SPRING HILL VOICE
A security source in Salahuddin province revealed that nine children were either killed or wounded by mortar shelling launched by the Islamic State group in Sharqat, north of Tikrit, Alsharqiyah News reported on Monday. ... [IraqiNews.com - 23/1/17]
A police source revealed that a person was killed and six others were wounded in the explosion of a booby-trapped vehicle, east of Baghdad, Alsumaria News reported on Monday. ... [IraqiNews.com - 23/1/17]
Mortar shelling kills, wounds 8 civilians in western Mosul [IraqiNews.com - 23/1/17]
Iraq army denies taking east Mosul from ISIL [Al Jazeera - 23/1/17]:
... Also on Monday, Iraq's prime minister ordered an investigation into violations of human rights and other abuses purportedly committed by government troops and paramilitary forces battling ISIL for Mosul.
Haider al-Abadi said the probe would examine "cases of kidnappings, mistreatment and violations" against civilians.
Abadi blamed such incidents on "groups that exploit the good name" of Iraqi soldiers and Shia and Sunni paramilitaries.
The statement also said that the abuses were recorded and then posted on social media to "spoil the joy of victory and to defame the real image of the brave security forces and their sacrifices to liberate the land and to maintain security". ...
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launches a general offensive against rebel groups in Aleppo, Idlib CS [AMN - 24/1/17]
A girl was killed and 5 persons were injured in a terrorist attack with shells on the terrorist-besieged town of al-Fouaa in the northern countryside of Idleb. ... [SANA - 23/1/17]
Bringing the primary antagonists in the Syrian conflict to the negotiating table in Astana, Kazakhstan is already a massive result, political analyst Marwa Osman told RT.
Talks between the Syrian government and opposition are taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan, as part of an initiative led by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
Major armed group Jaysh al-Islam is also involved in the negotiations. ... [RT - 23/1/17]
Journalist Eva Bartlett to deliver lectures on Syria in Hamilton [The Hamilton Spectator - 22/1/17]
A South African photojournalist has allegedly been kidnapped in Syria.
Humanitarian group the Gift of the Givers said Shiraaz Mohamed was taken hostage on Tuesday.
He was apparently on his way to the Turkish border with two Gift of the Givers members when they were cornered and held at gunpoint.
The aid workers were eventually freed and the kidnappers said they would release Mohamed after a few days, but he is still missing.
The International Relations Department said Syria is a war-torn country and South Africa has no embassy there, but it was aware of the incident and will assist the Gift of the Givers where possible. [ENCA - 14/1/17]
Syrian refugee chocolate maker turned away at US border [Yahoo - 23/1/17]
Charlie Liteky, Army chaplain in Vietnam who gave back Medal of Honor, dies [CBS - 22/1/17]:
... Twenty years after his heroic actions in Vietnam, Liteky left the Medal of Honor - awarded under the name of Angelo J. Liteky - and a letter to President Ronald Reagan at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington in protest of the country’s foreign policy in Central America, where U.S.-backed dictators were fighting bloody wars against left-leaning rebels. ...
Russian army engineers assigned to the International Mine-Clearing Center have defused almost 500 improvised explosive devices in eastern Aleppo since Monday morning, the center for reconciliation of the warring sides in Syria said on Tuesday. ... [TASS - 24/1/17]
Russia and Turkey bomb targets near al-Bab in Aleppo province [TASS - 23/1/17]
Russian military says it carried out joint strikes with US-led coalition in Syria, US denies it [RT - 23/1/17]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 23/1/17]
In separate calls today, Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with his counterparts from the United Kingdom and Canada and with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to readouts of the calls provided by Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis. ... [US Department of Defense - 23/1/17]
Greek government refuses island Mayors' urgent requests to transfer migrants on grounds it would undermine sham EU-Turkey exile deal [Ekathimerini - 23/1/17]
@mpodil [23/1/17]: A boat @ Lesvos 6pm. All wet & cold. Volunteers had to fight with coast guard to let them give dry clothes. Pregnant #refugees among them
Eric Kempson [23/1/17]:
One boat arrived on north coast Lesvos at 6 o'clock tonight, picked up by coast Guard just of Eftalou and taken to skala Sykaminia 51 people on board, 3 children 15 women 33 men three women were pregnant 3 medical cases every one very cold, taken two stage 2 then to Moria, great job by all the teams and every one involved.
