Lawyers file constitutional challenge to medical detention aspect of Australia's bipartisan, anti-refugee policy [New York Times - 7/3/17]
Nauru President Baron Divavesi Waqa and his wife Louisa Waqa arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, the second visit since May last year when he attended Tsai’s inauguration ceremony. ... [Taiwan News - 7/3/17]
Indictment by the Prosecution Team to the Panel of Judges of the Permanent People’s Tribunal on Myanmar’s State Crimes against Rohingya, Kachin and other groups [7/3/17]
Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK urges support for UN Commission of Inquiry at Socialist International Congress in Columbia [Rohingya Blogger - 6/3/17]
@RohingyaVision [7/3/17]: This is the amount distributed to each family in Maugnama village of Northern Maungdaw, from Food Flotilla ...
Sri Lankan Air Force reinforces camps in Mullaitivu [Tamil Guardian - 7/3/17]
Families of the missing and forcibly disappeared continued their protest in Kilinochchi for the fifteenth day on Monday. ... [Tamil Guardian - 6/3/17]
Thousands outside UN #hrc34, with more joining, as speeches from #Tamil diaspora org leaders begin.
Where is Father Francois Joseph asks another banner. He surrendered to the #SriLankan military in May 2009. Has not been seen since.
Jokowi welcomes perpetrators of human rights atrocities to refugee free Indian Ocean Rim Association [IORA] Summit [TEMPO - 7/3/17]
President @Jokowi welcomes Prime Minister @TurnbullMalcolm to #IORA2017 Leaders’ Summit. @DubesAustralia [7/3/17]
We don't need your charity, we want justice: East Nusa Tenggara fishermen to regional pariah Australia [Jakarta Post - 7/3/17]
Indonesia has completed construction of a new administration complex in Skouw on the border with Papua New Guinea. ... [RNZI - 7/3/17]
A group of people claiming to be employees of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia has traveled from Papua to Jakarta to rally in front of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, urging the government to immediately resolve its dispute with the company. ... [Jakarta Post - 7/3/17]
The development of the 4,300-kilometer trans-Papua road project in Papua and West Papua provinces on Indonesia’s easternmost island is expected to be completed next year, Public Works and Public Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono has said. ... [Jakarta Post - 7/3/17]
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his entourage are extending their vacation in Bali to March 12, three days longer than originally planned ... [Jakarta Post - 7/3/17]
US starts THAAD deployment in South Korea [Korea Times - 7/3/17]
North Korea fires four missiles toward Japan [Reuters - 6/3/17]:
... North Korea had threatened to take "strong retaliatory measures" after South Korea and the United States began annual joint military drills on Wednesday that test their defensive readiness against possible aggression from the North.
North Korea criticizes the drills and has previously conducted missile launches to coincide with them.
In a letter to the U.N. Security Council on Monday, North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Ja Song Nam warned that "the situation on the Korean Peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war" due to the military drills.
Ja again requested that the Security Council meet to discuss the drills.
Previous such requests have gone unanswered by the Security Council.
The letter did not mention North Korea's missile launches on Monday. ...
Malaysia, North Korea bar each other's citizens from leaving amid worsening row over Kim Jong Nam's murder [The Straits Times - 7/3/17]
A Saga Prefecture mayor approved a plan Tuesday to restart two nuclear reactors in his town, a step toward the resumption of the nation’s third atomic power plant since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. ... [Japan Times - 7/3/17]
The Royal Thai Navy is preparing to build facilities for docking and repairing three new submarines it plans to buy from China, a navy source says. ... [Bangkok Post - 7/3/17]
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and his mother, former Queen Norodom Monineath, on Monday.
Xi hailed the profound friendship between Chinese and Cambodian people, adding the friendship is very precious as it was started and fostered by the older generations of Chinese leaders and Cambodian former King Norodom Sihanouk.
Xi and Sihamoni exchanged visits in 2016. Xi said China-Cambodia ties have witnessed rapid growth, citing high political mutual trust, win-win economic cooperation, mutual support in domestic development and close coordination in global and regional affairs. ... [Xinhua - 6/3/17]
Phlippines reinstate death penalty [Rappler - 7/3/17]
... WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.
The first full part of the series, "Year Zero", comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virginia ... [WikiLeaks - 7/3/17]
@wikileaks [5/3/17]: Did Obama spy on @realDonaldTrump's campaign? Here is proof the Obama administration spied on our journalists ...
