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According to a May 19 report by Latin American TV station Telesur, Venezuela’s defence minister Gustavo Rangel Briceno, denounced the fact that a US fighter jet violated Venezuelan airspace — around the La Orchila island, which houses a Venezuelan military base — two days earlier.

“Macquarie Bank bosses’ pay cut after profit cut warning”, was the headline of an article by Michael Sainsbury and Katherine Jimenez, in the May 21 Australian.

On May 6, five major construction unions met in Brisbane to plan a national campaign to abolish the draconian Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).

Victorian Premier John Brumby announced on May 5 that a deal had been struck with the Australian Education Union. While Mary Bluett, AEU branch president, described it as “the deal we were fighting for”, many union members are furious with the agreement made on their behalf.

The Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) is a response to the calls of people on low-lying islands in the Pacific about the ravages of climate change — more storm surges, longer droughts, tides rising higher, shores eroding, coral reefs bleaching, water supplies and soils becoming contaminated by salt water, breadfruit and banana trees dying and taro pits being destroyed.

MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering) took its opposition to genetically modified food to the streets on May 21, to coincide with a May 21-22 GM crops summit in Melbourne.

Labor’s first federal budget in 13 years was well received by much of the welfare lobby, despite its shortcomings. “The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Rudd Government’s first Budget because of its focus on helping disadvantaged Australians to overcome poverty and achieve their aspirations”, Tony Nicholson, BSL executive director said in a media release on May 13. “Robin Hood may have just fired off his first humble arrow”, said Dr John Falzon, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society, in his statement on the budget.

Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) president Professor Ian Lowe called on Australians to “mutiny” against government inaction on climate change, at a public forum on May 17. Forty people attended the event organised by Friends of the Earth (FoE).

The Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS), based in Fitzroy, and started by Koori activists in 1973, is threatened by funding shortfalls.

According to a May 21 Australian article, Dr Paul Mees, senior lecturer in transport and land use planning, intends to sue Melbourne University. Mees’s pay was cut after a university inquiry found him guilty of making insulting remarks about a state government official.

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