10 die, 30 missing after migrant boat capsizes off Johor [The Straits Times - 24/1/17]
The Criminalisation of Immigration in the United States [American Immgration Council - 13/7/17]:
... The United States is in the midst of a “great expulsion” of immigrants, both lawfully present and unauthorized, who tend to be non-violent and non-threatening and who often have deep roots in this country.
This relentless campaign of deportation is frequently justified as a war against “illegality”—which is to say, against unauthorized immigrants.
But that justification does not come close to explaining the banishment from the United States of lawful permanent residents who committed traffic offenses and who have U.S.-based families.
Nor does it explain the lack of due-process rights accorded to so many of the immigrants ensnared in deportation proceedings.
Likewise, the wave of deportations we are currently witnessing is often portrayed as a crime-fighting tool.
But, as the findings of this report make clear, the majority of deportations carried out in the United States each year do not actually target “criminals” in any meaningful sense of the word. ...
US detention centers hold thousands of legal immigrants [The Seattle Globalist - 9/1/17]
... With over one thousand people shot dead by US law enforcement agents each year, the alleged risk posed by Guantánamo prisoners to the US is clearly exaggerated, and with the naval base home to another indefinite detention facility since 1991, for immigration detainees, there is no interest in ending indefinite arbitrary detention, a highly lucrative business. ... Why Obama didn't close Guantánamo [One Small Window - 7/1/17]
Your fears are not credible: A mother and child trapped in Obama's brutal family deportation system [The Intercept - 14/12/16]
AND NOW IS THE TIME TO CLOSE THEM ---> Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States (i.e. Hillary Clinton's State Department) [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]
Where is the politician, rights organisation, NGO, academic, "advocate" or professional association who will demand AN END to Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile and turnback policy, instead of expending all their efforts mythmaking and blaming Trump for the Clinton/Obama war on asylum seekers? ---> @OzRefugeeCounc [23/1/17]: US officials visit Manus Island as Australia's refugee deal stays on track ... <--- The US deal" not "on track" or "progressing".
The "US Deal" is a FRAUD - and the men, women and children held for nearly four years on Nauru and Manus Island are in a precarious situation - THEY NEED YOUR ADVOCACY MORE THAN EVER.
... DIRTY POLICY!...
Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, May 2016
ABC does propaganda to justify expected collective punishment and ongoing repression of illegally and unconstitutionally held men on Manus Island [23/1/17]
Rumours PNG police protecting murder suspect [RNZI - 24/1/17]
The Australia-PNG Policing Partnership program will continue in the country.
The announcement follows a meeting between Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davies, and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. ... [PNG Loop - 23/1/17]
The Waigani National Court has ordered the state to pay K190, 733.80 to three men from Tari, Hela Province after they were assaulted, stripped naked and paraded around Tari by police six years ago. ... [PNG Loop - 23/1/17]
Human Rights NOW. Not after a another conference in February. PEOPLE ARE DYING. SAY SOMETHING. NOW. [Australian Lawyers for Human Rights]
"I ask the world to do something to end Australia's political game on vulnerable refugees." Imran Mohammad - Rohingya refugee and one of the 1,000s of political prisoners of the Australian government, Manus Island [The Age 12/1/17]
Myanmar military raid Rohingya villages again [RVision TV - 23/1/17]
Myanmar soldiers’ mass destruction of Rohingya’s homes and fences [Mir Ahmed A.B Siddiquee - 22/1/17]:
... This video was taken by a Rohingya lady while they were destroying Rohingyas' homes and fences in KiyariFarang, YwamaHamlet called KyetYoePyin village tract in Burmese on 7 to 14 November 2016.
I have been filmed many such videos but unfortunately most of them are not clear including "torching our homes and village market by the soldiers" the lady said who doesn't want to identify herself for security reason.
