Grantham flood inquiry: Medical help took days to arrive despite numerous injuries, resident of Queensland town says




ABC [7/8/15]:


 Medical aid did not arrive in flood-devastated Grantham until days after it was inundated and despite numerous people suffering injuries, a resident of the town west of Brisbane has told an inquiry.

Two local residents Lisa Spierling and Marty Warburton, who provided earlier testimony, were today called back before the Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry.

Ms Spierling, a mother of five, said she had to run for her life with her children from the torrent of floodwater in Grantham.

She told the inquiry she then spent the night treating injured people.

Ms Spierling said despite numerous people suffering serious injuries, medical aid did not arrive in Grantham until days after the disaster.

"Within an hour of getting - not even that - half-an-hour of getting out of the water, we were asking for medics to help," she said.

"We had people with broken limbs, people with quite severe gashes, hypothermia and we just repeatedly asked for help and it just never came."

Ms Spierling said she tended to seriously wounded people the night of the emergency.

"We had lots of issues, medical issues, and because I didn't want to leave my daughter to be running around in the dark because we had no electricity I made sure she stayed with me all night," she said.

"One of the things that disturbs me to this day is that my four-year-old had to hold a torch while I cleaned peoples' wounds."

She said she hoped lessons would be learned from her experience.

"This is the whole point of all of this - is that we find the answers and the truth for those people that will never go home," she said.

Mr Warburton told the inquiry about his concerns for counselling for eyewitnesses after the flood event.

"We had children there that witnessed probably the most horrific thing that they'll ever witness in their life," he said.

"We were concerned that the longer it takes for our children to have counselling, the more damage there'll be.

"After the first ... week-and-a-half, the feeling was the community was starting to deteriorate.

"It was starting to be unsettled, because they felt that their questions or concerns weren't being taken seriously.

"It was getting very volatile up at the recovery centre, to the point where a group of locals were preparing to march back down and 'take back the town'."

Mr Warburton said there seemed to be too many independent agencies who were not communicating.

"You've got to remember that this is an old-school, hard knock community," he said.

"So there was a big issue of getting some of those people to go and talk to counsellors in the first place.

"But then there was the issue was that you'd get there, and in the first week you'd sit down and you'd tell them your story and by the end of the week you'd build a bit of a relationship with them, but then they'd get rostered out.

"People were concerned that they were going to have to tell their stories to different people.

"By the third week it was a different person again - people stopped going.

"My concern with that was that not only were the people not getting the help that they needed, but that also the message that was being given to the service provider was 'okay, no one is using the service, it mustn't be needed'."





Health chairwoman Susan Johnston quits before Lady Cilento findings


Brisbane Times [8/8/15]:


The woman who supervised the flawed opening of Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital has resigned ahead of a major report into the facility.

Health Minister Cameron Dick confirmed he has accepted the resignation of Children's Health Queensland board chairwoman Susan Johnston.

It comes as the findings of a government-ordered review into the facility's opening - accused of being a dysfunctional, confusing and ill-prepared period - are expected to be handed down soon.

"The government has received the report from the independent review into the commissioning of the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital," a statement from the minister said.

"(It) is considering the review and its recommendations and will respond in due course."

The independent review followed an earlier clinical probe into the $1.5 billion hospital's commissioning.

The initial review found the site experienced a number of teething problems when it opened last November, such as disoriented staff and missing medical records.

The transition of 3000-odd staff and patients from the merged Mater and Royal Children's hospitals to the south Brisbane site involved "unprecedented" challenges, it found.

The government will immediately begin the search for Ms Johnston's replacement.


Man charged over Adelaide hit-and-run that killed pedestrian at Ingle Farm [ABC – 8/8/15]




NSW police provoke violence, capsicum spray and arrest teenagers at Mt Druitt party [Nine MSN - 8/8/15]








Police are investigating the death of a man in Greenwood this morning.

Officers were called to an address in Dericote Way at about 3.45am for what was reported as a burglary in progress.

