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Chile floods expose lack of planning and infrastructure

By Perla Astudillo, 29 July 2000

Severe floods throughout Chile over the last month have caused at least 17 deaths and forced an estimated 129,000 people into homelessness. Torrential rains affected the capital, Santiago, swamping more than 75 percent of metropolitan streets, including the city's main highway. The worst affected regions also included the central and southern regions, Chile's principal agricultural areas.

South Africa: AIDS conference accepts limited agenda

By Chris Talbot, 29 July 2000

The grim conclusion to be drawn from the 13th International Conference on AIDS is that most of the world's 34 million people currently infected with HIV/AIDS will be left to their fate. This is despite the fact that the conference in Durban, South Africa July 9-14, drew the attention of the world's media and pledges of financial support by the World Bank, the United States government, Bill Gates and a number of drug corporations.

Two young Czech filmmakers investigating real human experiences

By Mustafa Rashid, 29 July 2000

The Czech title of Jan Hrebejk's new film Cosy Dens, one of the two Czech films screened at the Sydney Film Festival, is simply “Pelisky” (pronounced Pelishki). There is no “cosy” in the title; the word itself already sounds cosy. In the case of this film, one's cosy den is one's home—a place where, by definition, one must feel belonging, where one must be accepted unconditionally.

US Congress pushes tax windfalls for the wealthy

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2000

In votes taken throughout the month of July, the Republican-controlled US Congress—with substantial support from Democrats—has approved four major tax measures which together would slash the tax bills of upper income families by more than $700 billion over the next 10 years, while providing little or nothing for the vast majority of working people.

Western powers exploit growing tensions between Serbia and Montenegro

By Tony Hyland, 29 July 2000

The Western powers have been actively fomenting the dissolution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) over the past nine years by extending diplomatic, financial and military support to secessionist forces. The resulting conflicts have twice served as a pretext for imperialist military intervention into the Balkans, transforming the region into a series of ethnically divided states, dominated economically by Western financial institutions and companies.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 July 2000

Sacked Sony workers in Indonesia demand reinstatement

Concorde—its history and tragedy

By David Walsh, 28 July 2000

Tuesday's crash of an Air France Concorde outside Paris seized the attention of people all over the world. Anyone who viewed the broadcast images of the tragedy could not but help feel horrified and saddened, first and foremost at the thought of the passengers' terrible fate, but also by the impact of such an event on the living—the stricken human beings, workmen and local residents standing near the smoking wreckage in Gonesse. It was a chastening and sobering sight.

Lawsuit against Britain over Belgrano sinking thrown

By Harvey Thompson, 28 July 2000

The action filed against the British government in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg by relatives of the 323 Argentineans killed on board the Belgrano cruiser in 1982 has been dismissed on a technicality.

Ontario Tories attack public education

By Ian Bruce, 28 July 2000

The Ontario Conservative government of Mike Harris has stepped up its attack on public education with a series of bills and amendments passed in the spring legislative session. Under the new legislation, Education Minister Janet Ecker assumes direct control over virtually every aspect of the provincial education system, with almost unlimited power to discipline, fire or harass anyone who stands in the way of the Tories' big business agenda for education.

Rhetoric but no action on global financial problems at G8 summit

By Nick Beams, 28 July 2000

Annual economic summit meetings of the major capitalist powers were initiated in 1975 in the immediate aftermath of the first oil price shock and in the midst of the global recession of 1974-75—to that point the most serious economic downturn since the 1930s depression.