1013

Ecuador accused US scientists on June 16 of taking thousands of unauthorised blood samples from indigenous Huaorani and selling them. The Huaorani are known for a unique genetic profile and disease immunity and the samples are believed to have been sold by the Coriell Institute for Medical Research to Harvard University Medical School. Ecuador’s constitution bans the use of genetic material and scientific research in violation of human rights.
Thirty-nine months after multiple explosions at the nuclear plant in Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times the normal rate.
Where No Doctor Has Gone Before: Cuba’s Place in the Global Health Landscape By Robert Huish Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2013 Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla By David Kilcullen Scribe, 2013 342 pp, $32.95 It is interesting that Robert Huish and David Kilcullen inhabit the same world, because their books indicate that they view the planet differently, like black and white or perhaps like life and death.
Left forces from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus held a two-day anti-war conference near Minsk on June 7 and 8. The conference was organised by participants of internet project “Prasvet” with the support of the Belarus web journal Left. The aim of the conference was to help coordinate the internationalist, Marxist left forces of three countries under circumstances of military-nationalist hysteria and the outburst of violence and repression in Ukraine.
“We seek a New Republic with equality and social justice at its core,” Sinn Fein President and member of the Dail (Irish parliament) Gerry Adams said in his June 15 address at the annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown, County Kildare. The address came less than a month after republican party Sinn Fein caused shockwaves in European and local elections by becoming the largest party across all Ireland.
“FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association,” The Guardian said on June 14, after Argentinian players displayed a banner before a June 8 friendly against Slovenia insisting the Malvinas (known as the Falkland Islands in Britain) belonged to Argentina.
At the G77 plus China Summit held in Bolivia that ended on June 15, several Latin American presidents gave public backing to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. They called for regional unity against an bid for “conservative restoration” under way in the South American country. The summit, held in Santa Cruz, eastern Bolivia, brought together 133 countries, about two-thirds of the member states of the United Nations.
Dr Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), has been arrested and jailed several times for holding demonstrations and for making public speeches critical of Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) government.
When I was travelling from Manila to Australia, I bought a copy of a book to read on the plane. It was Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. Actually, when this book first hit the bookshops, the Philippines went crazy about a small part of the novel that referred to Manila as the “gate of hell”.
Activists from across Venezuela met this month to form the National Communard Council, which aims to coordinate the country’s commune movement and present its demands to the national government. The council was formed in the western state of Lara during a three-day meeting of about 2000 communards (commune members) from around the country. Most represented a particular commune. The meeting was the fifth national gathering of the independent National Communard Network since the organisation was founded in 2009.
Barney Gardner, spokesperson for the Save Millers Point residents action group, told a Sydney forum of more than 100 people on June 14: “The Baird Coalition government is continuing with the policies of [former premier] Barry O'Farrell and [former housing minister] Pru Goward.” The New South Wales government is pushing ahead with its plan to sell off 393 public houses in the historic Millers Point neighbourhood of inner-city Sydney and force public housing tenants to move.
Many people were shocked in January when non-profit development organisation Oxfam released a report that showed that the richest 85 people in the world owned more wealth than half of the world's population. Within the space of a few months, that number has dropped to just 66. Oxfam's latest report, Still The Lucky Country?, produced in preparation for the G20 summit in Brisbane in November, explodes the myth of an egalitarian Australia.
The revolution might not be televised, but you can see the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption proceedings live-streamed into your lounge room. Such is the overwhelming public demand for riveting daytime televised reality shows that the commission is competing with Judge Judy in bringing this much-awaited courtroom drama to a computer near you via a mere click on their website. The proceedings began in earnest on June 10, but much of what was heard in evidence has been well rehearsed in the Murdoch press over the past couple of years.
So apparently there is a crisis in Iraq. Really, who could have predicted this? Who among us could possibly have guessed a full-scale invasion and occupation of the country, destruction of its infrastructure and society leading directly to the deaths of at least 1 million people could have actually led to such problems?
To summarise the NSW Coalition state budget announced on June 17: Sell off public electricity assets; build more private roads. This first budget from new Premier Mike Baird is in line with the drive led by the federal government to privatise all remaining public enterprises in the interests of their big business masters. NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance told state parliament: "We are now in control of the budget. It's no longer in control of us." This is code for: We plan to sell off the remains of the people's property in this state, whether you like it or not.
An opinion poll showing that only 24% of Victorians support the government's flagship road project, the East West Link, has sent shockwaves through the Victorian government.

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