They arrived to find a seriously injured man at the house.

St John Ambulance paramedics were called but were unable to revive the man, who died at the scene. The man did not live at the address.

Major crime squad detectives are at the house this morning and are speaking with two occupants to determine what has happened. ... [West Australian - 7/8/15]





Teenagers charged over school drug scandal

Yahoo [8/8/15]:

Two teenagers have been charged with drug offences after a drugs scandal at a prestigious Brisbane boys school.

Police confirmed the boys, aged 15 and 16, will be dealt with under provisions of the Youth Justices Act after an incident at St Joseph's Nudgee College on Thursday.

Six students in total have reportedly also been suspended at the school following the scandal.






Four charged for damaging Brisbane schools

QPS Media [8/8/15]:

Police have charged four people for breaking into and causing significant damage to two Brisbane schools overnight.

Police were called to a Bapaume Road Holland Park school about 10.45pm and discovered significant damage to several buildings.

At around 12.30am this morning police were then called to a school on Park Road Yeronga due to reports of similar wilful damage.

Multiple police units attended and disturbed a group of people allegedly smashing windows and lights at the address.

Two people were taken into custody at the scene and a further two were located hiding in nearby yards with the assistance of a Polair helicopter.

An 18-year-old Greenslopes man and an 18-year-old Acacia Ridge man were each charged with three counts of enter premises and commit an indictable offence by break.

Both are due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on August 25.

A 16-year-old boy was charged with serious assault police officer and commit an indictable offence by break and a 15-year-old boy was charged with enter premises and commit an indictable offence by break

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

Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone who might have noticed suspicious behaviour at these addresses around the time of the incidents to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police 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.





Three homes destroyed by fire in as many weeks south of the Gold Coast [MYGC – 8/8/15]


Proceeds of crime and drug charges, Mount Isa [QPS Media - 8/8/15]


Armed robbery charges, Dinmore [QPS Media - 8/8/15]




Armed Robbery, Marsden [QPS Media - 8/8/15]





Worker seriously injured after being hit by forklift and pallet at Barangaroo worksite in inner Sydney

ABC [8/8/15]:

A man has been seriously injured after a pallet of scaffolding reportedly fell on him after he was hit by a forklift at a Barangaroo worksite in inner city Sydney.

At 10:20am emergency services were called to the construction site on Sussex Street following reports of a workplace accident.

The man, believed to be aged in his 40s, suffered multiple injuries after he was struck by a forklift carrying pallets of scaffolding.

A pallet then fell off the vehicle and onto the worker.

Rita Mallia from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) said the man was injured in a "double whammy".

"There was a forklift driver that has not seen a worker that was working in an open area, [he] has hit that worker and one of the scaffold pallets has fallen off the forklift and hit the gentleman," Ms Mallia said.

"Apparently he's in a very serious condition but we're also very concerned about how this could occur and why it was that a forklift driver was not able to see a worker in his path.

"We're concerned that maybe the person who was driving the forklift truck was not a ticketed driver when in fact the ordinary driver was not here today."

The man was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital by ambulance in a serious condition with injuries to his legs and pelvis.

Ms Mallia said the union had some questions about what systems failed at the site to result in the accident.

"We're concerned about how the lift was loaded, the security of the load obviously, why it is that vision was impaired and is it the case that this person was not ticketed to operate this machinery in the first place," she said.

"This site has had issues since its inception.

"I think over time things have gotten better, but it is a very big site, a very complicated site and we'd expect the highest level of standard from a builder like Lend Lease."

Police and WorkCover are investigating the incident.

In January last year, a man fell to his death at the Barangaroo construction site while working on scaffolding.

The man was doing general construction work at the time and fell about 30 metres and died at the scene.

Meanwhile in March last year, a fire at the site sparked by a welding accident forced thousands of evacuations and traffic chaos in Sydney.










Workers sacked by Hutchison Ports Australia are digging in their heels as unions say they will not stop their picketing until the shipping giant comes to the negotiating table.

