709

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.

I held such hope for the Sydney Coroner's inquest into the death of Brian Peters, one of the Balibo Five in East Timor in 1975, because we were promised an open court. But now the rules have been changed to allow vital evidence to be given "in camera", which gives Commonwealth bureaucrats the opportunity to censor that evidence.

In the May 3 elections to the Scottish parliament, the Scottish National Party (SNP) won 47 seats out of a total of 129 — a rise of 20 seats compared to the 2003 election. Labour lost four seats, emerging with a total of 46; the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats lost one seat apiece, winning 17 and 16 seats respectively. The results mean that for the first time in Scottish political history, the SNP won more seats that any other party, although not enough to command a working majority in parliament.

Depleted uranium

While there are some beneficial uses of radiation such as for X-rays and anti-cancer therapy, expanding the uranium industry to cater to a world greedy for electricity is fraught with great danger.

Most people are not aware

Ali Humanyun, a Pakistani queer refugee seeking asylum in Australia, has been incarcerated inside the Villawood detention centre for two years and four months. He was refused a Protection (Class XA) Visa in May 2006 and rejected by the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) in October. Humanyun was not granted legal aid for a Federal Magistrates Court appearance, and so the RRT’s decision was upheld on February 19.

Women’s unqualified right to control our own bodies remains a critical question for feminists. An unwanted pregnancy can have a massive impact on all aspects of a woman’s life — her financial situation, employment, mental and physical health, and relationships.

The Socialist Alliance condemns the arrest of two Australian Tamil activists, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy and Sivarajah Yathavan, under the “anti-terror” laws. This is another example of the use of such laws to repress political activity of which the government disapproves.

The National Emissions Trading Taskforce is due to present some sort of design scheme for an Australian national emissions trading scheme in the second half of 2007, and PM John Howard has announced a task group to look at how Australia could participate in the global market.

An industrial relations forum on May 8, hosted by the Socialist Alliance, brought together trade union and political activists to discuss their responses to the ALP’s recently released IR policy and the campaign against Work Choices.

The proposed Anvil Hill coalmine in NSW is rapidly becoming a central battleground in the fight against climate change.

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