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The State of the Union address: Where was the US Supreme Court?

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2000

One of the more astonishing claims made by Clinton in his State of the Union speech last Thursday was the statement that the United States has never before enjoyed “so little internal crisis” as today.

Beijing exploits appalling safety record to shut mines

By Terry Cook, 31 January 2000

On January 11, a mine collapse in China's eastern Jiangsu province killed seven workers instantly. The next day 23 miners were pulled out alive from the debris but 33 remained trapped in a cavern 320 metres below ground. The cave-in at the Xuzhou Coal Mine Group-operated mine was caused by a sudden in-rush of water.

Clinton's State of the Union address: an exercise in deceit and self-delusion

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2000

In his State of the Union address last Thursday, President Bill Clinton depicted the United States as a nation blessed with unprecedented prosperity, looking confidently forward to the new century. But to a critical eye his speech revealed a very different picture. Try as he might to present a rose-colored view of American life, the president's own words betrayed the existence of a profound social crisis.

The State of the Union address: Where was the US Supreme Court?

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2000

One of the more astonishing claims made by Clinton in his State of the Union speech last Thursday was the statement that the United States has never before enjoyed “so little internal crisis” as today.

US dollar to be official currency in East Timor

By Mike Head, 31 January 2000

The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) announced last Monday that the US dollar would be the official currency of the former Portuguese colony and Indonesian territory. As a result, government transactions must be conducted in dollars for at least the two to three years of UNTAET's expected rule.

Spanish daily reveals secret correspondence in Pinochet extradition case

By Richard Tyler, 31 January 2000

The High Court is expected to rule today (Monday) on a legal challenge contesting the British Home Secretary's intention to release General Augusto Pinochet.

New Labour pledges to continue attack on public services

By Julie Hyland, 29 January 2000

The passing of Tony Blair's first 1,000 days in office on Wednesday was a muted affair. The government did issue a document outlining its "achievements"—lower interest rates, inflation under control and falling unemployment—but there were no official celebrations.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 January 2000

Japanese workers march against Nissan restructuring

East Timor atrocities report threatens to deepen rift in Indonesian government

By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2000

Next Monday's release of a report by Indonesia's Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations in East Timor (KPP HAM) will rapidly bring to a head the simmering tensions between President Abdurrahman Wahid and the top leadership of the country's Armed Forces (TNI).

Libel case focuses on collusion between security forces and Loyalist paramilitaries in northern Ireland

By Mike Ingram, 29 January 2000

A libel trial began this week that will focus attention on the issue of collusion between security forces and loyalist paramilitaries in northern Ireland.

A piece which fails to convince in any respect

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 January 2000

All the ingredients for an interesting and informative play about German playwright Bertolt Brecht were at hand. The Brecht File, at the Berliner Ensemble, deals with Brecht's period of exile in America and, in particular, with his persecution as a communist sympathiser by the FBI and the House Committee on Un-American Activities (known as HUAC).

Australia's MRI "scandal" diverts attention from government restrictions on medical diagnosis

By Laura Mitchell, 29 January 2000

Up to 250 Australian radiologists—one quarter of the profession—face possible criminal prosecution or civil cases as part of a so-called "scan scam" involving allegations of insider knowledge over the purchase of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines.

Scottish deal on university tuition fees divides UK students

By Steve James, 29 January 2000

The Scottish coalition government has produced a miserly formula on student tuition fees that will divide UK students and create additional financial difficulties for many.

One hundred frame-ups admitted in widening Los Angeles police scandal

By John Andrews, 28 January 2000

For the past six months, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has been wracked by a mushrooming scandal. A former officer, Raphael Perez, has revealed details of widespread frame-ups and brutality as part of his own plea bargain to escape punishment for stealing 8 pounds of cocaine from an LAPD evidence locker.