 About 175 people are picketing Hutchison ports in Sydney and Brisbane after 97 workers were sacked by email and text message, the Maritime Union of Australia says.

The "difficult decision" was made after the company announced in late June it was downsizing, Hutchison chief financial officer Chee Keong Chan said in a statement.

The MUA says it will not back down until the shipping company sits down at the negotiating table, and it accused Hutchison of using the sackings as part of a strategy to de-unionise its workforce and completely automate its workplace.

"We will do whatever we have to do to defend those workers' working lives," MUA Queensland branch secretary Bob Carnegie told AAP.

"If it goes for a couple of days, great; if it goes for a couple of years, so be it. We won't be giving in until they come to the negotiating table and act in a reasonable manner towards our people. "We have to win this because defeat is unimaginable."

Every senior union delegate has been sacked and the company is trying to break the MUA's influence, Mr Carnegie said.  ... [SBS  - 8/8/15]









11 Indian labourers killed as factory wall collapses

Ahram [7/8/15]:

At least 11 labourers were killed in northern India Friday when a wall collapsed on top of them as they were building a new factory, police said.

The disaster happened at around lunchtime in the Narnaul district of Haryana state as the labourers were working on the foundations of a new stone-crushing factory.

Most of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene, a senior police official told AFP. Thirteen other labourers were injured.

"The wall, which was about 20-25 feet (6-7.6 metres) high, collapsed on top of them," said Tanya Singh, the district's deputy superintendent of police.

"By the time we reached the site, 10 were already dead and another labourer died in hospital," Singh added.

The immediate cause of the collapse was unclear, but Singh said it was not thought to be the result of monsoon rains that are affecting parts of northern India at the moment.

India has a dreadful track record on building safety and the latest disaster comes after 12 people were killed when a dilapidated building collapsed outside Mumbai on Tuesday.




Worker dies in vacuum truck accident at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant [Japan Times - 8/8/15]





KL press freedom rally draws hundreds

Channel News [8/8/15]:

Members of the media, public, activists and politicians on both sides of the divide rallied in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday for press freedom after the Malaysian government suspended two publications under The Edge Media Group for three months over its coverage of a financial scandal.

The Coalition for Press Freedom organised the rally as part of a campaign to protest the suspension and to call for the abolishment of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 that regulates print publications.

The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily's publishing permits were suspended by the Home Ministry from Jul 24 on grounds that their reports on financial and corruption scandals plaguing debt-ridden state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) were "prejudicial or likely prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".

Aside from the media, politicians and activists were present, including former UMNO MP Saifuddin Abdullah and former bar council president Ambiga Sreenevasan. The public made up a significant number of the crowd too. One member of the public, Jeffrey Wong, explained he was there to show solidarity with the media.

"With the recent events in our country, without The Edge I don't think we will have that kind of information on 1MDB," he said. "It's very important to us. The public should know what our government is doing especially with taxpayers’ money."

Another rally participant, Dipendra Raj, said he disagreed with the government's decision to suspend The Edge's publications - regardless of the credibility of the reports.

"If the story's not true, there are options and avenues available for any party that's aggrieved to take action,” he said. “But in the meantime they should not be silenced they should not be shut down. Neither should they be penalised for just telling a story.”




Brazilian journalist dies after being shot 5 times in radio booth [Latin Times – 7/8/15]









The Afghan Journalists Protection Committee (AJPC) has arranged a two-day workshop for journalists of southeastern Khost province aimed at boosting their capacity and skills amid conflict. ... [Pajhwok - 7/8/15]






James Cook University to axe journalism degree due to falling enrolments [ABC - 7/8/15]



PNG:  Food may run out next week – Manam villagers

PNG Loop [8/8/15]:

Eight days after Manam volcano erupted and the government is yet to lend a helping hand to Papua New Guineans on the island.

Baliau village ward member Michael Rupinae says people have been relying on breadfruit, banana, coconut and other food crops even though these are covered in thick volcanic ash.

