A recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court represents a big step forward, while another represents a leap backward. Both passed by a five-to-four vote. First the good news. The Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defined marriage as a right of only heterosexual couples. DOMA was passed by Congress and signed into law by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1996.
More than two years ago, the Syrian people, inspired by the Arab Spring, began a democratic revolution against the viciously authoritarian Bashir al-Assad regime, a revolution that we enthusiastically supported from its beginning and continue to support. For two long years now, we, like the rest of the world, have watched in horror as the Syrian government waged merciless war on its own people. Some of the revolutionaries argued that for strategic if not for pacifist reasons, the movement should have remained non-violent despite the mounting repression it faced.
With Venezuela’s inflation rate for May soaring to 6.1%, first quarter growth stagnating at 0.7%, and shortages afflicting a number of basic goods, speculation has been rife regarding the country’s economic future. Critics from the right and left have argued these are all signs that Chavismo (the name given to the radical project for change spearheaded by former president Hugo Chavez) has reached its limits.
Socialist Alliance candidate for Wills, Margarita Windisch speaking at the Melbourne rally against PRISM on July 6, 2013.
The Refugee Action Coalition released this statement on July 6. *** The pilot of an Etihad airliner at Sydney thwarted government attempts to deport an Egyptian asylum seeker on July 5, when the pilot asked for the protesting asylum seeker to be taken off the plane. Urgent attempts are now being made to get a stay on his removal because of the military coup in Egypt, and the changed political situation there.
World War Z Directed by Marc Foster Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, James Badge Dale & Matthew Fox In Cinemas now It’s movie time — winter is upon us, kids are home for two weeks and there’s a glut of new releases at the cinemas. While providing the necessary action and suspense for my kids’ age group, the US$190 million production World War Z also glorifies US-style international relations in the fight against a futuristic global zombie takeover.
Kate Hudson is a veteran British left-wing activist and former chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Hudson was a candidate for the left-wing Respect party in last year's Manchester municipal by-election, but stood down after Respect leader George Galloway made “unacceptable and unretracted statements about the nature of rape”. Since then, Hudson has joined other left-wing activists, including film maker Ken Loach, in pushing the Left Unity initiative for anew left-wing party, which has received support from thousands of people across Britain.
It's been almost ten years since she became a fixture on the indie music scene. Since then she's been nominated for Grammys and sold hundreds of thousands of records. But music journalists still have no idea how to treat M.I.A.
WL Central wrote on July 7: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has now been offered asylum in three American countries: Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. He has applied for asylum in six additional countries, according to WikiLeaks. And his chances for reaching a safe haven are growing further because of US interference in the process, according to Michael Bochenek, director of law and policy at Amnesty International.
The protests which began on June 30 ― and by July 3 had led to the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi ― were reportedly the largest in Egyptian history. With claims that between 10 and 20 million people took part, they were larger than the protests which led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.
Reading the polls makes it clear that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is a hit. Overnight, Rudd's return has turned the tables for Labor. From staring down electoral annihilation, Labor is now on par with Liberal leader Tony Abbott. The election is a contest once again. “Kevin07” was a popular campaign that gained mainstream traction among Australia’s youth in the 2007 federal elections. Even though “Kevin13” lacks the same ring, his return has marked clear moves by Rudd to regain his attraction to young voters.
The Hazara community in Melbourne have been forced to hold another vigil after yet another bombing targeting the Hazara community in Quetta, Pakistan. On June 30, a suicide bomber attacked a Hazara neighbourhood and killed more than 30 people, including children. More than 1300 Hazaras have been killed in Pakistan over the past decade, with more than 4000 maimed, according to the Australian Hazara Students Group. Not a single perpetrator has been punished by the courts for these bombings which have become more frequent over the last three years.
About 50 people attended a forum on the Labor government's oppressive "Pacific solution" refugee policy at the Teachers Federation building in Sydney on July 1. Organised by the Refugee Action Coalition, the forum condemned "the logic of Labor's race to the bottom on refugee policy with [Liberal leader] Tony Abbott”. “Under the government's 'no advantage' measures, hundreds of asylum seekers have been sent to Nauru and Manus Island as part of the revamped Pacific Solution," the meeting said.
A social crisis is developing throughout suburban Australia. Asylum seekers on short-term bridging visas are being dumped in the community without the right to work, study or receive adequate welfare. Already traumatised by the situations they are fleeing, dangerous journeys and immigration detention, those on bridging visas face housing stress, food insecurity, alienation and boredom and a return to detention when their bridging visas expire. Processing of asylum claims is on hold and the threat of deportation is constant.
The Electrical Trades Union released this statement on July 1 *** Unions have criticised today’s announcement of the sale of power generator Eraring Energy as a “fire sale” that fails to realise the true value of the asset for NSW taxpayers. Power industry unions said it was absurd to sell off the profit-making enterprise, which delivered almost $140 million in profits last year alone, for just $50 million.