Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on July 23. The group campaigns for a Royal Commission into all impacts of coal seam gas mining; a moratorium on coal seam gas mining until the outcome of the Royal Commission; and a ban on fracking. * * * On July 21, the O’Farrell NSW government announced changes to coal seam gas rules.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on July 24. *** “The growing crisis in Australia’s detention centre shows the government must reconsider its detention policy and pursue more humane approaches to asylum seekers as a matter of urgency”, Carl O’Connor from the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network said today. His comments came as 10 refugees from Iran and Afghanistan staged a rooftop protest at Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC).
With no less than 10 inquiries occurring simultaneously, a few things have become clear about the criminal behaviour of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. One is that News of the World journalists bugging phones, including those of missing children and the families of murder victims, is just the tip of the iceberg. See also: Build the people-powered media! John Pilger: Amid scandal, acrid smell of business as usual
Ireland’s seven-month-old United Left Alliance (ULA) is the “new kid on the block” of European anti-capitalist parties. Launched in November last year, it won five TDs (members of the Irish parliament, the Dail) in February elections, despite its name not appearing on the ballot paper. To date the ULA has also won 20 positions in local councils and one seat in the European parliament. In the Dail, the ULA TDs have already had successes, such as stopping the abolition of the Joint Labour Committees that set wages and conditions in some industries.
Speaking in response to new figures released by the Department of Finance, Sinn Fein Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the total European Union/International Monetary Fund (EU/IMF) profit on loans to Ireland will exceed €13 billion. The figures were released in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Doherty. He said: “Last week Minister for Finance Michael Noonan admitted that the total profit being made by our European partners from the 3% surcharge on [the Irish bailout] loans would be at least €9 billion.
National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet has drawn a direct link between compulsory redundancies at the BBC and the malign influence of Rupert Murdoch on the government. She told pickets in London on July 15: "These cuts and job losses have been brought about directly by a decision to freeze the licence fee for the next six years. "This was a shabby deal done by BBC management and the government behind closed doors last autumn, with no democratic scrutiny or transparent discussion.
The Women's World Cup proved to be a sparkling oasis amid the most arid section of the sports calendar. The football tournament provided a series of non-stop thrills, culminating with Japan's heart-palpitating final victory against the US, winning 3-1 on penalty kicks after extra time finished with the game tied at 2-2. Star US player Abby Wambach is no doubt hurting, but I hope the forward with the skull of steel realizes that she was absolutely correct when she said before the final: "It's gonna be awesome."
More than 100 loyalists (supporters of British rule) were involved in a serious mob assault at a “peaceline” in the mid-Ulster town of Portadown in Northern Ireland on July 15, throwing bricks, bottles, paint-bombs, fireworks and at least one blast bomb. The mid-Ulster Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) has been widely blamed for the assault, the latest in a series of large-scale attacks it has mounted over the “marching season” (when the Protestant Orange Order holds provocative anti-Catholic marches).
About 1000 people took part in the Enough Campaign's protest against European Union/International Monetary Fund austerity program in Dublin on July 16. The campaign is supported by People Before Profit Alliance parliamentarians Richard Boyd Barrett and Joan Collins, the Unite Trade Union, the Waterford Trades Council, the Spectacle of Defiance, the Socialist Workers Party, the People’s Movement, Afri and several independent members of parliament.
Stieg Larsson’s hard-hitting novel, titled Man som hatar kvinnor ("Men who hate women") in Swedish, was titled The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo<.em> in English translation — possibly a subtle indication of the publisher’s discomfort with the strong women’s liberation message contained in it.
The six Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) members detained under the Malaysian government's emergency ordinance since June 25, have been deprived of all creature comforts. They are locked up in 2-by-2.5 metre cells, in solitary confinement. The lights are on in the cells day and night and one-way mirrors ensure there is no privacy.
The Grammy awards have long been the kind of thing that one simply has to deal with if you're going to approach music under capitalism. It comes wrapped in all the elitism, commerce and segregation that necessarily has to accompany the music industry, but it's still something of a great salt lake for any artist — even those who are the most socially conscious — if they want to navigate the most treacherous waters of their craft. Like any money-making venture, it can be just as susceptible to public pressure as it is to the forces of the market.
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