“We have been advised not to eat food covered by volcanic ash but our people will suffer without any relief assistance,”  Rupinae says.

He says they continue to face water issues and are sometimes lucky to find clean well water.

The Madang Provincial Disaster office says relief assistance at be possible next week.

This week a representative from the National Disaster office visited Manam Island and is understood to have facilitated funding of K50, 000 from the National Disaster Office to Madang.

Rupinae says villages have estimated that food may run out by next week.




Approximately one million gallons of orange-colored mine tailings wastewater has spilled into the Animas River in southwestern Colorado, forcing several river recreation businesses to close and irrigation companies to suspend water delivery to hundreds of local farmers.

A team of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulators probing contamination at the abandoned Gold King Mine in San Juan County on Thursday accidently released the wastewater into Cement Creek, which flows into the Animas River, EPA spokesman Rich Mylott said.

Most of the wastewater, which contains heavy metals and other toxins that can be harmful to humans and aquatic life, spilled into the creek within an hour, the EPA said in a statement on Friday.

Though a lighter flow of contaminated water continues to flow into the creek, the agency has begun diverting it into a settling pond. ... [Al Jazeera - 7/8/15]





Salmon on Vancouver Island threatened by heat wave [CBC - 8/8/15]


Turkey's new draconian measures on right of assembly challenged by lawyers

Hurriyet Daily News [7/8/15]:

Turkey's Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) has appealed the Council of State for the suspension and annulment of the execution of a new regulation by the Interior Ministry that restricts the right to assembly and demonstration.

The regulation contradicts relevant laws, the European Convention on Human Rights and democratic society order, as well as not being prudent, the TBB said in its petition.

The union called on the Council of State to apply to the Constitutional Court, as the regulation had no basis in the constitution.

The change in the 1985-dated decree regulating the right to assembly and demonstration restricts the use of this right considerably. The change grants governors and district governors the ability to cancel any meeting or demonstration on the grounds of posing a risk to public order.

The Interior Ministry renewed the regulation and restricted the use of rights on assembly and demonstration. The new decree has given civilian authorities authorization to ban assemblies and demonstrations in cases of “open and close danger.”

While a previous regulation gave security officers the right to “disperse groups by using force,” the amendment now allows security forces to “use pressurized water, colored water or other methods of force.”

Police officers will be authorized to make detentions without warning if they determine any crime has been committed.

The supervising authority will have the ability to choose the routes of the march if there is more than one alternative. The supervising authority will also be responsible for blocking and informing security officers about attendees wearing symbols of illegal groups and those covering their faces.


Police tear gas lawyers at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse [Hurriyet Daily News – 7/8/15]


Anti-thalidomide hero Frances Oldham Kelsey dies at 101

BBC [8/8/15]:

Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Canadian doctor who played a central role in preventing the drug thalidomide being distributed in the US, has died at 101.

She refused to approve it while working for the US drug agency in the 1960s.

It was later found that thalidomide - prescribed to pregnant women to ease morning sickness - was causing thousands of babies to be born with missing limbs or organs. Many died.

She was lauded by citizens' groups and was awarded honorary degrees.

Dr Kelsey passed away in London, Ontario, on Friday, Canada's CBC reported.

Her daughter Christine Kelsey was by her side.

Dr Kelsey - who worked at the US Food and Drug Administration - is seen as a hero by many across the US for raising concerns about the safety of thalidomide, which is also known as Kevadon.

Dr Kelsey continued to press the manufacturer - who complained about her attitude - for information.

The side-effects of the drug then became apparent as the battle of wills dragged on.

She was given the award for distinguished federal civilian service by President John F Kennedy.

Last month she was appointed to the Order of Canada.



Queensland police dog calender fetishises violence, channels US militarism



A US Soldier in a flak jacket appears to be using both hands to restrain a dog facing an Iraqi detainee in the Abu Ghraib prison.  [ - 17/2/06]




QPS Media [7/8/15]:



Meet the 39 dogs of the Queensland Police Dog Squad calendar. They range in colour, breed, locations, type of work and personalities. Read all about them.

