Whether or not it is true, the internet has decided that British Prime Minister David Cameron probably put his private parts into the mouth of a dead pig when he was at Oxford. The allegations have been made by extremely well-connected Establishment figures, former Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Lord Michael Ashcroft and former Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott, and is published in the Daily Mail. This is the highest possible tier of character assassination in British politics.
SYRIZA pulled off a remarkable victory at the September 20 Greek election. Although burdened by its acceptance of the draconian austerity measures in the third memorandum imposed by Greece's creditors and eight months of rule in the midst of recession, closed banks and capital controls, SYRIZA's vote fell by only 0.88% and its parliamentary seats by just four.
Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Stopwar.org.uk. Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader has raised hopes for people who oppose Britain's wars. More than in any other area, it will take a mighty effort to make those hopes real. There is no other area in which national politics so ignores the population at large. On the economy, health, education and so on, there is at least debate.
Threats from a senior general that the army would take “direct action” against a possible Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government show a jaw-dropping contempt for democracy. Top brass “wouldn’t stand” for a prime minister committed to international peace, said the September 20 Sunday Times, and would be prepared to use “fair means or foul” to stop a PM who “jeopardise[s] the security of this country”. The outspoken military chief remains anonymous, of course.
In Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this month, a range of human rights groups co-sponsored a side event during the 30th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) addressing “the extensive use of torture and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment in the Saudi criminal justice system”.
Workers from Venezuela's 'housing mission', which is building large numbers of public housing, march on Venezuela's independence day, July 5. Photo from Venezuela Analysis. Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution has transformed the country since the rise to power of late socialist president Hugo Chavez in 1998 on a platform of tackling poverty and promoting participatory democracy.
The United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report of its investigation into human rights violations in Sri Lanka found “reasonable grounds to believe that gross violations of international human rights law … were committed.” The investigation deals with the period between February 2002 and November 2011. It thus includes the final years of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE fought for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka and was defeated in May 2009.
There is a growing chorus of people and groups calling on Malcolm Turnbull to recall and recycle the Radicalisation Awareness Kit that claims environmentalism is a pathway to violent extremism. The Greens have called for it to be withdrawn from circulation immediately and consigned to the recycling bin. Greens Leader Richard Di Natale said: “This booklet is so tainted by Tony Abbott’s politics of fear it should be shredded. Malcolm Turnbull has got to assert his leadership and declare Abbott’s culture wars are over.
Austria, as well as Serbia and Croatia, have joined other European countries in temporarily closing their borders. On September 21, Croatia closed its last checkpoint for trucks on the Serbian border where thousands of refugees are waiting to cross in the hope of a better life.
The Queensland government's Reef Water Quality Protection Plan released its Report Card 2014 on September 21. It states, “Results show the need to accelerate the rate of change and drive innovation to meet the ambitious targets.” Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles, who released the report, said there was more bad news than good in the report. “If one of my kids came home with a report card like this, I'd be a bit disappointed,” he said.
A planned strike set for September 22 was cancelled when the tram and bus division of the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) struck a deal with Yarra Trams. Workers had to take industrial action to win an agreement — they had non-uniform days, they banned short-running on tram routes and they had two four-hour strikes. They were about to go on strike again for four hours when the negotiations reached a resolution.
If you are reading this, you are clearly at high risk of “radicalisation” — a budding violent extremist probably only a few Triple J Hottest 100 tracks away from blowing up Parliament House, or at least picketing the offices of a classic FM station.
It has been a year since the death of Black teenager Michael Brown, a year since the rebellion in Ferguson, a year since the Black Lives Matter movement began to shift the conversation in just about every avenue of US life. That shift can be seen in culture — music, in particular. Not surprisingly, hip hop has led the way — not just through a predictable barrage of tweets by musicians and artists, but a sustained, meaningful wave of creativity engaging with a bold, sometimes chaotic movement.
Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan. There are an estimated 1,400,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. Tragic photos and videos of masses of asylum seekers and immigrants from the Middle East and Africa have recently shocked the world. But these ordeals have been going on for a long time.
Four big Australian musical acts have united to release two tracks in support of SOS Blak Australia's campaign to oppose the closure of dozens of remote Aboriginal communities.