Australia

PERTH: Thirty people rallied against a proposed new gas plant on July 10 outside the Perth Offices of Chevron and Shell. The protest was organised by the Wilderness Society. The two companies are considering joining a proposed joint venture development with fellow-fossil fuel companies Woodside, BHP Billiton and BP for a gas processing (LNG) industrial hub at James Price Point, 50 km north of Broome, in the Kimberly.

June 28 was the anniversary of the two bookends of World War I, in which it is estimated more than 15 million people died. On that date in 1914, Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. Five years later, in 1919, 90 years ago this year, the Versailles Treaty was signed in Paris.

The July 14 Age reported on unoccupied “ghost mansions” in the well-heeled Melbourne suburb of Toorak. These million-dollar houses have been bought by wealthy landowners and left unoccupied – in some cases for decades.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent the open letter below to Melbourne International Film Festival on July 5.

About 5000 people turned out for the government-organised Harmony Day march through Melbourne on July 12.

July 7 proved to be an excellent day for the Australian business community. Citing the economic downturn as a key factor in his decision, Fair Pay Commissioner Ian Harper announced that there will be no increase the minimum wage.

On July 4, 30 people gathered at Victoria Quay for a vigil against the presence of two nuclear- armed and powered US Navy vessels. The action, Called by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group, was entirely peaceful — except for the extraordinary decision by the police to arrest and charge veteran anti-nuclear campaigner Jo Vallentine.

The Tamil Freedom Struggle in Sri LankaBy Chris Slee, Dr Brian Senewiratne & Vickramabahu KarunarathneResistance Books, 2009 38 pages, $5 (pb)Available from

In his notorious Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler explained the political device of the big lie:

Michael Jackson died a lonely death on June 25. Since then, there has been a near continuous outpouring of grief by millions of fans around the world.

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