To purchase the calendar visit






... "He smelled pretty bad, so I put him in the tub and gave him his toy to chew on," Serella said.

"He just had this sad ‘why are you doing this’ look on his face."  ...   Face of defense: From puppy to police dog [US Department of Defense - 7/8/15]





US Psychologists approve ban on role in national security interrogations [New York Times - 7/8/15]




Two psychologists' role in CIA torture program comes into focus [LA Times – 14/12/14]:


In the "Salt Pit," a then-secret CIA prison in Afghanistan, John "Bruce" Jessen watched carefully in late 2002 as five agency officers rushed into a darkened cell and grabbed an Afghan detainee named Gul Rahman..

"It was thoroughly planned and rehearsed," Jessen later explained, according to a CIA investigator's report. "They dragged him outside, cut off his clothes and secured him with Mylar tape," before beating him and forcing him to run wearing a hood. When he fell, they dragged him down dirt passageways, leaving abrasions up and down his body.

Jessen added a critique. "After something like this is done, interrogators should speak to the prisoner to give [him] something to think about," he told the investigator.

On Nov. 20, 2002, Rahman was found dead in his unheated cell. He was naked from the waist down and had been chained to a concrete floor. An autopsy concluded that he probably froze to death.





Sydney Morning Herald [4/9/14]:


... Several weeks ago, two of the asylum seekers who were housed in Mike compound had never heard of Chauka.

One of them was an eyewitness to the murder of Reza Barati during the night of violence that engulfed the centre in February.

All that changed when they voiced their opposition to changes to the detention centre policy covering phone and internet access, insisting the changes made it almost impossible to talk to family members in the Middle East.

In a graphic account subsequently posted on Facebook, the Iranian who witnessed Barati's murder said he had been taken to Chauka, fed bread and water for three days and made to sleep on the muddy ground. ...




Incident at the Manus Island Detention Centre from 16 February to 18 February 2014 [Senate Report]:


Events of the night of 17 February

5.49 Correspondence between G4S and the department indicates that on the night of 17 February, the PNG police force present at the centre was 46 officers, comprising 36 mobile squad members and ten dog squad members (with four dogs).







"Each death is not a number, each death is not even merely a name; each death is someone's friend, each death is someone's son. After having survived and escaped persecution in Afghanistan, Nasim arrived in Australia hoping for safety and freedom, only to be detained indefinitely in an immigration prison...."   Michelle Bui speaking at Candlelight Vigil for Mohammad Nasim Najafi [VIDEO via Refguee Rights Action Network WA - 7/8/15]






Brisbane:  Health professionals, concerned citizens protest Border Force Act and arbitrary incarceration of Iranian refugee  Mojgan Shamsalipoor.


Not a politician, union, professional organisation or establishment human rights group to be seen?






 #RallyAgainstBorderForceAct underway at Reddacliff Place in Brisbane ...


Image: ‏@PatrickWilliams




ABC [8/8/15]:



...  Many of the protesters came dressed in purple and aqua - Ms Shamsalipoor's favourite colours.

Mr Jafari, who was at the rally, said he spoke to his wife last night, who urged him to be calm.

"I would do anything to keep her with me," he said.

"I'll support her as much as I can, because she is my wife and I've promised to take care of her for the rest of my life."

Mr Jafari said his wife would not leave Australia voluntarily.

"No, never. Never," he said.

"She was tortured, she was sexually abused. How can [her refugee claim] not be approved by the Government?" ...



Brisbane, Hobart host equal marriage rallies [West Australian – 8/8/15]:

Proponents of same-sex marriage have rallied in Brisbane and Hobart just days before a bill on the controversial issue is set to be introduced to federal parliament.

Thousands of protesters turned out in the capital cities as part of co-ordinated rallies across Australia this weekend.

