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Unemployment at record levels in Japan

By Mike Head, 31 March 1998

Unemployment has risen to a postwar record in Japan, one of a number of indicators that the Asian economic crisis is intensifying a protracted slump in the world's second largest economy.

What Wilde has to say to us moderns

By Tracy Montry, 31 March 1998

Theater review: A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde, at the Hillberry Theatre, Detroit, Michigan, performances from February 13 to Apri1 23

A week of state-sanctioned slaughter

By Jerry White, 31 March 1998

Florida authorities put to death three prisoners last week and are scheduled to execute a fourth, Daniel Remeta, on Tuesday morning. Another prisoner was put to death in Virginia, in the biggest week of state killing this year.

Caterpillar contract ratified

By Jerry White, 28 March 1998

United Auto Workers members at Caterpillar narrowly approved a new six-year contract on March 22. It was the second vote organized by the UAW. A month ago the workers defied the recommendation of the union and voted down essentially the same contract by a 58 percent margin.

New decline in US union membership

By Shannon Jones, 28 March 1998

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics there was another significant drop in US union membership last year, continuing a decades-long trend that has seen the percentage of the American work force organized in unions approach the level that prevailed before the industrial organizing struggles of the 1930s.

Films on US television this week

By David Walsh, 28 March 1998

Some interesting films on US television -- a weekly Arts Review feature of the World Socialist Web Site

Doug Varone and certain trends in contemporary modern dance

By Andrea Grant-Friedman, 28 March 1998

Doug Varone and Dancers, as they recently demonstrated in performance at the Joyce Theater in New York City, exhibit some of the most well defined technical and physical elements that have emerged in late twentieth century modern dance.


By David Walsh, 28 March 1998

The shooting death of four young girls and a teacher in Arkansas at the hands of two students, aged 11 and 13, was a horrible event. No account, particularly one written without a thorough knowledge of the lives and mental states of those responsible, can fully explain the tragedy, much less provide consolation for those immediately involved.

The man and the guinea pigs: a New York City fable

By Bill Vann, 28 March 1998

Youri Cheng, a 27-year-old New York City resident, is facing charges carrying up to 86 years in prison for the crime of illegally releasing his pet guinea pigs in Central Park.

Clinton "feels the pain" of Africa, and prepares new imperialist crimes

By Bill Vann, 28 March 1998

While the thrust of the African trip has been to present an upbeat image of a thriving new continent ready to serve as the partner of US multinationals, Clinton has laced his speeches with apologies or near-apologies for the past sins of the United States.

Damning testimony in government inquiry into BSE crisis

By Barbara Slaughter, 27 March 1998

The official government inquiry into the crisis involving BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), sometimes called mad cow disease, and its human form, new variant CJD (Creutzfeldt Jacobs Disease), began in London on Monday, March 9, shortly after the twenty-fourth British fatality from the disease was reported.

Legal offensive against Clinton continues

By Martin McLaughlin, 27 March 1998

While President Clinton travels in Africa, the legal warfare between the White House and its right-wing opponents continues to intensify, in a series of moves and countermoves in courtrooms in Washington, DC, Little Rock, Arkansas and Lubbock, Texas.

"You can't hold back the human spirit"

By David Walsh, 27 March 1998

World Socialist Web Site arts editor David Walsh interviewed Richard Linklater recently in New York City, where the filmmaker was presenting his new film,The Newton Boys, at the American Museum of the Moving Image. Linklater, the director of Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise and SubUrbia, is one of the most interesting filmmakers currently working in the US.

A tribute to human resiliency

By David Walsh, 27 March 1998

Film review: The Newton Boys, directed by Richard Linklater, written by Richard Linklater, Claude Stanush and Clarke Lee Walker, based on the book by Claude Stanush

New book on BSE widely praised

By our reporter, 27 March 1998

Human BSE/CJD--Anatomy of a Health Disaster details the findings of last year's Workers Inquiry convened by the Socialist Equality Party of Britain into the fatal illness contracted from eating infected beef. It has been praised for its honesty and integrity in uncovering the truth about this public health disaster.

