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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, prosecutors announced 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".

During the final session of El Salvador's outgoing parliament on April 29, right-wing parties blocked a vote to ratify a constitutional reform that would have enshrined water and food as human rights. In doing so, the bloc of Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), National Conciliation (PCN), and Christian Democrat (PDC) parties demonstrated their support for elite business interests over the health and wellbeing of the Salvadoran people.

People around the world took to the streets on May 1 to mark May Day, the international workers' day. The day started in the United States in the late 1800s, when unions first called for an eight hour work day, but countries throughout the world soon followed suit in demands for better working conditions.
Thousands of Venezuelans took part in May Day rallies on May 1 to mark the international workers' day and commemorate the achievements of the country's pro-poor Bolivarian revolution. Speaking to May Day celebrations in Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “Now is time for workers to lead the economic policy of the country.”
To mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, US rapper Marcel Cartier released the track "The Guns Of The Viet Minh".
In a three-hour appearance on private TV channel Star TV on April 27, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke extensively about the challenges confronting the anti-austerity government led by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA). The program began with a grilling of Tsipras by interviewer Niko Katsinikolao and ended with questions from a 50-strong audience. A lot of questions reflected growing concern that talks with the country’s creditors — mainly the “Troika” of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) — were stalled.
LONELY PLANET REMOVES WICKED CAMPERS FROM TRAVEL GUIDE Wicked Campers are known for their campervans emblazoned with sexist and demeaning slogans. Many complaints against Wicked Campers to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) have been upheld, but Australia’s system of industry self-regulation means there is no enforcement of the ASB’s ruling, and Wicked Campers have no obligation to remove the advertising.
April 28 is International Workers’ Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. It is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace incidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is Remember the dead — Fight for the living.
Malaysian police have arrested Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan, formal President of Malaysian Bar Council Ambiga Sreenevasan and member of parliament for Seremban Anthony Loke at a May Day demonstration on May 1. The arrests are part of the recent wave of crackdown on anti-GST (anti-poor goods and services tax) and aim to further curtail dissent in the country. Another 29 young people were arrested soon after the May Day rally. More people have been call to report themselves to the police otherwise will be subjected to arrest.

Photo: Unite.org.nz New Zealand's Unite Union, which organises fast food, hospitality and retail workers, announced a big win on May 1 with McDonald's finally agreeing to join Burger King and Restaurant Brands and cease using controversial “zero hour” contracts.

An irony of the sacking of SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre for a series of tweets he made on Anzac Day is that the hysterical reaction from politicians and the media, and the consequences he has faced, has only served to prove his initial point. Anzac Day is not about remembering history. To remember what actually happened at Gallipoli 100 years ago, and in Australia’s involvement in wars more generally, is not permissible. Whatever the Anzacs fought and died for, it was not free speech.
Residents of Bentley, near Lismore in the NSW Northern Rivers district, have vowed to continue their fight against coal seam gas (CSG) mining following the Supreme Court’s “technical” decision to overturn the government’s suspension of Metgasco’s gas drilling licence.
A Senate inquiry into corporate tax avoidance last week revealed that BHP Billiton was funnelling profits from Australian minerals through a marketing arm based in Singapore as a way of dodging tax in Australia. From 2006 to 2014, BHP was “selling” minerals mined in Australia to its Singaporean arm at well below market rates. The prices were then marked-up and sold on to third-party companies in Singapore, thereby attracting the infinitesimal Singaporean tax rate.
Proceedings in the Queensland Land and Environment Court concerning the objection by conservation group Land Services of Coast and Country (LSCC) to the Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin are drawing to a close. LSCC’s objection to the mine is based on the claim that it poses an unacceptable danger to climate change, groundwater, the Great Barrier Reef and the endangered black-throated finch.
Australia's age pension system is under attack from the federal government and right-wing, neoliberal forces. The whole community, current and future retirees, needs to mobilise to defend and extend the age pension system and change the superannuation system to more adequately meet the needs of working people. The age pension in Australia dates back to 1909. It was established as a non-contributory scheme, largely as a result of the demands of unions and community pressure.
Historically, the strength of unionism in Australia rested on the three tenets of what came to be called “labourism” — white Australia, tariff protection and compulsory arbitration. As these policy settings were wound back, union membership fell into gradual and then steep decline. From the late-1980s, the union movement's chief response was to reduce the number of unions. This was advanced on the logic that a small number of large unions would have access to greater resources to direct towards retention and recruitment of members.

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