A cross-party bill to legalise gay marriage is slated for introduction when federal parliament resumes next week.



‏@TheVeronicas [8/8/15]:  Powerful day at the Marriage Equality rally in Brisbane. Thank you to everyone who stood up & spoke out today ...




United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria




US Department of Defense [7/8/15]:




U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of strikes that took place yesterday, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, one airstrike struck ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Aleppo, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area and destroyed two ISIL excavators.

-- Near Ayn Isa, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL excavator.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter-attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted nine airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Huwayjah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Fallujah, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 23 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

-- Near Mosul, one airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL rocket system.

-- Near Ramadi, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positons, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL light machine gun.





The United Nations Security Council today gave the greenlight for the establishment of a Joint Investigative Mechanism to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. ... [Media Release - 7/8/15]





$3.2 billion for 6,000 strikes: United States celebrates one year anniversary of latest bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria  [ABC News - 7/8/15]





Unarmed civilians killed in Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq: HDP report [Hurriyet Daily News - 7/8/15]






The Islamic State group has executed more than 2,000 people in and around the northern Iraqi city of Mosul since seizing it last year, officials said Friday.

Parliament speaker Salim al-Juburi confirmed "the execution of more than 2,000 innocent citizens at the hands of the terrorist Daesh organization," his office said, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

According to sources AFP spoke to in and around Mosul, a total of 2,070 people were executed since IS took Iraq's second city on June 10, 2014.  ... [Naharnet - 7/8/15]





Thousands of Iraqis protest corruption, poor services [Ahram - 7/8/15]





Colorado gunman gets life sentence for killing 12 in movie rampage [Reuters - 7/8/15]:




... Holmes graduated with honors from the University of California, Riverside, and had no previous criminal record. But he had been seeing a school psychiatrist and dropped out of a graduate program at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora just weeks before the attack.

He bought a ticket for the screening before slipping out to his car behind the building, and changing into what prosecutors called a "kill suit" of ballistic helmet, gas mask, and head-to-toe body armor.

He returned and threw a teargas canister into the theater, then opened fire. Police officers arrested Holmes outside. When asked if he had an accomplice, he replied: "No, it's just me."  ...







Israel bombs Gaza refugee camp [Chronicle - 8/8/15]








Palestinian baby's father also dies from settler attack [Al Jazeera - 8/8/15]





Al-Qaeda blow up 700-year-old mosque in Yemen [Middle East Eye  7/8/15]





Yemen hostage Isabelle Prime returns to France after release [BBC - 7/8/15]





Gunmen have attacked a hotel in central Mali used by United Nations staff, killing at least five people and exchanging fire with troops encircling the building, residents and military sources have said.

A United Nations employee was among those killed on Friday when the fighters attacked the hotel, the country's peacekeeping mission MINUSMA said. ... [Al Jazeera - 7/8/15]





Militants attack US special operations base in capital Kabul [Khaama - 7/8/15]




Unidentified gunmen riding motorbike have killed a civilian on Friday in Charikar, the capital of central Parwan province, an official says. ... [Pajhwok - 7/8/15]






... Mahmoud Hanafy, an anti-government activist, died in the al-Raml police station in the Montazah neighborhood of the northern Egyptian city on Friday.

According to Hanafy’s family and human rights activists in the city, the victim died after security authorities refused to allow him to have the operation.

Hanafy was the sixth detainee to die inside the country’s detention facilities in as many days.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), a Cairo-based NGO, said this week it had documented 71 cases of “unlawful killings” in Egyptian detention facilities in 2015, many of which occurred due to “medical negligence.”  ... [Press TV - 7/8/15]






General Manuel Contreras, who headed the feared spy agency that kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands during Chile's military dictatorship, has died at a military hospital while serving a combined sentence of more than 500 years for crimes against humanity. He was 86.  ... [Al Jazeera - 8/8/15]







Another friendly reminder from Australia's national broadcaster that refugees in South East Asia: 1. Are not Muslim, 2. Are submissive and accepting of their fate, 3. Stay where they are until selected for their useful and obedient qualities. ----> Saving lives in a Thai refugee camp [ABC - 7/8/15]



Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.



