As soon as news filtered through that a “Muslim riot” was taking place in Sydney on September 15, it was clear a racist backlash was going to occur. It was also clear on what grounds the backlash would take place.
You don't have to be a clairvoyant to see what is to come in the aftermath of the so-called “Sydney riots” that occurred on September 15. Media will show images of “Violent religious fundamentalist thugs” taking over streets. “Shocking images” of protesters holding up placards with slogans like “Behead all those who insult the Prophet”.
Protests by Muslims have spread around the world against the anti-Islamic propaganda film Innocence of Muslims. In response to violent attacks on US embassies in Libya and Yemen, that killed for Americans including the ambassador, US President Barack Obama informed US Congress on September 14 that he had deployed US soldiers “equipped for combat” to the two Arab nations.
Channel Nine's mini-series Howzat! Kerry Packer's War has shone the light once again on the creation of World Series Cricket and its enduring legacy for the sport. The build-up to the show was particularly intense during the Olympics, but there was an ominous feeling that it would just be a puff piece for Channel Nine's most prominent owner. In the end, the series mostly avoided puffery and was a success, dramatically entertaining an average of more than 2 million viewers for each episode.
After an armed attack killed 16 Egyptian guards on the border with Israel in the Sinai Peninsula, President Mohammed Morsi sacked defence minister and head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Mohammed Tantawi, and his second in command, Sami Anan. The move is part of an ongoing battle that has taken place between the Muslim Brotherhood — main political force that emerged after the overthrow of former dictator Hosni Mubarak — and SCAF, which took governmental power after Mubarak stepped down.
There have been outrageous abuses of power before and during the Olympic Games in London this year. These include a police attack on, and mass arrests during, a "critical mass" bike ride, the placing of missiles on civilian roofs despite protests by affected residents, and special “Olympic lanes” on roads whose use is limited those granted special permission by games organisers.
The Olympics are a sporting and social phenomenon without parallel. The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics was watched by close to 1 billion people. Viewers for individual events can be remarkable. The website Sporting Intelligence said 184 million people watched a live women’s volleyball match between China and Cuba at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A further 450 million people watched part of it.
It rarely takes very long into an Olympics for the myth that the games are above politics to be shattered. For the London 2012 games, the myth was smashed well before the games begun. A series of incidents involving Australian athletes have shown that politics are at the heart of the games. Despite winning the Olympic trial earlier this year, athlete John Steffensen was not selected to represent Australia in the individual 400 metres sprint, replaced by 19 year old Steve Solomon.
It has not even begun, but a world record has already been set for the London 2012 Olympic games. The games, which begin on July 27, are the most corporatised, militarised and draconian Olympics of all time. Every day there are fresh stories that reveal that, to British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Olympic spirit means giving corporations and governments free reign to do what they like.
The 30th Olympic games will begin in July in London as Britain's Conservative-Liberal Democratic government imposes savage austerity measures on the public. The excitement of watching the world's sporting best compete is mixed with fears of social and economic upheaval. The British government is projected to spend US$14.5 billion on the games, $9.6 billion over budget. Prime Minister David Cameron announced last November that the budget for the opening and closing ceremonies would be doubled to $125 million.
Newly appointed foreign minister Bob Carr said in a January blog post: “As [NSW] Premier, I never saw a demonstration that didn’t hurt the side that mounted it. And I was never persuaded by a noisy crowd with a few placards.” But on March 2, the same week he was appointed, the federal government gave a powerful confirmation of the power of protests.
The strategy of most people when they hear a racist or xenophobic comment is to be silent and hope that it will go away. The problem is, that strategy just tends to embolden the racists. So it has proved with Tony Greig. His constant derogatory remarks about Indians or “the Indians”, as he refers to them, are not only offensive, they are part of a pattern of blatant racism and xenophobia that Greig has shown through his playing and commentating career. See also: Australian cricket's corruption denial syndrome
Cricket is on the verge of a corruption-induced implosion, yet you wouldn’t know in Australia. As far as Australian cricket administrators are concerned, it is the end of the world as they know it and they feel fine. Despite more and more revelations coming out about corruption in cricket, it was still shocking for many to hear former Indian batsman Vinod Kambli claim that something was “amiss” in the semi-final of the 1996 World Cup.
Just a few days before his appeal hearing over his extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which many believe may be a prelude to Assange’s extradition to the US on espionage charges, WikiLeaks won a stunning victory for citizen journalism and a free press when it took out the 2011 Walkley award for most outstanding contribution to journalism.
Officially, the announcement that 2500 US marines would be permanently based in Darwin had nothing to do with China. Announcing the new military agreement with Australia on November 16, US President Barack Obama said: “I think the notion that we fear China is mistaken. The notion that we are looking to exclude China is mistaken … We welcome a rising, peaceful China.”
Al Jazeera journalist Dorothy Parvaz, who had been missing for nineteen days was released by the Iranian government on May 18. Parvaz left Doha on April 29 to cover the escalating anti-government protests in Syria. Upon arrival in Damascus, she was immediately detained by an unidentified security service. Until May 4, the Syrian government did not acknowledge that she was in their custody. But on May 10, it released a statement stating that it had deported Parvaz to the Iranian consule in Tehran.