Issue 799

Australia

Environmental author and commentator Clive Hamilton first compiled a list of Australia's top greenhouse mafia dons in 2006.

The 12 included the Western Mining CEO Hugh Morgan, editor-in-chief of the Australian Chris Mitchell and the then prime minister John Howard.

But...

One hundred New South Wales TAFE teachers packed the hall outside Wollongong Labor MP Noreen Hay's office on June 17 to reject new plans from the Department of Education and Training (DET) to change TAFE teachers conditions.

The stop-work meeting followed a DET proposal to increase the...

Climate activists in Newcastle, already the world's biggest coal port, have been campaigning to stop a planned upgrade. The upgrade will double the port's coal export capacity and worsen climate change, they say.

The June 14 Sydney Morning Herald revealed that the new coal port...

A seminar at NSW Parliament House on June 16 discussed the current dire situation for Tamils in Sri Lanka and the need for the Rudd Labor government to step up and help protect human rights there.

A seminar at NSW Parliament House on June 16 discussed the current dire situation for Tamils...

Below is a statement from the Sydney G20 Solidarity Collective.

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Trials of the three remaining arrestees from the anti-G20 demonstrations in Melbourne 2006 will begin on June 30 at the Melbourne Magistrate's Court. We urge people to come to Melbourne to show their support and...

In the wake of the inquest into the shocking death in custody of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, more than 1000 people rallied in Perth in rainy weather on June 20. Ward was roasted in a prison van on a four-hour journey on a 42ºC day.

The rally was widely supported by members of local...

The Victorian government released plans on June 17 to expand Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary for new housing developments. This overturns previous commitments in its "Melbourne 2030" strategy for limited urban sprawl.

The announcement has been criticised widely. Michael Buxton, former...

Victorian paramedics began industrial action on June 19, after enterprise bargaining negotiations with the state government broke down following a year of discussions. A ballot returned 94% support for industrial action.

Paramedics decided they would not participate in clinical trials or...

Residents group Friends of Banyule staged a protest on June 20 outside a meeting with state roads minister Tim Pallas. The meeting was an information session about the proposed freeway link between the Eastern Freeway and the Western Ring Road.

The group opposes the freeway because it...

World

Dr George Tiller, one of only three US doctors currently performing late-term abortions, was gunned down while acting as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas on May 31.

He was the fifth abortion doctor murdered in the US. Some abortion clinic staffers have also been killed and many...

The article below is abridged from Tamilnet.com

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Japan's Special Envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, said on June 11 that Colombo "has lots to do" to improve the conditions of those living in the overcrowded camps in the north, where there are shortages of food, water,...

With the Maoists no longer heading up the government, the Nepalese elites have collectively let out a sigh of relief.

As they see it, they had a nasty scare but now those pesky revolutionaries have been dealt with. The elites feel they can go back to "the good old days" of bureaucracy,...

Here's something you won't hear from the corporate media: Cuba's human rights record was examined by the United Nation's Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and the country came out looking pretty good.

There was a great deal of praise, some constructive criticism and relatively few...

On June 15, the US Supreme Court ruled against reviewing the case of the Cuban Five. The five men have been in US jails since 1998 for their role in spying on behalf of the Cuban government on right-wing anti-Cuban terrorist groups operating in Miami.

The five, Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon...

Since the June 12 Iranian presidential election, and the almost immediate announcement of a landslide victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran has been convulsed by mass protests alleging electoral fraud.

Despite savage repression, including mass arrests, beatings of protesters,...

I interviewed Patria Jimenez in Coyoacan's normally bustling markets. The onset of the swine flu crisis had emptied the streets.

Jimenez ignored swine-flu protocol and greeted me warmly.

In 1997, Jimenez made history by being elected the first openly lesbian member of Mexico's...

Mericio Juvinal dos Reis, or Akara as he is commonly known, is the executive director of Luta Hamutuk, a non-government organisation based in Dili, East Timor. Akara was an international guest at the World at a Cross Roads conference, hosted by Green Left Weekly, held in Sydney in April.

...

The Salvadoran community media has always been different — alternative in the most hard-core sense of the word.

A strong alternative cultural tradition is represented in names that have become household words in this country, such as Roque Dalton, the tragic poet laureate of the...

Venezuelanalysis.com is one of the main sources of news and analysis in English on the revolutionary process in Venezuela. The following an abridged appeal for badly needed funds has been issued by its staff, Gregory Wilpert, Tamara Pearson and James Suggett. In order to help it to continue to...

"Under the influence of your company, the Papua New Guinea government has imposed a virtual state of emergency in Porgera", Jethro Tulin, from the Atali Tange Association (ATA) of the Porgera Valley in Papua New Guinea, said at the annual general meeting of Barrick Gold in Toronto on April 29....

Analysis

"Some may be disappointed in some parts of this bill", deputy prime minister and workplace relations minister Julia Gillard told parliament on June 17.

