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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.

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

By , 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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 April 2001

South Korean workers demonstrate over Daewoo attack

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.

Motorola closure heads new wave of European mobile phone job losses

By Steve James, 28 April 2001

Motorola announced its intention April 24 to close its Livingston plant in Scotland with the loss of 3,100 jobs. Workers at the ten-year-old plant now face the same pressures to find new work and avoid crushing debts being imposed on hundreds of thousands of workers globally in the mobile phone industry.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bush hints at war with China over Taiwan

By Patrick Martin, 27 April 2001

In a statement which amounted to an open threat of war against China, President George W. Bush told a television interviewer Wednesday morning that he was prepared to order full-scale US military action in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 April 2001

Below we are posting a selection of letters sent to the WSWS this week.

A dangerous deterioration in air safety in Australia

By Steve Dean and Terry Cook, 27 April 2001

Last Friday Ansett Airlines, Australia's second largest domestic carrier, narrowly escaped being served with a 14-day notice by the government's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to show cause why it should not have its Air Operating Certificate revoked. If the CASA action had gone ahead, the airline could have been have been put out of business altogether, a development unprecedented in Australian aviation history.

Ethiopia: Students killed in brutal police attack

By David Rowan, 27 April 2001

Ethiopian Special Forces police opened fire on a peaceful protest organised by students at Addis Ababa University (AAU) on April 18, killing at least 41 people and wounding 250.

Executions continue as US rejects worldwide moratorium on the death penalty

By Kate Randall, 27 April 2001

The United Nations Human Rights Commission called on Wednesday for a worldwide suspension of the death penalty. Twenty-seven members of the 53-state commission approved a European Union motion asking countries for a moratorium on executions as a move towards the eventual abolition of capital punishment. The United States joined with a number of Arab, African and Asian states in voting against the non-binding motion, which also called for a ban on the execution of juvenile offenders.

Britain: Labour promises "baby bonds" to legitimise its attacks on welfare rights

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2001

The Labour government has unveiled proposals to launch "baby bonds" for all newborns as its "big idea" for the general election, expected June 7. The plan, drawn from the US, would see all babies receiving between £250 and £500 ($375-750) at birth, depending on parental income, to be invested until they reach 18 years of age.

A first hand report from LTTE-controlled territory in Sri Lanka

By a correspondent, 27 April 2001

The following is an eyewitness report sent to the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka from the Vanni—an area in the north of the island under the control of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The story provides a graphic account of the impact of the Sri Lankan government's devastating 18-year war to suppress the democratic rights of the Tamil minority and the hardships caused by its continuing economic blockade and the lack of basic goods and services. At the same time, the report points to a growing disillusion with the LTTE—its extortionate taxes, its lack of concern for the plight of ordinary workers, farmers and young people and its anti-democratic methods.

Law-and-order crackdown in aftermath of Cincinnati riots

By Jerry White, 26 April 2001

Two weeks after the largest urban disturbance in the US since the 1992 Los Angeles riots, officials in Cincinnati, Ohio are prosecuting hundreds of minority workers and youth involved in four days of protests and rioting that followed the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on April 7.

Another round of anti-government strikes and protests in Bangladesh

By Nishathi Priyangika, 26 April 2001

At least two people are dead and 20 people have been wounded in the latest anti-government strikes and protests in Bangladesh this week. One person was killed by police gunfire and another activist from the ruling Awami League was shot dead while returning home from a pro-government rally at Feni, 150km southeast of Dhaka. Strikes on Monday shut schools, closed the stock exchanges in Dhaka and Chittagong and affected work at the Chittagong port.

Australia refuses to relinquish control over Timor Sea oil and gas

By Mike Head, 26 April 2001

Less than two years after sending 4,000 troops to East Timor on the pretext of defending its population from pro-Indonesia militia, the Australian government is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with East Timor's UN administration for control over an estimated $US20 billion worth of natural gas and light oil deposits beneath the Timor Sea.

