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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 September 2000

Thai textile workers fight company attacks

Devastating floods leave millions homeless across Indochina

By John Roberts, 30 September 2000

The flooding of the Mekong River in recent weeks has inundated large areas of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and destroyed the homes or possessions of an estimated four and a half million people. As of early last week, at least 278 people had died in the floods, over 100 of these in Vietnam. Many were children, who were unable to swim and were caught in the rising waters. Thousands of homeless families are living on the top of dangerously saturated dykes or in water-logged thatched huts with little food and no safe drinking water.

An exchange on the Danish Euro referendum

By , 30 September 2000

The World Socialist Web Site has received the following email from a reader in response to the article “Right-wing politics dominate Danish Euro referendum” ( A reply by Steve James is included below.

Denmark: Referendum rejects euro heightening Europe's currency crisis

By Chris Marsden and Steve James, 30 September 2000

The September 28 referendum in Denmark on adoption of the euro was the continent's first ever plebiscite on the European single currency. In over a 90 percent turnout, Danes opted to keep the krone by a majority of 53 to 47 percent. The No vote has delivered a serious blow to the faltering European rival to the dollar, which will have ramifications far beyond Denmark's borders.

Germany: Nearly 100 people killed by right-wing violence over last decade

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 30 September 2000

On September 14 the national newspapers, the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Berlin Tagesspiegel, published a list of nearly 100 people who have been victims of extreme right-wing violence over the last ten years since German reunification. (The complete list can be found at The published number is far greater than the figure acknowledged by the Social Democratic-Green coalition government in Berlin or its predecessors.

US threats over Timor militias raise political tensions in Indonesia

By James Conachy, 30 September 2000

Mounting international insistence that Indonesia comply with the September 8 UN Security Council resolution to disarm and disband the militia groups operating in West Timor is heightening instability within the government of President Abdurrahman Wahid.

Economic instability dominates South East Asia

By Joe Lopez, 29 September 2000

While recent large falls in Asian stock markets have been attributed to rising oil prices and declines on Wall Street, some analysts are pointing to more fundamental problems that could see a repeat of the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98.

The New York Times and the case of Wen Ho Lee

By Barry Grey, 29 September 2000

On September 26 the New York Times published an extraordinary statement concerning its coverage of the case of Wen Ho Lee, the Taiwanese-born nuclear scientist who was the center of a federal investigation into alleged Chinese espionage at the Los Alamos, New Mexico laboratory. The collapse of the case against Lee earlier this month has prompted congressional hearings and sparked recriminations and finger-pointing within the political establishment.

Britain: Labour Party conference pleases big business

By Julie Hyland, 29 September 2000

With a general election expected in May next year, the Labour Party's annual conference held this week in Brighton came at a critical time for Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Letter on Trotsky anniversary meeting

By , 29 September 2000

Dear Editors,

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 29 September 2000

German lorry drivers and farmers continue protest to demand cut in fuel prices

Further revelations of corruption in New York City unions

By Alan Whyte, 29 September 2000

The latest revelations of mob control of the New York City construction unions are, among other things, a significant expression of the real nature of the trade unions today.

The New York Times continues to flog Whitewater

By Barry Grey, 29 September 2000

Just days before the New York Times published its September 26 statement on Wen Ho Lee, it published two articles exonerating itself from any wrongdoing in connection with its promotion of the Whitewater scandal. These pieces followed the September 20 announcement by the current independent counsel, Robert Ray, that there was insufficient evidence to charge the Clintons with any criminal acts in connection with the 1970s Arkansas land deal, and that the Office of Independent Counsel was officially closing the Whitewater investigation—after more than six years and over $50 million in expenditures.

The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka replies to a supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)

By , 29 September 2000

Dear Sir,

The business Olympics: Sydney's other games

By Richard Phillips, 29 September 2000

Since September 15 when the Olympic Games opened, Sydney residents, not to speak of television viewers around the world, have been subjected to a day and night sporting media blitz by the 16,900 journalists, camera operators and news producers in attendance. Another less publicised component has been the business end of the Games: the chance for companies to indulge in corporate schmoozing, negotiate or close new deals, and, in the case of Australian politicians, promote new investment.

