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The Forbes 200 list: billions for the privileged few

By Martin McLaughlin, 30 June 1999

Last week Forbes magazine published its annual list of 200 of the world's wealthiest people, a collection of billionaires whose combined assets topped $1 trillion. As it did last year, the magazine begged pardon for being unable to list every billionaire on the planet, since these now number 465. The full list, it explained, was available on its web site. Forbes noted that the soaring American stock market and a financial rebound in Asia and Latin America produced the latest surge in the holdings of the world's richest, which rose from $879 billion in 1998.

RUC given advance warning of the 1989 murder of Irish lawyer

By Mike Ingram, 30 June 1999

Following revelations in a Belfast court last week that a man charged with the 1989 murder of Pat Finucane was an Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) agent, an article has appeared in the Sunday Tribune that claims to give the full story. Finucane, a civil rights lawyer, was shot in his north Belfast home by Ulster Defence Association (UDA) gunmen, acting on information from a British army intelligence agent.

Huge pollution cloud discovered over Indian Ocean

By Perla Astudillo, 30 June 1999

A recent scientific investigation has identified a huge cloud of atmospheric pollution covering some 10 million square kilometres of the Indian Ocean—an area approximately the size of the United States. The unusual haze was discovered as part of the Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX), which is investigating how pollutants are carried through the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

Quebec nurses enter fourth day of general strike

By Guy Leblanc, 30 June 1999

In defiance of severe anti-strike laws, 47,500 nurses affiliated with the Quebec Nurses Federation (FIIQ) are undertaking a general strike, now in its fourth day. The government has threatened to reconvene the National Assembly at the end of the week to pass a special law to force the nurses back to work. It has also called for some of the provisions of anti-union Bill 160 to be implemented. For each day on strike, nurses would be docked two days of wages; the automatic union dues check-off would be suspended for 12 weeks; and every union involved would be fined $125,000, totaling at least $14 million thus far.

A comment on Intrepid thought: psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union

By , 30 June 1999

29 June 1999

Sacked Australian miners given no help in Canberra

By Steve Dean, 30 June 1999

Coal miners sacked at Oakdale, near Sydney, over three weeks ago are still no closer to receiving any redundancy or entitlement money, despite staging a protest in the national capital, Canberra, on June 24. The 150 miners lost their jobs when the mine was closed due to low world coal prices and a $34 million debt. They are owed $6.3 million in accrued long service, holiday pay, sick leave, severance and redundancy payments.

The Ocalan verdict: US realpolitik in league with the Turkish hangman

By the Editorial Board, 30 June 1999

The death sentence handed down Tuesday by a Turkish court against Abdullah Ocalan, the chairman of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), is an attack on the Kurdish people that must be emphatically condemned and opposed by working people and all those who seek to defend democratic rights.

"An artist must do only what he believes in"

By , 30 June 1999

The following is the first part of an extensive interview with the well-known Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage, whose work Pavuru Valalu (Walls Within) was reviewed on the World Socialist Web Siteearlier this year:

KLA leader Thaci ordered rivals executed, rebel commanders say

By David Walsh, 29 June 1999

An article that appeared in the New York Times Friday sheds additional light on the character of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the group that the US and NATO have made their partners in their military occupation of the Yugoslav province.

Widespread public sector strikes in Corrientes, Argentina

By Perla Astudillo and Margaret Rees, 29 June 1999

Widespread strikes and demonstrations of teachers, tutors, parents, health workers, pensioners and police erupted earlier this month in the northern Argentinian province of Corrientes, creating a sharp governmental crisis. Public sector workers have not been paid for over two months or received their December salary bonus, as the provincial government is bankrupt. Provision of social services has also been suspended.

Labour's European election debacle raises the spectre of the class divide in Britain

By Julie Hyland, 29 June 1999

The British Labour Party's disastrous showing in the European Parliament elections two weeks ago has provoked turmoil among party and government officials.

