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Happy New Year for a few weeks ago or coming up in a couple of weeks, depending on whether you rely on a calendar or the moon for such things. I hope you had some time off and got to spend it relaxing with people you love, or if you were working, that you got plenty of time and a ... WATCH OUT FOR YOUR PENALTY RATES!!! Yes, that's right, while most of us were working or preparing for the strange rituals of the season, those busy little elves at the Productivity Commission had been slavishly working, day and night, to deliver a lovely big present to business and the government.
Prominent Mexican left-wing politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador demanded on January 10 to know how the authorities could catch an escaped gangster, but were unable to find the 43 students kidnapped in Ayotzinapa in Guerrero state in September 2014. The National Regeneration Movement (Morena) leader and twice presidential candidate hit out at the government following the arrest of Sinaloa Cartel drug kingpin Joachin “El Chapo” Guzman on January 8. The student teachers from Ayotzinapa, meanwhile, are feared dead at the hands of a gang. Their remains have not been found.
On December 16, Victoria's highest court threw out a protracted legal bid by a group of Bendigo residents to stop a mosque being built. Led by local woman Julie Hoskin, the group has battled against the mosque, which the City of Bendigo approved in June 2014 and which VCAT approved last August.
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.
The Perth Freight Link (PFL) project ground to a halt on December 16 when Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin ruled environmental approvals for the Roe 8 freeway through the Beeliar Wetlands were invalid. Incredibly, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) had argued it was not bound by its own policy when assessing and granting approval. This result comes on top of a 2013 decision that the EPA had bungled approvals for the James Price Point gas processing facility.
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.
Young job seekers today are facing the toughest job market seen in Australia for more than 20 years. According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, in September last year youth unemployment was 12.93%, after peaking at 14.43% in November 2014. However, there are youth unemployment hotspots in the Northern Territory, Victorian suburbs, Adelaide, Cairns and North-West Tasmania with much higher rates.
Artillery bombardment of Diyarbakır neighbourhood of Sur. Photo: Jinhahaber.link. It is freezing cold in Amed, as the city of Diyarbakır is known to its residents. More than 10 centimetres of snow blankets the ground, something that happens only every three or four years. And at exactly this moment, fighting is escalating in Amed's old neighbourhood of Sur and in the cities of Cizre and Silopi, in Şırnak province.
Storms have mercilessly battered Britain, one after the other over the festive period, bringing with them severe and unrelenting floods. The scale of damage and devastation was unprecedented, but it was not unpredictable. We have seen these storms growing with intensity every year.
People's Climate March, Sydney, November 29. The Paris Agreement on climate change, which emerged out of the November 30 to December 12 COP21 UN climate talks, has been hailed as a “turning point for the world'. But it is long on rhetoric and short on real commitments – below are seven reasons why.

1. It sets an ambitious target sure to be missed

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