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Readers respond to comment by Barry Grey on Michael Ignatieff's defense of Kosovo War

By , 30 November 1999

The WSWS received the following letters in response to our November 27 comment “Michael Ignatieff in the New York Times —Liberal historian defends the Balkan War against Kosovo "revisionists:" Sophistry in the service of imperialism.”

An exchange of letters on Freudianism and Marxism

By , 30 November 1999

We are publishing the following exchange of letters on Freudianism and Marxism for the information of our readers. The first letter is the response of a WSWS contributing writer, Allen Whyte, to Intrepid Thought: psychoanalysis in the Soviet Union (written by Frank Brenner and published by the World Socialist Web Site in two parts, 11 and 12 June 1999); the second is Brenner's reply.

New Northern Ireland Executive to convene this week

By Mike Ingram, 30 November 1999

The Ulster Unionist Council voted in favour of entering a power-sharing Executive with Sinn Fein on Saturday. The slender majority should enable a devolved government with limited powers to be established in Northern Ireland by the end of the week.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 November 1999

Indian march reaches Quito

Agreement signed in Istanbul on US-backed Caspian oil pipeline

By Patrick Richter, 30 November 1999

On November 18 and 19, representatives of 55 nations met in Istanbul, Turkey at a summit meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The United States sent a top-level delegation, including President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Samuel Berger. Clinton combined participation at the summit with a five-day state visit underscoring Washington's strategic alliance with the Turkish regime.

Indictment of Argentina's military alarms political establishment

By Will Marshall, 30 November 1999

Outgoing Argentine President Carlos Menem has bitterly opposed moves by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon to indict 98 former Argentine military officers for carrying out atrocities. Garzon's 282-page arrest warrant, issued in Madrid on November 3, documents some of the crimes committed under military rule from 1976 to 1983. During the military's “Dirty War” its officers killed about 30,000 people and illegally imprisoned and tortured many others.

Manslaughter trial of 11-year-old continues in Australian Supreme Court

By Richard Phillips, 30 November 1999

Prosecution evidence in the trial of an 11-year-old boy on manslaughter charges over the drowning death of Corey Davis was completed last Friday in the New South Wales Supreme Court. The child is the youngest person to face the Supreme Court and the youngest ever to be charged with manslaughter. The defence will present its case this week.

Political first principles for a movement against global capitalism

By the Editorial Board, 30 November 1999

Thousands of people are gathering in Seattle, Washington this week to protest the proceedings at the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The prospect of mass protests provoked Britain's Financial Times on Saturday to publish an editorial defense of international capitalism.

Australian Greens join Labor to block registration of new parties

By Mike Head, 29 November 1999

An unmistakeable air of unity hung over the upper house of the New South Wales parliament earlier this month. With 13 of the 42 MPs belonging to the Greens, Australian Democrats and small parties, the chamber is usually witness to oppositional posturing, on the part of these minor parties, against the ruling Labor Party government and the official Opposition, the Liberal-National Party Coalition.

Human Development report shows worsening poverty in South Asia

By Priyadarshana Maddawatta, 29 November 1999

The recently issued report on Human Development in South Asia 1999 reveals terrible impoverishment and inequality. Sponsored by the United Nations Development Program, the report's theme is "The Crisis of Governance" in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

A revealing look at an old controversy

By David Walsh, 29 November 1999

Originally published in the February 26, 1996 issue of The International Workers Bulletin

Impressions of the Malaysian elections: little to do with democracy

By a correspondent, 29 November 1999

Malaysians go to the polls today to elect the national parliament and also parliaments for most of its individual states. The campaign has been remarkably short—a mere eight days, or a little over two weeks, if one includes the period since Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made a snap decision to cancel an overseas trip and dissolve parliament, paving the way for the early elections. By any standards, the election has little to do with any real democracy.