The US, the KLA and ethnic cleansing

By the Editorial Board, 29 June 1999

It has not taken long for the horrific implications of the US-led war in the Balkans to manifest themselves. Each day brings new reports of killings, rapes, arson attacks and incidents of looting carried out against Serbs and Gypsies in Kosovo, spearheaded by the Kosovo Liberation Army. The attacks have assumed such a scale that even the US media cannot ignore them.

Fifty years of American art

By David Walsh, 29 June 1999

The Whitney Museum in New York is offering a two-part exhibit this year on American art of the twentieth century. The first installment is presently at the museum through August 22; the second will run from September 26 until January 23 next year.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 June 1999

Protests in Ecuador oppose austerity

AIDS is number one killer worldwide: Zimbabwe is worst hit country

By Barry Mason, 29 June 1999

AIDS is now the number one killer disease worldwide, ahead of malaria and tuberculosis. In 1998, four million people in sub-Saharan Africa became infected with HIV, joining approximately 34 million people affected worldwide. Since 1981 approximately 47 million people have contracted HIV, of which 14 million have died.

Israel bombs Beirut and threatens heavier strikes

By Mike Head, 29 June 1999

At least nine people died and 60 were wounded in an eight-hour assault last Thursday and Friday, when Israeli war planes struck two power stations near Beirut, blew up a telephone communication facility in the capital, destroyed two bridges linking Beirut with the south, and bombed a four-storey building in the Bekaa Valley town of Baalbeck.

Papua New Guinea government likely to fall

By Peter Symonds, 29 June 1999

The Papua New Guinea government of Prime Minister Bill Skate is on the point of collapse after the People's Democratic Movement (PDM), the largest party in the ruling coalition, joined the opposition on Monday. PDM leader Mekere Morauta, pointed to the country's currency collapse and other economic troubles, saying that people “have lost confidence in this government and its ability to take the country out of the problems we are facing”.

UN Timor ballot delayed as military violence continues

By Mike Head, 28 June 1999

Widespread military-organised violence has caused the United Nations to delay its proposed ballot on East Timorese secession from Indonesia from August 8 to August 21. Tensions between the UN and the Habibie regime in Jakarta have, moreover, thrown the entire balloting process into doubt, with Habibie declaring that he will not allow any further postponement.

Australia becomes a "share-owning democracy"?

By Ellen Blake, 28 June 1999

One of Australia's biggest share offers, the $16 billion sell-off of the second slice of Telstra, the semi-privatised telecommunications giant, could take place as early as next month. After more than a year of political crisis over the issue, the Howard government finally pushed the legislation through the Senate last week with the help of two “independent” Senators, Brian Harradine and Mal Colston.

India and Pakistan closer to all-out war

By Keith Jones, 28 June 1999

India and Pakistan have moved closed to all-out war, following the apparent failure of a US effort to broker an end to fighting between Indian troops and Pakistani-backed forces in the Kargil-Dass-Batalik region of Indian-held Kashmir.

Greenspan points to "imbalances" in US economy

By Nick Beams, 26 June 1999

Testimony delivered by US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress earlier this month at least clarified one short-term issue—interest rates appear certain to rise at the end of the month. But as far as the long-term questions hanging over the US economy are concerned, the Greenspan and the Fed acknowledge that they really have no idea.

Bouteflika seeks Western investment in Algeria

By Gerard Naville, 26 June 1999

The fundamentalist Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) and its armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army (AIS), this month offered to call off their military struggle against the Algerian government. In return, President Bouteflika offered an amnesty for members of the AIS who gave up their weapons, as well as releasing 4,000 political prisoners.

The European Union elections and the German far-right

By Max Rodenberg, 26 June 1999

Seldom have the pollsters tried so hard to turn an election result on its head, as in the aftermath of the German elections for the European Parliament. Seldom has this task proved so difficult, which is not hard to understand since the results were so unequivocal.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 June 1999

Indonesian police attack Surabaya protest

Suspect arrested for murder of Irish lawyer claims he was an RUC agent

By Mike Ingram, 26 June 1999

Allegations of Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) collusion with loyalist gunmen were given further weight Thursday, when a man arrested for the murder of civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane claimed to have been working as an RUC informer at the time of the killing.

