti-corruption watchdog at public hearings next week.

It is alleged two officers used excessive force against a vulnerable person in police custody at Ballarat police station.

The male and female officers, both senior constables, were suspended with full pay, pending the outcome of an investigation by Victoria Police's Professional Standards Command and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) probe.

The IBAC investigation will also examine whether any human rights violations occurred and if the practices were widespread.

The procedures and policies of Victoria Police will also be examined in the hearings.

Victoria Police said it would continue to assist IBAC's investigation.

"The Ballarat community can be assured there will be no impact on police service delivery to the area," Victoria Police said in a statement.

The hearings will begin on April 15 at the County Court in Melbourne.

IBAC Deputy Commissioner Andrew Kirkham will preside over the hearings and barrister Gary Hevey will be counsel assisting the commission.

IBAC replaced the Office of Police Integrity as the primary police watchdog in 2013.



Privatise the profits, socialise the losses ---->  The Bundaberg Regional Council will introduce a new management agreement for the Bargara Cultural and Community Centre, following the approval of a recommendation to outsource management rights at today's Ordinary Meeting of Council. ... [News Mail - 7/4/15]




A United States-based senior executive of global insurance giant ACE has flown to Sydney on a crisis mission after revelations the firm's Australian operations are at the centre of a major investigation by the corporate watchdog.


Meanwhile, plaintiff firm Shine Lawyers have called for any concerned Combined Insurance policyholders to contact it as the firm investigates allegations that thousands of Australians may have been misled or sold incomplete or ineffective policies.

Andrew Weinmann, a senior lawyer from another plaintiff firm, Slater and Gordon, said the revelations "demonstrate the perverse incentives on offer to insurance salespeople and how those salespeople sometimes try to get the sale at any cost". ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 7/4/15]

Break and enter, Mackay

QPS Media [7/4/15]:

Police are investigating a break and enter that occurred earlier this morning in Mackay.

Around 2.15am, a man has broken into a lawn mower shop on Peel Street.

The man gained access to the showroom and drove an All-Terrain-Vehicle through the showroom window.

He was last seen driving north along Peel Street.

The man is described as being Caucasian in appearance with tanned skin has a slim build and has dark brown rats tail.

He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with yellow writing and a dark green rectangular pattern, floral board shorts, black sunglasses and white thongs.

Police are appealing to anyone that may be able to assist with their enquiries to contact them on 1800 333 000.



Break and enter, Upper Coomera

QPS Media [7/4/15]:

Police are investigating a break and enter at a video store in Upper Coomera early this morning.

At around 2am, two males forcibly gained entry by smashing a window at the front of a Brygon Creek Road shop.

The pair then attempted to gain access to cash in an ATM but they left the store empty-handed.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Drug, weapons charges, Noosaville [QPS Media -7/4/15]


Meeting to discuss Baffle oil shale proposal

Gladstone Observer [7/4/15]:

Baffle Creek residents will meet on Wednesday, April 15 to discuss exploration permits being sought in the catchment by Blackall Oil Pty Ltd.

The meeting has been organised by Vicki Perrin from Coal Free Wide Bay Burnett and Beyond.

It will be held in Lowmead Hall at 9.30am.

Anyone who lives in the area or has an interest is welcome to attend.

The company is investigating the opportunity of mining oil shale in the Lowmead/Baffle catchment area.

Another company, Greenvale Energy, also is believed to be proposing an oil shale mine in the area.


Quad biker airlifted to Toowoomba Hospital after fall

Chronicle [7/4/15]:

RACQ CareFlight Rescue airlifted a young holidaymaker from the South Burnett region following a quad bike accident yesterday.

The Brisbane teenager was riding the quad bike at Boondooma Dam when he lost control and jumped off.

He landed awkwardly on all fours and suffered a suspected broken right arm.

The Toowoomba RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopter was tasked to Boondooma Dam, north west of Kingaroy, at 11am.

The 13-year-old boy was flown to Toowoomba Hospital in a stable condition.

He was accompanied in the helicopter by his mother.

The young teenager was on holidays with his family at the time.


Greens fund doco about Casino-Murwillumbah line to push for train's return

Tweed Daily News [7/4/15]:

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will take to the skies on Friday as part of a plan to have trains returned to the tracks of the Northern Rivers.

Senator Rhiannon will fund a helicopter flight that will film the entire length of the Casino to Murwillumbah corridor for use in a future documentary.

The project is being supported by the Northern Rivers Railway Action Group who are advocating for a regular commuter train with the railway line extended to Queensland.

 "We will be undertaking an aerial survey of the line to prove that the line is in much better condition than the State Government would have us believe," action group spokesperson Beth Shelley said.

"NSW governments have been telling us for years that we can't afford a train while they continue to spend billions on highways.

"NRRAG believes it is affordable and essential for our future and our community."

The helicopter will leave Casino at 11am on Friday.



