Lapang Islanders in Indonesia

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'

Japan's Antarctic whaling hunt ruled 'not scientific'
Representatives of Japan and Australia shake hands at the court in The Hague. (NOS/ANP) - 31 March 2014
"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes

China calls for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
Wang Min, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during a meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the enforcement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, at the UN headquarters in New York, on June 9, 2014. The Chinese envoy on Monday called for a harmonious maritime order, saying that maritime disputes should be settled through negotiation between the parties directly involved. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

UNCLOS 200 nautical miles vs China claimed territorial waters

Friday, October 30, 2015

Amnesty: Australia paid off people smugglers to turn back boats

International rights group Amnesty International claims it has uncovered evidence suggesting Australian officials paid people smugglers to turn back a boat full of migrants attempting to reach New Zealand.

Deutsche Welle, 29 Oct 2015

Released on October 28, the Amnesty International (AI) report, titled "By hook or by crook," examines Australia's policy of intercepting and pushing back boats carrying migrants on high seas.

The 38-page document focuses on an incident that took place in May 2015, when a boat transporting 65 migrants from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar to New Zealand was turned back by Australia.

By conducting interviews with the asylum seekers on board, the boat crew as well as the Indonesian police, the report's authors say they found evidence that Australian officials paid the migrant boat's six-member crew about $32,000 and told them to take the people to Indonesia instead.

The Australians reportedly also provided verbal instructions and maps showing the crew where to land in Indonesia, the rights group added. The report also raises questions about whether Australian officials paid money to the crew of another boat turned back in July.

'A lawless venture'

Amnesty says Australian officials
paid about $32,000 to the migrant
boat's crew
Furthermore, AI criticized Australia's efforts to control its maritime border as "a lawless venture with evidence of criminal activity, pay-offs to boat crews and abusive treatment of women, men and children seeking asylum."

"All of the available evidence points to Australian officials having committed a transnational crime by, in effect, directing a people-smuggling operation, paying a boat crew and then instructing them on exactly what to do and where to land in Indonesia," said AI Refugee Researcher Anna Shea.

"In the two incidents documented by AI, Australian officials also put the lives of dozens of people at risk by forcing them onto poorly equipped vessels. When it comes to its treatment of those seeking asylum, Australia is becoming a lawless state," she noted.

A tougher policy

Allegations that Australian authorities paid people smugglers initially emerged in June this year. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) raised similar concerns after speaking with people on the ship. But then Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to respond to the allegations, saying he wouldn't comment on operational issues.

Australia's approach towards irregular migrants has come under increased scrutiny in recent times.

Under former PM Abbott, who was in office until September, the government hardened its asylum policy as part of its "Operation Sovereign Borders" initiative, and began to either push back the boats to Indonesia or to send the migrants to offshore detention centers on islands such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Australia hardened its asylum policy under former Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Last year, Australia also signed a deal with Cambodia to resettle asylum seekers there in exchange for millions of dollars.

The Australian government argues that this tough policy saves lives and prevents people smugglers from exploiting vulnerable and desperate migrants. Former PM Abbott even recently urged European countries, which are currently facing a refugee influx, to adopt similar policies to stem the flow of migrants.

Widespread abuse

Although rights groups acknowledge that Australia's approach has been ruthlessly effective in stopping boats packed with migrants from reaching the country's shores, they accuse Canberra of inhumane treatment of refugees and of failing to honor its international obligations.

Activists note that claims of abuse are rampant at the offshore detention sites, where hundreds of people - including women and children - are currently held.

The offshore detention centers in Nauru hold hundreds of migrants, including children

An Australian senate committee, dominated by the country's opposition, recently lambasted the detention centers as unsafe for asylum seekers and called for the immediate removal of children from the controversial facilities.

Despite criticism from rights advocates, polls have consistently shown that a significant number of Australians approve of the government's tough stance.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pacific's Palau creates huge ocean sanctuary the size of Spain

Yahoo – AFP, 28 Oct 2015

A photo received on October 28, 2015 shows Palau's Rock Islands as the tiny
 Pacific island nation created a vast marine sanctuary the size of Spain, saying it 
wanted to restore the ocean for future generations (AFP Photo/Matt Rand)

Koror (Palau) (AFP) - The tiny Pacific island nation of Palau created a vast marine sanctuary the size of Spain on Wednesday, banning fishing across the bulk of its waters to preserve the ocean for future generations.

At 500,000 square kilometres (193,000 square miles), the new sanctuary is one of the largest in the world and covers an underwater wonderland containing 1,300 species of fish and 700 types of coral.

