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While there are treatments to slow the progression of AIDS, adding decades to sufferers’ lives, access to them is a case study in the vast gap between rich and poor nations. Few deny that HIV/AIDS is a massive health crisis. What is now clear is that it is also a social one, exacerbated by the contradictions of a world dominated by the wealthy minority of First World countries.

The second round of East Timor’s presidential elections, held on May 9, resulted in the victory of Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta. Ramos Horta, running as an independent, had won 73% of the vote with 90% of ballots counted. He won a majority in 10 out of 13 districts. However, Fretilin, the party of defeated candidate Francisco Guterres Lu’Olo, has alleged Australian interference in the elections, including the intimidation of two campaign rallies in the final week of the campaign by Australian troops from the “International Stabilisation Force” (ISF).

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) will be holding a trivia competition at 7pm on June 1 at its Lidcombe offices (12 Railway Street) to raise funds in support of sacked union delegate Barry Hemsworth.

It’s like having one of those nightmares that seems to grow more horrible as it drags on. We’ve been looking forward to the next federal election for a chance to get rid of John Howard, but with each day federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd sounds more and more like Howard.

A high-speed rail network powered by 100% renewables would eliminate greenhouse gas emissions produced by long-distance air travel in eastern Australia. Based on a rapid implementation of the French TGV system, Matthew Wright from Beyond Zero Emissions, wants Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane to be linked in this visionary project.

Two Chinese detainees have been on hunger strike in the Villawood detention centre for more than 40 days. During that time, an asylum seeker in Stage One has stabbed himself. His condition is deteriorating.

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) will be holding a trivia competition at 7pm on June 1 at its Lidcombe offices (12 Railway Street) to raise funds in support of sacked union delegate Barry Hemsworth.

Treasurer Peter Costello's May 8 federal budget was aimed at investing in the future of big business. It cements the government's privatisation agenda, further running down already neglected public services and throwing money at private-profit alternatives. It fails to even begin to address global warming, and contains a further major hike in military spending. At the same time, the government feathered its re-election bid with a rash of small to middling tax cuts.

Some 100,000 protesters flooded Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on May 3 to call for the ouster of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. But after surviving three no-confidence votes in parliament a few days later, it appeared that Olmert would hang on.

Two blockades halted logging in high conservation value native forests two hours east of Melbourne on May 8, Friends of the Earth reported.

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