Britain: Racism row continues in run up to general election

By Mike Ingram, 26 April 2001

Accusations were made this week of political collusion between the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and the Labour government, aimed at discrediting the Conservative Party in the expected June general election.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 26 April 2001

French transport workers continue dispute over retirement age

World Trade Organisation agreement aims at privatising public services

By Jean Shaoul, 26 April 2001

Last month, after a two-day meeting in Geneva, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreed to expand its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and established broad guidelines aimed at opening up the trade and investment in commercial and public services. The accord will entrench privatisation and deregulation worldwide, particularly for the benefit of American, European and Japanese transnational corporations (TNCs).

Sharon faces criticism after Israel's forced withdrawal from Gaza Strip

By Chris Marsden, 25 April 2001

Israel's coalition government has been plunged into a political crisis since it was forced to withdraw troops from the Gaza Strip last week, on the insistence of the US administration.

Financial markets slam Australian government over its rejection of Shell takeover bid

By Linda Tenenbaum, 25 April 2001

International financial markets delivered an instantaneous verdict on the Howard government's rejection of a $10 billion takeover bid by Royal/Dutch Shell for Woodside Petroleum, operator of the North West Shelf liquefied natural gas development, Australia's largest natural resource project. Even as Treasurer Peter Costello was announcing the decision on Monday, the Australian dollar plunged nearly a cent against the US dollar in three minutes, in one of the most rapid currency slides dealers could recall.

Letters on: "Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh: the making of a mass murderer"

By , 25 April 2001

The following are some of the letters we received in response to the article on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh posted on the WSWS on April 19.

Norway's far-right Progress Party splits

By Steve James, 25 April 2001

In a few short weeks, the simmering tensions within Norway's populist and far-right Progress Party have torn the organisation apart.

US-European economic tensions increase

By Nick Beams, 25 April 2001

With economic indicators still pointing to a downturn in the American economy, tensions between US financial authorities and the European Central Bank (ECB) have sharpened in the run-up to next weekend's meeting in Washington of the Group of Seven finance ministers.

"Ulbricht's helpers": the role of Hitler's army generals in former East Germany

By Hendrik Paul, 25 April 2001

Anti-fascism was always one of the myths of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Fascism had been wiped out root and branch in the GDR, according to the history textbooks there. It was something that was proclaimed at every opportunity by the party and government leadership in official statements, and which is repeated today, and not just by nostalgics.

Britain: Gap widens between incomes of rich and poor

By Simon Wheelan, 24 April 2001

Data contained in the annual Family Expenditure Survey illustrates how the income gap between Britain's rich and poor continues to widen under the incumbent Labour government. Last year it surpassed even the highest degree of inequality reached under the previous Conservative government. Figures from the Office for National Statistics illustrate how the standard measure of inequality increased in 1999-2000 further than its earlier highest level under the Tories in 1991.

Missionary plane shot down in Peru: collateral damage in US "drug war"

By Bill Vann, 24 April 2001

Following the revelation that a reconnaissance aircraft carrying CIA contract employees participated in the April 20 shoot-down of a plane carrying an American missionary family over the Peruvian Amazon region, Washington has attempted to pin the blame on the Peruvian military. US officials have charged that the Peruvian pilot failed to follow accepted procedures for the interception of suspected drug runners. They have also leaked reports that the American spies objected to the attack that claimed the lives of one missionary, Veronica Bowers, and her seven-month-old daughter, Charity.

Mobil plans strike-breaking operation at Adelaide refinery

By Terry Cook, 24 April 2001

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union launched legal action on April 17 in a bid to stop Mobil Australia from continuing to organise a strike-breaking workforce for its Port Stanvac refinery in Adelaide, South Australia. The AMWU's action followed a report in the Australian newspaper on April 12 that Mobil was using a Sydney-based company to prepare strike-breakers for use in the event of an industrial dispute with maintenance workers.

Reply to a letter on socialism and economic laws

By , 24 April 2001

To whom it may concern:

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 April 2001

Rural workers protest in Brazil

Germany's Chancellor Schröder attacks the unemployed

By Ludwig Niethammer and Ulrich Rippert, 24 April 2001

The recent attack by German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD—Social Democratic Party) on the unemployed in the Bild newspaper—“There is no right for a person to be lazy in this society”—is the prelude to a fundamental assault on wages and social services. It is the first clear reaction of the Red-Green coalition government to the symptoms of a worldwide economic crisis.