Palau President Tommy Remengesau said the sanctuary, comprising 80 percent of the nation's maritime territory, would allow the ocean to heal after decades of industrialised fishing which has driven some species to the brink of extinction.

"A small island nation can have a big impact on the ocean," he said ahead of a ceremony Wednesday to officially sign off on the reserve.

A photo received on October 28, 2015 shows a 'spotted sweet lips' fish on the tiny 
Pacific island nation of Palau, which has created a marine sanctuary the size of 
Spain, saying it wanted to restore the ocean for future generations (AFP Photo)

"Island communities have been among the hardest hit by the threats facing the ocean. Creating this sanctuary is a bold move that the people of Palau recognise as essential to our survival."

The archipelago, part of the larger island group of Micronesia in the west Pacific, has a population of just 18,000.

The sanctuary will be phased in over five years, eventually leaving only a relatively small area of Palau's waters open to fishing by locals but not the foreign trawlers which dominate the Pacific industry.

The no-fishing plan prioritises tourism -- which contributes about US$160 million or 50 percent of gross domestic product annually -- over the tuna industry, which contributes around US$5.5 million a year.

Palau created the world's first shark sanctuary in 2009 and about one-third of countries have now followed suit, changing attitudes to the predator and helping curb demand for shark fin soup.

A photo released on October 28, 2015 shows a shark off the tiny Pacific island 
nation of Palau, which has created a vast marine sanctuary the size of Spain, 
saying it wanted to restore the ocean for future generations (AFP Photo)

Conservation efforts are underway in the Pacific to create a network of marine parks across the region to ensure one of the world's last pristine ocean ecosystems is managed sustainably.

In 2012 the Cook Islands unveiled a 1,065 million square kilometre marine park while Kiribati and Tokelau have also declared huge protected zones.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Going Dutch to help conquer the rising seas

Yahoo – AFP, Nicolas Delaunay, 27 Oct 2015

The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier (Oosterscheldekering) in Vrouwenpolder,
The Netherlands (AFP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)

Zeeland (Netherlands) (AFP) - Had nature been left to take its course much of the Netherlands would be a muddy swamp and the tiny coastal nation would never have risen to be the eurozone's fifth largest economy.

More than half of the country's 17 million people live in low-lying at risk areas, but thanks to hard work, perseverance and a lot of technical savvy they snuggle safely behind an ingenious network of 17,500 kilometres (10,800 miles) of dykes, dunes and barrages.

After struggling against the seas for hundreds of years, the Netherlands prides itself on being the "safest delta" on the planet and now exports its expertise around the world.

As water levels rise thanks to climate change and turbulent weather patterns unleash fierce storms, Dutch know-how in protecting low-lying areas has turned the country into the leader in its field.

"It's thanks to our history," Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told AFP. "We have been battling for centuries to hold back the seas."

Just like the legend of the boy who stuck his finger in crumbling dyke, necessity has been the mother of invention.

As water levels rise thanks to climate change and turbulent weather patterns
 unleash fierce storms, Dutch know-how in protecting low-lying areas has turned
the country into the leader in its field (AFP Photo/Bas Czerwinski)

Dutch companies now account for some 40 percent of the global dredging business open to international competition.

"Water is not so much a threat, but an asset. It can bridge economy and ecology," said Henk Ovink, the country's special representative on water issues.

More than 70 percent of the country's gross domestic product is produced on land at risk of flooding. Amsterdam's sprawling Schiphol airport -- the fifth busiest in Europe -- should by rights be a playground for fish.

Floods trauma

The turning point for the Netherlands came in 1953 when devastating floods swept in from the North Sea killing 1,835 people and leaving 72,000 homeless in the southwest.

Traumatised and shocked, the Dutch decided the only way forward was to improve their sea defences.

"Now Holland's level of protection is 100 to a 1,000 times better than most other countries," said Bart Schultz, a researcher at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education based in Delft.

The Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier is a gargantuan construction stretching an impressive nine kilometres (five miles) between the southern islands of Schouwen-Duiveland and Noord-Beveland.

Thanks to a series of massive sluice gates it can completely close off the mouth of the estuary, preventing the unpredictable North Sea from surging through.

But simpler solutions also work. A huge man-made sand bank, bigger than 200 football fields, was inaugurated in December 2011 just south of The Hague.

The giant Maeslant surge barrier guards the entrance to the largest
port in Europe, Rotterdam (AFP Photo/Kina Rob Doolaard)

Like a pregnant belly it juts out into the sea from the beach, and swept by the winds and tides protects the beautiful dunes behind from erosion.

