743

While the Western corporate media was swooning over the tour of army duty in war-torn Afghanistan by Prince Harry, the third in line to the British crown, scant coverage was given to US national intelligence director Vice-Admiral Mike McConnell’s admission that the situation facing the US and its NATO allies in Afghanistan is “deteriorating”, despite a doubling of their occupation forces since 2004.
Fourteen divers at the Sydney desalination plant being built at Port Botany went on strike this week over safety concerns and demanding a union collective agreement walking off the job on Monday March 3. They are employed by Construction Diving Services (whose parent company is Dempsey Industries).
In the most recent edition of Green Left Weekly (GLW #742, links to all contributions in debate so far are below), well-known progressive anti-imperialist activist, Professor Stephen Zunes, has proclaimed that I am a liar.
SYDNEY — The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organised a community rally outside the Sombreros Mexican restaurant in the beachside suburb of Cronulla on March 7. The rally was to protest the sacking of chef Basilo Reyes for taking time off to have a cancer removed.
The breakout of the people of Gaza in late January provided a heroic spectacle unlike any other since the Warsaw ghetto uprising and the smashing down of the Berlin Wall.
Journalist and documentary filmmaker spoke at a public forum on March 7. Attended by 200 people, the forum was hosted by Pilger’s high-school friend, actor Jack Thompson, at his pub in the Blue Mountains town of Katoomba
As the horror of Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza spread, UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon could only describe Israel’s rocket launches as “an excessive use of force”. By contrast, he described a Palestinian homemade rocket, which killed two Israeli soldiers and one civilian, as a “terrorist” act.
On March 1, Students Against the Pulp Mill met to discuss the next steps in the campaign against Gunns Ltd's planned $2 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. Attended by 40 students from across Tasmania, the meeting decided that SAPM would organise a
Over 4000 Victorian Independent Education Union (VIEU) members from Catholic schools stopped work for 24 hours on March 7 in support of their enterprise bargaining agreement.
On March 6, a rally was held to commemorate the International Day of Tribute for the Victims of Human Rights Abuses. This international day of action was called by the Colombian National Movement for Victims of the State. Around 40 people gathered on the steps of Parliament House in support of the victims of paramilitarism, demanding a just, fair and free Colombia and an end to state terrorism.
Contrary to federal government rhetoric, research conducted into the new Labor government’s Forward with Fairness transitional bill has revealed that Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs — individual contracts), or their replacement clones, the Interim Transitional Employment Agreements (ITEAs), could continue well beyond 2010.
The recent collapse in ABC Learning Centres’ share price generated a media frenzy. Director Eddy Groves was reputed to have lost $45 million in just two hours of trading. For a time it looked like many centres would close their doors.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez denounced the Colombian state as a “terrorist state”, and said it had become “the Israel of Latin America”, following the Colombian military’s bombing of Ecuadorian territory on March 1 that killed up to 21 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Chavez argued the US government was behind Colombia’s actions.
Up to 1000 people marched in Sydney on March 8 to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day. Many trade unions were represented as well as community and migrant groups, with some women coming from as far as Nowra on the NSW south coast to mark 100 years of women’s struggles.
It has to be one of the most unbelievable stories of the century: New Idea, a magazine that trades on gossip about royals and other celebrities, is blamed for exposing Prince Harry’s deployment in the British military intervention in Afghanistan. It is about as believable as the plot of Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, in which a young prince swaps places with a street lad to see what life is like in “Paupersville”.
Any day now the findings of the special Consultative Reference Committee (CRC), set up by the NSW government to “test the impacts” of its plans to privatise its electricity generation and retailing assets, will become public.

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