Government, media suggest prison or death for child offenders

By Bary Grey, 27 March 1998

Within hours of the shocking and tragic events at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, government officials announced they were investigating the possibility of applying federal criminal statutes to the two children who fired at their schoolmates and teachers, killing five and wounding fifteen.

A bid to make Africa profitable for US capital

By Bill Vann, 26 March 1998

The Clinton administration has promoted its 12-day, six-nation tour of Africa as the launching of a "new economic partnership" and a demonstration of Washington's support for "progressive" new leaders who are bringing about an "African renaissance." Clinton's domestic political critics have dismissed the trip as a flight from the relentless and humiliating attacks of the special prosecutor and the media over alleged sexual scandals, a subject which continues to dog him even as he makes his way around the African continent.

Creating Africa's new image

By our reporter, 26 March 1998

Before leaving on his African tour, Clinton announced that he intended to acquaint Americans with a "new Africa," one characterized not by war, poverty and famine, but rather economic growth and opportunity.

Thailand: a bonanza for international investors

By Peter Symonds, 26 March 1998

The Chuan government's policies have opened the door for a financial bonanza for international investors and corporations.

Thousands of fleeing Indonesian workers detained

By , 26 March 1998

The Malaysian and Singapore governments are intensifying their persecution of impoverished workers fleeing from Indonesia in search of work.

Long live conformism and banality!

By David Walsh, 25 March 1998

The 70th Academy Awards ceremony was a pretty dire affair. The victory of James Cameron's Titanic in 11 categories certainly set the general tone. Academy members bestowed on this trite and mediocre film awards for best picture, direction, song, cinematography, art direction, film editing, costume design, sound, sound editing, original dramatic score and visual effects.

China sets austerity plan

By Martin McLaughlin, 25 March 1998

The Chinese People's Congress, which concluded its annual session last week, approved a sweeping program of cutbacks in state-owned industry while elevating the program's author, Zhu Rongji, to the post of prime minister.

Netscape highlights World Socialist Web Site

By , 25 March 1998

Netscape browser highlights World Socialist Web Site

British government prepares dismantling of welfare

By Chris Marsden, 25 March 1998

The second budget of the British Labour government paves the way for the complete dismantling of the postwar welfare state system. It will transform Britain into a vast sweatshop economy, with welfare benefits replaced by "workfare" forced labour programs and private pension and health provisions.

Yeltsin's sacking of cabinet jolts Washington

By Barry Grey, 25 March 1998

Russian President Boris Yeltsin's sudden dismissal of his cabinet last Monday apparently took domestic observers as well as Moscow's Western allies unawares.

Two letters on Cuba and a reply

By , 24 March 1998

A reply to inquiries about the SEP's analysis of the Cuban revolution and the Castro regime.

Robert Duvall's false objectivity

By Kate Randall, 24 March 1998

In addition to starring in The Apostle, Robert Duvall wrote, directed and produced the film. Duvall worked on the project for 10 years, and put up his own money to finance the production when none was forthcoming from Hollywood. It must be said that Duvall the actor outshines Duvall the director in this film. He stars as Euliss "Sonny" Dewey, an aging, fiery Pentecostal preacher from Texas.

Films on US television this week

By David Walsh, 24 March 1998

A weekly guide to some of the more interesting films on basic cable television networks. The vast majority of what appears on American television screens is not worth watching. The purpose of this listing is to direct attention to those televised films that possess some aesthetic and social value.

Tensions mount as Asian fallout spreads

By Mike Head, 24 March 1998

The meltdown of the East Asian economies, which has already plunged Japan into its worst recession since 1974, is reigniting fundamental economic and political antagonisms between Washington and Tokyo.

Boeing slashes another 8,000 jobs

By Shannon Jones, 21 March 1998

More US workers face the loss of their jobs with the latest announcements of Boeing and Chase Manhattan.

