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The tropical Andes of Ecuador are at the top of the world list of biodiversity hotspots in terms of vertebrate species, endemic vertebrates and endemic plants. Ecuador contains more diversity than the entire United States.

The Australian Union and Solidarity Choir (AUSC), made up of singers from across Australia, are travelling to Timor Leste (East Timor) in August and September take part in Popular Consultation Day celebrations in Dili to spread the joy and friendship of song to Timorese towns and villages.

In the face of a campaign by supports of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel in protest against its apartheid policies, New Zealand superstar singer Lorde cancelled a planned Tel Aviv concert in December. The BDS call was first issued in 2005 by dozens of Palestinian civil society organisations, and has been heeded by many cultural figures, including musicians.

I could not wait to purchase my ticket to Iraqi singer Nour Al-Zain’s scheduled concert in Sydney this weekend. I made a trip to ‘Iraqi’ Fairfield last week and finally purchased the ticket. I had saved up the ticket money over the past few weeks. 

With much anticipation to finally see my favourite Iraqi singer live on his first ever tour to Australia, I counted the days and hours — and even had plans to welcome him at the airport. 

Nick Cave and his band the Bad Seeds ignored pleas by Palestinians and international artists for a cultural boycott of Israel in protest at its polices of apartheid and occupation, playing two shows in Tel Aviv on November 19 and 20.

Cave also took the opportunity to belittle and denigrate the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. He repeated false claims used and marketed by anti-Palestinian lobby groups to discredit the campaign.

Ignoring a call from more than 170 Palestinian civil society organisations for a boycott of Israel over its policies of apartheid and occupation, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds played two sold-out gigs in Tel Aviv on November 19 and 20. 

Nick Cave and his band also ignored the example and calls by many other musicians organised in Artists for Palestine, such as Roger Walters and Brian Eno among the most prominent voices.

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