Mexican immigrants beaten in New York suburb

By Fred Mazelis, 28 September 2000

Immigrants and supporters of democratic rights in the New York area reacted with outrage to the brutal beating of two Mexican workers in the town of Farmingville, a town of 15,000 about 50 miles east of the city.

Australia: Investigation to be conducted into police violence against anti-WEF protesters

By our correspondent, 28 September 2000

Investigations into police violence are being established by the Victorian state ombudsman after 50 people were hospitalised and more than 400 injured during protests against the World Economic Forum in Melbourne two weeks ago.

Lieberman's support for government-backed religion: an attack on the letter and spirit of the Constitution

By John Andrews, 28 September 2000

When Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman told his audience at the Fellowship Chapel Church in Detroit last month that “the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” he revealed not only a stunning ignorance of United States history, but also an antipathy to the freedom of thought that the founders made a centerpiece of the Constitution.

Without flinching

By David Walsh, 28 September 2000

Bye Bye Africa is an honest and moving film, an unusual one. An exiled African filmmaker (played by the director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun) and his French wife are woken up in the middle of the night by a telephone-call. His mother has died. He returns to Chad after a long absence, also taking with him a script he wants to film.

Russian President Putin tries to break Berezovsky's grip

By Vladimir Volkov, 28 September 2000

In recent weeks, the battle for control of the most important Russian television channel ORT has intensified. The Kremlin is trying to strengthen its own control over this semi-state-owned broadcaster, since it adopted an extremely critical attitude to the government following the disaster on the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk.

US, Britain demand Milosevic resign after Yugoslav elections

By Chris Marsden and Tony Robson, 28 September 2000

Yugoslavia's opposition parties have rejected the result of Sunday's presidential elections announced by the ruling regime of President Slobodan Milosevic Tuesday night, that necessitate a run-off on October 10.

An interview with David Gordon Green, director of George Washington

By David Walsh, 28 September 2000

George Washington, written and directed by David Gordon, looks at a group of young people, mostly black, in a Southern town, more or less on their own terms. George, a 13-year-old, who has to wear a football helmet because of a head injury; the narrator, Nasia; and the fast-talking Buddy. They come together and separate and come together again. The film takes its time. The dialogue is not composed of everyday conversation, but heightened, manipulated. The filmmaker has not condescended; emotions and thoughts are articulated carefully.

Performance enhancing drugs and the commodification of elite athletes

By Erika Zimmer, 28 September 2000

Announcements by International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials linking US athletes and officials with performance enhancing drugs have received widespread publicity over the last few days. On Tuesday the IOC revealed that US shot put champion, C.J. Hunter, husband of US super sprinter Marion Jones, had tested positive for the steroid nandralone. According to Games officials Hunter, who had withdrawn from the Olympic competition claiming injury prior to the Sydney events, had tested positive four times this year.

CIA documents confirm: Chile's secret police chief worked for Washington

By Bill Vann, 27 September 2000

Confirming what opponents of Chile's two-decade-long military dictatorship had long charged, the Central Intelligence Agency has issued a report to the US Congress acknowledging that the head of the DINA, Chile's hated secret police, was a paid agent and informer of the CIA.

A dialogue with Sri Lankan film director Prasanna Vithanage

By Waruna Alahakoon, 27 September 2000

The screening of Pura Handa Kaluwara (Death on a Full Moon Day) by internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan film director, Prasanna Vithanage, was suspended indefinitely by Sri Lanka's Peoples Alliance (PA) government on July 21. Produced in 1997, the first public screenings of the film in Sri Lanka were scheduled for July 28 this year. The suspension was imposed through a directive issued to Thissa Abesekera, chairman of the National Film Corporation (NFC), by Sarath Amunugama, the cabinet minister who holds the NFC portfolio.

