The final official results in Mexico's July 1 presidential election were published in the early hours of July 4, claiming Enrique Pena Nieto had won. However, his victory had been proclaimed within just a few hours of the voting centres being closed and 1% of the ballots counted. Pena Nieto, the candidate from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was declared the winner with a 6.5% margin over progressive candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Throughout June, the United States was hit by freak storms, intense heatwaves, prolonged drought, huge floods and out-of-control bushfires that have burnt out more than 2.1 million acres.
On June 28, after two days of fighting, the three main towns of Azawad ― a west African nation mostly occupied by Mali ― were captured by Salafi Islamist militias. The towns Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal had been captured on April 6 by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA). It unilaterally declared the independence of Azawad from Mali, a move met with hostility by regional and global powers. The Islamist groups ― the Defenders of the Faith (Ansar ad-Din) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) ― are opposed to the independence of Azawad.
Coalminers in north-west Spain have maintained a large-scale strike against government plans to cut subsidies to the industry. The cuts could result in thousands of job losses and the destruction of communities. The strike began on May 29 when the Asturias region's 8000 miners voted to walk off the job indefinitely. A small number of miners locked themselves underground for weeks, while many others occupied public spaces. Miners have come under intense attack by police and civil guard, who used tear gas, rubber bullets and batons to break up the strike.
The Lock the Gate Alliance released the statement below on July 6. * * * Coal seam gas companies are 'getting away with blue murder' despite mounting evidence from around the country of the environmental damage they are causing, according to Lock the Gate Alliance. Lock The Gate has responded with dismay to news today that Santos and Eastern Star Gas have been fined only $3,000 for breaking environment laws in the Pilliga forest by polluting a local creek system with coal seam gas waste water.
With impeccable smiling customer service staff motioning to myki readers and swarms of grinning, armed, uniformed officers pursuing passengers for a chat, the Victorian Liberal government hopes to win support for its public transport agenda. Public Transport Victoria stopped selling weekly, monthly and yearly Metcards on July 2. More than 80% of Metcard machines have been removed from train stations. The expensive and unpopular myki system will soon take over.
A Senate committee recommended on June 25 that Australian parliament make marriage equality law after almost 60% of 46,000 submissions were in favour. A report tabled for the lower house on June 18 also had overwhelming support, but did not support or reject the two marriage equality bills before parliament. The lower house committee received a record 276,000 responses during its inquiry, with more than two-thirds in support of gay marriage.
Latest NSW gov't sackings could pass 10,000 A leaked document on the 10,000 public sector jobs flagged for cuts in last month's NSW budget may have been understating the sackings to come. The June 12 email from a NSW Treasury official said “there is no floor or cap on redundancies”. The government on July 3 conceded the numbers were not capped, and there were no guarantees that more jobs would not be lost. The 10,000-plus job cuts add to 5000 jobs axed in September.
Labor and Coalition MPs have shed thousands of crocodile tears claiming that Australia needed to “stop the boats” to “save lives” by making offshore processing of asylum seekers government policy. Labor backed a private members bill put by independent MP Rob Oakeshott that would allow Australia to expel refugees to any country that was part of the Bali Process, including Malaysia.
In 2006, Alternet's Joshua Holland coined the “zombie lie”: an untruth that returns from the dead to haunt us, despite already being demolished by arguments and evidence. Politics is dominated by zombie lies. “Asylum seekers are 'queue jumpers' arriving here illegally” is a classic example. Over the past few decades, zombie lies have helped legitimise paternalistic, punitive welfare reforms. They still shape debates about how to treat poor and unemployed Australians.