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Geelong Trades Hall secretary Tim Gooden released the statement below on April 27 about the move by the federal government to put the Health Services Union (HSU) East into administration.

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I am very concerned by the announcement of minister Bill Shorten that the federal government will seek to have the HSU East put under the control of an appointed administrator.

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner announced the nationalisation of Federal Petroleum Deposits (YPF), the country's largest oil extractor and refiner, on April 16.

Altogether, 51% of Spanish oil multinational Repsol's 57% stake in YPF has been claimed by the Argentine government.

The move shook the markets, with YPF shares falling 30% on the New York stock exchange.

The nationalisation has drawn condemnation from Spain, the European Union and the United States ― as well as US regional allies Chile, Colombia and Mexico. In contrast, it was applauded by Venezuela and Bolivia.

Environmentalists seem to realise that they have some stake in a fight such as the Ecuador-Chevron lawsuit.

That case, which Chevron has recently moved to an international arbitration panel to try to avoid a multibillion-dollar penalty handed down by Ecuadorian courts, is about whether a multinational oil corporation will have to pay damages for pollution, for which it is responsible. Most environmentalists figure that would be a good thing.

However the dispute in Britain about tax and charity donations ends up, the one thing we must all agree on is how inspiringly generous these philanthropists are, selflessly donating chunks of money that, by coincidence, are the amount they would have had to pay in tax anyway. Even the Good Samaritan would have said: "That's TOO philanthropic, you're being a fool to yourself."

Privatisation polices have been stepped up since the end of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009, says Ranath Kumarasinghe from Sri Lanka's New Socialist Party (NSSP)

Kumarasinghe is features editor of Haraya, a Sinhala language newspaper published by the NSSP. He recently visited Australia to speak at the Marxism 2012 conference, organised by Socialist Alternative in Melbourne over Easter.

The statement below was initiated by the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), in solidarity with workers' rights and pro-democracy activist Somyot Pruksakasemsuk ― jailed in April last year under the lese-majeste (insulting the monarch) law. It has been signed by the Australian Socialist Alliance, the Party of the Masses in the Philippines, the Indonesian People's Liberation Party, the Confederation of Congress of Indonesian Unions Alliance (KASBI), Indonesia, and the Labour Party Pakistan .

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Activists have been campaigning to prevent the removal of public housing in the Auckland suburb of Glenn Innes since April 2.

Many Tenants who have lived in the homes for decades have been evicted. Contractors are preparing to remove the homes for a new housing development. The development will reduce public housing, and evicted tenants have not gotten any guarantees of a right to return.

Tenants, local community members and activists in the Mana Party organised to try to stop the removals,. They have peacefully blockaded and occupied the empty houses in protest.

The Vatican has attacked the largest group of American nuns for allegedly promoting radical feminism. It appointed a bishop to “reorganise” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

This is in stark contrast to how the church has handled its ongoing sexual abuse scandal among its men.
 

Stand Fast, an anti-war group of military veterans, released the statement below on April 24.

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“You do not honor the dead through mindless flag waving, rewriting history or promoting new wars,” said Hamish Chitts, East Timor veteran and spokesperson for Stand Fast — a group of veterans and former military personnel who oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Air France demanded to know the religion of a passenger on an April 15 flight from Nice to Tel Aviv and removed her because she was not Jewish.

The incident, confirmed by an Air France official, may violate international and European law by subjecting prospective passengers to illegal religious discrimination.

In recent days, Israeli authorities reacted to an effort by hundreds of European travellers to visit the occupied West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians by stationing hundreds of armed police and soldiers at the main international airport at Lydd.

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