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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”. The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.
Greece demands Germany pay war reparations Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has proposed creating a joint commission of Greek and German experts to address the issue of World War II reparations, TeleSUR English said on March 23. “Athens wants to come to an agreement regarding the issue of reparations, we need to find a common denominator,” Kotzias said. The foreign minister added that he prefers a political solution to the issue, rather than a legal one.
Representatives of the Wangan and Jagalingou people made this announcement on March 27. * * * The Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) people announced today that they have rejected an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Indian giant Adani to build the huge Carmichael coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. The W&J are the Indigenous traditional owners of the lands earmarked for the mine and of much of the Galilee Basin.
Melbourne punk band The Duvtons have come out of a five-year hiatus to record a catchy new anti-Abbott song to hasten the fall of “our very own idiot”.
“Down The Abbott Hole” By Zelda Grimshaw A group of musicians in Cairns, Queensland, have released a song controversially calling for the head of Tony Abbott. “Down the Abbott Hole” refers to Abbott’s Australia as a bleak and sterile environment, in which fear reigns over logic, and the atmosphere is “cold as ice, black as coal”. The song can be streamed online and was being played by radio stations all over the country just hours after its release.
VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT REPEALS ANTI-WIND FARM LAWS The Victorian Labor government has repealed the worst aspects of the Coalition's anti-wind farm laws. After a strong community campaign led by Friends of the Earth, the Andrews government announced it will remove the 2km right of veto that allowed householders to block wind farms. This measure will be replaced by a 1km buffer zone.
The Australian Conservation Foundation has released a report titled . It reveals that these 10 polluters — and it’s no surprise that most are electricity suppliers - are responsible for generating nearly one-third of greenhouse gases through their production and use of energy.
The Abbott government's metadata retention bill passed the Senate on March 26 with Labor support — deepening the mass surveillance of the public and further undermining the ability of investigative journalists to do their jobs. And just to really rub this attack on civil liberties in, the government is headed by an idiot who has less of a clue about the huge technology powers his law grants the state, than the Catholic Church has historically had of “duty of care when working with children”.
Hell-Bent: Australia’s Leap Into The Great War Douglas Newton Scribe, 2014 344 pages, $32.99 (pb) Behind all the froth, then and now, about the noble cause of World War I — defence of freedom against German aggression — lay a far less exalted reality, writes retired University of Western Sydney historian Douglas Newton. The war’s “grand plan” for Britain, candidly called “The Spoils” by the British Colonial Secretary, was to divvy the world up among the victors.
Workers in the South Australian retail sector — particularly young, casual workers — could lose their penalty rates thanks to a deal between retail employers and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA).
When neoliberal economics was being established as a hegemonic position in Australia in the late 1980s, 1.2 million workers were employed in the manufacturing industry — 15% of the workforce. The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) latest employment analysis shows that 25,000 jobs were lost in manufacturing last year, bringing the total employed down to 920,000 — 7.8% of the workforce. It is a trend that will only continue with the winding-down of the vehicle production industry and its related vehicle components sector.
When then-immigration minister Scott Morrison made a video in September last year callously informing refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru that they would never be allowed to settle in Australia, he hoped at least some would ask to be returned to their home country. But the video failed spectacularly. Not a single refugee or asylum seeker asked to be returned. Instead, angered by the video, they started a series of protests, hunger strikes, attempted suicides and instances of self-harm.
It seems you can’t turn around these days without having at least one of your senses assaulted by some form of advertising. It seems that is not about to change any time soon. In fact, judging by the amount of money that will be spent on advertising this year, things are about to get a lot worse.
Israelis voted for the status quo in elections on March 17. The ruling Likud party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were re-elected, as voters endorsed ongoing apartheid and military rule for the Palestinian population. Israeli Jewish society is itself wracked by economic and social crisis. It is also conflicted by class, gender, religious and ethnic divides. But like all Israeli elections, the campaign was fought over how Israel should relate to its subject Palestinian population.
No McDonald’s in Tecoma campaigner Richard Pearson was cleared of the charge of “defacing a public footpath” by a Melbourne Magistrates Court.
On March 25 university students and supporters of accessible education participated in National Day of Action rallies against the ongoing attacks on education. There were rallies in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Tasmania and Wollongong.

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