Meetings in Berlin and London draw appreciative audience

By our correspondent, 27 September 2000

At meetings held last weekend in Berlin and London commemorating the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky, David North—Chairman of the World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the USA—explained the historical role of the great Marxist revolutionary and opponent of Stalin. The meetings were hosted by the International Committee of the Fourth International and the World Socialist Web Site.

Turkey today: cheap labor platform for transnational corporations

By Bülent Kent, 27 September 2000

The political and economic changes put into motion by the September 1980 coup have led to the worsening of social conditions for the majority of workers and oppressed in Turkey.

New survey shows widespread deprivation in Britain

By Harvey Thompson, 27 September 2000

A national survey carried out by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has revealed important information on the extent of social deprivation in Britain. The study, produced by researchers at four universities (Bristol, Loughborough, York and Heriot-Watt) and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, claims to be the most comprehensive and rigorous of its type ever conducted.

Twenty years since the military coup in Turkey

By Justus Leicht, 27 September 2000

Twenty years ago, on September 12, 1980, a right-wing military junta led by General Kenan Evran took state power in a predawn coup in Turkey, established martial law, abolished political parties and trade unions and abolished democratic rights. Coming after nearly a decade of social and political conflicts often bordering on civil war, the coup unleashed a wave of repression against working class and left-wing opponents of the Turkish regime whose consequences are still present today.

Papua New Guinea government seeks tight control over political parties

By Will Marshall, 27 September 2000

Under pressure from Australia and international investors, the Papua New Guinea government of Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta has introduced legislation that seeks to stabilise the system of rule and impose strict controls over political parties.

Telstra's rural split-off—a new vehicle for privatisation

By Noel Roberts, 27 September 2000

In March this year the Howard government, shaken by opposition in rural areas and divisions within its own ranks, was forced to back away from plans to sell off the remaining 50.1 percent government interest in Telstra, Australia's largest communications carrier.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 September 2000

Week of protests in Bolivia

Isaac Newton's papers up for sale

By Ann Talbot, 26 September 2000

A collection of Sir Isaac Newton's papers has been put up for sale, in what is probably the most important auction of scientific manuscripts for 70 years. The papers date from 1669, the most productive period in Newton's life, when he was developing his calculus and his theories of gravity and optics.

Australian government under pressure to drop its attack on UN committees

By Terry Cook, 26 September 2000

International and domestic criticism of the Australian government's continuing attack on the United Nation's treaty committee system sharpened last week following an address by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to the UN's General Assembly in New York. Downer declared that Australia would “spearhead a high level initiative” to force a change to the way the committees operate.

Call for an Anti-Hero: A review of Tabletop, a play by Rob Ackerman

By Anne Prochnik, 26 September 2000

Tabletop, a production of The Working Theatre in New York City, written by Rob Ackerman and directed by Connie Grappo, is not a play to relax with after a hard day at work. It captures with excruciating accuracy just what goes into making those 30-second commercials for frothy fruit drinks, ice cream, pizza and beer that we ingest visually and aurally every time we turn on the TV. This is a working world in which anxiety reigns supreme, deadlines are impossible to meet, bosses holler orders and curse out employees who slip up under pressure, all because the client is breathing down his / her neck and money is being hemorrhaged for every wasted second.

Malaysian government puts "Islamic" arms raiders on trial for treason

By John Roberts, 26 September 2000

The trial began in Kuala Lumpur on September 11 of 29 men accused of raiding two Malaysian army weapons stores on July 2 and murdering two hostages. Two of the accused are also charged with using weapons stolen in the raid to attack a brewery. The case is a highly sensitive one for the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the prosecution team is being led Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah.

A socialist program to end the war and social inequality

By , 26 September 2000

The Socialist Equality Party is fielding a slate of candidates for the Colombo district in the Sri Lankan general elections to advance a socialist solution to the political impasse and social crisis confronting ordinary working people.

