Search Results

Showing results 1 to 100 from 181

Questions about Chris Smith's American Movie

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 31 May 2000

Chris Smith's documentary American Movie is a puzzling work. The documentary follows the life of Mark Borchardt, a poor aspiring filmmaker in Wisconsin in the American Midwest, as he struggles to finance, write, produce, direct and act in his low-budget horror film Coven, with the help of a few friends and relatives.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 May 2000

Strikes, protests by utility workers in Honduras

New Zealand students begin nationwide campaign for free state education

By John Braddock, 31 May 2000

New Zealand university students begin a nationwide campaign this week over the deepening crisis in the country's tertiary education system. The first National Day of Action for Free Education is being held today, with follow-up meetings on all the major campuses, leading to a second mobilisation on July 26. Students are preparing occupations of university administration buildings if there is no response from the Labour-Alliance coalition government to the issues at the heart of the campaign.

Advertising producers moving production out of strikebound Hollywood

By Cory Johnson, 31 May 2000

Reuters News Service, basing itself upon notes taken at a closed-door meeting of the Association of National Advertisers, reports that ad agencies are abandoning attempts to shoot ads in Hollywood and its environs, one of the main centers of a strike by unionized commercial actors.

Netherlands fireworks factory explosion—the downside of the Dutch social model

By Hendrik Paul, 31 May 2000

On May 13 about 100 tonnes of fireworks and other explosives detonated after a fire in the factory of S.E. Fireworks, situated in the middle of the working class housing estate of Mekkelholt in the northern Dutch city of Enschede. The blast was felt up to 30 kilometres away.

Ulster Unionist Party resumes power-sharing with Sinn Fein

By Chris Marsden, 31 May 2000

The power sharing Executive of the Northern Ireland Assembly met Tuesday for the first time since Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson suspended the body on February 11. The meeting was made possible by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) narrowly backing its leader David Trimble on Saturday and agreeing to retake their seats in the Assembly. The main pro-British Protestant party voted by 459-403 at Belfast's Waterfront Hall to resume power-sharing alongside the IRA-linked Sinn Fein.

Fiji's military leaders move to impose racialists' demands

By Mike Head, 31 May 2000

With Fiji's political crisis threatening to spiral completely out of control, the country's military high command mobilised troops onto the streets, revoked the Constitution and declared martial law on Monday. Armed forces chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama announced that he had assumed executive authority and would establish a military government. His statement followed discussions at military headquarters involving 1987 military coup leader, former Major General Sitiveni Rabuka.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New fossil discovery shows earlier human migration out of Africa

By Walter Gilberti, 29 May 2000

A multinational team of paleoanthropologists has published their findings following the unearthing last May of the oldest undisputed human fossil remains outside of Africa. The remains of two individual skulls were discovered at an archaeological site at Dmanisi, Georgia, in the former Soviet Union. These new findings have pushed back the estimated time of the first human migrations out of Africa by several hundred thousand years.

Two rulings from a servile Malaysian judiciary on the Anwar case

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 29 May 2000

Two legal decisions in the case of former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim last month demonstrate the blatantly political character of the country's judiciary, which acts as little more than a rubber stamp for the needs of the government headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Museum of Modern Art strike in New York enters second month

By Alan Whyte, 27 May 2000

About 260 staff workers at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City have been on strike for more than four weeks. The Professional and Administrative Staff Association (PASTA), which is Local 2110 of the United Auto Workers, represents a wide variety of staff personnel at MoMA, including archivists, librarians and secretaries. According to a union spokesperson the two sides remain very far apart on the central issues of job security, wages, health benefits and an agency shop.

'Whoever wins this war, the poor people stand to lose'

By a correspondent, 27 May 2000

A correspondent currently visiting the country sent the following interviews with the families of Sri Lankan soldiers to the World Socialist Web Site. No names have been published in order to protect those interviewed from prosecution under Sri Lanka's stringent new censorship regulations.

The harsh reality of the Asian economic "miracle" in a Chinese province

By Mile Klindo, 27 May 2000

In the west, Zhang Yimou is China's most acclaimed director. He belongs to the “Fifth Generation” of filmmakers that emerged after the Cultural Revolution. He is renowned for his naturalistic and visually lush depiction of Chinese society, particularly of wide layers of ordinary people.