She was introducing legislation to amend the Building and Construction Industry Improvement Act (BCIIA) and replace the Australian...

Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim introduced a private members bill on May 26. If passed, it will legalise euthanasia in the state.

When introducing the "Dying with Dignity Bill" to the state parliament, McKim said: "It's time for the law to reflect the values of compassion, respect for...

"Tasers are not the 'non-lethal' weapons the QPS [Queensland Police Service] leadership claims", former state MP and former police officer Peter Pyke told the media in April. He predicted a Queenslander would die in 2009 from a Taser.

He was tragically proven right with the death of a...

The NSW budget was handed down on June 16. NSW state treasurer Eric Roozendaal tried to spin it as a "beacon of hope" for the state.

If this claim rests on anything at all it is based on his prediction that the NSW budget will be back in the black in 2011-12. Roozendaal said it was a...

On June 15, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) raised the rate of its standard variable mortgage by 0.1%. For home buyers with the typical $300,000 mortgage, this means repayments go up by $18 a month.

Westpac and the National Australia Bank (NAB) both followed with rises to their...

Citing the dubious need for Queensland to keep its AAA credit rating, on June 2 Premier Anna Bligh announced the state would sell off $15 billion of public assets.

Despite huge opposition from the community, trade unions and within Bligh's own party, her ALP government has made...

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) — representing Australia's largest 100 corporations — has called for a higher consumption tax and for the company tax to be halved. It did so in a submission to the federal government's review of taxation (the Henry review) made public on June 14

It...

Aboriginal residents living in remote communities in the Northern Territory have condemned the government's "consultation" about the NT intervention as farcical.

The Rudd Labor government said on May 21 it would reinstate the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). The act was suspended by the...

We would have loved for them to be bigger, but the June 13 national climate rallies were an unmistakable step forward for the climate action movement. More than 11,000 rallied nationally, making them the largest climate actions yet in the era of PM Kevin Rudd.

The protests' key demands to...

Despite widespread opposition, forest giant Gunns Ltd is still pressing ahead with its proposed pulp mill in the pristine Tamar Valley in northern Tasmania. But the campaign against it shows no signs of going away.

Recently, Gunns told its shareholders it will have a new joint venture...

Saharawi refugee and preschool teacher Fetim Sellami is a central character in the Australian documentary Stolen, a film set in the refugee camps in south-west Algeria that have been home to 165,000 Saharawi refugees since their country, Western Sahara, was invaded by Morocco in 1975...

"I would have been concerned if it was a dog or some other animal who died in those conditions, but since it was only a black-fella …"

This was one comment was made to a campaigner for Aboriginal rights in a discussion of the case of Mr Ward — an Aboriginal elder killed in custody in 2008...

The Rudd government will send a 40-member delegation, led by deputy prime minister Julia Gillard, to an "Australia Israel Leadership Forum" in Jerusalem on June 25-26. The government's decision is yet further confirmation of its desire to outdo the former Howard government in blind support for...

In May, visiting US ecologist Bill McKibben spoke at a packed forum at the University of Sydney. He put a compelling case for emergency action on climate change. In short, we must act now and act decisively. Otherwise the planet will become uninhabitable.

McKibben is a prolific writer,...

Letters

End US blockade of Cuba

Having been a recent visitor to both Miami and Cuba may I congratulate the American press on its commitment to free speech and the lively debate both pro and against lifting the embargo on Cuba.

The plea [from Bob Staltman, president of...

General

A visitor from Mars would have scratched their head raw about what big business is allowed to get away with in this country — especially by so-called Labor governments.

•June 15, 2009: Ben Cubby, the Sydney Morning Heralds environment reporter, wrote:

"A new coal port...

Resistance!

Jess Moore, Socialist Alliance member and national coordinator of Resistance, gave the following speech to the June 13 Wollongong Climate Emergency Rally.

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According to Sydney Morning Herald columnist Miranda Divine, on June 13, "the real religious nutters...

The following article is based on a talk given to the Wollongong Climate Emergency Rally on June 13 by Vanessa Organo. Organo is the environment representative at Wollongong University Students' Association and a member of Resistance.

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Young people are the...

Culture

In Search of Bony — Explores how Arthur Upfield came to create the unique and highly controversial fictional hero, Aboriginal detective Napoleon Bonaparte. SBS1, Friday, June 26, 2.30pm.

Message Stick: Intervention — Two years ago, the...

State of Play

Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Written by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Tony Gilroy

With Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn, Helen Mirren

In cinemas

State of Play is a taut...

In proof that Fela Anikulapo Kuti's radical legacy continues long after his death, Nigerian government authorities shut down his night club, Afrika Shrine, in Lagos on May 26.

Fela Kuti, who died in 1997, was a thorn in the side of Nigeria's many military governments. He ran for president...

Marvel Divas

Written by Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa

Marvel Comics, 2009

The Marvel Universe, the creative world of comic-book company Marvel Comics, contains supernatural beings, alien races, a lot of bad guys and, of course, the iconic...