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Irish unions are threatening to escalate protests against proposals that would result in workers bearing the burden of paying for overcoming the financial crisis that has hammered the Irish economy while protecting business profits.

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is locked in dispute with rogue electrical contractor company John Goss, which is pushing a non-union agreement that locks in a four-year wage freeze for apprentices, offers only an 8% pay rise over four years to tradespeople, and tears up the 36-hour working week calendar.

Since the intervention into Northern Territory Aboriginal communities began in 2007, Aboriginal people have been subjected to a national spotlight that has demonised the men and rendered the women virtually powerless.

According to a February 25 AAP report by Ravi Nessman, conditions in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded war zone have “rapidly deteriorated”. The Sri Lankan government is attempting to crush the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), a group that has fought for self-determination for Tamils since 1976.

The only hope for stopping climate change is the political movement fostered by the recent Climate Action Summit and the groups forming all over the country, according to author Clive Hamilton at a February 25 meeting at the University of Western Australia.

In October 2008, Ualberto Hoyos, a Colombian citizen, was shot through the head and killed by paramilitaries. Was this part of a drug feud? Was Hoyos a sympathiser of left-wing guerrillas?

Inspired by the January 31-February 3 national Climate Action Summit in Canberra, on February 21 WA activists formed the Coalition for a Safe Climate.

At my hotel in Phnom Penh, the women and children sat on one side of the room, palais-style, the men on the other. It was a disco night and a lot of fun; then suddenly people walked to the windows and wept.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has been blockading the site of the new children’s hospital construction project in Parkville. The blockade is a response to the sacking of Joe Angelino, a shop steward who is also a health and safety representative.

As the global economic crisis worsens, a February 17 Counterpunch.org opinion piece by Mike Whitney argued that as much as 40% of global wealth has been destroyed by the current global economic crisis. Governments in Eastern Europe have faced mass riots and demonstrations in the face of their attempts to foist the costs of the crisis onto the poor.

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