“In our village tract more than 280 houses, about 180 shops of our village market, 2 Moques and madarasas were burned to ash by Myanmar Army and Border Guard Police (BGP).
Moreover they have conducted big operation in our village tract as well as 29 rapes and mass killing, 3 mass graves also available in Lutifarang hamlet of our village tract”, said by the lady
... UN’s Special Rapporteur for Myanmar Yanghee Lee was expected to visit Dar Gyi Zar on January 14, 2017.
Some Rohingya people from the village said that they awaited her throughout the day to show her how they had been suffering or tortured, but Ms Lee did not turn up there to their disappointment.
The soldiers pounced on Dar Gyi Zar soon after the Border Guard Police (BGP) post at Kyee Kan Pyin was attacked and General Maung Maung Soe ordered the “clearance operation”, Basar Miah, one of the Dar Gyi Zar villagers said to this blogger.
“Senior army officer Lt Col Aung Kyaw Ting and three commanders of the battalions 353, 551 and 552, Major Kyaw Naing Soe, Major Kyaw Zay Yar and Major Aung Zaw Tat led the raid in the villages in our area. Local BGP chief Thuya San Lwin was also there in the raids in which many Rohingyas were killed, many girls and women were raped and innocent men were arrested. They also torched several hundred Rohingya houses,” Basar Miah said. ... [Aung Aung Sittwe - 23/1/17]
@Thestateless1 [23/1/17]: Reporting on #Genocide: the #Rohingya Case
Financial press admits exposure of Rohingya genocide a "potential risk factor" to investment in Myanmar [Financial Times - 22/1/17]:
... Another potential risk factor is the persecution of the Rohingya, an ethnic minority group living in western parts of the country.
The international community is increasingly critical of the government’s handling of the Muslim group.
If this becomes a major issue, European and US companies that are sensitive to public opinion may distance themselves from Myanmar as part of their risk management. ...
A former LTTE cadre was arrested in Kilinochchi by the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) last week.
Karalasingam Kulenthiran, from Thiruvaiyaru, Kilinochchi was reported missing by his family members on the 13th January.
Relatives found out the following day that he had been arrested by the TID and was being held in Vavuniya.
Mr Kulenthiran was working in an insurance company, having been through the Sri Lankan government's rehabilitation programme.
His is the second reported arrest of a former cadre by the TID in 2017. [Tamil Guardian - 22/1/17]
Sarath Fonseka, the former chief of the Sri Lankan army, has denied involvement in the murder of former Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, after facing five hours of questioning on the subject on Friday.
Mr Fonseka, who now was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal and appointed as Minister of Regional Development by the current Sri Lankan government, was questioned on the subject of operations carried out by the military on Friday by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). ... [Tamil Guardian - 22/1/17]
International Committee of the Red Cross Sri Lanka head meets military in Jaffna [Tamil Guardian - 22/1/17]
'Australia. Don't become America', Cranky 
Brisbane bus driver Manmeet Sharma murder case 'suspended' [Brisbane Times - 23/1/17]
Queensland government uses report illustrating futility of lockout laws to further entrench the police state [Brisbane Times - 23/1/17]
A Gold Coast school cleaner has been awarded more than $150,000 in compensation after his workmates played a cruel prank on him by pretending an orgy had taken place in a staff room.
In September 2014, Shane Green's colleagues set up the Helensvale State School staff room with a dishevelled bed, empty bottles and condoms, before asking him to clean it up.
Mr Green lodged a sexual harassment claim with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, who ordered Education Queensland pay him compensation of $156,051. [Brisbane Times - 23/1/17]
Fun 360 - Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise
Bliss n Eso music video actor Johann Ofner shot dead while filming in Brisbane CBD bar [ABC - 23/1/17]:
Gold Coast actor Johann Ofner has died after being shot in the chest while Australian hip hop group Bliss n Eso filmed a music video at a bar in Eagle Lane in the Brisbane CBD.
Mr Ofner, 28, was shot in what police called a "workplace incident" just before 2:00pm.
Detective Inspector Tom Armitt said he died inside the Brooklyn Standard bar, which had been hired as a location for the music video.
