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The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aboriginal people made Australia
Bill Gammage
434pps, $40
Allen & Unwin, 2012

This is an extraordinary book that details how Australian Aboriginal people cared for the land, or as Bill Gammage calls it the “Biggest Estate on Earth”.

Gammage describes, with many examples, how Aboriginal people looked after the land. No corner was ignored, from deserts and rainforests to rocky outcrops, across the entire continent for at least 60,000 years until British colonisers began to destroy all this work after their arrival in 1788.

VIDEO: Tariq Ali on the legacy of Hugo Chavez

Marking one year since the untimely death of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, eminent writer and film maker Tariq Ali gave a passionate memorial lecture in central London on February 20 at an event organised by the British Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign.

VIDEO: Die Linke and the fight against austerity

Israel's air force bombed nearly 30 targets in the besieged Palestinian enclave of the Gaza Strip on March 13.

The Israeli military said it pounded the territory in retaliation for rockets fired into southern Israel by Islamic Jihad resistance fighters. But the group said the rocket fire was itself a response to an Israeli air strike on Gaza on March 11 that killed three of its members.

“Forgetting Fukushima makes it more likely that such a nuclear disaster could happen elsewhere,” said Tatsuko Okawara, one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Fukushima accident that began on March 11, 2011.

The nuclear industry, however, is trying its hardest to make us forget. It is downplaying the impacts of the accident, ignoring the fact that the Fukushima reactors are still not under control and claiming that lessons have been learned. Nothing is further from the truth.

As the May 25 European elections approach, a question that concerns left and progressive people in the Spanish state is just how many left alternatives will end up running against the “parties of government” ― the ruling conservative People’s Party (PP) and the opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE).

The dangers of global warming due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is well-established. But there is more damage done by the capitalist system of production, including the release of toxins into the atmosphere, water and the rest of the biosphere.

Two notable examples have occurred in the first months of this year in the United States.

In January there was a huge spill of 10,000 gallons of crude MCHM, a chemical mixture used in the coal production process, into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia.

Jean-Luc Melenchon is co-president of France's Left Party and a member of the European parliament. Melenchon is also leader of the broader Left Front, involving other parties such as the French Communist Party, on whose ticket he won about 11% of the vote in the 2012 presidential elections.

Below, Melenchon gives his perspective on the crisis in Ukraine ― from Russia's actions in Crimea, to the West's saber rattling, to the mass protests that brought down an unpopular government and the new regime, featuring fascist forces, that has taken its place.

Events were held around the country on March 11 to mark three years since an earthquake and subsequent tsunami laid waste to the north-east coast of Japan. The earthquake and tsunami disasters killed 18,600 people and about 2700 bodies have never been recovered.

The disaster damaged the Fukushima nuclear power plant, whose cooling systems failed, leading to a series of explosions and catastrophic meltdowns in three reactor cores. More than 150,000 people who were forced to evacuate the area are still unable to return to their homes in the Fukushima region.

The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on March 11.

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Refugee advocates are warning of new dangers of attacks on asylum seekers if local staff are re-introduced into the Manus Island detention centre.

Local and national PNG staff and police have been excluded from the detention centre since the night of February 17 when 23-year-old Reza Berati was killed and at least 77 others brutally bashed.

Western Australia will go to the polls on April 5 to re-elect its federal Senators.

The election was called to fix a mammoth electoral bungle, which left many Western Australians questioning the democracy of the political system.

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam appealed for a recount of the Senate vote when it looked like he had narrowly lost his seat to the Palmer United Party in the September federal election. During the recount, it came to light that 1375 votes had gone missing, and the result of the election was declared void. Six seats are up for re-election.

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