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The Atlanta massacre: what it says about America

By Barry Grey, 31 July 1999

The US has witnessed yet another shooting rampage, this time in the exclusive environs of the Buckhead district of Atlanta, Georgia. By now the basic facts are well known: Mark Barton, a 44-year-old chemist-turned-stock market day-trader, killed his young wife and two children (from a former marriage) last Tuesday and Wednesday, and on Thursday went on a shooting spree at two brokerage firms.

Indonesian opposition leader Megawati breaks two months' silence

By Peter Symonds, 31 July 1999

After nearly two months of silence following the June 7 Indonesian national elections, opposition figure Megawati Sukarnoputri staked her claim to government in a nationally televised speech lasting 80 minutes on Thursday. She said she had a mandate from the people to form a new government and called on President B.J. Habibie “not to take strategic and binding decisions without consulting the party which represents the majority of the vote”. Her Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) won 33.7 percent of the vote as against just 22 percent for the ruling Golkar Party.

The Sierra Leone peace deal

By Chris Talbot, 31 July 1999

On July 7, the warring parties in Sierra Leone's eight-year civil war signed a peace agreement. The deal was agreed in Lome, the capital of Togo, following six weeks of intensive negotiations. The main signatories were Foday Sankoh, leader of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels and Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. African heads of state from Togo, Liberia, Burkina Faso and Nigeria were witnesses to the deal. The United Nations was represented, as well as the Organisation of African Unity and the Economic Commission of West African States.

Big business pays millions to radio talkshow host

By our correspondent, 31 July 1999

A widening scandal has troubled mass media proprietors in Australia over the past two weeks. It began on July 12 when Media Watch, a weekly 15-minute media monitoring segment on the government-owned Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) television network, uncovered a multi-million dollar deal between the country's major banks and an influential radio talkshow host.

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

By , 31 July 1999

Thai power workers oppose privatisation

Some interesting films on US television, July 31-August 6

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 31 July 1999

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

Casino gambling in Detroit—low-wage jobs and illusions of striking it rich

By Jerry White, 31 July 1999

With great fanfare Thursday the Las Vegas-based MGM Grand Inc. opened the doors of its new $220 million casino in Detroit, making Detroit the largest US city to have legalized casino gambling. Public officials and the news media hailed the event as the beginning of the long-awaited revival of Detroit—the poorest big city in America—to be achieved with casino gambling, sports stadiums and other tourist attractions.

A humane life

By Stephen Griffith, 31 July 1999

Jackson's Track is a remarkable story of ordinary Australian people—Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal—living together under difficult circumstances. It is a story of rural life that is rarely told. It is narrated through the eyes of a man whose account testifies to his personal humanity, and sensitivity to those whose lives he touched.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 30 July 1999

Ukrainian coal miners' relatives march to demand payment of wages

David Walsh reviews Eyes Wide Shut

By , 30 July 1999

Eyes Wide Shut is an intriguing failure, a fitting culmination to the career of American director Stanley Kubrick, who died in March at the age of 70. While Kubrick's attempts in his last film to make grand statements are unclear and inflated, in its most successful moments the work does convey something about the difficulties of sharing a life with another human being.

The Serbian opposition: a portrait of Zoran Djindjic

By Peter Schwarz, 30 July 1999

Zoran Djindjic has become a favourite of the German media and politicians. Hardly a day goes by without some news sheet or broadcaster presenting an interview with him. Chancellor Schroeder has received him twice in Bonn. He is treated like a statesman, and indeed, they would like to see him at the head of the Yugoslav state today rather than tomorrow.

Conditions for workers deteriorate under the centre-left D'Alema government

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 30 July 1999

Statistics on poverty in Italy for the year 1998 were recently released. According to the report there were 2,558,000 poor families in Italy last year. This figure translates to 7,432,000 poor people, or 13 percent of the population. ISTAT, the organisation releasing the data, defines the poverty line as a monthly combined income of slightly less than 1,500,000 lire (about $800) for two people.

