Australian anti-refugee policies criticized


This video says about itself:

Report: Severe abuse of Australia’s asylum seekers in Nauru

2 August 2016

CORRECTION: 04/08/2016: This report states that Amnesty International and HRW were granted rare access to processing facilities in Nauru. In actual fact, while the groups were on the island, they were not granted access to processing facilities.

A new joint report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International has found evidence of severe abuse towards hundreds of people seeking asylum in Australia.

The men, women, and children who were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru to have their asylum claims processed, said they have suffered inhumane treatment and neglect.

Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Australia: Oz island refugee camps cruel in the extreme

Thursday 4th August 2016

AUSTRALIA was accused by human rights groups yesterday of deliberately ignoring the abuse of asylum-seekers held at the remote Nauru detention facility in the Pacific to deter future refugees.

A scathing joint report by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said that detainees on the island, where Australia sends asylum-seekers, are routinely denied critical medical care, frequently attempt suicide and endure physical assaults by locals.

Australia’s policy of exiling asylum-seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” said Amnesty International senior research director Anna Neistat.

“Few other countries go to such lengths to deliberately inflict suffering on people seeking safety and freedom.”

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection criticised the two groups for not consulting the government while preparing the report and said it “strongly refutes many of the allegations.”

The department did not, however, respond to a request about exactly what it was refuting.

Australia refuses to accept any asylum-seekers who attempt to reach its shores by boat, preferring to pay Nauru and Papua New Guinea to hold them, often for years.

Reports of abuse, miserably hot and crowded living conditions and frequent suicide attempts at the detention camps have circulated for years.

Human rights groups have consistently called on Australia to abandon its offshore detention policy, calling the practice a violation of the country’s international human rights obligations.

A report published this week by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch further exposes the deliberate violation of the human, democratic and legal rights of about 1,200 men, women, and children who have been detained on the remote Pacific island of Nauru for more than three years after seeking asylum in Australia: here.

Australians protest against prison child abuse


This video says about itself:

AUSTRALIA’S SHAME: The brutalisation of children behind bars | Four Corners

Monday 25 July 2016 – It almost defies belief but right here in Australia there is a prison system that locks up 10 year olds and places children as young as thirteen in solitary confinement.

“This is barbarism, this is inhumane, this is child abuse.” Lawyer

Children have been confined to an isolation wing with no access to sunlight or running water.

“Those cells were ghoulish, they were something medieval.” Lawyer

Some held for weeks on end, deprived of basic necessities.

“We all sort of looked at each other in shock… there were signs of life in there but we didn’t know who was in there or what was happening, or how long they’d been there.” Lawyer

Deprived of hope.

“What’s going on with children in detention here is a deliberate, punitive, cruel policy.” Lawyer

On Monday night Four Corners reveals the shocking truth about the treatment of children behind bars, where young offenders have been stripped naked, assaulted and tear gassed.

“They had absolutely nowhere to run…Those children were afraid for their lives.” Children’s Advocate

Held by a system that seems bent on breaking children instead of reforming them.

“If I treated my children like that, the authorities would take my children from me quite properly because I would be behaving cruelly to them.” Lawyer

This confronting investigation will send shock waves around Australia.

Australia’s Shame, reported by Caro Meldrum-Hanna and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 25th July at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 26th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 27th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.

Don Dale Youth Detention Centre

This video says about itself:

UN Human Rights High Commission Condemns Australia Youth Prison Abuse

30 July 2016

Demonstrators gather outside Sydney’s Town Hall to protest against alleged child abuse. (Reuters)

USA: The end of boot camp prisons (yes, those are a thing).

Baby birds learn while still in the egg


This video from Australia is about superb fairywrens.

From the Cornell Lab of ornithology in the USA:

Baby Birds Learn Calls From Their Mothers While Still in the Egg

It turns out humans aren’t the only species that can hear sounds before birth. New studies from Australia find that some mother fairywrens call softly to their eggs. The chicks not only hear their mothers, they actually begin learning parts of her calls while still inside the egg. The calls may later serve as a sort of family password once the birds hatch. Read the story and listen to the calls.

Seven new peacock spider species discovered in Australia


This video says about itself:

2 May 2016

Maratus splendens, a species of peacock spider that can be found in moister habitats in the southeast corner of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria) but has been reported also from Western Australia.

This spider was named in 1896 but no further individuals were noted in the literature until I rediscovered this species in 2009 and David Hill and I reported on it in Peckhamia 89.1. As far as I am aware this is the only footage ever published of this spider.

Maratus splendens is one of the smaller species of Maratus, about 3 mm in length. Its “target” pattern is similar to that of Maratus pavonis, but both species can be easily distinguished. The most conspicuous difference is the presence of a silvery black area on the “head” in Maratus splendens which Maratus pavonis lacks.

For still images of this spider, including some that show its size, see my flickr collection.

Music credit: birds, crickets and frogs of the Sydney suburb of St. Ives.

If you want to learn more about peacock spiders I have bad news, there is no book about them. However, you may find my facebook page sufficiently interesting and entertaining.

Otto, J. C. and D. E. Hill. 2016. Seven new peacock spiders from Western Australia and South Australia (Araneae: Salticidae: Euophryini: Maratus). Peckhamia 141.1: 1-101: here.

Tiny structures give a peacock spider its radiant rump. Pigments produce reds and creamy yellows, while nanostructures reflect blue hues: here.

Kangaroos on video


This 4 June 2016 video shows kangaroos in Australia.

Which animals kill humans?


Lethal animals

Which animals kill humans? This picture proves once the absurdity of governmental shark-killing campaigns like in Australia.