There will be no traffic calming: Gold Coast City Council releases its safety for people in cars strategy



GCCC Media Release [7/4/15]:

Council today endorsed the City’s first Road Safety Plan on the eve of Easter long weekend.

Reducing serious injuries from road accidents by 30 per cent between 2010 and 2020 is a key target outlined in the plan.

The bold target is supported by 59 actions to achieve a reduction in road safety trauma. The actions focus on shared and individual responsibilities for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport passengers, motorcyclists and motorists.

Mayor Tom Tate said the 30 per cent target was consistent with national and state government strategies.

“This road safety plan is a good first step to deliver safer local roads for people travelling in our city.

“As a community, we all need to be considerate and aware of others when riding, driving and walking on our roads,” Cr Tate said.

The City manages more than 3000 kilometres of local roads and more than 2000 kilometres of footpaths.

Between 2009 and 2013 there were more than 3000 crashes on the Gold Coast resulting in serious injury or loss of life. More than 16,000 crashes were reported in the same period with people suffering minor injuries. Tragically, many of these crashes were preventable.

Statistics detailed in the plan show:

· excessive speed contributes to 33 per cent of fatal accidents on our roads

· drink driving was a contributing factor in 13 per cent of accidents on our roads

· 10 per cent of fatalities and serious injuries on local roads involved an unlicensed driver

· in five per cent of fatalities and serious injuries, seatbelts weren’t used

· provisional license holders account for 20 per cent of serious road injuries.

The plan prioritises key actions addressing vulnerable road users and members of our community including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, youth and older people.

Actions include:

· improving flooded road monitoring systems

· prioritising upgrades – fixing the worst roads first

· managing the road network effectively including implementing local road network measures, such as speed awareness devices, school zone traffic management and improving areas with significant multi-modal transport demands

· ensuring cooperation between partners to address the City’s road safety challenges

The City partnered with key stakeholders to develop the Road Safety Plan - the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads; the Queensland Police Service; the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland; and the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.


Kurt Cobain Documentary To See Limited Aussie Release This Year



The Music [30/4/15]:

The eagerly awaited first official documentary on the life of tragic grunge-rock icon Kurt Cobain, Cobain: Montage Of Heck, will be released in cinemas across Australia for a limited run in May this year, it has been confirmed.

In the wake of the release of the film's heartbreaking trailer earlier this month — not to mention acclaimed screenings at events such as Sundance Film Festival — hopes were high that it would see an official antipodean release, and now we know that to be the case — Montage Of Heck will come to Australian cinemas on 7 May, just three days after its premiere in the United States, on celebrated cable channel HBO.

The finer details — how many screens, where they might be, how long we can expect the film to stay in cinemas — are yet to be publicised, but the knowledge alone that we'll have the chance to see the film in its full-size form, replete with post-credits exclusive interview footage with director Brett Morgen discussing the creation of the documentary.


Cobain's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, is executive producer of the film — the first fully authorised production of its kind, and a co-production of Universal Pictures International Entertainment Content Group and HBO Documentary films.


Sunday was a day of social commentary, World music and crowd favourites at Bluesfest.

Being from Africa, Papua New Guinea, Melbourne or Byron Bay, most of the music yesterday at Bluesfest - and the artists - had a strong social and political message. ... [Tweed Daily News - 6/4/15]




Canadian orchestra drops Ukraine-born pianist over anti-Kiev posts [RT – 7/4/15]






HMAS Stirling: Navy urged to tackle ice problem after spate of suicides at WA training base

ABC [7/4/15]:

The Royal Australian Navy is being urged to change its policies after an ABC investigation revealed a disturbing spate of suicides involving sailors from the Navy base HMAS Stirling.

At least six current or former serving sailors have died in just two years, five from suicide and one from an apparent drug overdose.

Their deaths have revealed a hidden culture where the drug ice was used on the West Australian base and on Navy ships, and binge-drinking was commonplace.

In one case, a sailor's wife tried to warn the Navy her husband was an ice addict and yet he was sent to sea regardless, where he died of a drug and alcohol overdose.

Stuart Addison was the first of three close friends based at HMAS Stirling who hanged themselves between February 2012 and May 2013.

After twice attempting to kill himself, once at sea onboard HMAS Perth, Stuart Addison hanged himself while on shore leave in Melbourne.

After several days in a coma, his father Mark Addison was asked to withdraw his son's life support.

"It's a decision that I don't think any parent should have to make," Mr Addison told 7.30.

It was only after Stuart's death that the family discovered among his Navy documents medical reports showing the young sailor had been on psychiatric medication and had tried to kill himself before.

He told a Navy psychologist it was because of his job.

"Stuart said the main cause of his depression was apparently being in the Navy. He is not happy there and looks forward to his discharge at the end of the year," a psychiatrist's report said.

Others sailors were on major psychiatric medication. Yet their families had no idea of what had happened because of, the Navy says, privacy laws.