How today's film industry views Orson Welles

By David Walsh, 29 November 1999

RKO 281 , an HBO original film directed by Benjamin Ross and written by John Logan, based on the PBS documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane

German government steps in to rescue Holzmann building company

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 November 1999

"Literally at the last minute" German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder saved the shattered building company Philipp Holzmann AG, the press agencies reported November 25. On Monday the creditor banks had announced the failure of negotiations regarding a restructuring deal, and initiated insolvency proceedings against the second largest German building contractor. More than 60,000 jobs were threatened by the bankruptcy.

Liberal historian defends the Balkan War against Kosovo "revisionists:" Sophistry in the service of imperialism

By Barry Grey, 27 November 1999

One of the most significant aspects of the US-NATO war in the Balkans was the politically indispensable role played by prominent liberal and “left” academics, writers and intellectuals, who uncritically accepted the justifications given out by US and European officials and placed themselves at the disposal of the pro-war media. Many of those who took for good coin the moralistic phrases of Western leaders and accepted their portrayal of the war as a humanitarian crusade against ethnic genocide had, in their younger days, protested against US military interventions in Vietnam and elsewhere.

Clinton in Kosovo: rhetoric versus reality

By Barry Grey, 27 November 1999

Bill Clinton's November 23 visit to Kosovo was staged as a celebration of US military might in the service of Washington's purportedly humanitarian world mission. It took place, however, against a backdrop of mounting evidence that the claims of Serb ethnic genocide against Kosovan Albanians, used to mobilize public opinion behind last spring's 78-day bombardment of Yugoslavia, were vastly exaggerated. (See World Socialist Web Site articles: “Investigations belie NATO claims of ‘ethnic genocide' in Kosovo,” 9 November 1999 , and “Killings of Kosovans continue under NATO occupation at pre-war rate,” 16 November 1999)

Paul Bond reviews Ratcatcher —a film by Lynne Ramsay

By , 27 November 1999

Ratcatcher is the debut feature film from Scottish director Lynne Ramsay. Set in a Glasgow tenement block in the 1970s, against a backdrop of rubbish accumulating during a dustbinmen's strike, the film follows a young boy, James, through a series of more or less connected episodes. The film is not shot from a child's point of view, but it is suffused with a child's vision of the world.

Labour chooses candidates for London Mayor: a process based on manoeuvre and media hype

By Tony Hyland, 27 November 1999

The process of selecting Labour's London mayoral candidate has been reduced to a series of bureaucratic measures by the party leadership to try and prevent Ken Livingstone MP from winning the nomination.

Agendaless in Seattle: WTO talks could become a "fiasco"

By Nick Beams, 27 November 1999

While its stated aim is to set the agenda for the so-called “Millenium Round” of trade liberalisation, the ministerial meeting of the 135-member World Trade Organisation which starts on Tuesday is unofficially being billed as the “Battle in Seattle.”

Some interesting films on US television, November 27-December 3

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 27 November 1999

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

Ex-Teamsters official convicted in union election swindle

By Martin McLaughlin, 27 November 1999

Former Teamsters official William Hamilton was convicted November 19 of six counts of corrupt practices related to the use of nearly $1 million in union funds to finance the reelection campaign of former union president Ron Carey. A jury deliberated for only two days before returning a verdict of guilt on all counts, including conspiracy, embezzlement, fraud, and making false statements to a federal elections officer.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 November 1999

South Korean workers stage protest

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 26 November 1999

Call centre staff strike in Britain

Refugees on hunger strike in New Zealand prison

By John Braddock, 26 November 1999

Fifteen refugees from India, Pakistan and Iran who are seeking asylum in New Zealand have entered the fourth week of a hunger strike in Auckland's Mount Eden prison. The refugees, all men, are protesting against their treatment by the immigration service and the refusal of Immigration Minister Tuariki Delamere to listen to their case.

Thai-Burma border reopens after weeks of tension

By Sarath Kumara, 26 November 1999

On November 24, the 2,400 kilometre border between Thailand and Burma (Myanmar) was officially reopened after a seven week closure. Negotiations are now underway over the resumption of economic ties. The Burmese military junta closed the border in retaliation for Thailand's handling of the October 1 seizure of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok by five gunmen from the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors (VBSW). The Thai government negotiated an agreement with the students that saw them flown to the border and released without charges.