Presidential elections in Croatia go to second round

By Mike Ingram, 28 January 2000

The Croatian National Electoral Commission announced Wednesday that no candidate had secured a majority in the first round of the presidential elections. Consequently a run-off will take place on February 7 between the two highest placed candidates. Stjepan Mesic, the Croatian Peoples Party (HNS) candidate, won 41.1 percent, against 27.7 percent for Drazen Budisa of the Social Democratic Party/Croatian Social Liberal Party (SDP/HSLS) coalition.

Coca-Cola to eliminate 6,000 jobs in worldwide restructuring

By Jerry White, 28 January 2000

Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft drink maker, announced Wednesday that it would lay off 6,000 employees, or one-fifth of its global workforce, over the next several months. In the US 3,300 jobs will be eliminated, including 2,500 or 40 percent of the work force at the corporation's headquarters in Atlanta. Another 2,700 jobs will be cut throughout Coke's international operations.

Soft Fruit: A missed opportunity

By Gabriela Notaras, 28 January 2000

In recent years several Australian directors have produced movies exploring the problems and difficulties confronting working class families. Radiance and The Sound of One Hand Clapping are two such films.

Iowa caucuses mark official start of US presidential nomination process

By Patrick Martin, 28 January 2000

The Iowa Democratic and Republican party caucuses, held January 24, marked the official beginning of the selection of delegates to the presidential nominating conventions of the two big business parties. Media coverage has focused only on the immediate results—Bush's victory on the Republican side, Gore's easy defeat of Bradley among the Democrats—while attributing enormous significance to the actions of a relatively small number of voters.

Job prospects bleak in Australia as government and business continue to downsize

By Barry Jobson, 28 January 2000

At the end of last year the Howard Liberal government made much of a report that claimed Australia's national unemployment rate fell from 7.1 percent to 6.7 percent in November 1999, the lowest level in nearly a decade. These figures, however, only serve to distort the real situation.

BHP prepares new global strategy at its Australian iron ore mines

By Peter Symonds, 27 January 2000

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is currently locked in a major industrial dispute with the minerals and steel giant BHP over the corporation's introduction of individual contracts for workers in its iron ore mines in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia.

A reply to a reader on the role of Stalinism in the former Yugoslavia

By Mike Ingram, 27 January 2000

The following is an exchange with a reader concerning the January 7 WSWS article “US hails new ruling coalition: Tudjman's ultra-nationalist party defeated in Croatian elections.”

Anti-gay hysteria greets Blair's proposal to repeal Section 28

By Steve James and Julie Hyland, 27 January 2000

The Labour government's proposal to repeal the anti-gay "Section 28" of the Local Government Act has triggered a noisy, homophobic campaign by the Conservative Party and Christian right.

The new year brings thousands of new job cuts in the US

By our correspondent, 27 January 2000

A new wave of job cuts has hit American businesses, affecting tens of thousands of lives and dozens of communities. Corporations making record profits and those in financial difficulty alike continue to downsize their operations to maintain or improve “investor confidence,” while the trend of mega-mergers, which always carries a high human cost, continues unabated. In fact, Challenger, Gray & Christmas reports that job cuts resulting from mergers and acquisitions in 1999 reached a five-year high of 79,219. One out of four jobs cuts in December, or 10,683 layoffs, resulted from corporate combinations.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 27 January 2000

UK train drivers strike in dispute over working hours

Letters to the WSWS

By , 27 January 2000

To the editor of WSWS,

A worried face is not enough

By David Walsh, 27 January 2000

Girl, Interrupted, directed by James Mangold; screenplay by Mangold, Lisa Loomer and Anna Hamilton Phelan; based on the book by Susanna Kaysen

London High Court considers moves to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 27 January 2000

A hearing before the High Court in London opened Wednesday to consider moves by Home Secretary Jack Straw to release the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet.

The crisis of the German CDU and its consequences

By Peter Schwarz, 26 January 2000

The financial scandals enveloping the German CDU have long since assumed a form that goes far beyond a mere matter of corruption. What is breaking up is the very framework of the German Bundesrepublik as it has existed since the Second World War.