Alberta health care workers end "illegal" strike

By Lee Parsons, 27 May 2000

More than 10,000 Alberta health care workers returned to work yesterday, bringing a swift end to one of the largest and potentially most explosive strikes in Alberta history. In a powerful display of militancy and solidarity, the workers had walked off the job May 24 in defiance of the province's reactionary labor laws and a court injunction that threatened them with punitive fines and even jailing. But the Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) ended the strike less than 48 hours later, seizing on modest concessions offered by the Provincial Health Authorities of Alberta and it political master, the Tory provincial government of Ralph Klein, to proclaim victory.

What is US envoy Thomas Pickering doing in Sri Lanka?

By Barry Grey, 27 May 2000

With the visit of US envoy Thomas Pickering to India and Sri Lanka, the United States has inserted itself directly into the civil war that has for seventeen years wracked the island nation off India's southern coast. In the person of Pickering, the US is bringing American muscle to bear against an impending military victory by the Tamil separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 May 2000

Sri Lankan metal factory to sack 120 workers

John Gielgud: A life in the theatre (1904-2000)

By Paul Bond, 27 May 2000

John Gielgud's death on May 21 at the age of 96 has not only robbed the world of one of its finest actors. It has also brought to a close a whole period of British theatrical history. His career of nearly 80 years encompassed the greater part of the century and took in the major media developments of the age. It was not hyperbole for many of the tributes to say that his death marked a belated end to the twentieth century for the British stage.

GM, Ford idle 1,365 workers—auto industry layoffs signal coming downturn in US economy

By Jerry White, 27 May 2000

In the most significant cutbacks in the industry in nearly a decade, the number one and two US automakers announced Thursday that they plan to lay off 1,365 workers. In July, Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. will lay off 945 workers at their joint venture plant in the Detroit suburb of Flat Rock, Michigan, and reduce operations from two shifts to one. On June 12, General Motors' Saturn division plans to idle 490 of 2,413 workers at its assembly plant outside of Newport, Delaware and permanently switch to a single day shift.

Britain outlines its colonialist ambitions in Sierra Leone

By Chris Marsden, 27 May 2000

This weekend sees the replacement of Britain's 600 Paratroopers in Freetown with 1,000 Royal Marine Commandos. The transfer has been interpreted as proof that British forces will be in Sierra Leone for considerably longer than the nominal mid-June date given earlier for withdrawal.

Britain's Prince Charles attacks science

By Richard Tyler, 26 May 2000

Last week the BBC took the unprecedented decision of inviting Prince Charles to deliver one of its prestigious Reith lectures. These annual lectures were inaugurated in 1948 to honour John Reith, the BBC's first director general, who maintained that broadcasting should be a “public service enriching the cultural and intellectual life of the nation”. The BBC World Service transmits these lectures to an international audience.

War and peace

By David Walsh, 26 May 2000

Lebanon is in the headlines again, in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal. Around the Pink House, co-directed by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, deals with another aspect of the Lebanese tragedy.

Political crisis intensifies as Fiji's chiefs encourage racialist gunmen

By Mike Head, 26 May 2000

Fiji's political crisis has intensified following last night's rejection by armed gunmen headed by George Speight of extensive concessions made to them by the country's Great Council of Chiefs. For the eighth day, Speight and his backers, who include senior military personnel, are continuing to hold Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and about 30 cabinet ministers and government officials hostage inside the parliament building. Speight is due to meet a delegation of 14 chiefs later today for further negotiations.

US and EU push India to intervene in Sri Lanka

By Dianne Sturgess, 26 May 2000

Amid continued fierce fighting in Sri Lanka between government troops and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), hectic discussions have been underway in New Delhi and Colombo over how to establish a ceasefire and bring the two sides into negotiations. Both the US and the European Union are pressing the Indian government headed by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to intervene more directly into the conflict following a series of LTTE victories on the northern Jaffna peninsula.

No "political core": the collapse of New York Mayor Giuliani's Senate race

By Bill Vann, 26 May 2000

The withdrawal of Rudolph Giuliani from the New York Senate race is one of those events that, while having limited intrinsic significance, nonetheless says a great deal about the state of political life and the character of the principal actors in both major parties in the US today.

