Shares in Qantas were traded at $1.25 on February 21, the highest price since October last year. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the stock exchange would know that the company has been in deep trouble for some years. In October 2011, it stranded thousands of its passengers after it grounded its entire worldwide fleet during a union dispute. When rumours began circulating throughout the media after its half-yearly report meeting that Qantas was preparing to shed thousands of jobs at, its share price began to rise. Sacking workers is a profitable sign for speculators.
You can tell how good a newspaper is from the enemies it keeps. The Australian wrote a sneering dismissal of the new Saturday Paper, launched last weekend, and used its ultimate insult by comparing the new paper to Green Left Weekly, calling GLW “ignorant, moralistic and simplistic”.
The Climate Change Authority, the body responsible for setting Australia’s carbon emissions, has recommended that the target for emissions be increased from 5% to 19% below 2000 levels. It also said that in the decade after 2020 the emissions reductions target should be between 40% and 60% below 2000 levels by 2030.
The EarthWorker Cooperative is off to a good start this year, as it begins to distribute its renewable energy products. The EarthWorker project has been the result of a 16-year development between trade unions and green movements across the country, also involving small-scale businesses that have been financially damaged by the neoliberal policies of the state and federal governments for the past two decades.
About 1000 Latrobe Valley residents gathered at Kernot Hall in Morwell on March 2 to protest against government and corporate mishandling of the fire in the Hazelwood coalmine. Residents directed their anger at government inaction and misinformation, and corporate negligence by GDF Suez, the multinational operator of the mine and power station. Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley explained to the meeting the efforts and risks being taken by the firefighters.
In late January, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decided not to assess a proposal for fracking in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Buru Energy plans to conduct 34 fracks in the region starting this year. It intends to conduct most of these fracks at four existing wells: two at Yulleroo, 90 kilometres east of Broome, and two at Valhalla/Asgard, 320 kilometres east of Broome.
The Coaliton for Justice and Peace in Palestine released this statement on March 7. *** Associate Professor Jake Lynch, Director of Sydney University’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, has been taken to the Federal Court of Australia in a legal action brought by Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Centre, alleging racial discrimination due to his support of the Palestinian call for an academic boycott of Israel.
The federal Coalition government is set on a path of unprecedented cuts to public services; Medicare is under threat, as are workers' penalty rates. Added to this is the large-scale selling out of action on climate change along with important natural environments, such as forests and the Great Barrier Reef, to make way for destructive mining and logging industries.
Millions of Colombians are set to the ballot box on March 9 to vote for the country's Senate and Chamber of Representatives. Presidential elections themselves are not until May, but Congress elections are no less important as the left wing parties fight for space in one of Latin America’s most, if not the most, conservative-led countries.
The February 21 collapse of the government of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich in the face of anti-corruption protests has led to the most serious confrontation between the US and Russia since the end of the Cold War. The Russian Federation is not the superpower the Soviet Union once was, but it remains the world’s second largest nuclear power after the US, which has about 80% of the world’s nuclear weapons. The US and its allies are insisting that Ukraine is indivisible, including the autonomous region of Crimea.