Divisions in British government over arms to Zimbabwe

By Chris Talbot, 26 January 2000

The Labour government is to allow shipments of spare parts for Hawk fighter aircraft used by the Zimbabwean regime in the Congo war. Britain had imposed an unofficial arms embargo against Zimbabwe over the last year, refusing to supply parts for the 10 Hawk jets which were purchased under the Thatcher government in the early 1980s. However Prime Minister Tony Blair personally intervened last week, opposing Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, to permit the delivery of spare parts.

Clinton panel rejects call for mandatory reporting of hospital errors

By Jerry White, 26 January 2000

Federal health officials commissioned by the Clinton administration have rejected recent recommendations by the National Academy of Sciences on how to reduce medical errors. The academy had recommended a new federal law that would compel hospitals to report all mistakes that cause serious injuries or death to patients.

50,000 protest Confederate flag in South Carolina: political issues in the fight for democratic rights

By David Walsh, 26 January 2000

Nearly 50,000 people rallied in Columbia, South Carolina January 17—Martin Luther King Jr. Day—against the flying of the Confederate flag over the statehouse. The demonstrators chanted “Bring it down” and “Your heritage is my slavery,” demanding that the obnoxious symbol of slavery and segregation be removed.

Finance scandal engulfs German Christian Democrats

By Peter Schwarz, 26 January 2000

For weeks the financial affairs of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) have dominated the headlines in Germany. An end to the scandal is not in sight. Almost every day new exposures convulse the party, which has returned the Chancellor for 36 of the 50 years since the establishment of the Federal Republic. At the heart of the affair is the uncovering of extensive secret funds, which were controlled by ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl and other prominent CDU politicians.

Concerns in G7 over "imbalances" in world economy

By Nick Beams, 26 January 2000

Concerns that the growing US balance of trade deficit and consequent international indebtedness could spark a financial crisis at some point were behind the demands voiced at the G7 finance ministers meeting held last weekend that Japan take action to boost its economic growth rate.

Australian trade unions reject national strike against BHP

By Terry Cook, 26 January 2000

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) ruled out a national 24-hour stoppage across all BHP's divisions after meeting on Monday with the five unions in dispute over the resource company's introduction of individual work contracts at its iron ore sites in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The meeting decided to suspend all industrial action and instead convene protest meetings on BHP sites nationally over the next month.

New evidence supports allegations of RUC collusion in murder of Irish lawyer

By Mike Ingram, 26 January 2000

A 17-member inquiry team headed by incoming Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens has obtained new evidence supporting allegations of collusion between the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and Loyalist paramilitaries.

Bosnia fours years after the Dayton Accord: US and Europe preside over ethnic partition and corruption

By Tony Hyland, 25 January 2000

“As we take stock of where we are, we see what we lack for a truly durable peace—a functioning sovereign state that unites all peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina; an economy free from political influence and corruption that can provide jobs and stability; and the ability for all refugees and displaced persons to return to their homes.” ( From a statement by the United Nations Mission in Bosnia, the Office of the High Representative, the Mission of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe [OSCE], and NATO)

Blair government presses ahead with attack on right to jury trial in England and Wales

By Julie Hyland, 25 January 2000

Prime Minister Tony Blair utilised a visit to an east London school on Friday as an occasion to attack the "forces of conservatism and reaction" he claimed were jeopardising his government's "radical" agenda.

Thousands of jobs to go in European banking

By Peter Reydt, 25 January 2000

ABN Amro, the Netherlands' biggest bank holding, could close 150 of its 900 branches and axe 2,500 jobs. Announcing its five-year business plan “Focus 2005” last week, the initiative foresees a 10 percent cut in its workforce. At the same time it plans to more than double its current retail customers to 10 million, by creating a European division and heavily investing in new cost-cutting technologies, like Internet banking and call centres.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 25 January 2000

Mexican army and police attack petrochemical workers

Contaminated aviation fuel grounds 5,000 planes in Australia

By Mike Head, 25 January 2000

No end is yet in sight to an aviation fuel contamination crisis that has grounded an estimated 5,000 piston-engine planes across eastern Australia and some in New Zealand since December 23. Most of the affected light planes remain barred from flying indefinitely despite an official announcement last Sunday that some planes may be soon cleared for service.

