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The Coral Battleground Judith Wright Spinifex, 2014 203 pages, $29.95 (pb) From the days when Captain Cook’s Endeavour tangled with the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, humans had learned to fear the Reef with its “treacherous waters and weather”. But now the reef “should fear us more”, writes Judith Wright in The Coral Battleground. It is a reprint of her 1977 account of the campaign to save the largest and most spectacular marine coral ecosystem in the world from oil drilling.
United States: Don’t drink Ohio’s water “The aquapocalypse in Toledo, Ohio is now entering its third day after citizens in the greater Toledo area woke up to a stark reality on Saturday morning when city officials had issued an unprecedented, region wide water advisory warning people not to drink or boil local tap water due to toxic contamination,” said an August 4 Counterpunch article.
I am proud to join more than 250 Jewish holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors in condemning the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. Our statement of solidarity (published below) calls for "An immediate end to the siege against Gaza" and a"full economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel". We believe that "never again", the often-repeated lesson of Hitler's holocaust, "must mean never again for anyone!" -- especially the Palestinians.
Venezuela sent its first batch of aid to Palestine on August 12, teleSUR English said. As well as government aid, Venezuela's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has collected food, medicines and clothes from a supportive population, seeking to ease the suffering of the people of Gaza. Venezuela Analysis reported on August 14 that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would convene a meeting of Arab leaders to coordinate reconstruction efforts for the war-torn Gaza Strip.
Media reports about a deal being struck this week between the Australian government and Cambodia to resettle refugees from Nauru have been denied by Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison. However the government has confirmed that negotiations towards a memorandum of understanding was continuing.
You can see where federal treasurer Joe Hockey is coming from with his comment about poor people not having cars and so not being affected by the rise in the fuel excise tax, can't you? On the planet he seems to be lost on, the rich are the real oppressed. The rich are paying too much tax — or even “all the tax” according to a recent rant in the Australian — doing all the work, doing the heavy lifting, while the rest of society bludges off them.
More than 200 staff and students rallied outside Fisher Library at Sydney University on August 13 to protest proposed cuts to the university's library system. The cuts will involve closures and staff redundancies. "If the university gets its way all four libraries will lose their staff and collections. Two will become little more than post-grad only PC labs," the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) said.
Moreland residents were outraged when they heard Moreland City Council had voted to cut $100,000 from the Carbon Management Plan in the council's budget last month. This cut the budget for climate action from $525,000 to $424,000 and would have resulted in some of the council's solar energy projects not going ahead. The $100,000 cut came as a shock, considering the council’s previous initiatives to tackle carbon emissions.
An inhumane policy that damages some to deter others. Detention centres that cause psychiatric disorders, self-harm and suicide. Arbitrary. Unjust. Cynical. This is how an open letter, named "J'accuse", signed by more than 220 psychiatrists, human rights lawyers, priests, health professionals and other experts describes Australia’s refugee policy.

The National Union of Students called a national day of action to “celebrate” education minister Christopher Pyne’s 47th birthday on August 13. Students used the occasion to protest the federal government’s funding cuts to higher education, which will mean students will have to pay up to three times more for a university degree than they do now and will pay more interest on their HECS-HELP fee.

At a rally in solidarity with Palestine in Sydney on August 9, Chilean community activist and Socialist Alliance member Paula Sanchez told the 1000-strong crowd about the growing number of Latin American countries cutting diplomatic and trade ties with Israel in protest against its war on Gaza. Sanchez addressed the rally on behalf of the Latin American Social Forum.
One of the promises Prime Minister Tony Abbott made when he was elected last year was to create 1 million jobs over the next five years. This translates to a monthly increase of about 17,000 jobs. Yet in the 10 months since September last year, only 11,000 jobs a month have been created – and more than half of these were part-time jobs.