United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 8/7/16]



‏@MSF_Sea [8/7/16]:  Hussein has been a barber for 30 years. Forced to flee his home in Afrin #Syria, he's set up a shop in #Greece.



@MSF_Sea [8/7/16]:  Zabaida(70) fled #Syria when her home was destroyed. She's in this tent in #Greece whilst her brother is in Germany.



@MSF_Sea [8/7/16]:   Moustafa is 23 and was a law student before the war in #Syria forced him, his sister and her family to flee. 1/2



‏@MSF_Sea [8/7/16]:  They were jailed, their boat sank, they lost €6000 in the sea & now they "do nothing like animals" in #Lesvos 2/2


Greece: Refugees reveal the living conditions at Shisto Refugee Camp during Anarchist protest  [VIDEO - 6/7/16]



NGOs outraged as Europe, US focus on blocking refugees from escaping Libya rather than SAR ‏@CatalunyaRadio [8/7/16]



Rescue off Lesvos of 2 boats with 65 people from Libya, Dominican Republic, Congo, Sierra Leone and Kazakhstan [Proactiva Open Arms - 8/7/16]



IOM's nice new phrase for refoulement: humanitarian repatriation [ReliefWeb - 30/6/16]:



162 Nigerian migrants, including 28 women and 3 children, were repatriated to Nigeria.

Of the group, 146 had spent months in detention centres in Abu Saleem, Qarapoly and Az Zawiyah. ...




When shadowy NGOs like the IOM suggest that refugees have no right to protection and must go back to where they come from, they create hatred and violence [Reuters - 7/7/16]:


Italian police arrested a man on Thursday suspected of killing a Nigerian refugee in a racist attack that has shocked Italy, further fuelling political debate on the long-running immigration crisis.

Emmanuel Chidi Namdi, 36, was attacked on Tuesday in the small, central Italian town of Fermo, after coming to the defense of his wife, Chinyery Emmanuel, who was verbally abused by two Italians, locals said.

Emmanuel told police that her husband was knocked unconscious by a man wielding a road-sign pole. ...




I feel a strong desire to tell you–and I expect you feel a strong desire to tell me–which of these two errors is the worse. That is the devil getting at us. He always sends errors into the world in pairs–pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. But do not let us be fooled. We have to keep our eyes on the goal and go straight between both errors. We have no other concern than that with either of them.


C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 4, Chapter 6




Day 111 refugee protests, Nauru





Image: ‏@InsurrectNews [8/7/16]




Australia: LNP and ALP politicians’ offices vandalised in solidarity with refugees [Rabble - 8/7/16]







Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, but hasn't accepted refugees since July 2014?




The European Parliament has urged Myanmar to end what it termed as the "brutal repression" and "systematic persecution" against the country's Rohingya Muslim minority.

In a resolution on Thursday, European politicians expressed "deep concern" about the stateless ethno-religious group, which they said is "one of the world's most persecuted minorities".

The parliament said Myanmar must "as a matter of urgency ensure free and unimpeded access" for the United Nations and rights groups in Rakhine State, where some 120,000 Rohingya remain in more than 80 internal displacement camp. ... [Al Jazeera - 7/7/16]





Tamil refugees return to find army assisting southern settlers in homes says Wigneswaran [Tamil Guardian - 8/7/16]





French court sentences Rwandan mayors to life in prison for 1994 genocide [UPI - 7/7/16]





The remaining two administrators of a Facebook page that mocked the prime minister have been allowed bail after being detained for 73 days. ... [Bangkok Post - 8/7/16]





Thailand:  Activists want amendment to Computer Crime Act suspended [The Nation - 8/7/16]





Japan’s government will spend hundreds of billions of yen on anti-terrorism and safety measures as part of an extra stimulus budget in the wake of the attack by Islamist militants in Bangladesh that killed seven Japanese, government sources say. ... [Japan Today - 8/7/16]




South Korea and the United States said on Friday they will deploy an advanced missile defense system with U.S. military forces stationed in South Korea to counter North Korea's missile threat, drawing sharp and swift protest from neighboring China.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system will be used only to counter the threat from the North, the South's Defence Ministry and the U.S. Defence Department said in a joint statement. ... [Reuters - 8/7/16]



Commuter train explosion injures 24 people in Taipei [Guardian - 8/7/16]




@wikileaks [7/7/16]:  Video of 11 police being shot in #Dallas this evening ...




‏@wikileaks [7/7/16]:  Dallas Police shootings: 32 leaks show a history of abuse ...




Yemen's army and allied fighters have retaliated with rocket attacks after Saudi aircraft bombarded several locations in the impoverished country. 

Saudi jets bombed the town of Al Mukha in the Ta’izz Province in Yemen’s extreme southwest, the Harib al-Qaramish town in the west-central Ma’rib Province, and another town in the Sana’a Province, on Friday, the al-Masira television reported.

Reports say an unspecified number of people were killed in Al Qaramish.

