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Emergency – Email Attorney General Michael Cullen

209: Emergency – Email Attorney General Michael Cullen

Global Peace And Justice Auckland Newsletter #209, October 29, 2007


Dear friends,

Michael Cullen is trying to do a Pontius Pilate act and wash his hands of the responsibility for the laying of terrorism charges for the first time in NZ. Under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 the decision as to whether charges can be laid under the Act belongs with the Attorney General, that is, Michael Cullen. The police have referred the charges to him for a decision. He has passed the buck to the Solicitor General Dr David Collins who was appointed on Cullen’s recommendation. This is an utterly cowardly decision. Tell Cullen it’s his job and he should stop any prosecutions under the terrorism act now. Email: [mcullen@ministers.govt.nz]

SEE: Terror raid evidence with Solicitor-General – “the Attorney-General must give the green light to any prosecutions under the Act, but Michael Cullen has delegated this responsibility to Solicitor-General David Collins” [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10472766]

COURT HEARING This Thursday, November 1, all defendants are appearing in the Auckland District Court. Be there to show support from 9am.

PROTEST OUTSIDE LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE, 9AM, SAT NOV 3, BRUCE MASON CENTRE, TAKAPUNA Let Helen Clark hear our demands – no Pontius Pilate act – she and her government must take responsibility and call off the police dogs, stop use of the terrorism laws

ORGANISING MEETINGS AUCKLAND: Civil Rights Defence Committee, 6pm, Tuesday, October 30, Unite House, Level 12, 300 Queen St WELLINGTON: Weekly support group meetings - open to all - 6pm Tuesdays at 128 Abel Smith St

WELLINGTON HUMAN RIGHTS HUI NOV 3&4 Tapu Te Ranga Marae, in association with Peace Movement Aotearoa and several independent environmental activists, invites all those concerned about the recent 'terror' raids to a hui on human rights in Aotearoa at Tapu Te Ranga Marae, Island Bay, Wellington on the weekend of 3 and 4 November 2007. A hui to identify common concerns and to develop positive relationships and strategies for dealing with the issues arising from recent events (see programme outline below). This message is available online at [http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/hrhui1007.htm]

AUCK: SPECIAL GPJA FORUM AND DEFENCE CAMPAIGN PLANNING MEETING Monday November 5, 7.30pm, Methodist Chapel, Queen St, Opposite Town Hall DEFENDING CIVIL RIGHTS - NO USE OF TERROR LAWS

Check out the website www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz] [http://www.indymedia.org.nz/]

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think may be interested and tell them they can subscribe at [http://gpja.org.nz/]

DEFEND CIVIL LIBERTIES, NO USE OF TERROR LAWS

Everywhere: Any letters emailed to lettersforprisoners[at]riseup[dot]net will printed out and distributed to arrestees. Obviously don't write anything that could negatively impact on you or anyone else! If you can help with processing these letters, please email the crew on the same address. For more information, see [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz].

NATIONAL EVENTS CALENDER [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz/event] POSTER AND OTHER RESOURCES Or download national posters from [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz/resources]

MAKE A DONATION TO A DEFENCE FUND ONLINE 38-9000-0099726-00 GLOBAL PEACE & JUSTICE AKLD Indentify donation as being for the defence fund. Initial patrons of the fund are Jane Kelsey, John Minto, Simon Oosterman and Mike Treen Or Use your credit card through Paypal [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz/donate]

SEND A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT TO BE FORWARDED TO PEOPLE IN PRISON [http://www.civilrightsdefence.org.nz/node/add/support]

PROTEST SONG Don Frank's song on the police raids [http://ndu.rata.co.nz/Safer%20Communities.mp3]

QUOTE "If they do it, it's terrorism, if we do it, it's fighting for freedom." - Anthony Quainton, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, 1984: Anthony Quainton - Source: Off the record response of the Ambassador to a group of concerned U.S. citizens when asked to explain the difference between U.S. government actions in Nicaragua and the violence it condemns as terrorism elsewhere in the world.

