Iran’s Zarif writes to UN chief to urge action on plight of Rohingya in Myanmar [Press TV – 7/1/17]:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has written to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to demand international action to stop rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
In a letter addressed to Guterres on Friday, Zarif said the plight of the Rohingya has caused international concern.
The ethnic Muslims have not only been deprived of their most basic right — i.e. the right to belong to a country and a government that would protect them — they are also being exposed to killings and violent and inhumane treatment on a daily basis, he wrote.
The Iranian foreign minister referred to an upcoming ad hoc meeting by the foreign ministers of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on January 19 to address the situation of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and said the meeting reflects the depth of concern on the part of Islamic governments about the ethnic Muslims’ conditions.
Zarif said the “the systematic violation of the Rohingya Muslims’ basic rights and denying them citizenship… and forcing them to leave their homes” would have adverse consequences on peace and stability in Myanmar as well as in neighboring and regional countries.
He said it was expected of Myanmar’s government to take immediate and effective action to protect the rights of the Rohingya and not allow extremist groups to tarnish the peaceful image of Buddhism.
The top Iranian diplomat said it is also expected of Guterres and his special envoy for Myanmar to communicate to the Myanmarese government the demand of the international community and the Islamic world concerning immediate humanitarian access to affected areas.
He also expressed hope that the UN, through the mechanisms available to it, would take the necessary measures to address the situation of the Rohingya in Myanmar. ...
Myanmar asks Malaysia to stop NGOs from sending aid flotilla to Rohingya [Bangkok Post - 7/1/17]
A week after shooting, Myanmar denies attack on Bangladeshi fishermen [bdnews24.com - 6/1/17]:
... This report came ahead of a planned visit to Bangladesh by a Myanmar state minister to discuss Rohingya refugee issue.
Officials in Dhaka told bdnews24.com that state councilor Aung San Suu Kyi is sending the envoy ahead of the OIC foreign ministers’ meeting on Rohingya issue on Jan 19 in Malaysia.
Dhaka earlier had expressed its deep concern at the continued influx of Rohingya Muslims from the Rakhine State of Myanmar into Bangladesh. ...
A Bangladeshi national was allegedly tortured to death by members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Chakulia border in Damurhuda upazila in Chuadanga district early today. ... [Daily Star - 7/1/17]
Two most wanted militants of the New JMB group including the Gulshan terror attack operational commander Marjan have been killed in an alleged gunfight with the police’s counter-terrorism unit in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur area. ... [Dhaka Tribune - 6/1/17]
Several injured as protesters defy court order in Hambantota [Colombo Gazette - 7/1/17]:
Several people were injured during a tense situation in Hambantota when protesters defied a court order and staged a protest near the venue of the launch of the Sri Lanka-China Industrial Zone Development Project today.
At least 21 people sought treatment at the Hambantota hospital after stones were pelted towards the police and the venue of the project and the police retaliated with water cannons and tear-gas.
The protesters, led by some monks, marched towards the venue of the event which was attended by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other Ministers and diplomats. ...
The Sri Lankan air force is currently in the process of finalising the purchase of further jets, reported the Daily Mirror.
The ministry of defence was granted permission to proceed with the purchase by the president and Cabinet.
“Contemporary aircraft which would be suitable for the coming years would be purchased,” SLAF Spokesman Group Captain Gihan Seneviratne was quoted as saying.
Sixteen Kfir jets were bought from Israel between 1995 and 2005.
At least seven were destroyed. [Tamil Guardian - 6/1/17]
No prohibition from LTTE cemeteries, court rules [Tamil Guardian - 6/1/17]
An Air Force veteran says he sprayed thousands of litres of the toxic chemical, Agent Orange, at a United States airbase on Guam, possibly contributing to several illnesses and deaths.
Mr Foster, who now has several cancers and whose grandchild was born with 24 fingers and toes, told Florida's NBC News he believes the spraying contributed to many people on Guam falling ill.
The US Department of Defence denies Agent Orange was ever used on Guam - where many bombing missions took off from - which hinders those who were stationed there from seeking compensation. ... [RNZI - 6/1/17]
France has published six decrees confirming the return of former French military bases on Tahiti to the relevant French Polynesian communities for a symbolic price of one euro. ... [RNZI - 6/1/17]
Japan, France to start talks on defense supplies-sharing pact [Japan Today - 7/1/17]
Japan will temporarily withdraw its ambassador to South Korea and suspend high-level economic talks because of a new dispute over a statue depicting the wartime “comfort women.” ... [Japan Times - 6/1/17]
Germany was sued for damages in the United States on Thursday by descendants of the Herero and Nama people of Namibia, for what they called a genocide campaign by German colonial troops in the early 1900s that led to more than 100,000 deaths. ... [Reuters - 5/1/17]
US engineer admits to conspiring to produce nuclear material in China [Reuters - 6/1/17]:
... A DOJ official said Ho and an associate, Ching Ning Guey -- who pleaded guilty to the same charge in 2015 -- were the first to be charged for violation of the 1946 act, a Cold-War era statute aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation. ...
