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How 'green' is the Green new Deal? An increasingly popular answer to the ecological crisis facing humanity is the “Green New Deal”, which aims to create “green jobs” to jump start the economy. But, Dan Fitz argues the GND might not provide long term employment and could cause major environmental harm. Mariela Castro on LGBTI rights in Cuba
Scotland will vote on independence from Britain September 18. Despite a strong campaign by establishment figures for a “no” vote, polls showing growing support for independence, although still not a majority. Below, Colin Fox explains why Scottish independence will be a blow to austerity and a win for working people. Fox is the nation spokesperson for Scottish Socialist Party and a former member of Scottish parliament, and sits on the Yes Scotland advisory board.
The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) said it was disgusted at the mentality of the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, who decided to forcefully evict soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpar that have been feeding the poor and homeless for years. The minister insisted that soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpur had just days to relocate out of the city centre if they did not want to be fined by City Hall. He was also quoted as saying:“The image of my city is very bad. If I don’t do this sort of thing, society won’t be disciplined.”
Not a week, nor even a day, goes by without a new outrage from the Tony Abbott government. One recent outrage was when Abbott declared that Australia was “unsettled” before the British invasion — taking us back to the days of terra nullius. This stand, alongside plans to quarantine how young people spend welfare payments while earmarking billions of dollars for unneeded (and technically dubious) fighter jets, indicates the character of the Abbott government.
The “incommunicado detention without judicial scrutiny” of 153 Tamil asylum seekers has turned the world's eyes on Australia's refugee policy and brought many questions into the spotlight. The first question was raised by 53 international law scholars from 17 Australian universities, who released a statement after the government revealed it had handed over 41 passengers of an asylum boat to the Sri Lankan navy.
The number of victims of Israel’s merciless bombing of Gaza reached 90 fatalities as of July 10, with several members of individual families among the dead. One such family is that of 75-year-old Muhammad Hamad of the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun. Six members of his family were killed when Israel bombed the home of his 30-year-old son Abd al-Hafez Hamad, a commander with the armed group Islamic Jihad, on July 8.
Australian man Jock Palfreeman was assaulted by a guard at Sofia’s Central Prison in Bulgaria on July 8. Palfreeman has been serving a 20-year in the prison since being found guilty of murder in 2007. Andrei Monov was killed during a street brawl in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. He was the only son of two well-connected people in the Sofia legal fraternity. Palfreeman says he went to the defence of a young Roma boy who was being attacked in the street by Monov and others. When Palfreeman intervened, he was also attacked and acted in self-defence.
Victorian planning minister Matthew Guy approved stage one of the East West Link toll road on June 30, ignoring key recommendations from the planning panel to reduce impacts from the project. Guy said he had granted relevant approvals for the project on the condition that the Linking Melbourne Authority redesign parts of the project.
If there is one thing Prime Minister Tony Abbott will not stand for, it is attempts by the powerful to bully the weak. Reports recently emerged that 10 mothers jailed indefinitely in the Christmas Island detention centre had attempted to take their own lives. With sick children, the women apparently believed the children might have greater chance of better treatment if they were unaccompanied.
Days of Israeli bombings had killed more than 100 people in the Gaza Strip by July 11, ElectronicIntifada.net said that day. The dead included many children. It comes after large-scale raids and many arrests in the occupied West Bank. In response to this drastic escalation in “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people, the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) national committee issued the statement below.
A front page article in the Australian on July 11 reported claims that “asylum-seekers are coached and encouraged to attempt self-harm by refugee advocates who then use the incidents as political capital”. The allegations were made by former director of offshore processing Greg Lake, who said when he worked at what is now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, “some refugee advocates were clearly urging asylum-seekers to self-harm as a form of protest so they could put out a press release about it”.
Pasi Sahlberg is an educator and past policy advisor in Finland, author of books on education and currently a visiting Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He spoke to a meeting of teachers and union activists in Melbourne on June 19. He agreed with what Australian teachers have argued for years: that great schools are well funded on a needs basis, are not publicly ranked for performance, have small classes, have teachers that are highly regarded and trusted and value all subject areas equally.