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The room erupted into cheers when the election results were announced. For hours, the city of Merida's most ardent supporters of socialist presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro had gathered in the local offices of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). However, after a few moments, the closeness of the numbers sank in. At the time of writing, the National Electoral Council (CNE) had announced that with 99% of votes counted, the PSUV's Maduro won with 50.6%. His closest rival, Henrique Capriles, received 49.1%; giving Maduro a slim 1.5% victory.
The Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition (SAWC) interviewed former Australian attorney-general, Kep Enderby QC, about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Enderby first contacted SAWC to offer his support for our campaign last year. In July, he wrote a statement read out at a rally for Assange and WikiLeaks in Sydney. Enderby became involved in civil liberties and human rights activism while working as a lawyer in London in the 1950s. He championed the cause of African-American singer and radical, Paul Robeson, who was being denied his passport by the US government. 
Global military spending rose to US $1.74 trillion in 2011. The Australian government spends $25 billion a year — or $68 million per day — on defence spending. This is a travesty when 125,000 Australians are homeless every night and budget cuts are being made to higher education. Demonstrations were held on April 15 in cities around Australia and in over 100 centres world wide to mark a global day of action on military spending. This coincides with the publication by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute of world military expenditures for the past year.
Iain Banks is an acclaimed Scottish author, who has written successful straight fiction as well science fiction (as Iain M. Banks). His science fiction series “The Culture” deals with a post-scarcity, egalitarian and classless society. Tragically, the 59-year-old author recently announced that he has terminal cancer.

Perth protest by sole parents and supporters against the cuts to parenting payment in which 84000 sole parents have been forced onto Newstart at a rate more than $130 per week below the poverty line! Speakers included: Rachel Siewert, Mary O'Brien and Sam Wainwright and others.

In the week leading up to Venezuela’s April 14 presidential elections, whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks published a classified cable indicating that US-based aid organisations were working to overthrow the government and defend US corporate interests in the Andean country.
British groups have for three months been pressing Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to withdraw its festival invitation to Israel's National Theatre, Habima, in response to the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli cultural institutions, Mondweiss.net said on March 29.
Nicolas Maduro, the candidate for the Unitede Socialist Party of Venezuela, has won the Venezuelan presidential election with 50.66 percent of the vote against 49.07 percent for opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Maduro gave a victory speech immediately after, while Capriles initially refused to recognize the results. The “first bulletin” results were announced by the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, at around 11:20 p.m. Venezuelan time, with 99.12 percent of the votes totaled, enough to give Maduro an irreversible victory.
Rallies were held around the country on April 13 to protest the federal government's cuts to single parent benefits which will force families deeper into poverty. In the western Sydney suburb of Penrith, 30 people gathered to hear from speakers which included single parents, Penrith city councillor Michelle Tormey and founder of ChilOut, Dianne Hiles, who campaigns to get refugee children and families out of detention. Photos: Tessa Barrett
Costas Isychos, is the defence and foreign policy spokesperson of the broad left SYRIZA party in Greece. This is an edited version of comments he made at a forum in Melbourne on April 8. *** I want to give you some idea of what has been happening in Greece since the world economic crisis started in 2008. This is a nightmare that started for humanity when the true identity of the banking and financial system appeared to the world.
The Coal Terminal Action Group released this statement on April 10. *** Community groups in the Hunter Valley have responded with relief and celebration to the announcement of a two-year delay to Newcastle’s proposed fourth coal terminal (T4). “There will be celebration and relief today in suburbs including Mayfield, Tighes Hill and Carrington where residents already live with particle pollution well above the national standard,” said Coal Terminal Action Group spokesperson Annika Dean.
The Broome community and environmentalists around Australia are celebrating an important victory. Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum said it would not go ahead with a gas hub at James Price Point in the Kimberley. Long-time Broome resident Nik Weavers told Green Left Weekly: “We've got rid of the one big thing we set out to do, which was to stop the project, so I feel really excited about that.” Weavers, a member of the Broome No Gas group, said: “I feel really warmed that so many other people have gathered [in Broome] and are feeling really good.”