The crisis in Washington: what history tells us

By Martin McLaughlin, 21 March 1998

The following is the first article in a three-part series outlining the most important political crises of the 1970s and 1980s, the Watergate and Iran-Contra affairs, and the profound abuses of presidential power which they involved. The final article contrasts these earlier scandals with the political offensive against the Clinton administration spearheaded by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.

Japanese big business most exposed to Indonesian crisis

By our Reporter, 21 March 1998

Japanese banks and manufacturers stand to lose far more than their US and European rivals from the ongoing confrontation between the International Monetary Fund and the Suharto regime in Indonesia.

Japan plunges into recession

By Mike Head, 21 March 1998

The global implications of the Asian economic meltdown have begun to reveal themselves in Japan. The world's second largest economy, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the world's production, has officially entered recession, with output dropping for two quarters in a row.

Further video suggestions from a reader

By FM, 21 March 1998

Following up a recent article by David Walsh, a reader recommends several movies from the 1970s and 1980s and considers the reasons for the qualitative decline in Hollywood films.

High schools or holding pens? - The attack on education and the threat to democratic rights

By Larry Roberts and Jerry White, 20 March 1998

There is a deep social and ideological connection between the assault on public education and the growing attack on democratic rights.

Contra-cocaine links confirmed

By , 20 March 1998

A CIA official revealed March 16 that there had been an agreement between the agency and the Reagan administration Justice Department to cover up drug trafficking by the Nicaraguan Contras.

Ford complicit in Argentine repression

By Bill Vann, 20 March 1998

Ford Motor Company's factory in an industrial suburb of Buenos Aires served as a clandestine detention center for workers who

"To make the world a place for creation"

By Richard Phillips, 20 March 1998

This 85-print exhibition, although small in comparison to Lange's vast body of work, gives an overview of her social outlook, the depth of her creative vision and her place in the development of documentary photography.

Unemployment offices privatised in Australia

By Regina Lohr, 19 March 1998

The conservative government in Australia has privatised the federal unemployment agency, turning the processing of jobless claims and referrals into a profit-making business.

A crisis of the political system in America

By Editorial Board, 19 March 1998

History teaches that a political impasse of such proportions, whatever its outer form, reflects profound social and political antagonisms.

US trains Indonesia torturers

By our reporter, 18 March 1998

The American military is training Indonesian special forces units.

Test confirms crisis in US education

By Walter Gilberti, 18 March 1998

Benjamin Spock dead at 94

By Martin McLaughlin, 18 March 1998

The influential pediatrician became a political figure in the 1960s, when he played a significant role in the protest movement against the Vietnam War.

Behind the Suharto-IMF confrontation

By Editorial Board, 18 March 1998

Underlying the clash between the Indonesian dictatorship and the International Monetary Fund is their common fear of a revolutionary explosion.

How US policy has laid the basis for a wider war in the Balkans

By Bill Vann, 17 March 1998

The recent atrocities carried out by Serbian security forces in Kosovo and the eruption of mass protests by the province's ethnic Albanian majority are eerily reminiscent of the tumultuous events which plunged the former Yugoslavia into civil war in 1991-1992.

Regional elections show growing alienation from official parties

By Gerard Naville, 17 March 1998

The victory of the Socialist Party-led coalition was more an expression of the voters' hostility towards the Gaullist and Liberal opposition parties than an endorsement of Jospin's own record in government.

Democrats join attack on Social Security

By Martin McLaughlin, 17 March 1998

Two leading Senate Democrats announced a plan which would open the door to privatization of Social Security

Job cuts mount around the world

By Shannon Jones, 14 March 1998

Job losses mount worldwide as the impact of the Asia crisis spreads.

Libel action victory for Marks & Spencers threatens press freedom

By Jean Shaoul, 14 March 1998

Marks & Spencer's victory in its libel case against World In Action, Granada TV's flagship current affairs programme, will further muzzle investigative journalism and add another weapon to the armoury of the major corporations.

