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Night Shift: 270 Factory Stories
David Macaray
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Los Angeles, 2015
360 pages, US$17.99

David Macaray’s enjoyable and readable Night Shift is an exquisite study of industrial work in a US manufacturing site between the mid-1970s and the mid-’90s. Being a marvel of industrial sociology, it avoids managerialism’s dehumanisation of factory workers — e.g. human resources (HR) and of management studies that turn into an academic research object.

The Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) have called on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to demand the entertainment company cancel plans to stream a series that promotes the Phlippines’ murderous drug war.

A suspected chemical weapons attack on April 8 killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 1000 in the Syrian town of Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian opposition blamed the Assad government for carrying out the attacks, but Syria denied having any role. The chemical attack came one day after Syrian forces launched an air and ground assault on Douma.

Climate and Capitalism editor Ian Angus looks at six new books for reds and greens covering climate change and disease’ capitalist power and the planet’s future’ brain, body, and environment’  oceanic art and science’ essential fungi and life, and the political economy of water.

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Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change
By Mary Beth Pfeiffer
Island Press, 2018

The most extreme Spanish reaction to the April 5 ruling of the Higher Regional court of German state Schleswig-Holstein that freed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont was from radio shock jock Federico Jiménez Losantos.

“In the Balearic Islands there are 200,000 of them [Germans] as hostages,” he railed. “In Bavaria, well in Bavaria pubs could start being blown up. So, I’m proposing action? Of course, they’ve slapped us around, they’ve given us a kick in the you-know-what.”

The jailing of ex-Workers’ party (PT) president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva can only be seen as a continuation of the “institutional coup” begun in 2016 that ousted elected PT President Dilma Rousseff, writes Juan Cruz Ferre.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, popularly known as “Lula”, decided to turn himself in after the Brazilian Supreme Court found him guilty of corruption and handed down a 12-year jail sentence on April 5. After 10 hours of debate, the Court turned down Lula’s plea to remain free by one vote— four against five.

Ever since his unexpected rise to British Labour Party leader, veteran socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has faced sustained attacks and smears from the media, Tories and the right-wing of his own party. But over the past month, the attacks have become an unprecedented avalanche.

In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli, arguably the finest political theorist of his time, used his famous work The Prince to tease out “means and ends” theory. He concluded that when it came to the exercise of power, a ruler should use any methods available to maintain stability. The means are irrelevant if the ends are positive enough to trump them.

About 100 people, including many students from the nearby Haberfield Public School, protested at the pedestrian bridge on Parramatta Road, Haberfield, on April 10, against construction plans for the controversial WestConnex tollway.

Publicity for the protest proclaimed: "Tell WestConnex and the NSW government we oppose four more years of tunnelling, construction, dust and traffic at the Muirs sites, less than 200 metres from Haberfield Public School." The Muirs sites are a large area of former commercial land, now being used by WestConnex as a construction zone.

 

The ubiquitous Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi the blue koala belies the fate of the “Aussie icon” it represents. It is ironic that Borobis flourish in the very region where koala numbers have declined drastically in recent years.

Koalas are an endangered species in Queensland, NSW and the ACT and land clearing has long been recognised as the culprit. As well as the animals killed during the actual process of land clearing, the destruction of habitat results in increasing population losses.

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