PROTEST REPORTS Indymedia NZ: Global Day Of Action Against Terror [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00406.htm] Anger grows over police raids [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1417780] Terror raids protest spreads [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4253363a10.html] 1000 march on jail over police raids [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10472511] Wellington Marches Against Police "Terror" In Rain [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00405.htm] Auckland Marches Against "Terror Suppression" Raid [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00407.htm] Rotorua: Over 700 Hundred March Against Police Suppression [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00399.htm] Hundreds march before Tame Iti court hearing [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10472054] Hundreds protest raids; Iti's case moved [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4250335a10.html] March in support of Iti and co-accused [http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/413551/1415006]

THE ACCUSED Urewera 17 Profile: Omar Hamed - Student Activist - Standing at the dock is a skinny 19-year-old boy, fluffy hair, wearing glasses and an old wool jersey, he gives a smile to his mother and friends. [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00390.htm] Urewera 17 Profile: Rongomai Bailey - Film Maker - Out on bail Rongomai Bailey is still determined to open people eyes through the power of film, despite the prospect of potential terror charges being laid against him. [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00389.htm] One of the Ruatoki accused, Marama Mayrick, had name suppression lifted and was granted bail in Rotorua District Court today. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4254458a10.html] 5th So-called "Terrorist" Granted Bail [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00433.htm]

OTHER NEWS REPORTS GPJA: Winston Peters - spittle-flecked dog whistling [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0710/S00393.htm] No Repeats, Mr Peters says Maori Party [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0710/S00540.htm] Peters doing a Don Brash – Sharples [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4253593a10.html] Deep in the forest: Ross Meurant [http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4251564a6442.html] STEVE BRAUNIAS INTERVIEW: Make love, not war [http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4252901a6442.html] Maori party calls on Horomia to resign [http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4252921a6870.html] Statement Of The Maori Party: 27 October 2007 [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0710/S00530.htm] RAWIRI TAONUI: Plea to Maoridom phrased in humble terms [http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4252961a6442.html] Matt McCarten: Beating up on Maori as terror stalks the corridors of power [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10472480] Maori must not define selves as 'terrorists', party told [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10472464] Police Terror Boss Has Activist Harassment History says Nicky Hagar - Assistant Police Commissioner Jon White who commanded last week's so-called "terror raids" around the country arresting 17 political activists has a history of harassing and imprisoning protestors engaged in legitimate political protest according to noted ... [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00402.htm] Image: A Letter From "Terror" Accused Tame Iti [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00401.htm] Major Concern Over Raid At Refuge House [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0710/S00387.htm] Lawyer For Wellington Accused Press Statement [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00435.htm] Maori Yesterday: Trade Unions Today? [http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00393.htm]

INTERNATIONAL WAR ON FREEDOM U.S. Path Towards Fascism - Talk by Naomi Wolf author of "The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot" given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. Americans expect to have freedom around us just as we expect to have air to breathe, so we have only limited understanding of the furnaces of repression that the Founders knew intimately. Few of us spend much time thinking about how "the system" they put in place protects our liberties. We spend even less time, considering how dictators in the past have broken down democracies or quelled pro-democracy uprisings. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18570.htm] Terror watch list swells to more than 755,000: The size of the list, typically used to check people entering the country through land border crossings, airports and sea ports, has been growing by 200,000 names a year since 2004. Some lawmakers, security experts and civil rights advocates warn that it will become useless if it includes too many people [http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-23-Watchlist_N.htm?csp=34] No Place To Hide - On Visit to France, Donald Rumsfeld Hit with Lawsuit for Ordering, Authorizing Torture Audio and Transcript. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18633.htm] Taxi to the Dark Side - Must Watch Award-Winning Documentary - The film documents how Rumsfeld, together with the White House legal team, were able to convince Congress to approve the use of torture against prisoners of war. Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18635.htm] Justice Denied By William A. Cohn - We owe Khaled El-Masri our gratitude for helping to expose human rights abuses committed in our name. By taking his claim to the European Court of Justice Masri can shed additional light on the self-defeating post-9/11 tactics employed in the US and Europe. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18623.htm] Torture, Then And Now By Rev. Fred Morris - In the fall of 1974, I was being tortured by members of the Brazilian army in Recife, Brazil, led by officers who bragged about having been trained at the School of the Americas (then in Panama). [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18627.htm]