"Africans slashed, arabs thrashed by boat traffickers" ??????









The truth is people do care and they want their government to abide by the spirit of the UN Refugee Convention. 













Candlelight vigil for Mohammad Nasim Najaf, Perth via Refugee Rights Action Network WA [7/8/15] 






How Mohammad Nasim Najafi died in an Australian refugee concentration camp [The Saturday Paper - 8/8/15]






@MSF_Sea [7/8/15]:   Why did these 604 survive? Because the @moas_eu, #MSFSea & Italian teams were proactively patrolling the SAR zone




Number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece soars 750 per cent over 2014 [UNHCR Media Release – 7/8/15]




They are fleeing war, genocide and the effects of disaster capitalism and climate change.


They have no choice.



Your Middle East [7/8/15]:




... The waves of arriving migrants has sparked outcry and growing anti-foreigner rhetoric in many countries, but Spindler [UNHCR] said most of those arriving on the continent this year had little choice.

"Most of those crossing the Mediterranean are refugees fleeing war and persecution, not economic migrants," Spindler said, adding that Syrians fleeing the bloody civil war accounted for 38 percent of arrivals this year.

Eritreans make up 12 percent of those landing on Europe's shores, followed by Afghans at 11 percent, Nigerians at five percent and Somalis at four percent, he said.

Spindler criticised European countries for not better coordinating their response.

"The reason this is a crisis is not because of the number of refugees, but because of Europe's failure to respond to it in a coordinated fashion," he said.

"European countries need to work together rather than point fingers at each other."




UN rights envoy says Myanmar denied her access to Rohingya in Rakhine state [Reuters - 7/8/15]



A U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday Myanmar's government had denied her access to the state which is home to the Rohingya Muslim minority and security officials had photographed people she met on previous visits.

Yanghee Lee, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, has angered the government by criticizing restrictions on political freedom and demanding citizenship rights for the country's 1.1 million Rohingya Muslims, many of whom live in Rakhine state.

She has become a hate figure for Buddhist monks led by firebrand Ashin Wirathu. He denounced Lee as a "whore" and a "bitch" at a public rally in January.

Lee said on Friday that her request to visit Rakhine was denied before she began a five-day visit to Myanmar, and that the government had also denied her permission to stay 10 days.

Security forces had conducted surveillance on some of the people she met on previous visits, she said.

"I unfortunately received credible information that some of my interlocutors were photographed by security officials," Lee said.

"I also heard that some individuals I met with in previous visits were monitored, photographed and later questioned by security personnel."

Meetings she had requested on the latest trip were refused, changed or canceled without notice, she said.

Lee said she understood the country was dealing with a natural disaster, but that she had not anticipated such unfriendly treatment. Myanmar is in the grip of floods that have killed 88 people and displaced 330,000.

Lee said the lack of identity documents and voting rights for Rohingya Muslims was a "serious concern".

"Some have informed me that these are sensitive issues which should not be raised publicly given the risk of fuelling communal tensions and potential conflict, and that my previous statements ... on this issue have caused discord," she said.

"But I cannot shy away from continuing to highlight serious human rights violations and make principled but constructive comments."

In a March report, Lee warned that Myanmar was sliding toward conflict as the government backtracked on pledges to protect human rights.

Lee has previously said Muslims in Myanmar face systematic discrimination, including restrictions on freedom of movement, restricted access to land, food, water, education and health care, and restrictions on marriages and birth registration.

Myanmar denies it persecutes the Rohingya.

The government denies the Rohingya citizenship and refers to them as Bengalis, a term most Rohingya reject because it implies they are immigrants from Bangladesh.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled the region by boat since 2012, after violent clashes with ethnic Rakhine Buddhists killed hundreds of people and displaced 140,000, mostly Rohingya.