As US layoffs mount, Federal Reserve threatens moves to undermine workers' wage demands

By Jerry White, 30 July 1999

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan told the US Congress Wednesday that the central bank was prepared to raise interest rates and slow the economy down in order to preempt any significant rise in workers' wages and benefits. The Fed chairman spoke during a week when US corporations, including Compaq computer, Kodak and General Motors, eliminated tens of thousands of jobs.

London detective cleared on all but two disciplinary charges in cover-up of racist murder

By Keith Lee, 30 July 1999

The only police officer to face serious internal charges stemming from the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry was cleared last week of all but two minor breaches of discipline. The hearing —the case was brought by the Metropolitan Police under the supervision of the Police Complaints Authority—found Detective Inspector Ben Bullock not guilty on three charges containing 11 breaches of discipline. Fifteen alleged breaches had been dismissed previously, on the grounds of lack of evidence. In total, Bullock has been found guilty of just 2 of 28 charges.

US Congress nears approval of $800 billion tax cut for the rich

By Martin McLaughlin, 30 July 1999

The tax cut legislation passed by the US House of Representatives last week and scheduled for a final vote July 30 by the US Senate is one of most brazen pieces of class legislation ever adopted by an American Congress. It proposes to cut $792 billion in federal taxes, with the vast majority of the windfall going to the wealthiest families.

Tories oust Liberals in Nova Scotia election

By our correspondent, 29 July 1999

After six years in opposition, the Tories have been returned to power in Nova Scotia, the largest of Canada's four Atlantic provinces.

The impact of globalisation on urban development

By Simon Wheelan, 29 July 1999

The Blair government's Urban Task Force report, “Towards an Urban Renaissance”, states that England's regions require regional capitals or groups of regional capitals that are economic and cultural powerhouses and display a strong European identity. This is in order to promote urban regeneration as the basis for increasing urban competitiveness. Strong local government is necessary by means of further devolution and regionalism, is the report's advice.

Readers write in on the issue of workers' democracy

By , 29 July 1999

PS 26 July 1999

A military massacre in Aceh

By Mike Head, 29 July 1999

In what witnesses described as a massacre, Indonesian troops shot dead up to 60 people and wounded 10 last Friday in two villages in the western part of Aceh, the oil-rich region on the northern tip of Sumatra. It was the worst military killing this year in what has become an escalating campaign to suppress the secessionist Free Aceh movement.

Poor and elderly die in US heat wave

By Shannon Jones, 29 July 1999

As thousands sweltered in the recent heat wave in the US midwest the failure of electrical power systems heightened the suffering, particularly for poor and elderly victims. At least 44 people died from the heat over the past week, including 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio, 16 in Illinois and 13 in St. Louis, Missouri. In several states there were critical shortages of electricity and threats of power blackouts.

"Operation Horseshoe" —propaganda and reality

By Peter Schwarz, 29 July 1999

A reader from Italy wrote to the WSWS: ”I am an Italian Marxist and your reader. Your Internet issues are very precious and important. Please, I need help about some questions. What do you think about Operation ‘Horseshoe' and its discovery by German intelligence?” We publish the answer to this question, which is of general interest.

Sharp tensions erupt across the Taiwan straits

By Peter Symonds, 29 July 1999

Sharp tensions have erupted between China and Taiwan following remarks by Taiwanese President Lee Teng Hui earlier in the month describing the relations between the two countries as “state-to-state” and thus implying a discarding of the “one China” policy previously adhered to by both regimes.

Dollar fears send tremor through markets

By Nick Beams, 29 July 1999

Barely weeks after spokesmen for the International Monetary Fund and other global financial institutions declared that the so-called Asian financial crisis had run its course, world financial markets have been experiencing a new round of jitters. This time, though, the cause of the nervousness is not “emerging markets” but the situation in the United States.

Niger takes on the trappings of civilian rule

By Brian Smith, 29 July 1999

The West African state of Niger held a referendum July 18 on a new civilian constitution for the country.

Iran: the political situation in the aftermath of the mass protests

By Justus Leicht, 28 July 1999

According to international press reports, the situation in Iran has now "calmed down" or "normalised". Human rights organisations and Iranian student groups report that over the weekend of July 17-18 about 1,400 were arrested, up to a dozen were killed by the police, and many have "disappeared".