China trade bill approved by US House of Representatives

By Jerry White, 26 May 2000

The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday—by a margin of 237 to 197—to establish permanent normal trading relations (PNTR) with China, after an intense lobbying campaign by corporate America, the Clinton administration and the Republican Congressional leadership. The US Senate is expected to endorse the measure as early as next month.

Texas executes three men in one week

By Kate Randall, 26 May 2000

Three men have been put to death in Texas this week. James Richardson, 32, died by lethal injection Tuesday for the 1986 holdup and murder of Gerald Abay. On Wednesday, Richard Donald Foster, 47, was executed for the 1984 murder of storeowner Gary Cox. James Clayton was put to death in the Huntsville, Texas execution chamber on Thursday for the murder of teacher Lori Michelle Barrett. Also on Thursday, Charles Adrian Foster, 51, died by lethal injection in Oklahoma for the 1983 murder of Claude Wiley, 74.

Marat/Sade at the Berliner Ensemble

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 May 2000

Since its first performance in 1964, Peter Weiss' The Persecution and the Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as performed by the inmates of the Asylum of Charenton under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (hereafter Marat/Sade) has become an integral part of German theatre repertoire. The current production at the Berliner Ensemble in the east of Berlin, a theatre associated above all with the name Bertolt Brecht, is nevertheless a historical first. Following Brecht's death in 1956, his wife Helene Weigel, who continued to run the theatre, turned down an opportunity to perform the piece describing it as “counterrevolutionary”.

Part 2: The political lessons of the 1995-97 anti-Tory movement

By Lee Parsons and Keith Jones, 25 May 2000

This is the second of a two-part article. The first part was posted on Monday, May 22.

US trade deficit hits new monthly record

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2000

The rise in the trade deficit to a record $30.2 billion for the month of March is a further indication of the growing instability of the US financial system. The mounting trade gap, which is expected to hit $432 billion this year if present trends continue, and the growing indebtedness of the US economy point to one of the motivations for the interest rate rises initiated by the US Federal Reserve over the past year.

By-election result reveals ongoing volatility in rural Australia

By Frank Gaglioti, 25 May 2000

Results of a recent by-election in the state of Victoria, provide further evidence of the increasingly volatile state of affairs in rural and regional Australia. The country seat of Benalla, held for 57 years by the National Party and formerly regarded as one of the safest conservative electorates in the state, fell to the Labor Party on May 13 for the first time ever.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 25 May 2000

To the editor:

Fighting intensifies in the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict

By Barbara Slaughter and Chris Talbot, 25 May 2000

For the last two weeks a new round of heavy fighting has been under way between the famine-stricken African states of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ethiopia is pressing ahead with an offensive deep into Eritrean-held territory and its troops have taken the strategically important town of Barentu, which lies on the main road running west from the Eritrean capital, Asmara. Ethiopian forces claim to have captured the town for strategic reasons and insist they intend to withdraw later.

Workers Struggles: Europe

By , 25 May 2000

Belgium shop workers take nation-wide strike action

Workers at Moraine, Ohio auto parts plants reject tentative contract

By Jim Lawrence, 25 May 2000

Workers at two Delphi parts plants—formerly owned by General Motors—in Dayton, Ohio, rejected a tentative local agreement by a vote of 2,340 to 206 this week. The contract, which was recommended by the leadership of International Union of Electrical Workers (IUE) Local 801, included a proposal to begin a seven-day, 70-hour workweek at the company's new compressor plant slated to open in mid-2002. Under the new plan workers would work 70 hours and be paid 80 hours and have the following seven days off unless they chose to volunteer for overtime.

Algerian refugee commits suicide in Frankfurt airport's asylum zone

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 24 May 2000

On Saturday, May 6, 40-year-old asylum-seeker Naimah H. hung herself in a shower room of the transit accommodation facilities at Frankfurt-Main Airport. This Algerian woman had been held under arrest there for over seven months. The airport's transit area has the legal status of an extraterritorial zone. Refugees arriving by plane are held there to prevent them from entering upon “German territory”, and thus being able to fight more effectively for their asylum and right to stay in Germany.