Many who fled fell victim to human traffickers. Thousands were abandoned by criminal gangs and left drifting on crammed boats in Southeast Asian seas as Thailand cracked down on trafficking.





... "I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly given that we have stopped the boats," he [Abbott] said. ... [ABC - 9/3/15]








Private security guards at the Australian-run detention camp on Nauru allegedly took the extraordinary step of running a secret surveillance operation on an Australian senator.  ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 4/6/15]




Nope.  Nope.  Nope.



“Nope” is an informal variant of the negative response “no.” On the web, this emphatic expression is used to indicate fear, disgust or general distaste towards something, most prominently stories or media relating to spiders, in similar vein to other dismissive phrases like “do not want” or “kill it with fire”.  ...





South East Asia




ALP and LNP vote against Greens Senate motion to save Rohingya [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and

(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,

(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and

(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.


The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)


Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20


Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N


Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR

Question negatived.





Myanmar: UN allocates $9 million to rapidly scale up urgent flood relief [Media Release  7/8/15]




Emergency reproductive health services?: Australia supplies additional priority "humanitarian" assistance to Myanmar [Foreign Minister Media Release - 7/8/15]:


... Australia will work with Save the Children, CARE Australia and UN partners to provide 300,000 people with temporary shelter, safe drinking water and health care. We are also supporting emergency reproductive health services for those impacted by the natural disaster. ...





Burma Times [7/8/15]:




Two infant children died in Naffura, Maungdaw North after hospitals in the area refused to give them treatment.

Three and a half year Noor Nahar and two year Anwar Hossain died on Wednesday after suffering from diarrhea.

The father of Anwar, Ebad Ullah says they were refused treatment in the nearby government operated clinic where staff told them to go away.

Hospitals in Arakan state don’t generally accept Rohingya patients.

Many sick Rohingyas are refused admittance to hospitals on the grounds they were busy with providing services to the ‘people of this country’ i.e. Rakhines and other Buddhists.

Since the floods, disease has increased in Arakan.




...  Dr. Nora Rowley, is a Human Rights Advocate/Activist for Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar/Burma. During her work at an Internally Displaced People Camp in Myanmar, she asked the Rohingya children at the camp one simple question: “why did you leave your home?”. Here are their powerful drawings. ... [Genocide Watch - 3/8/15]







Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz, two founders of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, speak to Amy Goodman in Toronto moments after the American Psychological Association approved a ban on psychologists from taking part in national security interrogations. [VIDEO - Democracy Now - 7/8/15]






Gitmo is a "Rights-Free Zone": Dissident psychologists speak out on APA role in CIA-Pentagon torture [7/8/15]:


ROY EIDELSON:  ... Human rights and psychology’s "do no harm" ethics go hand in hand, but both are fragile, and only one can protect the other. After 9/11, the APA may not have been able to single-handedly stop the government’s bull rush toward brutality, but it didn’t have to feed the beast. In painful and indisputable detail, the long-awaited Hoffman Report has carefully documented the APA’s collusion with the Department of Defense in support of operations profoundly at odds with our profession’s respect for human dignity. ...






Democracy Now [7/8/15]:



... JAMES RISEN [New York Times]:  Well, the Hoffman Report, which came out about a month ago, I guess, now, basically described the ways in which—very subtle and nuanced ways that both individual prominent psychologists and staff and officials from the American Psychological Association worked kind of behind the scenes over the years to make sure that, even as the APA said they were opposed to torture, that they created policies that made sure that psychologists could stay involved with the Bush-era interrogation programs by the CIA and by the Pentagon.

And so, it was a really interesting report that kind of detailed the very subtle, backroom ways that the people involved would maneuver to kind of, at the same—at one point—at the same time that they’re saying they’re opposed to abusive tactics and interrogation that went—was too abusive, but actually making sure that they didn’t do anything to block psychologists from being involved. And so, I thought the Hoffman Report really captured the subtleties and nuances of how that happened really well. ...





8 August 2015