1117

Demonstrators gathered on November 2 in the Colombian capital of Bogata and the US capital, Washington DC, to simultaneously protest outside the International Finance Corporation, the private lending arm of the World Bank, against the shares it holds in Canadian mining company Eco Oro Minerals Corp.

The company’s sole asset is a mining concession in one of Colombia’s high altitude wetlands, known as the paramos, which provides fresh water for millions of Colombians, the Center for International Environmental Law said in a statement.

About 300 million children live with outdoor air so polluted it can cause serious physical damage, including harming their developing brains, the United Nations said in a study released on October 31.

Nearly one child in seven around the globe breathes outdoor air that is at least six times dirtier than international guidelines, according to the study by the UN Children's Fund. The study called air pollution a leading factor in child mortality.

Eritrea marked 25 years of independence from Ethiopia this year, but its citizens remain victimised by one of the world’s most repressive governments.

They suffer arbitrary and indefinite detention; torture; inhumane conditions of confinement; restrictions on freedom of speech, movement, and belief; and indefinite conscription and forced labour in national service.

This interview by John Pilger with Jullian Assange was filmed in the Embassy of Ecuador in London – where Assange is a political refugee –  and broadcast on November 5. ***

John Pilger:

What’s the significance of the FBI's intervention in these last days of the U.S. election campaign, in the case against Hillary Clinton?

Julian Assange:

In July 1915, three brothers presented themselves at Glencorse Barracks on the outskirts of Edinburgh to enlist in the Royal Scots. The First World War was almost a year old, but despite the mounting casualty lists and a growing realisation that it would not be over anytime soon, my grandfather and his two brothers joined up.

FIFA, the world’s ruling body of football (soccer), has banned wearing poppies to mark the death of British soldiers in war, which has provoked a confected outrage by British media and politicians.

The football associations of England and Scotland intend to defy the ban in the two national teams’ match on Armistice Day on November 11. In the editorial below, British left-wing daily The Morning Star responds to the hypocrisy of those opposing FIFA’s ruling. ***

Australian soldiers during the Boer war.

Unnecessary Wars Henry Reynolds Newsouth, 2016 266 pages

Australia’s first war — the Boer War in South Africa, 1899-1902 — notes historian Henry Reynolds in Unnecessary Wars, was closely bound up with the uniting of the six Australian colonies into a single nation within the British empire.

This conjunction of militarism, nationalism and imperialism was ominous. Australia has never broken the habit of being at the military beck and call of its imperial managers.

On November 4, Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for all 59 MPs of the Kurdish-based left-wing opposition Peoples Democratic Party (HDP). The party’s leaders, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, and several other MPs .

Staff of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have overwhelmingly rejected a proposed enterprise bargaining agreement that would cut workplace rights and conditions, for a pay rise well below inflation. A ballot announced on November 1 revealed that 70% of eligible staff voted against CSIRO management's proposed EBA, dealing a further setback to the Turnbull government's faltering public sector bargaining policy.

The socialisation of essential services is fast becoming a formidable policy in the “contestable marketplace of ideas”. Nowhere is this more so than with railways and bus services; an everyday service all social demographics touch daily.

British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn believes nationalisation and socialisation will save millions of pounds a year, get community members back to work, augment sustainable transport and retool British industries.

Members of Melbourne’s Kurdish community rallied outside the city’s Turkish consulate on October 28 to protest the arrests of the co-mayors of the city of Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey.

The two mayors, Gültan Kişanek and Firat Ali, were arrested on October 25 and accused of links to the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK). Kişanek is also an elected member of the Turkish Parliament for the pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions Party. She is also the city’s first female mayor.

The NSW Coalition government is under fire again after property owners in Sydney's south-west were hit by a "monumental stuff-up" in which at least 140 new buyers were not told they would be in the path of a future motorway before they bought their properties.

The blunder affects properties purchased between June 27 and October 24 this year that are in or near the planned F6 extension corridor in Sydney's south and the Werrington Arterial project. The Labor opposition has linked the error with the privatisation of the agency responsible, Land and Property Information.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is seeking to make changes to Australia’s national environment act to stop conservation groups from challenging ministerial decisions on major resource developments and other matters of environmental importance.

On October 28, the 100th anniversary of the first conscription referendum, historian Michael Hamel-Green gave a talk at the Brunswick Library entitled "When Australians said no to war".

Hamel-Green said that in official commemorations of World War I there is "amnesia" about the divisions among the Australian people over the war.

When the initial high level of voluntary recruitment to the army declined, Labor Prime Minister Billy Hughes decided to introduce conscription for overseas service — conscription for service within Australia was already legal.

The regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took a further leap towards undisguised dictatorship, intensifying its crackdown against the democratic and left-wing opposition, independent media and the Kurdish population.

On October 25, Co-Mayors of the Diyarbakır (Amed) Metropolitan Municipality, Gültan Kışanak and Fırat Anlı, members of the Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP), were arrested.

Residents of Yarraville in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs have campaigned for years to ban heavy truck traffic through the suburb.

Despite some victories such as truck curfews at night and during school hours, and the promise of eventual diversion of traffic through a planned bypass, residents now face the prospect of B Double trucks being diverted through the suburb.

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