934

In Australia, Treasurer Wayne Swan made headlines by saying he was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen ― despite implementing neoliberal economic policies of the sort Springsteen rails against. Mining billionaire and wannabe Liberal politician Clive Palmer jumped up to respond that his favourite band was Redgum ― despite the famously left-wing folk band, active in the 1970s and '80s, representing politics that are the exact opposite politics to Palmer's.

The spectacle of the 2012 London Olympics should be subtitled “The Bashing of the Chinese Athlete”.

On August 8, Andrew Jacobs of the New York Times published a much-discussed piece called “Heavy burden on athletes takes joy away from China's Olympic success”.

All kinds of “concerns” were raised about the toll “the nation's draconian sports system” is taking on the country's athletes.

The article below was abridged from Correo Del Orinoco International.

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Venezuela: Chavez set for win as campaign pushes socialist transformation

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Internationally-acclaimed author, activist, and intellectual Tariq Ali highlighted the importance of Venezuela´s Bolivarian Revolution and socialist President Hugo Chavez at a conference at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela in Caracas over July 27-28.

“In this time of crisis, when they are expropriating the people, we want to expropriate the expropriators, namely, the landowners, banks and big retailers.”

With these words Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, leader of the Andalusian Union of Workers (SAT), United Left (IU) member of parliament in the Andalusian regional parliament and mayor of the rural town of Marinaleda, justified the August 7 seizure of food by SAT members from two stores of the Mercadona and Carrefour supermarket chains — the Coles and Woolworths of Spain.

The Broome Community No Gas coalition released the statement below on August 17.

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The Broome Community has vowed to stop Woodside's works as they are illegal, and will damage the Broome town water supply, after a convoy of Woodside vehicles entered the compound near James Price Point this morning.

Socialist Alliance has announced its preferences for the Wali (North) ward of Marrickville Council in the local government elections on September 8.

Community activists Pip Hinman, Josie Evans and Jill Hickson will contest the election with the platform of “Power to the people!” and “Community and environment before developers’ profits”.

Although New South Wales has an optional preferential system for local government elections, Socialist Alliance will allocate preferences to all candidates in the ward.

The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Ironically, Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to the Australian citizen who founded the whistleblowing website came on the same day the Australian Senate voted to further punish those seeking asylum in this country.

The August 25 Northern Territory elections have degenerated in to a “law and order” slugfest between the Labor Party and the Country Liberals, but there are still some progressive candidates running who may do well.

In the lead up to the September 8 council elections across NSW, candidates in the City of Sydney have been finalised and several candidates forums have already been held.

Coal seam gas (CSG) advocates are running a fear campaign against a backdrop of soaring electricity prices in New South Wales. They claim that unless CSG development in NSW goes ahead, household gas bills will triple.

This is a frightening idea, given the stress already caused by electricity price hikes.

Over the past four years the average power bill in NSW has gone up by 69% on top of inflation. Users face a further 18% price hike this year.

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