According to the UN's Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change, the oceans rose some 19 centimetres (seven inches) from 1901 to 2010.

They predict sea levels will now rise from 26 to 82 centimetres by 2100 compared with the end of the 20th century.

Deltas at risk

And the world's burgeoning and resource-rich delta zones where some 10 percent of the world's population lives are at the greatest risk, according to the Delta Alliance organisation.

It's here that Dutch technology has proved so valuable. Some 2,500 Dutch firms work in the water industry, doing some 17 billion euros of business every year, said Lennart Silvis, director of the Netherlands Water Partnership.

After Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans in August 2005, the Netherlands played a huge role in reconstructing the city's sea defences.

That led to an increased cooperation with the United States, and when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and Jersey in 2012, Dutch help was again called upon.

After struggling against the seas for hundreds of years, the Netherlands prides
itself on being the 'safest delta' on the planet (AFP Photo/Koen Suyk)

"There is often huge interest after a disaster. But we would like to see greater preventative work which will help protect people in the long term," said Schultz van Haegen.

In Southeast Asia, Dutch experts have worked to shore up defences from Jakarta to the Mekong delta.

"Obviously we need to protect against the water, but there are other aspects of urban planning such as purification and access to drinking water, or even how to build roads," said Silvis.

Learning to live with the water has also spurred creative thinking -- Dutch experts are researching how to farm with salt-water, or how to produce energy by mixing salt and fresh water.

From building floating platforms off the Philippines to restoring wetlands areas in Kenya and Uganda, it seems there are no limits.

And there's even a little room for some luxury, when it comes to mastering the seas.

Sand islands shaped into a palm-tree and a network of islands formed like a map of the world off Dubai are the work of the Dutch international dredging company Van Oord.

Ancient warrior's tomb and huge treasure hoard found in Greece

Yahoo – AFP, October 26, 2015

An undated picture released on October 26, 2105 by the Greek Culture Ministry
 shows an ivory comb, one of the items found in a 3,500 years old warrior tomb 
unearthed in the Peloponeese region of Greece (AFP Photo)

Athens (AFP) - US archaeologists in Greece have uncovered the skeleton of an ancient warrior that has lain undisturbed for more than 3,500 years along with a huge hoard of treasure, the Greek culture ministry announced Monday.

The treasure is "the most important to have been discovered in 65 years" in continental Greece, the ministry said.

The wooden coffin of the unknown soldier -- evidently a person of some importance -- was found on the site of the Mycenaean-era Palace of Nestor on Greece's Peloponnese peninsula.

He had been laid to rest with an array of fine gold jewellery, including an ornate string of pearls, signet rings, a bronze sword with a gold and ivory handle, silver vases and ivory combs.

The jewellery is decorated in the style of the Minoans, the civilisation that flourished on the island of Crete from around 2000 BC, with the figures of deities, animals and floral motifs.

The archaeologists, Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker from the University of Cincinnati, have identified more than 1,400 pieces "whose quality testifies to the influence of the Minoans" on the later Mycenaeans.

The Mycenean civilisation spread from the Peloponnese across the whole of the eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd century BC.

The tomb, which stands at 2.4 metres (7 feet 10 inches) long and 1.5 metres wide, was unearthed during excavations begun in May near Pylos, on the site of the palace of Nestor.

Built between 1300 and 1200 BC, the palace's ruins were discovered in 1939.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Seaweed farming opens doors to new energy source

DutchNews, October 26, 2015

Seaweed grown in the North Sea will be able to provide as much sustainable energy as wind turbines by 2020, according to the Dutch energy research centre ECN.

The European-funded AT Sea project is developing textiles and systems for seaweed cultivation which it hopes will lead to large scale cultivation and harvesting in the open sea. The seaweed will then be used by the biotech, food and biomass industries. 

According to the ECN in Monday’s Volkskrant, tests in Norway, Scotland and Ireland show that seaweed can be grown and harvested efficiently, which opens the way for production on a massive scale. 

However, although the techniques are successful, there is still a long way to go, Groningen University researcher André Faaij  told the Volkskrant. In particular, food for the seaweed will pose a problem, Faaij, who is not involved with the research, said. 

The availability of foodstuffs will decline quickly during mass production, Faaij said. ‘Monitoring disease is also an issue during mass production, as it has been with intensive salmon farming,’ he pointed out.

