For the first time in its history, the US colony of Puerto Rico has gone into default, Moody's Investors Service said on August 3. The news comes after years of economic turmoil in the island, produced mainly by the 2007-2010 recession and housing crisis that have affected the US. The default came soon after the island's Government Development Bank announced that it was only able to make a partial payment on its US$72 billion debt. This debt crisis directly hurts the Caribbean island's residents, since the debt is mostly owned by residents through credit unions.
South Kordofan residents at a makeshift UN camp near Kadugli. Amnesty International released a report on August 3 detailing horrific war crimes committed against the people of South Kordofan by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and its militias.
The extent of anger at austerity in Britain — and desire for an alternative to the pro-corporate politics of Britain's major parties — is being exposed by the scale of enthusiasm and support for the campaign of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn for leadership of the Labour Party.
'Put the bill, pass the bill' was the message as 700 people marched through the streets of Perth in support of marriage equality on August 9. The rally began with a new song by Luke John O'Dell and featured speakers including Joey Cookman from Playgroups with Pride, trans activist Jayne McFadyen and Greens parliamentarian Lynn MacLaren.
CONALCAM brings Bolivia’s main indigenous and popular organisations together with state representatives to coordinate and debate economic policies. The small Andean nation of Bolivia has received praise from many quarters due to the economic transformation it has undergone over the past decade.
Bersih 3.0 mass protest for democracy in Kuala Lumpar, April 2012.
Ecuador: Correa says Latin American left faces 'new Cold War' Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said on August 5 that left-wing governments in Latin America are facing “a new Cold War” that seeks to “annihilate them” through strategies of political destabilisation. The statements of the socialist leader come as opposition groups, including many from the far right, are planning a new series of protests against his government.
The 70th anniversary of the United States' atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a reminder that when the United States' enemies commit crimes, they are crimes. But when the United States commits crimes, they did not happen. In 1928, Arthur Ponsonby, a British politician, said: “When war is declared, the first casualty is the truth”. But he never specified what the distorted “truth” might be. If one were to examine all wars the US has engaged in, however, one might conclude the casualty to be civilian death counts.
Students say ‘Resign Pyne’ About 100 people protested outside the Melbourne launch of federal education minister Christopher Pyne’s new book, A Letter to My Children, on July 31. The day before, Pyne had been chased off La Trobe University by students chanting, "Pyne the Minister. Can he fix it? No he can’t.” The protest was called to draw attention to Pyne's ongoing attempts to deregulate university fees. This would condemn future students to pay much higher fees to gain a tertiary education.
Labor and the Locavore: The Making of a Comprehensive Food Ethic By Margaret Gray University of California Press, 2014 Over the past few decades there has been a rapid growth of interest in buying food that does not come from large-scale industrial farms. Concerns exist over their use of large amounts of commercial fertilisers, pesticides and genetically modified organisms, and inhumane treatment of farm animals.
The July 23 deal between the US and Turkey — which gives the US access to Turkey's Incirlik airbase and officially brings Turkey into the US-led “war on ISIS” — makes one thing clear. For Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the real enemy is not the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State — more commonly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It is the Kurdish freedom movement and the Turkish left.
Anti-water charge protests in Letterkenny, County Donegal on November 1. The Irish government’s unpopular public utility, Irish Water, has been dealt a body blow. It failed two key tests within the space of a fortnight — gifting a huge victory to opposition parties and the huge anti-water charges movement.
What do working people in a country like Australia need with trade unions or legal protections when employers in this country are so thoughtful as to email their workers at midnight to tell them they were sacked, as Hutchison Ports kindly did on August 6 to nearly 100 port workers in Sydney and Brisbane?
When Tony Abbott’s government asked the Productivity Commission to review Australia’s “workplace relations framework” it was for the sole purpose of providing it with cover for more attacks on workers’ pay and conditions. One of its terms of reference was to examine the ability that employers had to “flexibly” manage and engage with their employees. Flexibility is a word that once commonly conveyed a positive sense of resourcefulness and adaptability. But the notion of flexibility that the Productivity Commission refers to is one shaped by employers.
The midnight text message that sacked 100 workers — this is the face of Australian industrial relations today. Workers at Hutchison Ports in Sydney and Brisbane received their marching orders by text and email overnight on August 7, informing them that their positions had been made redundant, there were no redeployment opportunities and their personal belongings would be couriered to them.
The conservative right has launched a last ditch campaign to swing public opinion away from support for marriage equality. The Marriage Alliance, a new organisation dedicated to opposing what it sees as a threat to “family values”, was launched on August 2. Backed by wealthy businesspeople, the campaign hopes to scare people away from marriage equality by raising vague but menacing threats about damage to children and loss of “rights and freedoms”.