Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodriguez issued an official statement on March 14 rejecting Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro’s latest report calling for the suspension of the South American nation if general elections are not held “as quickly as possible”.
Brazilians took to the streets in a nationwide protest on March 15 against President Michel Temer's pension reform plan. "This is the first unified mobilisation this year and opens the calendar of an intense agenda that we will have in 2017 to denounce the setbacks that penalise workers, such as reforms to the retirement system and labour legislation," said the organisers in a statement.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale raised the prospect of a “four-day work week or a six-hour day” as part of an address to the National Press Club on March 15.
This is a good discussion to be having in a country where people work among the longest hours in the world and where productivity growth has massively outstripped wage growth in recent decades.
Di Natale also flagged the possibility of a Universal Basic Income — which he described as a “guaranteed adequate income”.
The so called Fair Work Commission made the decision on February 23 to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates, affecting nearly 500,000 workers in the retail, hospitality and fast food sectors.
The cuts to public holiday penalty rates will take effect from July 1, however it has not yet been decided when the cuts to Sunday rates will take effect.
About 100 students from universities across Australia and New Zealand shared campaign stories and made plans for the year ahead at the Fossil Free Convergence in the Blue Mountains in NSW over March 10–13.
Organised by 350.org, the convergence brought together fossil fuel divestment groups from universities across Australia and New Zealand, including the Australian National University, University of Auckland, University of Queensland, Melbourne University, RMIT, University of Newcastle and University of New South Wales — which brought 25–30 people to the conference.
It was fitting that Resistance Books’ new publication, Sustainable Agriculture versus Corporate Greed: Small Farmers, Food Security & Big Business, was launched in the East Gippsland town of Bairnsdale on March 8.
Co-author Alan Broughton, a well-known figure in the local Organic Agriculture Association, gave a short but hard-hitting presentation at the local library.
He explained that agribusiness might be thriving but many smaller family farmers are doing it tough. Their financial situation is precarious.
Laws prohibiting the homeless from sleeping, eating, soliciting, or, let’s face it, being seen in public, are older than most modern institutions.
"First Melbourne's East-West Tunnel was stopped by people's power, now the Roe 8 has been stopped in WA. Next to go, WestConnex?" Peter Boyle, an activist in the Newtown Residents Against WestConnex, said on March 13.
He was commenting on the decision by the new Labor premier of Western Australia, Mark McGovern, to order the suspension of all work on the Roe 8 section of the Perth Freight Link after the March 11 state election, which saw the Barnett Liberal government decisively thrown out of office.
Today, as vaccinations are being used as a political weapon, we need to look again at the science and when, where and how they matter. We also need to question whether the punitive way the major parties are driving policy on immunisations will increase the vaccination rate.
Over hundreds of years, immunisation has been scientifically proven to prevent many diseases. It is worth examining some of the history that promoted the realisation that diseases can be prevented.