Australia

Comedian Rod Quantock launches his new show, Bugger the Polar Bears, This is Serious, in Melbourne on July 21. He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Jay Fletcher about climate change, government inaction and the urgent need to create a global movement to save the planet.
Former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was among a group of activists who made international news when they were seized from their boat, the Spirit of Humanity, and imprisoned by the Israeli military on June 30.
In late June, the federal government helped launch a paper entitled Bridges and Barriers: Addressing Indigenous Incarceration and Health.
Aboriginal leaders have questioned the motives behind the NT intervention policy after the Australian Crime Commission (ACC) failed to find evidence of organised pedophile rings — a key motivation of the policy produced by then-Aboriginal affairs minister Mal Brough in 2007.
There they all were at the recent G8/G20 summit in L’Aquila, Italy, nodding their approval as Kevin Rudd once again announced his global carbon capture and storage institute. But in truth, the L’Aquila photo-op only highlighted the chasm between the emission cuts demanded by the climate science and the steps political leaders are willing to take.
On July 13, the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union placed a green ban on the NSW government’s proposed site for the Pyrmont-CBD Metro station. The union has refused to demolish four 130-year-old Victorian terraces in Union Square.
The article published below is an abridged July 10 column by former Cuban President Fidel Castro. It was originally published in Granma.
The 42 nations that make up the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have called for world governments to set targets that would limit global warming to a 1.5°C increase.
In a fortnight when the world's wealthiest countries escalated their war on one of the world's poorest, Afghanistan, and when Peter Sold-His-Soul-To-The-Devil Garrett gave the nod to a new uranium mine to be run by a company controlled by a billionaire US arms merchant and former contra gunrunner, you'd be keen to get some good news.
The New South Wales Teachers Federation annual conference was from July 12 to 14. Of the many issues discussed by delegates, two stood out as big threats to public education, requiring strong union opposition: the introduction of school league tables and attacks on special education.

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