Anglo-French summit takes further step towards European military independence from America

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 1999

Yesterday's Anglo-French summit in London agreed the most concrete proposal yet for the creation of a European defence identity, independent of NATO and the US. It paves the way for the issue to be discussed at the European Union (EU) summit in Helsinki next month.

Royal Ulster Constabulary awarded George Cross

By Mike Ingram, 26 November 1999

The decision to award the George Cross to the Royal Ulster Constabulary is a further attempt to placate Unionist opposition to the inclusion of Sinn Fein in the new devolved government for Northern Ireland. It follows a letter from the Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson promising that the concerns of Unionists would be taken into account when considering the Patten report on reforming the policing of the province.

Test case to be held in Supreme Court

By , 26 November 1999

High school teacher Geraldine Rawson was victimised and sacked by the Education Department in the Australian state of Victoria last year under legal provisions that denied her the right to a fair hearing or to publicly expose her victimisation.

New Clinton special prosecutor linked to religious fundamentalists

By Martin McLaughlin, 25 November 1999

The new head of the Office of Independent Counsel, who succeeded Kenneth Starr last month, has longtime links to the extreme-right circles which organized the impeachment coup against the Clinton administration, it was reported Monday. Robert Ray, who was selected by the same three-judge panel which picked Starr, ran as a school board candidate in Brooklyn, New York with the backing of Christian fundamentalist groups.

The battle for Mannesmann: the background to Germany's first hostile take-over

By Peter Schwarz, 25 November 1999

The attempt by the British mobile telephone company Vodafone AirTouch to take over the Düsseldorf-based Mannesmann concern against the wishes of the company executive has provoked a big reaction in Germany.

Mahathir concerned over losses in upcoming Malaysian election

By James Conachy, 25 November 1999

The campaign for the November 29 election in Malaysia was formally launched on Sunday. While it is likely that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition will be re-elected, there are growing concerns within government circles at the extent of opposition to its rule.

A conversation with Sri Lankan artist Chandraguptha Thenuwara

By Darshana Medis, 25 November 1999

“With my barrels I seek to provoke people's minds and raise civil consciousness to question the war and make them actively participate in the efforts to stop the war.”

Pakistan's military regime prepares IMF program

By Vilani Peris, 25 November 1999

Shaukat Aziz, the Pakistani military regime's finance minister, says he is reviewing an International Monetary Fund program for the country and having discussions with the business sector on ways and means to implement it.

Conservative candidate for London mayor resigns in disgrace

By Julie Hyland and Chris Marsden, 25 November 1999

Lord Jeffrey Archer, the Conservative candidate for next year's London mayoral election, is out of the running and faces expulsion from the party. This follows revelations that Archer had asked a close friend, Ted Francis, to provide him with an alibi during his 1987 libel action against the Daily Star newspaper.

LSSP backs Kumaratunga in Sri Lankan election

By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 24 November 1999

The decision by the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the one-time Sri Lankan Trotskyist party, to back the re-election of People's Alliance leader Chandrika Kumaratunga for a second term in the presidential election of December 21 will come as no surprise to those who have followed the history of this organisation.

Detroit museum shuts down exhibit

By David Walsh, 24 November 1999

Last Friday afternoon officials at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), at the behest of the museum's new director Graham Beal, closed down the first part of an exhibit entitled “Art Until Now,” on the grounds that it might cause offense. The display, the first of twelve week-long shows conceived and curated by artist Jef Bourgeau, had opened Wednesday afternoon and was scheduled to run through Sunday. The aim of the 12-part exhibit was to explore issues in twentieth century art.

State racism in the Czech Republic

By Achim Heppding, 24 November 1999

At 4.00 a.m. on October 13 a wall was erected overnight under the supervision of the police in Usti, the capital of the north Bohemian province in the Czech Republic. The wall is 62 metres long, 1.8 metres high and has three doors. It is supposed to separate 37 Romany families living in two housing blocks from their neighbours on the opposite side of the street. The latter had complained of noise and dirt.