El significado y las implicaciones de la globalización

By , 24 May 2000

WSWS : Español

There are still some courageous people, even in the film industry

By David Walsh, 24 May 2000

This is the second in a series of articles on this year's San Francisco film festival, held April 20-May 4. Aside from an article on documentaries shown at the festival, the pieces will primarily be records of conversations—with five filmmakers and one performer. This is the first in that series of conversations which will be appearing regularly over the next two weeks.

Danish Social Democrats vote for entry into European single currency

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2000

Denmark's ruling Social Democratic Party (SDP) has begun a campaign to adopt the European single currency—the euro—in the run-up to September's referendum on the issue. The party's extraordinary congress, held on April 30 to discuss the euro, voted by 486-15 to campaign for Denmark's adoption of the currency.

Two student protesters killed by police in Durban, South Africa

By Trevor Johnson, 24 May 2000

Last Tuesday, May 16, two students were killed at the University of Durban-Westville (UDW), when police opened fire on a group of protesting students at the campus. Michael Makhabane, a 23-year-old student from Ficksburgin in the Free State, died after being hit in the chest by a blast of pellets. Another student, Lala Ngoxolo, was also killed. A third student is said to be fighting for his life in hospital. Police have admitted that five students were injured.

53rd Cannes Film Festival comes to an end

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 May 2000

Prizes were awarded Sunday at the Cannes film festival. In all 700 films from 75 countries were featured at this year's event. In the main competition section just 23 films were selected and the total reflected a tendency already visible at this year's Berlin film festival—a lack of representation by European countries with a strong film tradition. Germany, Italy and Spain were among European countries with no official entries for the competition. Britain featured with just one film, the new production by Ken Loach, Bread and Roses.

Suspended Ohio middle school student crushed to death in homeless shelter elevator

By Jim Lawrence, 24 May 2000

Alexa France, a 12-year-old middle school student, died on May 8 after being asphyxiated in an elevator accident at St. Vincents homeless shelter in Dayton, Ohio.

Sri Lankan government bans three newspapers under emergency powers

By Dianne Sturgess, 24 May 2000

The Sri Lankan government shut down two of the country's widest-circulating weekly newspapers on Monday, accusing them of publishing articles without permission. Officials declared that the English-language weekend paper, the Sunday Leader, and the Sinhala-language Sunday Peramuna had violated recently-imposed censorship laws.

Microsoft lawsuit reveals predatory corporate practices

By Mike Ingram, 23 May 2000

The anti-trust action against Microsoft by the US Justice Department has brought to the surface a virtual state of war between major corporations in the fields of computer technology, telecommunications and the media.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 May 2000

Teachers and public employees on strike in Ecuador

A comment on Rules of Engagement

By Joseph Tanniru, 23 May 2000

I went to see Rules of Engagement with a certain degree of trepidation. The film, directed by William Friedkin ( The French Connection, The Exorcist, To Live and Die in L.A.), has been denounced by, among others, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) for overt racism. Knowing the type of films Hollywood is capable of creating these days, I thought the charge quite plausible. The level to which this film plunges is, however, far below such chauvinist productions as True Lies or Rising Sun.

'The denial of the right to information is equal to slavery'

By a correspondent, 23 May 2000

The following interviews were submitted to the World Socialist Web Site by a correspondent currently visiting Sri Lanka. The names have been withheld in order to protect those interviewed. Under the country's draconian emergency powers all media reports have to be submitted to the government censor who routinely cuts not only details of the intense fighting on the northern Jaffna peninsula but anything critical of the Peoples Alliance government and its policies. As one of those interviewed commented dryly, even a report on the country's dwindling elephant population did not escape the censor's pen.

US advertiser publishes provocative ad against striking actors

By Cory Johnson, 23 May 2000

A provocative magazine advertisement has added new fuel to the fire in the three-week-old strike by 135,000 actors against the advertising industry. The advertising agency RSA USA ran an ad in the weekly trade publication Shoot which pictured an elderly African woman's wrinkled breasts and was captioned “In South Africa, this what SAG means,” SAG being a crude pun on the acronym for the Screen Actors Guild, one of the two unions involved in the strike.

Socialist Workers Party (US) denounces rescue of Elian Gonzalez

By Patrick Martin, 23 May 2000

The US Socialist Workers Party has publicly solidarized itself with the right-wing Miami relatives of Elian Gonzalez, denouncing the April 22 raid by Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents which rescued the six-year-old boy and returned him to the care of his Cuban father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez.