New unemployment claims at five-year high as US companies slash thousands of jobs

By Shannon Jones, 23 April 2001

US companies are shedding tens of thousands of jobs as signs mount that the economic downturn may develop into a full-blown recession. Among those companies announcing big job cuts in the past week were Eastman Kodak, Cisco Systems, Honeywell and Hewlett-Packard.

Political tensions continue in Vanuatu after Sope government's removal

By Frank Gaglioti, 23 April 2001

The political situation remains tense in the small South Pacific state of Vanuatu following the ousting of Barak Sope's government in a no-confidence motion at a special parliamentary sitting on April 13. Facing defeat in the vote, which was ordered by the Acting Chief Justice, Sope's supporters walked out of the chamber, leaving the opposition parties to vote themselves into office.

Documentary on Scottsboro case distorts 1930s struggle against racism in US South

By Fred Mazelis, 23 April 2001

On March 25, 1931, nine black youth, ranging in age from 13 to 21, were arrested in Alabama on charges of raping two young white women. Thus began the notorious Scottsboro case, a racist frame-up that led to years of trials and legal appeals, along with mass protests in the US and around the world.

Arroyo bans film at insistence of Philippines Catholic hierarchy

By Richard Phillips, 23 April 2001

Two months after her installation as Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has prohibited screenings of Live Show, an internationally acclaimed documentary film, and forced the resignation of the country's chief censor because he opposed the ban. Arroyo moved against the film after Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jaime Sin and other Catholic Church leaders called on the government to do so.

Hypocrisy over racism in run up to British general election

By Mike Ingram, 23 April 2001

A large degree of hypocrisy in official politics is to be expected, and particularly in the run up to a general election, probably being held in June. In the current row over racism, however, the ruling Labour Party has outdone itself.

Britain: Supermarket profits boom while food poverty increases

By Richard Tyler, 23 April 2001

At the outbreak of the foot and mouth crisis, Prime Minister Tony Blair accused Britain's supermarkets of having farmers in an "arm-lock" to produce cheap food.

Wasted opportunities—Blow, directed by Ted Demme

By David Walsh, 21 April 2001

Blow, directed by Ted Demme, written by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes, based on the book by Bruce Porter

The Kremlin assumes control over the NTV oppositional television station

By Vladimir Volkov and Stanislav Smolin, 21 April 2001

The battle over the fate of Russia's largest non-governmental media conglomerate Media-Most—which was created and controlled by the former business “oligarch” Vladimir Gusinsky, who has been in Spain since last autumn—reached its climax in the first half of April.

South African court case ends in climb down by drug corporations

By Chris Talbot, 21 April 2001

The withdrawal of a court case by 39 pharmaceutical companies against the South African government is a set back for the industry's defence of patent rights. They brought the case against a paragraph in the South African 1997 Medicines Act that gives the Health Minister powers to override patent laws in a health emergency.

Nader speaks in Detroit: Green Party presidential candidate keeps silent on Bush

By Jerry White, 21 April 2001

One of the most remarkable phenomena of recent months has been the political amnesty granted President George W. Bush by former Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Since Bush's inauguration, Nader, who campaigned as an opponent of corporate domination of the two major US parties, has remained mute about one of the most right-wing and openly pro-business governments in US history.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 21 April 2001

Second Indonesian worker dies as a result of thug attack

South Korean government faces backlash over police violence against Daewoo workers

By James Conachy, 21 April 2001

The South Korean government of President Kim Dae-jung has been significantly shaken over the last week by protests and other expressions of outrage over a brutal police attack on 350 laid-off Daewoo autoworkers outside the main Pupyong assembly plant in Incheon city on April 10.

Summit of the Americas: security operation turns Quebec City into an armed camp

By Keith Jones, 21 April 2001

This weekend's Summit of the Americas has been made the object of a massive security operation whose purpose goes far beyond protecting US President George W. Bush, the 33 other heads of government attending the summit, and their entourages.

