Neville Spencer

Recently released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the pay gap between men and women is the highest it has been since records began in 1994.

On average, women earn 18.8% less than men for full-time work. The average full-time weekly earnings for men is $1587.50 while for women it is $298 less. The gap had been closing, and decreased to around 15% in 2005 but has since surpassed its 1994 level.

One factor is that male-dominated industries pay more than female-dominated industries. Miners, who are 85% male, earn more than social workers, who are 77% female.

On February 11, the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) report The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention, was tabled in parliament. The report looked at the effect on children of being locked up in detention centres in Australia and Christmas Island but not Nauru.

The report reveals that 34% of the children have mental health disorders so severe they need psychiatric support. This compares to 2% in the general population.

While GLW was on its break over the New Year period, the news came that a snap election is to be held in Greece on January 25.

GLW has been regularly reporting on the situation in Greece in recent years — the imposition of vicious austerity measures by the European Union and the Greek government and the rising popularity of the left-wing coalition SYRIZA.

As the election approaches, polls put SYRIZA in the lead. It is likely to win, though may have to enter a coalition in order to form government.

People gathered outside the World Bank office in Sydney on September 5 to protest the bank’s involvement in an Australian mining company’s attempt to sue the government of El Salvador for US$301 million.

Pacific Rim, a Canadian company that was bought by Australian OceanaGold last year, applied to mine gold in northern El Salvador in 2004. The Salvadoran government refused it permission, arguing the company did not own or have rights to the land it proposed to mine, it did not have environmental permissions and it did not submit a final feasibility study for the project.

China’s Rise: Strength & Fragility
By Au Loong Yu
Resistance Books, IIRE
Merlin Press, 2012
316 pages

The transformation of the Chinese economy a 20-fold rise in the size of the economy between 1979 and 2010 and huge development of private enterprise has been one of the most significant and remarkable phenomena in recent history.

However, neither the Western media and academia, nor the Chinese regime itself, provide much credible analysis on what is involved in this transformation.

The September election is approaching and the Socialist Alliance needs the financial help of members and supporters to run an effective election campaign.

This is even more essential this federal election since the two big parties have made it harder for socialists and progressive, single-issue parties to stand, by doubling the fees required for candidates to nominate.

In December 2009, a Bulgarian court convicted 23-year-old Australian Jock Palfreeman of the murder of 20-year-old Bulgarian man Andrey Monov, who died of a knife wound. Palfreeman was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

This resulted from an incident in December 2007 in which Palfreeman, according to his own account, came to the aid of two men of the minority Roma community who were being attacked by a gang of 16 men.

Palfreeman was denied bail and spent nearly two years in jail before finally being sentenced.

Haiti: Dangerous Crossroads
Edited by NACLA
South End Press, 1995
256 pp., US$15.00 (pb)

Pages

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