ANNOUNCEMENTS

WAIHOPAI SPYBASE PROTEST JANUARY 25-27, 2008 The public face of New Zealand’s role as an American ally is the NZ military presence in Afghanistan. But New Zealand’s most significant contribution to that, and other American wars, including the one in Iraq, is the Waihopai spybase. Waihopai is controlled by the US, with New Zealand (including Parliament and the Prime Minister) having little or no idea what goes on there (let alone any control). The Waihopai electronic intelligence gathering base is located in the Waihopai Valley, near Blenheim. First announced in 1987, it is operated by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) in the interests of the foreign Powers grouped together in the super-secret UKUSA Agreement (which shares global electronic and signals intelligence among the intelligence agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and NZ). Its two satellite interception dishes (shielded from public view by giant domes) intercept a huge volume of telephone calls, telexes, faxes, e-mail and computer data communications. It spies on our Asia/Pacific neighbours, and forwards the material on to the major partners in the UKUSA Agreement, specifically the US National Security Agency (NSA). Its targets are international communications involving New Zealanders, including the interception of international phone calls. The codename for this – Echelon – has become notorious worldwide as the vast scope of its spying has become public. New Zealand is an integral, albeit junior, part of a global spying network, a network that is ultimately accountable only to its own constituent agencies, not governments, and certainly not to citizens. Waihopai does not operate in the interests of New Zealanders or our neighbours. Basically it is a foreign spybase on NZ soil and directly involves us America’s wars. Waihopai must be closed. We invite people from around the country to join us for the weekend of anti-war protest at this spybase. Come prepared for roughing it and camping out. We provide the food (note: we cater for vegetarians but vegans will have to bring their own). Bring sleeping bag, groundsheet, a tent, torch, water bottle, eating utensils, clothing for all weather, and $40 (or $20 unwaged) to cover costs. Absolutely no open fires. How to find our camp at Whites Bay: turn off SH1 at Tuamarina (9km north of Blenheim or 20 km south of Picton) and drive to Rarangi on the coast. Continue on the steep Port Underwood Road which climbs over the hilltop before descending to the Whites Bay turnoff. There is a Department of Conservation public camp at the bay with basic facilities. ABC has to pay a fixed charge per person. To register send $40 ($20 unwaged) to the Anti-Bases Campaign, P.O. Box 2258, Christchurch. Make all cheques to ABC. E-mail [cafca@chch.planet.org.nz] www.converge.org.nz/abc [http://www.converge.org.nz/abc]

VISIT CUBA THIS SUMMER Cuba consistently makes the news: whether it is it’s health care system (see Salud or Sicko), its response to its oil crisis, its environmental programmes, or by remaining a political opponent of US imperialism for forty years. It is also the home of salsa and its music is world renowned. Registrations are open for the 25th Southern Cross Brigade to Cuba. Members of the Brigade, which is made up of Australians and New Zealanders, spend approximately four weeks in Cuba, leaving 27th December and returning 24th January. The all up cost is $5500, including airfare, spending money and all accommodation and meals. Members of the Brigade often stay longer in Cuba as private travelers or move onto other countries in the region. For further enquiries and registration e- mail Ina at [inashina@clear.net.nz] or Paul at [wkcultur@ihug.co.nz] (03 732 4010).

WHAT’S ON IN AUCKLAND

Wednesday, October 31, 7.30pm, Trades Hall, 147 Great North Rd, Grey Lynn HIDDEN VOICES - A Filipino Muslim Woman On The US “War On Terror” And Its Impact On Her People. Amirah Ali Lidasan is the National Vice-Chairperson of the Suara Bangsamoro Party List Organisation, which aims to get representation in Congress for the Philippines’ several million Muslims (known as Moros and heavily concentrated in the southernmost islands). Amirah is a young progressive Muslim woman, with a history of senior leadership in the student movement in Manila, and is a leader in groups such as the Moro Christian People’s Alliance. She has an international profile. In March 2007 she was part of a Philippine human rights delegation which toured North America and Europe, drawing international attention to the human rights crisis at home. Contact: Helen Te Hira, ph (09) 3039018; 021 0554969; e-mail: [helent@nzctu.org.nz]

Thursday, November 1, 9am, Auckland District Court RALLY TO SUPPORT ARRESTED ACTIVISTS - FREE THEM NOW - NO TERROR CHARGES

Saturday, November 3, 9am, Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna PROTEST USE OF TERROR LAWS OUTSIDE LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE

Saturday, November 3, 2pm, QE2 Square, Downtown Shopping Centre RALLY FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE IN PALESTINE On the First Saturday of Every Month. Come support JUSTICE and PEACE based on: 1. End 40 years of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank & Gaza Strip (including East Jerusalem); 2. Right of Return for Palestinian Refugees; 3. Share Jerusalem; 4. Vacate all settlement colonies in Israeli occupied Palestine; 5. Stop Israel's annexation / apartheid wall in occupied Palestine