An exchange about the financial bubble in the US economy

By Nick Beams, 28 July 1999

The following is a reply by WSWS editorial board member Nick Beams to a reader's letter about Beams' July 8 article, “When will the US ‘debt bomb' explode?” http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jul1999/econ-j08.shtml

US Reform Party convention: political confusion and right-wing nostrums

By Martin McLaughlin, 28 July 1999

The Reform Party, which arose as a byproduct of billionaire H. Ross Perot's 1992 presidential campaign, held its fifth national convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan, July 23-25. Attended by more than 350 delegates and at least an equal number of alternates and guests, the convention provided further evidence that this organization is no alternative for working people to the big business-controlled two-party system in the United States.

A letter on the US debt bubble

By , 28 July 1999

Dear Editor:

The impact of globalisation on urban development

By Simon Wheelan, 28 July 1999

The Labour government's Urban Task Force, headed by the renowned architect and city planner, Lord Richard Rodgers, has released its report on the state of infrastructure and social well-being in Britain's cities. Entitled “Towards an Urban Renaissance ”, the report is the most comprehensive picture of city life in England for more than two decades.

King Hassan of Morocco: world leaders mourn a ruthless despot

By Jean Shaoul, 28 July 1999

King Hassan II of Morocco, who died at the age of 70 last Friday after 38 years on the throne, was the second Middle Eastern puppet of US and European imperialism to die in the last six months.

On the WSWS article about the deaths of three US construction workers

By , 28 July 1999

23 July 1999

Praise —"Gritty realism" and the problem of perspective

By Gabriela Notaras and Ismet Redzovic, 28 July 1999

Praise is one of the more successful Australian films released this year. Still showing at some metropolitan cinemas and soon to be released on video, the locally acclaimed movie secured the International Film Critic's Award at last year's Toronto Film Festival. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Andrew McGahan, who also wrote the screenplay, the film is the directorial debut of John Curran, an American who has been living in Australia since 1988.

Shortages of casual teachers highlight education inequality

By Erika Zimmer, 27 July 1999

A group of school principals in Sydney recently compiled a survey showing that some of the most disadvantaged students in the city's working class western suburbs are missing out on lessons because absent teachers, whether ill or on leave, are not being replaced by casual or relief teachers.

Australian Premiers call for inquiry into how to cut health spending

By Mike Head, 27 July 1999

Unable to agree on specific measures to further slash spending on public health care, the eight leaders of the Australian states and territories last Friday urged the federal government to conduct a Productivity Commission inquiry into the health system, describing it as “unsustainable”. Labor Party state Premiers joined their conservative colleagues at a summit meeting where they collectively called for a complete review of the 25-year-old Medicare system, under which the federal government pays the fees for most medical procedures.

Unions strangle Quebec nurses' strike

By Keith Jones, 27 July 1999

The Quebec Federation of Nurses' Conseil Confédéral voted last weekend to terminate the militant strike that Quebec's 47,500 nurses have mounted since June 26, although the nurses have no contract and their wages will be garnisheed by tens of millions of dollars under draconian antiunion laws.

The massacre of Serbs in Gracko: Who is responsible?

By Barry Grey, 27 July 1999

The massacre of 14 Serb farmers in the Kosovan village of Gracko is the most horrific attack to date on Serbs and Gypsies since the entry of NATO troops into the province six weeks ago. The villagers, aged 15 to 60, were harvesting their crops on July 23 when they were cut down by automatic weapons fired at close range from several directions. The attackers—soldiers of the Kosovo Liberation Army, according to the testimony of Gracko inhabitants—mutilated the bodies of their victims.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 July 1999

1,500 Brazilian auto workers strike Ford

A contribution to the critique of Jürgen Habermas

By Darshana Medis, 27 July 1999

The following contribution by a reader from Sri Lanka comments on the article "How Jürgen Habermas defends the Balkan war" by Ulrich Rippert http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/jun1999/habe-j05.shtml

At a loss

By David Walsh, 27 July 1999

Peter Mullan is a Glasgow-born actor and director. He played the leading role in British filmmaker Ken Loach's My Name is Joe, winning a prize for his acting at the Cannes film festival. He also appeared in Riff Raff and Trainspotting. Mullan has directed television dramas and several short films; Orphans is his first feature film.

