PNG Opposition Leader says hosting Australia's refugee death camp on Manus Island is destroying PNG's international reputation [PNG Loop - 8/1/17]
About 130 PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) and Police personnel were deployed today to Hela Province for the security call-out operation.
They will join an advance team from the Highlands region, already on ground, to bring the total number of security personnel to 300.
The operation was approved by the Government based on the Security Risk Assessment Report from the Police Commissioner and will commence on Monday, January 9. ... [PNG Loop - 8/1/17]
A landslide along the Highlands Highway has cut off access for vehicles, forcing hundreds of travelers to walk by foot around the disaster area.
The landslide at Guo, which is five minutes from Kundiawa Town, Chimbu, completely shut off the highway yesterday (Saturday) after continuous rain. ... [PNG Loop - 8/1/17]
Stories of survival from a handful of the 14,000 Rohingya refugees registered in India [Indian Expess - 8/1/17]
@Aungaungsittwe [8/1/17]: #Rohingya from GoDuThaYar of Maungdaw have to leave continous atrocities of #Myanmar army&border guard police
@RohingyaVision [7/1/17]: 500 #Myanmar military arrived at the 'Maung Gyi Taung' in Northern Buthidaung on 7/1/17 evening & besieged the #Rohingya village again
@JamilaHanan [7/1/17]: #Rohingya in #Buthidaung don't have a border to cross to save their lives, surrounded by mountains on every side
Pair charged after man shot in the face in Gold Coast home invasion [MYGC - 8/1/17]
A man has been struck down by a car and killed in a suspected domestic dispute outside a kindergarten.
The 32-year-old man had been seen walking alone and carrying a suitcase before he was hit by a car outside a Sunbury kindergarten in Melbourne's outer north-west early Sunday. ... [The Age - 9/1/17]
.. Don't throw your hand ...
'Everybody Hurts', R.E.M. 
@9NewsGoldCoast [8/1/17]: The Queen's granddaughter, Zara Phillips, has taken a tumble during an exhibition polo match at the Magic Millions. ...
@9NewsGoldCoast [8/1/17]: Two people have been hospitalised as dozens of swimmers were stung by blue bottles on the Gold Coast. ...
@QldAmbulance [8/1/17]: Teenage female fall from Quad bike on Pvt Property Glen Rd #LoganReserve taken to Logan Hospital in stable condition with # clavicle
@QldAmbulance [8/1/17]: Male 40's fall from Quad bike on Pvt Property Greenbank Rd #Greenbank taken to Logan Hospital in stable condition with a # clavicle
@9NewsBrisbane [8/1/17]: Fire crews battled an intense fire which gutted a clothing warehouse at Acacia Ridge. ...
Police are investigating a fire that tore through a former motel in Toowomba on Friday night.
The Glennon House Motel caught fire around 11pm and quickly became engulfed in flames, which caused extensive damage before firefighters could get the blaze under control.
The motel provided low-cost accommodation to people, who had to travel from remote areas to Toowoomba for specialist medical care, for more than a decade.
It closed in mid-2016 due to plans to build a seven-storey development on the site, according to local media reports. ... [Yahoo - 7/1/17]
An elderly woman, her son and their pet dog have made a miraculous escape from an explosion which ripped through their waterfront home on the Gold Coast overnight.
Emergency services were called to the house ablaze on Bal Harbour at Broadbeach Waters just after 9.30pm. ... [MYGC - 7/1/17]
More teenagers placed in adult prison following another uprising at Parkville youth detention centre [Sydney Morning Herald - 8/1/17]
Massive ice block poised to break off from Antarctica, to lift global oceans by 10 cm [Firstpost - 7/1/17]
Fiji officials investigate fish poisoning following four deaths [RNZI – 6/1/17]
Japan‘s top diplomats in South Korea will return home this week in protest of a new statue recently set up in Busan to remember Korean victims of Japan’s wartime sex slavery, diplomatic sources said Sunday. ... [Korea Herald - 8/1/17]
South Korean monk sets himself on fire at protest against Park Geun Hye [The Straits Times - 8/1/17]:
A South Korean Buddhist monk is in critical condition after setting himself on fire during a mass protest against the impeached President Park Geun Hye, officials said on Sunday.