US probe of EgyptAir crash: media brands Arab doubts as "wild speculation"

By Martin McLaughlin, 24 November 1999

Last Friday morning the two leading US daily newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, carried virtually identical articles about the Egyptian reaction to claims in the American media that a suicidal pilot had caused the EgyptAir Flight 990 crash.

WSWS readers comment on EgyptAir Flight 990 disaster

By , 24 November 1999

The WSWS received the following letters in response to the November 19 article by Barry Grey, “Why the rush to judgment in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990?”

New York's mayor calls for police crackdown on the homeless

By Alan Whyte, 24 November 1999

In his weekly radio program last Friday, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani declared that homeless people do not have the right to sleep on the sidewalks. This statement was prompted by an incident three days earlier in which a man attacked an office worker with a brick in midtown Manhattan.

British steel firm fined over Yemeni worker's death

By Ian Martin, 24 November 1999

The following article was submitted by a WSWS reader.

Australia: New South Wales Supreme Court begins manslaughter trial of 11-year-old child

By Richard Phillips and Cheryl McDermid, 24 November 1999

In the same week that a US court in Michigan found a 13-year old boy, Nathaniel Abraham, guilty of second-degree murder, halfway round the globe the judicial system in Australia began trying an 11-year-old child on manslaughter charges. The child, who is standing trial in the NSW Supreme Court, was charged following the drowning death of six-year-old Corey Davis on March 2, 1998.

13-year-old convicted of murder in Michigan: Harsh truths about a repugnant verdict

By David Walsh, 23 November 1999

The conviction of 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham of second degree murder in Michigan's Oakland County on November 16 has provoked a strong reaction in many quarters, including a good deal of indignation. The World Socialist Web Site has received a substantial volume of correspondence on the verdict. (See today's correspondence for a selection of letters on the case sent by WSWS readers). The issues raised by the Abraham trial and its outcome are of considerable importance for the future development of American society.

Australian anti-refugee measures flout international law

By Mike Head, 23 November 1999

Human rights organisations, civil liberties lawyers and church groups have condemned as “unacceptable” and a “direct contravention of international obligations” anti-refugee measures that the Australian government is pushing through parliament this week with the help of the Labor Party and the Australian Democrats.

Asylum-seekers imprisoned in heat and squalor

By Joe Lopez, 23 November 1999

Hundreds of asylum seekers are being held in sweltering, over-crowded conditions in northern Australia—some housed in tents—while the federal government prepares to imprison hundreds more in remote desert country.

Mitchell review of Northern Ireland Agreement proposes new formula to begin devolution

By Mike Ingram, 23 November 1999

Former US Senator George Mitchell left Northern Ireland last week following the conclusion of his 11-week-long review of the Good Friday Agreement. His review was an attempt to break the deadlock since this summer, created by the Unionist parties' insistence that the Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommission weapons prior to Sinn Fein taking up ministerial seats in the newly created Assembly.

Former Bauhaus student to speak in Sheffield and Liverpool

By , 23 November 1999

Wilfred Franks is one of the very few surviving students of the Bauhaus. He studied at this influential school of art and design between 1929 and 1931. He will be delivering two special lectures in England—on December 6 in Liverpool and on December 8 in Sheffield—about the artistic and social significance of the Bauhaus ( see details below).

London pensioner dies of starvation

By Paul Mitchell, 23 November 1999

In a verdict more reminiscent of the beginning of this century than its close, a London Coroner ruled that Violet Hardy (74) had starved to death in her southeast London home. The pensioner's horrific fate is a tragic testimony to the gutting of social services in Britain.