Sri Lankan journalists march against crackdown on media

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 July 1999

Journalists in Sri Lanka held a protest march July 21 in Colombo to denounce the brutal attack carried out by uniformed and plainclothes policemen and thugs on reporters covering a demonstration organized by the opposition United National Party (UNP) on July 15.

Rogue Trader: A film deeply in awe of the market

By Tony Hyland, 27 July 1999

Rogue Trader opens with Nick Leeson explaining how someone from his lower middle class background ended up working for the oldest merchant bank in the world: “Thanks to Maggie Thatcher's deregulation of the City of London...”

Indonesian generals bid for a major role in next government

By Peter Symonds, 26 July 1999

A feature article in last week's edition of the US-based BusinessWeek magazine revealed details of a concerted push by the Indonesian military for a major public role in the new government to be formed later in the year, including either the presidency or vice-presidency for the present Defence Minister and Armed Forces Chief General Wiranto.

Ford offers settlement to block lawsuits over Michigan plant explosion

By Jerry White, 26 July 1999

Ford Motor Co. has offered the families of each worker killed or injured in the February 1 explosion at its Rouge complex power plant in Dearborn, Michigan, a financial settlement in return for dropping any future legal actions against Ford or other parties involved in the facility. The company has offered the families of the six workers killed and 14 injured $1 million each and some additional benefits, in a settlement that will also reportedly ban the survivors or their families from publicly talking about the blast.

The death of JFK Jr. and the politics of celebrity

By Martin McLaughlin, 24 July 1999

A week-long media barrage on the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. culminated in the burial at sea Thursday of the ashes of Kennedy, his wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren, and the memorial service Friday in New York City. While both the burial and the funeral were private and closed to the press, the American media nonetheless gave them virtually continuous coverage, with the television networks showing hour after hour of long-distance shots of the naval warship from which the ashes were to be scattered and the cathedral in Manhattan where a select group of mourners gathered.

Health services as an economic factor-the example of Poland

By Brigitte Fehlau, 24 July 1999

Poland has recently been showered with praise in the Western press. Of all Eastern Europe, Poland's transition from a planned economy to a market economy has been most successful, they say. Its economic data is exemplary, and the country is even a candidate for membership in the European Union (EU).

Some interesting films on US television, July 24-30

By Marty Jonas and David Walsh, 24 July 1999

Asterisk indicates a film of exceptional interest. All times are EDT.

Media hysteria fails to prevent release of John Lewthwaite

By Cheryl McDermid, 24 July 1999

The campaign to stop the recent release on parole of John Lewthwaite, convicted in Sydney, Australia, 25 years ago for the killing of five-year old Nicole Hanns, raised questions about the role of the mass media and the official political agenda. It also produced signs of disquiet among working people, civil libertarians and academics.

The crisis in Britain's mental health care

By Julie Hyland, 24 July 1999

The Blair government's proposals to lock away those deemed to be suffering from a Severe Personality Disorder serve to divert attention from the real problem highlighted by incidents such as the Russell murders—the crisis in Britain's mental health care.

British government proposes draconian legislation against mentally ill

By Julie Hyland, 24 July 1999

Last Monday, the Labour government issued proposals to indefinitely detain mentally ill people who have committed no crime, but are deemed to be suffering from "Severe Personality Disorder" (SPD). Launched on the pretext of protecting "public safety", these measures highlight Labour's draconian, "law and order" response to social problems.

Well-deserved accolades for new Loach film

By Richard Phillips, 24 July 1999

My Name is Joe by veteran British director Ken Loach is a compassionate and finely crafted work about Joe Kavanagh, a 37-year-old recovering alcoholic, from Ruchill, a poverty-stricken suburb of Glasgow. The film, which has first-rate performances by its crew of professional and amateur actors, has been widely praised since its release. Peter Mullan, who plays Joe, won the Best Actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998 and the film has been nominated for several prestigious awards. It was also voted the most popular movie at the Sydney Film Festival, despite only one screening. These honours are well-deserved.