The monk, in his 60s and whose name was not released, set himself alight late Saturday night in central Seoul where hundreds of thousands returned to the streets for the eleventh week to demand Park's ouster.
He left a note urging authorities to arrest the scandal-hit president for committing "treason", the Yonhap news agency reported.
Park was impeached by parliament last month over an influence-peddling scandal that sparked a storm of public fury and nationwide protests, and the Constitutional Court now has to decide whether to confirm the impeachment.
The monk also slammed Park as a "traitor" for forging a deal with Japan to settle compensation for women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during the World War II, according to Yonhap. ...
Hundreds of protesters against a 20 percent gas hike took over the U.S. border crossing in Tijuana, letting cars pass without customs checks, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets across Mexico to once again demand the resignation of embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto over the so-called “gasolinazo” price hike that has hit the country's poorest communities.
The protests were largely peaceful but police fired tear gas in Tijuana and the nearby town of Rosarito, where demonstrations were most tense, but the police repression in Tijuana was not enough to stop the action, which targetted El Chaparral, the border crossing into California, according to Radio Zapote. ... [teleSUR - 7/1/17]
US official in Mexico shot in chest, in stable condition [Reuters - 7/1/17]
Salman Haider, a professor at the Fatima Jinnah University and human rights activist has reportedly gone missing from Islamabad. ... [Daily Pakistan - 7/1/17]
The Paris prosecutor's office says an investigation into alleged child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has concluded without anyone being charged. ... [news 24 - 7/1/17]
Two Moroccan UN peacekeepers killed in Central African Republic [France 24 - 4/1/17]
Ivory Coast Defence Minister, others freed by mutinying soldiers [Reuters - 7/1/17]
At least three people were killed and 11 others injured when an explosion ripped a small restaurant popular with soldiers in the Somali capital on Saturday evening, police and local officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. ... [Reuters - 7/1/17]
Chadian prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacket has ordered the closure of his country’s border with Libya to prevent Islamic State terrorists crossing over.
The entire border zone has been declared a military area.
IS fighters, he said, were heading south in Libya and converging towards Chad. ... [Libya Herald - 7/1/17]
Egyptian named amid contradictory claims on the Benghazi terrorist breakout [Libya Herald - 7/1/17]
A spokesperson for the Egyptian army said Friday that Egyptian forces killed nine gunmen in the Sinai Peninsula who were allegedly affiliated to the Sinai Province group -- the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, after the gunmen attacked four military posts for the Egyptian air force in the cities of al-Hasana and Nakhil in central Sinai, which left an Egyptian soldier killed. ... [Maan - 7/1/17]
Harassment and attacks against activist who filmed Hebron shooting continues [Maan - 7/1/17]
Israeli forces killed 32 children in 2016, the highest number in 10 years [Mint Press News - 5/1/17]
Facebook closes accounts of Palestine activists [Middle East Monitor - 7/1/17]
A senior political officer at the Israeli Embassy in London has been secretly filmed talking about how he would like to "take down" UK Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan, a vocal opponent of illegal Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
He said Duncan, who is one of the few Conservative ministers to speak out over settlements, was causing "a lot of problems". ... [Middle East Eye - 7/1/17]
Israel's theft from asylum seekers [Haaretz - 8/1/17]:
The Knesset last week approved an amendment to the law concerning illegal entry into Israel.
Now, African asylum seekers will receive only 80 percent of their salary, with their employer paying the remaining 20 percent – along with a 16-percent levy – to the government.
This money will then be held in escrow and the asylum seeker will only receive it when he leaves Israel.
And if he does not leave on a specified date, the money will be confiscated by the state.