Danger of global crisis sparked G7 euro intervention

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2000

Fears that the continuing decline of the euro could set off a global financial crisis appear to have been behind the surprise decision of the financial authorities of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to intervene in currency markets last Friday.

The Firestone tire recall: a case study in the contradiction between public need and private profit

By Joseph Kay, 25 September 2000

In the wake of US Congressional hearings into accidents and deaths caused by the failure of Firestone tires, information continues to surface demonstrating that both Firestone and Ford were aware of problems with the tires well before the recall announced last month. Evidence is mounting that the two corporations attempted to avoid a recall in the United States of at least 6.5 million tires that they knew were faulty. So far 103 deaths in the US and over 150 internationally have been attributed to the failure of certain Firestone tires, many of which are equipped on the Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle (SUV).

Indian film and television students protest over fee hikes and course structure

By , 25 September 2000

Students at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) at Pune in Madras, in western India, have contacted the World Socialist Web Site to draw attention to the campaign they are waging against fee hikes and a major run-down in course training and artistic content at the prestigious school.

Michigan GM workers sue United Auto Workers local for embezzling funds

By Jerry White, 25 September 2000

Members of United Auto Workers Local 594 at the General Motors truck manufacturing complex in Pontiac, Michigan filed a lawsuit September 18 charging that local union officials embezzled at least half a million dollars to settle a sexual harassment suit against the local's former president, Don Douglas, and to pay legal bills.

Who makes up the artistic vanguard today?

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 25 September 2000

This year's Toronto film festival presented a considerable variety of works among its 330 short and feature films. As always there was a divide between the commercial and art cinema and, within the latter, between the serious filmmaker and the poseur. East Asian and Iranian films continued to be strongest, but there was remarkable European and American work too.

Findings of study supporting US school vouchers criticized

By Margaret Rees, 25 September 2000

Data collecting company Mathematica Policy Research Inc is disputing what it calls exaggerated claims by Harvard professor Paul E. Peterson that the results of a study it recently conducted demonstrate the effectiveness of school vouchers in raising test scores for black students.

Another Australian warship sails to the Solomon Islands

By Peter Byrne, 25 September 2000

Australian Defence Minister John Moore announced on September 18 that another Australian warship, the HMAS Newcastle, had set sail for the Solomon Islands. It is the third Australian naval ship sent to the tiny South Pacific country since June 5, when an ethnic militia group, the Malaita Eagle Force (MEF), seized the capital Honiara and ousted the government of Bartholomew Ulufa'alu.

Appeals Court upholds guilty verdict in show trial against Iranian Jews

By Justus Leicht, 23 September 2000

On September 21, the Iranian Appeals Court issued its ruling in the case of ten Iranian Jews who last July were given long prison sentences for allegedly spying for Israel. The court felt compelled to drop the charge of espionage, reflecting the contrived character of the case. Nevertheless, it upheld the charge of "cooperation with a hostile state."

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 September 2000

Indonesian Adidas workers strike for improved conditions

Attempts to intimidate a WSWS correspondent in Sri Lanka

By our reporter, 23 September 2000

Disturbing signs have emerged over the last month of an attempt to intimidate a Socialist Equality Party journalist and SEP members in Uddapu—a remote Tamil fishing village on the northwest coast of Sri Lanka—following the publication of a series of articles on the World Socialist Web Site in March.

West steps up threats against Yugoslavia

By Tony Robson, 23 September 2000

The NATO powers have tightened their military encirclement of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) in the run-up to the presidential and federal elections on Sunday.

An exchange on the Rosenberg case

By , 23 September 2000

The following is an exchange of letters on the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

Striking transit workers rally in Los Angeles

By Andrea Cappannari, 23 September 2000

More than 2,000 striking bus and train operators from the United Transportation Union (UTU) protested at a strike rally in Los Angeles. They were joined by mechanics and maintenance workers from the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and employees from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME.) The rally took place at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) headquarters.

