Showing results 1 to 100 from 180
By Kaye Tucker, 31 March 2001
For decades controversy has persisted about the health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by the transmission of electricity through power lines. Now an independent advisory group to Britain's National Radiation Protection Board (NRPB) has released a wide-ranging review of relevant scientific research. The group's chairman, Sir Richard Doll, was the first scientist to link cigarette smoking with lung cancer more than 30 years ago,
By Jerry White, 31 March 2001
The US Commerce Department reported Thursday that the nation's economy grew at an annual rate of just 1 percent in the last three months of 2000, the weakest performance in more than five years. The decline in the growth rate of Gross Domestic Product—down from a 2.2 percent increase in the third quarter of 2000—occurred as US corporations continued to announce lower corporate profits and mass layoffs.
By Chris Marsden, 31 March 2001
The Likud-Labour coalition government led by Ariel Sharon is intent on provoking a major escalation in Israel's ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.
By Julie Hyland, 31 March 2001
After more than one month, the spread of foot and mouth disease throughout the UK shows no sign of abating. Following weeks of press debate on the issue, pressure is mounting for Tony Blair to rule out a general election on May 3. On Thursday, Conservative Party leader William Hague said the prime minster should not go ahead with any May poll.
By , 31 March 2001
Workers in China demand pay and pensions
By David Walsh, 31 March 2001
Pollock, directed by Ed Harris, screenplay by Barbara Turner and Susan Emshwiller, based on the book, Jackson Pollock: An American Saga, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 31 March 2001
Veteran Trotskyist Dulal Bose died in Calcutta on March 21 at the age of 82. He joined the Trotskyist movement in 1939 as a young man, fought tenaciously for its program in the Indian working class and remained committed to its principles throughout his entire adult life. In 1991, he joined the Socialist Labour League in India, which is in solidarity with the International Committee of the Fourth International, and devoted the last decade of his life to translating the works of Leon Trotsky into Bengali.
By Peter Symonds, 30 March 2001
In a formal reply to the Indonesian parliament on March 28, President Abdurrahman Wahid denied any involvement in two financial scandals and insisted that his parliamentary censure on February 1 was unconstitutional. The speech, which was read in the lower house (DPR) on Wahid's behalf by Justice Minister Baharrudin Lopa, has done little to appease the president's critics, who are expected to take the next step toward removing him from office by voting for a second censure on April 30.
By Joe Lopez, 30 March 2001
The collapse of the insurance firm Tokyo Mutual Life, Japan's 16th largest, is a further indication of the enormous crisis gripping the country's banks and financial institutions.
By Peter Schwarz, 30 March 2001
State elections in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate last weekend were regarded as an important test for the Bundestag (federal parliament) elections in 2002. Although no change of government in the state legislatures was forecast—in Baden-Wuerttemberg the Christian Democrats (CDU) are in coalition with the Free Democrats (FDP) and in Rhineland-Palatinate the Social Democrats (SPD) govern with the FDP—the two polls were expected to provide a clue to the balance of power at federal level. Accordingly, the various spokesmen at party headquarters in Berlin endeavoured to interpret the results of the elections in their own favour.
By Barry Grey, 30 March 2001
Earlier this month former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader co-authored a column that appeared on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. Entitled “Ending Corporate Welfare as We Know It,” the article by Nader and Robert Weissman (editor of the Nader-backed Multinational Monitor magazine) presented a generally positive picture of the newly installed administration of Republican President George W. Bush.
By David Rowan, 30 March 2001
At 1.40am on March 26, fire swept through a dormitory of the Kyanguli Secondary School in Machakos, 30 miles (65 km) to the southeast of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, killing at least 59 male students between the ages of 15 and 19.
By Guy Leblanc, 30 March 2001
Bernard Landry was acclaimed president of the Parti Québécois at a meeting of its National Council March 9, thus paving the way for his subsequent swearing in as premier of Quebec, Canada's only majority French-speaking province. Landry succeeds Lucien Bouchard who held the posts of PQ leader and Quebec premier for five years.
