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Most of the news on Venezuela in the week since the April 14 presidential election focused on the efforts of losing candidate Henrique Capriles to challenge the results. But another campaign, based in Washington, was quite revealing ― and the two were most definitely related. Without Washington's strong support ― the first time it had refused to recognise a Venezuelan election result ― it is unlikely that Capriles would have joined the hardcore elements of his camp in pretending the election was stolen.
Does Australia really need another party for the billionaires? Aren't the Liberal and Labor parties enough? Surely both have proved that they are loyal servants of the rich? But when a billionaire mining tycoon like Clive Palmer sets his mind on becoming prime minister, he just goes out and buys himself his own instant party, the "United Australia Party", which he announced will contest 127 House of Representative seats and all Senate seats in the coming federal election.
It must be great to have the ability to simply declare people you don't like “illegal”. This is the Liberals’ response to “boat people”. I get that the Liberals hate dark-skinned foreigners with the gall to arrive at our borders and ask for asylum rather than staying where they belong, getting bombed by our military in Afghanistan or tortured by a regime we support in Sri Lanka. But it actually takes more than simply hating something to make it illegal. You usually find it requires an actual law to be broken.
Socialist Alliance members hit the front page of the Fremantle Herald as part of the campaign for free speech at Notre Dame University in Fremantle. The university — a private institution — maintains strict control over many aspects of student life, including the student association. The only way student clubs can get any recognition is by affiliating to the university. But the university won't allow clubs who violate "Catholic social teachings" to affiliate.
A 700-strong march wound its way through the medieval streets of Freiburg, in the south-west German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, on April 20 to protest against the imminent resumption of deportation flights from the state. The theme of the protest was “Those who want to stay should stay”. Those targeted for deportation are Roma refugees who fled Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, and their German-born children.
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.
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.

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