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Last month a South Australian Police (SAPOL) officer asked me to monitor the activities of political activists in Adelaide.   On January 17, a plain-clothed officer approached me in a coffee shop. He explained that he recognised me as an activist, and told me he was with a special area of “security and intelligence” that aimed to create links between the police and the activist community.   He appeared interested in gaining information on the activities of environmental groups, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israeli products and Tamil solidarity actions.  
A selection of this week's celebrity news... Beyoncé's Sexy 2013 Super Bowl Outfit Slammed by PETA—Too Much Skin! http://eonli.ne/Uw4OxT N-Dubz rapper Dappy guilty of assault and affray. http://bit.ly/XmSGcY Russell Brand hits on Katharine McPhee HARD. Funny or creepy? http://eonli.ne/VBWMOF Kate Middleton's Cousin Strips Down for Men's Magazine—See the Provocative Pics http://eonli.ne/XfIy7M Pregnant Kate Middleton, Prince William Take Mustique Babymoon: Report http://eonli.ne/Xfu33F
More than 40 people came to hear Miguel Angel Nunez, a co-founder of IPIAT (the Institute for Production and Research in Tropical Agriculture) in Venezuela and a former coordinator of the Latin American Agroecological Movement at a public forum in Sydney on January 30. The speaker was welcomed by Miriam Navarro, representing the Venezuelan embassy in Australia. The forum was organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network and supported by the embassy and the Latin American Social Forum.
The NSW Coalition government announced plans on December 13 last year to cut the Newcastle rail line at Wickham station. As part of the urban renewal strategy document, passengers would have to transfer to buses to complete the last two kilometres of their journey to Newcastle. A long-running community group, Save Our Rail, has twice stopped former Labor and Coalitions governments' attempts to cut the line. Here are ten reasons why the campaign needs to continue: There is no solution proposed for rail users affected by the cut

About 100 people rallied in Sydney on February 5 to oppose the Julia Gillard government's slashing of welfare payments to single parents. Single parents, their kids, and their supporters joined in the action. Event organiser Samantha Seymour said: "Moving single parents from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance when their youngest child turns 8 years of age will have many well documented negative impacts for single parent families. Such changes will have a ripple effect and the social ramifications are already horrendous."

Vibes, Love, Revolution Fear Nuttin Band Released 2012 www.fearnuttinband.com Fear Nuttin Band blend Jamaican culture with American hardcore punk in the hybrid genre of “yardcore”. The Massachusetts-based group also throw in plenty of pugilistic politics and sharp satire. Front man Prowla and guitarist Christafari Regan spoke to Green Left's Mat Ward.
Minister of State for Finance Saleem Mandviwalla confirmed on January 23 that murder charges against the owners of the Baldia Town factory that caught fire on September 11 last year had been withdrawn. The investigation officer was also changed. On January 24, there was no general strike. The apparent silence of the working class was a result of the systematic targeting of unions by the state apparatus. With over 259 workers killed in the fire, the final death toll is still unavailable.
Residents of the south Gippsland town of Poowong are preparing to hold a public protest against coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in their area on February 17. Local group CSG Free Poowong conducted an extensive survey of the area last year. They asked: “Do you want to declare Poowong coal and coal seam gas free?” The survey results showed over 95% of the community does not want CSG mining in their region. The event on February 17 is being organised as a celebration of this result.
Sri Lanka's parliament voted on January 11 to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. This enabled President Mahinda Rajapaksa to dismiss her and appoint a new chief justice, Mohan Peiris. Bandaranayake was appointed as chief justice by Rajapaksa in May 2011. However, she antagonised him by ruling that a new law was unconstitutional. This law is aimed at setting up a new government body, known as Divi Neguma (a Sinhalese phrase meaning “raise the island”), which is supposed to promote economic development and social welfare.
Representatives from Venezuela's National Institute of Statistics (INE) have revealed that the 14th National Census of Population and Housing, conducted during 2011, showed significant cuts to poverty levels during the previous 10 years. In 2001, 11.36% of the population were measured to be suffering from extreme poverty. President of the INE, Elias Eljuri, said the 2011 census showed that only 6.97% did, a cut of nearly half in a decade. Other conclusions included a rise in life expectancy, from 74.5 years to 79.5 years.
Song by David Beniuk: January 26 Video by Green Left TV
The illness of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has created uncertainty over the future direction of his government, and specifically its commitment to revolutionary change and socialism. Throughout the 14 years of his presidency, the key to Chavez’s political success was the constant deepening of the process of change, which invigorated the rank-and-file of his movement.
Hashim bin Rashid is the general secretary of the Lahore branch of Pakistan'sAwami Workers Party, which was recently formed by three left-wing groups uniting. Hasmim was a special guest at the national conference in Geelong 18-1-13, where the gave the talk in this video. The video is by .
About 100 people gathered at the Jerrys Plains community hall on January 29 to outline concerns about the encroachment of the coal industry on their township and to begin a united fightback.
Professor Miguel Angel Nuñez is an adviser to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on agro-ecology. He was recently in Australia and spoke to Green Left TV about the impact of Chavez's ill health on the Venezuelan revolution, and how the international media are misrepresenting the situation. He also spoke on the role of oil in the revolution, the environmental consequences and prospects for eco-socialism in Venezuela.
Socialist Alliance national conference supporting the campaign for UNESCO world heritage listing for the oldest rock art in the world at the Burrup in northern WA.

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