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

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.

Residents of El Rancho march in protest against the El Pavon mining project. Photo: Environmental Justice Atlas.

After a long campaign of community resistance to the project, the Nicaraguan government has declared that the Canadian company B2Gold’s bid to open a gold mine is “unviable” due to its environmental impacts.

FMLN supporters celebrate election victory. March, 2014.

Thirty-five years after its founding, El Salvador's historic Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) is set to hold its first national congress at the end of October.

Statue of Guaicaipuro. Photo: Correo del Orinoco.

A statue of Caribe indigenous resistance hero Guaicaipuro was unveiled on October 12 by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to commemorate the Day of Indigenous Resistance.

Guaicaipuro, an indigenous chief of the Caribes, led one of the most successful resistance campaigns against invading Spanish colonial forces throughout the 1560s and is revered by many of Venezuela’s grassroots movements.

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)?


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