Ian Jeffries, CEO of the American Railroads Association, provided witness testimony to a United States Congressional hearing in early February, in which he gloated that American trains were environmentally sustainable, world-leading in safety and working conditions, with further efficiency held back by onerous government regulations.
The United States has invaded more countries, launched more coups, armed more dictators and trained more terrorists than any empire in history.
The Queensland Labor government has strengthened the powers of police and the courts. Many of the new laws, announced in late December, target juvenile offenders. They include raising the maximum penalty for stealing a car to ten years imprisonment, building two new youth detention centres and increasing the scope for courts to impose tracking devices on youth detainees.
In the twelve months that we have been forced to “live with” COVID-19, average life expectancy in Australia has fallen for the first time in generations. As of October, 8,832 people were counted as dying from COVID-19, and thousands more died “with” the virus. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that, just like rents, fuel and electricity prices, deaths were up in 2022 by 17 percent—18,671 more than the recent average.
Minoo Jalali was among those who resisted Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran. In the early months of 1979, she joined a mass women’s protest against the compulsory wearing of the hijab in public. “That revolution was inevitable”, Jalali recounted 40 years later in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Nobody could have really stopped the force of it. We hoped that we could steer it [but] we were wrong. And the clergy hijacked it ... and deceived many people.”
The leaders of Australia’s union movement attended the federal government’s Jobs and Skills Summit with the wrong priorities, seeking to befriend the wrong people. The conference outcomes provide little in the way of real changes for workers, but much cause for concern is the Australian Council of Trade Union’s slavish desire to have “a seat at the table” above all else.