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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.
Opinion polls in both the Fairfax and Murdoch dailies on May 18-19 show voter support for PM Kevin Rudd has fallen. Rudd, who scored a 74% approval rating in the Fairfax Nielsen poll on March 30, dropped 10 points in the May 18 poll, down to 64%.
“The International Peoples’ Tribunal of Conscience sat on May 15-16 in Paris to hear testimony about the harmful effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam’s environment and population”, Thanhniemnews.com said on May 20.
Michael Lebowitz is a Canadian Marxist economist. He is the director of the “Transformative practice and human development” program at the Caracas-based left-wing think tank, the Centro Internacional Miranda. He is professor emeritus of economics at Simon Fraser University and author of Build it Now: 21st Century Socialism and the 2004 Isaac Deutscher-prize winning Beyond Capital: Marx's Political Economy of the Working Class.
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.

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