Indonesian government walking a political tightrope on Aceh truce

By Mike Head, 23 May 2000

Facing mounting international pressure to resolve the 24-year-old conflict in Aceh, the oil-rich province of 4.6 million people on the northern tip of Sumatra, the Indonesian government of President Abdurrahman Wahid has signed a temporary truce with the secessionist Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

How the Socialist Workers Party (US) changed its line on the Elian Gonzalez case

By Patrick Martin, 23 May 2000

The Socialist Workers Party did not arrive at its public opposition to the rescue of Elian Gonzalez overnight. Its political line underwent a distinct evolution, which can be followed in the pages of the Militant over the six months since Elian Gonzalez was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean on Thanksgiving Day.

Michigan judge rejects appeal for a new trial in Nathaniel Abraham case

By Larry Roberts, 22 May 2000

On May 4, Oakland County Probate Judge Eugene Moore issued a decision rejecting an appeal for a new trial for Nathaniel Abraham, the Pontiac, Michigan boy prosecuted for first-degree murder for a crime committed when the boy was 11 years old.

Sri Lankan president relies on trade union leaders for support

By Dianne Sturgess, 22 May 2000

Accompanied by at least six cabinet ministers, Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga held an unprecedented meeting with the country's trade union leadership on the evening of May 16 to request their support for her government's repressive emergency measures and ongoing war against the Tamil separatists.

Part 1: The Tories intensify their class-war assault

By Lee Parsons and Keith Jones, 22 May 2000

The following is the first part of a two-part article. The second part will appear Thursday, May 25.

Strange siege as Fijian racialists mount 'coup' against Labour government

By John Braddock and Peter Symonds, 22 May 2000

For four days a strange standoff has been taking place in Suva, the capital of the Pacific Island nation of Fiji. Last Friday a small group of armed gunmen led by George Speight, a failed businessman and son of former MP Sam Speight, walked into the parliament, took Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry and his cabinet hostage and proclaimed “a coup”. Declaring he was defending the rights of ethnic Fijians, Speight suspended the constitution and appointed his own interim cabinet.

Former Klansmen indicted for murder in 1963 bombing of Birmingham, Alabama church

By Jerry White, 20 May 2000

Two former Ku Klux Klansmen who have long been suspects in the 1963 bombing that killed four black girls in a Birmingham, Alabama church surrendered to authorities Wednesday. They turned themselves in after they were indicted by a state grand jury on four counts each of first-degree and reckless murder.

Paddington train disaster inquiry hears how rail companies "put profit before safety"

By Tony Robson, 20 May 2000

The official inquiry into last year's Paddington train crash, in which 31 people died, has begun hearing evidence.

Britain's military intervention in Sierra Leone part of a new "Scramble for Africa"

By Chris Marsden and Chris Talbot, 20 May 2000

Britain's sending of over a thousand crack troops to Sierra Leone is a major turn to direct intervention in Africa that has serious repercussions for both the African masses and workers in the West.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 May 2000

Unpaid Chinese steelworkers protest

New email virus potentially more damaging than "Love Bug"

By Mike Ingram, 20 May 2000

A new computer virus was reported May 18 which is said to be potentially more damaging than the so-called "Love Bug" which caused up to $10 billion worth of damage to world-wide computer networks earlier this month.

Australian building company collapse leaves families stranded

By Margaret Rees, 20 May 2000

Avonwood Homes, the fourth biggest home construction company in the state of Victoria, last month lost the backing of its main financier, believed to be the National Australia Bank, and suspended building on 562 unfinished homes. What followed within weeks was the first collapse of a major homebuilder in Australia since the early 1990s.

LTTE makes further gains in Sri Lankan fighting

By Dianne Sturgess, 20 May 2000

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have made further inroads into the Sri Lankan army's defences on the north of the Jaffna peninsula over the last few days. Government sources have admitted that two key targets—the Palali airbase and the nearby Kankesanturai port—have been hit by artillery shells. (See map below)

A reply by the Hindustan Times to WSWS campaign in defence of filmmaker Deepa Mehta

By Linda Tenenbaum, 19 May 2000

Neither Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee nor Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Pradesh Shri Ram Prakash Gupta have made any reply to the statements of protest sent to them by supporters of Indian-born filmmaker Deepa Mehta during the past three months.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 19 May 2000

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site .

