Australia

McKesson Asia-Pacific, a subsidiary of US multinational medical services operator McKesson Corporation, landed a $176 million government contract to provide an all-hours national health telephone triage system called Healthdirect Australia. It began taking calls in New South Wales in August.

A group of international peace activists blacklisted and deported from Israel were the organising force behind the August 23 breaking of the Gaza blockade by two activist boats.

In the lead-up to the release of a report from the federal government’s review into the Northern Territory intervention, the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association has blasted the policy. AIDA describes it as discriminatory, damaging to people’s health and completely unable to alter conditions of child abuse or neglect in remote Aboriginal communities.

Fifty ambulance officers and paramedics campaigning for more staff and better conditions bailed up Victorian health minister Daniel Andrews as he visited Geelong on September 19.

As I write this column the newspapers report that United States, Canadian, European and Japanese banks have combined to inject an extra US$180 billion (A$225 billion) into global financial markets. It is the latest desperate measure to try to stem the year-old global financial crisis commonly — and misleadingly — labelled the US subprime mortgage crisis.

People power came to Gunnedah in north-west NSW on September 15 as more than 300 farmers and their supporters rallied outside the Gunnedah Basin Coal Conference. They were protesting against a coalmining project in the agriculturally rich Liverpool Plains that was given state government approval in 2006.

Beauty myth

I am writing in response to Pam Rankin's questions (Write On #767) regarding the way women dress and treat their bodies. To find the answer to who "forces" Western women to wax, pluck, chemical peal and worse, we don't have to look

The Macquarie Dictionary defines plutocracy as “the rule or power of wealth or of the wealthy”. With the accession of Malcolm Turnbull, the richest person in parliament, to the leadership of the Liberal Party, this definition would seem to provide a pretty good description of Australian “democracy” also.

In the room are a chemical engineer from a large mining/energy corporation, a solar energy engineer, a psychiatrist, a veterinarian, an artist and a construction worker. Also present are an ex-Labor Party activist, a Greens candidate in the 2007 election and a socialist student. Where do you find all these people, and more besides, in one room working for the one cause? At a meeting of Melbourne’s Climate Emergency Network (CEN).

Everyone remembers the tropical storm that swept through Northern Queensland in 2006, destroying that year’s banana production, flattening houses and creating widespread misery. Now imagine if that hurricane had:

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