Monday,November 5, 7.30pm, Methodist Church, Queen St (Opposite Town hall) SPECIAL GPJA FORUM TO DISCUSS ACTIVIST ARRESTS AND PLAN PROTEST ACTION

Thursday, November 8, 7.30pm, Maidment Theatre, Auckland University 2007 MEDIA PEACE AWARDS - Special Guest Bill Ralston interviewed by John Campbell. MC’s Michele A’Court and Jeremy Elwood. Tickets $30 waged $15 unwaged. Ph 09 3082383 www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz [http://www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz]

Friday, November 9, 6.30pm (5.30pm bar), Maidment Theatre, Auckland University 2007 BRUCE JESSON LECTURE: Laila Harre, National Secretary National Distribution Union: “Union relevance in Aotearoa in the 21st Century”. For 20 years unions have been engaged in a struggle for relevance - relevance to both workers and the wider social and economic environment in which we organise. This lecture will look at possible futures for the union movement and the potential and need for workers to organise industrially and politically. More than ever we are dependent on what happens at work and what we get from doing it. The question is not whether we need unions, but what sort of unions we need. A collection for donations to the Bruce Jesson Trust will be taken. Sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and The Bruce Jesson Foundation

BEST ON THE WEB

NEW ZEALAND Two NZ soldiers wounded in Afghanistan [http://www.stuff.co.nz/4254495a10.html]

AUSTRALIA Australian Occupation Force Soldier Killed In Afghanistan: A Special Air Service (SAS) occupation forces soldier has become the second Australian to be killed in combat in Afghanistan in less than three weeks. http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/SAS-soldier-shot-dead-in-Afghanistan... [http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/SAS-soldier-shot-dead-in-Afghanistan/2007/10/25/1192941235425.html]

PACIFIC MEDIA CENTRE Launch of the Pacific Media Centre by Associate Minister for Pacific Island Affairs Luamanuvao Winnie Laban: [http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/specialreports/071012_PIMALaban.shtml] Pesi Fonua on the media in Tonga: [http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/specialreports/071012_PIMApacific.shtml] Other stories/video on the recent Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA) conference and PMC launch: [http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/specialreports/071010_PIMA.shtml] Slideshow on PIMA and PMC: [http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/specialreports/071016_PHOTOlaunch.php] Article on Fiji bloggers and post-coup freedom of speech by Sophie Foster Pacific Journalism Review: http://www.pjreview.info/issues/docs/13_2/PJR13_2sep2007blogs_pp47_60.pd... [http://www.pjreview.info/issues/docs/13_2/PJR13_2sep2007blogs_pp47_60.pdf] Independent State of Journalism 2007 survey in New Zealand: http://www.pjreview.info/issues/docs/13_2/PJR13_2sep2007nzsurvey_pp175_1... [http://www.pjreview.info/issues/docs/13_2/PJR13_2sep2007nzsurvey_pp175_197.pdf] Contents and abstracts of latest Pacific Journalism Review research articles: [http://www.pjreview.info/issues/13_02_07.html]

ALTERNATIVE TV NEWS ON THE WEB Washington imposes unilateral sanctions on Iran - Babak Yektafar: a dangerous game of who will blink first http://therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisdataswitch=0&thisid=543&thisvie... [http://therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisdataswitch=0&thisid=543&thisview=item] A sign of declining US strategic power - Aijaz Ahmad: Turkey threatens to invade Iraqi Kurdistan http://therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisdataswitch=0&thisid=531&thisvie... [http://therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisdataswitch=0&thisid=531&thisview=item]

