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On July 1, striking workers at a Japanese-owned electronics factory in the Chinese city of Tianjin stalled production for a third day and vowed to continue their fight until bosses agreed to better pay and conditions, the Morning Star said that day. It is the latest in a spate of work stoppages to hit foreign transnationals operating in China.

Workers have hung large banners outside the factory gate reading: “Human traffickers are not welcome”, “We want a pay rise” and “We want fair treatment”.

In her opening remarks as Australia’s new prime minister, Julia Gillard said she believed climate change was real and was caused by human activity. What she left unsaid was that she doesn’t believe in doing much to stop it.

Former PM Kevin Rudd’s rapid nosedive in the opinion polls coincided with Labor’s April decision to dump its proposed emissions trading scheme until 2013.

The scheme itself was radically flawed, but many people still associated it with action on climate change. More than with any other issue, Labor was punished for its perceived backflip on climate.

From the standpoint of conventional political analysis, Julia Gillard has had a spectacular start to her reign as prime minister.

She wrested the position from Kevin Rudd with minimal bloodshed, announced she was going to neutralise the mining tax controversy by negotiating with the mining billionaires and was rewarded with a dramatic turnaround in the opinion polls.

The following statement was released on June 27 by the group Palestinian Queers for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions – an international campaign to isolate Israel in protest against its treatment of Palestinians). Support for the BDS campaign has grown significantly since Israel’s massacre of peace activists on a boat taking aid to Gaza on May 31.

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Palestinian Queers for BDS call upon all queer groups, organisations and individuals around the world to boycott the apartheid state of Israel.

The New Way Summit, held in Melbourne over July 1-4, brought together around 100 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from about Australia to discuss the issues confronting the struggle for Indigenous rights. A big focus of the summit was on the issues of genocide, sovereignty and treaty.

This was the third in a series of New Way Summits. The first one took place in Canberra in January.

The summit was successful in bringing together indigenous activists from Darwin, New South Wales, Queensland, regional Victoria and Melbourne, as well as non-Indigenous supporters.

At dawn one year ago, on June 28, soldiers invaded the home of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya and flew him to Costa Rica.

It was a frightening throwback to the days when military men, backed by a local oligarchy and often the United States, could overturn the results of democratic elections.

It would also turn out to be a pivotal moment for relations between the US and Latin America. A new generation of left-of-centre governments in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela were all hoping for a new relationship with Washington.

Thirty one Rohingya refugees in a detention centre in Darwin ended their 12-day hunger strike on June 25. They were protesting against the Australian government’s delay in processing their asylum claims, an average of nine months after their boats’ interception.

Despite freezing weather, 30 people took part in a community speak-out against racism on July 2 in Newtown, in Sydney’s inner-west. Initiated by the Socialist Alliance, speakers included Greens deputy mayor of Marrickville Fiona Byrnes, refugee rights activist Saradha Nathan, Ellouise Davis from the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Hadi Zaher, Reverend Dave Smith from the Hold Trinity Church in Dulwich Hill, Peter Robson from Stop the Intervention Coalition and Pip Hinman, Socialist Alliance candidate for Grayndler.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is seeking to differentiate herself from ousted Kevin Rudd to show her promotion to PM is more than an attempt to re-badge a political party in crisis.

In this context, it is worth looking at her record in government. This is a look at the changes to and proposals for higher education launched by Gillard as education minister in Transforming Australia’s Higher Education System, the government’s proposed 10-year agenda for reforming the nation’s higher education system.

BRISBANE — Former Gold Coast-based Dr Mohamed Haneef is suing former Howard government immigration minister Kevin Andrews for defamation, the July 2 Courier Mail said.

Haneef is also making a separate claim against the federal government for unlawful arrest and misconduct in public office. Haneef was arrested in July 2007 after his mobile phone SIM card was linked to failed terror attacks in Britain.

He was charged under anti-terror laws and arrested, but was released after 25 days after the case collapsed. Andrews then cancelled Haneef’s visa.

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