Australia

In minutes released of its February 17 board meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia flags that its cuts to official interest rates may slow. It seems that the financial gurus at the RBA are unhappy that their cuts to interest rates (passed on only in part by the banks to home-buyers, and even less to credit-card debtors), have failed to stimulate enough spending.
Resistance members set up an ‘Israeli military checkpoint’ outside Flinders Street train station to call on the state government to not renew Connex’s contract to run Melbourne’s train system.
Warrick Jordan is a member of the Huon Valley Environment Centre in Tasmania and is one of the Triabunna 13 (13 forest activists being sued by logging giant Gunns' Ltd). Jordan spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Susan Austin about his activities and the relationship between forests and climate change.
Federal Labor’s proposed internet filtering policy is an attack on freedom of speech and needs to be stopped.
The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) was set up a year ago to review the Australian health system. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s pre-election promise — “to end the blame game between Canberra and the states when it comes to health and hospitals” — merely registered the obvious fact that the hospital system is in crisis.
The following statement is by Yingiya Guyula, a Yolngu man from North East Arnhem Land. His family is based in Millinginbi and Gapuwiyak.
Flag raising ceremonies will mark the 33rd anniversary of the Saharawi Republic in most states for the first time in Australia, as a gesture of solidarity and friendship with the people of Western Sahara.
The federal government’s $42 billion Nation Building and Jobs Plan stimulus package passed the senate on February 13 with the support of the Greens, Family First Senator Steve Fielding and independent Nick Xenophon.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on February 18 showed that retail sales increased by 0.8% (seasonally adjusted) in the December quarter.
The key United Nations report used as the basis for climate change policies in many countries, including Australia, seriously underestimated the dangers of global warming, one of its leading compilers has warned.

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