Issue 983

Australia

The infamous front page of Rupert Murdoch's Daily Telegraph on August 5, screaming “KICK THIS MOB OUT” in reference to Kevin Rudd's Labor government, reminded many of the role the media play in politics.

Most of the corporate media, including Murdoch's empire, actively advocates...

The third Swan Island Peace Convergence was held in Queenscliff, Victoria from September 22 to 26. About 50 peace activists from around the country converged in Queenscliff with the aim to blockade the top secret Swan Island Military Base.

The military base on Swan Island is used as a...

"We are at a critical point in human history," prominent Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki told an audience of about 500 people at a public forum at Sydney University, on September 25.

"What we do or do not do in the next period will determine the future of the human species and the...

NSW parliament narrowly voted down a September 17 motion to discipline Liberal MLC Peter Phelps over comments he made in parliament defending General Augusto Pinochet’s violent military coup against Chile’s president Salvador Allende in 1973.

Members of the Chilean community have vowed...

The West Papua Freedom Flotilla released this statement on September 25.

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Six West Papuans have fled across the border to Australia after being hunted by Indonesian authorities for taking part in a ceremonial handover of sacred water and ashes from Australian Aboriginal elders...

Refuge groups are concerned for the welfare and security of seven West Papuan asylum seekers flown overnight from Horn Island to Port Moresby.

The seven who arrived in Boigu Island in the Torres Starit on September 25 are fleeing Indonesian military and police.

One West Papuan...

As a huge fan, I'm really disappointed to hear that, despite looking at the situation closely, Amanda Palmer has decided to cross the picket line of the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and organise a gig in Tel Aviv.

I had the honour for the first time of rocking out...

World

The “peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians that began with the signing of accords in Oslo, Norway, 20 years ago last month was widely celebrated at the time as an important step toward establishing a “viable Palestinian state”.

But in the two decades since, the Palestinian...

This month's battles over the budget and the Tea Party Republicans' fanaticism about the health care law obscure the two parties' common commitment to austerity, the US Socialist Worker said in an October 1 editorial. It is posted below.

* * *

The federal government officially...

The U.N. Sustainable Development Solutions Network has released its World Happiness Report for 2013.

Following up on the first such report, released last year, the U.N. says that the 2013 edition, "delves in more detail into the analysis of the global happiness data, examining trends...

More workers will die for World Cup than players will play

“'More workers will die building World Cup infrastructure than players will take to the field,' predicts Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation [on the 2022 World Cup in...

An international solidarity campaign has been launched after United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki Moon derecognised unions representing the groups's 65,000 workers.

Unions have been seeking greater protection for members undertaking increasingly dangerous missions. Most are united in...

A group of West Papuan asylum seekers arrived in Australia on September 24, defying the Australian government and potentially raising already high tensions between Australia and Indonesia over asylum seekers.

The group of West Papuans includes six adults and a child. It has been reported...

Washington’s refusal to allow Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro to over-fly its colony of Puerto Rico on September 19 attracted little attention in the North American and European media.

But in Latin America this arrogant gesture drew immediate outrage. It recalled the July 2 denial...

The New Zealand government is rushing through the sale of Meridian Energy for NZ$1 billion less than the $3.1 billion needed to reach its goal of raising at least $5 billion from asset sales.

It is moving ahead wit the sale widespread public opposition and criticism ranging from...

During a visit to New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino joined independent media outlet Democracy now! on September 23 to discuss his government’s involvement in two closely watched environmental legal...

Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced on September 20 that the US has seemingly denied visas to a delegation set to travel to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, RT.com said the next day. The Ecuadorians were planning to present their case in an ongoing dispute against Chevron-Texaco...

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released its latest scientific report (alternative link) that looks at what the world’s top experts understand about climate change. The review takes years to complete, and will be used for years as a vital resource for climate science.

...

The logic of terrorism is violent political theatre ― the aim is not just to inflict harm but to be widely noticed inflicting harm.

From this perspective, the Somali militia al Shabaab’s September 21 seizure of the upmarket Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and massacre of at...

