There are correlations between hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a range of health issues for Pennsylvania residents, according to a study released on August 25 by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The problems include nasal and sinus problems, migraines and fatigue The report, Environmental Health Perspectives, is the school’s third study over the span of the past year focusing on the adverse health effects of the controversial method for extracting gas from solid rock deposits, increasingly used in Pennsylvania.
Sacred Stone Camp. Growing in number and spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is swiftly gaining strength, as a federal hearing delayed a decision on the controversial project on August 24.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on August 23 that United States President Barack Obama’s push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is “outrageous” and “absolutely wrong”. The TPP is a huge proposed trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Australia. It encompasses 40% of the world’s GDP. It was negotiated in secret, but draft chapters published by WikiLeaks confirmed anti-TPP campaigners’ worst fears of a huge power grab by corporations.
The CEO of a former Fortune 500 company, who is also the daughter of a U.S. senator, is under fire for jacking up the rates of life-saving anti-allergy device known as the EpiPen. Heather Bresch, whose father is U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., became president of Mylan Pharmaceutical in 2009 and CEO in 2012. She is no stranger to controversy: She moved Mylan's headquarters to the Netherlands last year after a corporate “inversion” merger with Abbott Laboratories.
Sylville Smith (left) and protests against his killing in Milwaukee. With the media awash 24/7 with the charges and counter-charges between the two candidates for president from the major capitalist parties, police murders of African Americans and protests against them continue apace — receiving only cursory media attention.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Ivan Marquez shake hands while Cuban President Raul Castro looks on. After the historic announcement on August 24 that negotiations have concluded in the Colombian peace process between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), here are the five key points that have been agreed on. *** 1. End of violence
The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) commissioned a study into transport affordability and found that an average family spends up to $420 a week just to get around. Hobart was the cheapest city, at $14,000 a year, and Sydney the most expensive, at $22,000. The national average of about $330 a week is a significant figure in anyone's budget. It means an average household spends 13% of their income (17% in Sydney) on transport, compared with 1–3% on power, water and telecommunications.
Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Visa and the rest of the corporate sponsors of the August 5–21 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro won't be paying any taxes on the money they earn due to a tax exemption law that is set to cost Brazil hundreds of millions of dollars.
Residents of the favela of Horto protest against the imminent demolition of their community. “I am absolutely convinced that history will talk of the Rio de Janeiro before the Games and the much better Rio de Janeiro after the Olympic Games,” said Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee.
Chanting “I love Celtics”, Palestinians have released a video praising the fans of Scottish football team Celtic FC for “one of the biggest solidarity actions in European football history”. It came as Celtic fans raised more than £100,000 by August 23 for Medical Aid Palestine — who deliver health and medical care to those “worse affected by conflict, occupation and displacement” — as well as to the Lajee Center for equipment to start a youth league, TeleSUR English said that day.
The Victorian government announced new legislation on August 18 aimed at simplifying the process for trans and gender diverse (TGD) people’s to change the sex marker on their birth certificates and records. This has rightfully been welcomed as an important step forward for TGD people rights. The new legislation, which follows similar legislation in the ACT and 2013 changes to policies regarding sex markers on Commonwealth documents, is a start towards eliminating medical gatekeeping on the lives of TGD people.
French philosopher Guy Debord's The society of the spectacle plays out on newer, modern terms at a Moreland Says No To Racism rally in May. Protesters march from trains with banners, flags and masks straight into a containment web of fences, barriers, police lines and the steam of horses breathing out wet air. The tactical police wave us into lines.
Asking the peak oil and gas industry body to prepare a report on Australia's future energy needs for federal and state energy ministers was always going to have a predictable outcome. The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) was tasked to report to the Council of Australian Government (COAG) energy ministers meeting on August 18 and 19. Unsurprisingly, it recommended urgently producing and supplying more gas — and fast — before Australia runs out.
Basque independence activist Arnaldo Otegi has been banned from running as a candidate in an upcoming regional election in the Spanish-controlled Basque Country. An electoral authority ruled on August 24 that Otegi, who was released from jail in March, could not run as a candidate for left-wing Basque party EH Bildu due to a conviction of alleged links to terrorism.
AGL was in court on August 25 after pleading guilty to 11 counts of breaking political donation disclosure laws in relation to coal seam gas approvals. The breaches were first uncovered by the Gloucester community when it was fighting AGL's attempts to set up 110 coal seam gas wells on rich farming land near the town on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. They relate to donations AGL gave to the NSW Labor Party and the Liberals from 2008 to 2014.