By Jake Skeers, 29 March 2001
Three recent reports confirm that a systematic culture of abuse exists within Australia's refugee detention centres. While none of them question the Howard government's mandatory detention policy itself, they have added weight to a campaign being conducted by the media, community groups and churches to pressure the government into changing the image of the country's notorious immigration system.
By , 29 March 2001
I enjoyed your Academy Awards review—26/03/01. It's refreshing to see the awards in context with normal life. Bread is denied but the circuses are relentless.
By Vicky Short, 29 March 2001
The rightwing Popular Party (PP) government has pushed through a drastic reform of the Spanish labour market. This breaks a long standing agreement with the trade unions, and seems to go against existing European Union (EU) policy for member countries to achieve the fullest participation of the “social partners” (EU jargon for the employers and unions).
By , 29 March 2001
Transport workers in France strike to demand better pay and retirement packages
By Peter Byrne, 29 March 2001
Just five months after an Australian-sponsored ceasefire between rival ethnic militias, the tiny South Pacific nation of the Solomon Islands is on the brink of collapse. Not only has last October's peace deal, signed in the Australian city of Townsville, failed to halt the fighting but it has effectively sanctioned the division of the country along ethnic lines, creating an economic and social disaster.
By Gerardo Nebbia, 29 March 2001
By a 5-0 vote March 26, California's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved an electricity rate increase that will hike rates by as much as 42 percent for some Southern California Edison customers and 46 percent for certain customers of Pacific Gas & Electric Co. PUC officials calculate that the overall rate hike will average around 40 percent.
By Fred Mazelis, 29 March 2001
Public housing residents in New York City are outraged over the requirement in recently enacted federal legislation that they be forced to perform eight hours of unpaid “community service” each month if they wish to remain in their apartments.
By Bill Vann, 28 March 2001
After nearly three years of recession and facing a desperate foreign debt crisis, Argentina's Congress has voted to grant emergency powers to Domingo Cavallo, the newly installed economy minister and author of previous economic plans that plunged the country into a downward spiral of poverty, unemployment and homelessness.
By our correspondent, 28 March 2001
The McMichael Canadian Art Collection Amendment Act (Bill 112), passed in November 2000 by the Ontario Tories, hands substantial control over the provincial McMichael Art Gallery back to its wealthy founder, Robert McMichael. McMichael has made no secret of his intention to see that the gallery discards many of its 6,000 works of art.
By W.A. Sunil and Nanda Wickremasinghe, 28 March 2001
The leaders of the major trade unions in the Sri Lankan tea and rubber plantations signed a wage agreement on March 15 to end a three-week satyagraha or protest action that was threatening to spiral into a major confrontation with employers and the Peoples Alliance (PA) government. The deal provided estate workers with a pittance and helped the government out of what was looming as a serious political crisis.
By Tony Robson, 28 March 2001
Just five years after its creation, the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) faces the prospect of dissolution. The ultra-nationalists of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in Bosnia have declared a government of self-rule. This effectively ends the Croat-Muslim Federation and brings into question its union with the other autonomous entity within BiH, the Republika Srpska.
By Kate Randall, 28 March 2001
The US prison population will reach two million late this year, according to a report by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. Last year the number of inmates in the nation's prisons and jails reached nearly 1,932,000, a record number. While the US accounts for just 5 percent of the global population, 25 percent of the world's prisoners are in American prisons and jails.
By , 28 March 2001
To the WSWS,
By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2001
As the US Senate enters the second week of debate on the McCain-Feingold bill—hailed as a major step for campaign finance reform by its supporters, damned as an assault on free speech by its opponents—a powerful element of farce pervades the proceedings. Senators who last month gave standing ovations to the undemocratically installed President George W. Bush, as he gave his budget address to a joint session of Congress, now profess deep concern for democracy and political freedom.
By David Walsh, 27 March 2001
The most positive development associated with the 73rd Academy Awards ceremony was the news that television viewership fell 8 percent from 2000, that this year's award show received the lowest rating since at least 1986 and that, once the full national ratings are released, it stands a chance of being the lowest-rated awards telecast in history.
