Australia

After the Australian Jewish News decided on March 11 to pull a paid advertisement for the upcoming lecture tour by Professor Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the Emanuel Synagogue, which had agreed to have Halper speak to a class of 12 people, suddenly withdrew its invitation.

A protest was held outside Rio Tinto’s Melbourne offices on March 13 to launch a campaign against multinationals investing in Colombia. Rio Tinto has several exploration projects in Colombia and it plans to start mining next year.

On March 12, the maintenance crew from Foster’s Brewery, sacked by the company in February, set up a protest outside their old workplace in Abbotsford, Melbourne.

The Australian Financial Review doesn’t mince words, nor does it try to conceal reality from its readership.

A debate is underway in the Australian Greens about how the party should respond to the Rudd government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

On the same day — March 12 — that PM Kevin Rudd was talking turkey (or literally: wheat) with Iraq’s puppet prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, Muntadhar al Zaidi, who became famous after throwing shoes at US President George Bush, was sentenced to three years’ jail.

Except for a two-year blip from 1996 to 1998, the Australian Labor Party has ruled Queensland for the past 20 years. Following 32 years of successive conservative coalition governments, Labor was elected in a landslide in 1989.

Peter Marshall is the national secretary of the United Firefighters Union of Australia, which represents 13,000 firefighters working across the country. In the wake of the recent bushfire crisis in Victoria, he spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Katherine Bradstreet on the current debates surrounding the connection between bushfires, climate change, and the environmental movement.

The economic outlook for working people is becoming even bleaker.

US imperialism’s war of terror and solidarity with Palestine will be big features of the World at a Crossroads conference to be held in Sydney from April 10-12.

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