939

As Venezuela's October 7 presidential elections approach, polls are showing a clear, large victory for President Hugo Chavez, with a 13%-28% lead. The socialist incumbent — who has survived a US coup and other attempts to overthrow his government — is campaigning on a detailed platform to deepen the social changes that are redistributing wealth and political power to the poor majority. His right-wing opponent, Henri Capriles Radonski, supports privatising state industry and cutting social spending.
Phil Monsour sings a pro-Palestine version of "Which side are you on" at the Adelaide Seacret protest prior to the national workshop weekend on September 21.
With little fanfare or media attention, the small island nation of Cuba has been running an Aboriginal literacy program in the town of Wilcanni, in central new South Wales. Already, 16 local Aboriginal residents aged between 25 and 53 have learned to read and write through the program.
With the launch of the Apple iPhone 5 drawing closer, hordes of people around the world scrabbled to their computers to place pre-orders. Hundreds lined up on the streets to be the first to get their hands on the most in-demand gadgetry. With the pre-order tally reaching more than 2 million within the first 24 hours, it is no surprise that the mineral mining market is booming. At the heart of the mobile phone production line lies the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); a country that has played host to what is likely the world’s deadliest war since World War II.
Twenty-three years too late, the real truth is finally being told about the Hillsborough disaster of April 15, 1989, which killed 96 football fans and injured hundreds more. A new 354-page report, released by the Hillsborough Independent Panel after accessing more than 400,000 pages of secret documents, has implicated the police, media and British government in what has been described as “the biggest cover-up of British legal history”.
After five years of besieging Gaza, Israel announced on September 20 the first significant easing of its near-total export ban. The ban was imposed on the Palestinian territory in 2007 after Hamas won elections. This turnaround amounts to an admission that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is facing defeat, leaving Tel Aviv casting around for an alternative mechanism of control over the battered enclave. Khatib Mansour, director of the Israeli army’s Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza, said Israel would allow: * furniture and clothes to be exported from Gaza to the West Bank;
As the final weeks of the Venezuelan presidential election campaign unfold, an intense battle of ideas is under way. The poll on October 7 is looming as one of the most important elections in the country´s history.
Toward the United Front, Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 Edited & translated by John Riddell, Brill, 2012, 1310 pp. Many leftists have spent dreary evenings meeting in draughty community halls where the reading of the minutes of previous gatherings seems to drag on interminably. Refreshingly, for a variety of reasons, this 1200-page compendium of 90-year-old proceedings makes for revitalising and pertinent reading.
The Statue Of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story By Edward Berenson Yale University Press, 2012, 229 pages , $35.95 (hb) “We are the keepers of the flame of liberty,” said then-US president Ronald Reagan, opening the centennial celebration in 1986 of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour. Reagan claimed the statue as an American beacon of freedom to the world. As Edward Berenson shows, however, the statue’s political virtue had been compromised long before Reagan’s neo-conservative hypocrisy.
As soon as news filtered through that a “Muslim riot” was taking place in Sydney on September 15, it was clear a racist backlash was going to occur. It was also clear on what grounds the backlash would take place.
“In any war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel, defeat Jihad.”
Phew ... The US election is exactly the same as a night I had watching Crystal Palace play football. Palace were dreadful, but the opposition were even worse, a goal slid slowly between their goalkeeper’s legs into the net, and the man sitting behind me said to his mate, “This is marvellous. I’ve always said football’s much more entertaining when BOTH teams are shite.”
In response to wide-ranging criticisms of, and growing opposition to, proposed data retention and increased surveillance powers for Australian spy agencies, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has gone on the offensive.
A crowded forum of 200 people organised by the Stockton Community Action Group learned about the serious risks posed by a proposed ammonium nitrate storage facility at nearby Kooragang Island on September 19. The new facility is proposed by Incitic Pivot and would add 21,500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate to the 9000 tonnes already stored there by rival company Orica.
Water workers to strike Workers at Sydney Water, angered by the axing of more than 300 jobs as well as the undermining of conditions, have voted for rolling strikes into next year. More than 1000 workers took part in a four hour walkout on September 20, rallying at Parramatta Stadium. They voted to begin the strikes from next month.

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