By , 27 March 2001
In comments given to the WSWS, students at the University of Western Sydney condemned the inadequate conditions at UWS, the role of the university's administration and the federal government's commercialisation of tertiary education.
By Frank Gaglioti, 27 March 2001
Talks arranged by the Australian government to finalise a settlement between the Papuan New Guinea government and pro- and anti-secessionist factions on the island of Bougainville broke down on February 27, despite Canberra's considerable efforts to secure an agreement.
By Shannon Jones, 27 March 2001
Members of the Air Line Pilots Association struck Comair, the second largest US regional airline, at 12:01 a.m. Monday after the collapse of contract negotiations. The walkout by 1,350 pilots forced the airline to shut down its entire operation.
By , 27 March 2001
General strike shakes Argentina
By Paul Mitchell, 27 March 2001
An official investigation of a cluster of five deaths from variant Creutzfeldt Jacobs Disease (vCJD) in the village of Queniborough concludes that local farming and butchery practices were the most likely source of the infection.
By Tom MacDonald, 27 March 2001
A student meeting at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) Campbelltown campus voted last week to organise a UWS-wide protest rally on April 5 against over-crowded classes and inadequate facilities. The rally will consider calling a student strike and will march to a nearby university oval with shovels to dig up some of the 10,000 books that UWS authorities buried five years ago in order to save money.
By , 26 March 2001
By Peter Schwarz, 26 March 2001
Following the dissolution of the Italian parliament and the fixing of the general election for May 13, the campaign is now proceeding at full pace. The first confrontation between the two leading candidates—Silvio Berlusconi of the right-wing “Pole of Liberty” and Francesco Rutelli of the centre-left “Olive Tree” coalition—took place the weekend of March 17-18 at the conference of Confindustria, the main Italian employers' association. Berlusconi and Rutelli delivered speeches on separate days.
By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 26 March 2001
The 20-year rule of Malaysia's 75-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is looking increasingly uncertain. Over the last few months, Mahathir has been criticised over the outbreak of racial violence on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur and from within his own United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) for corporate bailouts. He has cracked down on opposition parties, as well as trying to woo them into talks. In the background, the country's economic position is deteriorating.
By Richard Phillips, 26 March 2001
World Without End: Photography and the 20th Century, a recently concluded exhibition of 200 works by 42 photographers at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), was billed as the largest photography exhibition ever mounted by an Australian state-owned gallery. While the show contained some rare and unusual pictures from the vast archive of photographic work produced over the last 100 years, many seminal photographers were not represented.
By , 26 March 2001
I just finished reading and enjoying your article “What underlies the energy crisis in California?” I'd like to know the answer to a similar question about natural gas. There has been a lot of media attention on California and their power crisis but there has been very little focus on the natural gas crisis. I live in Tennessee and have TVA power as well as being served by a publicly owned municipal power company so I have some of the cheapest power in the country ... or did until this winter. I am fairly frugal, but my natural gas bill quadrupled. The natural gas price adjustment on my utility bill was 12 times what it was a year ago and 20 times what it was last summer. I know my municipal power company was not at fault. They even took a voluntary 10 percent cut in prices. I know people who received $800 utility bills when normally their bill was $200 a month.
By Noel Holt, 24 March 2001
A wage case being conducted by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) in the Industrial Relations Commission has dragged on for nearly three months and no decision is expected until May. The annual litigation, entitled the “Living Wage Case,” determines pay increases for 1.5 million low-paid workers.
By Mike Ingram, 24 March 2001
British Telecom (BT), once the pride of the Tory privatisation program and a flagship of the Thatcherite myth of popular capitalism, is reeling under a mountain of debt and share prices that have slumped to less than a third of what they were a year ago.
By , 24 March 2001
More police attacks on Daewoo protestors
By Bernd Rheinhardt, 24 March 2001
A beautiful day is the final part of a trilogy by German filmmaker Thomas Arslan (b. 1962), following Brothers and Sisters (1997) and Dealer (1999). Arslan's latest film deals with people of Turkish origin who have grown up in Germany. The film's central character is a young woman who is not depicted in typical fashion as a mere victim, but is instead a self-confident, independent person. The discussion of a generation usually described as culturally torn between two identities is given an unusual treatment in the film.
