Friday, July 22, 2011

Australia and Malaysia 'to sign deal on asylum seekers'

A deal to send 800 asylum seekers in Australia to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 refugees is to be signed on Monday, a Malaysian official has said.

The home ministry official said the one-off exchange of boat people would be formally agreed in Kuala Lumpur.

Many refugee claimants held at Australia's Christmas Island detention centre have expressed frustration at long delays and overcrowding.

Inmates have held a third night of violent protests there, police say.

A spokesman for Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said of the deal: "It's close, we will be able to say more in coming days."
Shallow graves

The UN has previously criticised Australia for holding all asylum seekers while their applications are assessed.

The migrants are held for months at the Christmas Island centre, about 1,500 miles (2,400km) from the Australian mainland, and in other facilities.Malaysia is home to tens of thousands of illegal migrants and is not a signatory to UN conventions on refugees.

Australia currently has more than 6,000 asylum seekers in detention, originating from countries including Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Last year, more than 25,600 refugees registered with the UNHCR in Malaysia to seek asylum, the highest among all countries where the refugee agency has offices.

Meanwhile, immigration officials said there had been "another significant incident" at the Christmas Island centre overnight involving up to 100 detainees.

"The detainees used improvised weapons and lit a number of fires in a number of locations within the centre," a police spokeswoman told AFP.

Refugee advocate groups said some detainees lay in shallow graves to symbolise their desperation.

"Asylum seekers in the Green compound have dug shallow graves in the courtyard of their compound," said refugee advocate Ian Rintoul, who keeps in regular telephone contact with detainees at the centre.

"Some asylum seekers have already staged mock burials and buried themselves up to their necks in a symbolic protest that detention is killing their bodies and their minds," he said.

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Sexy Korean Girl Hwang Mi Hee

Sexy Korean Girl Hwang Mi Hee

Sexy Korean Girl Hwang Mi Hee

Norway: Blast near prime minister's office in Oslo

A large explosion has hit near government headquarters in the Norwegian capital Oslo.

The blast is thought to have caused damage to the offices of Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and a number of other official buildings.

Witnesses have said several people were injured in the incident in the centre of the city.

There are reports of windows being shattered and smoke drifting in the streets.

Norway 'al-Qaeda' bomb plot: Three arrested in Oslo

Three people have been arrested in Norway on suspicion of preparing terrorist attacks.

Unnamed Norwegian and US officials told the Associated Press that the men were members of al-Qaeda and had been under surveillance for a year.

They said it was not clear whether the men had selected a target, but they were attempting to make peroxide bombs.

The BBC's security correspondent says Norway may have been targeted because it has troops in Afghanistan.

"The Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has today, July 8, 2010, arrested three people suspected of preparing acts of terror," the PST said in a statement on its website.

Prosecutors say the Norwegian case is linked to foiled bomb plots in New York and the English city of Manchester.
Twin plots

On Wednesday, US prosecutors charged five men in New York over a plot to bomb the underground system. The plot was foiled in September.

The New York plot also involved peroxide bombs, prosecutors said. One man, Najibullah Zazi, has already pleaded guilty.

"The charges reveal that the plot... was directed by senior al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

One of those charged in New York is Abid Naseer, 24, born in Pakistan and arrested in the north-east of England on Wednesday. The US is now seeking his extradition.

Mr Naseer was remanded in custody by a court in the UK on Wednesday night.

The former construction site worker is suspected of being the ringleader of a plot, thwarted in April 2009, to bomb targets in Manchester city centre

A bid to put him on trial in Britain was aborted last year and his deportation was blocked when a judge said Mr Naseer could face torture in Pakistan.

Mohamed bin Hammam aims to clear name at Fifa hearing

Suspended former Fifa presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam begins his attempt to clear his name of bribery allegations on Friday.

Fifa's ethics committee has started a two-day hearing to rule on claims the Qatari tried to bribe Caribbean delegates to vote for him as president.

Bin Hammam pulled out of the race in the wake of the allegations and was provisionally suspended on 29 May.

He has promised to provide "convincing evidence" to prove his innocence.

