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Many Muckaty Traditional Owners are opposed to establishment a radioactive waste dump on the Muckaty Land Trust, 120 kilometres north of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. This is a short video appeal to Senators calling on them to oppose Minister Ferguson's National Radioactive Waste Management Bill, which would entrench Muckaty as the only site to be actively considered for the dump.
Cutting the working day to a maximum of seven hours, eliminating subcontracted work and raising maternity leave to a period of five months were some of the proposals put forward by thousands of workers across Venezuela for the country's new Labour Law, Socialist Bolivarian Workers’ Central president Will Rangel said on January 31. Venezuelan workers have been mobilising across the country since President Hugo Chavez announced his government would overhaul the country’s Labour Law (LOT). This came after a sustained campaign by workers to have the law changed.
Egyptian citizens have accused the police and military of failing to intervene on February 1 to stop clashes at an Egyptian football match that killed at least 74 people. Dozens of angry protesters sealed off Tahrir Square, the centre of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. Others blocked the street in front of the state TV building in central Cairo ahead of planned marches to the interior ministry to denounce the police force.
The streets of Cairo were full of protesters on January 27, two days after the first anniversary of the beginning of the revolution on January 25 last. The day was called “Friday of Pride and Dignity". The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was again defeated by the huge participation of Egyptians in the demonstrations. The protesters' slogans and chants demanded the overthrow of SCAF and direct transition of powers to the parliament. The attempts by SCAF to transform the anniversary of the anti-Mubarak uprising into celebrations were a failure.
United States' oil giant ExxonMobil had the largest profits of the “big five” oil companies last year, raking in US$41.1 billion. This is a 35% jump from the year before. Here are a few more facts about ExxonMobil: Exxon’s $41.1 billion in 2011 profit translates into nearly $5 million in profit every hour, or more than $1300 every second. Exxon pays a lower tax rate than the average US citizen. Between 2008-2010, Exxon Mobil registered an average 17.6% federal effective corporate tax rate, while the average American paid a higher rate of 20.4 percent.
In a big win for environmentalists and the planet, the administration of United States President Barack Obama announced on January 20 that it would deny a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada. Anti-tar sands activists in the US and Canada have been seeking to stop the pipeline, planned to transport oil from the Athabasca tar sands in north-east Alberta to refineries in the United States. Mining the Athabasca tar sands is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet.
Stop Signs: Cars & Capitalism ― On the Road to Economic, Social & Ecological Decay By Bianca Mugenyi & Yves Engler RED Publishing & Fernwood Publishing 2011, 259 pages, $27.95 (pb) The car, say Canadian authors Bianca Mugyenyi and Yves Engler, who took a bus ride across the United States, is a doomed jalopy going nowhere. It fails, especially in the “home of the car”, on every green count. Cars are the single largest contributor to US noise pollution and 40,000 people in the US die from car accidents each year (one million across the globe).
Cajamarca, a town with tragic associations in Peruvian history, is the setting of another devastating imperialist onslaught. In 1532, a band of Spanish conquistadores ambushed the Inca king Atahualpa in the central plaza of this Andean town. The brutal spirit of conquista is alive and well in contemporary Cajamarca, in the form of the US-based Newmont mining corporation, an outfit with a slick PR machine and a very dirty environmental and human rights track record.
The United Nations estimated early last month that more than 5400 people had been killed since protests against the dictatorship of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March last year. Since then, the rate of killing has probably increased, but the UN said the violence has made further casualty counts impossible.
Early in January, the Sa-Ka-Kha-9 military division based near the ancient Falom village seized about 50 houses and a mosque that had been built at the village's edge. It is one of 36 that are Rohingyan (a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority) in the Kyauktaw township in the western Burmese Arakan state along the Kaladan River. These lands had been re-bought from the military by Falom villagers. For 17 years, until re-buying the land, the village consisted of 280 houses and some farm lands. The mosque was demolished by the military in 1995.
The Supreme Court hearing in the Julian Assange case has profound meaning for the preservation of basic freedoms in Western democracies. This is Assange’s final appeal against his extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual misconduct that were originally dismissed by the chief prosecutor in Stockholm and constitute no crime in Britain.
Laayoune is the largest settlement in Western Sahara territory, which has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. The Sahrawi people continue to demand independence after decades of poor treatment under Moroccan rule. Many Sahrawi report being routinely subjected to police brutality and say they suffer widespread discrimination. Activists in Laayoune face a day-to-day struggle with local authorities. The city is touted by the Moroccan government as a regional development hub, but from the ground looks more like an infantry barracks.
A vast icy pool of Siberian air, the coldest in 50 years, settled over all Europe in late January. At least 150 people without shelter were killed. Yet the suffering from this extreme cold snap will be nothing compared with that of the economic ice age now threatening to entomb Europe’s most vulnerable economies. Over the past fortnight southern Europe’s growth prospects have become increasingly wintry:
From January 24-29, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre was again the staging ground for the World Social Forum (WSF), an annual international gathering of anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist activists. Among the various movements present, one of the most visible was Brazil's Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST), possibly the largest social movement in Latin America.
Film: Hunger ― A harrowing, award-winning drama on the final months of Irish republican prisoner Bobby Sands, as he went on hunger strike to protest the treatment of political prisoners by British prison guards. SBS2, Wed Feb 8, 9.35pm.
Do you remember what happened on February 2 last year? On that day, one year ago, Tahrir Square was attacked by thugs on camels, horses and donkeys. These clashes, which lasted for hours and were watched live on TV all over the world, came to be known as the Camel Battle. It was an unforgettable day in Egypt's 18 days of protests that ended with the toppling of Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

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