Readers comment on WSWS coverage of the US 2000 presidential campaign

By , 25 January 2000

This article ["The class divide in America and the 2000 presidential campaign"] was really informative. It points out one of our biggest problems—social inequality—and it's true, no candidate talks about it! There were some things I was completely oblivious to. I didn't know about that 15 percent rule. That's so capitalist of them! They gotta shush any threats to their party interests, though I wouldn't mind seeing Pat Buchanan suck up some extreme-conservative votes.

Human rights groups to mount legal challenge to Pinochet's release by British Home Secretary

By Richard Tyler, 25 January 2000

Human rights groups are to mount a legal challenge against the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to prevent him effectively releasing former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Japan makes overtures to the military junta in Burma

By Sarath Kumara, 24 January 2000

Japan appears to have broken ranks with the United States and the European Union over the policy of isolating Burma (Myanmar) and has begun to develop economic and political relations with the country's longstanding military junta.

Getting away with corporate murder

By , 24 January 2000

Introduction by Noam Chomsky, published by Ashgate Publishing in 1999 as part of the Advances in Criminology series, ISBN 1-84014-079-8, £50.00, 284 pp.

Paranoid schizophrenic executed in Texas

By Kate Randall, 24 January 2000

Larry Keith Robison, 42, was put to death on Friday, January 21, despite pleas to Texas Governor George W. Bush to spare the life of the mentally ill man. He died by lethal injection in Huntsville Friday evening. The European Union, Pope John Paul II and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill had called on Bush to halt the execution.

How the White House and the media package government propaganda as entertainment

By Barry Grey, 24 January 2000

Over the past two years an agency of the Clinton White House, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), has secretly worked with all of the commercial television networks to broadcast anti-drug propaganda as part of the story lines of popular, prime time programs.

A modest man of great musical talent and sensitivity

By Richard Phillips, 24 January 2000

The death of 57-year-old Curtis Mayfield last December 26, after several years of failing health, marks the passing of one of the most talented gospel-influenced rhythm and blues singer/songwriters and producers to emerge in the early 1960s. A devoted family man, Curtis Mayfield is survived by Altheida, his second wife, two sons, eight daughters and seven grandchildren.

Letters from WSWS readers

By , 22 January 2000

Dear Editor,

Michigan prosecutors bring new charges against 14-year-old Nathaniel Abraham

By Kate Randall, 22 January 2000

Within days of Nathaniel Abraham's sentencing on a murder conviction, prosecutors in Oakland County, Michigan have brought new charges against the 14-year-old. Abraham was convicted of second-degree murder last November in the 1997 shooting death of Ronnie Greene Jr., 18, outside a Pontiac convenience store. At the time of his arrest Abraham was 11, but the prosecutors decided to try him as an adult, making him the youngest person ever to be tried as an adult for murder in the US.

Censorship, democracy and the state of contemporary art

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 22 January 2000

In November officials at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) closed down an exhibit of work by artist Jef Bourgeau two days after it had opened. The show, the first of a scheduled series of 12 by Bourgeau on art in the twentieth century, was entitled “Van Gogh's Ear,” and included pieces that referred to a number of recent art scandals. There were references to Andres Serrano's “Piss Christ,” work by Chris Ofili (whose painting created a controversy at the “Sensation” show at the Brooklyn Museum), a number of the “Young British Artists” and others. Bourgeau was locked out of his own exhibit and has subsequently been unable to contact DIA officials.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 January 2000

Army deployed to break power strike in India

Glaxo Wellcome-SmithKline Beecham merger creates world's largest drug company

By Robert Stevens, 22 January 2000

On January 18, UK pharmaceutical companies Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham announced that they would be merging their operations. Glaxo SmithKline will be the largest drug company in the world as well as the largest company outright in the UK. The merger deal is to be completed in the summer of this year and no opposition is anticipated from the monopolies and mergers commission, the government or other regulatory obstacles.

