Australia

Thulasitharan Santhirarajah, the director of a Mebourne business college, was arrested on July 14 by the Australian Federal Police at the request of the US FBI.
“The ABCC [Australian Building and Construction Commission] should be abolished … and its powers should be subsumed by the Workplace Authority and its successor, Fair Work Australia”, Professor Ron McCallum AO from the law faculty at the University of Sydney told Green Left Weekly on July 22.
The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) and the Greens have condemned a move by the state government to cut access to education programs at the Long Bay Forensic Hospital when it relocates.
Postal workers protested outside Australia Post HQ on June 25 to voice their opposition to AP’s policy of hiring new employees on lower pay rates and the splitting up their jobs.
Each year, National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee (NAIDOC) week, July 6-13, celebrates Indigenous history and culture, with events taking place in regional and urban places. Organisers say a record number of people took place this year.
Right at the beginning of his draft report on climate change, Professor Ross Garnaut points out that global warming can’t be beaten unless an international “prisoner’s dilemma” gets resolved.
According to the 2006 census, the most commonly spoken language in Sydney households, after English, is Arabic. In Australia as a whole, Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language.
Activists have asked the Federal Court to rule that the recently gazetted NSW regulation declaring that people can be fined $5500 for “annoying” behaviour during July, but especially during the pope’s World Youth Day (WYD) visit, be declared invalid. The case was heard on July 11.
Pope Benedict XVI is coming to town. Sydney is once again to be subject to a special police regime as this saintly, celibate white man bravely preaches the joys of sexual abstinence in the very Circus Maximus of Sin City (Randwick race course).
One thousand Tamils gathered in Federation Square on July 5 for Pongu Thamil (Tamil upsurge). The event included traditional Tamil dancing, music and speeches on the Tamil people’s struggle for self-determination in Sri Lanka.

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