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Christian Schmidt, Germany's Agricultural Minister, announced on October 20 that “chick shredding” will be banned from 2017, making Germany the first country in the world to stop the practice.

Every year, millions of tiny male chicks are ground up alive shortly after hatching because as males they don't lay eggs. Now there is hope that this brutal practice could come to an end.

Previously egg producers had to wait until the chick hatched to tell if it was male or female. But new technology will enable the sex of each fertilised egg to be determined before the chick inside develops.

Melbourne-based author and community radio presenter Iain McIntyre has been documenting and celebrating Australian radical history since the 1990s. A series of zines he created entitled How To Make Trouble And Influence People were compiled into an expanded edition by Breakdown Press in 2009 with a second edition released in conjunction with US publisher PM Press in 2013.

The author of the Harry Potter series of novels, JK Rowling, has disappointed many of her fans by signing a letter opposing a boycott of Israel.

The letter, which was also signed by other British cultural figures, such as TV presenter Melvyn Bragg, popular historian Tom Holland and author Hilary Mantel, proclaims its support for what it called “an independent UK network” called Culture for Coexistence.

Tracks
By Channa Wickremesekera
Samayawardhana Printers
156 pages, paperback

Class, family, lust, the need to fit in and hero worship are the recurrent tropes in Sri Lankan-born Melbourne-based author Channa Wickremesekera's latest novel Tracks.

He explores the sexual confusion of a young middle-class boy of Sri Lankan descent (Sheehan) who develops a huge crush on one of the more rebellious “Anglo” boys (Robbie) in his school.


Members of an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network study tour in front of the Apartheid Wall in the West Bank in January last year. Photo from APAN.org.au.


Bedouins living in Israel's southern Negev region protest against government plans to confiscate their land.

Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28.

The petition, titled “A Commitment by U.K. Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in the October 27 Guardian.

October marked 50 years since the start of the campaign of mass killing of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and sympathisers in Indonesia. It is estimated as many as 1 million people were killed or jailed during 1965-1966, carried out as part of Suharto's Western-backed military coup.

The European Parliament voted on October 29 to drop all criminal charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and offer him asylum and protection from rendition from third parties, The Independent said that day.


Aftermath of Saudi bombing of MSF hospital.

The Saudi-led coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) clinic in Yemen, the charity’s mission head said.

The Morning Star said that Hassan Boucenine said two air raids hit the facility in northern Saada province at about 11pm on October 26. “It’s completely destroyed,” he said.

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