Issue 779

Australia

Australia is already the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita in the world. Even more worrying is that the nation's emissions continue to spiral out of control.

The Greenhouse Indicator Report was released by the Climate Group on January 13. It found that Australia's...

The following is abridged from a call for a convergence in Canberra on the opening day of federal parliament, February 3, to say 'no' to racism and demand justice for Aboriginal Australia.

Aboriginal Australia still waits for human rights.

Aboriginal people are 13 times more...

The incumbent ALP faction has scraped back in to retain control of the 43,000-strong NSW Public Service Association (PSA) after elections held on December 5.

General secretary John Cahill was returned with a much-reduced margin, receiving 4901 votes to the Progressive PSA's (PPSA) Anne...

Environmental activists and climate action groups from across Australia are joining together for a Climate Action Summit in Canberra from January 31 to February 3.

The organisers' aims for the summit are to make the grassroots movement against climate change in Australia more coherent and...

Activists from the National Union of Students, University of Western Sydney, University of NSW, University of Technology, Ultimo TAFE and University of Sydney have established a cross-campus collective to oppose Israel's attack on Gaza.

The first meeting of the new Cross-Campus Gaza...

The refugee policy of the Kevin Rudd Labor government has been slammed in a new report released by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The report criticises the government for failing to implement all of the changes it has previously announced. In particular, it highlights that the...

Aboriginal activists launched a "peace walk" on January 9 from Sydney to the steps of Parliament House in Canberra in protest against the continuation of the NT intervention and the mining of nuclear materials on Aboriginal land — policies that they label "Rudd's betrayal of Aboriginal people...

Indigenous people living in remote communities in northern and central Australia will be among the hardest hit by climate change, according to an article in the Medical Journal of Australia on January 5.

"Elevated temperatures and increases in hot spells are expected to be a...

On January 5, federal environment minister Peter Garrett delayed final approval for the Gunns' Tamar Valley pulp mill in Tasmania, rejecting three modules of the environmental assessment while approving nine others.

Garrett said that it would have been "entirely inappropriate" to approve...

Protests against the Israel's ongoing military assault and siege on Gaza have continued across Australia as the Palestinian death toll mounts.

By January 18 — 22 days after Israel began its brutal attack — more than 1200 Palestinians had been killed, including more than 400 children. At...

The Federal Labor government has decided to push ahead with major changes to Indigenous welfare despite outrage from affected Aboriginal communities.

On December 19, Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin announced that Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) would be...

Twenty seven environmental activists have been arrested for blockading a planned forestry road after a police raid on January 12.

Activists based at Camp Florentine, popularly known as "Camp Flozza", have been campaigning to protect the pristine forests of the Upper Florentine in Tasmania...

Six Filipino workers were sacked in December without reason by the John Holland Group from a major Queensland construction project.

The six Filipinos had paid thousands of dollars to an immigration agent in Manila for jobs in Australia. They were sponsored under the Australian 457...

A group of Victorian trade unions have sought legal advice on the possibility of lodging a complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) against the ALP federal government.

According to the December 27 Australian, the unions, which include the Electrical Trades Union (ETU),...

World

We have to state and repeat it: we are not witnessing a war in Gaza, but a massacre carried out by the third largest air force in the world against a defenceless civilian population.

We have to state and repeat it: the massacre in Gaza is not a "disproportionate" reaction to the rockets...

The January 14 announcement by the Sri Lankan government that its forces had completed the capture of the Jaffna Peninsular, effectively bringing all of the historic Tamil nation in Sri Lanka's north-east under military occupation, was a grim reminder that the Israeli assault on the Gaza ghetto...

On January 2, after five months of fighting, the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) finally captured the town of Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka.

Kilinochchi had for many years been the administrative centre for areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group fighting for...

Fresh evidence of ongoing US subversion in Venezuela came to light following a January 8 secret meeting held in Puerto Rico between right-wing political leaders, a media baron and representatives from the US embassy in Venezuela.

Called to discuss their ongoing campaign against the...

"Say what they like, the new Sambil is not going ahead", Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on December 23.

He was responding to the reaction to his decision, announced on his weekly television program Alo Presidente on December 21, that the almost completed giant Sambil...

On January 11, up to 80,000 people braved freezing temperatures in Berlin to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the murder of socialist revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.

Led by the left-wing party Die Linke, participants laid thousands of red carnations on the graves of...

Bolivian President Evo Morales has declared the Andean nation to be free from illiteracy, according to a December 22 Granma report.

This makes Bolivia the third Latin American nation to eradicate illiteracy, after Cuba and Venezuela — both of whom assisted Bolivia in running the...

"We want to believe we are safe here … but the bottom line is that I've lost confidence in the Israeli side and that needs to be restored urgently, and it is their duty to restore this confidence", United National Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) head John Ging told AP on January 13.

It...

On January 1, 2009, the small island nation of Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of a revolution that overthrew a brutal dictatorship and set Cuba on its long and often complicated road towards socialism.

Worldwide, the media reports combined standard distortions and lies on the...

