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On October 16, the Mexico’s national ombudsman, Jose Luis Soberanes Fernandez, delivered the recommendations of his report into the killing of two young men and the detention of another 207 people by municipal, state and federal security forces on May 3 and 4 in the municipalities of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco. The clashes were sparked by attempts to remove flower venders without licences from a market.

Thousands of people flocked to the La Rinconada area, south of Caracas, on October 15, to hear socialist President Hugo Chavez inaugurate the new “Ezequiel Zamora” train line from Caracas to Cua, in the Valles del Tuy — the first new above-ground train line constructed in Venezuela for more than 70 years.

“We guarantee that all Venezuelans will receive free education, to the highest level, as a promise of the revolutionary government. This [event] demonstrates the importance that the [Bolivarian] revolution gives to education”, Hugo Chavez declared on October 8. The Venezuelan president was officially re-opening the Andres Bello high school, situated in the metropolitan centre of the Caracas. The high school has been extensively renovated and upgraded to provide for a student population of 1700, the October 9 Ultimas Noticias reported.

Welcome to the new Green Left Weekly website. GLW is taking a one-week break — our next issue will be dated November 8.

Ever since the federal Coalition government introduced Work Choices, the trade union movement has been united behind the demand that the legislation be repealed. The debate has been over what alternative industrial relations system the movement should advocate.

In a referendum held on Sydney University on September 20-21, 90% of the 3000 participating students voted for the university to reduce its contribution to climate change by purchasing a minimum of 20% clean, renewable energy. Currently the university uses 52 million kWh of electricity each year, all of which is generated by coal-fired power stations.

On October 13, 50 people from the local Your Rights at Work campaign group protested outside a real estate agent’s office over his attempt to pressure Gail Austin, a long-term employee, to sign an Australian Workplace Agreement (individual contract) that “would have slashed [her] income by $30,000”, according to Workers Online. Austin said that she was told to sign the agreement or quit. Mark Ptolemy from the Your Rights at Work group said: “This company has done nothing illegal, but that doesn’t mean its actions are not highly immoral.”

Youth Rock the Block, held in Redfern on October 14, featured young community performers expressing their culture and raising money for a local women and children dance studio. The day included singing in the Indigenous Darug language, original dance pieces, renditions of well-known Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal pop songs and hip-hop.

Peter Bray from Rising Tide has questioned the independence and make-up of the “independent expert panel” set up to assess the proposed coal export terminal in Newcastle, branding it a “coal-dependent export panel” designed to ignore climate change.

On November 18-19, Melbourne will host some of the world’s most brutal warmongers and economic rationalists. They will be meeting under the auspices of the G20, with this year’s meeting chaired by Treasurer Peter Costello. A chief architect of the US war on Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, will also be present, in his capacity as World Bank president.

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