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There are still about 12.3 million people worldwide who work in some form of bonded or forced labour, according to a May 12 International Labour Organisation (ILO) report.
Socialist Alliance member and Latin American solidarity activist Jim McIlroy addressed a forum organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN) at the Brisbane Activist Centre on May 21. McIlroy and solidarity activist Coral Wynter had recently returned to Australia after six months visiting Venezuela, Cuba and Central America.
Close to 100 people attended a May 17 Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH)-organised International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) rally in Newtown to commemorate the day the World Health Organisation took homosexuality off its list of mental disorders.
On May 14, the Senate upheld the parliamentary remuneration tribunal’s decision to raise electoral allowances for federal politicians by $90 a week ($4700 a year). The vote was 38 votes to 7.
The NSW Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) has criticised RailCorp plans to decimate station staff numbers.
Chants of “Hardest working, lowest paid: Bligh and Wilson, be ashamed!” rang out from 4000 teachers at the gates of state parliament on May 19.
Two protesters abseiled from the front of parliament house on May 13 in a dramatic protest against the federal government’s policies on climate change.
There is a revival of socialist feminism in Latin America, spearheaded by the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions.
Climate scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a disturbing new study on May 19. Without drastic action, the Earth’s surface temperature could rise by 5°C or more by 2100, they said.
A Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) member in South Australia has become the second worker to face charges for refusing to speak to the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
After rugby league commentator and former player Matthew Johns gave an insincere and misdirected apology on The Footy Show on May 7 — preempting the ABC Four Corners program that named Johns as part of an alleged sexual assault in 2002 — Paul “Fatty” Vautin slapped him on the back and declared: “Well said, now let’s get on with the show.”
Prominent journalist Jeff McMullen questioned the Northern Territory intervention at a forum organised by Reconciliation for Western Sydney on May 20 in Wentworthville.
The victory for Greens candidate Adele Carles in the May 16 by-election for the WA state seat of Fremantle is a breakthrough for the progressive movement and a testament to the Greens’ consistent efforts to raise a left alternative to Labor.
Last week’s university staff strikes across Victoria were in response to decades of attacks on higher education.
\The article below is compiled from Prensa Latina reports on May 16 and 17.
“I believe that we must reject torture without equivocation because it does not make us safe, it results in unreliable intelligence, it puts our troops at risk, and it contradicts core American values”, US President Barack Obama said while campaigning for the White House in March last year.

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