The Summit of the Americas and the development of a genuine opposition to global capital

By Keith Jones, 20 April 2001

This weekend's Summit of the Americas—a large gathering in Quebec City of government and corporate leaders, including US President George W. Bush and the heads of 33 other national governments—will be the target of widespread protests.

Media-sponsored recount in Florida slants results to legitimize Bush election

By Kate Randall, 20 April 2001

Ever since last year's presidential election crisis and the installation of George W. Bush as president the US media has gone out of its way to legitimize the Florida election results, which gave Bush the 25 electoral votes securing him the White House. The review published this month, sponsored by the Miami Herald, USA Today and the Herald's parent company, Knight Ridder, typifies this trend. Slanting the data gathered by their study, the newspapers give the impression that Bush all but certainly would have won the vote if the recount had not been halted by the US Supreme Court.

Correspondence on Bosnia-Herzegovina

By , 20 April 2001

World Socialist Web Site correspondent Tony Robson replies to a number of letters criticising our analysis of the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Commercialisation erodes academic freedom in Australian universities

By Mike Head, 20 April 2001

The Australia Institute last month published the final results of a survey of 1,000 social science academics from 13 universities. The findings, compiled by Dr Carole Kayrooz of the University of Canberra, Pamela Kinnear of the Australia Institute and Paul Preston of the Australian National University, underscore how far the corporate restructuring of universities has undermined academic freedom.

Union undermines the defence of sacked Australian academic

By Mike Head, 20 April 2001

Having refused for six weeks to mount any defence of sacked Wollongong University Associate Professor Ted Steele, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has belatedly issued a national industrial bulletin on the case to its members. The contents of the bulletin reveal, however, that the union leadership is trying to block any campaign for Steele's reinstatement.

Britain: New cybercrime police force threatens civil liberties

By Mike Ingram, 20 April 2001

Labour Home Secretary Jack Straw launched a specialist police unit designed to tackle computer-based crime on Wednesday.

As Turkish economic crisis deepens, tens of thousands protest IMF and government policies

By Justus Leicht, 20 April 2001

Last Saturday, as tens of thousands of workers protested in the streets and following massive pressure from western banks and financial institutions, the Turkish government presented a programme for an extensive reorganisation of the economy and drastic cuts in living standards.

The Oklahoma City bombing: a somber warning to the working class

By the Editorial Board, 19 April 2001

For the information of our readers, the World Socialist Web Site is posting the following statement on the Oklahoma city bombing that originally appeared in the International Workers Bulletin, the forerunner of the WSWS .

Letters on the US-China conflict

By , 19 April 2001

14 April 2001

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh: the making of a mass murderer

By David Walsh, 19 April 2001

Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, is scheduled to die May 16 by lethal injection at a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. On April 19, 1995, McVeigh detonated a seven-ton truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people, including 19 children, in the deadliest act of terrorism ever committed on US soil.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 19 April 2001

Guinness workers in Ireland strike to oppose plant closure

State Labor government to make further inroads into workers compensation

By Terry Cook, 19 April 2001

Proposed changes to workers' compensation legislation by the Labor government in the Australian state of New South Wales have provoked a series of strikes, protests and public opposition from the trade union body—the NSW Labor Council—and Labor MPs.

African "slave ship" highlights spread of child slavery

By Trevor Johnson, 19 April 2001

On March 30, the MV Etireno set sail from Benin for Gabon. The manifest of the Nigerian-registered ship said it was carrying 139 passengers. It had room for 200. The ship was turned away from Libreville, Gabon, after the Transport Ministry issued a press statement claiming there were 250 Nigerian children aboard, destined to be used as slave labour. The ship was then turned away from Douala in Cameroon, before finally docking back in Benin. The international outcry that followed the statement by the Gabon Transport Ministry meant Benin cabinet ministers and United Nations officials, as well as police, crowded the dockside in Cotonou when the MV Etireno returned.