By Sarath Kumara, 24 March 2001
The Indian government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has been plunged into a major political crisis following revelations last week by the Internet site, Tehelka, of high-level graft in the country's procurement of arms. Defence Minister George Fernandes, whose Samata Party is an important component of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has been forced to resign. Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly has quit, as has Bangaru Laxman, president of the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP), the leading party in the NDA.
By John Andrews, 24 March 2001
The same 5-4 Supreme Court majority that stopped the vote count in Florida in order to install George W. Bush as president ruled March 21 that workers have no right to sue for on-the-job discrimination and harassment if the employer includes a boilerplate arbitration provision in the employment application. Demonstrating once again that its decisions are determined by a right-wing political agenda rather than respect for legal precedent or accepted forms of logical argument, the majority opinion was based on reading a 76-year-old act of Congress to mean the opposite of what its authors clearly intended it to mean.
By David Walsh, 24 March 2001
The economic news has been dominated in recent weeks by slumping stock markets, but even as share prices continue to fall, dozens of US firms have announced layoffs.
By Vilani Peiris, 23 March 2001
Six young Tamils from the plantation districts of Sri Lanka, who have been held in detention for more than two years without trial, have written to the Socialist Equality Party thanking the party for its campaign for their release. The six appeared in court last month, only to have their trial delayed again for another 11 months until next January.
By Francis Dubois, 23 March 2001
The “Plural Left” government coalition has suffered substantial losses in the local elections, despite winning control of Paris and Lyons from the Gaullist right.
By David Walsh, 23 March 2001
Last Resort , directed by Pawel Pawlikowsky, written by Rowan Joffe and Pawel Pawlikowsky; When Brendan Met Trudy , directed by Kieron J. Walsh, written by Roddy Doyle
By Our correspondent, 23 March 2001
Workers and students in Nigeria took to the streets on March 20, at the start of a nation-wide protest against a rise in petrol prices. Several thousand protesters marched through the northern Nigerian city of Kano to the residence of its Governor, Musa Kwankwaso, to denounce President Olusegun Obasanjo's plan to deregulate petrol prices.
By Dietmar Henning, 23 March 2001
The most remarkable feature of the recent Green party congress in Stuttgart was that almost no discussion took place. All disagreements and conflicts had been settled in advance. What remained were clichés. Following the innumerable political twists and turns this party has carried out, it has become a master at churning out meaningless phrases and formulaic compromises. What was sold as “unanimity” was the absence of any political debate.
By Richard Tyler, 23 March 2001
After nearly a month, there is no let up in the spread of foot and mouth disease in the UK. At the time of writing over 435 outbreaks have been diagnosed, with most being in the south west of England and in Scotland. However, occurrences also exist in many other regions, including Wales and Northern Ireland.
By Ulrich Rippert, 23 March 2001
In the first communal elections to be held in the German state of Hesse since the eruption of a finance scandal inside the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), the Christian Democrats, led by Minister President Roland Koch, increased their vote considerably. The official result of the election, held March 18, is still not available due to a new, complicated system of voting, and will only be announced in the next few days. Nevertheless, the initial projections by the State Office for Statistics in Wiesbaden identified a clear trend. According to their figures, the CDU has increased its vote by 6.6 percent to 39.6 percent, and has in all probability supplanted the Social Democratic Party (SPD) as the strongest political force in the communes of Hesse.
By James Conachy, 23 March 2001
The mounting signs of global recession place serious question marks over the Chinese government's new five-year economic plan and budgetary policy.
By Tony Robson, 22 March 2001
Unions at General Motors' British subsidiary Vauxhall in Luton have agreed to restructuring plans that will see an end to car production at the plant. The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), the smaller engineering union (AEEU) and the white-collar MSF have ruled out any further industrial action to prevent job losses and wound down their “Save Vauxhall Jobs” campaign.