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

By , 24 July 1999

Indian rail workers strike

The nature of democracy in capitalist Russia (perhaps not in Russia alone?)

By , 23 July 1999

The Financial Times carried a report July 14 on the fact that the well known Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky intends to run for a seat in parliament this December. Berezovsky made a mint during the past ten years as a leading participant in the looting of the Soviet economy, which was conducted under both Gorbachev and Yeltsin.

Italy bars entry to fleeing Kosovan Gypsies

By Mike Ingram, 23 July 1999

As the full extent of the human catastrophe unleashed on the Balkans by NATO bombers begins to emerge, the Italian government has proclaimed that it "can no longer apply the terms of the humanitarian protection decree which was in force during the war".

Rush to complete new stadium blamed for deaths of three US construction workers

By Peter Stavropoulos, 23 July 1999

Three construction workers were killed July 14 when a 567-foot crane lifting a 400-ton section of a retractable roof bent in half and collapsed inside the new Miller Park stadium being built for the Milwaukee Brewers' professional baseball team. An estimated 1,200 tons of concrete and debris fell, killing the workers and injuring five others, including the crane operator.

US and World Bank threaten Indonesia over Timor

By Mike Head, 23 July 1999

The United States and the World Bank have both threatened Indonesia with diplomatic and financial retaliation if the Jakarta regime continues to support militia attacks on people in East Timor, in the lead-up to next month's scheduled UN-supervised ballot on autonomy or secession. The threats from Washington underscore the critical economic and strategic interests at issue in the former Portuguese colony and throughout the entire Indonesian archipelago.

Argentine economy in free fall

By Bill Vann, 23 July 1999

Argentina faces presidential elections in barely 90 days under conditions in which the country's economy remains in free fall, with a recession now entering its second year and production falling steadily as unemployment rises.

The impact of globalisation on health and safety at work

By Paul Mitchel, 23 July 1999

Two departments of the United Nations recently warned that globalisation may considerably increase the number of work-related diseases and injuries in the next century. They said the pressures for deregulation of the basic standards for health and safety is growing.

Human guinea pigs and profiteering in World War II

By Phil Gardiner, 23 July 1999

More than four months after an initial exposure of the use of Australian soldiers and civilians in potentially-fatal anti-malaria drug trials during and after World War II, government agencies have issued no response concerning the long-term health impact on those involved.

Nurses' rejection vote opens way to broader struggle against Quebec government

By Keith Jones, 23 July 1999

In a stunning rebuke of both Quebec's Parti Québécois provincial government and the leadership of their union, Quebec nurses have voted to continue their struggle for better working conditions and patient care. In a secret ballot vote Wednesday, 75 percent of the nurses rejected a sellout contract that the government and Quebec Federation of Nurses (QFN) negotiators had cobbled together late last week so as to scuttle the nurses' militant month-long strike.

The subtle work of a much-neglected Australian artist

By John Christian, 22 July 1999

Politically Incorrect: Clarice Beckett Retrospective The Art Gallery of South Australia, August 6—September 19 Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, September 30—October 31

Australian immigration crackdown claims new victims

By Regina Lohr, 22 July 1999

Fourteen refugees from Sri Lanka are missing, believed drowned, in the Indian Ocean about 80 kilometres from the Australian territory of Christmas Island, after their vessel, an overcrowded Indonesian fishing boat, sank on Monday. The boat had been drifting since last Thursday when its engine broke down.

Letters on the Moon landing anniversary

By , 22 July 1999

Dear Editors,

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 22 July 1999

Railway guards in Britain to be balloted for industrial action

Record trade deficit in US fuels tensions with Europe and Asia

By Jerry White, 22 July 1999

The US international trade gap rose to a record $21.34 billion in May, a 14.8 percent jump from April's $18.5 billion deficit, according to a US Commerce Department report released Tuesday. It was the worst trade performance for the US since the government agency began compiling monthly trade statistics in 1992.

