Good news (for a change)

Issue 
Ranger uranium mine.

ISRAEL BOYCOTT IS WORKING

There is a reason why the Israeli government and pro-Israel organisations use everything from slander to vexatious litigation to oppose the global campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The campaign is working.

The June 12 Financial Times reported: “This week an Israeli financial newspaper covered a leaked government report estimating that BDS could cost Israel’s economy $1.4bn a year.

"The estimate included lower exports from the settlements in keeping with the EU’s plans to begin labelling goods made there — not part of the BDS movement, although many Israelis lump the two things together. The Rand Corporation, the US think-tank, says the costs could be more than three times higher: $47bn over 10 years.”

MEXICAN SUPREME COURT RULES FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY

On June 3, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that any state law restricting marriage to heterosexuals is discriminatory, and therefore unconstitutional.

The Mexico City Federal District instituted marriage equality in 2009 and the State of Coahuila followed in September last year. In the other 30 Mexican states marriage is legally restricted to being between a man and a woman. However, Mexican courts have increasingly ruled in favour of non-heterosexual couples who have challenged these state laws.

“There is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman. Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression,” the June 3 Supreme Court ruling said, effectively making discriminatory state laws unenforceable.

Not everyone is happy with ruling. Pink News reported on June 17 that some conservative religious leaders had conducted an exorcism on the entire country because, in the words of exorcist Father José Antonio Fortea, “legalisation of sexual aberrations has caused great satanic infestation throughout Mexico”.

COMPANY SHELVES UNDERGROUND URANIUM MINE

On June 11, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) announced that it would not be proceeding with a proposed underground uranium mine on the site of its now-exhausted Ranger open cut uranium mines.

The company, whose major shareholder is multinational Rio Tinto, cited market reasons for the decision. Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power station catastrophe in Japan, there has been a global fall in demand for uranium.

The decision was welcomed by the Mirarr Traditional Owners and the Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation, who fought a long struggle in the late 1990s to prevent ERA opening a new open cut uranium mine at nearby Jabiluka.

Both the Ranger and Jabiluka sites lie inside the Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Area, but both sites are excised from the national park. ERA is legally obligated to rehabilitate the sites of its open cut mines. However, the company had previously tied funding of this rehabilitation to profits from the proposed underground mine.

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