Two further appeals before executions




Jakarta Post [7/4/15]:



The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is waiting for the results of case reviews for two death-row inmates at the Supreme Court before setting a schedule for the next batch of executions.

Attorney General M. Prasetyo said that his office was cooperating with the ongoing legal efforts of Serge Areski Atlaoui of France and Martin Anderson alias Belo of Ghana against their death sentences.

On Monday, the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) rejected petitions from two Australian death-row inmates, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, to annul a presidential decree refusing clemency for the pair.

The PTUN insisted that a presidential decree was not subject to the court’s authority.

Prasetyo, meanwhile, described the move as an “inappropriate” legal wrangle with the sole aim of delaying the executions.

“For the Australian convicts, it’s all settled. I’ve heard that they want to challenge Monday’s verdict, but I don’t imagine that will be a problem. We’re staying firm about this,” Prasetyo told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Moreover, he said that while he respected all of the convicts’ legal efforts, their futility was certain in light of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s rejection of clemency requests.

“The two other convicts from Ghana and France are just trying to buy time,” Prasetyo said.

Atlaoui is currently challenging his sentence at the Tangerang State Court, while Anderson has registered a review petition with the South Jakarta District Court.

The four drug convicts are among a group of 10 people slated for simultaneous execution on Nusakambangan prison island near Cilacap, Central Java, where the AGO conducted the first batch of executions of six local and foreign drug convicts in January.

Prasetyo explained that for those sentenced to death, clemency was the ultimate legal recourse, but that convicts’ lawyers typically attempted all measures to delay their client’s execution.

“When they request clemency, it means that they admit all wrongdoing, so why do they still try to make legal challenges once the clemency appeal has failed? Even before that stage, they have plenty of time to challenge their verdicts up to case review level,” Prasetyo added.

It was possible, he said, that the AGO would include additional death-row inmates in the group of 10, with a decision to be made at an upcoming meeting of all prosecutors and directors involved in the executions.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi said on Monday that the court was still waiting for Anderson and Atlaoui’s case review dossiers from the Tangerang and South Jakarta courts before a panel of judges at the Supreme Court could proceed with the petitions.

“The officers in charge of their petition documents say that they have yet to receive anything from the two courts,” Suhadi said.

Sukumaran and Chan’s lawyer Leonard Aritonang said that he disagreed with the PTUN’s Monday ruling, and that he would challenge the verdict by filing a judicial review to amend Law No. 5/2010 on clemency with the Constitutional Court.

“This is not the end of the fight. In the near future we will file the request with the Constitutional Court. We want the court to clarify the role of the president in issuing clemency,” Leonard said.

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected a second case review petition filed by Philippine national Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, another member of the condemned group.




Nauru staff call for closure of refugee concentration camp and royal commission into abuse

Guardian [7/4/15]:

The federal government has been aware of physical and sexual abuse of asylum seekers on Nauru for more than a year but failed to take appropriate action, workers from the detention centre have alleged.

In an unprecedented move, 23 current and former medical staff, teachers, social workers and child protection staff have signed an open letter calling for the removal of all asylum seekers from Nauru to Australia.

They have also called for a royal commission into sexual abuse on Nauru and into the government’s response.







Imaginary Australian journalist to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton: What is your response to the Greens' call to review the Saeed Hassanloo case?




Greens Media Release [7/4/15]:




The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection must direct his Department to review the case of Iranian asylum seeker, Saeed Hassanloo, the Australian Greens have said today.

“It is simply horrifying that a young man is prepared to starve himself to death so that he doesn’t have to spend another day in detention. This is a devastating indictment on the Government's refugee policy and raises serious questions about how people are being treated in detention", Greens immigration spokesperson, Senator Hanson-Young said.   

“I welcome the news that Saeed has begun accepting food, but we must not forget why he was driven to such lengths. This man chose to end his life in immigration detention rather than return to his homeland.

“The Australian community are horrified that our Government is prepared to watch a man die whilst in their care.  

“Peter Dutton must act compassionately and request that his Department review Saeed’s case immediately.

“This is cruelty for cruelty’s sake and we cannot let it continue.”




NZ troops arrive in Australia to train at Enoggera military barracks for the latest invasion of Iraq




NZ Herald [7/4/15]:


A large contingent of New Zealand Defence Force personnel have arrived in Australia for further training for the joint mission New Zealand and Australia will undertake in Iraq next month.

Unlike the other training trips by Kiwi soldiers to Australia to prepare, where Australian news media has revealed the trips, the NZDF today issued their own statement.

It said about 120 NZDF personnel left Ohakea Air Force base this morning for a mission readiness exercise in Australia.

"The three-day exercise at Enoggera military camp near Brisbane will include a series of scenarios designed to ensure the trainers in the 'building partner capacity' mission are ready, and to demonstrate to their senior commanders that they are fully prepared for the tasks and environment they will face in Iraq. "

Those travelling to the exercise included trainers, health, logistics and force protection personnel, as well as headquarters staff.

