Emma Clancy

Basque nationalist Inaki de Juana Chaos voluntarily appeared in court in Belfast on November 17 following the issueing of a European arrest warrant by the Spanish authorities to the Police Service of Northern Ireland on November 13.
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) on July 10 agreed to a payout of £2.83 million to ten Iraqi victims tortured in custody by British soldiers in Basra in 2003.
The Irish referendum on the European Union Lisbon Treaty will take place on June 12. The Dublin government, media and all the major political parties, with the exception of Sinn Fein, are calling for a “Yes” vote for “jobs, the economy and Ireland’s future in Europe”.
The 500 million people of the European Union are being denied the right to ratify by referenda major amendments to the two key EU treaties. The Lisbon Treaty, signed by member states in December, will significantly increase the power of unelected EU institutions and enshrine right-wing economic policy.
On January 15, the Israel Defense Forces killed 17 Palestinians during incursions into east Gaza City. The IDF killed nine more in raids over the following two days. The attacks launched a new wave of Israeli violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) following the January 9-16 visit by US President George Bush to Israel, the West Bank city of Ramallah and other centres in the region.
A 19-year-old Saudi Arabian woman has been sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail following an incident in 2006 in which she was kidnaped and gang-raped by seven men. When the kidnapping occurred, the woman was in a car in the company of a man who was not an immediate relative, a crime in the Saudi kingdom.
Almost 90 Western Australian construction workers are due to suffer fines of up to $22,000 each on November 5, after admitting at an October 24 court hearing to taking “unlawful” industrial action in February last year. The workers’ “crime” was to take part in a 400-person strong strike in February 2006 on the city tunnel section of the Perth-Mandurah rail line to demand the reinstatement of their elected health and safety union representative Peter Ballard, who had been sacked by building company Leighton-Kumagai for insisting on maintaining safe working conditions.
On October 28, the Israeli defence ministry ordered the cutting of fuel supplies to the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, half of whom are children. While Israeli government representatives claimed that they planned to cut supplies by 5-11%, fuel supplies were immediately cut by more than 30%, according to Palestinian officials.
Assistant state secretary of the Western Australian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), Joe McDonald, was expelled from the Australian Labor Party on October 26, on the recommendation of Labor leader Kevin Rudd. Earlier this year Rudd had failed to have the militant unionist expelled, and the ALP had stated that it would await the outcome of McDonald’s six charges for “trespass” on Perth building sites before making a decision.
A landmark Federal Court hearing for 96 Western Australian construction workers that begins on October 24 is the most dramatic demonstration yet of the impact of the Howard government’s draconian IR laws.

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