Sending kids to Nauru is a crime – ICC at the Hague notified of latest outrage

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The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has written again to the International Criminal Court to provide further material to support an investigation into the Australian Government for crimes against humanity in relation to asylum seekers. “I have written to the ICC Prosecutor to draw her attention to the Government’s intention to deport to Nauru 267 asylum seekers, including 30 babies, who were brought to Australia for medical treatment,” Mr Wilkie said. “We know that the Nauru Regional Processing Centre ... Read More »

A container of love from the City of Angels

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Two containers of wheelchairs worth some €250,000 were gifted to Cyprus patients by the American humanitarian organisation “Global Hope in Action” via Cypriot charity EV-ZO. Cyprus Weekly The gesture will be commemorated with an event honouring the US-based GHA at Theatro Skala in Larnaca, February 11. The story, featured in Phileleftheros on Wednesday, began a few years ago with the establishment of EV-ZO, a volunteer organisation supporting adult patients with neurological disorders, by Despo Mavromichali-Neokleous. The organisation collects plastic caps ... Read More »

Child protection workers urged to consider adoption in forums across NSW

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NSW government aims to boost adoption numbers National adoption rates to an all-time low Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard​ is challenging the state’s “anti-adoption sentiment”, encouraging child protection caseworkers to give greater priority to adoption. The Sydney Morning Herald – Social Affairs Reporter ””” It’s about providing children with a family for life as opposed to carers until they turn 18. Lisa Vihtonen ””” A series of forums around NSW directed at caseworkers will emphasise the benefits of adoption ... Read More »

Zimbabwe pleads for cash to stop mass starvation

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HUMANITARIAN CRISES Harare seeking $1.5bn to help save more than a quarter of the population from starving to death, as drought worsens. Zimbabwe has appealed to local businesses and charities for more than $1.5bn aid to save more than a quarter of the population from starvation due to drought. “The government of Zimbabwe requires a total of [$1.57bn] with effect from February to December 2016,” Zimbabwe’s vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa said at a news conference in the capital Harare on Tuesday, adding ... Read More »

Melbourne priest Paul Grasby moves to Malaysia to pursue ‘young Asian men’ while on paid leave

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EXCLUSIVE A Catholic priest stood down amid child sexual abuse allegations has moved to Malaysia, where he is using a gay dating website to seek the company of “young Asian men” while on paid leave. The Age – Nino Bucci, Crime reporter for The Age Father Peter Grasby, who is suspected of abusing boys from at least two Melbourne parishes during almost 40 years as a priest, also propositioned a former parishioner on a gay dating website, it can be revealed. Father Grasby, ... Read More »

Syrian government is ‘exterminating’ its population: UN

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Turkey steps up its involvement in Syria to help refugees Aleppo’s underground schools face burnout and bombardment Syria’s battle for Aleppo backed by Iranian proxies Geneva: Detainees held by the Syrian government are dying on a massive scale, amounting to a state policy of “extermination” of the civilian population, a crime against humanity, United Nations investigators say. WAtoday – Stephanie Nebehay * The UN commission of inquiry on Monday called on the Security Council to impose “targeted sanctions” on Syrian officials ... Read More »

Burkina Faso: Freed Australian hostage vows to keep up aid work

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An Australian aid worker who was freed by al-Qaeda-linked militants in Burkina Faso has vowed to continue with her medical charity in the country. BBC – Video Jocelyn Elliott, 76, was released over the weekend after three weeks in captivity. She and her husband Ken, 81, who is still a hostage, had provided services in the town of Djibo since the 1970s. Militants reportedly said the kidnapping was an attempt to secure the release of imprisoned fighters. Africa Live: BBC ... Read More »

Republican debate: ‘I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,’ says Donald Trump

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Trump booed, Rubio roughed up by rivals Awkward start to debate: candidates fail to respond to name call WASHINGTON: Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates say they would revive its use. The Sydney Morning Herald – Ginger Gibson * One of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump said during Saturday night’s ... Read More »

Progress in the global war on poverty

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Almost unnoticed, the world has reduced poverty, increased incomes, and improved health more than at any time in history. The Christian Science Monitor – By Steven Radelet, Contributor Washington — The headlines on any given day suggest a world under siege. War. Terrorism. Refugees. Disease. Recession. Famine. Climate change. But beneath these often very real problems, something remarkable has been happening, something on a more epochal level that has gone almost completely unnoticed. Global poverty has fallen faster during the past ... Read More »

Victoria will take the 267 asylum seekers, Daniel Andrews tells Malcolm Turnbull

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Andrews wrote to the prime minister urging him to take action and keep a group of Australian-born asylum seeker children and their families in Australia The Guardian – Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro The 267 asylum seekers whose removal to Nauru was cleared by a controversial high court ruling are welcome to stay in Victoria, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said. Andrews wrote to the Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday offering that the group – which includes 37 babies born in Australia to asylum ... Read More »

Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe declares drought disaster

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in rural parts of the country hit by a drought. BBC  An estimated 2.4 million people are now in need of food aid, more than a quarter of the population. The announcement comes days after the EU urged Mr Mugabe to declare a state of disaster so donors can raise money quickly to provide food aid. The government has urged Zimbabweans not to panic, as it is importing maize from ... Read More »

High Court ruling: Silence falls as Manus Island detainees’ hopes for justice are dashed

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A detainee in the offshore “prison” tells the inside story of frustration, fear and hopelessness. * The Age Video – ””” HIGH COURT UPHOLDS OFFSHORE DETENTION – Human rights advocate slams High Court ruling that leaves vulnerable asylum seekers in limbo, saying “legality is one thing. The morality is another.” ””” It’s Wednesday afternoon here in the Delta Prison, the compound where I am imprisoned in Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island. Dozens of refugees with ill-fitting clothes and plastic thongs are ... Read More »

French law forbids food waste by supermarkets

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Food banks and other charities welcome law making large shops donate unsold food and stop spoiling items to deter foragers The Guardian – Angelique Chrisafis in Paris France has become the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and food banks. Under a law passed unanimously by the French senate, as of Wednesday large shops will no longer bin good quality food approaching its best-before ... Read More »

Canberra Uniting Church will accept appeals for sanctuary from refugees

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Canberra’s Uniting Church congregations would welcome refugees seeking sanctuary from deportation to Manus Island or Nauru as a result of Wednesday’s High Court ruling “with open doors, open hearts, and open tables”, church leaders said on Thursday. The Canberra Times – David Ellery, Reporter for The Canberra Times “It’s called civil disobedience and churches have been doing it for a long time,” the Reverend Anne Ryan of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church at Erindale said. While Canberra’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian communities ... Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull Has Ducked The Greatest Moral Challenge Of His Political Life

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On 3 February 2016 the High Court of Australia dismissed an application which challenged the constitutional underpinnings of Australia’s offshore detention regime. The Huffington Post, Julian Burnside, Barrister, human rights activist, supporter of the arts * Offshore detention is a practice introduced by the Howard government in 2001 in response to the Tampa episode. The Norwegian cargo ship MV Tampa had rescued 438 people (mostly Afghan Hazaras) after their boat sank. It is startling to remember that, in the year to August ... Read More »

Church’s lead on asylum seekers sanctuary a game changer

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Editorial The Federal Government’s Herodian stance on asylum seekers affected by a High Court decision which has cleared the way to banish almost 270 people, including 37 babies, to off-shore detention needs a serious rethink thanks to the Christian churches. The Canberra Times  By offering sanctuary the churches have set the Government on course for an international public relations disaster in the event it holds firm to the hard line taken to date. Will a government led by Malcolm Turnbull ... Read More »