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.
Boys at Xavier College, an expensive Catholic boys school, abused students from government schools on a Facebook VCE forum late last year, according to the Herald Sun. The Xavier students' put downs included “retards” and “povo fucks”. Girls were told to “let the men handle business” and “Could all woman please refrain from expressing there (sic) opinions thank you.” Obviously, the $25,000-a-year school isn't very good at teaching literacy skills.
PKMM rally, 1946. Radicals: Resistance & Protest in Colonial Malaya By Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied Northern Illinois University Press (NUI), 2015 228 pages On a night in 2010, a crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the demolition of a 300 metre wall of the century-old Purdu prison in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.
Spotlight Directed by Thomas McCarthy Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery & Stanley Tucci In cinemas now In 2002, the Boston Globe newspaper's Spotlight investigative journalism team dropped a bombshell when they reported that at least 87 paedophile Roman Catholic priests had been actively shielded for decades by the archdiocese.
Never Enough: Donald Trump & the Pursuit of Success Michael D’Antonio St Martin’s Press, 2015 389 pages What will the United States and the world be getting from “President Donald Trump” if such a frightful prospect comes to pass? Michael D’Antonio’s biography of the Republican Party’s front-running presidential candidate gives us some clues — denial of global warming, vaccination, marriage equality and abortion; insults and worse for religious and ethnic minorities, and for women and the disabled; and a turbo-charged US imperial power.
China Shenhua Energy reported an 18% decline in coal sales in 2015. Shenhua’s internal coal production was down 8.4% — with a further 10% drop in sales from third-party providers. Its coal imports fell to almost nothing, reflecting an overall trend in which China’s total coal imports were down 30%. Shenhua still says it is committed to the $1 billion Watermark coal project in the Liverpool Plains of New South Wales, but the project now appears to lack financial backers.
About 300 unionists rallied on January 27 outside the Melbourne Liberal Party headquarters to demand an investigation into Alcoa's actions after the American-based company forcibly replaced Australian seafarers with foreign workers. A simultaneous rally in Sydney attracted about 100 workers.
The New South Wales Baird government has announced an historic decision to privatise public housing. In a $22 billion bonanza for the government's property developer mates, public housing estates will be torn down and rebuilt into places where private tenants and homeowners outnumber social housing tenants by 70% to 30%. NSW Coalition Minister for Social Housing Brad Hazzard announced the state government's "Future Directions for Social Housing" policy. It includes the transfer of 35% of public housing to community housing organisations.
A union picket line has been established against Dulux in Rocklea. The workers are fighting for two key elements: the payment of sick leave and for redundancy payouts to be uncapped. Currently redundancy payments are capped at 20 years, reducing the payout for workers who have worked for Dulux for upwards of 35 years. The issue arose when, in March last year, 60 redundancies were announced. This was later reduced to 40.
As the demand for Australian farm products skyrockets in Asia, corporate Australia is buying up drought-crippled but viable rural properties at bargain prices.
On December 15, the Queensland Land Court recommended the giant Adani-Carmichael open-cut coalmine be given the go-ahead in central Queensland subject to several conditions including the protection of the endangered Black Throated Finch. The hearing was prompted by a number of objections to the mine, including from the conservation group Land Services of Coast and Country.
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.