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As US bombs more civilian targets, Bush insists Afghan war must go on

By Kate Randall, 29 December 2001

Speaking with reporters on Friday, George W. Bush defended the US war in Afghanistan, making the case for an open-ended military campaign in the Central Asian country and giving no timetable for a withdrawal.

Australia’s largest city ringed by fires

By Mike Head, 29 December 2001

For the third time in eight years, residents of Sydney find themselves surrounded by serious bush fires this week. More than 180 buildings, mostly homes, have been destroyed since Christmas Eve, hundreds of lives have been threatened, major road and rail links have been cut and thousands of hectares of national parks and other forests have been incinerated.

British government split over Tanzanian radar system

By Chris Talbot, 29 December 2001

A public row in the British government surrounded the granting of a licence to a British aerospace firm, BAE Systems, to export a $40 million air traffic control system to Tanzania. The purchase of the system was opposed by the World Bank, following its own research that showed it was unsuitable and that a system costing $10 million would be adequate.

David Walsh picks his favorite films of 2001

By David Walsh, 29 December 2001

By any serious standard, 2001 was a poor year in cinema, particularly for American filmmaking. In the past fourteen months the American population has experienced the hijacking of a national election, the takeover of the US government by the extreme right, a suicide bombing attack (whose circumstances have gone entirely uninvestigated) on the country’s largest city and the launching of a brutal and open-ended colonial war. Only a handful of US-made films even hint at the intensity of the social and political contradictions that have erupted to the surface. The exceptions might include Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, set in Britain in 1932, and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now Redux, made some twenty years ago.

India and Pakistan on threshold of war

By Keith Jones, 29 December 2001

India and Pakistan have rushed troops, tanks and missiles to their mutual border in anticipation of war. Meanwhile, diplomatic relations between the two nuclear-armed states continue to spiral downward. Despite pleas from the US, China and other major powers, India remains adamant that its Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, will not hold bilateral talks with Pakistani President General Musharraf during the January 4-6 SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) summit.

Letters on "The New York Times and the case of John Walker"

29 December 2001

Below we post a selection of letters on “The New York Times and the case of John Walker”

State takeover of Philadelphia schools paves way for privatization

By Tom Bishop, 29 December 2001

The state of Pennsylvania has taken over the management of the Philadelphia School District, the seventh largest in the United States. The takeover, the largest of its kind in the US, includes turning over management of 45 so-called failing schools to a private, for-profit company, Edison Schools Inc. The move affects 210,000 students and 27,000 public school employees in the district.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2001

Sri Lankan factory workers locked-out

African man dies at the hands of German police

By Sokal Lena, 28 December 2001

At the beginning of December, an otherwise healthy young man from Cameroon died shortly after the legal authorities forced him to take an emetic. 19-year-old Achimedes J. was arrested by police in Hamburg on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs. After having been forcibly administered an emetic to reveal the contents of his stomach, the young man immediately fell into a coma and died shortly afterwards.

Class analysis and feeling mean a great deal

By David Walsh, 28 December 2001

Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman, written by Julian Fellowes