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A recently published report has revealed that the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq was responsible for the deaths of about 1 million Iraqis, or 5% of the population. The report also tallies hundreds of thousands of casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the US-led war.
The Greek government said on April 17 that it was releasing detainees in its neglected immigration centers. “The people that were there, were living an indescribable barbarity,” said Greek immigration minister Tasia Christodoulopoulou. According to Christodoulopoulou, many of the detainees were illegally being held indefinitely.
VIC TRADES HALL CONDEMNS SDA ON PENALTY RATES The Victorian Trades Hall Council has condemned the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s agreement with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce to remove penalty rates for retail workers. The VTHC said it opposed any move to further the federal government’s agenda by attacking hard fought entitlements and condemns attacks by the business lobby to reduce workers' wages. EAST WEST LINK PAYOUT
President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama. The seventh Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City on April 10 and 11, was widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.
Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, TeleSUR English said that day. The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000 individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty, whilst the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth gaps, has dropped 4.8 points since 2006.
United States politics is witnessing a new sorry spectacle — and one with real consequences for Australia, as well as other nations on the Pacific rim. US President Barack Obama is trying to drum up support from his party to implement the agenda of the huge corporations that sought to block his election and re-election via the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” deal involving 12 Pacific rim nations. The text of the proposed agreement and the negotiations have been kept secret, but key chapters have leaked and been published by WikiLeaks.
BRISBANE Join us on International Workers’ Memorial Day on Tuesday April 28 at 10am to remember all those who have been injured or killed at work and renew the call for safe workplaces. Emma Miller Place, Roma St, Brisbane. CAIRNS Come to a May Day Dinner on Friday May 1 at 7pm to celebrate workers’ solidarity. With Jeremiah Johnson and band, great speakers and bar. Entry including food $35/$25; entry only $10/$7. Machans Beach Hall. Ph Jonathan 0437 790 306. MELBOURNE
Federal education minister Christopher Pyne has given $4 million to Danish climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg to set up the Australian Consensus Centre at the University of Western Australia. Lomborg is a well-known climate policy sceptic and the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, whose funding was cut by the Danish government in 2012.
Danny Nahlliah, Australia First Candidate, Pastor for Catch the Fire Ministries and keynote speaker at the Melbourne Reclaim Australia rally on April 4, rang Tom Elliott on 3AW on April 7 and accused Socialist Alliance of planting neo-Nazis in the Reclaim Australia crowd to make the rallies and participants look bad. This is an accusation that is even more ridiculous than their other claim that Halal certification funds terrorism.
Community Solidarity Action was launched in Darwin to respond to funding cuts under the federal government's Indigenous Advancement Strategy and to protest against the closure of communities in Western Australia. The group was launched by community organisations, unions and individuals concerned about or affected by the recent funding announcements and community closures.
The head of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), Catherine Livingstone, has called for a national “conversation” about what the federal government and the business community euphemistically call “economic reform”. Ever in thrall to trickle-down economics, they manage to talk in “doublespeak”, a close relative of the doublethink that George Orwell wrote about in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing is nearly upon us and the government decided to kick off commemorating the sacrifice of nearly 9000 Australian soldiers in the failed invasion of Turkey by sending 300 more soldiers to take part in the seemingly endless failed war on Iraq. This government is sometimes accused of insensitivity, but who could disagree that the best way to remember a disastrous invasion of a country half-way around the world that poses no threat to Australia on behalf of an incompetent foreign power is to repeat the exercise.