Basque separatist ETA blamed for explosions in Madrid

By Vicky Short, 22 January 2000

The Basque separatist organisation ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna) has been blamed for the planting of two bombs in Madrid yesterday morning.

Two homeless men freeze to death in New York City

By Alan Whyte, 22 January 2000

Two homeless men froze to death this week as temperatures in New York City reached their lowest in about five years. The temperature dropped as low as 3 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday morning, and powerful winds made it feel more like 20 below zero.

The class divide in America and the 2000 presidential campaign

By Patrick Martin, 22 January 2000

With the first caucus and primary votes less than a week away, the process of selecting the next US president is proceeding on two very different planes—like so much else in America, the most deeply divided along social and class lines of any major industrialized country.

British government to implement reform of Royal Ulster Constabulary

By Mike Ingram, 22 January 2000

There were forecasts of trouble for the recently formed Northern Ireland Assembly when Secretary of State Peter Mandelson announced his support for the reform of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Speaking in Westminster, Mandelson said he would implement the vast majority of the 175 proposals made by former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten in his report on reforms of the province's paramilitary police force, the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), published September last year.

Resentment mounts against UN administration in East Timor

By Linda Tenenbaum, 21 January 2000

Four months after the Australian-led military occupation of East Timor, the United Nations is establishing a colonial-style administration in the former Indonesian territory. Already, its callous indifference to the plight of the local population is fuelling growing resentment. While hundreds of millions of dollars have been pledged in aid by the major countries, ordinary East Timorese face an ongoing social disaster.

Safety concerns raised after deaths of three US students in fire at Seton Hall University

By Andrea Peters, 21 January 2000

A fire erupted early Wednesday morning in a dormitory at Seton Hall University in New Jersey killing three 18-year-old students, Frank S. Caltabilota, John N. Giunta and Aaron C. Karol. Another 62 students at this private Catholic university were injured from smoke inhalation, burns and accidents sustained during the escape. Six of those hurt suffered severe burns and are listed in critical condition.

Union dock workers clash with police at South Carolina port

By Jerry White, 21 January 2000

Hundreds of dock workers clashed with police early Thursday morning in Charleston, South Carolina during a protest against the use of nonunion longshoremen to load a cargo ship. At least six people were sent to the hospital with injuries, including one worker who was run down by a police car, and eight workers were arrested on trespassing charges. The clash at the US's sixth largest port was the most violent labor dispute on the Charleston waterfront since the late 1960s.

US steps up pressure on Sudanese government

By Barry Mason and Barbara Slaughter, 21 January 2000

A three-month state of emergency has been declared in Sudan by President Omar al-Bashir. He dissolved parliament, sacked the speaker, Hassan Turabi , and banned the ruling Islamic party, the National Islamic Front (recently renamed the National Congress Party). President Bashir claimed the move was necessary because the country was under external threat and "should be united". He has accused Turabi of becoming a destabilising factor in a country already suffering from civil strife.

A political balance sheet of the Yeltsin era

By Vladimir Volkov, 21 January 2000

On December 31, 1999 Russia's president Boris Yeltsin announced his early departure from office. This put an end to an era that must count as one of the most dramatic and contradictory in Russian and international history, marked above all by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the introduction of capitalist relations into the territory of the “socialist camp”.

Thai government survives no-confidence motion

By Carol Divjak and Peter Symonds, 21 January 2000

The Thai government of Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai comfortably survived a no-confidence motion in the week before Christmas by 229 to 125. But the five-day debate left some marks on the principal opposition targets—Finance Minister Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda and Interior Minister Sanan Kachornprasart—and highlighted the potential for further political fallout from the country's heavily indebted financial system.

