1086

The U.S. government will release a count of how many people it has killed in "counterterrorism" strikes since 2009, the Obama administration announced on March 7. Meanwhile, US air strikes killed 150 people in Somalia, in an attackt he US said was targetted at the al-Shabab terrorist group, an affiliate of al-Qaida.
The European Left Parties Solidarity With Kurdish People conference was held in the Kurdish city of Amed in south-eastern Turkey on February 20. It was organised by the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Society Congress (DTK), the Party of Democratic Regions (DBP) and the Free Women’s Congress (KJA). The conference released a declaration, published below. It is reprinted from ANF News. * * *
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is again pushing a proposal to deport Palestinians from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip, despite broad opposition to what would be a violation of international law. In a March 2 letter, Netanyahu asked Israel's attorney-general to conduct a legal review of the proposal, which would allow families of convicted “terrorists” to be deported. Ynet reported that the prime minister said during a cabinet meeting that he does not agree with “how it [war crimes] is defined in the Geneva Conventions”.
Human rights activists protested the visit to Melbourne of Israeli war criminal, Benny Gantz on March 7. 'We will always live by our sword', declared Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, upon his retirement from the role of Chief of General Staff of the Israel Occupation Forces, 12 months ago.

Peace, unity and prosperity was the message on March 5, which marked the third anniversary of the death of Venezuela's late socialist president Hugo Chavez.

"Senator Bernie Sanders is the projected winner of the Maine caucuses, meaning the Vermont senator has won three out of four states in the last two days," US Uncut said on March 6. "With 76 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders won Maine by a 64-35 margin, according to The New York Times' election results." The socialist candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination also easily won the Kansas and Nebraska Democratic caucuses the day before, while his opponent Hillary Clinton had a big win in Louisiana.
A 100-day Plan for urban agriculture started on February 28 in eight Venezuelan cities in a bid to provide about 1300 people with vegetables and fruits. Urban agriculture minister Lorena Freitez said one of the plan's objectives consists of teaching people how to cultivate and stir their interest for agriculture. In the long term, the products should be able to supply about 20% of the total food consumption of the residents living in the eight participating cities: Barcelona, Barquisimeto, Caracas, Los Teques, Maracaibo, Maracay, Mérida y Valencia.
More than 2000 people took to the streets in Peru's capital, Lima, on February 29 to protest against the government's plan to privatise public water services. The protest was organised by small neighbourhoods and the public water workers’ union Sedapal. Millions of people across Peru lack basic water and sewer systems, putting them in a highly vulnerable sector suffering endemic health issues.
Right-wing Western Australian senator Joe Bullock has announced his resignation from the Senate over Labor's decision to remove the conscience vote for equal marriage rights in 2019. The former head of the WA branch of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association entered the Senate in 2014 after a back-room deal to dump the Left's Louise Pratt.
The Labor and Liberal National parties hope to slip in four-year fixed parliamentary terms in Queensland through a referendum being held at the same time as state-wide polls for local councils. A four-year term proposal was defeated in 1991.
Comedian and filmmaker Dan Ilic unveiled a portrait of environment minister Greg Hunt on February 29 outside Parliament House in Canberra. The portrait, entitled “Greg Hunt, best minister in the world for clearing trees” was in response to Hunt being named the “Best Minister in the World”. The irony of the award is that Hunt has overseen a huge rise in tree clearing and carbon emissions, while his government is spending billions from the Emissions Reduction Fund to keep trees in the ground and plant new trees.
The residents of the tiny Hunter Valley village of Bulga have applied to have the Planning Assessment Commission’s (PAC) approval of a Rio Tinto coalmine expansion declared invalid due to a legal error. The Environmental Defenders Office’s chief executive officer Sue Higginson, who is running the case, said: "This is an appeal not based on the merit of whether this mine should go ahead or not, but based on whether the PAC has applied the law as it applies to mining projects in high biodiversity areas."
On March 2, two Gamilaraay men, Paul Spearim and Allen Talbot, and a Githabul man, Laurence Miles, locked on to concrete barrels at the entrance to Whitehaven's controversial Maules Creek coalmine, stopping work. The action followed protests earlier in the week, with one man stopping coal trains near Willow Tree and three others locked to bulldozers.
Victoria's firefighters union has rejected a pay rise from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) because it says the offer compromises safety conditions. The CFA offered workers a 19% pay rise over six years, but the United Firefighters Union said 350 promised positions had been removed from the agreement. Union secretary Peter Marshall said: "These... new positions weren't arbitrary, they were … for locations that do not have enough firefighters.
A new report has found huge tax evasion by foreign logging companies that are running rampant in Papua New Guinea. The Great Timber Heist was released by the Oakland Institute on February 16. The PNG rainforest is the third largest in the world. It covers about 80% of the country, 60% of which is untouched forest.
Arnaldo Otegi on his release from jail on March 1. There were celebrations in the Basque Country and among solidarity activists around the world on March 1 as Basque political prisoner Arnaldo Otegi was released from a Spanish jail after more than six years. Otegi, a leader of the Basque struggle for self-determination, was jailed by the Spanish state for politically organising in support of Basque independence.

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