Australian government launches police raids over leaked Timor documents

By Mike Head, 23 September 2000

In a clumsy bid to silence critics of its record in East Timor and Indonesia, the Howard government has launched a series of police raids over last year's leaking to the media of intelligence documents relating to the militia violence in East Timor.

On Gore's threat to censor Hollywood

By , 23 September 2000

The following letter was written in response to David Walsh's September 20 article, “Democrats Gore and Lieberman threaten state censorship of US entertainment industry”

The contradictory legacy of John Ruskin's artistic and social critique

By Paul Mitchell, 23 September 2000

The centenary of the death of John Ruskin has helped provoke a renewed interest in his works, including several biographies and an exhibition at the Tate Britain art gallery called Ruskin, Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites. By the time of his death in 1900, Ruskin had become Britain's leading art and social critic. He was also an accomplished artist in own right, maintained a great interest in science and left behind a vast literary output containing some of the best English prose writing. He spent the last quarter of his life suffering long periods of manic depression and hallucinations.

Fuel tax protests continue in Spain—nothing settled in rest of Europe

By Mike Ingram, 23 September 2000

Fuel tax protests in Spain are set to continue next month, as talks between the government and protesters broke down Thursday morning. The Popular Party government maintained that it would not cut duties on petrol and diesel, but reiterated its offer of income tax relief and soft loans for farmers, fishermen and truckers. The two top farming associations said they would continue talks with the government but did not plan to call off the protests scheduled for next month.

Threat of civil war and French intervention in Côte d'Ivoire

By John Farmer and Chris Talbot, 22 September 2000

As the presidential elections planned for October 22 in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) approach, the country is being torn apart by escalating ethnic violence and mutiny in the army. Divisions within the ruling elite have reached the point of mobilising sections of the army and threatening civil war.

Image and reality in Sydney's Olympic opening ceremony

By Linda Tenenbaum, 22 September 2000

Last Friday's opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games has provoked something of a controversy. Reactions have veered between two extremes: rapturous praise and bitter denunciation. New South Wales (NSW) Premier Bob Carr, for example, told ABC radio the event was perhaps the most important artistic achievement in Australia's history—taking into account every novel, painting, poem, dance and theatre work. Along the same lines, Melbourne's Age editorial crowed that the ceremony “has done Australia... proud”. It was “a triumph”, a “colourful display of what Australia has been and is.”

Privatisation of culture: the issues involved in the Film and Television Institute of India student strike

By T. Kalyanaraman, 22 September 2000

The author, based in Chennai (Madras), is the Regional Secretary of the Southern Region of the Federation of Film Societies of India. The following article originally appeared on the web site of the FFSI [].

Britain: police to challenge verdict in killing of black detainee

By Keith Lee, 22 September 2000

Five policemen are challenging a jury verdict that they unlawfully killed a prisoner. The verdict was brought against them at an inquest in August. The jury at Hull Crown Court heard how the officers laughed and joked while the black father of two lay dying on the floor.

Ohio auto workers denounce union for deal on temporary employees

By Jim Lawrence, 22 September 2000

Members of International Union of Electronic Workers (IUE) Local 798 in Dayton, Ohio are outraged over a contract signed by local union officials that will allow General Motors to hire temporary workers at its Bus & Truck plant. The terms of the agreement had been previously rejected twice by the membership, including one time at a mass meeting that ended with union officials calling the police to protect them from angry rank-and-file workers. Following that experience, members claim they turned down the deal in another vote, but the union refused to release the results of the tally and signed the agreement on June 29.

Australian child care workers angered by cuts to conditions

By Erika Zimmer, 22 September 2000

New South Wales child care workers, who are among the lowest paid employees in Australia, face further reductions in their working conditions in exchange for an 8 to 10 percent wage increase, in a new pay deal approved by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission last month.

