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Cuba and US exchange limited concessions

By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2000

In a series of actions over the past month, in the wake of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) raid in Miami which rescued Elian Gonzalez and restored him to the custody of his Cuban father, the Cuban government and the US government have exchanged modest economic and political concessions.

Films about important subjects that don't explain enough

By David Walsh, 30 May 2000

To see deeply, however, one has to have a critical vantage point. What's the purpose of simply registering the accomplished fact? No one has ever gained very much from that. Perhaps, above all, the nonfiction filmmaker must have a sense of history and historical development. How many today possess such a sense? It would certainly assist artists in resisting the argument that contemporary society represents the final stage of human development.

Investigator into Lockerbie explosion casts doubt on bomb location

By Steve James, 30 May 2000

An air accident investigator into the Pan Am Flight 103 explosion in December 1988 has conceded that mistakes were made in establishing the exact location of the bomb within the Boeing 747. This remarkable admission was made this week, as the trial of two Libyans accused of blowing up the aircraft over Lockerbie, Scotland resumed.

Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon increases Middle East tensions

By Chris Talbot, 30 May 2000

The hurried withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon, intended to be the latest move in the US-led initiative for a settlement in the region, has turned into a humiliating rout.

Sri Lankan unions abruptly end two long-running strikes

By Dianne Sturgess, 30 May 2000

Sri Lankan employers, with the assistance of the trade union leaderships, have already begun to use the government's extensive new emergency regulations to force an end to industrial disputes, victimise workers and impose a tougher work regime in the factories.

Teachers' union agrees to sellout deal with NSW Labor government

By Erika Zimmer, 30 May 2000

After almost a year of conflict between New South Wales teachers and the Carr state government over a new industrial award, the teachers' union executive has agreed to a settlement containing the government's main demands for “flexible” working conditions.

US magazine seeks to undermine accounts of Korean War massacre

By Shannon Jones, 30 May 2000

An article published in the May 22 edition of US News & World Report attempts to cast doubt on assertions, backed by substantial evidence, that US soldiers killed hundreds of civilians trapped under a railroad bridge during the first months of the Korean War. The massacre took place over three days beginning July 26, 1950 at a place called No Gun Ri, when members of the 1st Cavalry division's 7th regiment fired on a group of refugees.

A man of honor—Balzac's Le Colonel Chabert

By Laura Villon, 29 May 2000

The year 2000 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of one of France's greatest and most prolific writers, Honoré de Balzac. Born 10 years after the start of the French Revolution, in 1799, his life spanned the first half of the nineteenth century. And what a tumultuous life, mirroring that of the times! His brilliant circle of friends, colleagues and rivals included the novelists George Sand and Victor Hugo. He struggled all his life to be accepted as a legitimate writer, as a representative of his age.

A review of Oskar Roehler's film Die Unberührbare ("The Untouchable")

By Bernd Rheinhardt, 29 May 2000

Director Oskar Roehler's film Die Unberührbare is an unusually engaging film for the present times—and one that is well worth seeing. “Other [German] directors,” said Roehler in a recent interview, “are making the kind of ‘humorous' movies that were prevalent in West Germany's post-war economic-miracle period. I wanted to continue a different tradition.” From a very early age, he was deeply impressed by films like Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Merchant of Four Seasons or Fear Eats the Soul. “I was about 12 or 13, and after seeing those films, I would just walk through the park and think about them.” Die Unberührbare is a fitting continuation of this tradition.

Former UN arms inspector denounces Iraq sanctions

By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2000

Scott Ritter, formerly a leading weapons inspector in Iraq for the United Nation Special Commision (UNSCOM), denounced the economic blockade of the Middle East nation at a rally opposing sanctions held May 13 in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Michigan. The former US Marine officer resigned his post in August 1998 citing interference by the UN with the work of inspectors.