Raul Connolly

Amnesty International called on the Swedish authorities on September 27 to issue assurances to WikiLeaks' founder-in-chief Julian Assange that if he leaves Ecuador’s London embassy and agrees to go to Sweden to face sexual assault claims, he will not be extradited to the United States in connection with WikiLeaks.
Legendary anti-apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has called for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US president George Bush to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in The Hague in a September 2 Observer op-ed. The article came after Tutu refused to share a platform with Blair at an event in Johannesburg last month, citing Blair's role in the Iraq War.
In Australia, Treasurer Wayne Swan made headlines by saying he was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen ― despite implementing neoliberal economic policies of the sort Springsteen rails against. Mining billionaire and wannabe Liberal politician Clive Palmer jumped up to respond that his favourite band was Redgum ― despite the famously left-wing folk band, active in the 1970s and '80s, representing politics that are the exact opposite politics to Palmer's.
Students on strike Quebec have won public displays of support from Montreal-based rock band Arcade Fire and Quebecios actor and director Xavier Dolan. Hundreds of thousands of students have been on strike across Quebec for more than 100 days against fee hikes, defying intense government repression. MontrealGazette.com said on May 21 that members of indie rock band Arcade Fire appeared on the May 19 episode of Saturday Night Life, hosted by Mick Jagger, sporting the red squares, that have become a symbol of the student struggle, on their outfits.
“Two years of brutal Con-Dem cuts and failings have left the nation seeing red as Labour gained hundreds of seats across local councils today,” Britain's Morning Star reported on May 4. The article said the council elections took place against a “backdrop of a double-dip recession, despite massive cuts to jobs and services”. The Conservative Party lost 11 councils to Labour and the Conservatives' coalition partner in government, the Liberal Democrats, lost one.
A new report released on March 28 said climate change has already led to changes in the frequency and severity of extreme weather, such as heat waves and heavy precipitation events, in many parts of the world, ClimateCentral.org said that day. The report was released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC).
Invisible Children's “KONY 2012” film, which supports US military intervention in Uganda and has gone viral on the internet, has caused widespread outrage in the central African nation, Al Jazeera said on March 14. The article pointed out that most Ugandans have been excluded from the “internet revolution”. It said this means most of the victims of Joseph Kony, on whose past crimes the film focuses, have never heard of the film ― or even YouTube.
In a big win for environmentalists and the planet, the administration of United States President Barack Obama announced on January 20 that it would deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. Anti-tar sands activists in the US and Canada have been seeking to stop the pipeline, planned to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet.
Cuadrilla Resources, which is exploring for natural shale gas in north-west England, has admitted its use of the notorious process of “fracking” was responsible for earthquakes in the region this year, BusinessInsider.com said on November 7. Fracking is a dangerous process involving fracturing rock with pressurised liquid. Some of the health and environmental dangers of the process were revealed by the film Gasland, about the impact of the practice in the United States.

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