Eyewitness account from Sri Lanka: Tamil mass graves excavated in Chemmani

By our correspondent, 26 June 1999

The World Socialist Web Site won the right to send its own correspondent to the scene of the excavation of mass graves of victims of Sri Lankan military butchery under the Peoples Alliance regime of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Priyadarshana Maddawatta of the WSWS was one among 40 journalists taken to Jaffna on Wednesday, June 16 by an air force plane. The trip was organised by the Sri Lankan Department of Information. This is an eyewitness account by Maddawatta.

Teachers and parents oppose "Self Governing Schools"

By Will Marshall, 26 June 1999

Supported by parents, teachers began strike action on June 6 at Blackburn High School, in the Australian state of Victoria, after the school council voted to become part of the state Liberal government's "Self Governing Schools" (SGS) program.

G-8 powers warn North Korea over missile tests

By Peter Symonds, 26 June 1999

The Group of Eight (G-8) major powers turned up the pressure on North Korea last Sunday with a sharp warning in their final communiqué that they were “deeply concerned” over the country's missile flight tests and alleged missile proliferation. The statement said the group would “examine further individual and collective means of addressing the problem” and enforcing its Missile Technology Control Regime.

US places a $5 million bounty on Milosevic

By Martin McLaughlin, 26 June 1999

The US State Department announced Thursday that the American government would pay a reward of up to $5 million for assistance in arresting Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and other Serb leaders in Yugoslavia and Bosnia.

Some interesting films on US television, June 26-July 2

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 26 June 1999

Video pick of the week—find it in your video store 

NATO forces complicit in ethnic cleansing of Serbs

By Chris Marsden, 25 June 1999

Even as NATO military officials and politicians, visiting Kosovo on Wednesday, pointed to evidence of Albanian graves as vindication of the NATO war, a reign of terror against the Serbian population in the province was escalating.

Kosovo—A Call To Conscience

By C. Knause, 25 June 1999

C. Knause is a guest contributor. The WSWS encourages readers to send comments intended for publication to

Saving Private Ryan: First and second impressions

By , 25 June 1999

To the editor:

US chemical weapons testing scandal in Thailand

By Steve Dean, 25 June 1999

Details are continuing to emerge from Thailand of a growing scandal and cover-up involving the US and Thai military, environmental agencies and the Thai government, concerning US chemical weapons testing in Thailand in 1964-65.

Atrocity claims and the politics of propaganda

By David North, 25 June 1999

The following letter by David North, the chairman of the WSWS Editorial Board, replies to a message sent by P. Harris, a supporter of the Balkan war. Mr. Harris's letter can be read in full by clicking here (

US border crackdown sends immigrant deaths soaring

By Bill Vann, 25 June 1999

Five years after the inauguration of Operation Gatekeeper the number of undocumented immigrants arrested while trying to cross the US-Mexican border has been cut by only 1 percent, while the death toll for immigrant workers attempting to cross the heavily guarded frontier has increased six-fold.

A superb history of Australia's founding

By Brian Smith, 25 June 1999

Vintage Books, 1988, ISBN 0394753666, Republished by Harvill Press, 1996, ISBN 1860461506

Prisons galore: the real face of the New South Wales budget

By Mike Head, 25 June 1999

New South Wales, the most populous state of Australia, has been run by a Labor Party administration since 1995. One set of statistics in its latest Budget, handed down on Tuesday, says much about Premier Bob Carr's government and the future shape of society.

US Supreme Court rulings attack democratic rights

By John Andrews, 25 June 1999

In three reactionary decisions announced at the completion of its 1998-1999 term, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled five to four that state governments are immune from individual lawsuits for violations of federal laws. In doing so, the Court elevated archaic concepts of sovereign immunity dating back to feudal privileges into absolute rules of Constitutional law that can only be changed by amending the Constitution or by future Supreme Court decisions.