ENVIRONMENT

THE GE INFORMATION BULLETIN: An independent digest of widely-sourced information relevant to the GE debate. IN THIS ISSUE: Probe Into Tainted Rice Ends; Feeding The World Without GE; GM Co.s Refuse To Supply Seed For Trials; GM Seeds To Be Prohibited: Chance; Campaign Plans Mass "Vote" Against GM Food; NZ Authority Faces Court Battle Over GM; New Study Shows GE Corn Could Pollute Aquatic Ecosystems; Poll: Mandate Ethanol, But Give GM A Miss; EU Environment Chief Faces GMO Hot Potato [http://www.geinfo.org.nz/102007/bulletin55.html] Subscribe to the Bulletin, or download a PDF version of this Bulletin at [http://www.GEinfo.org.nz] HUMANITY'S FUTURE IS AT RISK - A landmark assessment by the UN of the state of the world's environment paints the bleakest picture yet of our planet's well-being. The warning is stark: humanity's future is at risk unless urgent action is taken. Over the past 20 years, almost every index of the planet's health has worsened. At the same time, personal wealth in the richest countries has grown by a third [http://www.countercurrents.org/connor261007.htm] CREATING OUR OWN HELL ON EARTH - To save this planet we must each do our part and we must demand that our leaders lead. As we watch the fires in the west, can’t we see that we are destroying our beautiful country by our own hand and creating a fiery hell on earth? [http://www.countercurrents.org/turnipseed261007.htm]

SCIENCE Marxism, Darwin, And Jerry Fodor's Flying Pigs: In Defense Of Natural Selection By Thomas Riggins [http://www.countercurrents.org/riggins261007.htm]

ANTIWAR MOVEMENT Protesters in U.S. cities call for end to Iraq war: The "national day of action," sponsored by the United for Peace and Justice coalition, attracted throngs of protesters in cities from Boston and New Orleans to Chicago and Los Angeles on the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Senate's vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq. [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N27227364.htm]

AFRICA Commemorating Thomas Sankara [http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=2&ItemID=14141]

BURMA Freedom Writ Large By John Pilger - The news is no more from Burma. The young monks are quiet in their cells, or they are dead. But words have escaped: the defiant, beautiful poetry of Aung Than and Zeya Aung; and we know of the unbroken will of the journalist U Win Tin, who makes ink out of brick powder on the walls of his prison cell and writes with a pen made from a bamboo mat - at the age of 77. These are the bravest of the brave. [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18629.htm]

IRAN One Step Closer To War- In an act unprecedented in the history of international relations, Washington on Thursday unilaterally imposed harsh and potentially crippling economic sanctions against Iran’s main uniformed security force, as well as against more than 20 Iranian companies and the country’s three major banks.The sanctions, announced by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, represent a deliberate provocation aimed at precluding any negotiated settlement to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program and making a US war against the country all but inevitable [http://www.countercurrents.org/auken261007.htm]

IRAQ "Come And See Our Overflowing Morgues" By Mike Whitney - Iraq was not only the Cradle of Civilization; it was indeed the Pillar, the Column, The Spinal Vertebrae, the Backbone of the Arab world. Now that it has crumbled, now that it has broken up, the rest will follow... [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18613.htm] 'I Don't Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier's Life' - After 14 months in a Baghdad district torn by mounting sectarian violence, members of one U.S. unit are tired, bitter and skeptical. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/26/AR200710... [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/26/AR2007102602402.html] US soldiers “search and avoid missions” in Iraq [http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IJ26Ak07.html]

USA The Imperial Presidency By Ralph Nader - To what level of political insanity has this Washington Caesar descended? Only two countries can start World War III-Russia and the United States. Is Bush saying that if Russia, presently opposed to military action against Iran, persists with its position, Bush may risk World War III? If not, why is this law-breaking warmonger, looking for another war for American GIs to fight, while his military-age daughters bask in the celebrity lime light? [http://www.countercurrents.org/nader241007.htm] Katrina aid goes toward luxury condos: With large swaths of the Gulf Coast still in ruins from Hurricane Katrina, rich federal tax breaks designed to spur rebuilding are flowing hundreds of miles inland to investors who are buying up luxury condos near the University of Alabama's football stadium. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-13-katrina-luxury-condos_N.h... [http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-08-13-katrina-luxury-condos_N.htm] The California Wildfires And The American Social Crisis - Once again, the world watches as a natural disaster in the United States threatens to become a social catastrophe. Once again, a million Americans are forced from their homes by a long-forecast calamity, with little planning or preparation by the local, state and federal governments. Once again, tens of thousands of refugees seek shelter at a football stadium in a major American city—this time, San Diego [http://www.countercurrents.org/martin251007.htm] War Costs May Total $2.4 Trillion: Bush war spending highest since WW II. Tools [http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/66024/] Bush wars to cost 40 times higher than original estimates; $8,000 per man, woman child in US [http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Your_bill_for_US_wars_8000_1024.html] An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions. Florida doesn't have nearly enough water for its expected population boom. The Great Lakes are shrinking. Upstate New York's reservoirs have dropped to record lows. And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year. Across America, the picture is critically clear — the nation's freshwater supplies can no longer quench its thirst. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071026/ap_on_re_us/vanishing_water]