On Attention Deficit Disorder and Ritalin

By , 22 September 2000

To the Editor:

Britain: government threatens anti-strike laws following fuel tax protests

By Chris Marsden, 21 September 2000

Britain's Labour government is proposing legislation to effectively illegalise strike action in broad sectors of the economy, following fuel tax protests by road-hauliers and farmers last week.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East & Africa

By , 21 September 2000

Spanish fishermen and hauliers continue protests against fuel costs

Peru: the disintegration of the Fujimori regime

By Bill Vann, 21 September 2000

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori made a surprise announcement September 15 that he intends to hold new elections in which he will not run. If carried out, the pledge would put an end to his reign of more than a decade. After Fidel Castro, Fujimori is Latin America's longest-ruling head of state. Massive human rights violations, rigged elections and wholesale corruption have characterized his tenure in office.

Los Angeles transit strike continues

By Carlos Menendez, 21 September 2000

Negotiations between the striking transit workers union and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) resumed with the state mediator Tuesday in the first talks since 4,300 bus drivers and train operators walked out September 16. The strike has crippled the public transport system of the US's second largest city, affecting some 450,000 daily commuters.

A letter on teaching "new math" in US schools

By , 21 September 2000

To the editor:

Conditions in Colombo's shanties highlight Sri Lanka's housing crisis

By Priyadarshana Meddawatte and , 21 September 2000

As is usual at election times, those who live in the shanty towns that proliferate in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo are suddenly finding political figures from the ruling Peoples Alliance (PA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP) in their midst. PA and UNP election candidates, flanked by their supporters walking uneasily along the narrow laneways, occasionally stopping for friendly chats and touting for votes, are, at the moment, quite a common sight.

Olympic Notebook

By our correspondents, 21 September 2000

Records crash in swimming

Some thoughts on the Olympic torch relay

By Tony Cornwell, 21 September 2000

The Olympic torch relay from Olympia in Greece to Sydney in Australia was the largest and longest since the first torch relay was organised for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. AMP, the insurance group, was the main sponsor but Ansett, Holden, Harley-Davidson, IBM and Shell Australia all played major roles.

Vladimir Montesinos: the rise and fall of "our man in Lima"

By Bill Vann, 21 September 2000

Recent reports of Vladimir Montesinos's role in bribing a Peruvian legislator and smuggling guns to the Colombian guerrillas are only part of a long record of criminal activity carried out in collaboration with both Peruvian and US authorities.

Fiji's High Court intervenes to prevent Speight's release

By Tim Joy, 20 September 2000

The High Court of Fiji has ordered a magistrate not to rule on treason charges against coup leader George Speight and 11 other detainees, preventing their release. The court's intervention points to divisions within the judiciary as the military-backed interim government struggles to assert its legitimacy and win stronger backing from the Western powers.

Damaged British nuclear submarine in Gibraltar harbor

By Peter Norden, 20 September 2000

For more than three months the damaged British nuclear submarine, HMS Tireless, has been lying in harbor at the British crown colony of Gibraltar. On May 12 the submarine was probably operating in the vicinity of Sicily in the Mediterranean when its nuclear reactor had to be closed down owing to a malfunctioning of the cooling system. It then managed to reach the British military base of Gibraltar where it was put into moorage.

Police fatally shoot eleven-year old boy in California drug raid

By Andrea Cappannari, 20 September 2000

Police fatally shot an eleven-year old boy on September 13 in Modesto, California, during a narcotics raid on the boy's home. Alberto Sepulveda, a seventh grader, died from a single gunshot wound through the back.

Unions end Indian telecom strike, opening the door for privatisation

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 September 2000

A three-day old strike by over 300,000 Indian telecom workers was called off last Friday night by the leaders of the National Federation of Telecom Employees and the Federation of National Telecom Organisations after they struck a deal with Communication Minister Ram Vials Aswan.

