Brandon Astor Jones, a 72-year-old African American prisoner on death row in Georgia, was executed by lethal injection on February 3. The oldest death row inmate in Georgia, Jones had spent decades in jail. He was convicted over the killing of a convenience store manager in an robbery in 1979. Van Roosevelt Solomon, who took part in the robbery and was also convicted of murder, as executed in 1985.
Police respond to "exuberant fan behaviour". The Senate has called on Football Federation Australia and A-League clubs to take action to ensure football fans are not over-policed, AAP said on February 2. A-League fans, especially from clubs with strong multicultural fan bases such as the Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, have long complained about over-policing, as well as unfair bans imposed without any right to appeal by the FFA and frequent media demonisation.
The new Zika virus threat has caused alarm among pregnant women around the world, due to the threat of those infected giving birth to babies with microcephaly, or small brain, which can cause brain damage and mental incapacity.
Indirect internationally-brokered peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and a Saudi-backed coalition of some opposition groups were suspended on February 3 — just two days after they started. Associated Press said that day that “neither the government nor the opposition even acknowledged that the negotiations had officially begun”. Inside Syria, meanwhile, fighting intensified and the humanitarian situation deteriorated. Advances by government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, were the apparent cause for the talks’ collapse.
A 24-hour general strike in Greece against the “odious plan to dismantle the country’s social security system” shut down transportation, schools, courts, pharmacies and non-emergency hospital services on February 4. Up to 100,000 people attended, according to organisers, while police estimated 50,000 hit the Athens streets. The strike is the largest since the leftist Syriza party took power in January last year on a platform of opposing the type of austerity measures the strike targetted.
Some of Australia's most important climate research institutions will be gutted as 350 jobs are cut at the CSIRO. Up to 110 positions in the Oceans and Atmosphere division will go, with a similar reduction in the Land and Water division. Data and Manufacturing divisions will also be hit.
The Costa Rican Electricity Institute said it had achieved 99% renewable energy generation last year. It also said that for 285 days last year the country managed to power its grid on 100% renewable sources. The bulk of Costa Rica's power generation comes from hydropower thanks to a large river system and heavy tropical rainfalls. The rest is made up of a mix of geothermal energy, wind, biomass and solar power.
A television advertisement featuring a barista paying his way through university, a mother working at a checkout who is missing her children's sporting activities and an emergency department nurse whose weekend work makes up one-third of her salary, is part of the Save Our Weekend campaign authorised by the ACTU.
"WOW. This is something you don't often see. Goldman Sachs says it may have to question capitalism itself." So went the tweet from Bloomberg TV correspondent Joseph Weisenthal. I wondered what could possibly cause one of the world’s largest investment banks, a company that is heavily invested in capitalism (both literally and figuratively) to “question capitalism itself”? Why isn't this bigger news?
Do we need to debate whether Australia should become a republic? After all, it is not just parties that say Australian society should be transformed (Socialist Alliance) or reformed (the Greens) that want a republic. The national leaders of the major capitalist political parties and all the state premiers agree on ending the situation where a British monarch is Australia's head of state. I suspect this is in line with what most Australians think: who gave birth to you should not make you the head of state, even nominally. So why is there an argument about this?
Green Left Weekly is marking its 25th anniversary this week, which is a truly remarkable achievement for an independent paper without corporate funding — and one that could not be achieved without a lot of hard work over many years by more people than could be named.
The Queensland government gave Indian mining company Adani environmental approval to build Australia's largest coalmine in the Galilee Basin on February 3. Tony Fontes of the Environment Council of Central Queensland said: “This project has no money, no social license, is universally hated, and has been rejected by most of the world's largest banks. "With coal prices at an all-time low, support for protecting the Great Barrier Reef at an all-time high, the Palaszczuk government is treading a dangerous line in supporting this reef-wrecking coal project.”
Despite having the entire Democratic establishment against him, the self-described democratic socialist candidate in the US Democratic primaries, Bernie Sanders, continues to make waves, backed by huge enthusiasm from supporters inspired by his call for a “political revolution” against the corporate elite. Although Sanders fell short in the Democratic Iowa caucuses on February 1, he picked up 84% of the youth vote.
After two decades of failing to secure a nuclear waste dump site in South Australia and the Northern Territory through a top down approach, early last year the federal government initiated a voluntary nomination process calling on landholders to put forward their land for assessment. A shortlist of six was released after 28 sites were nominated around Australia: Hill End in NSW; Omanama in Queensland; Hale in the Northern Territory; Cortlinye and Pinkawillinie in the Kimba region of South Australia; and Barndioota station in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
Over the next five years, France will install 1000 kilometres of solar roadway using Colas' Wattway solar pavement. The collaboration between Colas, a transport infrastructure company, and France's National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) is sanctioned by France's Agency of Environment and Energy Management. The new Wattway system does not replace the road itself, but is designed to be glued onto the top of existing pavement.
The 2016 summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) began on January 26 with the meeting of foreign ministers and chancellors of the Latin American nations at the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador. CELAC, a regional body involving all nations in the Americas except for the United States and Canada, was officially created in Caracas in 2011 under the leadership of then-Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.