Most would return to New Zealand at the end of the week, however some would stay in Australia and join an advance party to Iraq.

The New Zealanders and Australians are scheduled to leave in May for Camp Taji north of Baghdad where they will help to train the Iraqi army to take on Islamic State (Isis).

New Zealand will deploy 106 to Camp Taji and another 40 will be stationed in the region in support capacity.

On March 31 the ABC reported New Zealand had begun pre-deployment training in Australia. Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed that 50 had returned from Australia and been replaced with another 60.




I will provide evidence about international coalition violations in Iraq, says al-Zamili [ – 6/4/15]:




On Sunday, chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense Hakim al-Zamili announced his intention to provide “compelling” evidence about the US-led international coalition’s violations in Iraq, while noted that the weapons and equipment in the possession of the ISIS group only exist in the United States and Israel.

Zamili said in press statements, “I have evidences and documents to prove that the international coalition, led by the United States, has been committing violations, striking the army and al-Hashd al-Sha’bi troops and airdropping weapons and aids to the ISIS group elements.”

“I will provide compelling evidences about the coalition involvement in such violations,” he added.



American POWs used for live experiments in Japan, according to new museum [Telegraph – 6/4/15]:




... None of the crew of the aircraft survived and their remains were preserved in formaldehyde until the end of the war, when the doctors attempted to cover their tracks by destroying the evidence.

One doctor committed suicide in prison before the trial and charges of cannibalism were dropped due to a lack of evidence, but 23 people were found guilty of carrying out vivisection or the wrongful removal of body parts.

Five were sentenced to death, four received life prison terms and the rest received shorter sentences.

Two years later, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the military governor of Japan, commuted all the death sentences and reduced most of the prison terms. By 1958, every one of the people involved in the case had been released. ...






The United States admitted Monday that it has no immediate plans to rescue its nationals stranded in war-torn Yemen and urged them to flee the raging conflict by sea.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf could not tell reporters how many American civilians are thought to be caught up in the conflict, as citizens of other nations take to ships.

But she said U.S. authorities would contact those that it could, and advise them of opportunities to board ships from allied nations docking to pick up their own nationals. ... [Naharnet - 6/4/15]






Islamist Boko Haram militants disguised as preachers killed at least 24 people and wounded several others in an attack near a mosque in northeast Nigeria's Borno state, a military source and witness said on Monday.

The attackers arrived in cars late on Sunday and gathered people at a mosque in the remote village of Kwajafa, pretending to preach Islam. They then opened fire on them, witness Simeon Buba said. ... [Yahoo - 6/4/15]


Afghanistan: 2 of the 31 abducted Hazaras found dead in Zabul

Khaama [6/4/15]:

At least two of the 31 abducted Hazaras were found dead in southern Zabul province of Afghanistan, local officials said Monday.

The provincial council chief Ata Mohammad Haqbin said the dead bodies of the two men were found in Khak-e-Afghan district.

Haqbin further added that one of the hostages was murdered while the second one who was an old man had apparently died due to weakness.

The 31 members of the minority Shiite Hazara community were abducted on Feb. 24 in southern Zabul province of Afghanistan from two vehicles on a major road.

Mohammad Mohaqiq, senior Shiite community leader and deputy to Chief Executive officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, last week confirmed that the 31 Hazaras were kidnapped by militants belonging to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants.

He said the hostages are still alive and are being held in different areas by the militants who have slip them up into three or four groups.


Dismembered body of girl found after six months in Herat [Khaama – 6/4/15]




... Illusions are at work in the world. The truth has been turned on its head. The victims are being portrayed as the perpetrators. ...  Imagery and Empire: Understanding the Western Fear of Arab and Muslim Terrorists, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya [ICH/SCF – 6/4/15]




Explosion at China Chemical Plant Injures 14 [Naharnet – 6/4/15]




Bondage killer to ask court for parole



Brisbane Times [7/4/15]:

A Queensland man who killed a woman during a bondage game is due to take his bid for parole to court this month.

In 2006, Sven Huebner was jailed for 16 years for the manslaughter of 27-year-old Linda Roberts, and for the torture of another woman.

Ms Roberts died in August 2001 in what Huebner claimed was a bondage accident, after he tied a rope around her neck.

He pleaded guilty in 2006 to her manslaughter, as well as the torture and assault of 18-year-old Melissa Gazsik during another bondage game in May 2000.

The Queensland Parole Board refused Huebner's application late last year.

He has applied to the Supreme Court for a judicial review of the decision.

The case was set down for April 30 at a directions hearing in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday.

Huebner's former girlfriend Amy Louise Maher received a suspended sentence for being an accessory to Ms Roberts' manslaughter and for the torture and assault of Ms Gazsik.

The pair were convicted of murder in 2003. However, the following year the convictions were overturned on appeal and changed to manslaughter charges.