WSWS readers comment on Nathaniel Abraham verdict

By , 23 November 1999

Since the verdict in the Nathaniel Abraham case was delivered on November 16, the World Socialist Web Site has received a large volume of e-mail concerning our coverage of the case. Abraham, 13, is the youngest child in the US to be tried as an adult for murder. He was found guilty of second-degree murder in the October 1997 shooting death of 18-year-old Ronnie Greene. Below we reprint a selection of the letters.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 November 1999

Salvadorean social security employees strike widens

Sri Lankan presidential poll: lengthy candidate list reflects growing disaffection

By Wije Dias, 22 November 1999

The nomination of 13 candidates for the fourth Sri Lankan presidential elections to be held on December 21 does not indicate some strength of democracy. Rather, it is the result of increasingly desperate manoeuvres by the main parties in the face of growing disillusionment among the broad masses with the existing parliamentary order.

Sydney nurses take their concerns to the streets

By Erika Zimmer, 22 November 1999

About two hundred striking nurses from Sydney's Westmead hospital took to the streets last Friday to campaign for public support against a proposed $6.5 million cutback to hospital funding. It was the first time that nurses at Westmead, the largest hospital in Sydney's western suburbs, had taken industrial action on their own, outside a statewide stoppage.

US intrigues and the imposition of United Nations sanctions on Afghanistan

By Ajith Abeysinghe, 22 November 1999

The Foreign Minister of Afghanistan's Taliban regime, Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, declared November 10 that his government would not hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. "America appears determined to implement the sanctions on Afghanistan and talking about it is a waste of time," Muttawakil said, just four days before the deadline for UN sanctions expired.

Lithuanian ministers resign over terms of US buyout of state oil refinery

By Steve James, 22 November 1999

Valda Adamkus, Lithuania's Conservative president, approved a new list of government ministers on November 5—one week after the dramatic resignation of three ministers.

Social Democracy at the end of the century: 21st congress meets in Paris

By Peter Schwarz, 20 November 1999

From November 8 to 10, 1,200 delegates met in Paris for the 21st congress of the Socialist International.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 November 1999

Japanese union approves pay cut

Auden's poetry and his last years

By Margaret Rees, 20 November 1999

The publication last April of Later Auden, Edward Mendelson's detailed biography of Wystan Hugh (W.H.) Auden, has again focused attention on this key figure of 20th century English poetry. Mendelson, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University in New York City, wrote Early Auden, the first volume of his Auden biography, in 1981.

Fed raises interest rates, White House and Congress strike budget deal

By Martin McLaughlin, 20 November 1999

Two events this week underscore the social gulf between the ruling elite and the mass of working people, which dominates everyday life in capitalist America but goes largely without comment in the media and in official Washington.

Australia's corporate salaries soar as wages are depressed

By Terry Cook, 20 November 1999

Two recent reports on wage and salary levels in Australia show that while the market demands workers wages be cut or held down, it also determines ongoing increases in the salary packages of top corporate executives.

London inquest into Asian student's death returns open verdict

By Keith Lee, 20 November 1999

A west London inquest jury took just 50 minutes to deliver an "open verdict" into the death of 20-year-old Asian student Ricky Reel. Announcing the decision on November 8, the inquest coroner, Dr. John Burton, said that there "is not enough evidence to reach a conclusion as to how he came to an end—this is an open verdict".

Official disinterest over tens of thousands still missing in East Timor

By Linda Tenenbaum, 20 November 1999

Eight weeks have passed since the UN's Australian-led Interfet force occupied East Timor. In that time the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) has been established, and its leading personnel selected. Some of them, including UNTAET's chief, Brazilian diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello have already arrived in Dili.

Some interesting films on US television, November 20-26

By Marty Jonas (MJ) and David Walsh (DW), 20 November 1999

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

Falun Gong members go on trial in China

By James Conachy, 19 November 1999

The first trial involving members of the quasi-religious Falun Gong movement took place on November 12, in China's Hainan province. Despite having pled guilty and appealed for leniency, Song Yueshang, a local leader of Falun Gong, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for “using a cult to violate the law”. Two other men received seven and three-year sentences, while a woman, Liang Yulin, received two years for assisting Song Yueshang evade arrest.

