Issue 1013

Australia

Hundreds of mourners packed St Mary’s Cathedral on June 18 for the funeral of Leo Seemanpillai, who died on June 1 from full thickness burns to 90% of his body after setting himself on fire.

Seemanpillai was a Tamil asylum seeker who was living on a bridging visa in the Victorian town of...

The Environment Centre NT released this statement on June 19.

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The Environment Centre NT welcomes news that the Northern Land Council and the federal government have agreed not to act on the nomination to establish a nuclear waste dump on Aboriginal land at Muckaty.

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Members of the Hazara community held a vigil in Melbourne on June 15 for the victims of the Taftan bombing in Pakistan.The bombing was part of ongoing attacks on Hazara people and Shia Muslims in Pakistan.

Ali Haider, a member of the Hazara community in Melbourne, said: "A bombing took...

Barney Gardner, spokesperson for the Save Millers Point residents action group, told a Sydney forum of more than 100 people on June 14: “The Baird Coalition government is continuing with the policies of [former premier] Barry O'Farrell and [former housing minister] Pru Goward.”

The New...

NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi has initiated the first abortion decriminalisation bill in New South Wales. This long overdue reform aims to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act of 1900.

Faruqi gave notice of a motion she will move when NSW parliament resumes in the second week of...

Moreland council has threatened to divest from any bank that invests in fossil fuel projects.

Since 2008, the big four banks — Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB — have invested $18.8 billion in fossil fuel projects in Australia. Moreland council has traditionally banked with the...

Greens leader Christine Milne is challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election this year over the passage of a renewable energy bill.

Milne said: “The Greens are ready for an election over the prime minister's global warming denial and his brutal budget...

Many people were shocked in January when non-profit development organisation Oxfam released a report that showed that the richest 85 people in the world owned more wealth than half of the world's population.

Within the space of a few months, that number has dropped to just 66.

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About 5000 people protested outside Parliament House in Hobart on June 14 to call for the protection of Tasmania’s World Heritage forests.

The World Heritage Committee unanimously approved the extension of 120,000 hectares of new reserves to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage...


Doug Jordan is arrested during the 1990 tramway strike.

The conference room at the North Melbourne offices of the Electrical Trades Union was packed for a memorial for long-time socialist activist Doug Jordan who died on May 19.

About 130 people attended...

World

Ecuador accused US scientists on June 16 of taking thousands of unauthorised blood samples from indigenous Huaorani and selling them.

The Huaorani are known for a unique genetic profile and disease immunity and the samples are believed to have been sold by the Coriell Institute for...

Thirty-nine months after multiple explosions at the nuclear plant in Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times the normal rate.

More than 48% of about 375,000 young people ― nearly 200,000 kids ― tested by the Fukushima Medical...

“We seek a New Republic with equality and social justice at its core,” Sinn Fein President and member of the Dail (Irish parliament) Gerry Adams said in his June 15 address at the annual Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown, County Kildare.

The address came less than a month after...

Left forces from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus held a two-day anti-war conference near Minsk on June 7 and 8. The conference was organised by participants of internet project “Prasvet” with the support of the Belarus web journal Left.

The aim of the conference was to help...

“FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association,” The Guardian said on June 14, after Argentinian players displayed a banner before a June 8 friendly against Slovenia insisting the Malvinas (known as the Falkland Islands in Britain) belonged to...

At the G77 plus China Summit held in Bolivia that ended on June 15, several Latin American presidents gave public backing to Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. They called for regional unity against an bid for “conservative restoration” under way in the South American country.

The...

Activists from across Venezuela met this month to form the National Communard Council, which aims to coordinate the country’s commune movement and present its demands to the national government.

The council was formed in the western state of Lara during a three-day meeting of about 2000...

When I was travelling from Manila to Australia, I bought a copy of a book to read on the plane. It was Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. Actually, when this book first hit the bookshops, the Philippines went crazy about a small part of the novel that referred to Manila as the “gate of hell...

Dr Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), has been arrested and jailed several times for holding demonstrations and for making public speeches critical of Singapore's ruling People's Action Party (PAP) government.

In 1993,...

General Prayuth Chan-ocha's vile military junta, which seized power in Thailand last month, is playing the nationalistic and racist card.

Hundreds of thousands of workers from Cambodia and Burma are being persecuted and driven out of the country. As usual the junta claims it is “...

Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner refused point blank to go along with a US judge’s ruling requiring a US$1.5 billion repayment of defaulted bonds on June 16.

Earlier that day, the US supreme court had backed vulture capitalist hedge fund NML Capital in its quest to...

US President Barack Obama announced the deployment of 300 special forces troops to Iraq on June 19. It followed a week of denials that the US would respond militarily to the rapid advance toward Baghdad of anti-government forces led by the Sunni fundamentalist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (...

Before returning to the favela (local neighbourhood) Vila Autodromo for the first time since 2012, I had already been told that the community would not look the same. As a friend said to me, “It will resemble a perfect smile with several teeth knocked out.”

