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US President Donald Trump is prepping a team of lawyers and policy experts to help right-wing Latin American governments write new laws imposing sanctions on Venezuelan officials and industries, a US source familiar with the policies told McClatchy News' Washington Bureau.

The push is part of Washington’s economic and political war against the left-wing government that aims to undermine Venezuela’s democracy and oust President Nicolas Maduro.

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) is for the government to give everyone — rich and poor — a regular income that would be enough to cover their basic needs. It would be an unconditional payment, meaning you would not have to work or satisfy job-search tests to receive it.

In Tokyo on January 24, 11 Pacific Rim countries including Australia reached an agreement to sign a revived Trans-Pacific Partnership (rebranded the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CPTPP).

The huge free trade deal almost fell into oblivion last year when US President Donald Trump pulled his country out, citing concerns for the loss of US jobs.

Ecuadorians will head to the polls on February 4 to cast their vote in a referendum that could prove to be decisive for the government of President Lenin Moreno and the political direction of the country.

Moreno was elected president last April as the candidate of PAIS Alliance, the party of former left-wing president Rafael Correa. However, less than year on from the election, Correa – together with a majority of PAIS Alliance activists – now view Moreno as a “traitor” for failing to honour his commitment to continue the policies of the Citizens’ Revolution, which was kick-started by Correa’s election in 2007.

The Turkish government’s attacks on the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria’s (DFNS) Afrin Canton in northern Syria are an attack on refugees.

The approach of the Kurdish-led forces to the Syrian refugee crisis, in which millions of people have become displaced, should be an inspiration.

Western television cameras have captured footage of people taking the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea seeking safety in Europe. But thousands more are also fleeing to Rojava.

National Union of Workers (NUW) members at the Ridley Agri site in the Geelong suburb of Lara stopped work for 24 hours on January 29 after negotiations lasting more than six months for a new enterprise agreement broke down.

The workers, who are all on individual contracts, want to collectively negotiate an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).

A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work says there is a "close statistical relationship" between a dramatic reduction in industrial activity and stagnation in wages.

Its research shows there has been a 97% decline in industrial action from the 1970s to the present, which has weakened the bargaining power of workers.

The Transport Workers’ Union joined the ACTU, Victorian Trades Hall and Unions NSW on January 31 to launch a campaign for the rights of food delivery riders.

The campaign called for urgent regulation of the industry after a survey showed three quarters of food delivery riders are paid below the minimum award wage and have no sick leave.

Police broke up a peaceful blockade of an old growth forest logging operation at Granite Mountain in East Gippsland, Victoria, on January 31.

Conservationists from the Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO) established the blockade and for 10 days managed to prevent logging of an untouched area of old growth forest.

A man, known as Possum, who was suspended in a hammock hanging from a 10 metre tripod structure that blocked access to the logging site, was arrested. He was charged and will appear in Orbost Magistrates court in April.  

In the face of a campaign by supports of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in protest against its apartheid policies, New Zealand superstar singer Lorde cancelled a planned Tel Aviv concert in December. The BDS call was first issued in 2005 by dozens of Palestinian civil society organisations, and has been heeded by many cultural figures, including musicians.

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