Bangladesh police have used batons, rubber bullets and tear gas in a bid to stop ongoing protests by garment workers demanding higher wages.

But the fifth day of protests in two industrial districts near the capital Dhaka, on September 25, forced the closure more than 100 factories for...

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first installment of its fifth assessment report (AR5) on climate change in Stockholm on September 27.

Around the world, environmental groups, experts and activists reacted to the findings. They highlighted the response...

“Arthur's Day”, that ingenious marketing campaign thought up in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of the Guinness brewing company and to raise further sales of “the black stuff”, will be celebrated most of all by executives, sales teams and shareholders on September 26.

According to...

Kenya has begun three days of mourning for at least 67 people killed in the siege of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. The death count could still rise if more bodies are found in the rubble of the mall’s three floors. The Somali militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack,...

The Tamil National Alliance won an overwhelming majority in the Northern Provincial Council elections held on September 21. TNA leader C. V. Wigneswaran is expected to become chief minister of the Northern Province, a predominantly Tamil area in the north of the island of Sri Lanka.

The...

The most important anniversary of the year was the 40th anniversary of September 11, 1973 — the crushing of the democratic government of Chile by General Augusto Pinochet and Henry Kissinger, then US secretary of state.

The National Security Archive in Washington has posted new documents...

Analysis

Tony Abbott’s government will be a dangerous time for women in Australia unless we can unite and struggle together to win a better future.

Abbott is known for his conservative views about women. His party is responsible for a range of policies and programs that have punished, isolated...

Alexa O'Brien has become known as a "one-woman court record system" for her extensive coverage of whistleblower Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning's trial. She has also covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, the Guantanamo Files, the global "war on terror" and the Arab...

Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional free-trade agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in...

One of the more disturbing images on federal election night was that of Coalition MP-elect Barnaby Joyce welcoming mining magnate Gina Rinehart as the special guest to his election party. Few things could reveal more clearly the strong connection between corporate power and government under...

A new investigation has shed light on Australia’s role in the overthrow of Chilean leftist president Salvador Allende and exposed the continued veil of secrecy surrounding the precise activities of Australian intelligence agents, 40 years on.

Allende was elected president in 1970, but...

Schools across Western Australia were shut down by a statewide stop-work on September 17, called to fight education funding cuts proposed by the state Liberal government.

About 500 education assistants are set to lose their jobs. A change in the school staffing formula also means that...

1. GM FOODS WON’T SOLVE THE FOOD CRISIS

A 2008 World Bank report concluded that increased biofuel production is the major cause of the rise in food prices. GM giant Monsanto has been at the heart of the lobbying for biofuels (crops grown for fuel rather than food) —...

Forty-eight hours to send newly arrived refugees back the way they came and a plan to conceal when boats are “turned around” at sea, were among immigration minister Scott Morrison's statements at his first weekly briefing under “Operation Sovereign Borders” on September 23.

Morrison said...

Culture

A Dose Of Reality
Eskatology
September 2013
Download free here
www.eskatology.com

On his latest EP, A Dose Of Reality, Adelaide-based emcee Eskatology raps about the refugees he works with.

"I've worked with many refugees...

Freeloading: How Our Insatiable Hunger For Free Content Starves Creativity
Chris Ruen
Scribe
2011, audiobook coming soon
www.chrisruen.com

Chris Ruen reckons he is already seeing results from his anti-music piracy book, ...

Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life
Jonathan Sperber
Liveright Publishing, 2013

In life, Karl Marx lived a tumultuous, revolutionary life. His death, too, has been less than tranquil.

Alive, he was the best hated man in Europe. For the...

Groggy
Art exhibition by Todd Williams & Therese Ritchie
Northern Centre for Contemporary Art
Viney Lane, Darwin
Until October 12

“My name is Chips Mackinolty and I am an alcoholic …

“Everyone assumes that grog is an...

Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

Britain: Left unity — 'a party to dream of'

English left-wing activist and author Mike Marqusee writes: “I’m one of the thousands who signed up to the Left Unity appeal issued by Ken Loach in March to discuss the formation of a new party of the left. I did so because...