Related Article:

Thursday, October 22, 2015

China hosts US military visit to aircraft carrier Liaoning

A US naval delegation has paid an official visit to Beijing's lone aircraft carrier, Chinese media sources say. The move comes as tension ratchets up between the two regional powers.

Deutsche Welle, 21 Oct 2015

China hosted the US Navy representatives earlier this week, the country's media reported on Wednesday, amid growing concern that territorial disputes in the South China Sea are leading Beijing and Washington toward conflict.

The 27-member delegation boarded the Liaoning, China's largest warship, on Monday to discuss with Chinese officials such topics as personnel training, medical support and strategies in aircraft carrier development, the Chinese navy's official blog reported.

The following day, US officials visited the navy's submarine academy.

Provocative moves

The visit comes amid heightened tension between Beijing and Washington after a series of aggressive steps taken by China to assert its authority in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month, China announced it had built two lighthouses on the contested Huayang Reef, which is also claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam and other countries. Beijing lays claim to most of the South China Sea, something that has been repeatedly denied by Washington and its allies in the region.

The US government has called on China to halt its construction in the region and recently said it might sail its Navy ships in the vicinity of China's man-made islands, a provocative move from Beijing's point of view.

Easing tensions

The official trip earlier this week has been interpreted as an attempt by both sides to ease tensions and increase military transparency.

An editorial in China's state-sanctioned Global Times newspaper, for example, said the visit increased mutual understanding and trust while also displaying China's military confidence.

The Liaoning, a refitted former Soviet aircraft carrier, has come to be seen by many as a symbol for China's increasing military might. Former US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel participated in Washington's first official visit to the carrier in 2014.

blc/mz (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Funding found to build world’s biggest sea lock at IJmuiden

DutchNews, October 20, 2015

Funding has been completed to build what is being billed as the world’s biggest sea lock complex at IJmuiden. 

The current system, used by ships heading up the North Sea canal to Amsterdam, dates from 1929 and the new lock will allow bigger freight and cruise ships to reach the Dutch capital, its supporters say. 

The new lock will be 70 metres wide, 500 metres long and 18 metres deep and should be completed by 2019. This means it is just two metres wider than the sea lock at Antwerp port, the Parool says on Tuesday afternoon. 

The contract for the construction and maintenance is valued at around €500m. The tender process was won in July by a consortium made up of BAM-PGGM, VolkerWessels and investment group DIF. The European Investment Bank has also lent money to the project.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Vast Antarctic marine reserves in focus at Australia talks

Yahoo – AFP, 19 Oct 2015

Environmentalists say the Southern Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique
species, including penguins, whales and colossal squid (AFP Photo/Vanderlei Almeida)

Campaigners Monday urged global leaders to put aside differences and create two vast Antarctic marine sanctuaries to protect one of the world's last untouched wildernesses and a unique array of species including whales and giant squid.

The fate of the plans to shield critical areas of ocean around the frozen continent is in the hands of the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR), which opened its annual meeting in Hobart.

CCAMLR is a 25-member body tasked with overseeing conservation and sustainable exploitation of the Antarctic Ocean, also known as the Southern Ocean.

The talks run until October 30, with both an Australian-backed East Antarctic scheme and a US-New Zealand bid for a protected zone in the Ross Sea blocked four times so far due to a lack of consensus among the 24 member countries and the European Union.

“Antarctica is one of the world’s last untouched wildernesses and is critical for scientific research, both for studying how intact marine ecosystems function and for monitoring the impacts of climate change," said Maritza Schaefer, Greenpeace International’s global campaign leader for oceans.

A 25-member body tasked with overseeing conservation of the Antarctic Ocean
 will revisit plans to protect critical areas around the frozen continent (AFP Photo/
Australian Antarctic Division)

"Fully protected marine reserves are the single most powerful tool that CCAMLR has for fulfilling its mandate and protecting the astounding array of Antarctica’s marine life and enabling the Southern Ocean ecosystem to best withstand the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.”

Environmentalists say the Southern Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique species, including penguins, whales, seals and colossal squid, as well as being a region critical for scientific research.

Mark Epstein, executive director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition, added that "CCAMLR promised that this protection would come by 2012, yet the process has been stalled for the last four meetings".

"Global leaders -- many of whom are CCAMLR members -- have a responsibility to take action now, ensuring these marine protected areas come into force at this meeting," he said.

Australia, France and the European Union first put forward a bid for a 1.9 million square kilometre (760,000 square mile) Marine Protected Area encompassing seven stretches of the pristine continent in 2011.