Letters on the Elian Gonzalez controversy

By , 20 January 2000

The WSWS has received a number of letters on the Elian Gonzalez case. Below we reprint a selection.

Britain poised to release Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 20 January 2000

A Chilean jet arrived in Bermuda Wednesday, ready to fly to Britain and bring former dictator Augusto Pinochet back to Santiago. This is the third occasion since Pinochet's detainment 15 months ago that a medically-equipped plane has set out from Chile to retrieve the ex-military strongman. This time, however, Pinochet and his supporters are more confident the British government will give the green light for him to return home. Last week, British Home Secretary Jack Straw said he was “minded” to halt extradition proceedings against Pinochet on medical grounds.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 20 January 2000

Railway drivers in south of England to strike in contract dispute

US welfare reform: behind the hype

By Ayanna McManus, 20 January 2000

The following article was sent to the World Socialist Web Site by Ayanna McManus, a US high school student from Massachusetts. It was originally published in the September/October issue of Rising Times , as well as on the web site of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Australia: Victorian Labor government reneges on its education promises

By Will Marshall, 20 January 2000

After only three months in office the recently elected Bracks Labor government in the Australian state of Victoria is already reneging on its promises to ameliorate the crisis in the state's public education system.

Two Samoan ministers go to trial for assassinating a fellow cabinet member

By John Braddock, 20 January 2000

Two former ministers in the Samoan government went to trial on Tuesday in the Supreme Court in Apia on charges of murder. Leafa Vitale, 56, and Toi Aukuso, 67, are accused of instigating and planning the assassination of Public Works Minister Luagalau Leavaulu Kamu last July 16. Kamu was shot in the back while presiding at a social function marking the twentieth anniversary of the ruling Human Rights Protection Party.

French filmmaker Robert Bresson (1901-1999)

By David Walsh, 20 January 2000

“I think in the whole world things are going very badly. People are becoming more materialist and cruel ... Cruel by laziness, by indifference, egotism, because they only think about themselves and not at all about what is happening around them, so they let everything grow ugly and stupid. They are all interested in money only. Money is becoming their God. God doesn't exist for many. Money is becoming something you must live for. You know, even your astronauts, the first one who put his foot on the moon, said that when he first saw our earth, he said it was something so miraculous, so marvelous, don't spoil it, don't touch it. More deeply I feel the rotten way they are spoiling the earth. All the countries. Silence doesn't exist anymore; you can't find it. That, for me, would make it impossible to live.”—Robert Bresson

Socialist Party candidate narrowly defeats ex-Pinochet official in Chilean presidential poll

By Mauricio Saavedra, 19 January 2000

Socialist Party (PS) leader Richard Lagos, the candidate for the ruling coalition in Chile, narrowly defeated Joaquin Lavin in the second round run-off of the country's presidential elections on Sunday. Lagos will head a new administration of the Concertacion coalition, which has been in government since 1990 when the former military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, relinquished power.

Strangeness and failure: Gish Jen's Who's Irish?

By Sandy English, 19 January 2000

Who's Irish? , by Gish Jen, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1999, 208 pp., $22.00

Britain: Report calls for "unwanted" housing to be demolished

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2000

A government-financed report has found that nearly one million “unwanted” homes in Britain are located in areas that are blighted by large-scale poverty, unemployment and crime. Large-scale demolition is advocated as one solution.

US warns against Indonesian military coup

By Mike Head, 19 January 2000

The United States government has intervened aggressively to bolster the shaky coalition government of Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, warning that a military coup would lead to economic disintegration and international isolation.

New report documents growing social inequality in the US

By David Walsh, 19 January 2000

A report issued Tuesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, both based in Washington, points to the extraordinary growth of social polarization in the United States. The study, based on the most recent Census Bureau data, demonstrates that the US is riven by class divisions that are growing increasingly acute.

Two cases reveal wretched conditions for immigrant laborers in New York City

By Joe Tanniru, 19 January 2000

Two recent cases in New York City demonstrate the plight of immigrant workers, many of whom are barely eking out an existence serving the city's well-to-do.

