I guess there were some people who thought that the leopard Tony Abbott may have changed his spots after his look-we've-changed 2015 federal budget. The polls certainly suggest this. As William Bowie wrote in his Poll Bludger column in Crikey.com: “A flurry of post-budget opinion polls adds up to a solid increase in the Coalition’s standing, with Tony Abbott’s personal standing now rivalling his least-bad results since his short-lived post-election honeymoon.”
Perth rally for Rohingyan refugees. Photo: Alex Bainbridge Rallies were held around the country on May 22 to demand that Australian government end its inhumane policy of turning back refugees and rescue the thousands of Rohingyan refugees abandoned at sea before they starve to death.
BRISBANE Watch a film: Roque Dalton — Let’s Shoot the Night on Saturday May 30 at 12.30pm. Hosted by Latin American Community Association. Marooka Community Centre, 40 Gainsborough St, Brisbane. GEELONG Come to a film: Ivory Tower on Thursday Jun 4 at 5.30pm. The film examines the recent student debt crisis through a broad spectrum of institutions and startling statistics that directly address concerns for the future of higher education. Geelong Trades Hall, 127 Myers Street. Bookings visit eventbrite.com.au. Presented by the NTEU.
United States: Thousands of low-paid McDonald's workers protest Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of US$15 per hour have protested outside the fast-food giant's headquarters for two days of protests on May 21 and 22. Reuters said: “Protests by low-wage fast-food and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate about pay levels ... “Tyree Johnson, 47, of Chicago joined thousands of others for noisy but peaceful protests outside McDonald's headquarters in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook on Wednesday.
In its latest federal budget, the Tony Abbott Liberal-National government announced the setting up of a $5 billion “concessional loan facility” called the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility. The proposal has been condemned by environmental and Aboriginal rights groups.
Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement?
Tasmanian Greens leader Kim Booth quits parliament Kim Booth has announced he is stepping down as Tasmanian Greens leader and resigning from State Parliament, effective immediately. His seat will be filled on countback by another Greens candidate. He cited family reasons and the need for renewal in the Greens as the reasons for his shock resignation.
The white US police officer who shot dead Black teenager VonDerrit Myers while off-duty will not be prosecuted, officials said on May 18. The 18-year-old teen was shot 17 times in St Louis in October, six minutes after buying a sandwich at convenience store. His death exacerbated protests in Missouri state against the killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in the nearby town of Ferguson in August, also by a white officer. Like the fatal shooting of Brown, the details of Myers’ death contained startling inconsistencies.
More than 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers are stranded in the Malacca Straits. About 200 people have already died and more are at risk from dehydration and starvation. The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia. The lives of the Rohingyan asylum seekers rest in the hands of regional governments of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Every hour that passes without assistance puts more lives in danger.
Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning spoke at a public forum in Melbourne on May 13 about the fate of refugees deported from Australia. Glendenning is also the director of the Edmund Rice Centre, which has investigated the fate of asylum seekers deported to their homeland, or pressured to return "voluntarily".