By Chris Marsden, 22 March 2001
The United States, the European Union and Russia are bereft of a response to the danger of yet another Balkan war being provoked by the fighting between ethnic Albanian separatists and the Macedonian government.
By Will Marshall and Peter Symonds, 22 March 2001
The position of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government remains precarious after a tense week-long standoff in the capital of Port Moresby with hundreds of rebellious troops. The soldiers have reportedly agreed today to end their mutiny and hand back weapons after Prime Minister Mekere Morauta withdrew the government's proposed defence force restructuring plan and promised an unconditional amnesty to those involved.
By K. Ratnayake, 22 March 2001
In presenting the Sri Lankan budget on March 8, Deputy Finance Minister G.L. Peiris managed to highlight a central contradiction that runs through government policy as a whole. Since coming to power in 1994, the Peoples Alliance (PA) government has promised to end the country's protracted civil war, which has had such a devastating impact on all aspects of social and economic life, but instead has continued and intensified the conflict.
By Andrea Cappanari and Gerardo Nebbia, 22 March 2001
More than 1.5 million California residents lost power Monday and Tuesday as state officials ordered 90-minute rolling blackouts to cope with electricity shortages caused by the deregulation of the state's energy market. The blackouts—the first since mid-January—began with virtually no warning Monday morning and left schools, businesses, traffic lights and elevators without power. San Francisco, Sacramento and other cities, from the Oregon border in the north, to San Diego in the south, were affected, including Los Angeles, which lost power for the first time since the outages began several months ago.
By Our Correspondent, 22 March 2001
Paul, a production operator at Vauxhall's Luton plant, spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the consequences of the unions' decision to abandon any fight against job losses.
By , 22 March 2001
Transport workers strike in Greece
By Kate Randall, 22 March 2001
The rate of tuberculosis infection is increasing in the Washington DC area, according to figures for the year 2000 from the US Centers for Disease Control. The number of TB cases in Washington rose by 21 percent over 1999 rates and in Northern Virginia the number was up 5 percent.
By Nick Beams, 21 March 2001
It is a measure of the rapid slowdown in the world economy that the central banks of the two largest countries are slashing interest rates in an increasingly desperate attempt to boost growth.
By Peter Schwarz, 21 March 2001
Italian voters will be subjected to intensive electioneering over the next eight weeks. On March 8, President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi dissolved the Italian parliament. New elections are to be held on May 13. On the same day, local authorities will be voted into office in 1,300 municipalities, including the major cities of Rome, Milan, Naples and Turin.
By Linda Tenenbaum, 21 March 2001
In the third electoral contest in Australia in just six weeks, the Howard Coalition government has suffered yet another rout. Following major swings against the conservative Liberal-National Coalition parties in two state elections last month, a by-election in the federal seat of Ryan has witnessed a further outpouring of anti-government sentiment.
By Jerry White, 21 March 2001
It would seem elementary that a report from a federal civil rights agency charging widespread voter disenfranchisement in the pivotal state of Florida during the 2000 US presidential election would be a major news item. Not so, according to the decision-makers at the US broadcast media and some of the most influential newspapers.
By Steve James, 21 March 2001
Journalist and writer John Prebble died January 30 this year at the age of 85. He leaves a flawed legacy. Obituaries have focussed on Prebble's script for the 1964 film Zulu, but he will mostly be remembered for popularising episodes of Scottish history. His most famous works are Culloden and The Highland Clearances, published in 1963 and 1965 respectively. Over the next decades he wrote on an inter-tribal massacre at Glencoe, a failed Scottish imperialist effort in the late 17th century, a history of Scotland, a travelogue, and, in 1988, The Kings Jaunt.
By , 21 March 2001
Dear Mr. Walsh:
By Barbara Slaughter, 20 March 2001
A series of major corruption scandals have rocked the South African government in the past few months. High-ranking members of the ANC government are accused of taking "kick-backs" and of funnelling lucrative contracts to companies in which they or their families have a personal interest.
By Joanne Laurier, 20 March 2001
One woman died and 96 other people were injured when Amtrak's California Zephyr train, traveling from Chicago to Emeryville in northern California (near Oakland), derailed in rural Iowa Saturday night. Aboard the train were 196 passengers and 15 Amtrak employees.