WSWS reporter interviewed on Seattle radio about Nathaniel Abraham case

By Jerry White, 19 November 1999

Larry Roberts, the World Socialist Web Site correspondent who covered the recent murder trial of 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham, was interviewed Thursday by CBS radio affiliate KIRO in Seattle. Roberts condemned the second-degree murder conviction of the Pontiac, Michigan child and discussed the social issues underlying the case in the course of an hour-long interview by CBS syndicated commentator Dave Ross. The live call-in program reaches 130,600 listeners daily in Seattle, Tacoma and other western portions of Washington state.

A superb exhibit on militarism

By Darshana Medis, 19 November 1999

A series of paintings and etchings by a noted Sri Lankan artist, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, was exhibited recently at the Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA Gallery), in Ethulkotte, a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital city. Entitled Camouflage, the exhibit consisted of 27 works, including a number of remarkable pieces.

High school students protest in Detroit

By Martin McLaughlin, 19 November 1999

Thousands of students walked out of classes at Detroit high schools Tuesday, angered by a series of rapes of girls on their way to and from school, and by the lack of any effective response by school and municipal authorities.

Why the rush to judgment in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990?

By Barry Grey, 19 November 1999

The past several days have seen extraordinary efforts by the US government, backed by the American media, to preempt the official investigation into the October 31 crash of EgyptAir Flight 990.

Reflections on the No Gun Ri massacre by a former US serviceman stationed in Korea

By , 19 November 1999

The WSWS received the following letter in response to the November 17 article “Survivors of Korean War massacre by US soldiers seek investigation” on the revelations surrounding the July 1950 No Gun Ri massacre at the beginning of the Korean war.

New issue of World Socialist Web Site Review now available

By , 19 November 1999

WSWS : Mehring Books

WSWS interviews Dr Warren Hern

By Kaye Tucker, 18 November 1999

Dr Warren Hern, who was detained last week at Sydney airport by Australian immigration officials after travelling to Australia to attend a four-day conference, is a former president of the International Society of Abortion Doctors. The World Socialist Web Site spoke by telephone to Dr Hern in Brisbane, a few days before he returned to the US.

Human rights advocates condemn murder conviction of 13-year-old Michigan child

By Jerry White, 18 November 1999

The conviction on Tuesday of 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham for second-degree murder has been condemned by human rights and juvenile justice advocates. It has also been cited in the international press as an example of the brutal treatment of children in the United States.

Thousands of Indian cyclone survivors at risk due to official indifference

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 November 1999

Weeks after the October 29 super cyclone struck coastal areas of the east Indian state of Orissa, the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led central government and Congress (I) State government have failed to mobilise necessary relief resources. This indifference toward the plight of survivors has left tens of thousands at risk.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 18 November 1999

Introduction of 35-hour week in France provokes strikes

American abortion doctor detained by Australian immigration

By Kaye Tucker, 18 November 1999

In a serious attack on democratic rights, Australian immigration officials detained Dr Warren Hern, a leading US abortion doctor, for two and half hours at Sydney airport last week. Immigration officials demanded the doctor sign a letter agreeing to accept the cancellation of his visa if the government considered any speeches or statements he made whilst in the country had incited "discord in the Australian community".

Background to the Russian assault on Chechnya: a power struggle over Caspian oil

By Chris Marsden, 18 November 1999

Tensions between Russia, the US and Europe have escalated in the course of Russia's seven-week military campaign against Chechnya. Since Moscow launched the war in September an estimated 4,000 Chechen civilians and 1,200 Chechen troops have been killed and 200,000 civilians have been forced to flee from their homes.

What lies behind the recent successes for Jörg Haider's Freedom Party?

By Max Rodenberg and Ulrich Rippert, 18 November 1999

The large increase in votes for the extreme right-wing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) in recent national elections has led to wide-scale expressions of consternation and concern extending far beyond the borders of this alpine republic.