Inside the US prison system—frame-ups, brutality and murder

By Kate Randall, 22 July 1999

America's prison system is notorious around the world for both its vast scale—more than 1.6 million people, enough to comprise the country's fourth-largest city—and for the savagery of its treatment of prisoners, culminating with the barbarism of capital punishment. Five examples of conditions in the prisons are culled from news reports over the past week.

TB on the rise in Britain

By Barry Mason, 22 July 1999

The growing incidence of tuberculosis in Britain has prompted the formation of a campaign group, TB Alert. TB is caused by a bacterial infection, which can affect any part of the body, but most usually the lungs. The bacterium gradually destroys the tissues in which it is in contact. In TB of the lungs the infected person will develop a persistent cough which progressively gets worse. The coughing can often cause blood vessels to rupture and the person will cough up blood. It is accompanied by a gradual loss of weight, listlessness and high temperature. The bacteria are transmitted through the air, and so are is quite contagious, but the infection is usually caught only by living in close contact with an infected person.

Humanitarian disaster in Yugoslavia

By Mike Head and Michael Conachy, 22 July 1999

In the wake of the US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the people of Serbia are confronting a “dramatically awful” humanitarian crisis—far bigger than that in Kosovo—according to a senior Red Cross official. People have no jobs, often no water and electricity, and face a desperate situation in the coming winter.

Libya's Colonel Gadhaffi—from pariah to African "statesman"

By John Farmer, 22 July 1999

Colonel Muammar Gadhaffi, the Libyan leader, has undergone a significant transformation as the country emerges from seven years of United Nations' sanctions. Dubbed the “godfather of terrorism” by the US, he is now being hailed by the European imperialist powers as the new elder statesman of Africa. The rehabilitation of Gadhaffi has seen him acting as mediator in conflicts such as the Eritrean-Ethiopian war; the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (where the United Nations welcomed his role); the Sudan civil war and the war in Sierra Leone. He even offered to negotiate in the US-NATO war against Yugoslavia.

Two accidents highlight worsening coal mine safety

By Noel Holt, 22 July 1999

Two incidents have again focused attention on the deadly conditions in the mining industry in New South Wales, one of Australia's largest coal producing states. Late on Tuesday evening, 50-year-old Kevin Downes was crushed when a wall collapsed at the United Collieries mine at Warkworth, near Singleton, in the Upper Hunter Valley.

Letters from WSWS readers

By , 21 July 1999

My contempt for National Public Radio grew a couple of days ago when I heard their Los Angeles stringer do a piece on Clinton's visit to Watts. With Clinton was "Magic" Johnson who, as the stringer noted, has "invested" in Watts by opening several movie houses there. And then on to the next cliché and to the end of the report.

US warplanes continue killing in Iraq

By Martin McLaughlin, 21 July 1999

American fighter bombers inflicted their bloodiest attack on Iraqi civilians in nearly six months Sunday, killing 17 people and wounding 18 more along a highway near the city of Najaf in the South of the country. It was the highest civilian casualty toll since 24 people were killed by missiles which slammed into a residential neighborhood in the city of Basra, also in the South, last January.

Union leaders conspire with government to end militant strike

By Guy Leblanc, 21 July 1999

The 47,500 members of the Quebec Federation of Nurses (QFN) are voting today, July 21, on a contract settlement with the Parti Québécois provincial government. Aproved by 600 QFN delegates last Saturday by a margin of just 62 percent, the proposed settlement has been widely condemned by rank-and-file nurses as a sellout of their struggle to secure better working conditions and defend public healthcare.

Northern Ireland "peace process" in disarray

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 1999

Fifteen months after the Good Friday Agreement established the mechanism to devolve certain powers to an elected Northern Ireland Assembly, the "peace process" lies in disarray. On Monday, July 12, Britain's House of Commons began debating the devolution bill proposed by the Labour government. The intention was to rush this through Parliament, to be voted on the next day, and then receive the Royal Assent on Friday, July 16.

One of this century's human tragedies, as witnessed by a child

By Richard Phillips, 21 July 1999

Earth, by Deepa Mehta is an intelligent and deeply moving personal account of the partition of India.

