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The brutal determination of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to kill two Australian citizens comes as no surprise to West Papuan independence activists, who say they share Australia's pain. A West Papuan independence activist, who has been in exile for 12 years after escaping the Indonesian-controlled province, has called on the Australian government to look on “in sympathy [and] in pain” for his own people, who are being “killed like animals” after the execution of two Australians.
The fifth anniversary of BP's Macondo well explosion was marked on April 20. The explosion killed 11 rig workers and sent millions of barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, making it the worst offshore oil spill in US history. Oil gushed from the site for 87 days, killing wildlife and prompting fishing bans. It also led to safety regulation standards intended to make the offshore oil and gas industry safer.
Democrat Hillary Clinton has finally announced she is running for United States president in next year's elections. In the goof-ball electoral farce that US elections have evolved into, the electoral campaign actually began shortly after the 2012 election. So it is not odd that the campaigns of both the Republicans and Democrats are now in earnest, nineteen months before the actual election — something not seen in any other “advanced” country.
Two years after the 2013 factory collapse in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, that killed more than 1100 people, the victims' families filed a lawsuit in a US federal court on April 24. It targets Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other US-based companies that sourced their products from the Rana factory. The plaintiffs claim the retailers knew “that Bangladesh factories had an extremely poor record of workplace safety standards and industrial building standards, including garment factories”.
The 40th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War, which claimed the lives of millions of Vietnamese as a result of the United States aggression against the country, was marked on April 30. The war lasted from 1955 to 1975. Ending in Vietnamese victory with the forced US withdrawal. It is known in Vietnam as the “War Against the Americans to Save the Nation”.
A global day of action on April 29 involved protests in several cities to call on the Indonesian government to allow free and open access into occupied West Papua for international journalists, humanitarian agencies and human rights groups. Melbourne rally co-organiser said Matt Gale said: “West Papua is one of the world’s most isolated conflict spots. For decades, indigenous activists campaigning for their rights have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed.
Speaking to party activists after the left-wing Socialist Party (SP) once again recorded a positive result in the March 18 provincial elections, party leader Emile Roemer said: “This is an historic evening. We have become the biggest left party in the Netherlands. “The SP is a powerful factor in the Senate. An ideal starting point for the SP to be elected to government at the next general election.”
"More than three-quarters of the buildings in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, are uninhabitable or unsafe following the 7.9-magnitude earthquake nine days ago, a new survey has revealed," on May 4.
Britain's May 7 general election is set to be the closest in living memory. In the polls, the two leading parties, Labour and the Conservatives (Tories), are within points of each other. The polls have not shifted despite the best efforts of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband to secure a breakthrough. Why are the polls so close?
If you don't understand baseball's Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, then you can't understand why the Maryland city exploded this week. If you don't understand Oriole Park at Camden Yards then you can't understand why what happened in Baltimore can replicate itself in other cities around the United States.
The French government has joined the Australian government in ignoring its own reports that say a transition to 100% renewable energy is feasible and involves little extra cost. Mediapart obtained a report from the French government’s environment and energy agency body ADEME that showed shifting to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is materially and technologically feasible. The report found it would cost relatively little more than the existing electricity supply, which is 75% nuclear.
Thailand's military junta’s new draft constitution is a pathetic, backward, anti-democratic and infantile document. Just like the rantings of generalissimo Prayut Chan-ocha, the regime's prime minister, it is full of tub-thumping and shouting about the “duties” and “responsibilities” of Thai people to grovel to “Nation, Religion and King”. It is infantile because it is written by conservatives who think that by bullying the population into conforming to elite beliefs, they can actually change peoples’ attitudes.

Photo: Venezuelan Presidency Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro inaugurated the 700,000th house built under a state-led initiative to provide housing to the most needy Venezuelans on April 17. During the celebration of the launch, part of the Great Mission for Venezuelan Housing program, Maduro said the program aimed to build hundreds of thousands of new houses between now and the end of next year.

A new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found Venezuela cut its military budget by 34% last year, leading the region in arms spending cuts. In contrast, United States political allies Paraguay and Mexico led the region in upping military spending, raising military budgets by 13% and 11%, respectively.

Six Baltimore police officers will face criminal charges over the death of 25-year-old African American man Freddie Gray, who died in police custody, on May 1. Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who said the charges will include manslaughter and murder, added that Gray had committed no crime and was "illegally arrested".

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