Floods have killed 12 people in Thailand, while heavy rains continued to ravage the country's south.
The flooding, which is roof-high in some areas, affected more than 700,000 people since it started a week ago, Thailand's interior ministry said in a statement
Neighbouring Malaysia was also hit by severe flooding earlier this week, with thousands stranded in relief centres in two northeastern states. ... [Al Jazeera - 7/1/17]
Jailed members of Brazil's most powerful drug gang killed 31 inmates at a penitentiary on Friday, decapitating and cutting out the hearts of most of them, in revenge for a separate prison massacre that left 56 dead this week.
The bloodletting in the Monte Cristo prison in the Amazonian state of Roraima, carried out by members of the First Capital Command (PCC) gang, sparked fears that months of violence between criminal groups controlling Brazil's prisons had spiraled out of control. ... [Reuters - 6/1/17]
At least 4 killed, 700 arrested in Mexico gas protests [teleSUR - 6/1/17]
Oil platform fire in Gulf of Mexico extinguished: US Coast Guard [Reuters – 5/1/17]
Yemen may export its first crude oil shipment since August later this month, according to fixture list data showing Glencore has booked an oil tanker, to dock in Yemen on January 15. ... [Oilprice.com - 6/1/17]
... I've seen so much worth dying for, so little worth killing over ...
'Too Long A Soldier', Pat Benatar 
@BaFana3 [6/1/17]: ... #Saudi soldier flees to Germany, and denounces Saudi war crimes in #Yemen that he witnessed. I salute him.
@narrabyee [7/1/17]: 13 Yemeni civilians at least killed early today by US-backed Saudi war criminals bombing mosque&school in Haimah west Sanaa
Yemeni charity worker murdered [Middle East Eye - 5/1/17]:
... Amat al-Aleem al-Asbahi was shot dead on 25 December by two motorcycle riders as she walked on the busy 26 September Street.
Her death sent shockwaves through Taiz's activist community, who say they can no longer operate in the war-torn city in safety.
All sides in Yemen's ongoing conflict condemned the attack, while blaming each other claiming multiple motives.
But no one has been arrested and Asbahi's death was little reported locally as journalists fear retribution by those responsible.
Asbahi, who was in her 30s, is a relative of the pro-Houthi governor of Taiz Abdu al-Ganadi, leading to claims by family members she was killed by hardliners from the anti-Houthi group known as the Popular Resistance Committees.
The area where she was murdered is controlled by the Popular Resistance, leading to further claims Asbahi was killed not for her work, but for her family's links to the Houthis. ...
The Bahraini Attorney General has extended for 15 more days the detention of prominent human rights campaigner Nabeel Rajab, who was expected to be released pending trial.
Mohammed al-Jishi, a lawyer representing Rajab, said on Thursday that the order was the sixth extension of Rajab’s pre-trial detention, Bahraini media reported. ... [Press TV - 5/1/17]
US ambassadors appointed by Obama must quit by Inauguration Day [Reuters - 6/1/17]:
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has issued a blanket mandate for politically appointed ambassadors installed by President Barack Obama to leave their posts by Inauguration Day, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand said on Friday.
"I will be departing on January 20th," Ambassador Mark Gilbert said in a Twitter message to Reuters.
The mandate was issued "without exceptions" through an order sent in a State Department cable on Dec. 23, Gilbert said.
He was confirming a report in the New York Times, which quoted diplomatic sources as saying previous U.S. administrations, from both major political parties, have traditionally granted extensions to allow a few such ambassadors, particularly those with school-age children, to remain in place for weeks or months.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said it was "common" procedure for all politically-appointed ambassadors to step down as a new U.S. administration comes in on Jan. 20.
"All political appointees for the Obama administration were directed to submit their resignation and the due date was Dec. 7, and the resignations are to take effect on Jan. 20," Kirby told reporters.
"That is common, typical practise ... that's the way it works." Kirby said, as expected, no career diplomats serving as ambassadors had been asked to resign by the transition team.
He acknowledged, however, that in the past there had been exceptions made for a small number of political appointees to stay on for a short time for personal reasons.
"But that is totally in the prerogative of the incoming administration," he added. ...
The United States has made significant gains in Afghanistan in the last eight years, the US Defense Secretary claimed, hoping the next administration will lead the way in advancing the relationship.