US orchestrated Suharto's 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia

By Mike Head, 21 July 1999

Previously-secret documents at the Australian Archives in Canberra indicate that the Australian government—then led by Liberal Party Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies—and the Australian military, intelligence and diplomatic services were closely involved in the 1965-66 Indonesian coup carried out by General Suharto.

Union agrees to "performance pay" for New Zealand teachers

By a correspondent, 21 July 1999

The union covering secondary school teachers in New Zealand, the Post Primary Teachers' Association, has completed a deal with the National Party government to introduce a system of performance-related pay for teachers. With the primary sector union having already come to a similar agreement last year, in return for pay equalization across the two sectors, all New Zealand teachers are now covered by employment contracts based on having their pay linked to so-called “professional standards”.

Xenophobic attacks on North African immigrants in Spain

By Vicky Short, 21 July 1999

African immigrants living in Spain were subjected to three days of attacks last week. Skinheads displaying fascist symbols and carrying knives were amongst the violent assailants.

The Moon landings in historical perspective

By Martin McLaughlin, 20 July 1999

Thirty years ago--at 4:17 p.m., American Eastern Daylight Time, July 20, 1969--Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin became the first men to land on the Moon. The astronauts of Apollo XI were followed by ten more, in the series of six Apollo missions that made successful landings on the Moon.

Labour government agrees deal to keep Govan shipyard open

By Mike Ingram, 20 July 1999

Following 24-hour talks in London, agreement was reached between GEC, Kvaerner and the British government to transfer ownership of Kvaerner's threatened Govan shipyard in Glasgow to GEC's naval wing, Marconi Electronics.

US orchestrated Suharto's 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia

By Mike Head, 20 July 1999

Documents from the US State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) indicate that, having seized power on October 1, 1965, Indonesia's General Suharto and other army generals—acting on the urgings of US leaders—used military and Muslim death squads to massacre of hundreds of thousands of workers, students and peasants.

British Labour's "modernisation programme": transferring public assets to private capital

By Jean Shaoul, 20 July 1999

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced six new National Health Service hospital developments worth a combined total of almost £650 million. It is part of a third wave of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) building in the NHS that brings investment in new hospitals to more than £3.1 billion since Labour came to power.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 20 July 1999

Saskatchewan nurses oppose union deal

Australian tycoon uses police and helicopters against Visy Board strikers

By Erika Zimmer and Mike Head, 20 July 1999

One of Australia's wealthiest tycoons, Richard Pratt, has used helicopters, security guards, police and the courts against workers fighting to defend their basic rights and conditions at Visy Board factories in Sydney over the past two weeks. Pratt's packaging empire has boosted his personal fortune to an estimated $2.4 billion, but his company pays production workers a flat rate of only about $500 a week, before tax, effectively forcing them to work long overtime hours.

Estrada embarrassed by proof of Marcos billions

By Keith Morgan, 20 July 1999

A series of six articles by journalist Donna S. Cueto of the Philippines Daily Inquirer, exposing the extent of the Marcos fortune, has thrown the Estrada administration into its greatest political turmoil since taking office a little over a year ago.

Five days in Ecuador general strike

By Gerardo Nebbia, 20 July 1999

A major social and political explosion is taking place in the South American country of Ecuador, where a nationwide transport strike against the government of President Jamil Mahuad has come together with mass protests by impoverished Indian peasants in the Andean highlands. What follows is a day-by-day account of the crisis over the past week.

After the elections in Armenia

By , 19 July 1999

Largely ignored by the Western media, parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic of Armenia took place May 29. Even though they were not the exemplary elections promised by President Robert Kocharian, the irregularities were far fewer than in those held in 1995, 1996 and 1998. The main criticism was that electoral registers in many polling districts had not been brought up to date. However, given the large number of Armenian migrants, this was an objective problem.

US orchestrated Suharto's 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia

By Mike Head, 19 July 1999

Damning new evidence has come to light pointing to the extent of the involvement of the United States government, closely supported by the Australian and British administrations, in the military coup staged in Indonesia by General Suharto on October 1, 1965 and the subsequent massacre of up to one million workers, peasants, students and political activists.

