1055

Two blasts ripped through a rally of the left-wing HDP (People’s Democratic Party) in the city of Amed (Diyarbakir) southeastern Turkey (North Kurdistan) on June 5, killing four people and injuring more than 400 just two days before a general election, the Dicle News Agency (DIHA) said. The HDP is presenting a strong challenge to the AK Party of authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Protest against Guarimba, Caracas, January 21. Photo: Cory Fischer-Hoffman. Leftists in Venezuela have put forward several explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that have beset the nation recently. These difficulties raise the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections.
Strike actions in the region of Puno. Photo: TeleSUR / Rael Mora. A 48-hour strike regional strike in the south of Peru defied a state of emergency on Mary 27 and 28, continuing to protest against Southern Copper Corp's unpopular Tia Maria mine.
Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen killed more than 80 people on May 27, making it the deadliest day since the start of Saudi military operations against the Yemeni rebels two months ago. The Saudi raids took place near Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia. Residents told Reuters that more than 40 civilians were killed as the coalition's planes failed to target the rebel combatants who were fighting Saudi border soldiers at Bakeel al-Meer area in Hajjah province.
Hundreds of environmental activists blocked a port terminal in Seattle on May 16 to protest against Royal Dutch Shell’s proposed drilling in the Arctic. Shell is set to carry out more environmentally irresponsible deep-water drilling as a result of their planned $US74 billion takeover of rival company BG. BG is a British multinational with several deep-water drilling projects around the globe. In 2008, it paid $US3.4 billion for Curtis LNG in Queensland and now exports coal seam gas (CSG) to Asia from Gladstone.
The Bulgarian Prisoners' Rehabilitation Association (BPRA) won a victory on May 22 when it was invited to send a representative to a Ministry of Justice working group on prison reform. The BPRA was founded in 2012 by Jock Palfreeman, an Australian anti-racist activist serving a 20-year sentence in Sofia central prison after he was framed for murdering a neo-Nazi. It is the first inmate-run prisoners' rights group in Bulgaria's history.
The long-running Iraq war, now in its 12th year, re-appeared in the corporate media with news another major city, Ramadi, had fallen to the self-styled Islamic State (IS). Barely 11 months after the Iraqi army's defeat in Mosul, it turned and fled the Ramadi battlefield, surrendering US military equipment to the IS. Ramadi, situated in the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, has always resisted the US military and its client armies, such as Shia militias controlled by the Baghdad authorities.
Since the 1973 United States Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision in legalising most abortions, there has been a steady erosion of women’s abortion rights in the US - with the complicity of both major capitalist parties. A new wave of restrictions spearheaded by Republicans has developed in the past three years, gaining more traction in the past year.
“Iran is not a safe space,” Bahman, an Iranian refugee living in Australia and active in Iranian Workers Solidarity, told Green Left Weekly. Bahman was responding to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop’s recent visit to Iran, where she tried to persuade the Iranian government to accept asylum seekers sent back to Iran involuntarily.
Saudi Arabia, a member of the UN's Human Rights Council and a close US ally, is hiring more executioners, according to its Ministry of Civil Service website.
This speech was given by high-school student Lawson Tanner at a rally for marriage equality in Sydney on May 31. *** The long road of changing public opinion and constant campaigning, which has brought us to now, a time where many believe this could be it. The Greens have recently introduced a private member’s bill to amend the Marriage Act to remove restrictions on marriage being between a man and a woman, and Labor have also put in a similar bill.
The federal government wants to allow burning native forest waste to qualify for renewable energy subsidies under the Renewable Energy Target (RET). They reached a compromise with Labor early this month for a renewable energy target of 33 gigawatt hours (GWh). However, negotiations have since broken down due to the federal government’s fine print inclusion of burning native forest biomass in furnaces and the retention of two-yearly reviews of the RET.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has turned playing the national security card into a cliche in his desperate attempt to reverse his unpopularity by promising to protect Australians' lives from a serious threat of terrorism. On May 26, he again gave a press conference in front of half a dozen Australian flags, arguing that stopping Australians from being harmed by terrorists was his government's overriding priority and foreshadowing announcements in the coming parliamentary sitting week of a new round of legislation attacking fundamental civil liberties.
The University of Sydney has found no grounds to dismiss Associate Professor Jake Lynch as director of the university’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, following its investigation into possible breaches of its code of conduct. Lynch will keep his job and has been cleared of serious misconduct after an investigation into a campus protest left him facing dismissal. This follows an announcement by the university in April clearing Lynch of accusations of anti-Semitism.
Exorbitant gas and electricity bills are threatening Victorian living standards. The Essential Services Commission (ESC) of Victoria reported that more than 34,000 households were disconnected from essential utilities in 2013/14. The residential electricity disconnection rate increased this year to 1.47 disconnections per 100 customers, a 36% increase on the 1.07 disconnections in 2012/13. The ESC also reported an increase in the gas disconnection rate to 1.33 disconnections per 100 customers, a 42% increase on the rate in 2012/13.
Australian lawmakers are set to begin debating marriage equality, and the anti-equality brigade is not happy at all. The Australian Christian Lobby’s managing director Lyle Shelton is the public face of the campaign against marriage equality in Australia. I certainly don’t agree with him on everything, but I do agree with his motto, which can be aptly summarised by Helen Lovejoy’s catchphrase, “won’t somebody please think of the children.” But for once in my life I should make a minor confession: I mostly agree out of pure narcissism. This is my open letter to Shelton. * * *

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