Hunger on the rise in America

By , 14 March 1998

The number of Americans forced to rely on food banks and soup kitchens is rising, and the ranks of the hungry are being swelled by the growing population of working poor.

Strange doings with Air Force One

By Martin McLaughlin, 14 March 1998

For the second time in six weeks an unexplained incident involving Bill Clinton's plane has been reported.

Atrocity in Sri Lanka serves reactionary ends

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka, 13 March 1998

The Socialist Equality Party, Sri Lankan section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, strongly condemns the vehicle bomb detonated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at the city centre of Colombo on Thursday, March 5.

A dangerous development in British politics

By Chris Talbot, 13 March 1998

The quarter-million-strong

Chileans protest as Pinochet becomes "senator for life"

By Bill Vann, 12 March 1998

Thousands of demonstrators clashed with riot police in the Chilean capital of Santiago and in the Pacific port city of Valparaiso for two days running as Gen. Augusto Pinochet, leader of the bloody 1973 military coup, traded his position as commander of the armed forces for a life-time post in Chile's senate.

West Bank erupts after killing of Palestinian workers

By Our Correspondent, 12 March 1998

Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces throughout the West Bank Wednesday in response to the cold-blooded killing of three Arab workers the day before.

A crisis of global proportions

By Editorial Board, 12 March 1998

Despite claims by Western governments that the financial collapse in Asia will have minimal impact on the global economy, indications are mounting that the meltdown is part of a wider and deeper crisis.

From opposition leader to IMF linchpin

By Peter Symonds, 11 March 1998

Amid a rapidly deepening economic and social crisis in South Korea, long-time opposition figure Kim Dae Jung was formally sworn in as president on February 25 at an elaborate ceremony attended by 45,000 people, including pop stars, diplomats, businessmen and political leaders.

Two noteworthy press reports

By Barry Grey, 11 March 1998

There are occasions, increasingly rare, when the establishment press reports facts that run counter to the official version of events, and shed light on the economic, social and political interests that underlie US government policy. Two recent articles dealing with Washington's war buildup against Iraq and the great power diplomacy surrounding the Persian Gulf crisis fall into this category.

Political crisis in India intensified

By Wije Dias, 10 March 1998

Political horse-trading has begun between various bourgeois parties, including the Stalinist parties-the Communist Party of India [CPI] and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)]-as the February-March 1998 general election results provided no single party or coalition with a clear majority.

Recommended videos

By David Walsh, 10 March 1998

A number of factors account for the current popularity of Titanic and similar films, including problems bound up with a crisis of social and political perspective. But the general unfamiliarity of the moviegoing public with the wealth of extraordinary films that have been made in the past also plays a role.

Storm warnings of a global crisis

By WSWS Editorial Board, 10 March 1998

Events in recent weeks have shaken world capitalism and demonstrated that the financial crisis which erupted in 1997 in southeast Asia marked the onset of a new period of economic, social and political instability on a world scale.

SPD chooses Schröder to challenge Kohl in September election

By Wolfgang Weber, 7 March 1998

Gerhard Schröder, the prime minister of Lower Saxony, and not party chairman Oskar Lafontaine, will be the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for chancellor in the Bundestag (federal parliament) elections this coming autumn.

He is pleased with his work

By David Walsh, 7 March 1998

Film review of Live Flesh, directed by Pedro Almodovar, based on the novel by Ruth Rendell

Decline in US factory jobs

By Martin McLaughlin, 7 March 1998

The US Labor Department's employment report for February adds to the warning signs about the impact of the Asian financial crisis on the US economy. The report showed the first decline in manufacturing jobs since the spread of the crisis from Thailand to Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries last October. Manufacturing and mining payrolls both fell 2,000 in the month, while retail payrolls rose only 15,000

Right-wing Hindu party leads Indian vote

By WSWS correspondent, 6 March 1998

Who will form the next government in India remains undecided, but a coalition based on the Hindu-chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party appears probable. The results of the three-week-long national election process reveal a growing political fragmentation, with several dozen parties, most of them regionally based, winning seats in the Lok Sabha, the Indian parliament.