"There has been a campaign waged within certain quarters," he wrote in a blog.

"Why was the Fifa ethics committee in such a hurry to suspend me before the Fifa election took place and then begin to search for evidence to find if I am guilty or not?" he added.

"Why have I not been treated in a similar way to others who, according to the Ethics Committee, received inducements?"

Bin Hammam and former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner were suspended when a leaked report revealed four Caribbean Football Union (CFU) associations were either offered money, or saw the offence occur, during a meeting in May.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Economic adviser" to Obama charged with forgery in Cambodia

Ray Dam (C) and Suos Saroeun (R) (Photo: The Phnom Penh Post)
Dec 23, 2010

Phnom Penh - Police in Cambodia arrested a man claiming to be an adviser to US President Barack Obama and head of an international finance organization that stores its assets in caves and sunken ships.

Ray Dam and associate Soush Saroeun were charged with forgery Monday after being arrested at Dam's home in Phnom Penh. They were accused of forging documents alleging connections with HSBC Bank, the US government and the United Nations.

The pair had been operating a self-described international real-estate consultancy known as Asia Real Property out of modern offices in the Cambodian capital.

Asia Real Property's promotional materials identified the firm as a subsidiary of a group called the Office of International Treasury Control that claimed to be 'the largest single owner of gold and platinum bullion in the world,' holding cash and treasure in a variety of clandestine locations.

'Much of the treasure is buried in tunnels, bunkers and caves and in sunken ships,' the group said in an investment presentation. 'Further treasures are hidden all around the world.'

Dam is identified on the group's website as the 'sole arbiter ... of the Tripartite Gold Commission,' which was a post-World War II organization that searched for gold stolen by Nazi Germany and was dissolved in 1998. The website also said Dam was an adviser to Obama and his predecessor George W Bush.

Police said Dam and Saroeun had been advertising financial services to foreign joint venture partners in company documents claiming a connection to HSBC Bank. If convicted, they face a maximum of 16 years in prison.

According to an investigation report from police, Dam was born in Cambodia, fleeing the country for the US in the 1970s before returning in the early '90s. US embassy officials said they had been unable to confirm whether he holds US citizenship.

Officials from Cambodia's Ministry of Finance lodged a complaint against Dam and Saroeun after learning that the pair were operating without a real-estate licence. A government spokesman said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered an investigation after learning that Dam had been posing as an adviser to the president of Cambodia's Senate

Lakeside deadline looms [-How would Kep Chuktema like to be offered 5 million riels ($1,250) to be evicted from his house?]

Residents of Village 23 on the edge of Boeung Kak lake dismantle their homes yesterday to make way for a controversial lakeside development. (Photo by: Pha Lina)
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Chhay Channyda
The Phnom Penh Post

Tuol Kork district authorities have given 18 families living in Boeung Kak lake’s Village 23 one week to dismantle their houses, accept compensation and relocate to Dangkor district.

Affected residents say their homes, which lie in the path of a planned access road to the controversial Boeung Kak lake development, will be bulldozed if they fail to meet the deadline.

Resident Ou Norleak, 38, said on Thursday that in a Wednesday meeting between deputy district governor Pich Keo Mony and the families, authorities said they will take drastic measures against those who resist.

“We can’t accept this because we have lived here for years,” Ou Norleak said. “Please Samdech Hun Sen, help your children. We will not be able to build a new house with this compensation.”

Huy Sokhon, another resident from Village 23, described the authorities’ actions as “dictatorship”.

In October, district governor Seng Ratanak told the families to remove their homes and accept a land plot in Dangkor district and 1 million riels (US$250), to make way for the widening of the access road R8 by developer Shukaku Inc.

Ek Yoeun, an official at the Tuol Kork district office, said Thursday that he did not join the meeting, but claimed the authorities had increased the compensation payout to 5 million riels ($1,250), up from the previous offer of 1 million.

“I heard some people asked for $50,000. The government’s policy is only to give a land plot in Kork Ksach village [in Dangkor district] and a small amount of money,” he said.