"During the filming of that scene, several firearms were used," he said.
"As a result of the use of those firearms one of the actors has received wounds to the chest and has subsequently died from his injuries.
"At this point in time, Queensland police are conducting a criminal investigation.
"We do not know specifically how those injuries occurred at this point in time and that'll be (the) subject of our investigation." ...
3 killed in US drone strike, Yemen [Reuters - 22/1/17]
At least eight civilians, including two women, have lost their lives as Saudi fighter jets bombed the Yemeni provinces of Sa’ada and Hudaydah.
According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, two Saudi air raids hit two cars in the district of Maran in Sa’ada on Monday, killing seven people, including a woman.
Initial reports had put the death toll at three people. Also on Monday, Saudi warplanes pounded a residential building in the area of al-Sayaliyah in eastern Hudaydah, leaving a woman dead. ... [Press TV - 23/1/17]
A school just outside the Yemeni capital of Sana’a has been hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike, the rebel news agency has said.
Saba, the news service run by the dominant Houthi movement since it seized control of Sana’a in 2015 said that four missiles had hit the Guards School building north of the capital. ... [Independent - 22/1/17]
Saudi sentenced to 7 years jail for Twitter post insulting royal family [Press TV - 23/1/17]:
... On Sunday, it was reported that Saudi forces had, for a second consecutive day, gone on a shooting spree in Awamiyah, the capital of Eastern Province.
The troops took aim at both residential and commercial targets, inflicting material losses. ...
@wikileaks [22/1/17]: Trump's breach of promise over the release of his tax returns is even more gratuitous than Clinton concealing her Goldman Sachs transcripts.
On The Listening Post this week: Will the White House press corps fall in line or fight back with the adversarial journalism American reporters used to be known for? ... [Al Jazeera - 21/1/17]
Egypt extends detention of Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Hussein [Al Jazeera - 20/1/17]:
Egypt has for the second time extended the detention of an Al Jazeera journalist by 15 days, pending further investigation.
Mahmoud Hussein, an Egyptian national and journalist with more than two decades of experience, was arrested on December 20 after arriving at Cairo's international airport for a holiday.
On January 4, when his detention was due to expire, authorities extended his arrest for a period of 15 days "pending a further investigation." His detention was again extended on Wednesday.
Five days after his arrest, Egypt's interior ministry accused him of "incitement against state institutions and broadcasting false news with the aim of spreading chaos".
Al Jazeera rejects the charges against Hussein and calls on Egypt to release him immediately. ...
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [23/1/17]: Anbar: News agencies: Ramadi Hospital director has been arrested on charges of stealing cancer drugs.
The Trump administration may no longer enforce a rule requiring individual Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty if they do not, a senior White House official said on Sunday
Speaking on ABC's "This Week" program, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said President Donald Trump "may stop enforcing the individual mandate."
Separately, on CBS' "Face the Nation" show, she reiterated Republican promises that no one would lose their health insurance under Obamacare while a replacement is being developed.
"For the 20 million who rely upon the Affordable Care Act in some form, they will not be without coverage during this transition time," she said.
On Friday Trump signed an executive order concerning the 2010 healthcare law, urging U.S. agencies to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation" of provisions deemed to impose fiscal burdens on states, companies or individuals.
Healthcare experts had speculated that Trump could expand exemptions from the individual mandate.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," reiterated Republican promises to replace Obamacare and allow patients to buy health insurance across state lines using health savings accounts. ... [Reuters - 22/1/17]
Michigan surgeon sentenced after knowingly performing unnecessary surgeries, crippling some patients [Inquisitr - 13/1/17]:
A Michigan neurosurgeon has been sentenced to prison after he pleaded guilty for his role in $2.8 million healthcare fraud scheme.
Dr. Aria Sabit performed unnecessary and incomplete spinal surgeries and caused serious bodily harm to some of his patients from these surgeries.
Federal Judge Paul Borman heard the emotional stories from 14 of Dr. Sabit’s former patients before ordering that the surgeon serves over 19 years in prison for his crimes.