'Most of us do not feel that this war is our war'

By a correspondent, 19 May 2000

During the past month the Sri Lankan security forces have suffered major defeats at the hands of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which is fighting for a separate state for the Tamil minority in the northern and eastern provinces of the country. The LTTE launched an offensive at the end of March, to capture the Elephant Pass camp, the gateway to the northern Jaffna peninsula. After four weeks of fighting, the strategic base fell to the LTTE on April 22 for the first time in the 17-year war. The sketchy military details vary but as many as 1,000 soldiers may have been killed and many more injured in the battle.

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta replies to an attack in the Hindustan Times

By , 19 May 2000

Filmmaker Deepa Mehta sent the following reply to the Indian newspaper, the Hindustan Times , which published an article on May 3 attacking both her and the World Socialist Web Site campaign to defend her against the attempts by Hindu extremists organisations to prevent the production of her latest film Water in India.

'They are punishing Deepa for deflating their egos'

By , 19 May 2000

Author Bapsi Sidhwa sent the following letter to the Hindustan Times defending filmmaker Deepa Mehta against the virulent attacks of the Hindu extremist organisations seeking to prevent the production in India of her latest film Water. Bapsi Sidhwa provided a copy of her letter for publication on the World Socialist Web Site.

Dangers persist of nuclear contamination in Los Alamos wildfire

By Kate Randall, 19 May 2000

As of Thursday, authorities in Los Alamos, New Mexico said that the wildfire that began as a controlled burn on May 4 was 60 percent contained. About 1,200 firefighters continued to battle the blaze, known as the Cerro Grande fire, extinguishing hot spots and working against the still-active northwest flank of the fire.

Thousands rally in New York in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal

By Tom Bishop and Alan Whyte, 19 May 2000

Some 5,000 supporters of death row inmate and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal attended a rally May 7 in New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Germany's Social Democrats and Greens suffer further losses in state election

By Dietmar Henning, 19 May 2000

In elections to the state legislature in North Rhine Westphalia last Sunday, May 14, voters once again punished the governing parties: the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Greens.

Britain gives missile contract to European consortium

By Julie Hyland, 19 May 2000

Despite intense lobbying from the United States, Prime Minister Tony Blair has decided to award arms deals worth £1 billion to supply missiles for Britain's Euro-fighter aircraft to a European defence consortium.

Lockerbie trial takes dramatic turn

By Steve James, 18 May 2000

The trial of the two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 has been adjourned until May 23. Last Sunday, newspapers in Britain reported that “dramatic new evidence” presented shortly before the trial began casts severe doubt on official explanations of the explosion. According to the Sunday Times, sources close to the case have indicated that this “was a significant factor in the prosecution's request for an adjournment”.

New Internet spy agency to be set up in Britain

By Mike Ingram, 18 May 2000

The British Labour government is planning to set up a new spy centre that can track all email and Internet communication, including encrypted messages.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 18 May 2000

Irish hospital doctors set to strike

US Supreme Court rules rape victims cannot sue in federal court

By John Andrews and Barry Grey, 18 May 2000

The Supreme Court on May 15 struck down a key provision of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act which gave victims of gender-related crimes such as rape and domestic violence the right to sue their attackers in federal court. The ruling was the latest in a series of Supreme Court decisions over the past five years limiting the ability of Congress and the federal government to enact legislation against various forms of discrimination and shifting the balance of power toward the states.

US Federal Reserve raises interest rates in preemptive move against wage increases

By Jerry White, 18 May 2000

US Federal Reserve Board officials raised key interest rates by half a percentage point Tuesday, May 16—the largest increase in five years—in a move aimed at driving up unemployment and suppressing demands from workers for improved wages and benefits. The aggressive move sets into motion recessionary forces that will inevitably lead to a sharp downturn in the economy in the coming months.

Social inequality increases in Britain

By Julie Hyland, 17 May 2000

A report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) contains damning evidence of the growth of social inequality in Britain over the last few decades. Aptly titled "Social Inequalities”, the report compares indices from the end of the 1970s up to April 1998.