Man in custody after Fiji journalist death

RNZI [7/4/15]:

Fiji police say a man remains in custody in connection with the death of a Fiji journalist at the weekend.

Losana McGowan died early on Saturday after she was allegedly pushed after a heated argument at a flat in Suva.

In a statement the police said investigators are awaiting the outcome of a post mortem examination which is currently being conducted.

And police say a man remains under police guard at the burns unit at Lautoka Hospital and is yet to be questioned over an incident which left his wife with burns to her body.

FBC news reports the 26 year old woman is also in the burns unit after sustaining ten percent burns to her body over the weekend.

It's alleged the woman was shopping in Lautoka on Saturday afternoon when she was doused with benzene and set alight.






Refugees arrested for peacefully protesting set to appear in a Nauru court tomorrow




Another vigilante attack, but Nauru refugees defy repression [19/3/15]:



... Yesterday’s (Wed 18 March) scheduled court appearance by protesters arrested on 4 March was adjourned until 8 April after the magistrate listed 11 people , while the prosecution listed only 10 – including children.

There is still no indication of what charges are being laid against those arrested.




Australia did this.  Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is responsible. ---->   This is a jail cell some of the female refugees were imprisoned for 30 hours and given only one bottle of water to share. ... [Refugees on Nauru - 5/3/15]


Nauru refugees bailed after 48 hours of abuse and appalling conditions [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 6/3/15]



... The refugees were given an interpreter, but were not given access to lawyers before they were asked to sign the paper.


The bail form refugees were required to sign commits them to a surety of $500, to be paid if the refugee fails to appear in court when summonsed, or if he or she breaches bail conditions. The handwritten bail conditions are: “to keep peace and not to re-offend”.

The bail form does not say with what offence they have been charged, or if they have been charged at all. Refugees, who are given an allowance of $180 a fortnight, have said any fine would be an impossible to pay. Those who have found jobs earn about between three and four dollars an hour. ... [Guardian - 6/3/15]



Nauru police say that 183 refugees arrested after protests on Wednesday were released from custody last night and are on bail. … [AUDIO - RNZI – 6/3/15]




".... One of the protest organisers who talked to the ABC was arrested. ... "  A Voice From Nauru [VIDEO - Rez Nez - 4/3/15]






PNG court allows lawyers access to Manus Island refugees to pursue case against their incarceration and mistreatment [ABC -24/3/15]:





... Earlier this month lawyers filed a notice of motion requesting access to the detainees at the detention centre and refugees at the East Lorengau transit facility, so they could obtain official statements.

Mr Lomai said his lawyers would have access to the detention centre from April 6 - 17. The matter returns to court on April 22.





Tragedy avoided but minister must release Saeed and all those indefinitely detained

Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [7/4/15]:

The Refugee Action Coalition has welcomed the news that Iranian hunger striker, Saeed Hansonloo, has ended his hunger strike.

Now the Minister must release Saeed, his brother and the 40-odd other Iranians being held in indefinite detention.

Despite the Minister’s public comments, Saeed’s case has not been finalized. The Department initiated a “International Treaty Obligations Assessment” process in January this year.

Hundreds of others in a similar situation are living in the community on bridging visas.

“The Minister has to explain why Saeed and his brother were not released on bridging visas,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Peter Dutton has assiduously avoided explaining why he didn’t do the obvious. Saeed and his brother were living in the community on bridging visas until 2012.

“Twice this year, Iranian asylum seekers have come close to dying in detention. The Minister is completely blinkered by domestic politics. Unless Peter Dutton releases Saeed and the others, it is only a matter of time before this happens again. Some of the Iranians in Darwin, in a similar situation to Saeed, have now been re-detained for nine months. The government’s policy is senseless.”

“The responsibility still lies with the Minister. He can do nothing and wait for the next crisis, and waste more lives and money, or he can do the sensible and decent thing.”






Refugee Rights Action Network WA [7/4/15]:




Saeed has been so moved by the support he has received from advocates he thanked us yesterday. And last night he agreed to come off his hunger strike and begin accepting medical intervention.

Thank you to everyone that expressed their concern.

We now need to keep up the pressure on the government to fight the injustice of mandatory detention.

No one should feel they need to starve them selves to death rather then spend another day in an immigration internment camp.




Solidarity between the media and political parties re Australia's torture of refugees allows the Immigration Minister to respond thus [ABC - 7/4/15]:




... The Immigration Minister says while he is pleased the asylum seeker's condition has improved, his actions will not change his circumstances.

"If I was to succumb to that pressure, the strong advice from my department is that I would have hundreds if not thousands of people on hunger strikes tomorrow," he said. ...






A protected and unaccountable Minister will do whatever he or she can get away with eg legislating to physically punish peacefully protesting refugees.





Proposed legislation formalises guidelines for violence against refugees in Australian concentration camps. [New Matilda - 15/3/15]



Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015:

On 3 March 2015, the Senate referred the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report.

