Economy

CSIRO staff remain sceptical about the future of the group's climate research program, with media reports suggesting that science minister Greg Hunt's recent announcement of additional jobs in the area does not include any new funding from the federal government. The allocation of $37 million -- tied to the nascent Climate Science Centre in Hobart -- will apparently be sourced from CSIRO's own funds over 10 years and involves the creation of 15 new positions, based at locations still to be determined.
Firefighters rallied outside state parliament house on August 16 to demand greater support for the victims of toxic contamination at the Country Fire Authority's (CFA) former Fiskville training facility. Fiskville was closed down in 2015, but a state parliamentary enquiry found that CFA management had known about the contamination since 2010 and allowed training to continue there. The chemicals have been linked to a rise in the number of incidences of cancer and other diseases among firefighters who trained there.
When a gang of right-wing goons from the Party For Freedom (PFF), dressed as stereotypical Muslims, stormed the Sunday service at the Gosford Anglican Church on August 14, their actions were nominally disowned by Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in a written statement. However, the statement also sought to justify and excuse the actions of the PFF.
The Pine Gap military spy base was established 50 years ago on the traditional lands of the Arrernte people, about 20 kilometres outside of Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory. Pine Gap is supposedly a joint US-Australian defence facility, but very little of it is “joint” or “defence” related.
Climate change is not just a scientific or technical problem, nor can it be solved in the “usual” way. Instead, people need to get organised and develop solutions that improve lives and communities as well as protect the environment. This was the central theme behind the “Creating a climate for change” public meeting held on August 11 in the Northcote Town Hall. The meeting was organised by the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and Darebin Climate Action Now.
With the highest record of Olympic medals in Latin America, Cuba owes its sports achievements to its socialist revolution. The devastating US blockade on Cuba, which has lasted for more than 50 years and includes restrictions on the nation's sporting industry, has not stopped the island from becoming the most successful Latin American country in Olympics history.
Some would have seen One Nation Senator-elect Malcolm Roberts' performance on ABC's Q&A on August 15. He went hammer and tong repeating ad nauseum that academics are doctoring the science, that the major science bodies are corrupt and that the science on climate change is anything but settled. Here is one small excerpt from his exchange with British physicist Brian Cox: Roberts: “I'm saying ... two things. First of all, that the [climate] data has been corrupted and we know that the 1930s were warmer than today.”
Venezuela's newly nationalised Kimberly-Clark factory has produced 2,068,800 sanitary towels its the first month since reopening following a worker takeover in July, Venezuelanalysis.com said on August 10. Last month, the Texas-based consumer products giant shut down its operations in the country without warning, firing nearly 1000 workers.
Local communities organise against Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine. Canadian mining giant Tahoe Resources came under fire on August 11 for bulldozing human rights in Guatemala. Two groups have filed a complaint in the United States calling for a probe into whether Tahoe executives lied to investors.
When the Census website crashed and was taken offline on August 9, the ABS was quick to blame overseas hackers. And in its defence, blaming foreigners has worked pretty well for authorities in this country on pretty much every other issue up till now.

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