Yahoo's capitulation to right-wing pressure groups sets dangerous precedent

By Mike Ingram, 19 April 2001

Following a barrage of e-mail protests from the Christian fundamentalist American Families Association (AFA), the Internet Service Provider (ISP) and portal Yahoo has pledged to remove all pornography from its shopping and auction channels and reject requests for related advertising. Yahoo has further agreed to censor home pages created by members of its Geocities service. Yahoo said it would restrict “inappropriate material” and make it more difficult to use the popular search engine to find listings of pornographic Web sites.

Pride in Germany—an absurd debate

By Ulrich Rippert, 18 April 2001

“Germania, you horrify me!” wrote the revolutionary democrat and poet George Herwegh in his Epilogue to War. It was 1871, the year the German Reich was founded. A good 60 years later when the painter Max Liebermann looked from his window onto Berlin's Pariser Platz and saw the Nazis marching through the Brandenburg Gate, he noted in his diary: “I can't eat as much as I would like to throw up.”

War danger grows in Middle East

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2001

Less than 24 hours after seizing a large section of the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has begun to pull out. The Israeli government initially announced that its forces might hold the area for months but then abruptly ordered the pullout just hours after the US issued a statement criticising the action.

Japanese government issues economic downgrade

By Joe Lopez, 18 April 2001

The Japanese government has downgraded its assessment of the economy admitting that prospects for economic recovery are fading because of falling industrial output and corporate investment.

Australian government announces tougher laws against asylum seekers

By Regina Lohr and Linda Tenenbaum, 18 April 2001

In the face of growing condemnation both at home and abroad, the Australian government has decided to step up its attacks on refugees. Not only will the mandatory detention of asylum seekers continue, legislation announced recently by immigration minister Philip Ruddock will ensure that conditions in the country's detention centres become even more intolerable.

European Central Bank rate decision opens up a financial rift

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2001

The decision by the European Central Bank (ECB) not to cut interest rates has opened up a potentially dangerous division between the world's three major financial authorities over the setting of monetary policy.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 17 April 2001

Bolivian unions, peasants mobilize against Banzer

Scotland: "Silicon Glen" hit as Motorola sheds 26,000 jobs worldwide

By Steve James, 17 April 2001

The 26,000 job losses announced at the end of last year by US-based Motorola Inc. gives an initial indication of the social impact of both the US economic recession, and the general crisis of overproduction in the telecommunications industry.

Burundi civil war escalates

By John Farmer and Chris Talbot, 17 April 2001

Intense fighting is taking place around the capital Bujumbura, between the Tutsi-dominated army and the ethnic Hutu rebels of the National Liberation Forces (FNL). At the end of February, the FNL launched their largest incursion into Burundi since the start of the eight-year civil war. The rebels were able to hold Kinama, a northern suburb of Bujumbura, for over three weeks and continue to engage the army on the outskirts of the capital. Over 200 Kinama residents were killed in the offensive and thousands have been forced to flee.

Detroit school restructuring plan attacks workers and students

By Debra Watson, 17 April 2001

Citing a projected budget deficit of $72 million by the 2001-2002 school year, Detroit Public Schools District CEO Kenneth Burnley announced a massive reorganization plan in early April for the city's public school system. The 700-page Efficiency and Effectiveness Plan calls for eliminating thousands of school jobs through cutbacks and outsourcing, closing schools, and reshuffling students throughout the district.

Britain's Labour Party cuddle up to US right

By Simon Wheelan, 16 April 2001

A recent meeting organised by The John Smith Institute has proved most illuminating on New Labour's attitude towards welfare reform. The subject matter of "Moral Sense" and the political outlook of the invited speakers suggest New Labour's erosion of civil rights and welfare provision will continue apace, should they be re-elected. The think tank takes its name from the late John Smith, leader of the Labour Party until his death in 1994. The acceleration of Labour's rightward trajectory is such that Smith, once considered to be on Labour's right, is nowadays hailed as a figure far to the left of Prime Minister Blair's cabinet.