Wage freeze hits Philippine workers and poor

By Keith Morgan, 24 June 1999

Philippine President Joseph Estrada, popularly known as “Erap” (Buddy), came to power last year in a populist campaign. He presented himself as a “friend of the poor”. In May, however, he rejected outright union demands for an increase to the minimum wage—a decision that will condemn many workers to hardship and poverty.

No end to the social crisis in Asia in sight

By Peter Symonds, 24 June 1999

Nearly two years ago, the devaluation of the Thai baht on July 2, 1997 sparked an economic collapse throughout Asia. Currencies, share and property values plummetted, creating a spate of bankruptcies. The international financial press is now pointing to the first tentative signs of economic growth in former Asian “tigers” like South Korea as evidence that the worst of the crisis is over.

US youth crime bill: more children to be tried as adults

By Kate Randall, 24 June 1999

On June 17 the US House of Representatives passed a juvenile crime bill which strips young people in America of many of their rights as children in the justice system, and further erodes the distinction between adults and juveniles under the law. The vote was 287-139, with 80 Democrats voting for the bill.

Fourteen-year-olds charged as adults in school shooting plot

By David Walsh, 24 June 1999

A judge ordered two 14-year-old boys to stand trial as adults Tuesday in Port Huron, Michigan, 60 miles northeast of Detroit, on charges that could bring them automatic sentences of life in prison without parole. The teenagers are accused, along with two 13-year-olds, of plotting to murder fellow students at Holland Woods Middle School.

Widespread repression in Bangladesh countryside

By K. Ratnayake, 24 June 1999

The government of Prime Minister Shiek Hasina Wajed in Bangladesh has unleashed a massive military-police crackdown against guerrilla groups and the rural poor. Repression on this scale has not taken place since the end of military rule in 1990.

New evidence of RUC collusion in murder of Irish lawyers

By Mike Ingram, 24 June 1999

A BBC Panorama documentary, broadcast June 21, reinforced allegations that the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) has colluded in the murders of Irish defence lawyers Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson.

German interests in the war against Yugoslavia

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 June 1999

Churchill once said that in war the truth is so precious it has to be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies. In Germany over the last two months one clearly saw the fabrication of such a bodyguard.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 24 June 1999

Irish Ferry staff strike to protest new contract

Wagons East—NATO oil trade route war

By J. Robbins, 23 June 1999

J. Robbins is a guest contributor. The WSWS encourages readers to send comments intended for publication to

US Supreme Court upholds federal death sentence

By Martin McLaughlin, 23 June 1999

In the first case to reach the highest US tribunal since the passage in 1994 of the Federal Death Penalty Act, the Supreme Court upheld a death sentence in a federal criminal case despite ample evidence of judicial error in instructing the jury. The decision was by a 5-4 margin, with the five most conservative justices supporting an opinion written by Clarence Thomas.

European elections seen as prelude to general election in Spain

By Vicky Short, 23 June 1999

The results of elections to the European Parliament have considerably altered the political landscape in Spain, where they went against the general trend in the rest of Europe. Turnout was up by 5 percent as compared with 1994, from 59.14 percent to 64.34 percent. The Social Democrats increased their support, while the right wing lost some. The moderate nationalists lost ground, while the more radical separatist movements gained.

Is economic value subjective?

By , 23 June 1999

To the editor:

Violent clashes in the City of London

By our correspondent, 23 June 1999

Around 50 people were injured and 16 arrests were made in violent clashes between police and demonstrators in London on June 18. Between 6,000 and 10,000 protestors, under an umbrella movement of anarchist and environmental groups called J18, assembled in the City of London, the capital's financial district. The demonstration, dubbed the “Carnival against Capitalism”, was timed to coincide with the G8 summit and had been heavily promoted by a dedicated web site. Protests also took place in 40 other countries.

5.2 million young children in US growing up in poverty

By Paul Scherrer, 23 June 1999

5.2 million young children in the US, nearly one out of every four children under six years old, are growing up in families whose income falls below the federal poverty line, according to a report issued by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) last week. The report found that poverty among young children has declined from the all-time high of 6.4 million children in 1993, but still remains 50 percent higher than the average two decades ago. Overall the young child poverty rate (YCPR) is 22 percent.

Clinton's speech in Slovenia: an abysmal display of ignorance

By Barry Grey, 23 June 1999

In considering US policy in the Balkans, it is at times difficult to determine the dividing line between great power scheming, deliberate falsification and sheer ignorance. A case in point is Clinton's speech Monday in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.

British Steel and Hoogovens merge

By Simon Wheelan, 23 June 1999

British Steel and Dutch rival Koninklijke Hoogovens have announced a $2.7 billion merger, forming the world's third largest steel producer. British Steel will represent 61.7 percent and Hoogovens 38.3 percent of the merged group, which will initially be called BSKH. The new company is to be Europe's biggest steel company. Its headquarters will be in London and shares will be listed on the New York, Amsterdam and London stock exchanges, with a market capitalisation of $4.7 billion and notch up sales worth $15.1 billion.

Kosovo, Kashmir and the New York Times

By the Editorial Board, 23 June 1999

Imagine that Tuesday's edition of the New York Times, a newspaper which has spearheaded the media propaganda campaign in support of the US-NATO war against Yugoslavia, carried an editorial written along the lines of the following excerpts:

Eye-witness says Indonesian minister shot newsmen in Timor

By Mike Head, 23 June 1999

According to front-page reports in two Australian newspapers, a former East Timorese militia commander has accused the Indonesian Information Minister, Lieutenant-General Yunus Yosfiah, of personally participating in the murder of five Australian-based newsmen in the leadup to the 1975 invasion of East Timor.

Labour lays down pro-business agenda for new Scottish Parliament

By Steve James, 22 June 1999

The Scottish parliament has confirmed its intent to champion the drive of big business for global investment at the expense of the working class. On June 17, Scotland's First Minister Donald Dewar announced eight bills to be discussed during the present parliamentary term. Measures include a "toll tax" on drivers using the busy M8 motorway, new measures to discipline teachers, an "anti-corruption" bill directed against local government, and an all-embracing finance act to maintain pressure on all areas of public spending.

Europe's plan to control the Balkans

By Chris Marsden, 22 June 1999

A determined push is being made by Europe to dominate the Balkans in the aftermath of the war. Yesterday the Blair government organised a second meeting to encourage and organise bids by British construction firms and consultants for the rebuilding of Kosovo, worth an estimated £3 billion. Contracts for the entire Balkan region are estimated to be worth £30 billion. The pattern is being repeated throughout Europe. To the same end in Germany, the Schröder government is setting up a task force involving ministries and private firms. An industry executive told the Guardian, "Germans are traditionally the biggest trading partners with ex-Yugoslavia and the Balkans as a whole and, last year, trade amounted to DM25.8 billion. This region needs the reconstruction of its entire infrastructure, energy, transport, telecoms. In all these branches German industry is internationally competitive and we think we are in a position to deliver."

IMF sets economic agenda for next Indonesian government

By Peter Symonds, 22 June 1999

The final count in the Indonesian national election is not due until July 8. And the wheeling and dealing between the major parties to determine who will be the next president and form the next government will only be concluded when the vote in the Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR) is taken in November. But the basic economic policies of the government, whatever its final makeup, have already been determined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of its $45 billion financial aid package to Indonesia.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 22 June 1999

Guyana strikes continue

More letters in response to "After the Slaughter: The Political Lessons of the Balkan War"

By , 22 June 1999

To the editor:

Debt relief: A yawning gap between rhetoric and reality

By Nick Beams, 22 June 1999

The headlines proclaimed billions of dollars of debt relief for the world's poorest countries as a result of the decisions taken by the major industrial countries at their annual G7 summit, held in Cologne over the weekend.

Public meeting draws lessons of Balkans war

By our reporter, 22 June 1999

A public meeting opposing the US-NATO war against Yugoslavia and drawing its political implications was held in Sydney on June 20. Entitled “Socialist principles and the war in the Balkans,” the meeting was called by the Socialist Equality Party, the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International. About 100 people participated, including students and young workers, some from the Balkans.

President Taylor cracks down in Liberia

By Trevor Johnson, 22 June 1999

President Charles Taylor has said that foreign troops sent into Liberia during the eight-year civil war are to leave later this month. The occupying force, known as ECOMOG and comprising mainly Nigerian troops, is due to evacuate on July 26, the one hundred fifty-second anniversary of Liberia's independence. Taylor made the announcement on June 7, after returning from a trip to other African countries including Nigeria. He said that ECOMOG's departure would coincide with the symbolic burning of weapons seized from the various conflicting factions at the end of the civil war. The arms consist of tens of thousands of assault rifles, artillery pieces and millions of bullets.

A letter from Julie Hiatt Steele to the World Socialist Web Site

By , 22 June 1999

The author of the following letter, Julie Hiatt Steele, was the target of a politically-motivated prosecution by Kenneth Starr. During the right-wing impeachment drive, Steele was placed under immense pressure to corroborate the claims of a former friend, Kathleen Willey, who alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton in 1993. When Steele refused, she was charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements, offenses which carried a potential penalty of 35 years imprisonment. The case ended in a mistrial in May 1999.

Brazilian police chief resigns over torture

By Bill Vann, 21 June 1999

On June 18, less than three days after accepting the post of director general of Brazil's national police force, Joao Batista Campelo was forced to resign over mounting charges that he was a torturer under the military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985.

Refugees risk health and lives to reach Australia

By Regina Lohr and Mike Head, 21 June 1999

In the wake of the economic breakdown in Asia has come a sharp increase in the number of refugees arriving illegally by boat in Australia this year. More than 700 have undertaken perilous voyages and endured terrible conditions on unseaworthy vessels. By the end of the year, the total will almost certainly surpass the previous record of over 1,000 in 1994-95.

Legal action over dioxin poisoning in Belgium

By Richard Tyler, 19 June 1999

The European Union is poised to take legal action against the Belgian government for its handling of the dioxin poisoning affair. EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler said the case went beyond Belgium's failure to provide a timely warning to other EU states about the potential hazard from dioxin-contaminated animal feeds and food products.

Kellogg to lay off hundreds at Michigan plant

By Jerry White, 19 June 1999

The giant cereal maker Kellogg announced Thursday that it was considering closing part of its giant Battle Creek, Michigan plant and eliminating 700 of the 1,100 jobs there as part of a plan to save between $35 million and $45 million a year. Kellogg, which has 14,500 employees worldwide, said it would determine the exact number of layoffs at the plant after a meeting with the workers union, the American Federation of Grain Millers Local 3-G.

Some interesting films on US television, June 19-25

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 19 June 1999

 Video pick of the week-find it in your video store

Head of NATO force in Kosovo was second-in-command at "Bloody Sunday" massacre in Ireland

By Julie Hyland, 19 June 1999

Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Jackson is the British K-For commander in Kosovo. This is a position of strategic importance for the UK government. The commanding officer is expected to be someone tried and tested who is held in high regard by the establishment. What are Jackson's qualifications for this position?

China espionage case collapses

By Martin McLaughlin, 19 June 1999

Despite the avalanche of publicity about alleged Chinese spying at US nuclear weapons laboratories, federal officials have concluded that the scientist who has been the principal target of the allegations, Wen Ho Lee, cannot be prosecuted for espionage and may not have committed any criminal offense.

Texas executes Canadian Stanley Faulder

By Kate Randall, 19 June 1999

Stanley Faulder, a 61-year-old native of Jasper, Alberta, was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas on Thursday. His final appeal to the US Supreme Court was rejected 75 minutes before he was put to death. Faulder became the first Canadian executed in the US since 1952.

A reader comments on Notting Hill

By , 19 June 1999

Since I see movies so infrequently, I thought I could give you a capsule review of one I just saw— Notting Hill. I saw it due to a misconception. I thought it was about life in this gritty neighborhood in London—something I would have found interesting. It is instead a kind of Cinderella story where the prince (the Julia Roberts character) comes from her castle in Beverly Hills and takes the suffering son from the dirt (the Hugh Grant character) and transforms him into royalty.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 19 June 1999

Indonesian police arrest 500 workers

The stun belt: Torture at the push of a button

By Elisa Brehm, 19 June 1999

“I woke up a short time later to very intense shocking pain running through my body. This electrical current was so intense that I thought that I was actually dying. I had not been causing any trouble, I was belly chained, shackled, seat belted in, and there was a fence between the officers and me, so there was absolutely no reason for them to be using this device on me... I think they shocked me a second time while I was still in the van. When we arrived, I was unloaded from the van and taken to a holding cell.... Once I was in the cell, several officers came into the cell and again I was shocked by the stun belt. This electrical blast knocked me to the floor, and I could hear the officers laughing and making jokes.”—testimony of an inmate as he was transported in a prison van to a mental health unit

US auto contract talks open: UAW ready to collaborate as Big Three auto makers prepare massive job cuts

By Jerry White, 18 June 1999

Negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the Big Three auto companies began June 14 for new labor agreements covering 405,000 UAW members at General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler plants in the US. The current contracts expire September 14.

Victorian government fails to stop sacked teacher's legal challenge

By Linda Tenenbaum, 18 June 1999

The Kennett government in the Australian state of Victoria has gone to extraordinary—albeit unsuccessful—lengths to prevent sacked school teacher, Geraldine Rawson, from having her day in court. Rawson's legal action will bring under public scrutiny, for the first time, the methods used by the Victorian Department of Education to intimidate, charge and dismiss scores of teachers throughout the state over the past five years.

German trade unions vote for job cuts

By Helmut Arens, 18 June 1999

In a press statement on May 26, Robert Hendry, the head of the board of directors for General Motors Germany, announced that the new Opel plant to be located in Rüsselsheim, Germany, would cost 820 million DM and employ 4,000 fewer workers and white-collar employees than the existing plant.

Ethiopian-Eritrean war draws in neighbouring states

By Jean Shaoul, 18 June 1999

For the last two weeks, Ethiopian and Eritrean troops have been engaged in some of the bloodiest fighting of the year-long border war between the two neighbouring countries. Eritrea claims to have killed, wounded or captured 18,000 Ethiopians, while Ethiopia has spoken of 8,000 Eritreans being "put out of action" as they fight for control of high ground in the Horn of Africa.

Spanish pilot says US ordered targeting of civilians in Yugoslavia

By Chris Marsden, 18 June 1999

On June 14, a Spanish weekly paper published an article detailing how American NATO commanders ordered attacks on civilian targets. The piece in Articulo 20 (Article 20 is the provision in the Spanish constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech) is based on an interview with Captain Adolfo Luis Martin de la Hoz, a NATO pilot from Spain. The article was translated by Jelena Karovic and circulated by the Network for Peace in the Balkans (

Kosovar refugees object to sub-standard conditions in Australia

By Mike Head, 18 June 1999

It hasn't taken long for the authorities in Australia to display their true feelings toward the Kosovar refugees. Having originally been loathe to accept any, the Howard government eventually agreed two months ago to temporarily house 4,000 in far-flung military camps. When the first planeloads landed, Prime Minister John Howard and Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock made long and pompous speeches of welcome.

An exchange with UAW President Yokich on the Ford Rouge explosion

By Jerry White, 18 June 1999

At a press conference June 14 inaugurating the UAW-Big Three auto talks union President Stephen Yokich refused to reveal what union officials knew of workers' complaints about safety violations at Ford's Rouge complex power plant. On February 1 a boiler at the Dearborn, Michigan facility exploded causing the deaths of six workers.

Nervous wait for interest rate decision

By Nick Beams, 18 June 1999

A degree of anxiety surrounds US and global financial markets in the lead-up to the next policy meeting of the US Federal Reserve Board scheduled for June 29-30.