Two Nassau County, New York jail guards plead guilty in fatal beating of inmate

By Alan Whyte, 19 January 2000

Two Nassau County, New York jail guards pled guilty on January 12 in the 1999 beating death of 38-year-old Thomas Pizzuto, a prisoner who was serving a 90-day sentence for a traffic violation. The two guards, Edward Velazquez, 32, and Patrick Regnier, 36, admitted their crime in the Federal District Court in Uniondale, New York.

The "Hurricane" Carter story on film: What's there, and what's not

By J. Cooper, 18 January 2000

The Hurricane , directed by Norman Jewison, based on books by Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and Sam Chaiton and Terry Swinton, screenplay by Armyan Bernstein and Dan Gordon

Examining physician suggests British home secretary misled Parliament in bid to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 18 January 2000

According to the Observer newspaper, British Home Secretary Jack Straw may have misled members of Parliament when he told them that doctors had “unanimously and unequivocally” found former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet unfit to stand trial for torture.

On the threshold of the twenty-first century

By Peter Schwarz, 18 January 2000

The following editorial appears in the January/February edition of Gleichheit , magazine of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party), German section of the Fourth International.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 18 January 2000

Economic chaos, mass protests in Ecuador

Teachers and students fight to save a technical college in Sydney

By Erika Zimmer, 18 January 2000

Teachers, students and local supporters are into their fourth week of picketing to protest the closure of Seaforth Technical and Further Education (TAFE) College, in Sydney's northern suburbs. The institution was officially shut down on December 17, as a direct consequence of the New South Wales Labor government's funding cuts to TAFE, announced in the June 1999 budget.

Report predicts four in every ten Britons will develop cancer

By Harvey Thompson, 18 January 2000

Cases of cancer in Britain are rising at an alarming rate, according to a recent study by the Cancer Research Campaign. Four out of every 10 people will develop cancer at some point in their lives—41 percent of men and 38 percent of women—based on 1996 figures. This is an almost 7 percent rise from the 1981 figures of 32 percent of men and 31 percent of women.

New York state makes settlement offer to Attica inmates

By Fred Mazelis, 18 January 2000

A US federal judge ruled January 4 that the State of New York must pay $8 million to end a 25-year-old class action suit brought by 1,281 prisoners beaten and brutalized during the Attica prison revolt in September of 1971. The five-day action by prisoners was suppressed when Governor Nelson Rockefeller ordered state troopers to attack the prison with overwhelming force. A total of 43 people were killed and 80 injured as a result of the savage state attack.

Sri Lankan government alleges opposition, military and business involvement in plot to kill the president

By K. Ratnayake and Wije Dias, 18 January 2000

Less than a month after the reelection of Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, the state-owned media on January 9 published government allegations that the parliamentary opposition, the military and big business were involved in the attempted assassination on Kumaratunga's life by a suicide bomber on December 18. The government has ordered a police investigation.

Australia a "safe haven" for Nazi war criminals

By Mike Head, 17 January 2000

The Australian government last week welcomed back a known Nazi war criminal and ensured that he received VIP treatment on arrival.

Flu outbreak reveals crisis in Britain's hospitals

By Josie Jones, 17 January 2000

The death toll among Britain's elderly has soared by up to 40 percent this winter. In Croydon, South London there were 106 deaths between Christmas Eve and January 6—a 25 percent rise on the previous year. Coroners' offices, which have reported increased workloads, said most deaths are among the old and are attributable to viral infections, heart problems and the health complications of old age. Many victims were said to live alone.

The political and historical issues in Russia's assault on Chechnya

By the Editorial Board, 17 January 2000

For more than three months, Russian troops have been waging war against the Caucasian republic of Chechnya. Estimates of those killed run as high as 10,000. A third of the Chechen population have been made homeless and a quarter of a million are now refugees. An estimated 30,000-50,000 people are trapped in the besieged capital, Grozny, suffering Russian shelling and sporadic troop incursions.

