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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expelled three United States consular officials from the country due to suspected conspiracy with the right-wing opposition, Venezuela Analysis said on February 17.
The consequences of the inhumane policies by successive Coalition and Labor governments to make life as unbearable as possible for asylum seekers are unfolding on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.
The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Coalition on February 16. *** Report from Manus Island indicate a major protest and breakout has taken place on Manus Island late this afternoon. The most recent reports indicate that the riot squad has been mobilised and that the perimeter fence has been breached. Protests have been building all day, but escalated after a meeting (around 2pm Manus time) was held to answer asylum seeker’s questions about resettlement.
Seaspray locals have pledged to resist resources company Lakes Oil, which has applied to undertake horizontal drilling for tight gas near the Victorian town in East Gippsland. The state government has a moratorium on fracking — hydraulic fracturing underground to release gas held in rocks or coal seams. But it does not apply to horizontal drilling, which in some cases can be enough to release gas from the rock.
At a major speech in parliament on February 12, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government was “serious about Aboriginal policy … no less serious than it is about stopping the boats”. He pledged to close the gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous outcomes in health, education and employment.
The Tony Abbott government has announced another Royal Commission into corruption in building industry unions. But Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Dave Oliver said the terms of reference for this Royal Commission “are narrowly directed at unions and will not adequately deal with corruption or unlawful behaviour by businesses or employers”.
Several hundred residents and supporters rallied in Ashfield Park, in Sydney’s inner west, on February 9 to protest against the WestConnex road development. Rally organisers said: "WestConnex intends to widen Parramatta Road in order to create an entrance to the planned westbound tunnel under Parramatta Road. We stand to lose a 10-20 metre stretch of Ashfield Park. "Ashfield Park may be used as a depot for trucks and heavy machinery for up to seven years. Now is the time to protest."
Bosnia: Uprising helps revive class politics Starting on February 5, mass protests led by workers and retrenched workers in privatised factories, have rocked most major industrial cities in Bosnia, writes Michael Karadjis. Read more. Venezuela: The political economy of inflation and investment strikes
In the general elections held on February 2, 44.7 million people were eligible to vote. On the day, 20.4 million cast their vote. Kasian Tejapira, a lecturer at Thammasat University, has estimated that there were about 12 million people who could not vote due to the right-wing thugs blocking polling stations and using violence to disrupt the election. This indicates there were about 32 million in total who wanted to vote. This compares to 35 million people who voted in 2011.
The statement below was released by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs on February 14. * * * The Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) views with great alarm the violence perpetrated against the democratically elected government and civilians in Venezuela that has resulted, as of February 12, in three confirmed deaths, 61 persons wounded and 69 detained.
From Sortu, left-wing party of supporters of Basque sovereignty, we would like to congratulate Green Left Weekly on publishing 1000 issues to date; a long journey, during which it has provided a truthful coverage of world events. We would like to express our thanks for the attention your publication has paid to news from Euskal Herria (the Basque Country), especially events of recent years, which have created a new political situation in our country and are bringing us closer to a just and lasting peace.
Immigration minister Scott Morrison has circumvented the Senate block of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) by making use of a different type of visa — Temporary Humanitarian Concern visas (subclass 786) (THC). Labor and the Greens blocked Morrison’s attempt to reintroduce TPVs in December when they voted it down in the Senate. Morrison initially tried to cap permanent protection visas in response, but was later forced to lift the cap.
Condemned To The System Nausea Willowtip Records Released January 7, 2014 www.facebook.com/nauseala
Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia, gets its powers from the Reserve Bank Act (1959). Its two primary functions are to ensure the stability of the currency and the provision of full employment. Besides managing Australia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves, it supposedly meets these objectives by setting the cash rate to meet an agreed medium term inflation rate, which is now set at a target band of 2% to 3%.
Sit-ins to support Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been held every week since 1995 in the courtyard of the International Committee of the Red Cross’s Gaza office. Recently, they have been followed by rallies outside the office for Ibrahim Bitar, a sick detainee in Israel’s Nafha prison. Ibrahim’s brother Mamdouh said: “We’ve garnered internal support for my brother, and created this popular campaign. It started within our family. It’s a symbol of all the sick detainees.”
There are some cynics who argue that Tony Abbott is a lying scumbag who wouldn't know the truth if it was tattooed on Rupert Murdoch's arse. Or, to put it another way, if it was right in front of his face. But this is demonstratively false, because Abbott told us in his February 1 YouTube video “Delivering on Our Promises” that “not a single illegal boat has arrived since mid-December”.

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