Vila Autodromo is...

The five seats and 7.9% won by the new Podemos (“We Can”) ticket in the May 25 European election was an earthquake in Spanish politics.

Podemos was inspired by the indignado movement that exploded across the Spanish state in 2011 against austerity and for “real democracy”. The...

We, the undersigned parties and organisations in the Asia region, condemn the moves by the United States government to impose sanctions on Venezuelan citizens it deems to have “abused human rights”.

The US House of Representatives’ May 28 vote for such sanctions is a violation of the...

Tony Blair was branded a “demented warmonger” on June 15 after the slippery former prime minister tried to rescue his reputation from the embers of the Iraq conflict.

Blair argued in a long essay published on his website that Iraq would be a much worse place today if he had not ordered...

You can follow Dave Zirin's blog from Brazil at The Nation. Democracy Now! transcript:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is entering its fifth day. The United States team will play its first game of the tournament today against Ghana. Meanwhile, protests are continuing on the...

We are currently in Malaysia standing in solidarity with hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who vehemently oppose Australian rare earth miner, Lynas Corporation and their highly toxic and radioactive rare earth refinery plant near this city of 600,000 people.

On June 22 ("622" as the...

More than a decade after the most contested military intervention of modern times, the fall of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, to Islamic fundamentalists ISIS, underlines the disastrous consequences of the Bush-Blair war in Iraq.

As Iraq disintegrates, Barack Obama's statement that he...

WikiLeaks cables released on June 9 shed new light on the United States' role in the Bagua Massacre in Peru on June 5, 2009.

The cables suggest then-US ambassador Michael McKinley may have encouraged the Peruvian government to use force against protesters in an operation that cost 10...

Analysis

An opinion poll showing that only 24% of Victorians support the government's flagship road project, the East West Link, has sent shockwaves through the Victorian government.

The Age/Nielsen poll, published on March 2, also showed the Metro Rail project has double the amount of...

The revolution might not be televised, but you can see the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption proceedings live-streamed into your lounge room.

Such is the overwhelming public demand for riveting daytime televised reality shows that the commission is competing...

When Muckaty traditional owners first heard about a proposed waste dump on their land seven years ago, it didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Many thought it was a general rubbish tip that would recycle, sell reclaimed materials and provide work opportunities for people living in the...

To summarise the NSW Coalition state budget announced on June 17: Sell off public electricity assets; build more private roads.

This first budget from new Premier Mike Baird is in line with the drive led by the federal government to privatise all remaining public enterprises in the...

So apparently there is a crisis in Iraq. Really, who could have predicted this? Who among us could possibly have guessed a full-scale invasion and occupation of the country, destruction of its infrastructure and society leading directly to the deaths of at least 1 million people could...

Much of the public debate on the Senate “blocking supply” suggests that it is an all or nothing tactic. However this is not the case. The Senate can carefully cherry-pick the elements in the budget that it demands be amended and force the Abbott government to either accept those amendments or...

More than half a million Iraqis have been displaced and hundreds killed after the fall of Iraq's second largest city of Mosul to Islamic fundamentalists. But even as the crisis in Iraq dramatically worsens, Australia is refusing to offer any reprieve for the thousands of Iraqi refugees in its...

Union activists have written an open letter to Victoria Trades Hall Council calling for a state-wide delegates meeting to organise a strike to bust the budget.

A similar petition has been launched in NSW, calling on Unions NSW to organise a mass delegates meeting to plan for a stop work...

Prime minister Tony Abbott chalked up his first budget win on June 17 when the 2% “levy” on high income earners passed both houses of parliament. The next day, the Greens trumpeted the emergence of a double dissolution “trigger” when the Senate rejected the bill to abolish the Clean Energy...

Jo di Pietro gave the following speech to a “bust the budget” meeting organised by Unions NSW in Sydney on June 12.

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I am a technical officer in the NSW Public Health laboratories at Lidcombe (otherwise called FASS) and a proud member of the Health...

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on June 19.

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The US, Australia and other partners-in-crime in the more than a decade-long war on Iraq must not be allowed to use the latest conflicts in that country to increase their military intervention in the region.

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Culture

Where No Doctor Has Gone Before: Cuba’s Place in the Global Health Landscape
By Robert Huish
Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2013
Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla
By David Kilcullen
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The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler
Ben Urwand
Belknap, 2013
327 pages, $39.95 (hb)

Throughout the 1930s, movie-goers all over the world got to see the German Nazi’s cut of every Hollywood film. Any movie touching on Germany...

Even if you have no interest in football and have never watched a single game before now, this is the time to accept that all of us, including you, should hate Sepp Blatter.

Partly this is because recent investigations, which have taken years to complete, show that he's repulsive. He may...

The Merry Grinchmas Mixtape
MC Bunz
Released December 25, 2013
Free download

When Glen Anderson was playing sport with his schoolfriends, he was suddenly surrounded by police who ordered him to lay flat on the ground.

"I was playing...