Libyan arms scandal shows widening rift between Europe and US

By Trevor Johnson, 17 January 2000

Growing foreign policy differences between Europe and the US were highlighted by the revelation that British Customs officials had found a consignment of Scud missile parts bound for Libya in May, months before the Blair Labour government restored links with the regime of Colonel Muammar Gadhaffi.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 15 January 2000

Oil union calls off strike in India

Alcoa Australia admits cancer dangers

By Margaret Rees, 15 January 2000

Alcoa Australia publicly notified 3,000 former and present permanent workers in December that research results from Canada indicated that aluminium smelter workers face an increased risk of lung or bladder cancer if they had high exposure to coal tar pitch during their working lives. Alcoa has smelters at Point Henry, Geelong and Portland, both in Victoria, where coal tar pitch is combined with petroleum coke and baked at high temperatures to make anodes and cathodes used in smelting aluminium.

Seattle and beyond: disarming the New World Order

By Michel Chossudovsky, 15 January 2000

The World Socialist Web Site is presenting here the following article concerning the WTO meeting last year in Seattle, written by Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of The Globalization of Poverty, Impacts of IMF and World Bank Reforms , Third World Network, Penang and Zed Books, London, 1997.

Germany: PDS changes attitude in relation to military interventions

By Hendrik Paul and Ulrich Rippert, 15 January 2000

Barely a year has elapsed since the war in Kosovo and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) has changed its attitude to military interventions and to the Bundeswehr (German Army). It is reacting to the aggressive German foreign policy, which accompanied the first military intervention of the German army since the defeat of Hitler's armed forces.

NATO accused of human rights violations in Kosovo War

By Mike Ingram, 15 January 2000

NATO's bombing of Belgrade last year has been referred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for legal scrutiny.

Risk of Mad Cow Disease growing throughout Europe

By Paul Mitchell, 15 January 2000

A single cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, could expose up to 400,000 people to the risk of infection according to the European Union's Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). This is the worst case scenario presented in the Committee's report Human Exposure Risk via Food with respect to BSE.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 15 January 2000

The WSWS received the following letter in response to our coverage of the Elian Gonzalez affair.

Five Malaysian opposition figures arrested in government crackdown

By Peter Symonds, 15 January 2000

In what may foreshadow broader political repression, the Malaysian government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has since Wednesday rounded up and charged five prominent opposition figures under the country's Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act. The arrests come just a month and a half after national elections, in which opposition parties were able to use widespread anti-government disaffection, particularly over last year's jailing of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, to make significant electoral inroads.

Execution of PKK leader Ocalan postponed

By Justus Leicht, 15 January 2000

On January 12, following seven hours of intense negotiations by all the coalition parties, the Turkish government decided for the time being against allowing a vote in parliament to carry out the death sentence imposed on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. Instead the government proposes to wait for the completion of proceedings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

A reminder of how we all begin

By Kaye Tucker, 14 January 2000

In these harsh times when the legal and democratic rights of children, and even the notion of childhood, are under attack on all sides, The Small Poppies is a breath of fresh air. A delightful two-act play about starting school, it is a wonderful reminder of all those things that are peculiar to and precious about childhood. Through this play we are constantly reminded that children are not mini-adults, but that they cognise the world in a very special way.

US Supreme Court strips state workers of protection against age discrimination

By John Andrews, 14 January 2000

On January 11 the United States Supreme Court held unconstitutional the 25-year-old federal civil rights law that protects 4.7 million workers employed by state governments from discrimination on account of age. The case, Kimel v. Florida Board of Regents, marks yet another milestone in the Rehnquist court's campaign to weaken the power of the US Congress over state governments.

Corruption and China policy dominate Taiwan presidential campaign

By James Conachy, 14 January 2000

The March 18 election for the presidency of the Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially known, will be contested by five candidates, three representing the major political parties—the Kuomintang (KMT), the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the New Party—and two independents, James Soong and Hsu Hsin-liang.