1086

Vince Emanuele, a former Iraq veteran-turned-anti-war activist and journalist, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Pip Hinman about how Bernie Sanders' socialist campaign for the Democrats' presidential nomination -- an Donald Trump's hate-filled Republican campaign -- is shaking up politics across the United States. Emanuele is a presenter at The Progressive Radio Network and is a correspondent for Latin American news outlet TeleSUR.
“These girls have stories that would make the biblical movies that we grew up on look tame,” Pamela Curr told a forum on women in Nauru in Sydney on February 29. The journey of women seeking asylum in Australia is filled with misery, fear, shame, sexual harassment, vulnerability and torture. It is a story of survival against all the odds meeting an Australian government with a detention system designed to be worse than what they are fleeing from.
A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, sponsored by the United States and Russia, came into force on February 27. Only some of the internal and foreign participants in Syria's multi-sided conflicts signed on. The air wars that the US and Russia are waging in Syria are both officially directed against ISIS. But in reality, Russia is keen to protect its ally, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have given money, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support to his opponents since the civil war began in 2011.
Racism and homophobia are on the rise. Millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) and sex and gender diverse identifying (SGDI) people face life-threatening persecution. About 2.7 billion people live in the 76 countries that criminalise homosexuality. The death penalty for homosexuality is applied in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. In China, several hospitals use electric shock therapy as “anti-gay treatments”.
Tens of thousands of Nigerian fisherpeople and farmers were given the green light to sue energy giant Shell in a British court on March 2 for a series of destructive oil spills in the Niger Delta over the past decade. The action, brought by London-based law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigeria’s Ogale and Bille communities, alleges that decades of uncleaned oil spills have polluted fishing waters and contaminated farming land. As well as a compensation package, both groups want the Anglo-Dutch oil company to clean up the land devastated by the spills.
Melbourne’s Liberal Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has been offered a campaign donation, rumoured to be about $200,000, by a councillor in return for them running as deputy lord mayor in the October election. Ken Ong, the council's chair of planning, said: "The offer is not $200,000 specifically. It might be less or it might be even more if the campaign demands." When questioned whether the donation is conditional on being Doyle's deputy, Ong said: "Well, if I'm not the deputy lord mayor, I don't need to contribute."
On February 27, 1989, the poorest Venezuelans took over the streets in protest against price rises. Thousands of Venezuelans took the streets in February 1989 in a wave of protests that highlighted the right-wing misrule in the South American country. The protests came to be known as the Caracazo — an uprising that began in the capital Caracas — and ultimately shaped the country's future.
From a distance, Australia's tax system looks gender neutral. The tax return carefully avoids gendered words and the tax rules were purged several years ago of direct gender discrimination. There is no assumption that the male in a partnership is the primary breadwinner or that the female is the primary carer. There is no assumption that one partner must disclose to the other all their financial affairs to enable a tax return to be sent on behalf of both of them, unless they explicitly agree to it. Single men and women are not treated differently for income tax purposes.
Various actors called for a boycott of the 2016 Oscars ahead of the awards night held on February 28, due to the lack of Black nominees for the second year in a row. Many spoke out about Hollywood's racism, with no non-white nominees in major categories for the second year running, via the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite
Honduran indigenous and environmental organizer Berta Cáceres has been assassinated in her home in Honduras. She was one of the leading organizers for indigenous land rights in Honduras. In 1993, she co-founded the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH. For years, the group faced death threats and repression as they stood up to mining and dam projects that threatened to destroy their community. Last year, Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's leading environmental award.

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