1106

Australia's largest cities are urban planning disaster zones.

Two facts in particular bear this out. First is the ongoing housing affordability crisis, which shows no sign of abating. Second is the relentless march of car-dependent urban sprawl, which continues to devour remnant native vegetation and good farming land. You get an eyeful of this latter problem as you approach Perth by plane, by some accounts the second-biggest metropolis in the world by surface area.

Korean state-owned miner KEPCO and its contractor Worley Parsons were prosecuted by the NSW Department of Industry's Division of Resources and Energy (DRE) in March, after it was revealed the companies had used fake photographs purporting to be of a Bylong property at which they were seeking permission to drill for coal.

The photographs were not of the property, and showed an environment completely unlike the area they were seeking permission to drill in. When DRE was alerted to this by the affected landholder, charges were laid against the companies.

In Treasurer Scott Morrison's budget speech he promised to "ensure the government lives within its means" and warned "this is not a time to be splashing money around".

Shortly afterwards, he hosted an invitation-only party, which cost taxpayers $11,625 for food and drinks. This is more than even Joe Hockey spent on post-budget parties.

In all, the Treasurer spent $4620 on a selection of hot and cold canapes, $5445 on alcohol, and $560 for eight wait staff to cater the 90-minute function for 100 people.


Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Selahattin Demirtaş. Photo: Kurdishinfo.com.

Left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and HDP Ankara MP and Imralı Delegation Spokesperson Sırrı Süreyya Önder have both been indicted and threatened with five years imprisonment after the removal of their parliamentary immunity.


Ibtihaj Muhammad.

An American Muslim fencer, who is the country’s first Olympian to wear a hijab, says she does not feel safe in the US due to the country’s increased anti-Muslim rhetoric, The Independent said on August 5.


Kurdish fighter in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood.

Kurdish forces of the People's Protection Units (YPG) responded in an official statement to the Syrian rebels' Aleppo Operations Chamber that said they will attack the Kurds after breaking a regime siege on Aleppo city.

“While police tactics and accountability measures are being examined, many black people are also questioning their safety and place in society,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote on July 31. “They worry about the next time they interact with police, and about the difficult conversations they must have with their children.”

Black people make up 6% of San Francisco's population — and suffer 40% of the city's shootings by cops. The city's statistics on police stops of Blacks and violence mirror other cities, especially in the Midwest and South.

The United Firefighters Union (UFU) has commissioned a survey of bullying, harassment and discrimination within Victoria's Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) and Country Fire Authority (CFA). The survey is being conducted by researchers from the University of Newcastle.

Meanwhile, the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) is carrying out a survey commissioned by MFB and CFA management. The UFU has advised its members not to participate in the VEOHRC survey.

As socialist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses enthusiastic mass meetings across the country it appears clear — despite attempts by Labour right to sabotage the vote and deny as many Corbyn backers the right to vote as possible — the anti-austerity leader will easily be returned as leader.

Since the mid 1930s, self-styled progressives and many socialists have often justified supporting one of the United States' two major capitalist parties by claiming that it is the “lesser evil” compared to the other one.

The “lesser evil” is frequently the Democratic Party. In this year's election, the “lesser evil” is the war hawk and neoliberal Hillary Clinton as opposed to right-wing populist Donald Trump.

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