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The drive to oust Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been put on hold as the major parties jostle to win the December 9 mayoral and city council elections for the major cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung.
Howard speech The October 4 Sydney Morning Herald printed an extract of John Howard's speech to the Quadrant 50th anniversary celebration the night before. I wrote a letter about it. Unsurprisingly, the SMH has not printed it: "Of Howard's two
Ruhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul and Monir Ali, from the English midlands town of Tipton, travelled to Pakistan in late 2001 for a wedding and a backpacking holiday. All except Ali were captured in Afghanistan by the Northern Alliance and turned over to the US military, which wrongfully imprisoned and tortured them at Guantanamo Bay for more than two years.
The plight of Australian Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks continues, as the government's arrogance and subservience to the US shows no sign of abating.
Terry Hicks, the father of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Leslie Richmond about the implications of the new US Military Commission Act.
Public transport issues continue to feature in the November 25 Victorian state election as both major parties trawl for votes.
On October 21, two days after the anniversary of the sinking of the SIEV-X, shadow minister for immigration Tony Burke announced that he would recommend that the ALP change key aspects of its refugee policy.
Guests at the $70 per head seminar at Old Parliament House to discuss the strategic alliance between Australia and the United States on November 2 were greeted by 50 protesters against the war in Iraq and the US threats to peace in Latin America. The protest was organised by the ACT Network Opposing War, and supported by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network and the Socialist Alliance. As former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage, Australian defence minister Brendan Nelson and ALP foreign affairs spokesperson Kevin Rudd addressed the guests, chants of "600,000 Iraqis dead $70 a head" permeated the building.
Geelong Trades Hall was packed with unionists on October 28 exchanging ideas and experiences about surviving and fighting Work Choices. Some 130 unionists travelled from Victorian country centres such as Port Campbell, Portland, Hamilton and the Latrobe Valley to join unionists from across the country.
In its first national minimum wage decision on October 26, the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) handed down an increase of $27.36 for workers earning under $700 per week and $22.04 for those earning more than $700 covered by awards.

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