CBS reported that the case, complete with the accusations of illegal citizenship, is reminiscent of the case of Dr. Farid Fata, the oncologist who gave unneeded cancer treatment to patients in Michigan. ...
In the biggest surge of mass protest since the forced disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa college students back in 2014, outrage over higher gasoline prices and related issues sweeps Mexico.
Detonating the citizen uprising is a 20 percent price increase rolled out Dec. 27 by the Peña Nieto administration.
Though Mexicans were immersed in the holiday season, protests began almost immediately but really picked up steam after the new year kicked in. ... [ICH - 20/1/17]
White House: US to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiate NAFTA [Inquisitr - 22/1/17]
Jokowi congratulates new US President Donald Trump [Jakarta Post - 23/1/17]
... US media reported earlier that Trump, the real estate tycoon, had enlisted Carl Icahn, a top shareholder in Freeport-McMoRan, to be his special adviser on business regulations in December last year.
Freeport’s shipments of copper concentrate from Indonesia have been halted since Jan. 12 in accordance with rules on domestic mineral processing.
Trump is also a close friend of Setya Novanto, the House of Representatives speaker who sparked public uproar when he showed up at a Trump campaign rally in September 2015.
Trump introduced him as a special guest during the event. ... [Jakarta Post - 23/1/17]
The Indonesian unit of Freeport-Mcmoran Inc is seeking fiscal and legal guarantees from the government as it transfers to a special mining permit, a spokesman said on Thursday.
The copper miner is seeking a guarantee of rights and that the taxes it pays will remain the same, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said. ... [Reuters - 19/1/17]
Two escape landslide after 7.9 Bougainville quake [RNZI - 23/1/17]
Beef and business were at the top of the agenda when Papua New Guinea delegates toured the Flynn and Capricornia regions of Queensland, Australia, last Wednesday.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd explored new business relationships between PNG and Central Queensland (CQ) during the visit by PNG Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru.
Australian Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt, from Bundaberg, hosted the visit which Landry said was an opportunity for CQ to showcase its health, education and beef production services. ... [The National - 23/1/17]
These men have been illegally held for nearly 4 years.
The "refugee assessment process" is a sham, and the "US Deal" is not "proceeding".
The "US Deal" is a FRAUD, as are the politicians, media, rights organisations and "advocates" attempting to legitimise it.
WHERE IS THE FUCKING JOURNALISM?
Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island, May 2016
As we said last Friday when Behrouz Boochani broke the latest installment of this cruel pantomime: Australia's fictional "US Refugee Deal" drags on into infinity. ---> Immigration had a meeting with refugees today about the deal with America ... @BehrouzBoochani [19/1/17]
There is no "resettlement" - there never was. Until Australia's anti-refugee policy ends, there is only indefinite detention. ---> I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]
... A Rohingyan refugee from Myanmar, Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque, told Guardian Australia from Manus the men on the island were hopeful about the proposed resettlement deal but past disappointments tempered their expectations.
“It is extremely hard to believe anything in this forsaken prison, as we have always been used as pawns in political games,” he said.
“Although we have been told all of this, we will not believe anything until we see some kind of action. All we have is hope and we pray that we will be able to experience our freedom soon.”
Fazal Hoque said the men held on Manus Island were frustrated by the uncertainty about their future. In April last year the detention centre on Manus Island was ruled “illegal and unconstitutional” by Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court.
However, the centre continues to operate, albeit with some minor cosmetic changes to the detention regimen, nearly 10 months later.
“It feels like we are kicked in our stomachs meanwhile we are expected to say ‘thank you’,” Fazal Hoque said.
“We are tested every single day, however it is almost impossible for them to find a single mistake in us.”
Fazal Hoque said he worried for the future of those who had received ‘negative assessments’ on the refugee status claim.
“I saw men today with negative notification who became like rock, no feelings, no voice whatsoever. They were just sitting on chairs in a corner, facing the anti-climb fences. It was so excruciatingly painful for me to see how these men were being drawn into a depressed world.”
The Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani told Guardian Australia from Manus said no one seemed certain the resettlement deal would progress.