The closing date for submissions is 7 April 2015. The reporting date is 12 May 2015.




"We are 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us" #Manus [January 2015]






Australia's Minister for Immigration introduces Migration Amendment (Strengthening Biometrics Integrity) Bill 2015 [House of Representatives Hansard [5/3/15]:


... The bill will remove existing restrictions in the Migration Act on collecting biometrics from minors and incapable persons, to address current inconsistencies in the Migration Act where certain restrictions on collecting biometrics do not apply at Australia's borders, but do apply in other circumstances, such as at the time of applying for a visa.

The removal of existing restrictions on collecting biometrics from minors is primarily a child protection measure aimed at preventing child trafficking and/or smuggling. Collecting personal identifiers, particularly fingerprints, from children will permit a higher level of integrity in identifying minors overseas where known cases of child smuggling and trafficking reveal higher risk. This includes conducting fingerprint-based checks against lists of missing or abducted children with countries of suspected origin as well as against Interpol missing persons records. Fingerprints provide a unique capability to accurately identify individuals that is not possible using a facial image, particularly if the person is a minor. Unlike a facial image, which is subject to considerable change as a person ages into adulthood, fingerprints are relatively stable throughout a person's life.

Further, Australia, like the United States, the United Kingdom and many other countries face the return of potentially radicalised minors after participating in conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. While it is an uncomfortable proposition that a minor may be capable of involvement in terrorist activities or extreme violence, the conflict in the Middle East has provided evidence of the involvement of children. Through the Five Country Conference data sharing arrangements, Australia would be able to access fingerprint-based records of minors who may already be known to the security agencies of other countries. Where a minor is suspected of involvement in a terrorist activity or indeed serious criminal activity, fingerprints would enable searches of Five Country Conference partner databases and Australian law enforcement data holdings. ...






Transfield tries to impose total gag on workers at its refugee concentration camps [Guardian - 7/4/15]:




The company that runs Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres has warned staff they can be fired as a result of who their friends are on Facebook or who follows them on Twitter and has forbidden them from joining political parties or churches that oppose offshore processing.

It has also cautioned them not to “embarrass” the company or the government or reveal how asylum seekers are treated.


Where is the PNG Debate on Manus Island? [the garamut - 17/8/12]






United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria

Centcom [6/4/15]:

On April 5, Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct five airstrikes.

Separately in Iraq, Coalition military forces conducted eight airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, using attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists.

All strikes took place between 8 a.m., April 5, and 8 a.m., April 6, local time.

The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:


* Near Al Hasakah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed eight fighting positions, an ISIL tunnel system and an ISIL vehicle.

* Near Ar Raqqah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

* Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL buildings.


* Near Bayji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

* Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

* Near Ramadi, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL mortar positions and an ISIL sniper position.

Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.





Yemen's humanitarian crisis worsens as aid delayed [Al Jazeera - 7/4/15]



Trapped civilians ‘more desperate than ever’ amid fighting in Yarmouk camp, warns UN agency chief  [Media Release - 6/4/15]


Accused Boston bomber followed brother's lead, defense argues [Reuters – 6/4/15]







Louisiana Denies Compensation to Dying Exonerated Death Row Prisoner as Former Prosecutor Apologises [Democracy Now - 6/4/15]:



After three decades on death row in Louisiana, Glenn Ford was freed in March 2014 based on new evidence clearing him of the 1983 fatal shooting a jewelry store owner.

Ford is African American and was tried by an all-white jury.

In 2000, the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered an evidentiary hearing on Ford’s claim that the prosecution suppressed favorable evidence related to two brothers initially implicated in the crime.

Then in 2013, an unidentified informant told prosecutors that one of the brothers had admitted to shooting and killing the jewelry store owner.

Shortly after Ford’s release last year, he received a second death sentence: stage three lung cancer, which has now advanced to stage four and spread to his bones, lymph nodes and spine. His attorney says he has entered hospice care in New Orleans.

Ford filed a federal lawsuit claiming prison officials and medical authorities knew he had cancer in 2011, but denied him treatment. Glenn Ford is one of the longest-serving death row prisoners ever to be exonerated.

Under Louisiana law he can ask for a maximum of $330,000 in compensation. But last week a judge denied his request, saying Ford was involved in two lesser crimes.

We are joined by the lead prosecutor in Ford’s murder trial, Marty Stroud, who has come out in favor of his compensation.

In a three-page letter to The Shreveport Times, Stroud said he no longer supports the death penalty, and apologized to Ford.

"I apologize to Glenn Ford for all the misery I have caused him and his family," he wrote.  ...






... When I was there — first got there in '87, the method was primarily the electric chair. It was about 30 yards, I would say, from my cell. And the next morning, by using the electric chair, you could actually smell the flesh of the person they'd executed the night before. So, they probably executed may be 20, 25 in the electric chair in a few — in the — with the gurney.  ... ["They Couldn’t Take My Soul": Anthony Ray Hinton on His Exoneration After 30 Years on Death Row - Democracy Now - 6/4/15]




Man, 50, charged with murder after allegedly driving car into house north of Brisbane and stabbing man

ABC [7/4/15]:

A man who is accused of ramming a home full of people with a car and stabbing an occupant to death did not flee the scene and helped police before his arrest.