By , 20 March 2001
Argentine unions to strike for 36 hours on April 5
By Margaret Rees, 20 March 2001
Despite decades of inaction and coverup by successive governments, the ravages caused by asbestos to the health of an Australian regional community are beginning to come to light. A recent documentary, screened on ABC television's Four Corners, reviewed the experiences of residents in the Latrobe Valley—the site of several power stations, 160 kilometres from the Victorian state capital, Melbourne—and their struggle to have their voices heard.
By Waruna Alahakoon, 20 March 2001
A fundamental rights hearing in the Sri Lankan Supreme Court over the government's ban of the film Purahanda Kaluwara (Death On a Full Moon Day) has been postponed, for a second time, until May 28. The film, which shows the impact of Sri Lanka's long-running civil war on Sinhalese villagers, has been screened in a number of countries and has won several international awards.
By the Editorial Board, 20 March 2001
US stock market investors suffered their greatest ever one-week losses during the week of March 12-16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average experienced three sharp declines in five days, including a drop of over 400 points on Monday and a 227-point drop on Friday, with a total weekly decline of 821 points—a loss of 7.70 percent. The S&P 500, a broader average of Wall Street stocks, showed a 7 percent decline, while the high tech-dominated NASDAQ index fell 8 percent.
By Margaret Rees, 20 March 2001
The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Dr Tony Sasse, a respiratory physician working in the town of Traralgon in Australia's Latrobe Valley, where diseases associated with asbestos contamination in the Valley's power stations have reached epidemic proportions. Dr Sasse has publicly declared that no higher health risk group exists anywhere in the country and has called for the urgent mass screening of former State Electricity Commission (SEC) employees, who worked in the power stations.
By our reporter, 20 March 2001
On March 10 the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party) of Germany held a meeting in Dortmund to pay tribute to Ernst Schwarz, a long-time member of the Trotskyist movement who died of a heart attack on January 13. Comrade Schwarz was 43 years old.
By David Walsh, 20 March 2001
A favorite ploy of American film industry types, when pressed about the generally dreadful state of contemporary filmmaking, is to blame the public. “It's not our fault!” they protest. “We simply give audiences what they want.” This rings a little hollow when the limits of what audiences are permitted to see (and therefore able to “want”) are set almost entirely by large conglomerates with definite economic requirements and social interests. As long as moviemaking continues to be a business, artistry will remain subordinate and essentially hostage to profit. No discussion of cinema has meaning unless it takes this reality into account.
By Tim Joy, 19 March 2001
Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, himself newly re-appointed by the unelected Great Council of Chiefs, has reinstalled the military-backed government of Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, which was declared illegal by Fiji's Court of Appeal on March 1.
By , 19 March 2001
WSWS : Mehring Books
By Chris Talbot, 19 March 2001
President Yoweri Museveni won the presidential elections in Uganda by a substantial majority. He gained 69.3 percent of the vote, whilst his main opponent Dr Kizza Besigye won 27.8 percent. Turnout was 70.3 percent, and the other four contenders won 3 percent between them.
By Ute Reissner, 19 March 2001
Representatives of German industry continue to look on callously as the last surviving Nazi forced labour victims die off. With their insistence on “legal guarantees” before paying out a penny, the German companies are making clear that their avowals of “moral responsibility” are utterly hypocritical.
By Barry Grey, 17 March 2001
In a lopsided vote, Senate Democrats joined with Republicans on Thursday to pass a bill that will change the bankruptcy code, making it more difficult for financially overwhelmed consumers to erase debts owed to credit card companies, auto firms and other lenders.
By , 17 March 2001
Indonesia hotel workers prepare for strike-breaking
By Terry Cook, 17 March 2001
For months now, Daewoo Motors workers in South Korea have been involved in a bitter struggle against layoffs and possible plant closures. The administration of President Kim Dae-jung has repeatedly mobilised thousands of heavily armed police against protests and demonstrations in order to push ahead with his plans to sell-off the financially-crippled Daewoo, the country's third ranking carmaker.
