US coal giant Drummond paid right-wing paramilitaries accused of murder and human rights abuses for protection of its Colombian operations, Colombiareports.com said on March 16. The article said the information was revealed in secret diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 released by WikiLeaks to the Colombian paper El Espectador,
A popular rebellion is shaking the regime of Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad — and highlighting the hypocrisy of US policy in the region. The protests of recent weeks spread further following Friday prayers on March 25. The Syrian regime responded with vicious repression that left at least 61 people dead, and with a belated promise of reform.
The online journal Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal is hosting a series of commentaries from left-wing groups and commentators from around the world on the crucial question of whether or not to support the US-NATO military intervention in Libya.
The bad news for Ohio’s 350,000 public workers is that a new law bans them from striking — the good news is at least they will no longer risk jail for doing so. A March 30 Reuters article said: “Ohio’s legislature on Wednesday passed a Republican measure to curb the collective bargaining rights of about 350,000 state employees, and Governor John Kasich said he will sign it into law.” The new law will ban unions from striking in support of public workers and limit workers’ ability to collectively bargain.
Secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks on March 15 show that former US ambassador to Nepal, James Moriarty, actively sought to destabilise Nepal’s peace process in order to prevent a Maoist rise to power. The Maoist-led People’s Liberation Army waged a decade-long “people’s war” against Nepal’s centuries-old feudal monarchy. A people’s uprising in 2006 brought the monarchy down, opening the way for an elected constituent assembly in 2008.
Two days before a March 23 rally against the government’s proposed carbon price took place in Canberra, Liberal MP Dennis Jensen told reporters gathered outside parliament house why he opposed the policy. He held up a piece of charcoal and dropped it to the ground. “Does anyone know what that is? Charcoal, also known as carbon,” he said. “If you notice when I let it go, it doesn't float into the air.”
Things haven’t been going well for the Israeli occupation over the past few years. Numerous Israeli atrocities, such as the invasion and blockade of Gaza and the killings of civilians on the aid flotilla, have made many people aware of the truly oppressive situation facing the occupied Palestinians. Lately, Israel has hardened its repression against the Palestinians even further in response to the popular revolts breaking out in the surrounding Arab countries and the loss of its ally, the Mubarak regime in Egypt.
Tara Estate

Residents of Queensland’s Western Downs and their supporters have witnessed arrests, police harassment and some exciting victories over the past week in their fight to prevent coal seam gas expansion on the Tara estate, near Chinchilla. During a protest organised by Lock the Gate Alliance on March 29 Friends of the Earth campaigner and Queensland Greens co-founder Drew Hutton was arrested and charged with impeding the construction of a coal seam gas pipeline. Mr Hutton refused bail conditions and faced 30 days prison, but was soon released on unconditional bail.

Manufacturer BlueScope Steel has been at the forefront of the campaign against the carbon price proposed by Labor and the Greens. Chief Executive Paul O'Malley has argued it could spell “the end of steel manufacturing in Australia”; something the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agreed with during a recent tour of BlueScope's steelworks in Port Kembla. Both have said that a price on carbon would threaten the company's profitability and therefore force operations offshore in search of cheaper labour.
Israeli forces have sealed the occupied West Bank village of Beit Ommar since March 24 for an indefinite time. Soldiers continue to arrest young Palestinian residents and hold them in Israeli detention centres. In a move akin to the four-year-long economic blockade against the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers have closed the six entrances to the village of 17,000 inhabitants. It has imposed a widespread prohibition policy against all major imports and exports from the village. This includes gasoline, produce, raw industrial materials and basic supplies.
A vicious smear campaign against the Greens candidate for Marrickville Fiona Byrne in the NSW state election reveals just how worried the powers-that-be are about the prospect of the NSW Greens winning a lower house seat. This smear campaign focused almost exclusively on the Greens pro-Palestine stand, in particular their support (along with ALP councillors) for Marrickville council’s decision to sign on to the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
About 30 people attended a rally in King George Square on April 1 to call on Western powers to stop the bombing of Libya. Adrian Skerritt, from the Stop the War Collective, told the rally: “The main reason for intervention by the US and its allies in Libya is that the West cannot handle being sidelined by the popular revolutions which have swept the Arab world in recent months. “Yet, the US has acted against Gaddafi because he is isolated in the region. They haven't intervened in Yemen or Bahrain, where the repression is just as severe, because they are client states of Saudi Arabia.