Another "executed" Kosovar leader back from the dead

By Barry Grey, 18 June 1999

How reliable are the press accounts of Serb atrocities in Kosovo? Consider the following item published June 17 by the Boston Globe: “Kosovo Albanian who was believed dead is alive and well, British official says.”

Kosovan "mass graves"agitation: US media seeks to justify NATO war

By the Editorial Board, 18 June 1999

As NATO forces extend their reach throughout Kosovo, the American and British media are seeking to bludgeon public opinion and justify the war against Yugoslavia after the fact. At the center of this propaganda effort is a series of reports on alleged mass grave sites found by NATO soldiers and Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas.

Elections show Denmark split on European Union

By Steve James, 17 June 1999

The European elections gave further evidence that official politics in Denmark is dominated by xenophobia and polarised between pro and anti European Union positions. Protest against declining living standards is trapped behind the "anti-EU" campaigns of the right and left. Less than 50 percent of those eligible to vote did so, and those that did elected 6 (out of 16) candidates for recently formed, or transformed, anti-EU parties.

India and Pakistan prepare for a wider war

By Keith Jones, 17 June 1999

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated sharply, with both countries mobilizing troops along their common border outside of the disputed Kashmir region and political and military leaders openly talking of a fourth Indo-Pakistani war.

Virginia to execute juvenile offender

By David Walsh, 17 June 1999

In violation of international law, the state of Virginia was scheduled Wednesday to put to death a man who was only seventeen years old at the time of his alleged crime. Douglas Christopher Thomas was convicted of murdering his girlfriend's parents in 1990.

NATO spokesman Jamie Shea: the education of a war propagandist

By Ann Talbot, 17 June 1999

" ... the conflict of truth versus truth hid, in reality, a struggle between two forms of propaganda."—French Intellectuals and the Great War 1914-1920 , PhD thesis by Jamie Shea

Justice Denied: The Hurricane Carter Story

By Kate Randall, 17 June 1999

The A & E cable television network is airing a five-part series entitled "Justice Denied" as part of its "American Justice" program, hosted by Bill Kurtis. The series investigates wrongfully accused and convicted individuals in the American judicial system.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 17 June 1999

Unofficial action at Land Rover, England

Britain’s Blair and Germany’s Schröder present a joint programme: “The Third Way/Neue Mitte”

By Peter Schwarz, 17 June 1999

In London on the eve of the European Elections German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his British counterpart Tony Blair, both leaders of their respective social democratic parties, presented a joint paper with the title “The Way Forward for Europe's Social Democrats”.

Trinidad executes nine in four days

By Larry Roberts, 17 June 1999

In early June Trinidad and Tobago carried out an unprecedented nine executions in the space of four days, culminating in the hanging of three convicted murderers June 7. With hundreds of people on death row in the English-speaking Caribbean nations, it is feared that a major new wave of executions has begun.

WSWS reader comments on the US media and the Balkan war

By , 17 June 1999

To the Editor:

South Korea sinks North Korean torpedo boat

By Peter Symonds, 17 June 1999

Tensions between the two Koreas rose on Tuesday after South Korean naval vessels sank a North Korean torpedo boat and badly damaged several other ships during a clash in disputed waters to the west of the peninsula.

To the victor belongs the spoils

By Mark Rothschild, 17 June 1999

The following comment was sent by Mark Rothschild of Los Angeles.

"New Art for a New Era: Malevich's Vision of the Russian Avant-Garde" At the Barbican Centre, London

By Paul Bond, 16 June 1999

The Russian Revolution of 1917 released a burst of creative artistic effort in Russia and internationally. Visitors to London currently have a chance to see both how this manifested itself and how it was ultimately strangled, in a wide-ranging series of events at the Barbican — under the collective title ‘St Petersburg: Romance and Revolution'.

The law of value and the crisis of capitalism

By Nick Beams, 16 June 1999

The following is the third in a series of exchanges between Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Australia and WSWS editorial board member, and Stan R. The earlier exchanges are linked at the conclusion of the present correspondence.