Economy

“Nations cannot realise the full promise of independence until they fully protect the rights of their people,” Barrack Obama, president of the United States, said on tour to Kenya and Ethiopia last year. This is ironic, because on that trip he failed to criticise human rights abuses by the Ethiopian government, which he hailed as “democratically elected”. Ethiopians are very familiar with the government’s attempts to oppress any opposition. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) government took power in 1991. All opponents are persecuted as terrorist collaborators.
PostCapitalism: A Guide To Our Future By Paul Mason Allen Lane, 2015, 340 pp., $49.99 (hb) Paul Mason is a well-known British economics journalist, who made a name for himself with commentary on the BBC and more lately on Channel 4. PostCapitalism has created a big splash in Britain, where it has been widely reviewed and debated.
A by-election in the Single Member Constituency of Bukit Batok, which has about 25,000 eligible voters, is needed following the resignation of the People's Action Party (PAP) MP David Ong on March 14. The PAP has ruled Singapore since 1959, when it was still a British colony. Its rule has relied on a combination of independent Singapore’s affluence in comparison with its neighbours and political repression. Ong won 72% of the vote in the September’s general elections, defeating the Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Sadasivam Veriyah (26.4%) and independent Samir Salim Neji (0.6%).
Teachers protest outside the front of the Chicago Public Schools headquarters. Chicago teachers staged a one-day strike on April 1 in a bid to get lawmakers to adequately fund education and other programs in the United States' third-largest school district.
Where To Invade Next Written & directed by Michael Moore Michael Moore has made another poignant, funny and politically sharp movie. In spite of the title, it has little to do with US foreign policy. In Where to Invade Next, the documentary filmmaker behind Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine goes after social problems that continue to plague the US, like homelessness and lack of health care — and shows that the US could learn a lot from the rest of the world.
Hundreds of thousands of French workers and students joined a general strike on March 31 against their government's attacks on hard-won workers' rights, Morning Star Online said the next day. Protests erupted across France against proposed sweeping attacks on workers' rights, shutting down dozens of schools, transportation and the Eiffel Tower.
The government of Argentina is seeking to take pan-American TV station TeleSUR off the air, in a move the broadcaster said on March 28 amounts to censorship. Latin American social movements have already condemned the move by the South American nation's new right-wing President Mauricio Macri.
British Fidelity, the last Australian-crewed oil tanker serving the Australian coast, has been removed from service by petroleum giant BP. British Fidelity had transported petroleum from Kwinana in South Australia to Devenport and Hobart in Tasmania. The crew received a letter from the ship manager, ASP, stating that BP had terminated the contract for the British Fidelity. This came after the crew had raised objections to sailing to Singapore.
The Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Gas (I KNAG), held a "knit-in", in Edgecliff in Sydney, at the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on March 21. He was not there and had not answered the two simple questions the Nannas had left him earlier. “Do you support a ban on coal seam gas (CSG) mining in drinking water catchments?" and “Would you move federal legislation to enact a ban on CSG mining in drinking water catchments?”
Charges of assault against Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) organiser Justin Steele have been dropped by Queensland police after the complaint against him was withdrawn. This is the fifth time a construction union official has had criminal charges made by the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption taskforce dropped. Federal police alleged Steele struck a female builder-developer’s arm and pushed her shoulder during a standoff at a South Brisbane site in May last year. The charges against him were dropped on March 23.
Tony Shepherd is the former chair of Abbott's National Audit Commission, former president of the Business Council of Australia, a right-wing lobby group that represents some of the biggest corporations in Australia and a former member of the board of directors of Transfield, the company that profits from the misery of asylum seeks locked up in Australia's offshore refugee detention camps. Apart from that he has been an over-paid fat cat for conservative governments. Shepherd is the embodiment of the greed and evil of corporate rich.
In the lead-up to the federal election, talk of balancing the budget, jobs and growth are centre. Amid rising unemployment and job insecurity, single parents continue to face both a job market unforgiving of parenting responsibilities and parenting payments that have been consistently attacked and eroded — framed by the false narrative of providing incentives to return to work and finding necessary budget savings.
Greek Islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis have been nominated for the Nobel peace prize. Some 230 academics from the universities of Oxford, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and Copenhagen nominated the people of Lesbos, Kos, Chíos, Samos, Rhodes and Leros for the prize. Only individuals or organisations are eligible to win the prize so 16 volunteer networks on the islands who organised to help the refugees are the official nominees.
About 800 people gathered at the Irish Memorial at the Waverley Cemetery in Sydney's eastern suburbs on March 27 over two events to commemorate the centenary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising against British rule. The first commemoration was organised by the James Connolly Association (JCA) and the second by the Irish National Association (INA), which maintains the cemetery’s famous memorial to martyrs of Ireland’s freedom struggle.
Across the US young people are pouring into the polling booths. The contest is not the Presidential election — that is still some months away. Instead they are lining up to vote in the primaries for the Democratic Party. In particular they are turning up to vote for an old Jewish radical from New York.
I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, "Where is that?" If I offer a clue by referring to "Bikini", they say, "You mean the swimsuit." Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 -- the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.

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