The Maxwell report: a revealing picture of life in the City of London

By Jean Shaoul, 16 April 2001

Ten years ago Robert Maxwell, the Labour Party's biggest backer, died after apparently falling from his yacht off the Canary Isles. His companies—Maxwell Communications (MCC) and Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN)—collapsed under a tidal wave of debts. Maxwell had systematically looted their pension funds and pillaged their assets, switching funds between businesses to expand his empire and rig the market for his companies' shares, which he had used as collateral for bank loans several times over. In all, he had spent £344 million on his illegal share ramp and £450 million had gone missing from the pension funds. Thousands of pensioners lost their savings.

2,000 demonstrate against police violence in Cincinnati

By Barry Grey, 16 April 2001

Some 1,000 people attended the funeral April 14 for Timothy Thomas, a nineteen-year-old black youth gunned down the previous Saturday in the latest in a series of fatal shootings of blacks by police in the southern Ohio city of Cincinnati.

US adopts aggressive anti-China posture in aftermath of spy plane crisis

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2001

The release of 24 US crewmen following a mid-air collision and emergency landing of an American spy plane on the island of Hainan has put an end to the immediate confrontation between China and the United States. But this incident was symptomatic of a larger issue—the increasingly bellicose policy of the US government, not only in the Far East, but throughout the world.

Britain: judge halts high profile trial of Leeds footballers

By Julie Hyland, 14 April 2001

The high profile trial of two Premier League footballers and their friends ended suddenly on Monday, when trial judge, Justice David Poole, dismissed the jury on the grounds that a Sunday Mirror article the previous day created a "substantial risk" of prejudicing their verdict. The Sunday Mirror and its editor Colin Myler, who resigned Thursday, now face contempt of court proceedings. Penalties include an unlimited fine, sequestration of property and/or two years imprisonment.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 14 April 2001

Indonesian bus drivers continue fight to defend conditions

South African football stampede kills 43

By Barry Mason, 14 April 2001

Forty-three people died and around 250 were injured at the Ellis Park football stadium in Johannesburg on the night of Wednesday April 11, as people poured into a stadium that was already full to over capacity. Twenty-nine people died inside the stadium and a further 14 died outside. Nine of the injured remain on the critical list.

German-Russian summit in St. Petersburg: big expectations, little achieved

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2001

The fourth round of consultations between the German and Russian governments, which took place in St. Petersburg on the April 9 and 10, was announced with a fanfare of pomp and ceremony.

Leadership battle in Japan provokes debate over economic policy

By James Conachy, 14 April 2001

The contest within Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over the replacement of Yoshiro Mori as prime minister is developing into an uncharacteristically public debate between the opponents and advocates of the economic policies implemented by LDP governments over the past decade.

Europe rearms

By Ludwig Niethammer and Theodor Beck, 13 April 2001

Of all the projects being pursued by the European Union (EU), few are being undertaken with as much energy and intensity as the creation of an independent European armed force. The ponderous Brussels bureaucracy usually measures the development of its economic, monetary or agricultural projects—from initial decision-making through planning, consultations and final realisation—in five- or ten-year periods. This is not the case when it comes to setting up Europe's own military structure.

Sri Lankan government prepares for peace talks with the LTTE

By K. Ratnayake, 13 April 2001

After a long drawn-out process of mediation by Norway, the Sri Lankan government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) appear to be moving towards talks over ending the country's brutal 18-year civil war. Both sides, however, are cautious about alienating their supporters and have insisted on preconditions that could drag out the commencement of negotiations.

Britain: Law Commission recommends striking out double jeopardy rule

By Tania Kent, 13 April 2001

The Law Commission, the official law reform body for England and Wales, has recommended that the rule against double jeopardy be changed with regard to murder. It says that a fresh trial should be possible if “compelling” new evidence emerges after the defendant is found not guilty. It is likely to become law if Labour is re-elected. The change will be retrospective.

Three nights of rioting follow police shooting in Cincinnati

By David Walsh, 13 April 2001

The mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, declared a state of emergency Thursday morning after three nights of protests against the police shooting of an unarmed black man. Mayor Charles Lukens also announced a citywide curfew; only people going to and from work will be allowed on the streets between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Officials have considered calling out the Ohio National Guard, but no decision has been made yet.