Yemeni forces and fighters of the Popular Committees retaliated with rocket attacks against a gathering of the mercenaries in Ma’rib, the report said. 

The television claimed that dozens of mercenaries were killed in the attack.  ... [Press TV - 8/7/16]




Car bomb kills 12 Libyan troops in Benghazi: military source [Reuters - 7/7/16]




Saif al-Islam, a son of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, remains in the prison in western Libya where he has been held since the 2011 uprising that toppled his father, a military source said on Thursday, contradicting media reports that Saif had been released. ... [Yahoo - 8/7/16]




I read the Chilcot report as I travelled across Syria this week and saw for myself what Blair's actions caused [Independent - 7/7/16]:


... There are many versions – and misquotations – of that most cynical of Nazi propagandists, Joseph “the bigger the lie, the better” Goebbels, but it is impossible not to be shocked by some of his observations.

“The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence,” he wrote in 1941.

 “Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, it should be a big lie, and one should stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

What is chilling about these words is not that the wartime English Goebbels maligned, nor that Churchill (who was his special target) did actually lie.

Given the struggle against Nazism – and despite Churchill’s observation that truth in war should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies – the British had a virtuous ability in the 1939-45 conflict to tell the truth even when a bit of Blairite flummery might have sufficed to cover up Britain’s defeats. 

No, what is frightening is that Goebbels’s words apply so painfully to English politicians today. ...




Islamic State claimed a triple suicide attack on Thursday evening near a Shi'ite mausoleum north of Baghdad, which killed at least 35 people and wounded 60 others, according to Iraqi security sources. ... [Reuters - 7/7/16]




IMF board approves $5.34 billion standby arrangement for Iraq [Reuters - 7/7/16]




One of the biggest mistakes when talking about the Iraq war is to describe it as a past event, it's not a past event, it's a continuing war ... 99% of Iraqis I would say, think terrorism is an arm of imperial control  of Iraq.  It's not a response. ... It's one of the arms of occupation because it helps divide and rule.  Sami Ramadani [VIDEO - RT - 6/7/16]




... The Russian president was meeting with foreign journalists at the conclusion of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 17th, when he left no one in any doubt that the world is headed down a course which could lead to nuclear war. ... [Russia Insider - 6/7/16]




NATO Summit: Australia to pledge $100m annual "aid" to Afghanistan [TOLO News - 8/7/16]





Officers from the Darling Downs Tactical Crime Squad, Tactical Action Team, State Flying Squad and State Drug Dog officers with the assistance of Australian Defence Force personnel have charged 59 people with alleged drug offences after search warrants were executed across the Toowoomba Highfields and Grantham areas. ... [QPS Media - 8/7/16]




Fire fighting foam banned after Oakey contamination crisis [4BC - 8/7/16]:


... The government is powerless to enforce the same ban on Commonwealth owned Defence sites.




Chelsea Manning cut off from contact with lawyers after medical emergency [Boing Boing - 7/7/16]




‏@racvictoria [7/7/16]:  Day 56 of peaceful protests on #Manus Enough is Enough. Stop torturing #politicalprisoners now. #BringThemHere




‏@InsurrectNews [7/7/16]:  Day 110 of protests by refugee families at the Australian govt's refugee detention center on #Nauru. #CloseTheCamps




... Why are these vulnerable trauma survivors being subjected to lengthy detention?

Why is a teenage girl in solitary confinement?

Why is a suffering boy denied medicine for weeks?

Why is it taking so long for independent mental health professionals to be able to meet with my detained clients?

Is this what immigration enforcement looks like under the Obama Administration? ... [American Immigration Lawyers Association - 7/7/16]




President Obama’s immigration policy was dealt another blow Wednesday when the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s opinion that child migrants who are accompanied by a parent and currently in family detention should be quickly released. ... [LA Times - 6/7/16]




Ex-Pinochet commander arrested over 'death caravan' involvement [teleSUR - 7/7/16]:


... Cheyre was named commander-in-chief of Chile's Army in 2002, one year before he was publicly accused of participating in the murder of a couple and stealing their 2-year-old child in La Serena back in 1973.

Chile's justice eventually filed a case without finding Cheyre responsible for the act. Serving in the top-ranking military role until 2006, Cheyre was appointed as president of Chile's electoral body in 2013 by the neoliberal President Sebastian Piñera.

The Death Caravan was the name of a military operation that killed and disappeared almost 100 political prisoners in Chile, following General Augusto Pinochet's coup and with the support of the United States.

The operation ruled the country with an iron fist for 17 years, until 1990.

Cheyre jailed an estimated 80,000 people, tortured 30,000 and murdered around 3,200.

Only 75 of more than a thousand of his former agents are serving prison sentences for human rights violations.





Did this Guantanamo exile escape the Kafkaesque nightmare, or has he been disappeared? [CNN - 6/7/16]:


... Several senior U.S. officials said 44-year-old Abu Wa'el Dhiab, a Syrian national, went off the radar several weeks ago from Uruguay, where he was resettled in 2014 after being released.