The amendment came on top of last week’s shocking discovery that, for more than two years, the Population, Immigration and Border Authority has concealed an opinion by the Interior Ministry unit that processes asylum applications.
This stated that anyone from the Darfur region who is not a member of an Arab tribe is eligible for asylum in Israel.
The opinion was clear, but in order to avoid the need to act accordingly, the ministry hid it and responded to questions about it by saying a policy had not yet been formulated.
Naturally, asylum applications from those from Darfur have not been approved. ...
Turkey: Over 6,000 personnel working in military, justice ministry dismissed under new statutory decrees [Daily Sabah – 6/1/17]
Car bomb kills 60 in Syria’s Azaz [Anadolu Agency - 7/1/17]
The US-led coalition committed a new massacre in the countryside of the northern Raqqa province, leaving over 10 civilians killed.
Identical local and media sources said warplanes of the coalition launched in the past 24 hours airstrikes on areas in the northern and western countryside of Raqqa.
The sources confirmed that two people were killed in Aghdban village and 9 others, including 5 children, were also killed in al-Sweidiyeh al-Kabira village. ... [SANA - 7/1/17]
Six people injured in terrorist attacks in Idleb and Aleppo [SANA - 7/1/17]
Russian jets strike ISIL’s oil supply route in central Syria [AMN - 7/1/17]
Kurdish-Arab forces seize strategic Syria citadel [Yahoo - 6/1/17]:
A US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance seized Friday an ancient fortress overlooking the Islamic State group's biggest prison near the jihadists' Raqa bastion in northern Syria, a monitor and a commander said.
"The Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by American special forces and international coalition aircraft... took control of the ancient Qalaat Jaabar fortress," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.
It said the Islamic-era fortress was captured after fierce fighting with the jihadists.
The SDF and IS also fought pitched battles Friday in Al-Suwaidiya village, near Tabqa, the last IS holdout before the dam, said Kurdish authorities and the Observatory.
It also reported that coalition aircraft carried out air strikes on targets in the village that killed at least eight people, including women and children. ...
A security source in Salahuddin Province revealed that 19 civilians, including women and children, were wounded in a bomb blast that targeted families while fleeing from the IS-held areas, in eastern the province, Alsumaria reported on Saturday. ... [IraqiNews.com - 7/1/17]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [7/1/17]:
News agencies:6 civilians were killed and 10 wounded as the government air force targeted the neighborhoods west of Anbar.
Nineveh: Press sources/medical sources:Dozens of civilians were either killed or wounded as an aerial shelling targeted Zerae'i neighborhood at the left side of Mosul
Baghdad: News agencies: 5 persons were either killed or wounded as an IED exploded in Karaghol aera in Yusfiya south of Baghdad.
Coalition warplanes kill 27 civilians in Iraq's Mosul [Anadolu Agency - 7/1/17]:
... Dr. Ahmed Raid al-Hamadani, an official with Mosul operations' mobile hospitals unit, told Anadolu Agency: “As far as we have learnt from eyewitnesses, a civilian convey of 10 vehicles was targeted by coalition forces in eastern part of Mosul, where Daesh has no connection.”
Al-Hamadani said at least 15 people were killed in the attack.
In a separate operation, coalition planes also hit Ibn al-Haysum, a civilian residential neighborhood in southeastern Mosul, killing 12 civilians, including women and children, he added. ...
The Iraqi government announced a deal that could mean the withdrawal of unauthorized Turkish troops from a base in Bashiqa.
Though, Ankara’s response to reporters was a bit more guarded than Baghdad’s.
With the help of U.S. advisors, Iraqi troops advanced closer to the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul.
They also recaptured a hospital in Wahda that was the scene of large battle last month. At least 288 were killed and 27 more wounded ... [Antiwar.com - 7/1/17]
Face of defense: Soldier reflects on his 9 deployments [US Department of Defense - 22/12/16]:
... “I was in Mosul and Tal Afar in 2003 as part of the operations that secured those cities,” Bailey said.