Atrocities in Sudan linked with fight for oil

By David Rowan, 17 May 2000

Recent allegations have pointed to the involvement of western petroleum companies in the bloody conflict for control of the oil-rich Unity and Western Upper Nile regions of Sudan.

Victims of the German SPD-Green coalition asylum policies—Part 1

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 17 May 2000

Recent reports have exposed a growing number of individuals and families suffering due to the German government's intensified policies against refugees, combined with the merciless attitude exhibited by the authorities responsible for immigration.

Detroit leads US in police killings

By Jerry White, 17 May 2000

Detroit police officers kill citizens at a higher rate than police in any other big US city, according to FBI statistics made public by the Detroit Free Press Monday, May 15. Detroit had a rate of 0.92 fatal shootings per 100,000 residents, far higher than New York and Los Angeles, two cities recently scandalized by revelations of widespread police killings and brutality.

The Million Mom March: the social and political issues that were not addressed

By Barry Grey, 17 May 2000

Several hundred thousand people, mostly women, marched in Washington on Mothers Day, Sunday, May 14, and thousands more held local rallies to demand the passage of gun control legislation.

President Kumaratunga's all-party meeting in Sri Lanka: a platform for the extreme right

By Dianne Sturgess, 17 May 2000

The all-party meeting called by Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga in Colombo on Monday to discuss the deteriorating military situation on the Jaffna peninsula has proved to be nothing but a political platform for the most rightwing and fascistic organisations on which her Peoples Alliance (PA) government is increasingly dependent.

Nepal government launches crackdown on strikes and insurgency

By W. A. Sunil., 17 May 2000

Nepal, a small poverty-stricken country of 24 million people at the foot of the Himalayan ranges, is gripped by a deepening political crisis, with social unrest reflected in strikes and a Maoist-led rural insurgency. After a bitter internal struggle, the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) recently removed its own prime minister and appointed a former leader, Girija Prasad Koirala, who last month unveiled tough “law and order” measures.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis threatens millions

By Debra Watson, 16 May 2000

The super-deadly strains of drug-resistant tuberculosis that killed 500 people in New York City in the early 1990s are now turning up in alarming numbers in the underdeveloped countries.

Study finds widespread racial bias in US criminal justice system

By Shannon Jones, 16 May 2000

A new report issued by a coalition of civil rights organizations calls the “massively and pervasively biased” treatment of blacks and Hispanics by the US police and courts the major civil rights problem of the twenty-first century.

The merger of the Frankfurt and London stock exchanges

By Patrick Richter, 16 May 2000

The merger announced May 3 combining the Deutsche Börse Frankfurt (Frankfurt Stock Exchange) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) will create the biggest stock exchange in Europe. The new entity, to be named International Exchange (iX), will be the fourth largest stock exchange in the world following the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq and Tokyo.

Explosion at Dutch fireworks warehouse highlights lack of concern for public safety

By Chris Marsden, 16 May 2000

The explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Holland on Saturday, May 13 has left at least 20 people dead and 601 injured. Four fire fighters died trying to tackle the blaze that ensued and has devastated parts of Enschede near Holland's border with Germany. Local residents are demanding to know why the authorities allowed the fireworks warehouse to be located in the middle of a residential area. Prime Minister Wim Kok has promised an investigation.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 16 May 2000

Unemployed confront police in Argentina

Sri Lankan government pushes through new military spending

By Dianne Sturgess, 16 May 2000

The decision of the Sri Lankan government to put the country onto “a war footing” following a string of military defeats in its war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has already resulted in a new round of economic burdens on the working class and the urban and rural poor.

The attack on public education: letter from a Philadelphia teacher

By , 15 May 2000

A Philadelphia public school teacher

Refugees held incommunicado in Australia, then violently deported

By Regina Lohr, 15 May 2000

Some recent comments from refugees and detention centre staff, given rare media coverage, have provided a glimpse of the cruel measures that the Howard government in Australia is using in both detaining and forcibly deporting asylum-seekers.

Takeover of British Rover plant: thousands of jobs still at risk

By Julie Hyland, 15 May 2000

The announcement Wednesday, May 10 that the German car manufacture BMW had sold its British subsidiary Rover Cars to the Phoenix consortium was greeted with jubilation by workers at the company's Longbridge plant near Birmingham in the West Midlands.