Blair government outlines draconian measures against civil liberties

By Julie Hyland, 18 November 1999

Draconian inroads into civil liberties were at the centre of the Queen's speech, setting out the Blair government's legislative programme for the coming year. Amongst the measures announced Wednesday were plans to:

US Supreme Court clears way for first federal execution since 1963

By John Andrews, 17 November 1999

The US Supreme Court on November 15 rejected the petition for review (certiorari) filed by death row inmate Juan Raul Garza. As a result Garza will likely become the first person executed by the federal government since 1963. This action, like most similar actions, was taken without any written opinions.

Pakistani political elite supports military regime

By G. Senarathna and K. Ratnayake, 17 November 1999

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, speaking to a symposium in Toronto, Canada on November 8, said, “General Musharraf's intentions look honest when he says that he will be fair in his approach and that he is motivated by patriotism.” Bhutto's remarks, reported by the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, concerned the military chief who took power in a coup overthrowing the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on October 12. Her speech reflected the common approach of the major political parties in Pakistan to the military overthrow.

Survivors of Korean War massacre by US soldiers seek investigation

By Esther Galen, 17 November 1999

Four survivors of a US Army massacre during the Korean War are visiting the United States to press their demands for a full investigation into killing of hundreds of refugees, mostly women, children and old men, which took place July 26-29, 1950, three weeks after the war began.

Michigan jury finds 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham guilty of second-degree murder

By Kate Randall, 17 November 1999

After 15 hours of deliberation, a Pontiac, Michigan jury on Tuesday found 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham guilty of the second-degree murder of Ronnie Greene. Abraham was found not guilty of three lesser crimes—assault with intent to murder his neighbor Michael Hudack and two felony weapons charges.

Labour's "homelessness czar" attacks aid to people forced to sleep outdoors

By Julie Hyland, 17 November 1999

The Blair government has used the launch of a campaign aimed at reducing the number of homeless to attack voluntary organisations that feed and clothe those forced to sleep out on the streets.

East Timor: the history and politics of the CNRT

By Mike Head, 17 November 1999

Recent months have seen considerable promotion of the East Timorese leaders by the international media and various governments, particularly in Europe and Australia. Led by Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta, members of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) have been hailed as veteran fighters for independence.

Shooting victim's mother opposes jailing of 13-year-old defendant in Michigan murder case

By Larry Roberts, 17 November 1999

Shortly before the guilty verdict was announced in the Pontiac, Michigan murder trial of 13-year-old Nathaniel Abraham, the World Socialist Web Site spoke to Robin Adams, the mother of Ronnie Greene, the 18-year-old youth Nathaniel was accused of shooting.

America's ugly face

By David Walsh, 17 November 1999

There is a remarkable moment toward the end of Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind (1957). Robert Stack, a millionaire-playboy who destroys everything around him, staggers out of the family mansion, mortally wounded, and mutters to himself, more or less, “How did I end up like this?” Unhappily, he never asked himself that until it was too late.

Tens of thousands flee in the face of advancing LTTE forces

By our correspondent, 17 November 1999

Over 10,000 men, women and children have fled their villages in the war ravaged Wanni, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya districts in the north of Sri Lanka during the last few days. The exodus is second only to the mass movement of Tamil people that took place from Jaffna into the Killinochchi district, south of the Jaffna lagoon, at the end of 1996 when Sri Lankan Army (SLA) occupied the Jaffna peninsula.

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka as UNP defectors back Kumaratunga

By K. Ratnayake, 16 November 1999

The defection of 35 members of the Sri Lankan opposition, the United National Party, to the Peoples Alliance of president Chandrika Kumaratunga is a major step towards the formation of a “national government” as the ruling regime faces its deepest political crisis since coming to power in 1994.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 16 November 1999

Bolivian workers oppose privatizations

Angola: MPLA inflicts new defeats on UNITA

By Barry Mason, 16 November 1999

The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola government launched a determined military attack on the rebel forces of the Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in September. As the beginning of the rainy season, September normally marks a scaling down of military activity, but this year was an exception.

