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While WikiLeaks was preoccupied with preparing its new “The Global Intelligence Files”, where we released on February 27 actual documents from the privatised spying world in collaboration with 25 newspapers, Swedish tabloid Expressen was preoccupied with filling its paper with false reports based on thin air. In late February, Expressen claimed WikiLeaks was preparing a “smear campaign against Sweden” and cited as sources both a WikiLeaks "insider" and a WikiLeaks “internal memo”.
A month after a Japanese distributor decided to stop carrying Ahava cosmetic products because of the company’s fraudulent practices and its profiteering from Israel's occupation, a major Norwegian retail chain announced it would also stop sales of Ahava products. Ahava products are made in the illegal West Bank settlement of Mitzpe Shalem, with resources taken from the Dead Sea in the West Bank. The cosmetics line profits that settlement and the settlement of Kalia, both of which are co-owners of Ahava.
The Papua New Guinean government has backed down in the face of a society-wide revolt over its new power to suspend judges. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said the law would not be implemented until public consultations were carried out. Thousands of students from the University of PNG rallied in Port Moresby on March 23. Students said in a statement that the law undermines the constitution by removing the separation between the government and courts.
Scientists using historical satellite data have found that ice cover on the Great Lakes, a collection of freshwater lakes in north-east North America around the Canada-United States border, was reduced by 71% between 1973 and 2010. The study, published in the Journal of Climate last month, found a substantial downward ice cover trend in all five Great Lakes and the associated Lake St Clair.
Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, secretary general of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP), died on March 22 in London, where he was undergoing medical treatment for an inoperable brain tumour. Thousands of people joined the funeral procession to farewell Nugud on March 25. His body was taken from the airport past his home and the SCP headquarters before being buried in the Al Farouq cemetery. Leaders of other opposition parties and representatives from South Sudan attended.
The murder of Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Florida has dramatised the depths of racism in United States society. Martin was young, Black and male — that was enough for neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman to decide he was "suspicious", to stalk him and eventually to pull the trigger. African American families understand that Martin's fate could happen to their own children. That's why so many young Black men remember the time they had "the talk" — when family or friends tried to prepare them for dealing with racism in general and the police in particular.
Protesters in Madrid

Since the global economic crisis broke out in 2008, the many-sided protest movement against neoliberal austerity has yet to gain enough strength to force any real retreats from governments doing the bidding of capitalism’s ruling elites.

The killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed "neighborhood watch captain" has provoked anguish, rage and now, at long last, resistance. We've seen rallies, demonstrations and walkouts at dozens upon dozens of high schools in Florida alone. Even more remarkably, this resistance has found expression in the world of sports. An impressive group of NBA players, from Carmelo Anthony to Steve Nash to the leaders of the NBA Players Association, have spoken out and called for justice.
In what has been described as New Zealand's most high-profile and bitter industrial dispute since the early 1990s, waterside workers went back to work, after a four-week strike. Auckland's port company agreed to end its lockout of 235 workers on March 30, and pay workers a week's wages for being illegally locked out. The New Zealand Herald reported that Maritime Union president Garry Parsloe told a huge workers' meeting: “You'll all go back to your jobs and until you go back you'll all get paid. “Everything we have done has fallen into place, thanks to your solidarity.”
The Australian system of mandatory detention for refugees is not, contrary to official government rhetoric, based on a policy of security. Rather, it is based on an age-old policy of demeaning and scapegoating foreigners. Under international law, Australia is obliged to respect the right of refugees and settle them if they face genuine persecution, regardless of how they arrive in Australia or whether they have identification. But the policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers subverts these rights.
Rallies were held in Sydney and Melbourne on March 30 in solidarity with the Global March to Jerusalem that will take place on the historic Palestine Land Day 2012. This marks the events of March 1976, after the Israeli authorities confiscated thousands of dunums of private and public land in majority Palestinian areas.
A new report by an international research body has called for detention of refugee children to be outlawed and for all countries to “ensure the rights and liberty” of children affected by immigration detention. Australian immigration detention figures released on March 25 showed that even after the federal government “completes” transferring children to “community detention”, hundreds of underage asylum seekers will stay in immigration detention centres.