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The largest ever Australia-US joint military exercises have just finished. Talisman Sabre 2017, the seventh of these expensive biennial war games, wound up in Brisbane on July 26 on the USS Ronald Reagan — a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with capacity for 5000 troops and 200 fighter jets.

In the 1960s, Joy Cummings, a Labor Party activist, locked onto a row of Moreton Bay figs in Islington Park, Newcastle. The majestic trees, which had been earmarked for the chainsaw to widen the road, were saved and still stand today. Cummings went on to be elected to Newcastle Council and in 1974 became Australia’s first female Lord Mayor.

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists.

I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs", they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out.

Members states of the Organization of American States (OAS) have once again failed to reach consensus to “take action on Venezuela,” which Caracas regards as interference in its internal affairs. 

At a July 26 meeting of the OAS Permanent Council in Washington, 13 countries read a declaration calling on the Venezuelan government to abandon the July 30 Constituent Assembly elections.

That was two fewer member states than supported a similar resolution at the OAS foreign ministers' meeting on June 19, and five short of the number needed to pass a resolution.

Images of the Bolivarian National Police firing tear gas at protestors in Venezuela cannot be provided to us in large enough quantities by the mainstream media.

In the face of an escalating international campaign by the right-wing Venezuelan opposition, backed to the hilt by the US, to bring down the left-wing government of President Nicolas Maduro, solidarity activists around the world, including Australia, are stepping up their activities. Supporters of the Venezuelan right-wing opposition are also escalating their efforts aimed at undermining and attacking the solidarity movement.

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