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A terrible disaster unfolded in 2010 in the Hunza Valley in Gilgit Baltistan (a formerly self-governing territory occupied by Pakistan since 1948). For protesting for people's rights in the aftermath of this disaster, three left-wing activists have been sentenced to 10 years jail.

In July 2010, a huge landslide blocked the Hunza River and formed a gigantic 19 kilometre-wide lake, which submerged four villages. About 25 people lost their lives and 6000 people were displaced.

Hong Kong-based business executive Bruce Rockowitz told the New York Times recently that consumers are ultimately the ones responsible for dangerous conditions in garment assembly plants in the global South.

The problem is that improved safety would raise the price of clothing, according to Rockowitz, who heads Li & Fung Limited, a sourcing company that hooks up retailers like Macy’s and Kohl’s with suppliers in low-wage countries like Bangladesh.

“So far”, he said, “consumers have just not been willing to accept higher costs”.

Florida medical examiner claim prosecution threw Zimmerman case

“In a bombshell allegation, Florida medical examiner Dr Shiping Bao claims that Florida state prosecutors were biased against Trayvon Martin [an unarmed Black teenager shot dead by George Zimmerman] and purposely threw the case [in which Zimmerman was found not guilty of all charges], and he is suing the state for $100 million ...

Ahmad Qatamesh is a 62-year-old Palestinian University academic, writer and political activist who has been held in an Israeli jail under administrative detention for more than two years.

Under Israel’s policy of administrative detention, people can be held without charge or trial for indefinite periods.

Two related anniversaries were marked this September.

The first was the collapse five years ago of Lehman Brothers, which came to symbolise the financial crisis, the subsequent Great Recession, and the anemic recovery.

The second was the upsurge of the Occupy movement two years ago in response, which popularised the idea that the richest 1% are the enemy of the rest of us. This slogan has taken hold in mass consciousness ― an enduring legacy of Occupy.

A leaked submission prepared by a New Zealand government department raising serious concerns about the risk of water pollution to a Hawke’s Bay river has been suppressed by the government, the New Zealand Labour Party and the Greens Party said.

The Department of Conservation prepared a draft 32-page submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam. It said the plan poses threats to water quality, habitats and fish species and that reversing damage caused by the proposal would present real problems.

Clive: The Story of Clive Palmer
Sean Parnell
HarperCollins, 2013
328 pages, $39.99 (hb)

When the local council denied planning permission for the Queensland National Party’s media director, Clive Palmer, to build a 66-story townhouse development on peaceful rural land in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in 1984, Palmer’s party and state government mate, Russ Hinze, helped the rich guy out by overturning the council decision.

World's longest running strike sets example

Mike Marquesee looks at the ongoing struggle of South Africa's ex-Midrand Council workers. They are engaged in what is surely the world's longest running industrial dispate, starting in 1994. They are still fighting.

Capitalism, sexual violence and sexism

Threats of a new United States-led war in the Middle East abated, at least for now, on September 20 when Syria met a deadline set in a September 14 agreement between the US and Russia.

As part of the deal, Syria submitted details of its chemical weapons to Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The US threatened military action against Syria after an August 21 sarin gas attack killed 355 people in the East Damascus suburb of Ghouta.

The school year should have already begun on the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula), but it hasn’t. Since September 16, high school and primary teachers have been on an indefinite strike.

In Palma, capital of Mallorca, up to 6000 teachers have been demonstrating daily outside the main government building. When the ceremony marking the start of the Balearic Islands’ university term was held, a swathe of lecturers walked out to express their solidarity with the thousands of teachers protesting outside.

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