But it was again knocked back last year with Russia and China citing geo-political issues and concerns about its size.

Compromises have been made with the current proposal for a 1.0 million square kilometre zone over four areas with some fishing and research allowed as long as conservation values are met.

Campaigners say two vast marine sanctuaries proposed for Antarctica are imperative
to protect one of the world's last untouched wildernesses (AFP Photo/Josh Landis)

Set aside differences

The Ross Sea plan has also been scaled down, to 1.25 million square kilometres, with 1.14 million square kilometres proposed as a "no take" zone in an area often referred to as the "Last Ocean" due to its pristine condition.

Both of them must win the support of all 25 members of CCAMLR to succeed.

Australian Antarctic Division director Nick Gales, who is leading Australia’s delegation, said ensuring the impacts of climate change were factored in to CCAMLR management decisions would also be a priority issue.

"Australia will be joined by Norway in proposing the establishment of a climate change focused group to provide information, advice and recommendations on how best to integrate climate change considerations into the work of the commission,” he said.

Another key area of discussion includes the effective and sustainable management of fishing krill, a cornerstone of the Antarctic eco-system and the staple diet of many animals, including seals, whales, fish, squid, penguins and other seabirds.

“While current harvests are well below the total allowable catch set by CCAMLR, demands on the fishery are expanding as krill is increasingly recognised as a valuable resource in medical products and supplements, and as fish meal,” said Gales.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Australia doctors demand children be freed from immigration detention

Yahoo – AFP, Martin Parry, 12 Oct 2015

A woman holds a banner at a rally in support of refugees and asylum seekers,
in Sydney, on October 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Peter Parks)

Australian doctors on Monday ramped up pressure on the government over its hardline policy on asylum-seekers, saying children they treat from immigration centres should not be returned to detention where conditions could harm them.

Thousands of Australians rallied over the weekend urging Pacific island detention camps be shut, and medical professionals at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne are reportedly refusing to discharge asylum-seeker patients if they are to be locked up again.

The stance was backed by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP).

Ethnic Syrians attend a rally in support of
 refugees and asylum seekers, in Sydney, on
October 11, 2015 (AFP Photo/Peter Parks)
AMA president Brain Owler said children behind bars suffered psychologically and doctors faced an ethical dilemma.

"Doctors are put in a very difficult position," he told national radio.

"If we had a child that comes into our hospital that we feared if sending them back to an environment which we felt was going to be harmful, where they were at risk of abuse, we would be negligent if we sent them back to that environment.

"And that is what the doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital are saying. We cannot send children back to an environment where they're going to be harmed."

RACP president Nick Talley added in a statement that "time and again, the Australian public has seen inquiries and heard excuses for the wrongs committed against children inside these detention centres".

"The health and well-being of children should never be open to compromise. No child should be held in detention," he said.

All asylum-seekers coming by boat to Australia are now sent to camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru and ultimately denied resettlement in Australia even if they are found to be genuine refugees.

Although the tough policy, which also includes turning back boats, has stopped frequent drownings, human rights organisations have slammed the prolonged detention, particularly of children, as a breach of Australia's legal obligations.

Canberra has also been accused of drawing a veil of secrecy over its treatment of asylum-seekers with new laws introduced this year criminalising the disclosure of information about boatpeople in its care, including by doctors.

Harsh policy

Owler estimated some 200 children were being held, about half in Australia and the rest offshore. Government figures recently said 86 children were on Nauru.

Distressed about the welfare of dozens of patients brought to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne while in immigration detention, staff on Sunday penned an emotive opinion piece for the Herald Sun newspaper.

A demonstrator (L) representing the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association, 
seen at a rally in support of refugees and asylum seekers, in Sydney, on October 11,
2015 (AFP Photo/Peter Parks)

"As health staff at a leading children's hospital, our duty is to support child health. We cannot accept or condone harm to children. Detention causes harm and it must end," it said.

"We call for moral leadership on this issue to find a solution, quickly -- to use alternatives to detention and to stop the harm."

The numbers of children in immigration detention peaked at 1,992 in mid-2013 under the former Labor administration, but they have been significantly reduced since the conservative government was elected in September that year.

Since ousting Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party and the government last month, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has admitted to concerns about the Pacific camps. But he has given no indication of immediate policy changes.

"Nobody wants to have children in detention ... we have been working very hard to reduce those numbers," he told parliament Monday, while advocating a tough asylum-seeker policy as a necessary deterrent.

