860

Unless the Indonesian government carries out a comprehensive recovery, hundreds of thousands of Merapi volcano eruption victims are certain to face economic and social destruction.

“One of the worst impacts of the eruption is the destruction of people’s livelihood; the land cannot be used to grow plants and economic activity virtually stops,” said Agus Priyono after visiting disaster relief centres set up by the Poor People’s Union (SRMI) in Magelang municipality.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released a report on the Christmas Island detention centre on October 29, and again called for an end to mandatory detention and offshore processing.

The 75-page report detailed the hostile conditions faced by asylum seekers, including the island’s remote location and limited access to essential services such as legal help, health care, torture and trauma counselling and religious support.

The report said Australia’s detention system breaches fundamental human rights.

British rail unions branded Transport for London (TfL) “barefaced liars" after its management attempted to claim minimum disruption during a 24-hour strike on November 3.

London Underground services were crippled by strike action called by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) over safety-critical job cuts.

All 11 of the London’s Tube lines were hit by the walkout. The action was the latest in a series of strikes over plans to axe up to 2000 jobs, including 800 station staff.

As a former refugee, I can understand and share the concerns of the many Afghan asylum seekers currently facing deportation back to Afghanistan, the very country they had to flee from. This would send them into the hands of the very people responsible for much of the insecurity and threats to the lives and livelihoods of these asylum seekers.

It is unbelievable and preposterous.

The government of Papua New Guinea has been awarded Greenpeace’s “Golden Chainsaw” award in response to its corrupt, anti-environment forestry policies.

In a report released on October 25, the environmental advocacy organisation said PNG should not be allowed to take part in the controversial Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) carbon trading program until “safeguards for biodiversity and indigenous and landowners’ rights and ending the corruption and illegal logging” are in place.

Made in Dagenham
Directed by Nigel Cole
Starring Rosamund Pike, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson
In cinemas nationally

Review by Jeff Sawtell

Given the advance publicity, I was looking forward to Made in Dagenham. It is based on the 1968 strike of women sewing machinists at Ford Motors, which was supposed to have inspired the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced on October 31 the expropriation of steel company Siderurgica del Turbio (Sidetur). The company is a major producer of steel used in the building of homes, bridges and other infrastructure and public works.

Chavez also announced government interventions in six large housing developments being built and eight others that are ready for residents to move in. Government oversight has been increased in a further 19 privately-run housing projects.

Men in uniform, mainly young soldiers holding AK 47 rifles, are seen all around northern Sri Lanka, from Mannar in north-west to Mullaitivu, the last battlefield in the north-east. In Mullaitivu, there are said to be more soldiers than civilians.

This is the situation in the largely Tamil north of the island one-and-a-half-years after the end of the Sri Lankan Army’s war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians were killed by the SLA in the last months of the conflict.

At least five Vodafone stores were closed in central London on October 30 by protests, TheGabber.org said that day. The protests were against the British government’s alleged decision to give companies, such as Vodafone, huge tax breaks of about £6 billion at a time when ordinary people are having their benefits cut or taken away.

On November 2, the Venezuelan government expropriated the Caracas shopping centre Sambil La Candelaria, Venezuelanalysis.com said on November 4.

The government decree said the shopping complex and large parking area would be “transformed into a meeting space for Venezuelans within the framework of a sustainable economy and permitting the development of the exchange of goods and services as well as the development of cultural expression”.

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