Australia’s free trade pact with China won’t feel like freedom for workers | Van Badham

We expect everyone to get a fair go – including workers from overseas. Yet the free trade agreement with China doesn’t guarantee that will be the case

It was hard to remain unmoved by the recent Four Corners exposé into the exploitation of foreign workers in the agriculture industry. Images linger of cramped accommodation, underpayment, the young woman with a work-injured hand tearfully recounting the sexual harassment from a supervisor which she reported and her bosses ignored.

Australian workers have inherited a hard-won legacy of industrial rights – minimum wage, workplace safety, award conditions, penalty rates and collective bargaining; rights so valued that “WorkChoices” – the Howard government’s attempt to strip away some of these rights – brought that government down.

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US walrus protections may derail Shell’s plan for Arctic drilling

Permit for controversial oil exploration emphasizes buffer zone meant to protect endangered wildlife sensitive to sounds of drilling

The Obama administration dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell’s Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at a close range, as it had planned.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit on Tuesday which emphasized that under federal wildlife protections issued in 2013, companies must maintain a 15 mile (24 km) buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously.

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Protein World’s ‘beach body ready’ ads do not objectify women, says watchdog

Controversial campaign accused of ‘body-shamingcleared in UK despite nearly 400 complaints, as it attracts protests in New York

Protein World’s controversial “beach body ready” campaign has been cleared by the UK ad watchdog despite nearly 400 complaints it objectified women and was socially irresponsible.

The weight-loss ads featuring a bikini-clad model sparked a huge backlash over alleged “body-shaming including a protest in London’s Hyde Park and a petition on Change.org that attracted more than 70,000 signatures.

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Government is stripping UK children of rights, says report to UN

Children’s commissioners’ review asks for welfare cuts and repeal of Human Rights Act to be reconsidered, and warns children will be denied justice in courts

The Conservative government’s policies risk systematically stripping children of their rights, a report for the United Nations has found.

Anassessment by the four children’s commissioners of the UK, the first full-scale review for seven years, called on the government to reconsider its deep welfare cuts, voiced “serious concerns” about children being denied access to justice in the courts, and called on ministers to rethink plans to repeal the Human Rights Act.

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Tribunal refuses to release Abbott government’s university fee modelling

Administrative Appeals Tribunal rules on freedom of information dispute, agreeing calculations could undermine competition in a deregulated market

The advice the Abbott government relied on to pursue its ill-fated policy of university fee deregulation will remain under wraps.

A tribunal has refused to release calculations of the potential impact on student fees, finding the modelling was “speculative” and “not the sort of information upon which someone could sensibly make a ‘major life decision’”.

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Eurozone thrust into state of emergency as Greece left without financial lifeline

Country’s government tables new proposals after fortnight of brinkmanship among EU leaders, demanding bailout be rolled over into new programme

Greece is left alone, insolvent and almost bankrupt on Wednesday after five years of €240bn in European bailouts dried up and the country became the first in the European Union to default on its creditors. The country failed to make a €1.5bn payment to the International Monetary Fund on time and has thrust the eurozone into an emergency.

The long-running debt debacle left Greece on the brink of financial collapse, worsening recent years of wrenching austerity, and represented a historic blow to a Europe committed to the irreversibility of its 16-year-old single currency.

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Donald Trump files $500m lawsuit against Univision for pulling Miss USA

The Republican presidential candidate alleges that the TV network ended its contract to broadcast the pageant as an attempt to stifle his freedom of speech

Related: Univision severs ties with Donald Trump and Miss Universe pageant

US presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump filed a $500m lawsuit on Tuesday against Univision over the Spanish-language TV network’s decision to end its contract to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, which is co-owned by Trump.

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Catholic organisations call for people to change lifestyles to help environment

CIDSE, international alliance of Catholic social justice groups, follows Pope Francis’s environmental encyclical by calling for action against global warming

More than a dozen Catholic organisations will on Wednesday launch a campaign calling on people to make radical changes to their lifestyle choices – including cutting energy use, eating less meat and buying locally produced food – following the release last week of Pope Francis’s sweeping environmental encyclical.

The plan by CIDSE, an international alliance of 17 Catholic social justice groups from Europe and North America, will be announced at a press conference at the Vatican on Wednesday that will include Peter Turkson, the Ghanaian cardinal who helped draft the papal document, and Naomi Klein, the Canadian author and anti-globalisation activist who has said that the only hope of avoiding catastrophic warming of the earth requires “radical economic and political change”.

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US and Cuba to announce agreement to re-open embassies

Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that embassies in Havana and Washington will re-open in major step in ending hostilities between former foes

Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that the US and Cuba have reached an agreement to open embassies in Havana and Washington, a senior administration official said.

The announcement marks a major step in ending hostilities between the longtime foes.

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