Democrats Gore and Lieberman threaten state censorship of US entertainment industry

By David Walsh, 20 September 2000

US Vice President Al Gore and his running mate, Senator Joseph Lieberman, have threatened to impose forms of state censorship on the film, music and video games industries should they win the November election. Gore and Lieberman, in an interview conducted by the New York Times September 11, declared that they would use “truth in advertising” laws to prosecute studios and record companies responsible for promoting supposedly violent entertainment among minors, if the industry did not “clean up their act” within six months of the inauguration of a Gore-Lieberman administration. This threat goes beyond anything proposed by most right-wing Republicans in Congress. The campaign of Republican candidate George W. Bush has not advocated taking such steps, and in the wake of the Gore-Lieberman comments, still declined to do so.

Oil prices rises could trigger cut in growth

By Joe Lopez, 20 September 2000

Higher oil prices could lead to a fall in world economic growth and even a recession in some regions, according to reports from the World Bank and its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund.

Right-wing politics dominate Danish Euro referendum

By Steve James, 20 September 2000

On September 28 Denmark votes on whether to abolish its currency, the krone, in favour of the euro currently used by 12 European countries.

Farewell, Brecht's Last Summer —a convincing portrayal of the playwright in his last days

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 September 2000

The new film by director Jan Schütte— Farewell, Brecht's Last Summer [Abschied]—received its international premiere at the recent film festival in Venice and has just opened in Germany. The film deals with one day in the life of poet and dramatist Bertolt Brecht. It is August 1956. Brecht has travelled with an entourage of family and theatre co-workers to his holiday dacha at Buckow, in Brandenberg north of Berlin.

Hormones in the environment: how the facts were covered up

By Paul Mitchell, 20 September 2000

Every male fish in some European rivers shows pronounced female characteristics, according to Professor Alan Pickering of the Natural Environment Research Council. Speaking to the British Association's Festival of Science in London earlier this month, Pickering said, "We are finding this problem right across northern Europe, it is clearly widespread."

Auto workers threatened with job cuts at Ohio plant

By Jim Lawrence, 19 September 2000

Officials at the Delphi Harrison Thermal plant in Moraine, Ohio have informed the International Union of Electronic Workers (IUE) that up to 1,200 jobs may be cut at the plant because General Motors is unhappy with chronic quality problems with the air conditioning compressors manufactured there. IUE Local 801 represents the plant's 3,100 production workers. Another 325 salaried workers are also employed at the former GM plant, located just south of Dayton.

Japanese film director Shohei Imamura speaks to the World Socialist Web Site

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2000

Veteran film director, Shohei Imamura, recently visited Australia for “Under the Southern Cross”, a two-day season of Japanese films screened in Canberra and Sydney as part of the Olympic Arts Festival.

US dollar surge brings currency market turmoil

By Nick Beams, 19 September 2000

Global currency markets have been thrown into turmoil by the continuing rise of the US dollar, which saw both the euro and the Australian dollar hit record lows in trading at the end of last week.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 September 2000

Haitians protest high fuel prices

Vatican beatifies anti-Semitic Pope

By Peter Reydt, 19 September 2000

The beatification of Pope Pius IX has again revealed the deeply ingrained anti-Semitism within the Catholic Church. Pope Pius IX, who reigned from 1846 to 1878, was one of two former pontiffs beatified by Pope John-Paul II on September 3 in a ceremony attended by thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square.

Fuel tax protests throughout Scandinavia

By Steve James, 19 September 2000

Last week, Norwegian truckers announced that they would launch a blockade of five of the countries' main oil refineries and terminals at Oslo, Fredrikstad, Toensberg and two in Stavanger.

US officials threaten military action against Iraq

By Shannon Jones, 19 September 2000

Citing an alleged buildup of Iraqi military forces, US officials have issued statements suggesting that the Clinton administration is considering military action against the Persian Gulf country.

Workers speak out against police killings at Detroit town meeting

By Shannon Jones, 19 September 2000

A standing-room only audience of well over 500 people attended a September 14 meeting in Detroit called in response to mounting criticism of the city's police department, which has been involved in a spate of recent fatal shootings. The town hall meeting, called by the Board of Police Commissioners ostensibly to conduct a “dialogue with the community,” erupted in anger when police officials refused to answer why citizens engaged in no criminal activity were being murdered by police.

