Human Rights

Tony Abbott: national security changes likely

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hinted at changes to Australia’s national security.

Mr Abbott flagged areas such as border security, residency, citizenship and government welfare as areas that could see a tightening in security.

The Prime Minister is expected to make the announcement in Parliament next week.

It comes after a review into the Martin Place Sydney siege where two hostages and a gunman died.

Australia May Stop Providing Water and Power to Remote Aboriginal Communities

Up to 200 remote indigenous communities across the country could lose access to power and water as the government says it can no longer afford to deliver these basic services.

The remote communities are mostly located across Cape York and the Kimberley region of WA. Some communities are permanent, while other communities only live in their region seasonally, making population numbers small and variable.

The federal government announced late last year that it would stop paying for the utilities, making states responsible for their communities. The Western Australian state government says it can't afford to cover the costs.

Alan Jones slams Bali nine execution as 'barbaric'

2GB radio host Alan Jones has slammed the execution of the Bali nine, a group of Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia as ‘barbaric,’ and has stated that he ‘finds it incomprehensible that these people can’t yield to pleas for clemency.’

2GB radio host Alan Jones has slammed the execution of the Bali nine, a group of Australian drug traffickers in Indonesia as ‘barbaric,’ and has stated that he ‘finds it incomprehensible that these people can’t yield to pleas for clemency.’

Jones criticized the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, claiming that Australia had given Indonesia a billion dollars in relief aid, and also condemned the Australian Federal Police for alerting the Indonesian authorities on the group’s drug smuggling, claiming it as a ‘pronounced shame on the Federal police system.’

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Families of the Bali 9 make a public plea for mercy

In a public plea for mercy for their sons, the families of Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran released a statement in Jakarta on monday morning, citing that their sons were the ‘driving force behind making Kerobokan a better prison for inmates,’ and claiming that they had been rehabilitated.

In a public plea for mercy for their sons, the families of Australian drug traffickers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran released a statement in Jakarta on monday morning, citing that their sons were the ‘driving force behind making Kerobokan a better prison for inmates,’ and claiming that they had been rehabilitated.

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Retrial date set for Greste's compatriots

A retrial has been scheduled for this week for the Al Jazeera journalists charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

An Egyptian court has set February 12 as the retrial date for the journalists who were jailed with Australian Peter Greste.

Greste, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, all journalists with the Qatari-owned channel, were originally sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for allegedly aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

But an appeals court overturned that verdict in January and ordered a retrial, which the judicial official said is to begin on Thursday.

Bali nine: lawyers challenge Widodo's clemency refusal

Bali nine lawyers have launched a rare appeal against the Indonesian Prime Minister’s refusal to grant their client pardons.

Heroin trafficker ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are due to face a firing squad by the end of February after Prime Minister Widodo denied clemency.

But their lawyers have challenged the decision in the Jakarta Administrative Court, arguing the Prime Minister had failed to adequately consider each case on its merit. They say this is their final chance to save their clients.

Mr Widodo has declared a state of drug emergency throughout Indonesia and vows never to grant clemency to any drug offender.

Peter Greste released; uncertainty for remaining journalists

Al Jazeera and Australian journalist, Peter Greste, has returned home after spending a year imprisoned in Egypt. His colleague Mohammed Fahmy, may also be released soon if he should forfeit his Egyptian citizenship.

Mr Greste alongside Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed were all Al Jazeera journalists arrested during a diplomatic row between Cairo and Qatar, sparking international outcry.

Since his return, Mr Greste has campaigned to ensure the release of his two colleagues. Egyptian-Canadian Mohammed Fahmy is expected to be released if he is willing to renounce Egyptian citizenship. Canada’s foreign minister John Baird said his release was imminent.

Mohammed Fahmy’s anticipated release leaves Baher Mohammed, an Egyptian citizen, remaining in prison with an unclear future.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for ceasefire in Ukraine

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a ceasefire in the Ukraine after Pro-Russian separatists vowed to mobilise up to 100,000 fighters.

Merkel announced that Germany would not be supplying weapons to Ukraine, suggesting negotiations and a diplomatic solution are the best option .

“It is my firm belief that this conflict cannot be solved militarily.” she says.

Fighting in Ukraine has claimed over 5,000 lives and displaced around 900,000 people since April.

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Recent Boko Haram attacks threaten Nigeria's general election

In Nigeria Boko Haram has continued its slaughter of civilians resulting in an exodus of people fleeing towards the mountains. The attack comes weeks before the general election, citing concern for voters security and the country’s ability to democratically elect a new leader.

The recent attacks were made in the north-eastern state of Adamawa where a significant bumber of bodies are reported to be lying in village streets. The recent attack brings a new height to the blood shed, the motives of the latest killings remain unclear.

Concern over voter security has prompted the EU to send polling observers across the country, however no officials will be sent into the country’s tumultuous north-east.

Australia involved in West Papuan persecution

Australia is facing allegations that they have trained a counter-terrorism unit to Indonesia which is currently operating in West Papua as a “death squad”.

West Papua is a province of Indonesia experiencing political turmoil as the Indonesian government squashes appeals for independence and humane treatment of indigenous West Papuans.

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