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People who work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education have become concerned by recent, unexplained and unadvertised changes to Abstudy eligibility.

The purpose of the Abstudy scheme is to reduce the educational disadvantages faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and to encourage Indigenous students and apprentices to take full advantage of available educational opportunities and improve their employment opportunities.

The WestCONnex Action Group (WAG), one of the main residents' groups opposing the NSW Coalition government's $17 billion WestConnex tollway, has slammed the government's latest changes to the controversial project.

Under new plans announced on November 10, the tollway's Camperdown interchange will be scrapped, and the M4–M5 Link tunnel widened and moved further west.

“These latest changes show yet again that the Baird government’s so-called ‘planning’ for WestConnex is a complete farce,” said WAG spokesperson Pauline Lockie.

In the wake of the horrific burning to death of Brisbane bus driver Manmeet Sharma on October 28, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) held a national day of respect on November 9 to highlight the issue of driver safety across Australia.

In a statement RTBU national president Phil Altieri said: “It was an honour to join sisters and brothers from across the union movement today in honouring Manmeet Sharma (Alisher).

Three Australian unionists, visiting Indonesia as part of a delegation to a South-East Asian asbestos conference, had their passports seized and were deported from Indonesia after visiting a picket line organised by transport workers in Jakarta.

The unionists, including Jackie Kriz, a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and President of Geelong Trades and Labour Council, have been barred from re-entering Indonesia for six months. They were told by the Indonesian department of immigration they could apply to have the ban lifted after that time.

rally for workers comp

About 200 unionists rallied on November 3 to highlight the plight of injured workers in the state. The day marked the beginning of the NSW parliamentary Law and Justice Committee’s review of the 2012 changes to workers' compensation legislation by the Coalition state government.

Speakers included representatives of UnionsNSW and individual unions, state MPs, and workers who had presented testimony to the committee that morning.

An orange baboon obsessed with the size of his hands.

If you want a bright side to the US elections, consider Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker who lost a huge chunk of cash after paying out early to those who put money on a Clinton win. 

Enjoying the misfortune of a representative of the bloodsucking gambling industry may be grasping at straws, but as we await the race between a nuclear holocaust and climate change-induced eco-holocaust, we might as well take what we can get. As for Paddy Power, they can at least make their money back offering decent odds on the nuclear option.

The following statement was released on November 11 by Farooq Tariq, spokesperson for the Awami Workers Party in Pakistan.

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On the night of November 3, the Turkish police detained Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ – the co-chairs of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) – alongside several other Members of Parliament who were democratically voted in with over 5 million votes in the last parliamentary election.

Leonard Cohen, the Canadian singer-songwriter who died just two days after Donald Trump seized the White House, seemed to predict this moment.

In his dystopian song “The Future”, from the 1992 album of the same name, Cohen sang: “I've seen the future, brother: it is murder.”

“Things are gonna slide,” the famously dark singer suggested, “slide in all directions ... the blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold.”

Brazil’s constitutional affairs committee in the Senate approved the PEC 55 constitutional reform to create a 20-year ceiling for federal spending on November 9.

The committee voted 19-7 and approved PEC 55, previously called PEC 241, which was proposed by coup-imposed President Michel Temer in a bid to cut Brazil's budget deficit.

Life has existed on Earth for roughly 3.7 billion years. During that time we know of five mass extinction events — dramatic episodes when many, if not most, life forms vanished in a geological heartbeat.

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