Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth
By Charles Massy
University of Queensland Press, 2017
In Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth, Monaro farmer Charles Massy has written an excellent book on agricultural change to restore the environment.
Massy talks about his transformation from a land degrader to a land regenerator, and the inspiration he received from dozens of other Australian farmers who have done the same.
By Ken Saunders
Allen & Unwin, 2018
This satirical novel is set in Australia’s near future and revolves around an accident-prone Liberal Prime Minister running a hopeless election campaign.
The setting is near enough to be uncomfortably recognisable but allows Ken Saunders to stretch out today’s neo-liberal realities to the point of absurdity.
The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
After the controversy of US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning being refused a visa on “character” grounds, Phil Shannon takes a look at a book by one of Manning’s forerunners – Daniel Ellsberg, best known for leaking the Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing US military secrets.
In recent days, Malaysia attained international notoriety for caning two women after their being convicted in a religious court of attempting to have sex in a car.
In striking contrast, on September 6, the Indian Supreme Court held that section 377 of their penal code, which criminalised consensual acts between adults of the same sex, was unconstitutional. That is a mature decision that gives 1.2 billion people in India the freedom to have consensual sex.
The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), several other trade unions and the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) have slammed as “humiliating” and “beggarly” the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) federal government’s announcement that it would increase the country's minimum wage by just RM50 (A$17) a month to RM1050 ($350) from next January.
Unions are considering calling a mass workers’ protest.
Pakatan Harapan had promised to raise the minimum wage to RM1500 within 100 days if it won the May 9 general election.
Australian artists are joining the more than 140 international artists in the call for a boycott of Eurovision 2019 if it goes ahead in Israel next May, says BDS Australia.
Inspired by the conscientious artists who refused to perform in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian artists and cultural groups have called for non-violent pressure in the form of boycotts on Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law.
Four months after the new Italian government was installed, the reactionary nature of the coalition between the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega (League) emerges more clearly each day, writes Daniele Fulvi.
Despite the fact that the League won only about 17% of the votes in the last elections (compared with 32% for the M5S), the interior minister and League leader Matteo Salvini is emerging as the undisputed head of the government. He is dictating the government agenda as he sees fit.
More than 1 million people marched in Barcelona on September 11 in support of Catalonia’s struggle for independence from the Spanish state. The day is marked each year as Catalonia’s national day, commemorating Barcelona's capture by Bourbon forces in 1714 during the War of Spanish Succession.
This year’s march also demanded the release of pro-independence political prisoners, who have been jailed for their role in last year’s independence referendum.
In a world of Donald Trump, climate change and the threat of World War III, we need a laugh and quick — before it is too late.
So Green Left Weekly has put together what should be an electrifyingly funny evening in Sydney on September 22. It even features a couple of well-known, if not exactly well-loved names with Donald Trump and Tony Abbott making an appearance on stage (via the impersonation skills of Jonas Holt)
Venezuela’s foreign minister Jorge Arreaza has reiterated his condemnation of the United States for seeking an intervention and supporting military conspiracies.
His September 9 comments followed a report that members of the US government have been meeting with Venezuelan military officers who were actively plotting to oust democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro since mid-2017.
There is a growing body of pro-establishment statements in the United States opposing the possibility of US military intervention in Venezuela, writes Steve Ellner.
The latest expression of this position is a New York Times editorial titled “Stay Out of Venezuela, Mr. Trump”, published on September 11.
At first glance the editorial is a welcome statement that counters the careless war-mongering declarations coming from the ilk of Marco Rubio and a number of high-ranking Trump administration officials, as well as Donald Trump himself.
The US Central Intelligence Agency’s drone program in Africa is expanding, the New York Times said on September 10.
Just south of the Libyan border, a covert military base in Dirkou, Niger has been deploying fleets of drones on surveillance missions for several months, a Defense Department spokeswoman, Major Sheryll Klinkel told the NYT.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said “the US is the real threat to humankind” on September 7 in response to US Senator Marco Rubio's talk of using the US Armed Forces against the Venezuelan government. Rubio had said Venezuela “has become a threat for the region and even for the United States”.
An estimated 7000 childcare workers took industrial action by walking off the job around Australia on September 5 to demand equal pay.
As Yemeni journalists reported that at least 15 civilians were killed in Saudi airstrikes in the port city of Hodeidah on September 12, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially certified that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), whose three-year assault on the country has been made possible by US support, are doing all they can to avoid civilian casualties.