Five people were inside the Delaneys Creek home when the 50-year-old man allegedly damaged the house and killed another 50-year-old man about 7:30pm Monday.

When authorities arrived at the scene the victim's body was found in the front yard with multiple stab wounds and the alleged murderer was inside, Detective Senior Sergeant Anthony Green said.

"All persons from this address are known to each other," he said.

"It is domestic related incident.

"This is not an isolated incident, they are all known to each other."

The alleged offender, from Woodford, helped police and was charged with four counts of attempted murder and one count each of murder, entering a dwelling with intent, contravention of a domestic violence order, driving while disqualified, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and attempted arson.

"When police arrived at the scene he was helpful and assisted police with their inquiries," Detective Green said.

He is due to appear in the Caboolture Magistrates Court today.





NSW police officer charged over domestic violence

West Australian [6/4/15]:

A NSW senior constable has been charged with assault following an alleged incident of domestic violence at his home.

The officer, who works in a specialist command in the state's south, was arrested at his home late on Saturday night.

He was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, police said.

He's due before Cooma Local Court on April 21.






A woman who allegedly suffered eight years of domestic abuse in silence told police her main concern was cushioning the blows so her children would not hear.

But her husband's alleged violent control of her life came to light last week when he allegedly forced her car to stop on a busy Kingston thoroughfare and striking her repeatedly. ... [Canberra Times - 6/4/15]





Man charged over wilful damage, Nerang

 QPS Media [7/4/15]:

Police have charged a man following an incident at a service station at Nerang last night.

It is alleged around 10.10pm a man entered the Spencer Road business and used a hammer to smash three windows.

Police were called by the service station attendants and the man was taken into custody.

An 18-year-old man from Carrara has been charged with wilful damage and is expected to face Southport Magistrates Court on April 22, 2015.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.



Armed robbery charges, Windaroo

QPS Media [7/4/15]:

Police have charged two men after an alleged armed robbery in Windaroo near Beenleigh.

Just after 8pm it is alleged two men, one armed with a gun and the other with a golf club, entered a convenience store on Beenleigh-Beaudesert Road.

The pair allegedly threatened the male console operator and demanded cash and cigarettes.

The console operator complied with their demands and the two men fled the store. They were located by police a short time later.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

A 17-year-old Mount Warren Park man and a 21-year-old Meadowbrook were both charged with one count each of armed robbery in company. Both men are due to appear in the Beenleigh Magistrates Court today.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Armed robbery charges, Inala

QPS Media [7/4/15]:

Police have charged a 19-year-old man after an alleged armed robbery in Inala last night.

Just before 8.30pm police will allege a 22-year-old man was approached by a group of men on Clipper St.

It will further be alleged the men, armed with knives, threatened the man then stole his car.

This car was subsequently located parked at a service station on the corner of Inala Avenue and Garden Road, Richlands and a short time later, a 19-year-old Inala man was arrested.

He has been charged with armed robbery in company, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and obstruct police. He is due to appear in the Richlands Magistrates Court today.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.


Attempted armed robbery, Toowoomba

QPS Media [6/4/15]:

Police are investigating the attempted armed robbery of a taxi driver in Toowoomba early this morning.

At 12.15am, two females entered the vehicle on Bridge Street armed with knives, and demanded cash while threatening the male driver.

The driver left the taxi and ran down the road with the takings.

One female chased after the driver for a short distance before returning to the taxi.

Both offenders then left the scene empty-handed.

The 63-year-old driver was not physically injured.

Police are urging anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the vicinity of Bridge Street to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


Man and woman charged, Gold Coast



QPS Media [6/4/15]:

Police have charged a man and woman following a number of alleged offences occurring at the Gold Coast today.

Police will allege that a 24-year-old Nerang man and a 19-year-old Springwood woman stole a car from Mermaid Waters, even date.

This afternoon, both the man and woman drove the car at different times and attempted to evade police through a number of Gold Coast suburbs.

PolAir maintained observations on the car and the pair were arrested at Palm Beach after alighting from the car and running through residential properties.

The man is charged with enter premises with intent to commit indictable offence, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, dangerous operation of a vehicle and driving whilst disqualified.

The woman is charged with two counts of enter premises with intent to commit indictable offence, unlawful use of motor vehicle, dangerous operation of vehicle, stealing, fail to stop, drive motor vehicle without a driver licence, possession of knife in public place and possessing restricted item (laser pointer).

Both are appearing in the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.




Arrest for hooning, Coomera [QPS - 7/4/15]:



Police from Coomera arrested a 32-year-old Upper Coomera man on Good Friday after a complaint from local residents in relation to hooning in their local street.

