1067

The one thing neoliberal touts want us to forget is that the effects of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 have never been overcome – and are still felt today. There is no such thing as everlasting “natural growth” in the world economy. As John Maynard Keynes long ago pointed out, capitalism “seems capable of remaining in a chronic condition of sub-normal activity for a considerable period without any marked tendency towards recovery or complete collapse”.
BlueScope Steel announced a on August 24. This is an improvement on last year’s loss of $83 million, but not by much compared to past profits. The results were released on the day the Australian share market suffered its worst fall since the global financial crisis, yet BlueScope’s share price went up by almost 9%.
Syrian refugees on Greece-Macedonia border. Photo: Amnesty International. “Are we animals? Why? Why?” Those were the words of one Syrian refugee to BBC's Channel 4 recently after Macedonian police attacked desperate families seeking entry into the country along the border with Greece. The refugee crisis has grown to immense proportions. Tens of thousands of people have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks. Macedonia
Dyson Heydon will not step down as commissioner investigating corruption in trade unions, having decided to ignore the widespread perception of his political bias. Whatever else he might be, Heydon is no fool. When he accepted the job as royal commissioner he knew what was expected of him. The commission was set up as a political witch-hunt into unions, designed to give the Coalition government an issue which it thought it could win the next election with. Heydon was happy to oblige and has been handsomely paid for doing so.
Palestinians in Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp demand the rebuilding of homes destroyed during Israel’s 51-day assault on the territory last year, June 15. Until July, not one of the homes destroyed during Israel’s assault on Gaza last year had been rebuilt. Why? Israeli rights group Gisha, which monitors Israel’s siege of Gaza, tries to provides answers in a recent analysis, “Where’s the housing boom?”
The was released by Palestinian BDS National Committee on August 25. * * *
Human-caused global warming has worsened California's extreme four-year drought by as much as 25%, says a new study that is just the latest to link the abnormally dry conditions with human-caused climate change. The study by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, published on August 20 in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that within a few decades, continually rising temperatures and resulting moisture losses will push California into even more persistent aridity.
About 400,000 people marched in New York last September as part of global 'people's marches' demanding climate action. Desmond Tutu, Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky are among a group of high-profile activists, academics and political figures who issued a call to action against climate change on August 27.
Fifty-three members out of SYRIZA's 201-strong central committee, have resigned on August 26 in protest at the new bail-out deal SYRIZA signed that agrees to the type of brutal austerity measures SYRIZA was elected in January to oppose, Enikos.gr said that day. Most have joined the Popular Unity movement, supported by former members of SYRIZA's Left Platform that will run on an anti-austerity platform in new elections called when SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras resigned recently.
President Anote Tong from the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati does not mince words on the urgent need to phase out coal. He cannot afford to — his country is literally disappearing as a result of global warming. Tong released a statement on August 13 calling on countries to commit to phasing out coal before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris in December where more than 190 countries are expected to attend. “A global moratorium on new coal mines [is] an essential initial step in our collective global action against climate change,” he said.
Well over 1000 people attended the Bersih 4.0 rally in Perth on August 29. This was more than double the number who attended .
The only thing unclear about Abbott's likely response to a request to join the US air war in Syria is how many flags Abbott will stand in front of when he makes the announcement. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied reports his government lobbied the US to formally request for Australia to extend its involvement in the US-led air war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — and bomb targets in Syria, not just Iraq.
Carol Hucker worked on Manus Island as a counsellor for International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) and as a case worker for the Salvation Army from June 2013 to July last year. She has allowed Green Left Weekly to publish her account of her time there so people can become more aware of what is occurring on Manus Island and to these men. She said: “It is my hope that through this brief account the men on Manus will not be forgotten.” This is the first of a multi-part series and covers the period June to July 2013. * * *
With industrial disputes breaking out on wharves and warehouses around the country, conflict is also brewing between those who kick the roundball on the nation's football (soccer) pitches and those who administer the game. Football Federation Australia (FFA) is locked in a long-running dispute with players — represented by their union, the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) — over a new collective bargaining agreement. The PFA is seeking a better pay deal for the national men's team (Socceroos) and national women's team (Matildas), as well as an A-League salary cap and wage rise.
The University of Queensland Resistance Club has joined with other student clubs to call on the university administration to divest money from fossil fuels. The university has an undisclosed amount of money invested in projects whose emissions jeopardise the future of the young people that UQ is supposed to be educating.
An emotional and highly charged stopwork meeting of hundreds of tram workers jammed into Trades Hall on August 27 to hear a report on their dispute with Yarra Trams. Yarra Trams and Metro Rail workers had called off a planned four-hour strike on August 21 in the hope that the companies would present the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) with a better offer. The better offer never came so the tram workers struck for four hours on August 27. This was the first tram strike since 1997.

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