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Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ,was acquitted on January 9 by the country’s High Court of the second round of politically motivated “sodomy” charges. He was jailed for six years under the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Mohamed Mahathir on similar charges. Police dispersed jubilant opposition supporters outside the court using the excuse that three small bombs had exploded nearby.
The following statement was issued by the family of Mere Samisoni, arrested by the Fijian military regime, and later released on bail on January 3. For more information, please contact pacifikanews@gmail.com . * * * The family of award-winning Fijian businesswoman and former MP Dr Mere Samisoni has been warned by her lawyers she might be charged with conspiracy by the country’s military rulers when the courts reopen on Tuesday.
United States: Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons,” RawStory.com reported on January 9. The article said: “Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing 'a nuclear capability.'
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned the United States’ decision to expel the Venezuelan consul general in Miami as “arbitrary and unjustified” on January 9. Chavez derided the move as “another demonstration of the arrogance of ridiculous imperialism”. Venezuelan diplomat Livia Acosta Noguera had reportedly been working in the US since March when she was ordered to leave on January 8 amid claims that she had discussed the possibility of orchestrating cyber attacks against the US government whilst serving as vice-secretary at the Venezuelan embassy in Mexico.
In July last year, millions of Red Shirts — a mass movement of the poor — turned out to vote for the Pheu Thai party (PT), headed by Yingluck Shinawatra. The party won a landslide majority despite attempts by the military, media and elites to block the party's victory. The election result was a slap in the face for the military and the “party of the military” (the misnamed Democrat Party — DP).
Occupy Sydney held a protest in Pitt St Mall on January 14 to call for the repeal of the US National Defense Authorisation Act. Recently signed into law, the act gives the US government the legal power to detain its citizens indefinitely without trial. The protesters also called for the closure of the US prison in Guantanamo Bay and the release of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.
Rohingya refugee Harun had been in Australian detention for more than two years when he was told by letter that he would never be a free man in Australia. Despite being a recognised refugee under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Australian immigration system, Australia’s secret security organisation had decided he was a “threat” and should not be given a protection visa.
It wasn't long into 2012 before fresh evidence emerged of a democratic, free West's civilising mission, providing a sterling example to backward barbarians as the march towards global liberation continues apace.
Veteran queer rights activist Steve Warren gave the speech below at the “1Love: equality, marriage, freedom” conference in Sydney on December 4. * * * I am speaking from the perspective of the 1970’s, which influenced our views. 78ers fought for equality for all in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex (GLBTQI) community, and we supported our Indigenous, multicultural, disabled and heterosexual friends who stood beside us in our struggles in unity as one voice for equality. Equality was foremost in our minds.
ANZ Bank, one of Australia’s biggest banks, plans to axe up to 1000 jobs over six months “to protect profit margins from rising costs” and the euro debt crisis, The Australian said on January 13. The Sydney Morning Herald said the Finance Sector Union (FSU) expects up to 700 jobs to be cut in coming weeks. Following job losses in October last year, one ANZ executive told the SMH: “This will be bigger than the job cuts that followed the GFC.
Landowners in the Kerry Valley, near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland, have launched a peaceful blockade against Arrow Energy’s attempt to begin exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) in the Scenic Rim region. The protest was organised by the community group Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic. The blockade follows the success of similar blockades against CSG drilling that took place in the Liverpool Plains and Gloucester last year.

Few Australian political protests can claim to have made an impact as great or as lasting as the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in Canberra. First set up on the lawns of Old Parliament House in January 1972, the embassy has been a focal point for the struggle for Aboriginal rights. Four Aboriginal men, Michael Anderson, Billie Craigie, Tony Koorie and Bertie Williams, launched the embassy in response to then-prime minister Billy McMahon’s refusal to grant Aboriginal land rights. Instead, McMahon had offered to lease stolen land back to Aboriginal people.