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“A growing number of creatures could disappear from the earth, with one-fifth of all vertebrates and as many as a third of all sharks and rays now facing the threat of extinction, according to a new survey assessing nearly 26,000 species across the globe. “In addition, forces such as habitat destruction, over-exploitation and invasive competitors move 52 species a category closer to extinction each year, according to the research, published online Tuesday by the journal Science …
An outbreak of cholera has been documented in the area surrounding the lower Artibonite region of Haiti. There had been more than 2000 cases of acute watery diarrhea and 160 deaths reported by October 22. Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness spread by drinking water containing the organism Vibrio cholera. Symptoms typically develop between one and five days after drinking water contaminated by the human feces of persons infected with the cholera bacteria.
War lord Mutiallah Khan.

Six fighters from the private army of Afghan warlord, drug trafficker and highway robber Matiullah Khan were recently in Australia for training with the Australian Defence Forces, the October 29 Sydney Morning Herald said.

My Name is Rachel Corrie is a play based on the letters and diaries of the US peace activist killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. The play will run in Melbourne over November 3-14. This follows a sellout season at the 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival. In January 2003, Rachel Corrie travelled to Palestine as part of the International Solidarity Movement. She was part of a nonviolent protest against the State of Israel’s policy of demolishing Palestinian housing to expand Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories.
"Is it fair that disability support workers earn less than workers who stack supermarkets shelves?" Australian Services Union NSW secretary Sally McManus asked 2000 protesters, including people with disabilities and disability sector workers. "Is it fair disability workers are forced away from Sydney because they can't afford to pay the rent?"
The seat of Brunswick is arguably the most hotly contested seat in the November 27 Victorian parliamentary elections. Based on results at the recent federal election, the new Labor candidate, Jane Garrett, is tipped to beat Greens candidate Cyndi Dawes by only 0.6% of the vote. Learning from the criticism of Labor’s negative federal election campaign, Garrett has adopted the slogan “equality, social justice and tackling climate change” in a bid to win back voters from progressive parties.
Campaign groups against the NT intervention published a statement in the October 29 Australian that condemned its effects on Aboriginal working conditions in remote communities. The statement was supported by Unions NT and by unions such as the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union; the Maritime Union of Australia; and the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union. It was also supported by several Aboriginal corporations, health services and rights groups involved from communities affected by the intervention, as well as support groups in the coastal cities.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard knew just who she was talking to when she gave her address to the Australian Industry Group’s annual dinner on October 25. The AIG and its affiliates represent more than 60,000 bosses, according to its website. This includes Veolia, the privatisation juggernaut. But just so she didn’t rustle too many feathers, Gillard spoke to them in the kind of arcane riddles she hoped only they could understand.
The first stage of the national school curriculum is scheduled to begin in 2011, and not many people are happy about it. The idea of a national curriculum was initially raised by the Hawke Labor government in the late 1980s, and later echoed by Coalition prime minister John Howard.
Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory "want to work, want to have a go”, Aboriginal activist Mark Fordham told 60 people at Brisbane’s Kurilpa Hall on October 24. Fordham is a former Community Development Employment Projects co-ordinator at Ampilatwatja community and is a member of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union. Fordham had spent the previous two weeks touring the east coast, speaking with unions and community groups about the effect the federal government’s intervention into NT Aboriginal communities has had on employment.
Copenhagen climate protest in the Philippines.

Not so long ago, the polar ice sheet made it almost impossible to circle the North Pole by sea. But in June, two boats set off to do just that. By mid October, both returned to port successful — the first ships to sail around the pole in a single summer season.

Colombian trade unionist, Parmenio Poveda Salazar, is touring Australia to denounce human rights violations in his country. His visit is being organised by Peace and Justice For Colombia (PJFC). Poveda is a representative of the Federation of United National Agricultural workers unions, FENSUAGRO, the largest peasant and farm workers’ union federation in Colombia.