@wikileaks [4/3/17]: Obama has a history of tapping & hacking his friends and rivals ...
@wikileaks [3/3/17]: Clinton campaign sent access request to U.S. nuclear weapons secrets over email
Are you now, or have you ever been, a secret agent of Vladimir Putin? [Counterpunch - 6/3/17]:
... Nobody in all this Putin-is-evil rhetoric ever questions why the U.S. has close to 900 military bases around the world.
A good many of them surrounding Russia and China, both. I have read on social media a nearly endless commentary on how whatever its shortcomings, the U.S. still represents something positive and how no matter what, *we* are better than Russia. Or China. Or Iran.
The xenophobia of the average American, and this includes the educated classes, is breathtaking.
None of the people I have read who demand *you* write your congressperson to demand Jeff Sessions be removed had ever gone on social media to demand a stop to U.S. wars, to humanitarian intervention, or even to a reduction in defense spending.
None, that I can remember, ever demanded an end to the militarized police occupation of black neighborhoods, or the illegal CIA destabilizing activities of foreign countries.
No demand for the U.S. to stop doing exactly what they claim Russia has done. How is this possible one might ask? How does the public so selectively organize their outrage?
The answer is that most Americans are deceptively nationalistic and prejudiced. They are also profoundly provincial and ignorant of other cultures, other histories and cultures.
Whatever crimes Trump may eventually engage in, if he survives, will not be of any degree worse than what Obama or Bush or Clinton committed.
The ascension of Trump to the Presidency came on the back of a liberal class that had rejected the underclass. ...
The basic formula for every shocking Russia/Trump revelation [TYT - 4/3/17]
Shadowy dispute over evidence casts doubt on 2018 start of 9/11 trial [Miami Herald - 5/3/17]
Guantánamo base discloses rare, active case of TB [Miami Herald - 5/3/17]:
... The military would not describe the patient except to say he was not on the hospital staff, did not work with children and is not one of the 41 war-on-terror detainees.
Some of the captives arrived here more than a decade ago with latent TB, meaning it’s not active.
The tuberculosis patient arrived sick at the base hospital on Friday.
Staff “immediately put a mask on him,” the type that filters out airborne particles, to safeguard those around him, said Navy Capt. Kevin Buckley, an emergency room doctor and base hospital executive officer.
Now the patient is being treated with antibiotics. ...
The Pentagon said on Monday that a March 2 strike against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen killed a former detainee from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ... [Reuters - 6/3/17]
No arrests yet after Sikh man shot in Kent [KIRO-TV - 6/3/17]
After capturing the Syrian city of al-Bab from ISIS, Turkish officials made it clear that the next military target was the city of Manbij, along the Euphrates River.
Manbij was captured last year from ISIS by the Kurdish YPG, with considerable US military support.
Turkey had long insisted that Kurds aren’t allowed west of the river, where Manbij is, and the Obama Administration had assured Turkey that the Kurds would eventually withdraw from the city.
They never did, and a deal between Syria and the YPG to cede nearby villages to the Syrian military aimed to block Turkish forces from advancing on the city.
Now, US troops are joining in. ... [Antiwar.com - 6/3/17]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 6/3/17]
Mass grave, chemical weapons in Mosul; 185 killed in Iraq [Antiwar.com - 6/3/17]
Northern Aegean Islands: 8,888 migrants waiting for asylum applications to be reviewed [Greek Reporter - 6/3/17]
Plan to move refugees from Greek island detention centres to housing said to be progressing after months of delays [Ekathimerini - 4/3/17]:
... The plan was drafted last year and had been due for implementation in the fall but was delayed due to red tape involving the United Nations refugee agency, which is subsidizing the scheme, but also reservations on the part of local authorities. ...
Five people remained missing on Sunday after scores of migrants in an inflatable boat were rescued in turbulent waters off the coast of Libya overnight.
About 122 of the migrants were saved after being spotted by the Golfo Azzuro, run by the Spanish Proactiva Open Arms group. ... [The Local - 6/3/17]
@SantiPalacios [5/3/17]: Yesterday night, an @openarms_fund rescue team intervention off the Libyan coast. #refugees
@FotiniRantsiou [5/3/17]: Boat arrived last night #lesvos with 9 women 4 children, all Bedoun (stateless from Kuweit). Must be a first.
Cuban migrants deported after being held hostage in Cancun [Reuters - 4/3/17]:
... The 22 men and 9 women did not have visas to be in Mexico and said they were being held by a group of armed men who had demanded money for their release, the interior ministry said in a statement.