“They have played many different kind of political game on us during the past four years,” he said.
“So nobody trusts them, whatever they say. The biggest uncertainty is Trump. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection itself is also in doubt. Its seems like they themselves are not certain about many things.”
Boochani said the possible 12-month wait for resettlement had left many depressed.
“We have already been in this prison for almost four years and now it’s ... more suffering for us to spend another year [waiting to know] whether we will be accepted by America,” he said. ...
Former worker at Australia's death camp on Manus Island tells forum man's refugee claim rejected because he was deemed "too educated" to be a Rohingya [Brisbane Times - 9/4/16]:
Brisbane maths teacher Jacob Rice taught at the Manus Island immigration detention centre in 2014 when a 23-year-old Iranian man name Reza Berati was bashed to death by security guards during a riot by hunger strikers [when refugees were attacked].
One of the friends the teacher-turned-whistleblower made while working on Manus for nine months was a Rohingya maths teacher.
His friend is still in indefinite detention as his application for asylum had just been rejected on the grounds that he was educated.
The man has told his family that they should consider him dead.
Mr Rice said the Immigration Department had rejected his friend's asylum claim because they concluded he could not be a genuine Rohingya person because members of this religious minority in Burma were not allowed to be educated.
He holds a masters degree in mathematics.
One of his daughters was studying medicine while the other had won a maths competition. ...
Adam said he was prompted to take action after having to explain why two refugees set themselves on fire last year to his son during their drive home from a primary school soccer match.
Father and son walk from Adelaide to Canberra to protest Australia's anti-refugee policy [SBS - 19/1/17]:
A father and his 13-year old son are walking from Adelaide to Canberra to protest the Australian government's refugee policy and call for an end to offshore detention.
Adelaide criminal lawyer Adam Richards and his son Ned set out from their home in Adelaide on December 28 and plan to reach Canberra by February 4 to deliver a petition to Parliament House that calls for the closure of the Manus and Nauru detention centres.
Adam said he was prompted to take action after having to explain why two refugees set themselves on fire last year to his son during their drive home from a primary school soccer match.
"Ned said, 'Dad, what can be done about it?', and I just said 'nothing'," Adam tells SBS.
"This look just came on his face, like, 'What do you mean you can do nothing? You're my father'.
"I've always taught Ned that men stick up for women and children, and men stick up for what's right. So I really had to ask myself how the hell I could try and teach that to my son when I wasn't willing to live it myself."
By the time they arrived home, Adam said he had decided to run for the Senate, just six weeks out from the election.
The father of three was not elected, and calls it "the most unsuccessful run for the senate probably in Australian political history".
But he wasn't content to give up his hopes of influencing Australian government policy, he said.
And so the idea of walking across the country was born.
"I owe it to my children to fight for the Australia I love, and that's the Australia that gives people a fair go," Adam said.
Adam and Ned have set up a Go Fund Me page and are hoping to raise $5,000 to help cover the costs of their trip.
Anything extra will go to charities directly related to Manus and Nauru.
They are collecting signatures for the petition along the way, and on February 4 they will meet at Mint Oval on Adelaide Avenue in Canberra where they said they would make a "symbolic" boat which they will walk up to Parliament House.
"Since our politicians are so scared of boats and people in them we figured the sight of us will terrify the hell out of them.
"So we're going to take a symbolic boat to Canberra, and we hope other people might join us."
Ever wanted to torment a refugee to death? Here's your opportunity – but hurry! ---> UNHCR is currently looking to fill a number of positions for experienced professionals. Deadline 23 January 2017 | @UNHCRCanberra [23/1/17]
#Sunset in #Manus island @manusFad22 [23/1/17]
Manus MP Ron Knight fills media blackout by demonising illegally held men as sex offenders. No journalism. No opposition. Australia's war of attrition against refugees continues. ---> After police investigation asylum seeker has been charged for actual rape. He was placed in the cells and will face court for mention today. @pontuna2run [23/1/17]
Turnbull, Dutton, Shorten, Neumann, McKim, media collaborators, phony NGOs, academics, professional associations and human right groups are still hiding from the direct and predictable consequences of Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile and murder policy, and complicity. ----> “They’re trying to kill me, if they kill me take care of my son.”
