1. GM FOODS WON’T SOLVE THE FOOD CRISIS A 2008 World Bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the rise in food prices. GM giant Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels (crops grown for fuel rather than food) — while profiting enormously from the resulting food crisis and using it as a public relations opportunity to promote GM foods. 2. GM CROPS DO NOT INCREASE YIELD POTENTIAL
As a huge fan, I'm really disappointed to hear that, despite looking at the situation closely, Amanda Palmer has decided to cross the picket line of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and organise a gig in Tel Aviv. I had the honour for the first time of rocking out with Palmer live for myself earlier this month.
Refuge groups are concerned for the welfare and security of seven West Papuan asylum seekers flown overnight from Horn Island to Port Moresby. The seven who arrived in Boigu Island in the Torres Starit on September 25 are fleeing Indonesian military and police. One West Papuan accused of promoting West Papuan independence and involvement in an independence ceremony on September 12 has been arrested by Indonesia police, while others are being hunted.
Schools across Western Australia were shut down by a statewide stop-work on September 17, called to fight education funding cuts proposed by the state Liberal government. About 500 education assistants are set to lose their jobs. A change in the school staffing formula also means that there will be 585 fewer teaching places next year, in comparison to what there would have been under the previous funding model. Program cutbacks on top of this mean that altogether there will be up to 1000 less teachers next year.
Alexa O'Brien has become known as a "one-woman court record system" for her extensive coverage of whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's trial. She has also covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, the Guantanamo Files, the global "war on terror" and the Arab Spring. This is an edited extract from a speech she gave to a public forum called “Defending Dissent: from Manning to Occupy” in Sydney on September 17. The full forum can be watched here. ***
"We are at a critical point in human history," prominent Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki told an audience of about 500 people at a public forum at Sydney University, on September 25. "What we do or do not do in the next period will determine the future of the human species and the planet,” he said. The meeting, called "The challenge of the 21st century: Setting the real bottom line”, was sponsored by the Sydney Environment Institute, University of Sydney. It was part of a series of talks and media appearances by Suzuki on his Australian visit.
A new investigation has shed light on Australia’s role in the overthrow of Chilean leftist president Salvador Allende and exposed the continued veil of secrecy surrounding the precise activities of Australian intelligence agents, 40 years on. Allende was elected president in 1970, but was deposed on September 11, 1973 by a US-backed military coup that put General Augusto Pinochet in power. Pinochet remained in power for 17 years, presiding over a regime of terror that left thousands dead or disappeared.
One of the more disturbing images on federal election night was that of Coalition MP-elect Barnaby Joyce welcoming mining magnate Gina Rinehart as the special guest to his election party. Few things could reveal more clearly the strong connection between corporate power and government under Coalition rule. It is worth noting some of the policies that Rinehart is promoting for the Northern Territory because, let’s face it, they are likely to happen. One of her big ideas, which Kevin Rudd adopted before his election defeat, is the creation of a northern Australia tax haven.
The West Papua Freedom Flotilla released this statement on September 25. *** Six West Papuans have fled across the border to Australia after being hunted by Indonesian authorities for taking part in a ceremonial handover of sacred water and ashes from Australian Aboriginal elders. They have been detained by Australian immigration after reaching Boigu Island in Australia on September 24.
Forty-eight hours to send newly arrived refugees back the way they came and a plan to conceal when boats are “turned around” at sea, were among immigration minister Scott Morrison's statements at his first weekly briefing under “Operation Sovereign Borders” on September 23.