“My hope is that the next administration will lead the way in advancing this relationship, because the Afghan people will need the partnership of the United States for many years to come,” Ashton Carter wrote in an exit memo. ... [Pajhwok - 7/1/17]
Civil war in Afghanistan was averted, says John Kerry [TOLO News - 6/1/17]
At least 13 [Hazara] coalmine workers in Tala wa Barfak district in Baghlan were shot dead by a group of fighters affiliated to Daesh insurgents on Friday afternoon, local officials said. ... [TOLO News - 7/1/17]
One person was killed and two others injured when a roadside mine detonated in Jalalabad city on Thursday morning, officials said. ... [TOLO News - 6/1/17]
Taliban militants kill policewoman in Helmand province [Khaama - 5/1/17]
At least six insurgents including two foreigners were killed during a counter-terrorism operation conducted in South of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operation was conducted on Helmand-Nimroz highway and at least 9 others were also wounded. ... [Khaama - 5/1/17]
... Rahmeh was kidnapped by Israeli troops when he took his flock out to graze in a pasture near his hometown of Aita el-Shaab, close to the Israeli border. ... Israel frees Lebanese shepherd after abduction [Naharnet - 7/1/17]
Israel cuts $6 million in UN funding over settlements resolution [Reuters - 6/1/17]
Israeli settler runs over, seriously injures Palestinian man south of Nablus [Maan - 6/1/17]
Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip announced on Thursday the suspension of their work at sea for two days in protest of the attack and sinking of a Gaza fisherman’s boat by Israeli naval forces on Wednesday night.
Head of the Gaza Fishermen's Union, Zakariya Bakr, told Ma’an that Gazan fishermen will suspend their work off the coast of the Gaza Strip starting Friday in condemnation of Thursday’s “crime” that caused Gaza fisherman Muhammad Ahmad al-Hassi, 33, to go missing. ... [Maan - 5/1/17]
Israeli sources on Thursday morning said that an Israeli settler has stabbed a Palestinian man in Ashdod, north of Gaza.
The man, 40, still unidentified, was wounded and is reportedly in a moderate condition.
Israeli media said that the police are searching for the stabber. [PNN - 5/1/17]
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on Tuesday night have opened fire on the vehicle of the Palestinian undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, on his way from Ramallah to Bethlehem.
Israeli soldiers have reportedly deliberately opened fire on the car of Dr. As’ad Ramlawi when it was near the Al-Ram town, Ramallah. ... [PNN - 5/1/17]
Israel cannot take in an unlimited number of asylum-seekers, but Israel can and must accept the 40,000 Africans living here today ... Three years of Holot [Haaretz - 15/12/16]
Holot: Day 42 – (March 16, 2014) [+972]:
Yesterday evening one guy in our room wasn’t feeling well.
I went to talk with gate prison and told him about it.
He answered that it is not his responsibility.
After I showed him to the room I asked to call the doctor.
He allowed us to go to the doctor but when we got to the clinic we understood he wasn’t really a doctor but a male nurse.
He tried to check him and gave him only four capsules.
He was very sick and couldn’t sleep all night.
Nobody takes care of us here.
Latest Marie Claire: Jennifer Aniston, hot holiday hair and deliberate denial of medical care to Nauru refugees.
Who's behind the ongoing terror campaign against Australia's political prisoners on Nauru, and why is the media covering it up? [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 17/12/16]
Refugees settled [exiled] on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight.
Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees… Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to exiled refugees grows on Nauru [The Conversation - 20/11/14]
So ... like .... get this ... if you make light of corruption, gloss over atrocity, belittle the locals and take Chris Kenny seriously, Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy can continue with impunity! Nice work ABC! [2/1/17]
And don't forget to pretend World War Two never happened! ---> NAURU ISLAND. 1945-09-14. A JAPANESE POW EXPLAINING THE MEANING OF THE JAPANESE NAVY INSIGNIA ON HIS CAR RADIATOR TO PRIVATE TRANSTON, 222ND AUSTRALIAN SUPPLY DEPOT PLATOON. [Australian War Memorial]
NAURU ISLAND. 1945-09-14. PILOT OFFICER L. MARQUIS, INTERPRETER, RAAF, CHECKING THE DETAILS OF A JAPANESE 25MM ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN FOUND SOON AFTER THE ISLAND WAS OCCUPIED BY TROOPS OF THE 31/51ST INFANTRY BATTALION. [Australian War Memorial]
What part of: THESE MEN ARE ILLEGALLY AND UNCONSTITUTIONALLY BEING
HELD ON MANUS ISLAND does the ABC'S 730 Reportland not understand?
Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island, June 2016
If the media won't hold Australian politicians and their anti-refugee policy to account, they are merely victim blaming and greenlighting more violence. @BehrouzBoochani [7/1/17]:
ABC program about Manus did not cover that first immigration officers beat the refugees
ABC program about Manus skimmed the surface and reinforced stereotypes. You can not understand Manus through days
Both refugees and Manusian are been damaged.Australia is responsible,where are they?
The President who will not close Guantánamo [One Small Window - 7/1/17]:
... Obama has consistently upheld those policies and practices, perhaps best epitomised in his flippant admission that “we tortured some folks” in 2014.
