As more people start to share scientists' long-expressed concerns over climate change, revelations of big bank energy market manipulations highlight Wall Street's entrenched stake in the fossil fuel economy that is heating up the planet.
For more than a month, more than 400 prisoners in seven Californian prisons have refused to eat in protest at the use of long-term solitary confinement and other abuses. This is the longest hunger strike in California’s history and is provoking a predictably savage response from prison authorities. Prisoners are being denied medical attention, those accused of being representatives of the strikers are put in administrative segregation to further isolate them and many are being denied their mail.
About sixty people attended a meeting on “America’s Pacific Push” on July 25. Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, spoke about the growing US military presence in the Pacific. Examples included the expansion of a missile test range in Hawaii, the building of a naval base on South Korea’s Jeju Island despite strong resistance from local people, and the plan to station 2500 US troops in Darwin. Gagnon said that US bases in Australia play a crucial role in US military strategy.
Nauru's terrible poverty, stagnant economy and unstable administration has paved the way for its main aid-provider, the Australian government, to sign it up for a similar refugee “deal” as Papua New Guinea. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that refugees who arrived in Australia by boat could be sent for processing and then would “settle and reside” on Nauru.
Asylum seekers are welcome on Aboriginal lands in Australia despite the inhumane approach of both major political parties, the Aboriginal Provisional Government said on July 29. Secretary Michael Mansell said: “As people who know what it’s like to be invaded by boat people we are in a better position to judge how the current boat people should be treated. Where the original boat people who took over our country were armed to the teeth and bent on conquest, asylum seekers in 2013 are unarmed and seeking sanctuary.
While Australia’s mining sector shows signs of resilience, there is one mineral whose outlook may be terminal. There are five significant events that have occurred recently that send a clear message about the future of the uranium sector and the wider nuclear industry. The uranium price dropped to US$34.50 a pound Energy Resources of Australia, the operator of the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu, announced a $54 million loss.
A public meeting held in the Tasmanian town of Oatlands on August 2 discussed the application by PetroGas, an offshoot of Petratherm, to explore for shale gas and oil in more than 3000 square kilometres of southern Tasmania. About 80 residents attended the meeting. Tim Kirkwood, general manager of Southern Midlands council, said it was the best-attended public meeting ever held in Oatlands. The process of “fracking” for gas requires millions of litres of water and a major concern for many of the farmers present was the question of where the water would come from.
It's 200 years too late to stop the boats. Almost everyone of non-Indigenous origin is an economic migrant or a refugee. Greeks left Egypt in the 1950-1970s because the government passed laws decreeing that only 15% of any company's wages could be paid to non-Egyptians. The laws were meant to help poorer Arabs get jobs, but they also resulting in one overpaid European company manager pocketing the 15% while refusing to employ any of his fellow Europeans.
It's election season once again. For the first time in three years, the government is allocating us all our piece of democracy. People in suits are frantically talking about the issues of the day, in the hope that they can win over enough of us to put them into parliament. Two of the defining issues in this battle are refugees and education. In both cases, candidates line up one after the other to show they are able to make the tough decisions.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is Australia's national security service, and promotes itself as being responsible for protecting Australia from all kinds of attacks — from terrorism to politically motivated violence. This fairytale should not be taken seriously. Established in 1949 by the Ben Chifley ALP government, ASIO’s primary purpose has always been to carry out spying, disruption and provocation against left and progressive forces on behalf of the established order. It is Australia’s political police — our very own secret police organisation.