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Watch Me Sam Khan www.bsomebody.co.uk At the age of 23, British Muslim rapper Sam Khan was the CEO of his own company, a clothing range, website and a record label called Be Somebody. Three years on, he has launched The B Somebody Project to raise funds for orphans in Gaza. The project follows in the fundraising footsteps of previous music he has done for Pakistani flood victims. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to him. *******
A selection of this week's celebrity news... Mug Shot of the Day: WCBS Anchor Rob Morrison Flashes Bloody Face After Domestic Violence Arrest http://eonli.ne/12KEkeB Mindy McCready: Why the Late Singer Shot Her Dog http://eonli.ne/12KBhTy Pamela Anderson Selling Malibu Home for $7.75 Million—Take a Look Inside! http://eonli.ne/12Kyiuh Justin Bieber Murder Plot Details Emerge: Inmate Wanted Singer Castrated With Hedge Clippers and Suffocated http://eonli.ne/WOevF7
February 23 marks the 1000th day in which alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, 24-year-old US Army intelligence officer Bradley Manning, has been jailed by US authorities without trial. A pre-trial hearing in January in the case of Manning, concluded that his defence would be restricted to arguing motive during his trial, scheduled for June 3. Manning has been accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, which revealed a wide range of US war crimes, as well as evidence of corruption and lying by a range of governments.
Figures released by the department of immigration showed the number of refugees held in Australian mainland detention peaked at 10,271 in November last year, the highest since mandatory detention began. This included housing and alternative places of detention, but not the almost 400 men held on Nauru by that time. Children made up 1221 of those held in detention as at December, another record high. The last time more than 1000 children were held in detention, the government was forced to allow more than half to be released.
“Enough is enough,” warned a full page ad taken out by the Mineral Council of Australia in the February 13 Australian, “in relation to the obsession with increasing taxes on mining in Australia." It was like an exasperated parent pushed too far by a naughty child. “Enough! Go back to playing with your toys. What about the welfare recipients? You love kicking them! Go on, leave us adults alone!”
Britain’s House of Commons voted in favour of equal marriage rights on February 5. France’s lower house approved a bill for equal marriage rights on February 12. If these bills make it the rest of the way through their respective parliaments, Britain and France will join the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Massachusetts, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark in having equal marriage rights.
16.10.1946 – 02.02.2013 My memories of Bill Gluyas are mostly from Union Solidarity picket lines. It did not matter how early a picket line started or how far away it was, Bill was always there. What many people who supported those picket lines didn’t know is that Bill funded much of the Union Solidarity infrastructure — the picket line BBQ and the PA system. Bill didn’t like the limelight and didn’t want thanks. He just wanted to know that he was helping workers fight for their rights.
More than 30,000 Victorian teachers and education support (ES) staff walked off the job on February 14 in their campaign for better pay and conditions. Government figures show that 65% of school staff took part in strike action and 300 schools did not have students. Meredith Peace, Australian Education Union (AEU) state president, also reported that more than 300 schools were brought to a standstill and that every school in the state had some form of disruption.
Mental illness will affect someone you know and love. Forty-five percent of Australians will experience a mental health problem and 20% of the population is affected each year in a serious way by conditions including anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, to name just a few. Many people with mental illnesses want to work and are able work. But the barriers to suitable employment are much higher than for most. This is why the Disability Employment Services exist for all people with disability, be they mental, physical or psychological.
The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation released this statement on February 13. *** On February 12, Federal Court Justice Neil McKerracher handed down a decision that validated the vote of the Yindjibarndi people to authorise a new and unified applicant group of 12 Yindjibarndi men and women to run the Yindjibarndi #1 claim — this includes the area of vacant crown land where [Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s] Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is developing the Solomon Hub and “Firetail” mine.
The Gillard government’s mining tax has raised just $126 million in its first six months, a tiny amount compared to the $2 billion it was expected to generate. Out of this only $88 million will actually benefit the federal budget, as companies who pay the mining tax pay less company tax. To put this in context, the government recently cut $700 million from welfare that was paid to single parents.
Simon Butler was a 25-year-old activist who helped organise the mass mobilisations in Sydney in February and March 2003 against the invasion of Iraq. He was also a leader of the socialist youth group Resistance and the student anti-war movement Books Not Bombs, which Resistance initiated.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills announced a deal on February 8 to secure power for the Nhulunbuy bauxite mine and alumina refinery. The deal was hailed as saving the community through protecting the industry that provides it with half its jobs. But the decision has disastrous environmental impacts and shows the lack of choices available to remote communities under the logic of the mining market. To survive, communities are asked to provide public funds to private companies to perform environmentally damaging activity.
As one who took part in demonstrations against the war in Vietnam, I could hardly believe it when the US “war machine” resurrected itself and began its march on Iraq. Appalled by what appeared to be happening, I was delighted to discover, following a rally in November 2002, that a local peace group had been created. I joined that group and began actively campaigning for peace which I continue to this day.
This is an extract from a zine written by Resistance members. You can pick up a copy from a Resistance stall on campus during Orientation week. *** Like any other day, a female student is on her way to campus. As she rides her bike down the main road, a head pops out a moving car window and yells out to her: “Nice legs!” Later that day she receives a text from one of the men in her group assessment task who she barely knows: “Hey beautiful we should definitely have a beer sometime ;)”.
In occupied Tibet, the once-isolated “Land of Snow” that has been converted into a hell on Earth for its indigenous inhabitants, the oppressed are literally setting themselves alight in protest against Chinese policies. At least six Tibetans have self-immolated since the start of the year, bringing the total number of such incidents to 100. The first reported case occurred in February 2009, but all other reported burnings have taken place since March 2011. At least 82 of the cases have been fatal. Survivors are subjected to harsh punitive measures by Chinese authorities.

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