The owner of the eight-storey Bangladesh factory complex that collapsed on April 24 killing at least 362 people has been arrested at the country's border with India. Three owners of garment factories in the collapsed building on the capital's outskirts have also been arrested. They are suspected of forcing staff to work, ignoring safety warnings. Two government engineers involved in approving the building's design have also been detained.
Lock the Gate Alliance released this statement on April 23. *** The Lock The Gate Alliance has slammed mining giant Rio Tinto after its Hunter Valley subsidiary Coal and Allied appealed to the Supreme Court to allow the Warkworth Extension coalmine project to go ahead. The project was rejected by the NSW Land and Environment Court last week after the Bulga Milbrodale Progress Association challenged the NSW government's approval of the mine.
After being forced to admit that “clean coal” will never happen, the coal industry has fallen back on an old argument to justify itself — that Australia cannot live without the industry because it does so much for the economy by providing jobs and creating wealth.
Stop CSG Illawarra (SCSGI) held its monthly organising meeting on April 21, attended by just over 80 people. The community feels it is in limbo, waiting on a decision from the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) on the local coal seam gas project. A PAC decision was expected several weeks ago on whether to approve Apex’s application to extend drilling deadlines, enabling them to start work on the project.
Environment activists, academics, politicians, trade unionists and resident groups will gather in Parramatta Town Hall on May 11. They will discuss and plan actions around some of the many environmental and social issues facing the population of western Sydney. Climate change and the fossil fuel industry will be a big focus of the conference, after the Climate Commission report, The Critical Decade, found that climate change is already much worse in Sydney's western suburbs than anywhere else in New South Wales.
The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) is contesting four seats in the May 5 general elections, one federal parliamentary seat and three state assembly. The PSM won two of these seats in the 2008 election: Jeyakumar Devaraj, or “Kumar” as he is better known, won the federal parliamentary seat of Sungai Siput from a high profile former minister. PSM chairperson Nasir Hashim won the Selangor state assembly seat of Kota Damansara.
Three interesting pieces of information were released over the past week. Overall, they warn of a decline in women’s equality and in quality of life for the majority. First, JP Morgan said women’s employment figures this year have sharply fallen from about 390,000 last year to less than 360,000 — the drop is as sharp in rate (but not in overall numbers) as during the global financial crisis (GFC). While there has been employment growth since the GFC first hit there has been an overall shift in hiring from full-time to part-time work.
The horrific bombing of runners and onlookers at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts was a criminal act, which nothing can justify. The murderous attack must be condemned. Children, adults and elderly were murdered and terribly injured. Limbs were torn off in the blasts. There were more amputations in the hospital. Of the over 280 injured, many were riddled with shrapnel. The victims were from many nationalities, since the historic race attracts people from all over the world.