Khan Younis raid escalates Israel's war against the Palestinians

By Chris Marsden, 13 April 2001

Wednesday's raid on the Gaza Strip's Khan Younis refugee camp was the first major ground assault into Palestinian-run territory in nearly seven months of conflict. It signals a major escalation in the Likud-Labour coalition government of Ariel Sharon's undeclared war against the Palestinians.

Indonesian president authorises military crackdown in Aceh

By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2001

The Indonesian government is preparing to intensify military operations against separatist guerrillas in the province of Aceh in northern Sumatra in a bid to reopen lucrative gas fields and processing facilities shut down for more than three weeks.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 12 April 2001

Below is a selection of letters recently sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 12 April 2001

Greek journalists hold nationwide strike

California energy crisis deepened by bankruptcy filing of utility company

By Andrea Cappannari, 12 April 2001

On Friday, April 6, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), one of California's major energy utilities, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The collapse of the $24 billion company—the third largest bankruptcy filing in US history and largest ever for a utility—will deepen the energy and financial crisis in the state, where residents are already threatened with soaring rates and up to 34 days of rolling blackouts this summer.

Global growth forecast revised down

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2001

Reports from major international economic agencies are now appearing on the potential impact of the downturn in the US on the world economy. They point to lower economic growth with the possibility of serious problems unless financial authorities take appropriate action.

WSWS replies to letters on US-China confrontation

By , 12 April 2001

Many readers have commented on the WSWS articles published April 3 and April 7, written by Patrick Martin, on the clash between the United States and China following the emergency landing of a US spy plane on the island of Hainan. Below Martin replies to several of these correspondents.

Bomb blasts claim 11 lives at Sri Lankan concert

By Deepal Jayasekera, 11 April 2001

A bomb attack at a large concert gathering in Sri Lanka in the early hours of April 1 has highlighted the increasingly widespread activities of gangs of thugs. Many of them are made up of ex-soldiers or deserters, who have links to the military, police and political figures.

Zapatistas' march on Mexico City ends in accommodation with President Fox

By Bill Vann, 11 April 2001

Seven years after launching a brief armed confrontation with the Mexican army that left 200 dead in the southern state of Chiapas, the Zapatista guerrilla movement has taken the well-trodden path of transforming itself into a political instrument of Mexico's ruling establishment.

Marcha zapatista a la Ciudad de México termina en acuerdo con el Presidente Fox

By Bill Vann, 11 April 2001

WSWS : Español

Marconi to cut 3,000 jobs worldwide

By Mike Ingram, 11 April 2001

British Telecoms equipment manufacturer Marconi confirmed Tuesday that it will axe 3,000 jobs over the next 12 months. The job losses represent five percent of its 55,000 strong workforce worldwide, but Marconi assured investors it would meet profit forecasts despite a US slowdown in technology stocks.

Mitsubishi workers in Australian plants face uncertain future

By Steve Dean, 11 April 2001

The future of Mitsubishi's two car plants in South Australia remains uncertain despite plans unveiled last week by the company's Australian CEO Tom Phillips for a revised Magna model to be built in Adelaide as of 2003. Phillips claimed that the plan “guaranteed” long-term job security at the assembly facility at Clovelly Park and the engine plant at Lonsdale.

Open clashes between NATO and Croat separatists in Bosnia-Hercegovina

By Chris Marsden, 11 April 2001

Demonstrations by more than 3,000 Bosnian Croats took place on Monday in Bosnia-Hercegovina in support of Croat autonomy and to protest raids by NATO's Stabilisation Force (S-For).

Internal Revenue report: fewer rich Americans are paying taxes

By Shannon Jones, 11 April 2001

According to a report issued by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the ranks of rich Americans who pay no taxes are growing. The number of individuals with adjusted incomes greater than $200,000 who claimed zero tax liability rose to 1,467 in 1998, the most recent year for which complete figures are available. The previous high of 1,253 was reached in 1991.