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Ireland's historic abortion vote has fuelled calls for reform in the island's North, with Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald saying it was time for the six counties to adopt the same legislation. The six counties that make up the Northern Ireland statelet are still controlled by Britain, although British laws governing abortion does not apply and abortion remains illegal.

Ireland, one of Europe's most socially conservative countries, has voted by a landslide to liberalise the world's most restrictive abortion laws, Common Dreams noted.

French police and protesters clashed in Paris on May 22 after unions — angered by years of public-sector pay cuts and President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms — urged state employees to stop work and join nationwide street protests.

Riot police charged at protesters with batons in central Paris, firing stun grenades and tear gas. Police said 20 demonstrators were arrested.

The demonstration was called by the large labour unions plus many smaller ones, and involved the organisation of street rallies in about 140 cities, towns and villages across France.

Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza responded forcefully to the latest round of US sanctions, which follow hard on the heels of socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro’s electoral victory on May 20.

“There is no unilateral measure, no pressure from any foreign power that can intimidate the Venezuelan people,” the top diplomat stated.

As Ireland prepares for its referendum today, May 25, on repealing the constitutional amendment prohibiting free, safe, legal abortion, women and health workers in Rojava, the largely Kurdish area in Syria's north, have expressed their solidarity with Irish women’s right to choose.

With the exception of the Vatican state and Malta, Ireland has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. It exceeds Saudi Arabia and Qatar in its restrictions on women’s rights to basic reproductive health.

Even before Venezuela’s May 20 presidential vote had taken place, the United States —headed by a president who lost the popular vote in an electoral system that systematically disenfranchises millions of poor and non-white voters — rejected the elections as “neither free nor fair”.

The Lima Group, a coalition of 13 right-wing Latin American countries plus Canada, also refused to recognise the results. Among its members are:

In recent days, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have once again been ratcheting up their clash of the colonisers, writes Marcel Cartier.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office in February from Jacob Zuma, is facing a rebellion within the union movement over proposed changes to the labour laws.

Haidar Eid is an associate professor of English literature at Al Aqsa University in Gaza. He and his students joined the Great March of Return protests near the Israeli border. Eid’s statement below was read out at the Socialist Alliance’s May 18 screening of the Palestinian film The Wanted 18 in Geelong.

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We, the victims of a multi-tiered system of oppression, occupation, colonisation and apartheid, are fighting on behalf of the international community for the rule of law.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has put data harvesting in the spotlight, but Tom Walker writes that the problem goes far beyond Facebook.

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