Drugs of modernity – Amphetamines

The use of the drug ice in Australia is said to be at “epidemic'' levels. There is nothing new in this claim for both Australia and much of the rest of the world.

Epidemics have accompanied the use and misuse of stimulants since the late-19th century. John Rainford traces that history in the second of this three-part series.

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AEU Victoria wins landmark laptop case

The Australian Education Union (AEU) Victoria has won millions of dollars back-payment for more than 40,000 Victorian teachers and principals in a landmark case decided on November 6.

The Federal Court found the Victorian government made unlawful deductions from teachers’ and principals’ salaries in contravention of the Fair Work Act, by requiring them to pay for access to the Education Department’s laptops directly out of wages.

Big Steps: Early childhood workers campaign for professional wages

Early childhood educators and supporters have been gathering in cities across Australia during November, calling for pay increases that reflect the professional nature of the early childhood education and care sector. United Voice, the union that represents these mostly female workers, is running the “Big Steps: Value Our Future” campaign for professional wages.

Portugal: With anti-austerity deal, left throws out right-wing gov't

Union-organised demonstration outside Portugal's parliament on November 10.

A coalition of the parties of the Portuguese left — the Socialist Party (PS), the Left Bloc, the Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (PEV) — won a motion of no-confidence in the parliament on November 10.

The motion brought down the short-lived Portugal Ahead alliance government of the conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the neoliberal Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP).

Britain: Students protest fee rise as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell backs campaign

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell threw his weight behind students who took to the streets on November 4 over Tory plans to cut maintenance grants and raise tuition fees.

Student speaks: Why we 'hijacked' Q&A for education rights

Eliza June, one of the students who took part in the Education Action Group protest during the ABC’s political panel show Q&A on May 5, is pumped by the response to the action. The protest targetted education minster Christopher Pyne, a guest on the panel, over the Coalition government's plans to slash education funding.

“Education cuts have been largely hidden from the mainstream media," she told Green Left Weekly. "So it’s great that our action has made it to front-page news.

10 million taught to read by Cuban literacy program

More than 10 million people have learned to read and write through a Cuban program aimed at mature age students, the Cuban government announced on October 26, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The program, Yo Si Puedo (Yes I Can), aims to provide free education to adults who lacked opportunities to learn to read and write as children, with a focus on the poor.

British academics declare Israeli university boycott

Hundreds of university professors in Britain have declared a boycott of Israeli schools in an effort to draw attention to the Israeli government's many human rights offenses against Palestinians and violations of international law, TeleSUR English said on October 28.

The petition, titled “A Commitment by U.K. Scholars to the Rights of Palestinians”, was printed as a full-page advertisement in the October 27 Guardian.

South African student protesters score win; race and class fuse in epic battle

Wits students protest in Johannesburg against a proposed tuition fee hike tuition fees on October 15.

A historic victory over neoliberalism in South Africa was won on October 23, after the most intense three-week burst of mobilisation in the country since liberation from apartheid in 1994.

Greens activist: Jeremy Corbyn's exciting rise brings openings, challenges

Jeremy Corbyn's success is one sign, and perhaps the most dramatic, of a wider movement challenging the British establishment.

Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour Party leader has already had a dramatic effect on British politics.

All of us on the left in Britain need to ask how we can support him — and consider what the long term implications of his success may be. Those outside Britain, especially on the green left, need to ask whether there are lessons that can be learned.

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