The average worker in Britain's south-west has lost £1522 a year ($2255) in earnings since the coalition came to power, new research from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) showed, Morning Star said on April 19. The figures, which do not take into account rises in consumption taxes or cuts to benefits, came to light at the start of the South West TUC annual conference.
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails marked Prisoners' Day with protests on April 17, joined by supporters outside the wire. More than 3000 detainees refused breakfast as part of a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with Samer Essawi, whose on-off fast has lasted more than 250 days and stoked weeks of street protests. Essawi is receiving nutrients via an intravenous drip but refusing food and his lawyer says his low heart rate means that he could die at any time.
Greening The Media Richard Maxwell & Toby Miller Oxford University Press, 2012 246 pages, $44.80 (pb) There is a reason why the typical electronic product warranty lasts only 12 months, say Richard Maxwell and Toby Miller in Greening the Media. Most digital devices are designed to “break or become uncool” after just a year, requiring regular product replacements or upgrades.
The New York-based National Lawyers Guild released a statement on April 16 on the Venezuela elections it helped monitor. An NLG spokesperson said: "The U.S. would do well to incorporate some of the security checks and practices that are routine in Venezuela to improve both the level of participation and the credibility of our elections." The full statement is below. * * *
To mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting of four Aboriginal teenagers in Kings Cross, a rally will be held on April 26 to demand an end to police investigating cases of police violence. The rally will gather outside the Kings Cross police station to voice disapproval of the police involved in the shooting of the unarmed youths in April last year. Since January 1, 1980, over 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have died in police custody.
Ever since Malaysia was granted independence in 1957, the party that the British colonial rulers groomed and installed as their neo-colonial puppets, the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO), has clung on to power by hook or by crook. At various points in history, UMNO (the central party in the governing Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition) have relied on colonial military might, ethnic pogroms, jailing dissidents, media control, gerrymandering, vote rigging, corruption and patronage to stay in power.
Two years ago, refugee advocates learned five men detained in Darwin's Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) had sewn their mouths together and were protesting against delays to their cases. Advocates alerted the media of the self-harm in July, 2011. But immigration spokespeople contacted by media denied lip-stitching had taken place. A spokesperson told AAP on July 2, 2011, that a detainee had been taken to hospital after an incident of self-harm, but: “Nobody has sewn their lips together.”
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has the potential to become the largest “free trade” deal in the world. Negotiations began in Melbourne in March 2010, involving Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and the US. The combined GDP of these countries was about US$20.7 trillion in 2011. Japan is now close to being accepted into the negotiations.
The continued rightward shift of capitalist politics in the United States was underscored with the official release of President Barack Obama’s proposed budget. In it, Obama proposes to cut the already inadequate pension program for the elderly known as Social Security and the medical insurance program for the elderly, Medicare. These and other programs for the elderly and poorer sections of the working class are under attack. Both major parties claim that spending on social welfare must be cut in the current economic depression.
New research has found workers suffer many problems associated with working 12-hour shifts and rotating shifts. These problems include a disturbed body-clock, shortened and distorted sleep, and disturbed family and social life. This resulted in acute effects on fatigue, mood and performance. Without adequate coping strategies, this leads to chronic effects on mental and physical health, including elevated risk of cardiovascular gastrointestinal problems, and heightened safety risks.
The NSW Coalition government’s decision to privatise two large ports was announced in July last year. It expected to receive $3 billion from the sale. NSW Treasurer Mike Baird said on April 12 that the consortium NSW Ports would buy 99-year leases for two of the state’s international ports — Port Botany for $4.31 billion and Port Kembla for $760 million. The total cost of the sale would be $5.07 billion. An additional yearly lease payment of $5 million would be paid to the government and the annual on cap container movement of 3.2 million would be abolished for Port Botany.
Hundreds of working-class people waiting outside of a closed grocery store for the possibility of getting the remaining food is not the picture of the “American Dream.” Yet on March 23, outside the Laney Walker Supermarket in Augusta, Ga., that is exactly what happened.