1090

The Spanish parliament was the scene of a sharp clash on April 6 over the March 18 European Union-Turkey “pact of shame” that will return up to 50,000 asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey. The asylum seekers — most fleeing from the Syrian civil war — will then be placed in an archipelago of detention centres.

Acting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, of the conservative People's Party (PP), defended the agreement, saying “things are getting better, we have a procedure”.

Thousands of protesters marched on Downing Street on April 9 to demand British Prime Minister David Cameron resign after revelations about his tax affairs emerged in preceding days in fall out from the huge Panama Papers tax haven leaks.


Sanders addresses rally outside his childhood home in Brooklyn, New York. April 8.

A McClatchy-Marist poll, conducted at the end of March, puts self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders ahead of establishment favourite Hillary Clinton by two percentage points in the Democratic presidential race, TeleSUR English said on April 5.

About 500 people rallied in Melbourne on April 2 against the proposed 1300 jobs cuts at the CSIRO.

The rally, which follows rallies in Hobart and Canberra, was organised by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), CSIRO Staff Association and Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

Monash University's draft Environmental, Social and Governance statement has ruled out directly investing in fossil fuel production — currently about 10% of their investments — and commits to phase out indirect investments in coal production over the next 12 months.

While this is a great first step, the bad news is there is no mention of gas or oil.

The statement comes after more than a year of sustained pressure from staff and students for the university to divest from all fossil fuel investments and commit to completely ending their ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Several hundred people joined a rally against racism in Melbourne on April 3. Neo-nazis had threatened the rally but in the end were too scared to show up.

The rally was organised by the Campaign Against Racism & Fascism. Speakers included Viv Malo from First Nations Liberation, Nazir Yousafi from Victorian Afghan Associations Network and anti-racism campaigner, Jafri.

"Cool fuel" was the groovy title of the Ed! supplement about natural gas in the April 5 edition of The West Australian that gets distributed to all our schools.

To be sure natural gas is "cool" when liquefied. But nowhere among the topics covered, such as "Careers in LNG", "Power to You" and "West is best" is there any mention of natural gas as a significant contributor to catastrophic global warming. Nor does it mention that because of fugitive emissions in the production cycle natural gas is up there with coal as a carbon polluter.

Every so often, the bourgeois political system runs into crisis. The machinery of the state jams; the veils of consent are torn asunder and the tools of power appear disturbingly naked. Brazil is living through one of those moments: it is dreamland for social scientists; a nightmare for everyone else.

The Immigration Department is reviewing Wilson Security's lucrative role at the Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention camps following allegations it was secretly controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok, who is serving five years in jail for bribery, and his brother.

Wilson Security has denied allegations that the brothers concealed their ownership and control of Wilson after the claims emerged as part of the Panama Papers, the leak of millions documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama.

Australia's consumer affairs ministers have adopted a definition of "free range" eggs that allows eggs from hens kept at a stocking density of up to 10,000 birds per hectare — one bird per square metre — to be sold as "free range".

This definition reflects pressure from industrial egg producers. Animal welfare advocates had supported the CSIRO's Model Code of Practice, which sets a limit of 1500 birds per hectare.

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