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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says 4475 people were killed in the nation's horrific civil war during July. Of these, 1289 were civilians, including 263 children.

Almost three quarters of these civilian casualties were killed in airstrikes by the government or its ally, Russia, and other attacks by the pro-government side, SOHR said.

Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 400,000 people have been killed, between 4-to-5 million people have left Syria as refugees and about 8 million have been internally displaced.

Racism is responsible for the murder of a young boy near Kalgoorlie on August 29.

It is one of several recent examples that demonstrate that the sentiment behind the US #BlackLivesMatter movement is just as relevant in this country.

National attention has focused on the case in large part because hundreds of people protested outside the Kalgoorlie courthouse on August 30. Windows were broken and police cars were damaged — small biscuits compared to the loss of a young boy's life.

Since the extra-judicial killing of Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri independence fighter, by Indian security forces in a village in south Kashmir on July 8, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris have once again taken to the streets in protest.

Kashmir is occupied by India and the territory is also claimed by Pakistan. Many Kashmiris, however, are struggling for independence.

More than 60 people took part in a vigil outside the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on September 2 to support Jasmine Pilbrow who was found guilty of “interference with a crew member of an aircraft”.

In February last year, Pilbrow refused to take her seat on a Qantas aircraft in which a Tamil asylum seeker was being taken to Darwin before being deported to Sri Lanka.

Melanie Brown told the gathering her friend had peacefully explained to others on the plane her reasons for taking the action. Two other people then also stood up.

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal has launched the first of two important collaborative projects that will be of much interest to left activists and scholars internationally.

Well-respected socialist activist Sue Bolton is recontesting her position as councillor for the North East Ward in Melbourne's City of Moreland Council election.

Bolton, a member of Socialist Alliance, was elected in 2012 on a platform of “Community need, not developer greed”.
An experienced working-class activist, Bolton was born in western Queensland, and worked (among other things) as a bus driver and public servant, and has been an active trade unionist over many years.

Photos by Chelsea Dennison

The good turnout to national rallies on August 27 and 28 shows the refugee rights' movement is starting to gain political ground. A number of pro-asylum seeker groups are forming to force an end to the cruel policy of locking up refugees in offshore detention.

As we go to print, the students occupying the Sydney College of the Arts (SCA) administration building at Rozelle can proudly say that theirs is the longest occupation in the history of the University of Sydney.

It has now surpassed the 10-day occupation, in 1983, of the Department of Political Economy.

The occupiers want the university to guarantee it will let SCA stay at Callan Park, drop its proposal for a 60% staff cut and reinstate the Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA).

Refugee rights activists are pleased with the September 1 announcement that Wilson Security will not tender for another contract for Australia's offshore detention centres, but say the camps must be closed immediately.

Wilson's contract ends in October next year. It follows an announcement in May by Ferrovial, a Spanish infrastructure company which took over Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield), that it would not be renewing its contract on Manus Island and Nauru when it ends in February.

More than 2 million Bolivians have been lifted out of extreme poverty in the past decade since President Evo Morales's government came to power.

Bolivia's economy is on course to grow by 5% this year, placing it among the top performers in Latin America. It is one sign of Bolivia's rapid economic transformation.

Another indicator is falling poverty rates. When Morales took office in 2006, the rate of extreme poverty was 38.2%. This year, the figure is 16.8%.

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