Harvey Thompson reviews The Trench, directed by William Boyd

By , 16 November 1999

In the early hours of July 1, 1916, a long line of British soldiers left their trenches in northern France and advanced slowly towards the German front. The military high command estimated that the dramatic increase of allied artillery shelling had largely destroyed the German positions, and that the advancing soldiers would find mostly abandoned fortifications. Their assessment was catastrophically wrong.

British soldiers executed in First World War denied official pardon

By Harvey Thompson, 16 November 1999

On Sunday, November 14, the last "Remembrance Day" services of the century were held across Europe to remember the dead of two World Wars. On the day before the official commemoration in London, the capital hosted a much smaller unofficial ceremony to honour those shot for “cowardice” and “desertion”. The crowds at the Cenotaph (a recreation in stone of a structure erected for the first Armistice Day parade in 1919) were largely made up of relatives and friends of the executed men. Some of the people gathered have been campaigning for decades to clear the names of their fathers and grandfathers.

China-US trade deal to "restructure" Chinese economy

By Nick Beams, 16 November 1999

The trade agreement between China and the United States, signed in Beijing on Monday after six days of intensive negotiations, will unleash the most far-reaching changes in the Chinese economy since the “reform and open door” policy initiated by the Stalinist bureaucracy in 1978.

Gloria Abraham speaks out on the Michigan murder trial of her 13-year-old son

By Larry Roberts, 16 November 1999

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to family members of Nathaniel Abraham, including his mother Gloria Abraham, outside the Pontiac, Michigan courtroom where the 13-year-old's murder trial is under way. Nathaniel is being charged with the murder of 18-year-old Ronnie Greene. He is possibly the youngest person in the US to be prosecuted for first-degree murder as an adult, having been only 11 years old at the time of the crime for which he stands accused.

State Labor government seeks to overturn teachers' conditions

By Erika Zimmer, 16 November 1999

The Carr Labor Party government in New South Wales has unveiled a new award that would overturn fundamental working conditions for the state's 80,000 government primary, secondary and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) teachers. Teachers have voted overwhelmingly to strike for 24 hours on November 18 against it.

Killings of Kosovans continue under NATO occupation at pre-war rate

By Chris Marsden, 16 November 1999

The International Crisis Group (ICG), a private strategy organisation chaired by former United States Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, reported last week that approximately the same number of Kosovan civilians were being killed every week under NATO's military occupation as in the months preceding the March 1999 onset of the US-NATO war against Serbia.

Election defeat predicted for ruling National Party in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 15 November 1999

Mid-way through the campaign for the November 27 elections in New Zealand, opinion polls are indicating that the ruling minority National Party government is likely to be dumped and replaced by a coalition of the main opposition parties, Labour and the Alliance.

Support falls for major parties in leadup to Taiwan presidential election

By James Conachy, 15 November 1999

A local election held last weekend in Yunlin, a central Taiwan county, saw the ruling Kuomingtang Party (KMT) win only 26.4 percent of the vote and trail in third behind an independent candidate and the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Rally opposes murder trial of 13-year-old Michigan child

By our correspondent, 15 November 1999

The jury in the murder trial of a 13-year-old Michigan boy charged as an adult failed to reach a verdict Friday, and deliberations will continue today. Nathaniel Abraham, arrested at the age of 11, is the youngest person in the US to be tried for first-degree murder as an adult.

Australian steel company leaves deadly toxic legacy

By Janine Harrison, 15 November 1999

In September Australia's major steel-maker BHP closed down its plant in Newcastle, leaving a deadly toxic legacy that will continue to endanger residents and wildlife in the area long after the company has gone.

More plans to deregulate and privatise tertiary education in Australia

By Perla Astudillo, 13 November 1999

Last month a cabinet submission, prepared by Education Minister Dr David Kemp, was “leaked” to the media. It canvassed plans to deregulate university fees, introduce a voucher system and replace the existing Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)—a government subsidised student loan scheme—with a new loans scheme charging market rates.