By consistently maintaining Bush-era rhetoric to justify Guantánamo’s existence, Barack Obama is stating that he believes the long-debunked founding myths of Guantánamo and supports the continuation of the extralegal regime it represents.
With over one thousand people shot dead by US law enforcement agents each year, the alleged risk posed by Guantánamo prisoners to the US is clearly exaggerated, and with the naval base home to another indefinite detention facility since 1991, for immigration detainees, there is no interest in ending indefinite arbitrary detention, a highly lucrative business. ...
Four Yemenis exiled from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia [Yahoo - 6/1/17]
US Coast Guard conducts 12 at-sea interdictions during past week; forcibly returns 150 Cuban migrants [Media Release - 6/1/17]
Sheriff, researcher explain impact of immigration raids on communities and law enforcement [Michigan Radio - 5/1/17]
@wikileaks [6/1/17]: Nothing in today's declassified ODNI report alters our conclusion that WikiLeaks' US election related sources are not state parties.
Congress grovels before the CIA as it escalates “Russian hacking” hysteria [WSWS - 6/1/17]:
... The public, bipartisan display of support for the “intelligence community” is aimed at delegitimizing any opposition to the numberless crimes committed by the US military-intelligence apparatus against the population of the world, including the American people, on a daily basis.
The CIA is an organization dripping with blood, detested by hundreds of millions around the world, including in the United States, as the instigator of countless coups, massacres, assassinations and wars.
From Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954, to Indonesia in 1965 and Chile in 1973, to the bloodbaths in Central America in the 1980s, to today’s mass repression in Egypt and drone warfare in a dozen countries, the CIA is a byword for criminality.
On Thursday, dozens of US senators prostrated themselves before the intelligence agencies. ...
Terrorist organizations positioned in the northern countryside of Hama province targeted on Friday the city of Mhardeh and the town of al-Rabi’a with a number of rocket shells. ... [SANA - 6/1/17]
Local reconcilations targeting 1200 gunmen launched in Damascus southwestern countryside [SANA - 6/1/17]
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) continued their assault in the Wadi Barada area of rural Damascus on Thursday night, striking the jihadist rebel defenses near the small town of Wadi Al-Diba'a. ... [AMN - 6/1/17]
The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) fired two U.S. manufactured anti-tank TOW missiles at two parked Syrian Air Force jets in the Deir Ezzor Military Airport on Friday, causing material damage to the planes. ... [AMN - 6/1/17]
Russia scales down military presence in Syria, Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier to leave first [RT - 6/1/17]
Ankara considers the U.S. arming the YPG “intolerable” because the terror group poses a great threat to Turkey, that country’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday. ... [Anadolu Agency - 6/1/17]
Turkish jets "destroy 11 PKK positions" in northern Iraq [Anadolu Agency - 6/1/17]
Iraqi security forces and allied tribal militias recaptured on Friday 11 villages in western Anbar from Islamic State militants as operations in that region launched Thursday.
Nazem al-Juhgeifi, a senior intelligence commander at al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said army forces, backed by police and tribal troops, recaptured seven villages on the road between the towns of Annah and Rawa.
He said IS militants fled those villages without resistance. ... [IraqiNews.com - 6/1/17]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [6/1/17]:
Anbar: Medical sources: 17 persons including two children and 3 women were killed and 24 wounded mostly women and children as an aerial sheling targeted the neighborhoods in Qa'im City west of Anbar especially Karabla and Sa'da areas east of city.
7 persons were either killed or wounded as an IED exploded in Swep area south of Baghdad.
News agencies: A person was killed and 4 were wounded as an IED exploded in Hamamiyat area in Taji district north of Baghdad.
More US troops are being wounded in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon quietly acknowledges [Military Times - 5/1/17]
A gunman believed to be an Iraq war veteran opened fire at a baggage carousel at Fort Lauderdale's international airport on Friday, killing five people and wounding eight before being taken into custody, officials and witnesses said.
"This is a senseless act of evil," Florida Governor Rick Scott told reporters. ... [Reuters - 6/1/17]
Four Delaware police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black man in a wheelchair will not face criminal civil rights charges, U.S. Justice Department officials said Friday. ... [6abc - 6/1/17]
Pentagon approves $128 billion nuclear submarine project as Obama leaves office [RT - 6/1/17]
Deployments bolster US presence in Western Pacific, Europe [US Department of Defense - 5/1/17]:
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook announced operational deployments that will boost U.S. presence in the western Pacific and in Europe.
“Ships and units from the Carl Vinson strike group will depart San Diego for a regularly scheduled deployment to the western Pacific,” Cook told Pentagon reporters today.
Approximately 7,500 sailors will deploy and focus on maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and bilateral exercises, he said. ...
7 January 2017