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In the face of a general strike called by Shiite militants in Baghdad’s northeastern Sadr City district, home to 2.5 million people, US troops ended their week-long siege of the district on October 31.
The US, Britain, Italy, France, Australia and Bahrain began two days of joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf on October 31, including marine boardings of ships 32 kilometres from the Iranian coastline. Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini told reporters in Tehran: “We are watching their movements very carefully. We do not consider this exercise appropriate. US moves go in the direction of more adventurism, not of stability and security.”
In an action called by Regional Community Watch, 300 people marched on November 3 against the impending closure of a rehabilitation unit at the local St Vincent’s hospital, delivering a petition signed by 2000 residents and 100 local doctors to the North Coast Area Health Service. Speakers argued that the proposed smaller, relocated unit at Ballina will be inadequate and inaccessible. The protesters highlighted the role of NSW Premier and former health minister Morris Iemma and current health minister John Hatzistergos. After the rally, the hospital board agreed to reopen negotiations on the unit’s future.
NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has called on the NSW Labor government to drop a current trial of taser stun guns after one of the weapons caused the death of a teenager in the United States on November 1. It is expected that the NSW government will announce before next March’s state election that stun guns will be given to 7000 NSW police on general duties.
Fadi Rahman from the Independent Centre for Research’s youth centre in Lidcombe, Sydney, spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Emma Clancy about the impact on young Muslim Australians of the media attack on the entire Islamic community in the wake of Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilaly’s comments about women and sexual assault.
As fellow media makers and artists, we are writing to honor the memory of independent journalist, filmmaker, and respected activist Brad Will, who was brutally murdered while filming the grassroots popular movement in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Seventy people packed into the Resistance Centre on October 26 to hear author Antony Loewenstein and Green Left Weekly journalist Rupen Savoulian speak about Israel’s role in the Middle East. Loewenstein described the wide range of responses to his new book, My Israel Question, including much positive feedback from Jews who expressed their support for his critique of the Israeli state’s repressive policies in the region.
The women’s room, and the women’s, Indigenous and queer officer positions will not exist next year at the Bendigo campus of Latrobe University.
“I’m just, I’m a little concerned with all this hysteria over this greenhouse gases and the environment, that the Liberal Party is not selling your message the way you sold it now to Leon, and that it’s not getting through to the average man in the street” — this is what “Emile”, an “unashamed supporter” of Prime Minister John Howard, had to say to the PM on November 2, during Leon Byner’s talkback show on Adelaide’s Radio 5AA.
November 30 is a truly national day of protest, with more than 300 rally points across metropolitan and rural Australia. Regional Victorian workers are being encouraged to come to Melbourne on November 29 to be ready for an early start the next day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, or the “G”.

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