Los Angeles transit workers strike

By Gerardo Nebbia, 18 September 2000

More than 4,000 bus and train drivers, members of the United Transportation Union (UTU), went on strike Saturday against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), after reaching an impasse in contract talks. The strike in the second largest US city affected some 200,000 passengers on the weekend and will affect nearly half a million riders when the business week starts Monday.

Documents reveal that Australia urged Indonesia to invade East Timor in 1975

By Mike Head, 18 September 2000

Official documents released by the Australian government last week confirm that the Whitlam Labor government actively encouraged the Suharto regime in Indonesia to invade East Timor in 1975, a policy that led to the deaths of an estimated 200,000 Timorese people in the following years.

Europe's fuel tax protests begin to recede

By Julie Hyland, 18 September 2000

The anti-fuel tax protests that have paralysed much of Europe during the last week began to recede over the weekend.

Tokyo governor uses earthquake drill to push rightwing, militarist agenda

By James Conachy, 18 September 2000

Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, an outspoken opponent of Japan's post-World War II constitutional limits on the functions of the armed forces, transformed the city's annual earthquake drill on September 3 into a platform for his bellicose nationalism and a public relations exercise for the normally unobtrusive Japanese military.

Fuel tax protests hit Spain

By Vicky Short, 18 September 2000

In recent days, following the example of other European countries, Spain has been hit by large protests against the high cost of fuel.

Why has the Sri Lankan government opposed plans to stop ballot rigging?

By Panini Wijesiriwardane and , 18 September 2000

To maintain the façade of democratic elections, governments usually pay lipservice to the independence of the electoral process and to measures against ballot stuffing and fraud. In the Sri Lankan general elections, however, the Commissioner of Elections Dayanada Dissanayake is currently under mounting pressure from the ruling Peoples Alliance to resign after the government found he was preparing anti-rigging measures without its knowledge.

US Justice Department figures reveal racial bias in federal death sentences

By Frank Gaglioti, 16 September 2000

Attorney General Janet Reno released the findings of a US Justice Department study on September 12 revealing that black and other minority defendants were most likely to be found guilty in federal death penalty cases.

El Significado Contemporáneo de la Vida y Obra de León Trotsky

By , 16 September 2000

WSWS : Español

World Economic Forum summit discussions: an expression of deep-going political shifts

By Nick Beams, 16 September 2000

In his famous preface to The Critique of Political Economy, Marx explained the law-governed character of social revolutions as follows:

Democrats, Republicans unite against strike by Buffalo, New York teachers

By Tony Bell, 16 September 2000

Four thousand striking teachers in Buffalo, New York returned to classrooms Friday morning after a state supreme court judge issued a back-to-work injunction and threatened to impose massive fines under the Taylor law, which prohibits public employees from striking. The teachers walked out September 14 for the second time in a week in a dispute against the school district's demands for a reduction of retiree benefits and other contract concessions.

State racism in Austria

By Markus Salzman, 16 September 2000

On May 19 Imre B., a 35-year-old immigrant from Yugoslavia, was shot and killed by a police officer in the Vienna suburb of Penzing. Together with his companion Lajos S., Imre B. was stopped in his car by police officers in the course of a drug raid. Responding to the officers' demands, the two unarmed men raised their arms, whereupon Imre B. was shot down. No trace of drugs was found either in the car or on the persons of the two men.

WSWS speaks with demonstrators outside the World Economic Forum in Melbourne

By Linda Tenenbaum, 16 September 2000

Three days of protests were held outside the World Economic Forum in Melbourne from Monday to Wednesday this week. Organised by a coalition of radical organisations to oppose globalisation, the event attracted quite a wide range of people. The WSWS spoke with several who were keen to discuss the political issues involved.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 September 2000

Sri Lankan plantation workers launch an indefinite strike