Neglect of flood control threatens China for second successive year

By James Conachy, 19 July 1999

Severe flooding has taken place along China's Yangtze River over the last three weeks, affecting the same provinces that were devastated by last year's floods.

Task Force calls for major attacks on City University of New York

By Fred Mazelis, 19 July 1999

The report issued last month by the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on the City University of New York provides graphic evidence of the crisis of the public higher education system in the financial and cultural capital of the United States.

Media sensationalism and the Kennedy crash

By Martin McLaughlin, 19 July 1999

It was sad to hear the news Saturday of the likely death of John Kennedy Jr., son of the assassinated president, his wife and his sister-in-law, in the crash of his small plane off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. Whatever one's political opinion of the Kennedys, no one would wish greater personal misfortune for a family that has lost so many people to violent death.

The judgement in the show trial of Öcalan and the policies of the PKK

By Justus Leicht, 19 July 1999

Two weeks have gone by since the passing of a death sentence in the show trial of the leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah “Apo” Öcalan. The judgement, along with the whole trial, was a complete travesty of justice. Together they made clear not only the depths of contempt on the part of the Turkish state for the Kurdish people but also the utter ineffectiveness of the nationalist perspective of the PKK in defending the democratic rights of the Kurds.

US racist church linked to more murders

By Shannon Jones, 17 July 1999

More information has come to light about the racist group tied to the July 4 weekend shooting rampage in Illinois and Indiana that left two people dead. Supporters of the World Church of the Creator, based in Peoria, Illinois, have been tied to violent attacks across the US, including the recent murder of a gay couple in Northern California.

Outskirts and Checkpoint: two films from Russia

By Richard Phillips, 17 July 1999

The liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991 impacted dramatically on Russian filmmakers. The once-giant film industry, which trained and provided employment for hundreds of actors, scriptwriters, directors and technicians, is now a shell of its former self. Studios have been privatised or closed outright, finance available for film production has been drastically cut and the number of films produced reduced to a fraction of the previous output.

WSWS readers comment on Kosovo, Kurdistan

By , 17 July 1999

“Potential environmental catastrophe in Balkans” by Michael Conachy not only provides information that the mass media fails to report, it also reveals the devious and hypocritical attitudes displayed by their blaming the Yugoslavian authorities for not informing the people of these dangers.

A conversation with Petr Lutsik

By Richard Phillips, 17 July 1999

Petr Lutsik, the 39-year-old Ukrainian born film director of Outskirts began his formal education in the film industry after he had graduated from the Moscow Institute of Steel Technologies in 1982. Lutsik enrolled at the Moscow Film Academy, specialising in scriptwriting, and went on to work as an assistant director and administrator for the Uzbekfilm Studio in 1984-85 before collaborating with Alexei Samorijadov on scripts for eight feature films. Outskirts, released in 1998, is his directorial debut.

Bankers' man installed as PNG Prime Minister

By Laura Mitchell, 17 July 1999

A week of intense political drama culminated on Wednesday in the installation of Sir Mekere Morauta as Papua New Guinea's next Prime Minister. Morauta, an advocate of International Monetary Fund-ordered restructuring and austerity, was the candidate openly favoured by the government in Australia, PNG's former colonial ruler and largest single source of investment.

Zimbabwe: Trade unions step in to form a new pro-business party

By Stuart Nolan, 17 July 1999

As Zimbabwe slides towards economic collapse, the trade unions have stepped in to form a new political party. But this is a party that will look after the interests of big business, the rich farmers and inward investors, not the working class.

Terrorism indictments brought against six tea plantation workers

By a correspondent, 17 July 1999

Six Tamil-speaking youths who were arrested in June 1998 on false charges of bombing a tea factory in Hatton, a country town in Sri Lanka's highland plantation region, have been indicted under Sri Lanka's notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) by the Peoples' Alliance (PA) regime.

Some interesting films on US television, July 17-23

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 17 July 1999

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

South Korea's economic recovery—a recovery for whom?

By Terry Cook, 17 July 1999

According to recent reports, South Korea's economy is on the road to recovery. The Bank of Korea issued a statement last week predicting 6.8 percent economic growth with one percent inflation this year.