VENEZUELA Venezuela’s debt to Cuba [http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=45&ItemID=14150]

BOLIVIA Searching for Che - What is the significance of Che Guevara’s legacy for contemporary Latin America? Nick Buxton travelled to the place of his death in Vallegrande, Bolivia, to find out [http://www.redpepper.org.uk/article624.html]

CUBA Bush Threatens Escalation Of Aggression Against Cuba By Bill Van Auken - The question posed by Bush’s provocative speech is whether, as part of this war, the administration in Washington is preparing to launch a “preemptive” attack on Cuba [http://www.countercurrents.org/auken251007.htm] Venezuela Warns U.S. that "Cuba is Not Alone" [http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/2763] Conversations with Castro - Aged 81, the world's longest-serving leader is turning his thoughts to his legacy and the succession. In an exclusive extract from his autobiography, Fidel Castro talks to Ignacio Ramonet about vanity and cruelty - and reveals his salary and plans for retirement [http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2200192,00.html]

PALESTINE Images that shock: Gaza is a wound that is being left to fester. Fatah, Israel, the US and the international community have different motives for leaving half of the Palestinian people to rot in this prison [http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,,2198380,00.html] The Israel/Palestine Question By Jim Miles - Ilan Pappe’s highly revised second edition of The Israel/Palestine Question offers the reader a very instructive read on changing historical perspectives about Israel/Palestine within one over-riding theme – land tenure and population control [http://www.countercurrents.org/miles241007.htm]

INDIA The Nuke Deal Is Dead By Vijay Prashad - The short-term battle was won by the Communists, who led the opposition to the deal and winnowed regional parties away from the Congress and toward their position. The Communists' stance is that the nuclear deal (set in motion in 2005) is only one part of a wider embrace between the Indian and US governments, and between Indian and US-based corporations [http://www.countercurrents.org/prashad241007.htm] The Marked People The latest to join this global assault on democratic rights — in the wake of the three bomb blasts that hit Hyderabad this year — is the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. The state Minorities Commission has reported the abduction and illegal detention and torture by the police of a large number of Muslim youth within days of the blasts on August 25, 2007 [http://www.countercurrents.org/mander251007.htm] Is It Emancipation Or Elimination Of The Scavengers In Laar Town (Deoria) - In the eastern Uttar-Pradesh, they do not use the term Balmikis/Valmiks for the sweeper. Instead there are people from the communities of Rawats, Bansfors, Helas, Mehtars who are engaged in scavenging work. Many of the women narrated their plight and how they wish to get out of the scavenging hell [http://www.countercurrents.org/rawat251007.htm]

PAKISTAN Tariq Ali: Bhutto's Bloody Return: A Massacre Foretold: The government pleaded with her to delay her return. Jihadi leaders, angered by her slavish support of US foreign policy, had publicly threatened to kill her. She survived but a few hundred people have been killed without reason. [http://counterpunch.org/tariq10202007.html]

SRI LANKA Sri Lanka on brink of all-out war: The Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tiger rebels seem to be gearing up for a major confrontation in the north of the country, stoking fears of more civilian casualties and displacement. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7046629.stm]

ends

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The Government has taken a major step towards improving mental health and addiction services with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing details of a ministerial inquiry. More>>

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Wealth: Two NZers Own More Than Poorest 30%

A staggering 28 per cent of all wealth created in New Zealand in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis, while the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 per cent of the population got barely 1 per cent, according to new research released by Oxfam. More>>

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Employment: Joint Working Group On Pay Equity Principles Reconvened

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Iain Lees-Galloway, and Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter, are reconvening the Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles as the next step in pay equity for New Zealand women. More>>

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Hapū: Prime Minister And Clarke Gayford Expecting First Child

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are expecting their first child in June. “We’re both really happy. We wanted a family but weren’t sure it would happen for us, which has made this news unexpected but exciting." More>>

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Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care. Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More >>

Gordon Campbell: On Jim Anderton
For anyone born after 1975, it is hard to grasp just how important a figure Jim Anderton was, for an entire generation.
During the mid to late 1980s, Anderton was the only significant public figure of resistance to the Labour government’s headlong embrace of Thatcherism...More>>

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