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.

On April 1, police opened fire on indigenous and rural poor protesters who were blocking the highway into Kidapawan in the landlocked province of Cotabato on the island of Mindanao, killing three protesters and injuring at least 116.

While no investigation of the police action has yet taken place, 71 protesters remain detained. On April 4 a police spokesperson announced that Cotabato police chief Alexander Tagum would be suspended pending an investigation.


Members of the Oromo community in Melbourne protest against the Ethiopian regime, January 3. Photos: Ali Bakhtiarvandi.

“This government is at least better than previous ones,” remarked a 74-year-old Eritrean man to me last month in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, his longtime residence.

An inner city girls' school will fly the rainbow flag in Melbourne to show its support for the same-sex attracted and gender diverse community.

Greens MP Adam Bandt purchased the flag after putting a call out for donations last month so schools could fly the flag in support of young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and inter-sex (LGBTQI) people.

Melbourne Girls' College in Richmond will raise the flag when school resumes from holidays.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) management planned to stop "doing science for science's sake" and would no longer carry out research for the "public good," unless it was linked to jobs and economic growth, emails between senior managers released to a Senate inquiry reveal.

The emails are among almost 700 pages of internal CSIRO documents made available to a Greens-Labor convened inquiry into the proposal to slash up to 350 jobs in the organisation.


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.

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