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Over 50 military and civilian dissidents remain in custody following the storming of the Manila Peninsular luxury hotel on November 29 by troops loyal to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to dislodge a group of soldiers who had seized the hotel and used it to hold a press conference calling for a “people’s power” uprising against the unpopular president. Civil society and religious leaders joined the rebels at the press conference.
A 19-year-old Saudi Arabian woman has been sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in jail following an incident in 2006 in which she was kidnaped and gang-raped by seven men. When the kidnapping occurred, the woman was in a car in the company of a man who was not an immediate relative, a crime in the Saudi kingdom.
@body intro = BREAKING NEWS — As Green Left Weekly goes to press, the Venezuelan government has released video evidence of a violent destabilisation campaign being planned by US-funded opponents of the Chavez government and the process of change. The campaign is based on rejected the outcome of the referendum being held on December 2. Speaking to up to a million supporters of the constitutional reforms and the revolution on November 30, President Hugo Chavez threatened to cut off oil supplies immediately to the US, in retaliation against any violent attacks.
On November 16, NSW deputy coroner Dorelle Pinch ruled that five journalists from Australia’s Seven and Ten commercial TV networks who died in the East Timorese town of Balibo on October 16, 1975, were not killed by crossfire (which is what Australian authorities have previously maintained) but were deliberately murdered by invading Indonesian forces, on orders from above in what Pinch ruled to be a “war crime”.
A report on a November 17 Perth rally against the NT intervention was accompanied by a photo incorrectly credited to Barry Healy. The credit should have read: “Photo by Jodi Hoffmann/courtesy Aboriginal Legal Service of WA.”
There were emotional scenes in the Perth Coroners Court on November 28 as deputy State Coroner Evelyn Vicker read her findings into the death of a 35-year-old Aboriginal man, Carl Woods, in police custody in the suburb of Parmelia on April 11 last year. Woods’ relatives wept and expressed anger at Vicker’s finding of accidental death.
Ecuador began to implement its “citizens’ revolution” called for by left-wing President Rafael Correa on November 29 with opening of the constituent assembly, made up of elected delegates tasked with reforming the state’s institutional framework and drawing up a new constitution.
Since the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in October, there has been little in the mainstream media coverage of events in Burma. During the crackdown, many people were killed or disappeared by the military as society was placed under curfew.
After more than one-and-a-half decades of constant erosion under Beijing’s pro-capitalist policies, China’s public sector has shrunk to less than 40% of the country’s economy, and an even smaller share of industry and services.
“It’s time for a new page to be written in our nation’s history” — Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd, November 24.
Dear Green Left Weekly reader,
What a relief to finally see the back of John Howard and his despised Coalition government!
The first negotiations between the state government and Victorian teachers following a 10,000 strong November 21 stop-work meeting bore no fruit according to a November 30 press release by the Australian Education Union’s (AEU) Victorian branch.
The Federation of Community Legal Centres has criticised Victoria’s Office of Police Integrity (OPI) and the Ethical Standards Department (ESD) for allowing “police corruption, misconduct and violence to go unchecked” despite “several damning reports and public hearings” this year, said Will Crawford, a federation spokesperson, on November 28.
The November 24 rout of the Howard government owed much to the work of the organised labour movement. Of the marginal Coalition seats targeted by the Your Rights at Work (YRAW) campaign, 20 of 24 have fallen to Labor (including John Howard’s own seat of Bennelong); the other four remain in doubt. Most of those who voted for Labor did so believing that Labor would abolish Work Choices, as promised by Kevin Rudd on October 14, the official start to the election campaign. Yet Labor’s industrial relations policy — Forward with Fairness — promises only minimal changes, replacing the Coalition’s legislation with “Work Choices Lite”.
ABC Online reported on November 29 that the Australian Capital Territory’s attorney-general, Simon Corbell, intended to introduce a bill that would give legal recognition to same-sex “civil unions”.
While the tyrant reign of John Howard is over, another is just beginning. The need to fight a Rudd government is quite clear. Many of Kevin Rudd’s so-called “reforms” are just slight changes to Howard’s monstrosities.

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