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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, 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.
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 that “not a single illegal boat has arrived since mid-December”.
As a 65-year-old Afghan Hazara man fights to avoid deportation, refugee rights advocates grow increasingly alarmed by reported “round ups” of hundreds of asylum seekers who are being threatened with imminent deportation. Immigration minister Scott Morrison confirmed last month that the government was re-detaining people who had been denied refugee status and have apparently exhausted their appeals. Refugees reported from detention centres across Australia that those who have been “screened out” were being told to pack up and prepare to be removed.
The Basque political prisoner Arkaitz Bellon was found dead in his jail cell on February 5, more than 1000 kilometres from his home. The body of the prisoner from Elorrio, who was 36, was found in his bed. Jail authorities say “his death points to natural causes”, but they will carry out a more detailed investigation. Bellon's lawyers and family have petitioned for a doctor they trust to be present at the autopsy. Bellon spent 13 years in prison for acts of sabotage and had the date for his release was set for next May.
A new opinion poll shows left-wing opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy by 1.5%, on February 12. The survey showed SYRIZA leading with 30% support. A poll published in January put SYRIZA at 31.5% and New Democracy at 28%.
"February 14 is celebrated as a day of of love by many people, but for us it is a day of grief" said one of the Aboriginal speakers at the start of the rally and march to mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of Aboriginal youth TJ Hickey in a police pursuit in Redfern. The protest began at the spot in where TJ was impaled on a fence after being thrown off his bicycle. The Hickey family, including mother Gail, where out in force. "Its been 10 long years but I am not giving up the fight," she said. Photos below by Peter Boyle
The letter below was published at , where you can go to add your name. * * * TO: President Adly Mansour; Prime Minister Hazem el Beblawi. We the undersigned, condemn the Egyptian government’s arrest, detention and torture of activists exercising their right to legally and peacefully protest.
As approaches its 1000th issue, more than 20 years after it first hit the streets, we will be looking back at some of the campaigns it has covered and its role as an alternative source of news. This week we look at climate change. *** When Green Left Weekly first hit the streets in 1991, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica was the biggest climate-related worry for most people. Twenty-three years later, most people accept that climate change is, to quote Kevin Rudd, the biggest moral challenge of our generation.
A rupture of the TransCanada PipeLines (TCPL) gas line occurred in the middle of the night on January 25 near the village of Otterburne. A huge fireball erupted into the night sky and burned for many hours. The explosion tore a large crater in the ground. Several thousand homes in 10 small communities were left without gas heating during temperatures that dipped to minus 30C. It took days for full service to be restored. The pipeline brings gas from Alberta to the US across the Manitoba-Minnesota international border. It feeds parts of southern Manitoba along the way.
A farmer from Wyoming, who featured in the documentary Gasland, is touring Australia to warn locals about the health and environmental consequences of fracking for coal seam gas (CSG). John Fenton will speak about his experience of living with polluted ground water, polluted air and other effects of the gas industry. Fenton’s first meeting will be on February 22 in Sydney and will include 10 meetings in areas most affected by CSG mining, including regional NSW, Brisbane, Wollongong and Melbourne.
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”.
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 . Venezuela: The political economy of inflation and investment strikes

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