Police advised that residents contacted them after the male person was observed doing burn outs in Reserve Road, Upper Coomera.

Local residents confronted the male offender who left the area only to return a short time later.

At this time the male offender produced a machete from within his vehicle and assaulted a local resident before fleeing from the scene.

Police immediately located the male offender a short distance away and he was arrested for offences including drink driving, wilfully make unlawful noise, commit public nuisance, going armed to cause fear and offences of common assault.

Police are requesting residents to contact Police and not to confront persons detected committing offences.  






 Murdoch 'n friends: Squeezing what remains of any media truth on the Gold Coast

… He's a cold hearted snake, girl, look into his eyes

Oh oh, he's been tellin' lies

He's a lover boy at play though, he don't play by rules

Oh oh, girl don't play the fool, no ….

'Cold Hearted', Paula Abdul [1989]




Brisbane Times [7/4/15]:




A bizarre search is unfolding on the Gold Coast after a South American boa constrictor was released by police who wrongly believed it was a harmless python.

Police say officers were called to The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise on or about March 26, to respond to reports of a large snake spotted at the base of a tree on a footpath.

The officers released the reptile into bushland at the Southport Spit, but the incident has since sparked an operation by Biosecurity Queensland officers who say the snake isn't a harmless python after all.

It's been identified as a two-metre South American boa constrictor, a large predatory snake that could pose a threat to other reptiles and even domestic pets.

"These snakes could wipe out entire species of reptiles and they have been known to eat cats and dogs," Gold Coast snake catcher Tony Harrison has told The Gold Coast Bulletin.

"We have been told to capture it so the state government can euthanise it. It makes me really angry that people import these snakes as pets and release them when they get too big. They carry heaps of diseases." Biosecurity Queensland is working with the Gold Coast City Council in a bid to find the snake.

"Police originally caught it in a sheet after spotting it under a tree in Surfers Paradise before they released it in bushland at The Spit," a spokesman said.

"They say they captured the snake when it started moving towards people."




Boy injured in motocross crash, Gympie

Yahoo [6/4/15]:




A Queensland boy has been airlifted to hospital with a head injury after a motocross accident northwest of Gympie.

The 11-year-old hit his head when he came off his bike at Glen Echo Park on Monday morning.

An RACQ CareFlight rescue helicopter took him to Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, with his mother going with him.

His condition was listed as stable.




... Where did all the blue skies go?


Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east ...



'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)', Marvin Gaye [1971]






Great Barrier Reef takes centre stage in mine challenge [Yahoo - 7/4/15]:

A Queensland court will hear evidence of how plans to build Australia's biggest coal mine in the Galilee Basin could damage the Great Barrier Reef.

Conservation group Coast and Country has launched a legal challenge to plans by Indian giant Adani to build the $16.5 billion mine and export at least 50 million tonnes of coal a year.

The company had planned on shipping the coal from the Abbot Point coal terminal, north of Bowen, after the Queensland government last year granted approval for a 300km rail line linking the two sites.

Opponents to the project argue its financial benefits have been overstated and it carries unacceptable environmental risks.

They fear the mine would contibute to climate change and fuel ocean acidification, damaging fragile Great Barrier Reef corals.

In his opening address last week, Adani's lawyer Peter Ambrose defended the company's safeguards against environmental damage as appropriate and said a range of experts would testify about its economic viability.

The case, before Land Court president Carmel MacDonald, is expected to run until the end of April.


Sea Shepherd rescues poachers

RNZI [6/4/15]:

The conservation group Sea Shepherd says all crew members from a poaching vessel have abandoned ship as it appears to be sinking off the west coast of Africa.

It said its ship the Bob Barker received a distress call from the Thunder this afternoon and all 35 crew members were now in liferafts.

Sea Shepherd has been pursuing the Thunder, which it claims had been poaching toothfish, for more than 100 days.

Captain Peter Hammarstedt said the Thunder radioed him saying the ship was sinking.

He said they had launched a small boat and were doing everything they could to assist, which included co-ordinating a search and rescue operation.

Mr Hammarstedt said he suspected the vessel may have been deliberately damaged so crew members could avoid arrest when it came to port.

Another Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, was assisting in the search and rescue operation. It had arrived on the scene and would take on the 35 crew members.

Captain Hammarstedt said he was worried the Thunder's crew might be violent.

"We do have a concern about taking on the crew of the Thunder but this is an emergency situation," he said.

"We are the vessels on the scene which means we have to take on the responsibility of co-ordinating the rescue.

"But this is a crew that has been violent towards us for the past 110 days," he said.

Mr Hammarstedt said he suspects that as a final act, the Thunder's crew tried to sink their boat.

"This vessel is in the perfect place to sink and I would not be surprised that the captain of this vessel knowing his ship is going to be arrested coming into port, would consider sinking his ship to destroy any evidence," he said.

The distress signal came off the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa.





7 April 2015