"We recognise that our border protection policy is tough, we recognise many would see it as harsh. But it has been proven to be the only way to stop those deaths at sea and to ensure that our sovereignty and our borders are safe."

Saturday, October 10, 2015

UN Security Council approves EU anti-trafficking mission

The UN Security Council has passed a resolution allowing EU naval forces to intercept and seize vessels smuggling refugees on high seas. The migrants should be treated with "humanity and dignity," the document says.

Deutsche Welle, 9 Oct 2015

The resolution, which the council approved on Friday, can be militarily enforced under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

By approving the British-drafted document, Security Council provided international backing for the EU initiative to stem the flow of refugees from Libya to the European coast.

Earlier this week, EU-members sent several warships to international waters off the coast of Libya with orders to board and search smuggler's boats, arrest human trafficking suspects and transport any migrants to Europe.

The resolution provides UN authorization for one year and asks for the refugees found on the ships to be "treated with humanity and dignity."

Hope for Libya

British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft welcomed Friday's decision, saying that smugglers must not be allowed to "profit from others' despair."

"Action against smugglers on the high sea won't solve this crisis alone," he said. "But it will send a message that people cannot profit from this evil trade with impunity. It will save lives."

The original draft of the resolution would also allow the EU forces to sink smugglers vessels after seizing them. The final document, however, says that action on disposal must be taken "with due consideration of the interests of any third parties who have acted in good faith."

The EU also initially wanted a naval operation in Libyan territorial waters and along its coast, but Libya objected.

The north African country is only beginning to overcome a power struggle between two governments, making political action difficult and leaving a power vacuum used by the smugglers.

Venezuela express doubts

Despite initial doubts from Russia and several African countries on the Security Council, the resolution passed with 14 votes in favor.

Venezuela abstaining from the vote, with its UN ambassador, Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno, stating that the humanitarian crisis should not be solved by military action.

"The resolution that has been adopted authorizing use of force in our opinion is a disproportionate action, which sets a dangerous precedent for the treatment of this topic in the future," he said.

While the EU naval mission aims to curbing the influx of migrants coming across Libya, it does not apply to the so-called Balkan route, where refugees sail from Turkey to Greece.

dj/sms (dpa, Reuters, AP, AFP)

Related Article:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dutch create world's largest man-made wave

Yahoo – AFP, Nicolas Delaunay, 6 Oct 2015

An image made available by Deltares on October 5, 2015, shows the world's
biggest man-made wave machine under construction in Delft in 2015 (AFP Photo)

Delft (Netherlands) (AFP) - In a country where most people live below sea level, studying the oceans is a matter of survival. Now Dutch scientists have created the world's biggest man-made wave in a bid to prepare for the worst.

"Here we can test what happens if enormous waves hit our dykes," said Dutch Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen as she inaugurated the giant wave machine Monday in the city of Delft.

Dubbed the "Delta Flume," the machine, which took three years to build at the Deltares institute, can send waves as high as five metres (15 feet) crashing down a 300-metre long channel which is some 9 and a half metres deep.

"At the end of the long channel we have a wave maker, and that's basically a vertical wall that moves back and forth, and it can make very large waves," explained Bas Hofland, an expert in coastal defences working on the project.

Four powerful pistons behind the seven-metre high metal plaque push the water -- some nine million litres or four times the capacity of an Olympic-size swimming pool -- at the speed of 1,000 litres a second down the channel.

The aim of the 26-million euro ($29-million) project is to simulate the power of the oceans, and recreate tsunami conditions to help build better, stronger flood defences.

The Netherlands is a country where half the population lives below sea level on reclaimed land.

"Safety against floods is one of the main issues here in the Netherlands, so we want to test the dykes and the dunes," Hofland told AFP.

"It is not possible to make it at a small scale, so we must have real life-scale dikes and dunes."

Surf's up

After a centuries-long battle with the oceans, the Netherlands has dubbed itself the "safest delta in the world" thanks to a unique network of dykes and dunes stretching over thousands of kilometres, which literally hold back the tides.

One of them, known as the Oosterscheldekering (or Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier), stretches across nine kilometres (five miles) to the south of the country.

It is made up of 64 gates, each about 42 metres wide, which can be closed during stormy weather to hold back rising waters.

"The water and its logistics are those sectors for which the Netherlands is known around the world," Schultz van Haegen said, who saw for herself the full force of the machine when she was drenched by one of the waves.

And it's not just those working in coastal defences who have been drawn to the gigantic project in Delft.

The team at the Deltares institute have also been flooded by requests from surfers, keen to try out the power of the wave.