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A few years ago, in the run up to the 2009 climate negotiations at Copenhagen, the fossil fuel industry seemed on the defensive, with pressure to cut carbon emissions mounting. With energy prices rising and doubts raised about the industry’s ability to increase oil production, it seemed like a dinosaur struggling to survive. Today that same industry is on the offensive. Far from facing constraints, is actively driving a huge expansion of fossil fuel extraction into new areas of the globe. From denial to an 'engineering problem'
Campaigners vowed today to challenge the use of “extreme” pressure-point tactics to break the anti-fracking blockade tagretted operations of energy giant Cuadrilla in Balcombe, Morning Star said on August 22. Sussex Police used the “mandibular angle” technique to drag people away from a peaceful sit-in on the road to the site on August 19, the article said. The martial arts-style move involves applying force to a pressure point just behind the ear and delivers excruciating pain but no lasting injury.
On November 18, 2001, Laura Bush gave her first radio address urging worldwide condemnation of the treatment of women in Afghanistan. She stated that the “fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women”. The plight of women and children in Afghanistan, the then-US First Lady said, was “a matter of deliberate human cruelty, carried out by those who seek to intimidate and control”.
The released the statement below on August 28. * * * The Socialist Alliance condemns the threatened US-led Western military assault on Syria. We call on the Australian government to reject this latest imperial aggression, to extract itself from its military alliance with the US and end its involvement in all aggressive multinational military operations.
The Signal And The Noise Asian Dub Foundation Out now in Japan, rest of the world soon www.asiandubfoundation.com Legendary punk-dub-electronica group Asian Dub Foundation are celebrating their 20th year with the release of a typically topical new album, The Signal And The Noise. Green Left's Mat Ward spoke to founding member, guitarist and band leader Steve Chandra Savale, a one-man riff factory who always has his finger on the political pulse. ***
The removal of the Mohamad Morsi government by Egypt's military on July 3 and subsequent bloody repression against Muslim Brotherhood supporters had caused debate on the international left on how to understand the events and what attitude to take to the anti-Morsi protests, the July 3 coup and protests against the military regime. The contribution below is from John Riddell, a Toronto-based activist and historian of the socialist movement.
In a move aimed at demobilising and splitting the opposition, the leaders of Tunisia's governing party, Ennahda, reached out to Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of the secular ex-regime party Nidaa Tounes. It was part of a bid to resolve the political crisis that has crippled the north African nation for weeks.
The Australian government has made it clear that it will not offer consular help to activists on the West Papua Freedom Flotilla if they are arrested by Papua New Guinea NG or Indonesian authorities. The flotilla is expected to enter Indonesian territory early next month. Carrying West Papuan and Australian Aboriginal activists, its aim is to raise awareness about the occupation of West Papua by Indonesia.
Two of the most prominent Fairfax newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, have updated their mastheads to include the slogan “Independent. Always.” The slogan alone does not make it clear from who or what they are claiming independence. After all, billionaire Gina Rinehart, one of the world’s richest people, is the single biggest shareholder in the company. Fairfax does have what it calls a Charter of Editorial Independence that says: “Editors alone shall determine the daily editorial content of the newspapers.” The editors know not to step out of line.
It is 95% certain that human activity is causing climate change, a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says. The final report has not been released, but a leaked copy of the draft has revealed a stark image of the destructive impact climate change will cause in our lifetimes. -----
About 500 people rallied at City Square against coal seam gas (CSG) extraction in Seaspray on August 17. Many at the rally were cattle farmers in the Gippsland area. Protesters expressed concern that CSG mining would destroy farmland, contaminate water, threaten the health of their rural community and create seismic activity. Some farmers expressed their dilemma over whether to stay and fight the CSG companies, or sell their properties before CSG becomes established in the area.
Brilliant poet Bertolt Brecht once said: “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn't hear, doesn't speak, nor participates in political events. He doesn't know the cost of life; the price of the bean, of the fish, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. “The political illiterate is so stupid that he swells his chest saying he hates politics. The imbecile doesn't know that from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child and worst things of all, the bad politician."
About 50 people rallied outside minister for climate change Mark Butler's office in Adelaide on August 24 to make climate an election issue. Organised by the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN), the rally called on the government to: build solar thermal in Port Augusta; end all fossil fuel subsidies; increase the Renewable Energy Target to 100%; put electricity supply under community control; and refit the SA car industry to build solar thermal components and public transport infrastructure.
Students across the country held protest rallies against the federal government’s proposed cuts to higher education on August 20. The cuts were announced by former prime minister Julia Gillard, but have been supported by PM Kevin Rudd, his new education minister Kim Carr and the Liberal opposition. With bipartisan support, these cuts will not be defeated without a fightback.
At every election since its founding in 2001, the Socialist Alliance has decided preferences on a principled basis, by giving preferences to other parties based on how closely their policies and actions align with its own. This federal election, the Socialist Alliance is running two candidates in the NSW Senate and six candidates in lower house seats around the country. In the NSW Senate, the Socialist Alliance has preferenced Ron Poulsen of the Communist League second, followed by candidates from the Greens and then the WikiLeaks Party and other small progressive parties.
Seven Iranian families — comprising 14 adults and 12 children — were sent to Nauru’s detention camp on August 21. Immigration minister Tony Burke said the children were aged between five and 15. He said more families would be sent to the island and “before long” unaccompanied minors would also face possible removal from Australia to Nauru. The Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on August 21. *** The Refugee Action Coalition has condemned the Labor government’s transfer of asylum seeker families to Nauru.

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