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About 40 people gathered in Raintree Park, Darwin, to mark World Refugee Day on June 20. Larrikiah woman June Mills opened the gathering with a rendition of Arafura Pearl, and an explanation of the Aboriginal practice of welcoming strangers to their land. Other speaker included Greens councillor Robin Knox, Tamil-Australian lawyer Kajaliny Ranjithkuma and Reverend Basil Schild. A minute’s silence was held for the 62-year-old refugee from Afghanistan who was found dead at Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre on June 15.
Following the implementation of measures to tackle shortages in some basic food and household items, both private Venezuelan media and the government report that the level of shortages is now decreasing. Shortages hit their highest level in five years in April, provoking a flurry of international media criticism of the government and affecting the popularity of president Nicolas Maduro in the lead-up to the 14 April election.
This is a speech by Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sydney, at a picket outside an ANZ bank in Sydney on June 21. *** We called this demonstration following news of more job cuts by the ANZ bank despite its recent rise in profits. In April this year, ANZ announced a record half-year profit of $3.18 billion. This is 10% up on last year. ANZ is reaping massive profits at the expense of its workers. And to add insult to injury, ANZ boss Mike Smith has become the highest paid corporate CEO in Australia — his pay packet was $10.1 million last year.
Stop Income Management in Playford released this open letter on June 17. *** We the undersigned call for the suspension of the federal government’s compulsory income management, expanded to Playford and four other sites as part of programs that began in July last year. We believe compulsory income management is humiliating, unfair, and unlikely to improve quality of life for recipients or their children. We note the lack of solid evidence that this policy achieves its goals, and fear this approach will be counterproductive.
It took 76 years and one day since his abduction on the orders of Stalin during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), but on June 17 all parties of the Catalan left came together in Barcelona to recognise the contribution to the Catalan and Spanish working people of revolutionary fighter Andreu Nin. At midnight on June 16, 1937, Nin, the general secretary of the Workers Party of Marxist Unification (POUM), was abducted by Stalinist agents outside the POUM’s headquarters.
For much of the past two years, Israel stood sphinx-like on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war. Did it want Bashar al-Assad’s regime toppled? Did it favour military intervention to help opposition forces? And what did it think of the increasing visibility of Islamist groups in Syria? It was difficult to guess.
Minetu Larabas Sueidat is a young Saharawi woman living in refugee camps in Tinduf in the south-west of Algeria. Western Sahara, the land of the Saharawi people, has been occupied by Morocco since 1975. In 1991, the United Nations brokered ceasfire between Morocco and the pro-independence Polisario Front that supposed to include a referendum on self-determination, which has still not occurred.
Edward Snowden said on June 17 that it was as a compliment to have former US vice President Dick Cheney call a “traitor” for leaking classified information from the National Security Agency. Sowden, who has been charged with espionage by US authorities, made the comment in a June 17 live web chat with investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald hosted by The Guardian.
Sheilas, Wogs & Poofters: An Incomplete Biography of Johnny Warren & Soccer in Australia Johnny Warren with Andy Harper & Josh Whittington Random House Australia, 2002 A late header from lanky striker Josh Kennedy ensured Australia beat Iraq 1-0 in their final qualifier match for the 2014 World Cup, guaranteeing the Socceroos a ticket to Brazil. Some 80,532 supporters filled a sold-out ANZ Stadium, the largest crowd for the national men's team in soccer (football to most of the world) since the 2005 qualifying match against Uruguay in the same venue.
I want to talk about a campaign we should abandon. We should stop saying yes to a price on carbon. At the launch of last year’s Climate Summit, I argued that carbon pricing — the notion that we can best reduce pollution by extending private property rights to pollution — had a fatal flaw at its core. Prices can never reflect true ecological values because those values simply cannot be expressed in dollar terms.
US activist Ben Silverman recently wrote a short essay titled “What next for the US climate movement?”
Women are facing a global health epidemic according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A report by WHO released on June 20 has found one in three women worldwide has experienced physical or sexual violence. While acknowledging that violence against women is nothing new, the report says the situation is a “fundamental violation of women’s human rights”.
In his 1928 book Propaganda, Edward Bernays wrote: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organised habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. “Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” The American nephew of Sigmund Freud, Bernays invented the term “public relations” as a euphemism for state propaganda. He warned that an enduring threat to the invisible government was the truth-teller and an enlightened public.
Hundreds of people turned out in Perth, Australia on June 23 to support the Brazilian protests.
Garrumul: His Life & Music Robert Hillman 2013, $65 Dr M Yunupingu, former Yothu Yindi frontman and Gumatj clan member, passed away on June 2 at his home community of Yirrkala, in north-east Arnhem Land. It is often the case that we learn more about somebody’s life after they die. As it happened, the week Yunupingu died, I had bought a copy of a beautiful new biography of his nephew, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, known more commonly as Gurrumul.
About 90 people attended the launch of a new book by Labor for Refugees titled Alternatives to offshore processing on June 17.

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