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Communities and local conservation groups from across NSW will celebrate the beauty and diversity of our native plants and wildlife and the environment at the Festival of Nature, a calendar of more than 90 nature-based events across NSW. During biodiversity month in September, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and its member groups will inspire a better connection with nature with bushwalks, birdwatching, photo competitions, wildflower walks, talks, and guided sculpture or art installation.
Justice for Palestine Brisbane released the statement below on August 29. * * * Brisbane supporters of the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign (BDS) have pledged to intensify their campaign following a successful protest on August 27. Despite the rain, fifty protesters took to the streets to highlight the links between the Max Brenner chocolate store and the Israeli military occupation of Palestine.
A confidential United States cable released by WikiLeaks on July 29 documents the arrest of controversial Malaysian blogger and Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin. Kamaruddin had been outspoken in his criticism of the government. On September 12, 2008, Kamaruddin was arrested at his residence under the Internal Security Act (ISA) ― which allows for detention without trial. Kamaruddin’s arrest came days after Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi threatened to use the ISA to repress those purportedly stoking racial and religious tensions.
With less than a month until the 2nd Climate Change/Social Change conference, around the theme “World at a Crossroads”, in Melbourne, the list of confirmed speakers and sponsors is growing. The conference is being organised by Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and Resistance at the University of Melbourne over September 30-October 3. It aims to promote recognition that in order to solve the global climate crisis, radical social change is required.
Dick Smith’s Population Crisis: The Dangers of Unsustainable Growth for Australia Allen & Unwin, Sydney 2011, 228 pages   Those who say today’s big social and ecological problems stem from there being too many people on the planet face a special difficulty. As the Australian ecologist Alan Roberts once said, populationist authors need “to persuade their readers that the main thing wrong with the world was the existence of those readers themselves”.  
A further 52 people were arrested at the White House on August 22 for taking part in an ongoing sit-in. They are trying to push President Barack Obama to stand up to Big Oil and deny the permit for a huge new oil pipeline. Obama will decide this year on TransCanada’s permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This would send 900,000 barrels a day of the world’s dirtiest oil to US refineries, allowing further development of the Alberta tar sands in Canada. The pipeline would pass through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.
Britain: Living standards deteriorating “Almost 40% of households saw their finances deteriorate between July and August, according to a survey by the financial information company, Markit. “The study, of 1,500 adults, showed finances worsened at their fastest pace since February 2009, in the middle of the last recession. “Many reported a rise in debt levels and a fall in savings and income. “Just under 6% of households reported an improvement in their financial situation.
Furious emerging farmers in the Kareeberg municipality in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province have decided to stop paying rent for the municipal-owned land they are farming. These farmers have been robbed, prevented access to and ownership of land by colonial conquest, segregation and apartheid. Now, South Africa’s protection of capitalist property and its neoliberal state policies are keeping them landless.
The new government of Papua New Guinea, led by prime minister Peter O'Neill, has announced plans to revert ownership of minerals and resources to traditional landowners. Mining minister Byron Chan said in a speech on August 11 the government would seek to give traditional owners legal ownership of resources under the land and sea. Currently, the PNG government owns anything more than six feet under the surface. Chan also promised an urgent review of mining and environmental laws, especially those involving deep sea mining.
With some exceptions, the powerful international media has ignored a recent Cuban parliamentary bill that would deepen democracy on the island. The reason is obvious: the news is not convenient. The initiative is made within socialist institutions, not in terms of the “transition” that is highly anticipated and promoted by certain hegemonic interests in this world. The idea is to give the green light to an experiment in the new provinces of Mayabeque and Artemisa. If it bears fruit, it would be extended to the whole country through constitutional reform.

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