Australia introduced new rules on September 15 allowing people to nominate their gender as male, female or indeterminate on their passport. Sex reassignment surgery is no longer a precondition for nominating a passport gender different from the one on your birth certificate.

On September 21, death row prisoner in the state of Georgia, Troy Davis, was killed by lethal injection. His execution came despite a campaign from around the world in his defence, including by Amnesty International, and protests outside the prison where he was held and across the US. Last-minute legal appeals in the US Supreme Court failed to stop the execution.

Davis was found guilty of the murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in 1989 and sentenced to death.

Voters should expect to see “a new Chavez, a rejuvenated Chavez, touring the country as a candidate, touring the streets at a rhythm set by the circumstances”, said Venezuela’s socialist president Hugo Chavez after the date for Venezuela’s presidential elections was announced as October 7, 2012.

The Venezuelan Electoral Commission’s (CNE) president Tibisay Lucena also announced that judicial, regional and local elections would take place on separate dates.

All Along the Watchtower: Memoir of a Sixties Revolutionary
By Michael Hyde
The Vulgar Press, 2010
272 pages, $32.95 (pb)

Red Silk: The Life of Elliott Johnston QC
By Penelope Debelle
Wakefield Press, 2011
212 pages, $32.95 (pb)

Phillip Adams: The Ideas Man — A Life Revealed
By Philip Luker
JoJo Publishing, 2011
337 pages, $34.99 (pb)

Once I ruled the Northern plains,
my clan roamed free and wild,
the lush Dakotas were my home,
the gods were on my side.

Every leafy shrub was mine,
every blade of grass,
every creature trembled when
a herd of bison passed.

My family has been slaughtered
for food, for prize, for fun,
of all the kings that roamed the earth
I’m now the only one.

Am I now a laughing stock?
The object of your pity?
A weakling of the prairies, while
you prosper in the city?

And who was it that killed my clan?
Let’s set the record straight:
that bastard son of Europe’s womb —

With climate change, humanity basically doesn’t get any second chances. For a recognisable climate to be preserved, net global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak within the next decade, then decline to zero by around mid-century. It’s a tight call, so we have to get things right first time. If we delay, the laws of physics will not be kind.

Several community environment groups released the statement below on September 22.

* * *

Environment, health and community groups have gathered in Sydney on September 22 to discuss the future of wind energy in NSW. As electricity prices continue to rise for most NSW households, the groups have welcomed reports from South Australia that wind power is cutting pollution and lowering the wholesale market cost of electricity.

Activists from the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN) in Adelaide, accompanied by Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), went on a road trip to Port Augusta over September 15 to 18 to campaign for solar thermal power.

Port Augusta’s two ageing coal-fired power stations, Northern and Playford B, are due to be replaced in the near future.

CLEAN and BZE argue that concentrating solar thermal power plants are the logical way forward for Port Augusta and its workforce.

The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) on September 20.

* * *

Refugee activists oppose removing human rights from Migration Act; All MPs who support human rights should vote against Gillard’s amendments.

The Refugee Action Collective opposes the proposed changes to the Migration Act by the Labor government and any amendments proposed by the Liberal opposition.

It believes all amendments seek to strip any safeguards for human rights and defies international law.


Subscribe to 897