1073

George Bender, a 68­-year­-old cotton farmer from Chinchilla, Queensland, took his own life on October 14. His family lays the blame squarely with the coal seam gas (CSG) industry he had fought against for a decade.

Describe by his family as “a straight talker” who “told the truth, not the sugar coated bullshit”, George was a
fifth generation farmer in the Western Downs. He stood for the right for a farmer to say “no” to the gas industry.

His family said in an October 20 statement: “[George] was willing to talk openly to anyone who was interested


Activists wave left Bloc flags.

Will Portugal finally see the end of the austerity imposed over four years by the right-wing coalition of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre—People's Party (CDS-PP)?


Activists wave left Bloc flags.

Will Portugal finally see the end of the austerity imposed over four years by the right-wing coalition of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Democratic and Social Centre—People's Party (CDS-PP)?


Activists from Turkey's Kurdish lead People's Democratic Party (HDP).

Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis
By Tim Flannery
Text Publishing, 2015
245 pages

Australian scientist Tim Flannery became fascinated with proposals to extract excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans when the billionaire aeronautics carbon-polluter Richard Branson, in response to Flannery's first book on climate change, The Weather Makers, invited Flannery to be a judge on Branson's £25 million Virgin Earth Challenge prize for methods of carbon withdrawal and storage.

The US government said on October 10 it would make “condolence payments” to those injured in an attack it carried out earlier this month on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan. The series of air strikes on the trauma centre in Kunduz killed 22 people and injured 37 others.

MSF has denounced the strikes as a war crime. “This was not just an attack on our hospital — it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions,” said MSF International president Dr Joanne Liu.

A dozen MSF employees were killed in the attack, along with 10 patients, including three children.

The spreading scandal of Volkswagen's falsifying of emission tests to evade regulations has begun to expose the cozy connections between the German government and the company.

A recent article in the New York Times said: “There exists a revolving-door climate in which leaders glide between tops posts in government and auto firms.”

But a recent settlement between the US government and General Motors reveals similar corruption.

The Coal Face
By Tom Doig
Penguin, 2015
$9.99, 144 pages

Released earlier this year, Tom Doig's The Coal Face describes the day last year that fire took hold in Victoria's Hazelwood coal mine and burned for one-and-a-half months.

The Spanish football club Sevilla has rejected a €5 million sponsorship deal to advertise tourism in Israel on its players’ shirts.

The 2015 UEFA Europa League champions turned down the offer due to the “political connotations” of appearing to support Israel, according to the Spanish sports publication Mundo Deportivo.

Club sources told the sports website ElDesmarque that the image Israeli sponsorship would project “could be detrimental to Sevilla, especially taking into account present political issues and sensibilities and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.

Henning Mankell, the creator of the Swedish detective Wallander and activist for Palestinian and African rights, died at home on October 5 aged 67. He had been diagnosed with cancer early last year.

Many fans of crime fiction will remember Mankell best for his Wallander novels — dark Scandinavian crime stories featuring a cynical, aging detective. Yet his stand for Palestinian rights is also an important part of his legacy.

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