The Cubans were taken to local offices of the federal attorney general for medical checkups and were set to be deported, the ministry said.
Hundreds of Cubans who were in the process of trying to reach the United States were stranded in Mexico and Central America after the United States repealed in January the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy that granted residency to almost every Cuban who reached U.S. soil.
About 62,000 people who were held in an Aurora immigration detention center and required to work, sometimes for $1 a day, while they awaited possible deportation have been certified as a class in a lawsuit alleging violations of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
The lawsuit accuses GEO Group, which operates the 1,500-bed Aurora Detention Facility under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, of forcing detainees to work, a violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
Among other things, the act is intended to combat forced labor and slavery.
The lawsuit seeks “more than $5 million” in damages for as many as 60,000 detainees who performed sanitation chores like cleaning toilets without pay over the past decade.
The lawsuit also accuses GEO, which runs numerous detention facilities and prisons across the U.S., of unfair enrichment at the expense of 2,000 detainees paid $1 a day for work such as preparing food and doing laundry during the past three years. ... [The Denver Post - 2/3/17]
Australian Navy shows other countries how to keep their populations safe from refugees [Navy Daily - 7/3/17]
Political prisoners of the Australian government on Nauru: Stop separating families.
"WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" @elahe_zivardar [14/2/17]
They’ve lied to us so often that nothing is believable to me anymore. Political prisoner at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru [Guardian - 17/2/17]
"They killed Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Faysal Ishak and they are trying to kill us": Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island say "US deal" fake news [RNZI - 24/1/17]
... “When refugees asked RSC (Resettlement Support Centre) company officers, they don’t give them any useful information.
“There is no assurance that they will reunite with their families and it’s very worrying .” [The National - 2/3/17]
@BehrouzBoochani [7/3/17]: RSC officers [outsourced US Homeland Security summer vacation clerks] will leave #Manus Thursday after interviewing about 300 people. Today Trump makes new executive order. Uncertainty again.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman statement on Executive Order on US border security [Media Release - 6/3/17]:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley today issued the following statement after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on border security.
“The federal government has a solemn responsibility to protect our people and our way of life from those wishing to do us harm.
The President’s executive order continues efforts to guard our homeland from terrorism.
Today’s executive order uses existing authorities to strengthen our national security, and also is carefully tailored to exclude lawful permanent residents and current visa holders.
By clearly stating this order applies only to prospective visa holders, the President has addressed the crux of the Ninth Circuit’s concerns and should ensure the unintended consequences from the last order do not reoccur.
The departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security should continue working together to ensure the order’s smooth implementation, to protect the rights and safety of the American people and our nation, and to identify individuals who are worthy of a case-by-case exemption.”
WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING ... ---> US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman renews call for declassification of phoney Obama-Australia refugee "deal" [Senator Chuck Grassley Media Release - 2/2/17]
A secret "deal" is no deal. The policy is indefinite detention, exile, death and LIES. ---> ... "It's not designed as a processing facility, it's designed as an experiment in the active creation of horror to deter people from trying in the first place." ... I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]
Regional resettlement arrangement between Australia and PNG, signed in Brisbane 19 July 2013 [DFAT]
Tweeted by @SandiHLogan - National Communications Manager, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra [19/7/13]
Meanwhile, protected and unaccountable fascists meet up for annual PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum [Australian Financial Review - 6/3/17]
Manus MP Ronnie Knight suggests locals will massacre men illegally imprisoned by Australia [PNG Loop - 7/3/17]
Guardian don't even consider why the UNHCR, Refugee Council of Australia and legal fraternity etc have NOTHING to say as threats escalate on Manus? ---> ... “The history of the Manus Island detention centre is full of legal struggles that have been blocked at the initial stage or have not resulted in our freedom,” Boochani said.
“Four years of fighting for our legal rights has proved inconclusive.”
He said the main challenge was the Australian Government’s policy to never allow people (asylum seekers) who travel by boat to settle in Australia.
“The Government of Australia passed it (policy) by exercising special powers and has implemented it over recent years with legal support from both judicial and legislative powers,” he said.
“Our tragedy reaches a climax when losing one’s rights is combined with exile from society.”
“It can be generally said that we refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are out of any judicial and legislative zone and these islands are places that represent only a shadow of law.” [The National - 22/2/17]
7 March 2017