The US response to the uprisings in the Arab world remains deeply hypocritical.

“It is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government,” US President Barack Obama said at a February 24 meeting in Tunis of the representatives of 60 countries, led by the Western powers and their Arab allies.

The group cynically called itself the “Friends of Syria”.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the opportunity to lash out at the US’s main global competitors, Russia and China.

Despite heavy police intimidation and media racism, the Nyoongar Tent Embassy at Matagarup, otherwise known as Heirisson Island in Perth, is still standing strong.

The Tent Embassy was founded by local Aboriginal people to voice dissent against a proposed deal with the state government that would include giving up native title rights.

The embassy is also about asserting Aboriginal sovereignty. Embassy participant Iva Hayward-Jackson told  Green Left Weekly  the embassy is about asserting Nyoongar sovereignty and protecting sacredness of Aboriginal culture.

Amnesty International has called on Israel to immediately release Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who has been held since December without charge under Israel's infamous policy of “administrative detention”.

The call came after Adnan, near death, ended a 66-day hunger strike when Israel signed a deal on February 22 agreeing to release the 33-year-old father of two by April 17.

Len Cooper, the secretary of the Victorian Telecommunications Division of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union, wrote to Victorian unions last August inviting them to take part in a discussion “aimed at leading to the formation of a campaign on the right to strike”.

The Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) endorsed the campaign as a sub-committee of the hall on February 10. It committed to back a motion on the right to strike at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) national congress, which takes place in Sydney in May.

After Victorian nurses walked off the job from six Victorian hospitals, Ted Baillieu's state government was still refusing to undertake effective negotiations with the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF).

The dispute has dragged on for eight months and has been in its current conciliation process under Fair Work Australia (FWA) for 105 days.

On February 24, the FWA ordered the ANF to stop all industrial action as sought by the government. But the ANF has said it will go ahead with its actions as decided on by members at a mass meeting on February 25.

“Something is badly amiss when Queensland bushies embrace Green Left Weekly, and the opposite ends of the political fringe, the Greens and Bob Katter’s Australian Party, find a common cause,” began a February 22 editorial in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian, the only national daily newspaper in this country.

Public housing in Victoria (and elsewhere around Australia) is in a state of crisis. For at least the last two decades, successive state governments have failed to meet the challenge of providing public housing to all who need it.

Instead, they have relied on the free market to provide “affordable housing” as a means of avoiding their responsibilities. The result has been a disaster, with nearly 40,000 people on waiting lists.

Last year, students of Political Economy at the University of Sydney stood up to threats to merge their department into either a politics or straight economics department.

They protested because they believed in the value of learning alternative economics, refused to accept cuts in staff or subjects and believed students have the right to have a say in the institution at which they choose to study.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said marriage equality was "inevitable" when she met with three same-sex couples on February 21 during a dinner organised by GetUp! The admission came despite her own opposition to equal marriage.

A snap rally was held outside NSW parliament house on February 22 to protest a bill proposed by Premier Barry O’Farrell to lift the 26-year moratorium on uranium exploration in NSW. The Nature Conservation Council and Beyond Nuclear Initiative organised the rally.

The moratorium on nuclear exploration in NSW began as a bipartisan agreement between Liberal and Labor parties after an investigation found that the effects of mining would be too dangerous.


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