By Nick Beams, 17 March 2001
Dear Mr. Beams,
By Liz Smith, 17 March 2001
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) are taking action in protest against staff shortages in London and Doncaster, Yorkshire. It is the first major teachers' dispute since the rolling strikes of 1985-86.
By Francis Dubois, 17 March 2001
The first round of the local elections held on March 11 has revealed a degree of political turmoil in France. In what many commentators regard as the most important poll since the Socialist Party-led coalition came to office in June 1997, the government parties made only slight gains against the rightwing opposition.
By , 16 March 2001
“US media seize on partial Florida vote recount to bolster Bush”—excellent reportage. If I was a multibillionaire media mogul, I'd give you people a whole news network for yourselves. Then we could get some REAL truth to crack through this Disney World coma we are living in.
By Mike Head, 16 March 2001
The Australian dollar fell below 50 US cents this week, its lowest level since the currency was floated in 1983, adding to fears of recession following the 0.6 percent economic contraction in the December quarter. On Friday, the dollar slid to 49.02 cents, a 26 percent decline since January 2000, and just over half its 1983 price of 91.20 US cents.
By Chris Marsden, 16 March 2001
Fighting between ethnic Albanian separatists and the Macedonian army has intensified this week. Eight hours of skirmishes on Wednesday on the outskirts of Macedonia's second largest city Tetovo left one dead and 13 wounded. Tetovo lies more than 70 kilometres (40 miles) from the Kosovo-Macedonia border.
By Kate Randall, 16 March 2001
Nineteen people have been put to death in the US since the beginning of the year, bringing to 702 the number of executions since the US Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Another five men are scheduled to be executed before the end of the month. The executions of two other men were halted by court rulings only hours before they were set to die.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 March 2001
India's Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha brought down a national budget on February 28 containing a raft of economic “reforms” that will significantly intensify the social crisis confronting millions of people throughout the country. The budget will cut public spending, slash agricultural subsidies, implement further privatisations and introduce changes to India's labour laws that will lead to a fresh round of sackings. At the same time, it will offer a raft of new financial incentives to foreign investors.
By Ulrich Rippert, 16 March 2001
At the end of February, the xenophobic campaign being waged by Germany's Christian Democrats reached a new high point. As news reports surfaced that right-wing extremist violence had almost doubled over the past year, Friedrich Merz, leader of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) parliamentary group in the Bundestag, called for a ban on political activity by asylum-seekers. Throughout the entire period of their asylum proceedings in Germany, which often drags on over several years, asylum-seekers would be denied the fundamental right to freely express opinions and political criticism.
By Kate Randall and Barry Grey, 15 March 2001
Recent days have witnessed another eruption of shootings at high schools in the US. The latest deadly rampage took place March 5, when 15-year-old Charles “Andy” Williams opened fire at Santana High School in Santee, California, killing two students and injuring another thirteen.
By K. Ratnayake, 15 March 2001
The Peoples Alliance (PA) government in Sri Lanka has hailed the British decision on February 28 to put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on its list of terrorist organisations as a “diplomatic triumph”. For months, President Chandrika Kumaratunga and her ministers have been waging a campaign for the proscription of the LTTE, which has been waging a war for the last 18 years for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of the island.
By David Walsh, 15 March 2001
The following is the conclusion of a two-part series. The first part was posted on Wednesday, March 14.
By Mike Ingram, 15 March 2001
France confirmed an outbreak of foot and mouth disease Tuesday March 13, after widespread speculation that the disease had crossed the Channel from England.
By , 15 March 2001
Polish steelworkers stage hunger strike
By Erika Zimmer, 15 March 2001
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released figures last month showing student enrolments in private schools have reached record levels. The figures testify to the success of a key strategy, pursued by Labor governments throughout the 1980s and early 1990s and the Howard government since 1996: the undermining of public education and the promotion of a “user-pays” system.
By Stefan Steinberg, 15 March 2001
“I wonder what kind of films I would make today if I were able.... With the world the way it is, I think they would be very critical—very aggressive”—Fritz Lang in his last year.