These were the last words of Faysal Ishak Ahmad before his death on Christmas Eve.
The Sudanese refugee uttered these words during his last visit to his friend Walid Sandal.
This is not a scene from a tragic film or novel.
This is the reality of the prison on Manus Island, hundreds of kilometres from Australia and in the middle of a silent ocean. ... [Guardian - 30/12/16]
“How could it have taken them five months to treat my son?”
Mother fears her son detained by federal immigration authorities could lose foot [Winston-Salem Journal - 22/1/17]:
Nestor Avila, the Appalachian State graduate who once ran opponents down as a high school wrestler, expressed fears recently that he’d never fully regain the use of his right foot — severely injured in a road-rage assault while he was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Turns out, Avila’s fears were not exaggerated.
The bone in his right foot is infected, according to his mother, Rosa Parra, and immigration lawyer Nardine Guirguis. He is on antibiotics.
He’ll get them four times a day for six weeks. If the antibiotics don’t kill the infection, then surgeons may have to carve out the infected section of bone, Parra, who was a nurse when she lived in Mexico, said Saturday.
“How could it have taken them five months to treat my son?” Parra asked in Spanish.
“If the bacteria has been there for five months I don’t think they’ll cure him within six weeks. He could lose his foot.”
Avila has been at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia since August, the Winston-Salem Journal has reported. While there, he has told detention officials that his foot has not healed. It turns purple, sometimes goes numb, and it always too painful to walk on, he said in a phone interview.
ICE officials have declined to discuss his condition, citing privacy laws. Antibiotics can cure the problem. But bone infections can be complicated. If the diagnosis does not come quickly enough, surgery may enter as another treatment, according to medical journals on bone infections in feet.
Before the diagnosis, Avila said, he was given over-the-counter pain relievers for his injury.
“It certainly appears that the medical issues that he continues to face are ones that are not properly being tended to at Stewart Detention Center,” Guirguis said.
“It seems as if they either cannot or will not render proper medical treatment to him,” she said.
“The reason why he faces these very serious medical issues in the first place is because he is a victim of a very serious assault.
“Accordingly, he should be released to obtain proper medical treatment and care at the expense of the perpetrator,” Guirguis said. ...
Access restrictions rise at Adelanto immigration detention facility, group claims [Daily Press - 22/1/17]:
Visitor access to detainees at the Adelanto Detention Facility has become more restrictive since November, according to a watchdog group that monitors such activity.
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) filed a federal civil rights complaint last week with the Office for Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security, castigating a "disturbing increase" in visitation denials and wait times in the past two months at the largest adult immigration detention center in the U.S.
Rebecca Merton, the national visitation network program coordinator for CIVIC, on Thursday told the Daily Press that the timing of the alleged uptick in restrictive practices by GEO Group Inc., the facility's private operator, concerned advocates who worry about President Donald Trump's affect on immigration issues.
In one instance, the group said, a man and his two sons drove three hours to the facility to visit his wife, the children's mother, and were turned away after waiting for two hours. ...
Some detainees in federal deportation proceedings were transferred as far away as Alabama after the Utah County Jail terminated its contract to house Immigration and Custom Enforcement detainees last month.
Utah County announced in 2016 that it planned to terminate its contract with ICE because it needs the jail beds to address its own criminal justice needs in the fast-growing county.
"We terminated our ICE contract Dec. 6, 2016.
We actually didn’t have any ICE inmates in our building. They had cleared them all out on Dec. 5," said Darin Durfey, chief deputy with the Utah County Sheriff's Office.
While some were transferred to Henderson, Nevada, the closest ICE detention facility, according to local immigration attorneys representing the detainees, others have been placed in facilities in other regions of the country.
