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Environment

Artists paint the truth of SA nuclear la la land
'It will be your artists: the poets, painters, actors, dancers, musicians, orators — they will be the ones to lead the changes.'

Bid to ban the sale of fake indigenous art
Indigenous artists and copyright advocates in Australia are rallying behind a proposed private member's bill to crack down on the sale of fake Aboriginal trinkets and souvenirs in the country.

Environment

Mangroves to help restore eco-system
Timor-Leste's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment has launched a joint effort to tackle coastal abrasion by restoring about twelve hectares of mangroves which were damaged by El-Nino or cut down for firewood.

The Political Community

PM’s power scare desperate rubbish
The Coalition government has launched a brazen scare campaign, based on recent power outages in South Australia, over energy. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's team is, if you will, playing base politics with baseload electricity, shamelessly seeking to paint the opposition's push for increased use of renewable energy as a route to stratospheric power prices and chronic unreliability.

Restore poisoned relations with Timor-Leste – Plibersek
Australia must “redouble efforts” to resolve a boundary dispute that has “poisoned relations” with Timor-Leste, Tanya Plibersek has said.
The deputy opposition leader and foreign affairs spokeswoman called for good faith negotiations during a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra. Plibersek also laid down some markers about a broader approach to foreign policy, suggesting Australia could be “a better international citizen, a more active player in our region and a more creative, more confident presence on the world stage”.

Opposing corruption in South Korea a Catholic tradition
Catholic participation in anti-Park demonstrations is part of efforts for a fairer and just society.

How do we explain Trump?
Barely two weeks after his inauguration, Trump has halted travel and immigration to the USA from seven largely Muslim countries, he insists on Mexico building that wall, has cancelled the TPP, promised to build up US military resources, and is possibly welching on the refugee swap with Australia. Could there be echoes in Australian leadership?

Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Activists must stand with migrants and not deny climate change – Pope
Pope Francis says Christians must resist the temptation to demonize others, protect the earth and fight against “the invisible tyranny of money that only guarantees the privileges of a few.”
Writing to the leaders of grassroots organisations meeting in California in February, Pope Francis said that the world is in the midst of an “historic turning point.” He says the “worsening crisis” presents both danger and opportunity.

Work

Swift injustice in modest penalty rates proposal
The Fair Work Commission decision on penalty rates removes any doubt that young people might have still have about their place in the economic order. The four-yearly review of awards in hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy found that Sunday penalty rates 'do not achieve the modern awards objective, as they do not provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net'. But whose safety net? Unfair to whom? These industries are already notorious for exploiting young workers, writes Fatima Measham for Eureka Street.

Poverty

Every day is Ash Wednesday for the poor
For Catholics, Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season, is a day of fasting and penance. For poor Filipinos, however, it is just another day in their daily struggle to survive.

The Death Penalty

The Philippines moves to reinstate the death penalty
The predominantly Catholic Philippines moved closer to reinstating the death penalty on March 1 after a bill to allow capital punishment for drug-related offences passed its second reading in the country's Lower House of Congress.

Use It

Housing First: a path to social justice
The story of St Kilda community activism and the Port Phillip Housing Association by Anne Tuohey and Tony Lintermans covers new geography. Crossing the Yarra, it is very much a St Kilda-centric story, out of which wide consequences grew for other areas, as governments devolved provision of affordable housing to registered housing associations.

Bishops offer Lenten reflections online
Bishops from across Australia will be offering weekly Sunday Gospel reflections online as part of a new Lenten resource prepared by the Diocese of Broken Bay.

From the editor

The Church’s Lenten season is always sobering as we take stock of how we are doing as followers of Christ in a world that seems bound for hell in the cheapest transport available – a handcart. In North America we have a deadly pantomime playing out before our eyes with health safeguards for the poor being dismantled and environmental protections being rolled back so that big business – in many cases, the accelerator of climate degradation – can continue its plundering course.  

Cecily McNeill
Editor

Quote of the month

"The future demands of us critical and global decisions in the face of worldwide conflicts which increase the number of the excluded and those in need.”

Pope Francis to the UN general assembly 25 September 2015

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