The Headlines: What We Know About Turkey and Syria’s Magnitude 7.8 Earthquake

Unpacking Turkey and Syria’s Earthquake

A massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake has struck both Turkey and Syria. This natural disaster has already been confirmed to have killed over 3,700 people. Moreover, these countries’ freezing temps have made things even more difficult for the folks who have been left homeless.

“It was like the apocalypse,” said Abdul Salam al-Mahmoud, a Syrian man who survived the earthquake. “It’s bitterly cold, and there’s heavy rain, and people need saving.”

Meanwhile, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has responded to this tragedy by saying, “Because the debris removal efforts are continuing in many buildings in the earthquake zone, we do not know how high the number of dead and injured will rise.”

“Our hope is that we recover from this disaster with the least loss of life possible. I pray that God protects us and all humanity from such natural disasters.”

The Greens Back a First Nations Voice to Parliament

On February 6, Lidia Thorpe, a proud DjabWurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman, resigned from the Greens party. Thorpe did this because she wants a First Nations Treaty to be created before a First Nations Voice to Parliament is established. She believes that she can’t fight for what she wants in this order within the Greens.

A First Nations Treaty would be an official document that would allow First Nations peoples to run their own affairs without bureaucratic interference. A First Nations Voice to Parliament will be a group of First Nations folks that advise the government on First Nations issues.

Thorpe outlined, “This country has a strong grassroots black sovereign movement, full of staunch and committed warriors, and I want to represent that movement fully in this parliament. It has become clear to me that I can’t do that from within the Greens.”

“Now I will be able to speak freely on all issues from a sovereign perspective without being constrained by portfolios and agreed party positions. Greens MPs, members, and supporters have told me they want to support the Voice. This is at odds with the community of activists who are saying Treaty before Voice.”

On the flip side of this issue, the Greens are now officially supporting the creation of a First Nations Voice to Parliament. They’re also in favour of using a referendum to make this happen.

Adam Bandt, the leader of the Greens said, “We want the referendum to succeed, we want First Nations justice, and we want Truth and Treaty as well as Voice.”

“A strong First Nations body would be a further step towards true self-determination and justice.”

Bandt also said, “I don’t think a ‘no’ vote will get us closer to Treaty and Truth, but I respect that others in the First Nations community may have a different view on that.”

Related: What Is a First Nations Voice to Parliament?

Related: A First Nations Voice to Parliament — 80% of Us Want It

This Outback Health Clinic Is Finally Completed

After a decade-long campaign, the outback Queensland Town of Windorah has a new health clinic. This is going to be huge for the residents of this town, with the nearest hospital being 300 km away.

One such person who’s pleased with this setup is the Mithaka traditional owner Trudy Gorringe. In the past, Gorringe has both volunteered and worked in Windorah’s health sector.

Gorringe said, “Having the newer setup, providing multiple care is going to take a lot of stress off, not just ourselves in what we try and help the clinical staff with, but also our nurses and our RFDS doctors.”

“It’s bringing us into the 21st century, isn’t it… I just think it’s keeping things up to speed for our older people.”

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