1082

Residents attending a public inquiry on February 2 at Wests Ashfield into the New South Wales government's plan to amalgamate Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville Councils were of one mind: they opposed it. About 50 people spoke in the afternoon session, and only 5, including Ashfield Liberal councillor Julie Passas and a self-described businessman, supported the plan. Similar meetings were organised at Sandringham, Bankstown, Manly, North Sydney, Parramatta, Mona Vale, Deniliquin and Shellharbour and more will take place over the next fortnight.
Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after the Iowa caucus. In a speech to supporters on the night of February 1, after the narrowest of losses to Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses,, self-described democratic socialist candidate in the Democratic primaries Bernie Sanders hailed his strong result as the "launch of a political revoluiton".
“We must reach out the hand of humanity to the victims of war and brutal repression,” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said during a visit to the Gande Synthe refugee camp near Dunkirk in northern France.
It won’t come as a surprise to many readers that Chevron is not the most honest or law-abiding company in the world. In Australia, the International Transport Workers Federation has exposed over $35 billion in unpaid tax revenue for its offshore gas operations, while the Maritime Union of Australia has repeatedly protested the company’s exploitation of immigrant labour.
Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for a “political revolution” while Hillary Clinton emphasised pragmatism and experience in the final town hall meeting before the February 1 Iowa caucuses, TeleSUR English said on January 26.
Slogan on T-shirts reads, "We will not obey". Sixty-eight grassroots groups in Haiti have issued an urgent call for solidarity with their struggle for free and fair elections, dignity and justice. The statement was written right before the postponement of the planned presidential “run-off” elections on January 24.
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has announced the establishment of a committee to oversee the creation of a revolutionary assembly on January 23. The assembly will bring together the country's progressive social movements and socialist politicians to reinvigorate the Bolivarian revolution, Maduro said. Maduro oversaw the first meeting of an interim committee, which will lead to the creation of the broader people's congress, being called the Congress of the Homeland. About 100 people were sworn-in to the committee.
The fact sheet below was produced by the ecosocialist Red-Green Alliance in response to the Danish parliament passing a savagely anti-refugee law. * * * On January 26, a broad majority in the Danish parliament passed a bill that introduces a long series of restrictive measures aimed at making it less attractive to seek asylum in Denmark.
“This year has not started easy, and I am not optimistic,” the EU Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference on January 25. He was warning Europe that its worries about security had to be balanced with the Schengen agreement (which allows free movement) and the protection of asylum seekers. He said: “Last year, more than a million people reached Europe's shore looking for protection. More than 30,000 have already arrived by sea in 2016 so far, in only three weeks!”
Greek pensioners rally in Athens on January 21. Thousands of Greek white-collar professionals, including doctors, lawyers and engineers, took to the streets on January 21, protesting against major tax and pension reforms required by the country’s creditors.
Since Spain's December 20 elections produced no clear majority, debate has raged over what sort of government should be formed. The governing conservative People's Party (PP) won 123 seats in the 250-seat Congress and the right-populist Citizens won 40. On the left, the main opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) won 90 seats, while radical anti-austerity party Podemos and the three alliances in which it took part together with nationalist forces won 69.
The article below is by Pablo Iglesias, secretary-general of the radical Spanish political force Podemos. It abridged from the January 24 El Pais and was translated from Spanish by Dick Nichols. *** The result of the December 20 election put an end to Spain's political shift-system. It opened up the historic possibility of our country having a government not exclusively dominated by the old party machines that have shared power over the last decades.
Ireland: Protests hit 30 cities against water charge Tens of people took in 30 different protests across the Ireland against water charges on January 23, An Phoblacht said that day. The protests coincided with the Ard Fheis (congress) of Fine Gael, which heads the Irish government, that took place in Dublin.
Perceptions of corruption in the Australian government and public sector increased in 2015 for the fourth year running. Transparency International’s annual index ranks Australia 13 globally for perceived openness, the country’s equal lowest ranking in the 20-year history of the index. A federal anti-corruption agency, strong anti-foreign bribery laws and political donations reform were required to help arrest the slide, the anti-corruption group said. Perceptions of corruption in the Australian government and public sector increased in 2015 for the fourth year running.
Yale’s environmental performance index has placed Australia so low in its rankings that only Saudi Arabia has a worse ranking among wealthy nations. The index ranks countries’ performance in protecting human health and ecosystems, and looks at nine areas including air quality, climate and energy, forests and water resources. Australia was ranked 150th out of 180 countries for its carbon emissions for electricity generation. Overall in the climate and energy category, Australia was ranked 82nd.
A former member of Bahrain's parliament, Jassim Hussain, who resigned in protest at the repression of the 2011 reform movement, spoke about the current situation in Bahrain and the broader Gulf region on January 24. Hussain said the falling price of oil has caused economic problems for the Gulf States. They have also spent a lot of money on the wars in Yemen and Syria. As a result, there have been cuts to government subsidies for meat, fuel and electricity, as well as cuts to unemployment and retirement benefits.

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