Intel report sends stocks plunging around the world

By Barry Gray, 6 March 1998

When Intel Corporation, the world's largest producer of microprocessors, announced Wednesday after the closing bell on Wall Street that it was revising downward its projections for sales and profits, a palpable shudder ran through financial markets from one end of the globe to the other.

Welfare cuts increase hunger and homelessness

By Jerry White, 6 March 1998

Evidence of the human cost of the Clinton administration's welfare

Aggressive US intervention in Indonesia

By Peter Symonds, 5 March 1998

The Clinton administration dispatched former vice-president Walter Mondale to Jakarta this week as part of a campaign to ensure that the Suharto dictatorship fully implements IMF restructuring and austerity measures agreed to in January.

Ethnic killings escalate in Kosovo

By Bill Vann, 5 March 1998

Armed clashes and mass demonstrations in the former Yugoslav territory of Kosovo are threatening to plunge the southern Balkans into a new and even more dangerous round of ethno-nationalist warfare.

What social interests are being promoted in the Northern Ireland talks?

By Chris Marsden, 4 March 1998

The May deadline for an agreement in the talks over the future of Northern Ireland is approaching. The British and Irish governments aim to secure a formula governing economic and political relations between Northern Ireland, Britain and the Irish republi,c and put the proposal to referendums in both the north and south of Ireland that same month.

Rather rehearses his lines

By , 4 March 1998

A technical error recently provided a glimpse into the workings and mentality of the American media. On February 20, as war fever raged in Washington, CBS News anchorman Dan Rather and Baghdad correspondent David Martin were caught rehearsing coverage of a US bombing raid on Baghdad. For twenty minutes the test report, intended to be seen only in the network's New York and Washington newsrooms, was mistakenly beamed to a satellite where it could be picked up by anyone with the required receiving equipment.

Iraq--a testing ground for US militarism

By Editorial Board, 4 March 1998

Brushing aside the objections of virtually all of the members of the UN Security Council, the US has declared that the Security Council resolution passed Monday gives it a carte blanche to unilaterally launch a massive and sustained bombing attack on Iraq, without even informing the UN in advance.

US militarism and the media

By David Walsh, 4 March 1998

Were it not for the existence of an utterly servile media, the US government would have a far more difficult, if not impossible task in pursuing its policy of naked aggression against a small and devastated country. Washington's

Growing levels of poverty in Scotland

By Steve James, 4 March 1998

A new report entitled

Welcoming the "electricity apocalypse"

By Mike Head, 3 March 1998

A chilling article appeared in the Australian Financial Review last week, literally welcoming the unprecedented electricity blackouts that are continuing to cause chaos in two of Australasia's major cities Auckland and Brisbane.

The 48th Berlin International Film Festival

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998

At first glance the Berlin International Film Festival presented a bewildering array of films from dozens of countries. A perusal of the reviews and documentation was necessary to determine which films appeared to go beyond mere Hollywood-type entertainment and offer fresh and challenging material.

As Clinton prepares new pretext for war: Congressmen call for sabotage and assassination

By Barry Grey, 3 March 1998

The response of the White House and Congress to the UN-brokered deal with Iraq has been to intensify US provocations against Iraq, complete with public demands for sabotage of the country's infrastructure, covert action to topple the regime in Baghdad, and a concerted effort to assassinate Saddam Hussein.

"Our situation requires us to make films dealing with social issues"

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998

An interview with Kim Dong-won, director of The Six-Day Fight in Myong Dong Cathedral.

"We cannot call ourselves democrats when people are still treated like animals"

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 1998

An interview with Hubert Sauper, co-director of Kisangani Diary.