December 3 marks the 30th anniversary of the horrific Bhopal gas disaster. It also marks 30 years of relentless struggle for justice by survivors. The city of Bhopal, capital of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was the site of a pesticide plant run by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) subsidiary of the US-based Union Carbide Corporation. UC became a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals in 2001.
Britain's major political parties are so scared of an alternative that they won't even let the left-wing, anti-austerity Green Party into televised debates. If the Greens aren't allowed into the TV election debates, there should be a compromise, such as its MP, Caroline Lucas, being allowed to present an episode of Top Gear.
Sheplife Briggs Golden Era Records Released August 2014 Now touring www.iambriggs.com Briggs is 598 kilometres from his hometown of Shepparton - and he's missing his bed. "When I'm at home I don't have people ringing me up telling me I've got to get out of the house," says the rapper, sitting on his hotel room's balcony in Sydney.
In September, Prime Minister Tony Abbott signed an agreement which will allow sales of Australian uranium to India for the first time. India has consistently refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has manufactured up to 110 nuclear warheads, but has been given a free pass to take part in international nuclear trade by virtue of its new strategic relationship with the United States. The Australia-India deal conflicts with Australia’s obligations under the South Pacific Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty, as well as the NPT.
The siege of Knightsbridge is a farce. For two years, an exaggerated, costly police presence around the Ecuadorean embassy in London has served no purpose other than to flaunt the power of the state. Their quarry is an Australian charged with no crime, a refugee from gross injustice whose only security is the room given to him by a brave South American country. His true crime is to have initiated a wave of truth-telling in an era of lies, cynicism and war. The persecution of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange must end. Even the British government clearly believes it must end.
Australia signed a free trade agreement with China on November 17. The Coalition government and the media praise the agreement, but other groups are concerned about the implications. More than 85% of Australian exports will be tariff free initially, rising to 93% in four years. Some of these goods are subject to tariffs of up to 40%. On full implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, 95% of Australian exports to China will be tariff free.
In the Social Contract, published in 1762, Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that, “man is born free, and everywhere is in chains”. The French Revolution determined to remedy this state of affairs and its chosen instrument was a constitution setting out “natural, imprescriptible and inalienable rights”.
A subsidiary of the giant construction company Grocon was fined $250,000 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on November 21 for “failing to ensure a safe workplace”. The charge related to the deaths of three people when a wall collapsed in March last year. The wall blew over in a strong wind and fell onto a footpath in Swanston Street, Carlton. An advertising hoarding attached to the wall may have contributed to the collapse. However, the wall was in such poor condition that it may have fallen over anyway.
The Tamil Refugee Council released this statement on November 29. *** The Australian government has almost certainly condemned another group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers to persecution, including torture, by returning them to their homeland, the Tamil Refugee Council said. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced on November 29 that a boat containing 38 people from Sri Lanka had been intercepted by an Australian customs vessel near the Cocos Islands on November 15 and held at sea for 11 days.
The White Ribbon is a public symbol that family violence is a problem. Women have the right to live a life free from gender-based violence. The fact that White Ribbon Day exists is a tribute to the generations of women and men who have campaigned to have family violence recognised as a crime and a serious problem in society. The Maritime Union of Australia, with a predominantly male membership, has enthusiastically taken up White Ribbon Day.