Two police officers have been released on bail in Mackay after being charged with raping a woman while on duty. The constables, aged 28 and 29, were charged after an internal police investigation. Little information about the crime itself has been released. But it is apparent there were at least 38 witnesses. The officers have been released on bail under condition they report to the district head of the Police Force and stay away from the witnesses.
The statement below was released by the British-based Hands Off Venezuela. * * * After days of violent opposition demonstrations in several cities of Venezuela, February 12 had been billed as the “D Day” of an offensive to overthrow the democratically elected Nicolas Maduro government.
History repeats itself. The time-worn tactic of the dominant class that controls the spread of information is to provoke violence and then blame it on the enemy, usually those who struggle for change. Nero did it when he burned down much of Rome and blamed it on the Christians. Similarly, US newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst used the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 to create war fervour that led to war with Spain.
On a hot and breezeless day at the end of January, representatives from 83 unions across El Salvador gathered in the Casa Sindical (a shared union hall) in San Salvador to greet a delegation of international election observers. We had come to ensure that the presidential election would be free of fraud, violence and intimidation. The images and names of their fallen comrades loomed on the walls behind them in black paint. Febe Elizabeth Velasquez. Juan Chacon. Ten unionists were martyred in a 1989 bombing by right-wing death squads, targeted because they were union leaders.
United States oil giant Chevron has filed a suit for damages against a cartoonist who ridiculed its legal antics in its ongoing case against Ecuador. The oil giant is using the US court system to seek to avoid paying US$9 billion that an Ecuadorian court ruled it owed in environmental compensation for dumping oil waste in the Amazon Basin. Mark Fiore, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist with The San Francisco Chronicle, has now been included in the ongoing legal dispute.
When the Black Power movement emerged in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the late 60s, thousands of Aboriginal people took to the streets demanding national uniform land rights legislation and recognition of our right to self-determination. The establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy in 1972 further galvanised this groundswell of Black activism. Thousands of Aboriginal people converged on Brisbane to protest the ’82 Commonwealth Games, and then came the call for a Treaty.
The next time you see another arrogant Liberal or National Party politician repeat Joe Hockey’s mantra “the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun,” think of billionaire Gina Rinehart. Rinehart, the richest person in Australia, inherited her fortune from her mining mogul father Lang Hancock, who once proposed that nuclear bombs be used get iron ore out of the ground in Western Australia.
Since their founding in 1896, every Olympics has arrived with the promise to unite the world. One can still hear the lyrical words of the man who presided over the 1936 Berlin games, Chancellor Adolf Hitler, who said that he hoped his Nazi Olympics could help “knit the bonds of peace between nations”. Hitler’s dreams of using the vessel of what is known as “the Olympic Movement” to create a harmonious world has tragically never come to pass, despite the best efforts of the aristocrats in the International Olympic Committee.
Victoria’s scorching January heatwave has focused a lot of attention on the problem of coping with the immediate fallout from climate change. According to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, in the period January 13 to 23 there were 139 deaths in excess of the expected average. There were reports of homeless people being forced away from airconditioned areas as they sought relief from the relentless heat. http://m.smh.com.au/victoria/anger-over-spike-in-deaths-during-record-victorian-heatwave-20140126-31gxb.html
Representatives from 225 communes met over January 31 to February 1 in Barinas in western Venezuela to discuss strengthening the communal economy. Communes are made up of elected representatives from the communal councils, grassroots bodies that bring together local neighbourhoods. The conference was called and organised by the Bolivar and Zamora Revolutionary Current (CRBZ). The CRBZ is a current in the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
In the third attack on the ABC by a government minister in the last month, Defence Minister David Johnston said on February 7 that reports that asylum seekers had their hands burned by navy personnel warrants an investigation into the national broadcaster. "If ever there was an event that justified a detailed inquiry, some reform, an investigation of the ABC, this event is it," he said. This follows comments by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on January 29 when he said the ABC “appears to take everyone’s side but Australia’s and I think it is a problem”.
The movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has captured headlines around the world after actress Scarlett Johansson signed a promotion deal with Israeli company SodaStream. Johansson signed the deal to become SodaStream's first “global brand ambassador” on January 1. A Super Bowl halftime commercial starring the actress airing on February 2. However, the deal resulted in an instant furore due to the company's use of an Israeli occupied industrial settlement zone in Palestinian West Bank to make their home soda machines.