Police officers from the Diyarbakir Anti-Terror Department in south-eastern Turkey raided the facilities of football club Amedspor after its 2-1 cup win at Bursapo on January 31. The win put the club, with a strong following among Turkey's persecuted Kurdish minority, into the last eight of the Turkish League Cup.
Anti-TPP protesters in Auckland. Amid angry protests in the streets, Pacific rim countries signed the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on February 4 in New Zealand's capital Auckland.
“In a touching tribute to thousands of refugees who lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey into the EU, two Greek football teams orchestrated a sit-in at the start of the match to protest against the policies of 'brutal indifference',” RT.com said on February 1.
Protests erupted throughout Pakistan after the shooting dead on the picket line of three striking workers at Karachi Airport on February 2. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees were part of a nationwide strike against the privatisation of the state-owned airline. One of those killed, Inayat Raza, was a veteran trade unionist and former leader of the left-wing National Students' Federation (NSF) in Karachi in the 1980s.
Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders came close to winning the Iowa caucus on February 1. His opponent Hillary Clinton got 49.9% while Sanders got 49.6%. This was a remarkable achievement for a candidate who many commentators said was too radical and stood no chance against the well-entrenched and well-resourced Clinton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.