Good news (for a change)

February 27, 2015

Tasmania bans fracking for five years

The Tasmanian Liberal government will extend the ban on gas fracking until 2020 the minister for primary industries Jeremy Rockliff said on February 26. He said the ban was needed to protect the $1 billion a year agriculture industry and “protect Tasmania's reputation for producing fresh, premium and safe produce.” The move has been backed by the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers' Association, Dairy Australia and Wine Tasmania as well as the Greens.


A radical candidate has forced a runoff election for the position of Chicago mayor after Rahm Emanuel, the former chief of staff to US president Barack Obama, failed to reach the threshold required. Jesus Garcia, who is supported by the Chicago Teachers Union, came second in the elections on February 24. He is running on a platform of reversing school closures, funding public transport, and supporting women's rights and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.


Four women have won a lawsuit against the Israeli city of Beit Shemesh for refusing to take down signs that told female pedestrians to dress modestly. The women argued that the signs created an atmosphere of hostility towards women and said they had been threatened with violence over the way they were dressed. The billboard said: "Dire Warning: It is forbidden to walk on our streets in immodest dress, including slutty clothing worn in a religious style.


Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has announced he will take a pay cut in order for the country to fund better health services for pregnant women.
TeleSUR English reported the president and other public servants earning more than US$6000 a month would have their salary reduced by 5% to 10% to “help finance the hiring of 2187 medical professionals and programs to combat maternal mortality”.
This would free up US$21 million which will be enough to build 17 health clinics around the country which would focus on providing healthcare for women in an attempt to lower the rate of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth from treatable conditions.

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