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An event of profound importance took place in Brussels on July 12. The significance of the European summit negotiations extends well beyond the immediate — and devastating — consequences for the people of Greece. The fallout will not just affect the stability of the Greek government and the political future of SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
Guatemala: UN says corporate positioning of river 'ecocide' The United Nations said 23 species of fish and 21 species of birds, reptiles and mammals in Guatemala's Pasion River have been affected by contamination caused by industrial African oil palm production, TeleSUR English said.
Supporters of Die Linke (The Left) demonstrate in front of the Federal Chancellery, Berlin. Protests took place in 14 cities in Germany on July 16 against the German government’s aggressive treatment of the Greek crisis and in solidarity with their European Mediterranean neighbours.
The world has been focused on the spectacle of the “Troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Union and the European Central Bank crushing the Greek people, but it is far from the only example of strong nations using a “debt crisis” to extract more wealth from those that are weaker. A case in point is the US colony of Puerto Rico. In a June 28 New York Times interview, the governor of the Caribbean archipelago nation declared its debt of US$73 billion “is not payable. There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics. This is math.”

There has been a huge rise in asylum seekers in Bulgaria as a direct result of instability in North Africa and the Middle East. They use Bulgaria as a land entry into the European Union. The Bulgarian tabloid press has coined the phrase “wave”, which has now entered political and popular language. In 2009, the newly-elected government greatly changed the way the law was interpreted and enforced. Before 2010, there was not a single “illegal immigrant” convicted and jailed in the criminal prisons.

The Australian Marine Conservation Society released this statement on July 21. * * * The Australian Marine Conservation Society and the Australian environmental movement is in mourning over the sudden and unexpected loss of Felicity “Flic” Wishart who passed away in her sleep on July 19 aged 49. Flic was one of Australia’s leading conservationists and was a great and inspiring champion for the planet, the cause she dedicated her life to.

Tropical storms are increasing in frequency and strength. City of Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines, after Super Typhoon Yolanda, the strongest tropical storm to make landfall in history, struck in November 2013. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa.
Clearfelling old growth forest in Tasmania. Previously destroyed for woodchips, native forests are now in danger of being burned to create electricity. Reports that the owner of Victoria’s Hazelwood coal power station, GDF Suez, has been considering plans to convert it into a co-firing facility, allowing it to burn native forest waste as well as brown coal, have been slammed by environmentalists.
Opposition to Shenhua Watermark’s unpopular $1.2 billion open-cut coal mine, proposed for the Liverpool Plains in the north-west of NSW, is growing. The Coalition cabinet is split, as are NSW and federal National Party MPs. Federal agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, who is fighting to hold his New England seat, opposes the mine. His cabinet colleague, federal environment minister Greg Hunt, signed the mine’s approval on July 4.
The Melbourne Street Medic Collective released this statement on July 19. * * * On July 18, first aiders and medical professionals working as part of the Melbourne Street Medic Collective provided medical support to anti-racist/fascist protesters at the Rally Against Racism near the Victorian Parliament. During the course of this rally, officers from Victoria Police deployed chemical weapons in the form of OC (pepper) spray against the crowd. As a result several people required urgent medical attention and eventually hospitalisation, directly as a result of exposure to the spray.

Between 300 and 400 anti-racist activists faced off against racist and Islamophobic "Reclaim Australia" demonstrators in Perth on July 19. This was part of a national weekend of counter-rallies against those called by the far right group “Reclaim Australia”.

The Refugee Rights Action Network (RAAN) released this statement on July 23. * * * Baby Y Nhu and four year olds Khoi and Chuong are among those on board the Vietnamese asylum seeker boat intercepted by WA Water Police off the coast of Western Australia on July 20. At least eight children and about 30 adults are now being held by Border Force. They are on board a navy boat, possibly the HMAS Choules, which was used in April to hand back another group of asylum seekers from Vietnam.