According to recent Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) figures, another 40 million people were pushed into poverty and hunger in 2008 as a result of spiralling food prices. he total number of people suffering hunger and malnutrition has reached 963 million worldwide.

While the prices...

Around 6 million signatures, in support of a referendum to amend Venezuela's constitution and allow all elected public officials to stand for indefinite re-election, were handed over to the National Assembly on January 16.

Such an amendment would allow current president, Hugo Chavez, to...

The statement below was issued on January 15 by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network (AVSN). For more information, visit http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org. Since this statement was released, the Ecuadorian government of President Rafael Correa has condemned Israel's "crimes against...

Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a political science professor at Thailand's Chulalongkorn University and a well-known socialist activist, has been ordered to appear at a Bangkok police station to be charged under the country's stiff laws for insulting the country's monarch.

Ungpakorn, an activist...

Citizens across Cuba have thronged the streets of cities and towns to welcome the "Caravan of Liberty", a convoy of trucks and buses retracing the path of Fidel Castro and the victorious fighters of the Rebel Army, after the declaration of the defeat of the Batista dictatorship on January 1,...

The below article is an abridged update released by the Committees in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) on January 12. The full article can be found at http://www.cispes.org.

A father and son, both activists of the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN...

"When the truth is replaced by silence", the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, "the silence is a lie".

It may appear the silence is broken on Gaza. The cocoons of murdered children, wrapped in green, together with boxes containing their dismembered parents and the cries of grief...

On January 1, US drones pounded Waziristan in Pakistan's north-western tribal areas, killing five people.

It was an obnoxious new year message to Pakistan (reiterated on January 2, leaving three dead): 2009 would be no different from 2008.

"In 2008, US attacked tribal areas and...

Analysis

The traditional holiday season was cut short for the activists who produce and distribute Green Left Weekly - the Israeli government's latest genocidal war on the Palestinian people in Gaza made certain of that.

We scrambled to help organise emergency protests around the country...

Green Left Weekly's Zane Alcorn spoke to Sally Corbett, chairperson of the No Tillegra Dam group, which is seeking to have Hunter Water reverse their 2006 decision to build a dam comparable in size to Sydney Harbour near Dungog, about...

Rosa Luxemburg, one of the great figures of the socialist movement, was callously murdered in Berlin on January 15, 1919.

By cruelly smashing her brains out with a rifle butt, the German social democrats who ordered her killing silenced one of the socialist movement's most articulate...

The Indigenous community at Mona Mona, a former mission near Kuranda, 30 kilometres west of Cairns, are continuing their remarkable four-decade-long occupation.

The Queensland government announced on December 9 that it would not replace housing or build new infrastructure at Mona Mona....

January 26 is the first Invasion Day (Australia Day) since the federal Labor government made the official apology recognising the wrongs suffered by the Stolen Generations - the Aboriginal children forcibly removed from their families and lands.

The inequality between Aboriginal and non-...

Alice Springs, the heart and pulse of Australia. While that is true in terms of location, few Australians know very much about their heart.

Alice is a harsh but strikingly beautiful place, full of spectacular rocky outcrops, gaps and red, red dust, and not far from a mammoth rock. It is a...

If authoritative, peer-reviewed science suddenly found obesity or smoking to be twice as lethal as earlier believed, would the news be all over the media? Of course it would.

But a doubling of the likely impacts of greenhouse gas emissions? That, it seems, is not important enough for...

Watershed Victoria is an environmental organisation dedicated to the campaign against the proposed desalination plant at Wonthaggi in Victoria, and for a sustainable water policy. Watershed's Chris Heislers spoke to Green Left Weekly's Katherine Bradstreet...

News of a pending pay claim by Alcoa power plant workers in Western Australia has unleashed a flurry of indignant calls for wage restraint from corporate media outlets, bosses and the federal government alike.

The workers are asking for annual pay rises of 5-10% as part of a new...

Editorial

The January 15 bombing with white phosphorous of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency that housed hundreds of refugees and humanitarian aid was not an isolated incident.

Israel bombed civilian areas for 22 days continually until unilaterally declaring a cease-fire on January 18 that...

Letters

Israel's carnage

Once again, well done for your coverage of Israel's treatment of another set of human beings.

Many people seem to be a bit credulous and have fallen for the Exclusive Jewish state's public relations campaign in the period leading up to the attack on civilians....

Resistance!

On January 15, around 25 homeless students and supporters marched on the administration building of the University of Melbourne. They carried mattresses and bedding, having been evicted from their houses two days earlier in a pre-dawn raid.

Those evicted have continued to sleep outside...

Culture

The competitive frenzy for winning in sports has been fuelled by aggressive marketing.

Together they ensure that while a minority is trained with superlative sports facilities, the majority is deprived of even basic amenities to play and breathe fresh air.

In India, market forces...

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Directed by Scott Derrickson, starring Keanu Reaves & Jennifer Connelly

Screening in cinemas Connelly

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Directed by Robert Wise, starring Michael Rennie...

I never knew death until I saw the bombing of a refugee camp

Craters filled with disfigured ankles and splattered torsos

But no sign of a face, the only impression a fading scream

I never understood pain

Until a seven-year-old girl clutched my hand...