Is Venezuela About To Collapse?

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FAILING IDEOLOGY Falling oil prices and incompetent governance mean Venezuela might default on its debts, leaving major trading partners like Brazil holding the bag. The Daily Beast – Catalina Lobo-Guererro CARACAS, Venezuela — “God will provide,”said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in his State of the Union speech last Wednesday. Praying is one of the few options left for Maduro, after an unsuccessful ... Read More »

Jonathan enters Boko Haram heartland, vows to end insurgency

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan held an election rally Saturday at the epicentre of Boko Haram’s insurgency, vowing to defeat the Islamist fighters as locals mourned another 15 deaths. The president’s visit to Maiduguri, the capital of northeast Nigeria’s restive Borno state, came the day after Boko Haram militants killed 15 villagers in nearby Kambari. “What I can assure you is ... Read More »

Qld election: bipartisan ethical bankruptcy

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While the approaching Queensland election will be largely fought on financial management, another more disturbing issue is the bankruptcy of the major parties in the field of ethics, integrity and accountability, writes Gary W Crooke QC. TheDRUM - Opinion – Gary Crooke Access to Queensland politicians, like the Ritz Hotel, is open to all who pay. Events over the past months provide ... Read More »

DRC Protests: The Government’s Election Law Must be Revised – or Withdrawn

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The adoption on 17 January 2015 by the Congolese National Assembly of a law, proposed by the government of President Joseph Kabila, that could lead to the extension of Kabila’s term in office has triggered violent protests in the capital of Kinshasa and several other cities. ICG – Brussels Before protests escalate further, Kabila’s government needs to revise the law and ... Read More »

Penalty rates, minimum wage: all bets are off

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Penalty rates, the minimum wage and the workplace flexibility of 11.5 million Australian workers will come under the microscope in a sweeping review of the industrial relations system. Analysis: road to reform littered with landmines The Sydney Morning Herald - James Massola, Political correspondent In an interview to mark the launch of five issues papers that set out the key areas the ... Read More »

Retreating from Darfur? A decade on, spectre of atrocities returns

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News media have been reporting widespread atrocities by Boko Haram against as many as 2000 civilians in Nigeria. But a similar escalation of violence in Darfur, Sudan, over the past two months has been all but ignored. The Conversation – Phil Orchard * This is in spite of the United Nations’ Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs raising the alarm ... Read More »

Plain cigarette packaging: pro-smoking groups and Ukip condemn move


Nigel Farage says plain packaging plan is ‘appalling intrusion into consumer choice and the operation of the free market’ The Guardian – Matthew Weaver Pro-smoking groups, Ukip and libertarian MPs have all condemned the government’s surprise decision to bring forward a law on plain cigarette packaging before the general election. Health minister Jane Ellison said on Wednesday night that the government ... Read More »

Yemeni president capitulates to the demands of Houthi rebels

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Abed Mansour Hadi agrees power-sharing role that will dilute his powers, after he was ousted from his palace in Sana’a The Guardian – Hakim Almasmari in Sana’a, and Martin Chulov in Beirut Yemen’s president Abed Mansour Hadi has yielded to the demands of Houthi gunmen who over ran the capital Sana’a, agreeing to a power-sharing role that will dilute his powers ... Read More »

We must look to our humanity to solve the crisis of Indigenous incarceration

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There is no law and order solution to the high rates of Indigenous incarceration in Australia. The solution lies in an examination of our common humanity The Guardian – Chris Sarra The curtains closed bleakly on 2014. The rallying of the nation behind the Cairns community following the murder of eight children, and the #I’llRideWithYou Twitter campaign following the Sydney ... Read More »