On April 2, federal environment minister Peter Garrett approved the third stage of the controversial Gunn’s pulp mill. Bulldozers have been given the go-ahead at the Tamar Valley site in northern Tasmania.
Widely regarded as the greatest living kora player, Toumani Diabete, from Mali, and his 10-piece band drawn from various West African nations — the Symmetric Orchestra — delivered a sublimely engaging two-hour performance on March 12 at the Sydney Opera House.
The early April food riots in Haiti were a product of decades-long neoliberal economic policies foisted on the poverty-stricken nation. Since 2007, prices for a number of essential foods, including rice, rose by about 50%.
In the Worldwide Fund for Nature’s 2007 report, Cuba was the only country listed as having an ecologically sustainable economy. Cuban permaculturalist Roberto Perez recently completed an Australian tour, speaking to over 5000 people, describing how Cuba carried out a “green revolution” to deal with the dire consequences of the collapse of its main trading partner, the Soviet Union, in the 1990s.
“Bolivia is on the verge of exploding”, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned on April 21.
There have been dramatic developments in Malaysia since the ruling National Front (BN) government had its majority in parliament reduced sharply in the March 8 general elections. Opposition parties, which won five out of 13 state governments, formed
Below is an abridged April 21 statement by the International Trade Union Confederation.
An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President
By Randall Robinson
Basic Civitas Books
280 pages, US
Marx in London: An Illustrated Guide
By Asa Briggs & John Callow
Published by Lawrence & Wishart, in association with the Marx Memorial Library
Revised edition, 2008
110 pages, £8.99
Left-wing former bishop Fernando Lugo won Paraguay’s presidential election on April 20 with 41% of the vote, according to an April 21 AFP report.
More than 20,000 people marched on April 22 through the streets of Santiago to demonstrate their rejection of the Constitutional Court’s ruling, which last week banned the distribution of the morning-after pill through the public health care system.
Below is an abridged April 22 statement by the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights. A statement the following day reported that the seven arrested students had been released.
Watching Brief, reflections on human rights, law, & justice
By Julian Burnside
Scribe Publications


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