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Less than two weeks after concluding its largest military assault on the occupied West Bank in more than a decade, Israel has relentlessly pounded the besieged Gaza Strip since July 7.

The ongoing bombing campaign is the most severe violence inflicted by Israel on Gaza since its eight-day assault in November 2012, during which more than 150 Palestinians were killed, 33 of them children.

More than 1400 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, including 350 children, during Israel’s three consecutive weeks of attacks from air, land and sea during winter 2008-09.

On 'broad left parties'

Murray Smith, a member of the European Left Party's executive bureau, looks at the emergence of new parties in Europe over the past 25 years. He responds to criticisms of his perspective by Mick Armstrong from Australia's Socialist Alternative.

Ireland: 'We have to convince people that Sinn Fein is different'

“Budget Reply (Hey Joe)” is Australia’s first musical response to Joe Hockey’s deeply unpopular 2014 budget. Written by Les Thomas, the song is a protest against cuts targeting the young, unemployed, elderly, Indigenous programs, Medicare, education, science and the environment.

Thomas has already performed the song at a number of rallies and events in Melbourne.

Australian environmental and international solidarity campaigner Natalie Lowrey was arrested and detained for six days in Kuantan, Malaysia for standing with Malaysian activists campaigning against Australian company Lynas Corp's toxic rare earth refinery near that city.

At a peaceful protest of more than 1000 people outside the Lynas plant on June 22, 16 protesters were arrested and a number were injured by police, one very severely. Lowrey was released with no charge on June 27, the other 15 protesters faced court on July 8 on a variety of charges. She has since returned to Australia.

Communities in Maules Creek, New South Wales, are banding together with environmental activists in order to stop coal mining in the Leard State Forest, which threatens to kill wildlife, destroy forestry and worsen climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

Whitehaven Coal, a relatively small coal-mining company, is opening up new mines in various communities around Australia, aiming to maximise profit through the destruction of the environment.

Moreland City Councillor and Socialist Alliance member Sue Bolton delivered the following speech at the Trains Not Tolls rally in Melbourne on June 28. The rally was organised to protest against the new East West Link motorway.

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It’s great seeing people here from all over Melbourne, because this issue affects not just people from the inner city where the East West Link is designed to go, but it affects people from all over Melbourne and all over Victoria.

Venezuela: Social programs expanded in poorest communities

The Venezuelan government has initiated its policy of expanding social programs in the country’s most deprived areas in a bid to eradicate extreme poverty, Venezuelanalysis.com said on June 30.

The initiative, called “Red Sundays”, involves teams of social program workers visiting poorer communities every Sunday to diagnose which households are deprived of certain basic needs and which social programs are required to attend to these needs.

Players in Algeria's national football team have announced that they plan to put prize money earned in the World Cup to good use, BleacherReport.com said on July 2.

Striker Islam Slimani said the entire squad would donate the earnings to the people of embattled Gaza, saying “They need it more than us”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas challenged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 2 to condemn the abduction and murder of teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir in east Jerusalem.

Abbas accused extremist Jewish settlers of “killing and burning a little boy” and demanded Israel “hold the killers accountable”.

Just hours after Israel buried three teenagers recently murdered in the West Bank, relatives of Khdeir said the 17-year-old had been forced into a car in east Jerusalem before it sped off.

His burned body was found shortly afterward in a Jerusalem woodland beauty spot.

The Party of the European Left is a European-wide political grouping that unites 26 parties to the left of social democracy, such as SYRIZA in Greece. It released the statement below on July 2. For more information visit Europe-Left.org.

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We consider the main factors in the Ukraine crisis to be the imperial atttitude towards the country, as shown by all major powers involved: the deliberately provocative and bellicose moves by the US, NATO and European Union, as well as the aggressive steps taken by Russia.

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