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The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages has refused to change a transsexual man’s documents unless he undergoes life-threatening surgery.

Australian PM Kevin Rudd’s appointment of Tony Burke as population minister continues the Australian tradition of playing political football with immigration. His appointment came after Treasury estimates predicted that Australia’s population will grow from 22 million to 36 million by 2050.

Right-wing Republicans won an important battle in the “history wars” on March 12 when the Texas Board of Education approved a new social studies curriculum.

Coal threatens Queensland

It is not a good look for Queensland internationally and here at home with the Chinese coal ship having run aground on the Great Barrier Reef, leaking oil and about to break up.

The massive mines of the Hancock and Waratah coal companies, together with the coal mines of the Bowen Basin coming through with the Northern Missing Link, mean that upwards of 230 million tonnes per annum of coal will be going through the nationally wetlands of Caley Valley and exported through the newly constructed port at Abbot Point.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It has taken capitalism about 250 years to generate enough waste and pollution to press dangerously against nature’s limits. With such a damning record, there should be no grounds to expect a different outcome in the future.

On March 18, the federal government managed to pass its new youth allowance scheme through the Senate. The government’s main aim was to tighten eligibility requirements for students getting youth allowance, so that young people now have to work an average of 30 hours a week for 18 months before qualifying for the benefit.

Soldiers armed with live and rubber bullets attacked the peaceful pro-democracy Red Shirt protests in the centre of Bangkok on April 10. At least 12 people, including a Japanese Reuters reporter, have been shot dead.

Resistance’s Zane Alcorn spoke to Matthew Wright, a climate and energy campaigner from Beyond Zero Emissions. Wright is speaking at the Resistance 2010: the World can’t Wait! national conference, which will be held in Wollongong from April 24-26.

Outraged by the six Aboriginal deaths in custody this year, the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised a public meeting at the Redfern Community Centre on April 9 to tell the stories and call for justice.

Ordinary Courage: My Journey to Baghdad as a Human Shield
By Donna Mulhearn
Pier 9, 2010
254 pages, $32.95 (pb)

STRONG>Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman who Helped to Hide the Frank Family
By Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold
Pocket Books, 2009
302 pages, $24.99 (pb)

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