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The Mekong River is the mother of all south-east Asian rivers, providing life-sustaining resources to millions of people. Now, the future of the Mekong, its people and wildlife are in jeopardy. The government of Laos plans to build the hydroelectric Don Sahong Dam — the second dam proposed for construction on the Lower Mekong mainstream — on the main pathway in the Mekong that allows for year round fish migration.
Venezuela rejects new US sanctions The Venezuelan government rejected aggressive new US-imposed sanctions on February 3, TeleSUR English said that day, insisting the measures flout international law. Venezuela's foreign ministry said in a statement: “The people of Venezuela ratifies its independence and sovereignty. We do not recognise … interference of any kind by foreign powers.” It accused the US of “violating the principles of national sovereignty, equal rights and non-interference in the internal affairs inherent in international law”.
Clivosaurus: The Politics Of Clive Palmer Guy Rundle Quarterly Essay November 2014 Black Inc., $19.99 Elected in 2013 by the curious, the disaffected and the dark arts of preference deals, billionaire Queensland coal baron Clive Palmer and his Senate threesome, were, at first, writes Guy Rundle in Clivosaurus, ignored or played for laughs by the establishment media.
Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum But Lost Scotland By Iain MacWhirter Cargo Publishing, 2014, 174 pages The independence referendum on September 18 last year has been hailed by many as the most important event in the recent Scottish history. The result was far closer than any supporter of independence would have dared predict even a few months before the vote. About 1.6 million voters (45%) refused to be swayed by a sustained fear campaign by the British state and its allies ― voting “Yes” to Scottish independence.
Useful Enemies: When Waging Wars Is More Important Than Winning Them By David Keen Yale University Press, 2012. Governments in the US, Britain and Australia seem intent on waging war in faraway lands, supposedly to bring freedom and democracy to foreign peoples and to deliver us from the chaos of terrorism. David Keen's useful Enemies, however, shows the folly of the policies being pursued. Far from bringing peace, it turns out throwing arms, bombs and money against opponents who refuse to neatly line up as targets is more likely to fuel the conflict.
If anyone was still wondering whether European politics and a Europe-wide class struggle actually exist, reactions from all quarters to the first two weeks of Greece’s new SYRIZA-led government would have cleared up any doubts. The conflict between Europe’s ruling elite and the new Greek anti-austerity administration, headed by radical left party SYRIZA, reached a high point on February 4-5.
Three passengers were removed from a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin on February 2 after refusing to take their seats in protest against the transfer of an asylum seeker on the same flight. A 25-year-old Tamil man known as Puvaneethan was being transferred from Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne to Darwin. He was distressed about being separated from his family in Melbourne.
The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on February 5. *** Fifteen Iranian asylum seekers are on their 19th day of hunger strike in Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre. Meanwhile, Martin, who has been on hunger strike since November last year, is very weak and close to death. Martin and the 15 are part of a group of about 35 Iranian asylum seekers who are being held indefinitely in detention. The government is unable to remove them to Iran because the Iranian government refuses to accept forced removals from Australia.
The US’s role in Latin America is facing a growing challenge. The 33 member states of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) vehemently rejected North American intervention in the continent, and particularly the US-led blockade of Cuba and recent sanctions against Venezuela. These positions were part of the “Belen Declaration”, approved during CELAC’s third annual presidential summit, held on January 28th and 29th in Belen, Costa Rica.
"The people of NSW should rise up and reject the Baird government's plan to sell off the state's power industry, just as Queensland voters did last weekend," Susan Price, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Summer Hill in the March 28 NSW elections, said on February 5. "The massive rejection of Premier Campbell Newman and his Liberal-National Party (LNP) government in the Queensland state election on January 31 has been sheeted home by most commentators to the LNP's disastrous plan to privatise the state's publicly owned electricity industry.
The boats that “just kept coming and coming” under Labor have been “all but stopped”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared to the Press Club in his widely described as “crash-and-burn” address on February 2. “The Abbott government has stopped the boats — and only this government will keep them stopped.”

Dunking her biscuit into the cup now covered in a suitable amount of filth, she thinks about the time she went driving up a mountain range in Cape York. “What a beautiful area — shame about the people.” Fully aware she’s been accused of intellectual snobbery on more than one occasion, she lulled herself into a meditative state, knowing she would have to turn on the charm once more. “I say vagina and cunt twenty times a day and they still accuse me of it,” she said out loud this time.

If you reading this after Tuesday, there's a chance we could have a new Overlord. Liberals spooked by polls so bad that an electoral coalition between Islamic State and Ebola — or hell, even the Labor Party — could probably win the next federal election, are holding a leadership spill that could dump Tony Abbott as prime minister less than half way through his first term.
On January 30 a meeting of the New South Wales Education Action Network (EAN) was convened at the University of Technology, Sydney. The EAN is a cross campus collective of university students committed to fighting fee deregulation and for free education. It is open to all student activists.
The Labor Party has enjoyed a remarkable recovery in the recent Queensland elections. Three years ago, after Labor privatised publicly owned railways, ports and forests, the party was reduced to a 27% primary vote and seven state seats. At the January 31 election, its primary vote rose to 38% and, with a stronger flow of Greens preferences, it won at least 43 seats with a possible total of 45 — the final result will be determined by further counting. Forty five seats would give the party an absolute majority in state parliament.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called national rallies against the federal government on March 4. They released this statement on January 30. *** Our rights at work are again under attack from the Tony Abbott government and employers. Just last week it became even clearer that the full-scale Productivity Commission inquiry into our rights at work could deliver cuts to penalty rates, the abolition of the minimum wage, bring back unfair individual contracts and swing even more power to the employers. The time to stand up and fight back is now.

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