“My old unit used to drive through the village we’re in now. In those days and on the deployments afterwards, we did all the fighting and took the lead. This mission is different. The Iraqi security force is doing the fighting, and we are advising.” ...
Suspected Fort Lauderdale Airport gunman Esteban Santiago, 26, told FBI that CIA was forcing him to join ISIS [NY Daily News - 7/1/17]:
... He was also investigated as part of a child porn investigation in either 2011 or 2012, law enforcement sources told CBS News.
Three weapons and a computer were seized, but no charges were filed, sources said. ...
The man police say opened fire with a gun from his checked baggage at a Florida airport had a history of mental health issues — some of which followed his military service in Iraq — and was receiving psychological treatment at his home in Alaska, his relatives said Friday after the deadly shooting.
“It was like he lost his mind,” she said in Spanish of his return from Iraq.
“He said he saw things.”
Santiago was flying from Anchorage on a Delta flight and had checked only one piece of luggage, which contained the gun.
Santiago was charged in a domestic violence case in January 2016, damaging a door when he forced his way into a bathroom at his girlfriend’s Anchorage home.
The woman told officers he yelled at her to leave, strangled her and smacked her on the side of the head, according to charging documents. ... [The Seattle Times - 6/1/17]
Pizza deliveryman gets $4.4 million for 2014 mistaken shooting by Philadelphia police officers [NBC - 6/1/17]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 7/1/17]
@GiorgosKosmop [7/1/17]: More photos #Moria #Lesvos today. Miserable conditions for #refugeesgr a direct consequence of #EUTurkeydeal ...
French court acquits man for helping migrants [The Local - 7/1/17]:
... "In France today we have the right to save people in distress," said researcher Pierre-Alain Mannoni, who had faced a six-month suspended jail sentence for aiding Eritrean migrants who came into France from Italy. ...
Five Hazara men injured in Quetta attack [The News - 7/1/17]
Review of Antje Missbach’s Troubled Transit: Asylum Seekers Stuck in Indonesia [Inside Indonesia - 16/10/16]:
... The long waits associated with transit through Indonesia enhance these problems.
In Puncak, West Java, several thousand largely Hazara asylum seekers have established a thriving community within a community.
This has attracted the ire of local people, who saw these not as ‘temporary shelters’ but ‘permanent’.
Alleged instances of assault by asylum seekers have precipitated angry backlashes, with the hardline FPI or Islamic Defenders Front holding public demonstrations they claimed were to ‘reject the presence of foreigners’, urging the local government to evict them from the community in West Java.
Whilst this is a marginal, radical group, its xenophobic views are, alarmingly, not.
Recently, a West Javanese official urged the public to be wary of foreigners ‘looking for women’ and to report anyone suspicious to immigration.
More journalists and academics should recognise what Missbach has; that Australia’s border protection regime extends far beyond its own borders, beyond even Nauru and Manus Island, and causes hidden suffering for thousands upon thousands of people stranded in increasingly prolonged transits.
Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.
... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi ... [UNSW Kaldor Centre]
Indonesia has condemned the flying of a Papuan Morning Star flag on the premises of an Indonesian mission in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir called for the immediate arrest of the people responsible for what he called a "criminal act" that must be punished in accordance with the law.
"The Indonesian government has conveyed protest to the Australian government and urged for the perpetrators to be strictly dealt with," Arrmanatha told The Jakarta Post late on Friday. ... [Jakarta Post - 7/1/17]
@PurePapua: ... Friday, 6 Jan 2016 West Papua flag raised inside Indonesian Consulate General Melbourne ...
Densus 88: US-Australia backed death squad [The Global Quorum - 18/4/16]
The government is set to revamp its oversight system on foreigners amid growing concern of foreigners exploiting their visas to work in the country illegally.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Wiranto said on Friday that the government would set up a task force to monitor the movement of foreigners entering the country’s borders. ... [Jakarta Post - 7/1/17]
Indonesia blocks 800,000 websites [Jakarta Post - 7/1/17]
8 January 2017