A new climate is emerging in Australia, according to maps released by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC). AEGIC analysed data from more than 8000 Bureau of Meteorology stations around the country and discovered that traditional rainfall zones have shifted 100–400km since 2000. The only expansion of the winter rainfall zone has occurred in southeast Tasmania where winter rainfall has become more reliable.
80,000 people marched in Dublin on February 20 to call for a "government of change" ahead of the February 26 elections. Photo via An Phoblacht. In a sign of popular anger, the combined vote of the two parties that have long dominated the southern Irish state — Fine Gael (FG) and Fianna Fail (FF) — has fallen below 50% for the first time in Irish electoral history.
South-west Victorian farmers have used sheep to spell out their opposition to unconventional gas mining in the region. Gasfield Free West Victoria organised for 2000 sheep to run into a paddock and spell out “BAN GAS”, as a reminder to the Victorian government that they do not want gas mining on their prime agricultural land. It took two weeks to train the sheep to follow the grain trail that spelled out the message.
A meeting of 500 First Nations representatives voted on February 3 to reject Constitutional recognition and to begin talks on self-determination and a treaty with the Victorian government. The proposed treaty would be a legal document covering Aboriginal affairs and services and addressing past injustices. It would be the first such agreement in Australia and follows similar arrangements with First Peoples in Canada, the US and New Zealand. Dja Dja Warrung elder Gary Murray said the national debate around Constitutional recognition was just "a distraction".
A survey of 604 Australian youths undertaken by Our Watch has come up with some dismaying findings about their attitudes towards sex and consent. Of those polled, one in four said it is normal for men to pressure women into sex, and 60% said it was “up to the girl to make it very clear if she does not want to have sex”. Thirty seven per cent reported that it was hard to respect a female when she was drunk and 27% said it was hard to respect a woman in revealing clothing.
About 300 people from the neo-Nazi United Patriots Front (UPF) marched in Bendigo on February 27 to launch their new political party, Fortitude. It was the final leg of the UPF’s tour of the east coast, following gatherings of less than 50 people in Orange and Toowoomba. It was met by about 100 anti-racist protestors organised by the Bendigo Action Collective, who held a “March Against Fascism and Bigotry”.
We can blame the livestock corporations for the destruction of antibiotics' ability to fight human infection. They routinely inject all the animals we eat — chickens, cows, sheep and pigs — with huge amounts of antibiotics so that the animals grow faster and plumper, without any infection. The faster they can put meat on the kitchen table for us to consume, the greater their profits.
Hundreds of pro-refugee protesters rallied in Melbourne on February 27, calling on political leaders to let refugees stay and close the prison camps. The action was called in response to a visit by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten to the Lonsdale St Greek Festival. People chanted “Turnbull, Shorten. Blood on your hands” and “Let them stay" as they arrived on the stage. The action was called by Refugee Action Collective and First Nations Liberation.
Cizre, March 2. Photo: Hatice Kamer/BBC. The following report for BBC Turkish by Hatice Kamer in Cizre was translated for Green Left Weekly by I Zekeriya Ayman.
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Dozens of people protested in Bendigo on February 26 for the right to breast feed in public. A Bendigo mother had earlier been forced to leave a shopping centre food court after someone complained to a plaza employee. While Luci White initially held her ground, when a worker asked her to relocate to the centre's “specialised feeding facility”, she said she felt she had no choice but to comply with the demand.
What do politicians do after leaving parliament to earn a few more dollars? They go and work for gas and coal companies. • Former Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson became chair of Eastern Star Gas — the company behind the Narrabri Gas Project now owned by Santos — about 2 years after leaving politics. • Former National's leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile became a director and then chair of Whitehaven coal.
Why is the government so keen to reform Senate voting with the threat of a double dissolution election hanging in the air? The government and the Greens are supporting legislation to enact some recommendations of a parliamentary committee into the 2013 election while Labor and most small parties and independents are opposing them.
Protestors knock down police barricade in Amed, March 2. Photo: Kurdish Question. Thousands of people marched to the Sur district of Kurdish city of Amed (Diyarbakir in Turkish) in Turkey's south-east Sur district from all corners of the city on March 2 to break the three-month siege and curfew by Turkish state forces.
Kurşunlu mosque in Amed. Damage is from bombardment by the Turkish military. The following statement was released by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairs Figen Yüksekdağ and Selahattin Demirtaş on March 1.
* * *Across 58 separate curfews imposed in several neighbourhoods of the 21 districts of 7 Kurdish provinces, 290 citizens have so far lost their lives.
Far right Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic establishment favourite Hillary Clinton were the biggest winners from the "Super Tuesday" caucuses on March 1, but socialist candidate Bernie Sanders won some key states to stay in the race. Voters took part in the caucuses in 11 states, on a day when a quarter of all delegates, who will vote on who will be the candidate for each party in November presidential race, were decided.
Ahead of the March 1 "Super Tuesday" primaries, nationwide marches has swept across the Untied States in support of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders on February 28, US Uncut said that day. Organisers reported that demonstrations were held in at least 40 cities, and possibly as many as 70, in support of the self-described socialist.