Uruguayan officials said he traveled to Brazil, but Brazilian officials told CNN they have no record of Dhiab having legally entered their country.


Dhiab was part of a group of six prisoners who were released and transferred to Uruguay in 2014. He was captured by the U.S. military in Afghanistan in 2002 and was accused of being part of an al Qaeda cell, but was never charged and cleared for release in 2009.

It took five years for the U.S. to find a country willing to take him.

Uruguay's Interior Ministry told CNN that Dhiab was considered a refugee by the government and, as such, he would not need permission from Uruguayan authorities to leave the country.

They said he would need only permission from the foreign country he wished to enter, per an agreement with the U.S. that enabled the release of the Gitmo detainees to Uruguay.

At the time of their transfer, then-President of Uruguay Jose Mujica said on his website: "We have offered our hospitality for humans suffering a heinous kidnapping in Guantanamo. The unavoidable reason is humanitarian." ...




Colleague of assassinated Honduran activist Berta Caceres killed [Reuters - 7/7/16]




Death in Honduras – The coup, Hillary Clinton and the killing of Berta Cáceres [Media Lens - 10/3/16]




“They want to prohibit us from dreaming”:  A 2014 interview with renowned Honduran activist Berta Cáceres [Jacobin - 8/3/16]:


... If you could say anything to the people or the government of the United States, what would it be?

Well, first that we have a lot of respect for the people of the United States. We know your story, your resistance, your rebellion, your support for the struggle of indigenous people, the struggle of black people for their rights. We know the struggle for peace, for the end of war, for the right US citizens have to housing. For many things.

But the government of the United States wants to be the first enemy of its own people and also all the peoples of the world. Because its big business is pillaging our peoples, starting wars, selling weapons. It’s the exploitation of immigrants.

The United States has a great responsibility for the violation of human rights in Honduras. They have financed and trained these repressive forces, not just right now, but for a long time. They have invaded this country. They have occupied it. They used us as a banana enclave, and still for mining enclaves.

Today as an enclave for multinationals, for the capitalist project on the subject of energy. The United States uses us as a laboratory for the invasion of brother and sister peoples. And they have the cynicism to say that what we do is terrorism.

The government of the United States is terrorist, because massacring entire villages — boys, girls, women — that’s terrorism. ...




‏@wikileaks [7/7/16]:  FBI head James Comney is wrong to argue that Clinton lacked familiarity with S/C classifications; our records show she sent/recv'd thousands





US State Department reopens Clinton emails investigation [AP - 7/7/16]





NSA whistleblower: Clinton emails damaged US national security much more than Manning, Assange or any other whistleblower [Washington's Blog - 7/7/16]




Is there a term for deliberately driving your political party into irrelevance? ----> Australian Greens spokesperson for animal welfare Senator Lee Rhiannon said the ban on greyhound racing announced by the NSW Government today should be replicated across the country. ... [Media Release - 7/7/16]



A few eagle-eyed people spotted that the percentage vote counted figure on the ABC website went backwards this morning. ... [Antony Green - 8/7/16]




Unpopularity contest:  Last night, Australia's two fascist parties were 515 votes apart



One of the many declaration vote exchange centres operating across Australia [AEC]



Statement from the Australian Electoral Commissioner: Need for accuracy in democracy, regardless of the century [5/7/16]:


I strongly refute several assertions made in the Daily Telegraph editorial titled 'Need for speed in democracy of 21st century'.

The author's statement that the count is proceeding 'at an apparently glacial pace' is incorrect: the AEC counted over a million votes yesterday (a mix of new votes added to the count and a further check of votes already counted), and this was just one crucial step of the AEC's conduct of the largest, most complex election in Australia's history.

I take my role as the Electoral Commissioner extremely seriously; as an independent statutory officer I protect, defend and support the processes that ensure the will of the Australian people is accurately recorded.

Anyone who has an issue with the Electoral Act is absolutely able to raise it with the Australian Parliament, and I suggest this would be more productive than criticising the hard work of the many thousands of ordinary Australians who are delivering the election.

Proper process should be followed; speeding up the delivery of a final result at the expense of due process could undermine the public's confidence in that very result.

I have been acutely aware of the perception that the AEC is not making sufficient progress with the count, which is why I have been proactively informing the media and public of the extensive processes that must take place behind the scenes. I would like to draw readers' attention to the following facts. ...




@AusElectoralCom [8/7/16]:  An update on what's happening today and moving forward is available at http://www.aec.gov.au  ...




The United States has suspended aid to Haiti for the completion of an election in the Caribbean country, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing that the United States informed Haiti of the decision on July 1.

Haiti held a first-round vote in October, but a run-off was postponed several times after losing candidates alleged fraud, and the first-round results were scrapped last month. [Reuters - 7/7/16]




US spending on prisons grew at three times rate of school spending: report [Reuters - 7/7/16]





8 July 2016