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If the rhetoric of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission’s report on Australia’s health system is taken at face value, health care in Australia will get an impressive overhaul courtesy of the federal government.

Five Filipino workers holding 457 visas, who were employed at a Fletcher International abattoir near Albany, were made redundant and given 10 weeks’ entitlement pay on June 2.

Months after the murder of prominent journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge in Sri Lanka, more journalists have been attacked as part of the Sri Lankan government’s war on free speech.

Australian Coal Association (ACA) executive director Ralph Hillman believes the industry doesn’t want special treatment from the Rudd Labor government. It just wants the same “fair treatment” given to other big polluters under the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).

Speakers from Micronesia, Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Torres Strait Islands described how climate change affects their everyday lives at meetings of 180 people in Brisbane on July 28 and 170 people in Melbourne on July 30

Siddique Abdullah Hasan is on death row in Ohio. He is one of the Lucasville Five, prisoners railroaded onto death row after a 1993 prison rebellion against abuses by prison authorities. Below, he writes about the July 21 execution in Ohio of Marvallous Keene — the 1000th prisoner to be executed by lethal injection in the US since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Socialist Alliance member Fred Fuentes is currently working in Caracas, Venezuela. Last week, he wrote back on the political situation there.

The Palestine solidarity group Students for Palestine organised a successful fundraising dinner at the Rockdale Town Hall in Sydney’s south on July 24. Indigenous activist Jenny Munro delivered a welcome to country to kick off a fabulous night of entertainment, food, culture and fundraising.

Canice Lynch was sacked from his job at the West Gate Bridge strengthening project on July 24. Lynch was the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) shop steward at the site.

Victoria’s record six-month dry spell has raised fears that the summer of 2009-10 will be worse than last year, when hundreds died in the Black Saturday bushfires and the record-breaking heatwave that preceded them.

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