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The South Asian Social Forum will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from November 18-22. Part of the World Social Forum, SASF takes the democratisation process as its core theme.

The World Social Forum, which was formed in 2001, has its roots in the early 1990s and different NGO initiatives and activities parallel to those of the United Nations.

Its formation was inspired by the mass upsurge across Latin America, in particular the struggle of the Zapitistas in southern Mexico and the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organisation.

Elections in the city-state of Berlin on September 18 delivered another serious blow to the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, even as her party’s vote increased.

Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) came in second place in the Berlin election, winning 23.4% of the vote – up from 21.3% in 2006.

Speaking in Rome on September 15, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Italian executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), said of the design of the euro: “The assumption was made ― largely theoretical ― that there would be no crises.”

Oh, indeed. And now with Europe and the world showing every sign of dipping into a recession that will further stress Euope's common currency, what is to be done?

Statements, articles, letters and petitions have been circulating on the internet for the past month calling for an end to the "destruction of the Amazon".

The target of these initiatives has not been transnational corporations or the powerful governments that back them, but the government of Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales.

See also:
Bolivia: Conflict deepens over Amazon highway plan

United Nations-African Union joint special representative Ibrahim Gambari said in Khartoum on September 15, that attacks in Darfur were down by about 70% over the past three years thanks to the peacekeeping efforts.

However, a September 16 statement by Hussein Abu Sharati, a spokesperson for Darfuri refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), angrily rejected the claims. He said the government “still commits genocide in Darfur” and that people are unable to return to their homes because it is unsafe.

Two months after the secession of South Sudan, Khartoum’s ruling elite is making no retreat from the strategy that eventually forced the country’s division.

This strategy includes marginalisation and neglect of the outlying regions; the forced imposition of Khartoum’s right-wing Islamic, pro-Arab agenda on Sudan’s culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse population; and brutal repression of dissent.

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) is waging wars on several fronts, from Darfur in the west to the states along the new southern border.

Australian Made
King Brown
Sound Planet Records
www.reverbnation.com/kingbrown1

When far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik went on a mass killing spree in Norway on July 22, he was listening on his headphones to "Lux Aeterna", a mournful piece of music by British film soundtrack composer Clint Mansell.

A more appropriate Mansell composition might have been “Ich Bin Ein Auslander”, written by the musician when he was fronting cartoonish electronic indie rockers Pop Will Eat Itself in the 1990s.

Green Left Weekly, Socialist Alliance and other left-wing groups, have received more attention than normal in recent weeks in the mainstream media and even in state and federal parliamentary debates.

This attention has mainly been in response to the movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli apartheid and has mostly consisted of nasty allegations of anti-Semitism, with endless colourful references to Hitler and the Nazi’s Holocaust.

A vote on the Labor government’s harsh proposed changes to Australia’s migration laws was postponed until October 11, after parliament failed to vote on them on September 22.

This followed a bizarre twist in the farcical refugee debate on September 19 when new laws were passed increasing refugee protection at the same time as the government pushed forward with its plans to expel refugees to Malaysia.

Chanting “Coal seam gas, we will stop it; our community is not for profit”, 2000 locals marched on September 18 from Newtown’s Camperdown Park to Sydney Park in St Peters, just 200 metres from a proposed CSG mining site.

The colourful march packed King Street, where most cafes and shops carried “No Gas” signs. Many pedestrians either cheered the rally or joined the march.

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