Mike Crook, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate in the March 24 Queensland state elections, released the statement below on February 10. *** The Socialist Alliance pledges its full support to the Queensland mining unionists engaged in industrial battle with Australia's biggest corporation, BHP Billiton. The company is now in line to make a full-year profit almost equal to that of the four big Australian banks combined.
Now that both Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry's marriages are over, and things seem quiet on the Brangelina front, the corporate media have been reduced to feverish speculation over another B-Grade celebrity circus: who will lead the seemingly doomed Labor government? Will the skittish Labor caucus, freaked by polling data, stick with Julia Gillard or execute a dramatic reverse coup and bring back Kevin Rudd? Or will it be Wayne Swan or maybe that Simon someone-or-other who looks kinda familiar?
Queensland coalminers will strike for a week from February 15 to step up the longstanding dispute with BHP Billiton over safety, wages and conditions. The company's seven coal mines in Queensland will be closed down after 15 months of negotiations broke down between the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) and management. The BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) operates the mines. It is likely to lose up to 1 million tonnes in forgone or deferred production. The value of the coal production lost will total $200-300 million.
Liam Flenady is a Resistance member and Socialist Alliance candidate for the March 24 state election. He spoke with Green Left Weekly’s Patrick Harrison about his campaign priorities and issues facing young people today. *** Why are you running in the election? What does it mean to be a youth candidate? I want people to see that there is an alternative to [Premier Anna] Bligh and [opposition leader Campbell] Newman.
China’s transition to state-led capitalism over the past three decades has generated numerous social struggles against the state and capital. With China’s ascent in the capitalist world economy, the social struggles inside China not only have a significant domestic impact, but increasingly international ramifications. As China celebrates the Year of the Dragon, it is an opportune time to critically review the situation for social struggles and their prospects for the future. State and elite politics
Murdoch likes compliant politics “Only met PMs when asked ... and NEVER asked for anything”. Rupert Murdoch on Twitter, reassuring us that Australia’s political leaders are so compliant, he hasn’t had to resort to hacking. ― February 5 Rinehart's bid to nuke Oz “It’s a pity it didn’t happen”. Gina Rinehart lamenting that her plan to use nuclear explosions in open cut mining never radiated. — Australian Story, May 1997 Banker greed “An opportunity for the customer to get ahead by paying more than they need to.”
A study of national hospital audit figures found Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who suffer a stroke had threefold odds of dying or becoming dependent as a result of lower post-stroke care. The study, conducted for the National Stroke Foundation, said: “Australian Indigenous patients with stroke received a reduced quality of care in hospitals and experienced worse outcomes than non-Indigenous patients.”
More than 500 people attended a dinner of the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) on February 4. The ATC, formed in 2009, campaigns for the rights of Tamil people in Sri Lanka, who have been subject to discrimination, oppression and massacres at the hands of successive racist Sri Lankan governments since the independence of Sri Lanka in 1948.
United States' singer/songwriter Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) was encouraged by boycott activists to cancel her gig in Tel Aviv, scheduled for February 12. It looks like the pressure worked. On February 9, Cat Power announced her show had been cancelled, and tweeted: “Music is healing and it is not humane if all cannot have the choice, the right, to attend.”
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on January 27. *** The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) yesterday referred the names of 27 Vietnamese unaccompanied minors who are being detained at the Darwin Airport Lodge (DAL) to the Northern Territory Child Protection Services. Northern Territory law obliges people to alert the child protection services if they believe that a child has or is likely to suffer harm or exploitation. Harm is defined in the relevant legislation to include psychological or emotional harm.

A coup led by rebel soldiers and police officers overthrew Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed on February 7. Nasheed, a democracy activist and former political prisoner, was the Indian Ocean island nation's first democratically elected president. Maldives, made up of 26 atolls, is facing destruction due to climate change. Nasheed is an outspoken campaigner for climate justice on the international stage. The rebellion was fuelled after Nasheed ordered the arrest of a judge for blocking criminal charges against allies of former Maldives dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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