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Confused and cold-hearted

By Richard Phillips, 30 April 2001

The Goddess of 1967 is the second and latest film made in Australia by Macau-born filmmaker Clara Law. Regarded by some critics as an innovative director, Law, now based in Melbourne, studied English Literature at Hong Kong University before moving to London in the 1980s to attend the National Film and Television School. Since graduation in 1988 she has made nine films, including The Reincarnation of Golden Lotus (1989) Farewell China (1990), Fruit Punch (1992), Autumn Moon (1992), Temptation of a Monk (1993) and Floating Life (1996). Some have won prizes at European and North American film festivals.

Job cutting continues in the slumping US market

By Larry Roberts, 30 April 2001

American workers are feeling jittery about the job market these days for good reason: more than half a million have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year. The job slashing appears to be picking up steam as corporations destroy jobs, both as a result of the economic downturn and in anticipation of continued economic decline.

Nine opposition leaders in Malaysia arrested in government crackdown

By John Roberts, 30 April 2001

Malaysian police last week detained another opposition leader under the country's draconian Internal Security Act (ISA), bringing to nine the number of oppositionists now being held. Lokman Noor Adam, a Keadilan (National Justice Party) youth leader, was arrested just after midnight on April 24 after attending a rally in Shan Alam city, just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur.

The far-right Austrian Freedom Party under the magnifying glass

30 April 2001

Since Jörg Haider and his rightwing Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) have increasingly won influence, and have even sat in a national government coalition with the Conservative People's Party (ÖVP) for over a year, journalists and writers have been busy analysing their ascent. The book by Hans Henning Scharsach and Kurt Kuch, both editors of the Austrian weekly magazine NEWS, is an important contribution to this subject.

The Sunday Times "Rich List"-Britain's wealthiest 1,000

By Simon Wheelan, 30 April 2001

Ernest Hemingway famously responded to F. Scott Fitzgerald's assertion that “The rich are different” with the retort, “Yes, they've got more money”. The annual Sunday Times “Rich List” reminds us just how different the rich are, and how much more different they are becoming.

Angry young man going nowhere

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 April 2001

Thomas Ostermeier is the 33-year-old head of one of Berlin's leading theatres, Schaubühne. Appointed to the theatre just over a year ago to revive its ailing fortunes, Ostermeier has concentrated on putting on a series of contemporary plays and dance pieces. In particular Ostermeier has personally directed work by the British playwrights Sarah Kane (Greed) and Mark Ravenhill ( Shopping and F**king). Kane and Ravenhill have both written plays featuring graphic depictions of sexual and physical violence dealing with the disintegration (or impossibility) of social relationships in today's developed industrial societies.

Britain: Labour government steps up persecution of asylum seekers

By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2001

On Wednesday April 25, Home Secretary Jack Straw promised a raft of draconian measures to increase the rate at which failed asylum seekers are expelled and to curtail the numbers seeking entry to Britain.

IMF report points to global slowdown and potential disruption

By Nick Beams, 28 April 2001

Six months ago when the International Monetary Fund issued its half-yearly report, the world, in the words of one its leading officials, appeared to be a much “safer place.” Growth was continuing in the United States, the European economy was expanding, East Asia was recovering from the crisis of 1997-98 and there were even signs that a Japanese “recovery” might finally get under way.

Koizumi's election: a turning point in Japanese politics

By James Conachy, 28 April 2001

The election of Junichiro Koizumi as president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on April 24 and his swearing in on Thursday as the country's prime minister constitutes a turning point in Japanese politics. Dubbed the “Koizumi Revolution,” his rise to power is the product of a public campaign, spearheaded by the media, to end the 45-year domination of the government by conservative, nepotistic factions within the LDP and begin to reshape the political system and economic policy.

Montenegro split down the middle on separation

By Tony Robson, 28 April 2001

Pro-independence forces in Montenegro won the April 22 parliamentary elections by a slender majority of two percent. The ruling coalition government, led by President Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), had hoped for a comprehensive victory that it could use as a mandate for staging a referendum on withdrawal from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Montenegro is the only other republic that remains within a loosened federation with Serbia, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia.