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New at LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal: Tragedies of the global commons and the global working class, 'Venezuela defines the future of the progressive struggle', Tragedies of the global commons and the global working class and 'Venezuela defines the future of the progressive struggle'.

Protests against police killings in Chicago, November 25. Across the country, police murders of Black people continue apace — as do prosecutors' failure to charge the killers, getting hung juries at best.
Police violently crack down on protests in Bahrain against al-Nimr's execution. The West's response to public beheadings carried out by the Saudi state is extremely muted, especially in comparison with the way public beheadings by ISIS are highlighted in Western propaganda.

The most recent examples of sexism by two Coalition front bench MPs reminds us that sexism and misogyny is alive and thriving 32 years after the landmark law that made such discrimination a crime. From the outrageous sexist attacks on former PM Julia Gillard — largely from the same Coalition MPs — to MP Peter Dutton's “mad fucking witch” (MFW) text, the view that women are second-class citizens and sexual objects — and can be treated as such — remains strong especially among those with the means to shape public opinion.

Malaysian human rights group SUARAM says that several members of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and other human rights activists were subjected to arbitrary arrests simply for attending a peaceful candlelight vigil in the city of Johor Baru on January 10. The vigil was called to protest the second-time arrest on remand of PSM Central Committee member Khairul Nizam (also known as Aduka Taruna).
I BELIEVE that reviewers generally should disclose when they have a vested interest in the thing they're reviewing, so full disclosure: Barring another Jar Jar Binks fiasco, there was about as much chance of me--a geek hurtling toward middle age at light speed--hating J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII--The Force Awakens as there is of the Millennium Falcon successfully navigating an asteroid field.
The dramatic declines on financial markets at the start of the new year have revived fears that another economic slump could be in the cards for 2016 — even though working people around the world are still suffering the effects of the Great Recession the last time around.
This past year there was no shortage of people who tried to leverage the sports world to boldly speak out on issues beyond the field of play. In the United States, Missouri football players went on strike against racism; the remarkable activists in Boston — led in many neighbourhoods by people of colour and women — kept out the rapacious Olympics; the continuing fight ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics is taking on both the International Olympic Committee and the Brazilian government.

Women from the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) organised a "Mad F**king Witches" action to highlight the intolerable levels of sexual assault in Australian immigration detention centres and to call for freedom for refugees and the sacking of minister Peter Dutton.

Five crew members aboard Alcoa ship the MV Portland were woken at 1am on January 13 by up to 30 security guards, handed their passports and forcibly removed from the vessel. The guards then escorted aboard a replacement crew, believed to be foreign seafarers, who immediately began sailing the ship towards Singapore.
In the aftermath of Venezuela's right-wing US-backed opposition securing its electoral win over President Nicolas Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in the December 6 National Assembly elections, the South American country is heading for two confrontations, each reinforcing the other — a political and an economic one. The future is very uncertain.
Aboriginal child removals by government Child Protection agencies across the nation are taking place at an alarming rate. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported a rise in the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged up to 17 in out of home care across all states and territories over the past decade. Aboriginal children are eight times more likely to be the subject of departmental intervention; nine times more likely to be on care and protection orders; and 10 times more likely to be in out-of-home care than non-Aboriginal kids.