"In a small number of my cases, ICE has transferred my clients as far away as Alabama, which has been quite the challenge," said immigration attorney Skyler Anderson. ... [Deseret News - 18/1/17]
Palm Island Mayor outraged by Queensland Police appeal [NITV - 23/1/17]
... As you celebrate ‘Australia Day’ this year, maybe start to think not just of the massacres on the frontier, but also the strength of Aboriginal civilization, and how it has survived despite the repeated attempts to extinguish it.
Here is a handy guide to get you started ... [Medium - 20/1/17]
Palestinian teen dies in Gaza after Israel denies him access to hospital [Maan - 22/1/17]:
A 17-year-old Palestinian died last week after Israeli authorities refused to allow him to leave the besieged Gaza Strip to undergo treatment for a congenital heart defect, the Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights said in a report on Sunday.
Israeli authorities had denied Ahmad Hassan Shubeir from Gaza City, permission to cross into Israel to receive life-saving medical treatment from a hospital after the teen “refused to serve as a collaborator for the Israeli authorities, a coercive measure regularly employed on Palestinian patients in need of permits,” according to the center.
After being repeatedly denied permission by Israel to cross, despite securing a number of appointments at Israeli hospitals as his health declined, Ahmad died at approximately 4 a.m. on Jan. 14. ...
Israeli forces fire at Gaza fishermen, force them to sail back to shore [Maan - 22/1/17]
Israel’s Druze are being dragged into the conflict between the government and the Arab community over house demolitions because demolition orders have been issued against homes in Druze villages as well.
Five families that have received demolition orders for illegal construction are families of fallen soldiers.
The efforts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to increase enforcement against illegal construction is thus generating tension with the Druze, whose leaders have warned of potential violence if demolitions are carried out. ... [Haaretz - 23/1/17]
Israel municipality approves hundreds of settlement homes in east Jerusalem [Reuters - 22/1/17]
President Donald Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit Washington in early February during a phone call in which they discussed the importance of strengthening the U.S.-Israeli relationship, the White House said on Sunday.
In his first call with Netanyahu since taking office on Friday, Trump stressed his "unprecedented commitment to Israel's security." ... [Reuters - 22/1/17]
One person was killed and seven others were wounded in an attempted robbery at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday, officials said.
The robbery happened at the KAY Jewelers store in the mall, Leslie Garza, San Antonio mayor's director of communications, told NBC News.
According to San Antonio police, two people tried to stop the two suspects as they were fleeing the store.
One of the suspects shot and killed one of the Good Samaritans.
The other Good Samaritan, who has a concealed carry license, shot and wounded that suspect, police said. ... [NBC DFW - 22/1/17]
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says the US wasted trillions on warfare instead of investing in infrastructure [CNBC - 18/1/17]
... All I did was showed some truth to the working man ...
'Almost Gone', Graham Nash & James Raymond 
Commuting Chelsea Manning's sentence is not enough [Al Jazeera - 20/1/17]:
... Earlier this week, President Obama's office announced that he would be commuting Manning's sentence and that she would now be freed on May 17.
This is seen as welcome news for Manning and a decision that would most definitely save her life.
However, Obama's decision to commute the sentence doesn't take away from his legacy of using draconian laws that criminalise the act of whistle-blowing. It doesn’t change the fact that Obama has used the 1917 Espionage Act eight times - more than all previous presidents combined. ...
@wikileaks [19/1/17]: Remembering the inhuman and degrading treatment of Chelsea Manning
@wikileaks [23/1/17]: UK sub off Florida fired nuclear missile at US last year in test malfunction
Afghan Airforce shelling in Uruzgan leaves 14 civilians wounded [Pajhwok - 22/1/17]
Three Taliban terrorist groups have been dismantled after 16 insurgents were arrested in southern Kandahar province, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement on Sunday. ... [TOLO News - 22/1/17]
At least 41 militants were killed in the latest counter-terrorism operations in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said Sunday.
According to a statement by MoD, at least 25 militants were also wounded during the operations which were jointly conducted by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).
The statement further added that the operations were conducted in Kapisa, Uruzgan, Kandahar, Kunduz, and Helmand provinces. ... [Khaama - 22/1/17]
Suicide attack targets Taliban leader in Kunduz leaving 4 dead [Khaama - 22/1/17]
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