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The United States media remain enthralled by Congress’s partisan battles over the national debt ceiling, while the assault on public sector workers across the US intensifies.

On June 14, Wisconsin’s state supreme court overturned an earlier legal challenge to the state’s anti-union “budget-repair” bill. The bill will ban collective bargaining for most of the state’s public sector workers.

The bill sparked sustained mass protests in Wisconsin in February and March, including the occupation of the Capitol building in Madison.

WikiLeaks released the statement below on June 16 to mark six months since its editor-in-chief Julian Assange was placed under house arrest in Britain.

* * *

Today, June 16 2011, Julian Assange will have spent six months under house arrest. He has not been charged with a crime in any country. The conditions of his detention are excessive and dehumanising.

A Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny submitted a European Arrest Warrant for questioning in relation to a preliminary investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.

Rapper Ozi Batla has long been known for speaking out on social issues. His band The Herd are well known for tracks such as “77%” ― which features the line “77% of Aussies are racist”, in response to an opinion poll result on the treatment of refugees during the Howard years.

The Herd's “Burn Down the Parliament” caused controversy when it was coincidentally released the same week as the 2003 Canberra bush fires.

They’re a part of the human race
Searching for a safe place
To rise from their despair
To be part of the world that seems fair
Without wars
Famines
Or destruction
That stops all means of production
So they begin to flee
Unwilling to live amongst the debris
Where they lost friends
Without any warnings
Where they lost family
Indefinitely…
When they arrive
Freedom is limited in order to survive
Due to a lack of understanding
With the government demanding
Brief medical attention
A lack of food and mental exhaustion
A place we like to call mandatory detention

Soccer is the great global game: the closest thing we have to a connective cultural tissue that binds our species across national and cultural borders.

But only in a world so upside down could “the Beautiful Game” be run by an organisation as corrupt as FIFA and by a man as rotten to the core as FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Only Blatter, whose reputation for degeneracy approaches legend, would hire a war criminal such as former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger to head “a committee of wise persons” aimed at “rooting out corruption” in his organisation.

The British government continues to license millions of pounds in arms to the Sri Lankan regime despite suggestions that they may have been used in war crimes, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said on June 15.

New evidence of alleged atrocities committed by the Sri Lankan state in 2009 in its purge of a stronghold of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 emerged this week in a Channel 4 documentary screened in Britain
on June 14.

For more than two decades, until its defeat in 2009, the LTTE fought for an independent Tamil state in Sri Lanka's north-east.

More than 40 Palestinian civil society organisations released a statement on June 12 calling for international support for the Freedom Flotilla 2, which aims to break the siege of Gaza.

The first freedom flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza was violently attacked in May, 2010. Israeli commandoes killed nine Turkish volunteers aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flotilla’s lead ship.

Israeli troops boarded the ship at night and used live ammunition against unarmed activists. The attack occurred in international waters in violation of international law.

Three months after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear disaster in Japan, new radiation "hot spots" may require the evacuation of more areas further from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility.

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has now admitted for the first time that full nuclear meltdowns occurred at three of the plant’s reactors, and more than doubled its estimate for the amount of radiation that leaked from the plant in the first week of the disaster in March.

See also:

More than 3000 riot police were sent to the Yoosung piston head factory in Asan on May 24 to break up a factory occupation and sit in protest over a company lockout.

Yoosung is a manufacturing company that has a near monopoly over the production of piston rings with an 80% share of the domestic market. It is a major supplier for Kia and Hyundai motors.

More than 65,000 people in cities and towns all over Japan marched on June 11 to mark three months since Fukushima nuclear disaster. Marchers called for an end to nuclear power.

In Tokyo, separate marches took off from different routes through the city before assembling in front of Shinjuku station.

The largest action, a “sound-demo” called by the Shiroto no Ran (“Amateur Riot”) network attracted thousands of young people. They marched through the city accompanied by sound-trucks plying a variety of musical styles, from punk to folk to techno.

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