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Letters to the WSWS

By , 30 June 2001

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS

Solomon Islands government fighting for survival

By Peter Byrne, 30 June 2001

In a move likely to further destabilise the Solomon Islands government, the country’s High Court has given the go ahead for former prime minister Bartholomew Ulufa’alu to challenge the constitutional legality of the Sogavare regime. The case is expected to commence in mid-September—only six weeks before general elections are due to be held.

Popular revolt against Algeria’s military regime spreads

By Chris Talbot, 30 June 2001

For over two months, demonstrations and street battles with security forces have spread throughout the northeastern part of Algeria. At first confined to the Berber region of Kabylie, there are now reports of protests and fighting between stone-throwing youths and the police in other parts of the country. Demonstrators in Arabic towns have shouted, “ Nous sommes tous des Kabyles” (“We are all from Kabylie”). At least 100 people have been killed and thousands injured in the uprising.

Businessman escapes jail term after killing a New Zealand picket

By John Braddock, 30 June 2001

Derek Powell, a 53-year-old businessman convicted of manslaughter after killing a woman on a New Zealand picket line, walked out of the High Court last month without having to face jail. At the end of a two-week trial, the jury found Powell guilty of causing the death of Christine Clarke, a 45-year-old mother of two and the wife of a port worker. Powell had run Clarke down with his four-wheel drive vehicle when she joined picketing wharf workers at the Port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch late in 1999.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 June 2001

South Korean hospital unions end strikes

Canada: Evidence links Tories to Walkerton deaths

By Lee Parsons, 30 June 2001

The second phase of the public inquiry into water contamination in the central Ontario town of Walkerton has brought to light clear evidence of the provincial Tory government’s culpability. In May-June 2000, the e-coli contamination of Walkerton’s water supply killed at least seven people and caused over half the town to fall ill. Many Walkerton residents remain sick and some have likely been left with life-long disabilities.

Toward a reconsideration of Trotsky’s legacy and his place in the history of the 20th century

By , 29 June 2001

The following is the text of a lecture given January 21, 2001 by David North, the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the US, to an international school held in Sydney by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Interview with the filmmaker Zelimir Zilnik

By , 29 June 2001

A retrospective of the films of Zelimir Zilnik was presented at the Balkan Black Box festival recently in Berlin. The WSWS spoke to Zilnik.

Papua New Guinea government under siege after police kill three protesters

By Will Marshall and Mike Head, 29 June 2001

The Papua New Guinea government faces continuing unrest following the police killing of at least three anti-government protesters on Tuesday night. In an attempt to contain further student-led demonstrations, Sir Mekere Morauta’s government has imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew throughout Port Moresby until July 10, but it is far from being in full control of the situation.

Salon and the decay of American liberal journalism

By Patrick Martin, 29 June 2001

Salon, one of the best-publicized online magazines, has plunged into a financial crisis which could lead either to its demise or its takeover by some media conglomerate. The company’s stock price has crashed from $10 a share in 1999 to barely 30 cents today, with the threat that the stock could be delisted on Wall Street if the price falls any further.

The films of Zelimir Zilnik

By Stefan Steinberg and Anders Ernst, 29 June 2001

The “Balkan Black Box” festival in Berlin was an opportunity to study the work of one of the region’s most productive and interesting filmmakers. In his career so far, Zelimir Zilnik (born in 1942) has made a total of 24 feature films (8-10 for cinema) and 60 documentary films. His filmmaking extends back to the mid-1960s. In nearly four decades of creative work, Zilnik has learned how to both preserve his independence through a series of different political systems and wars, making modestly budgeted but provocative and thoughtful films.

Letters on the Jamie Bulger case in Britain

By , 29 June 2001

Below we post a selection of letters on the Jamie Bulger case.

The passing of a blues legend: John Lee Hooker

By Philip Sprake, 29 June 2001

John Lee Hooker, the gifted, charismatic blues guitar player and singer, died in his sleep at his home in Los Altos, California, aged 80, on June 21.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 28 June 2001

Russian strikers oppose new labour code

Macedonia: US troops intervene to save Albanian separatists

By Richard Tyler and Chris Marsden, 28 June 2001

US forces took unilateral action on Monday to evacuate hundreds of Albanian separatist guerrillas from outside the Macedonian capital Skopje. A force of 81 American soldiers and 16 armed Humvee military vehicles escorted 20 busloads of troops belonging to the National Liberation Army (NLA), the Albanian separatist force in Macedonia, from the village of Aracinovo on the outskirts of Skopje.

Fed interest rate cut will not halt US downturn

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2001

The US Federal Reserve Board has cut interest rates for the sixth time this year. But there are concerns that the latest cut of 0.25 percentage points announced on Wednesday may be too little, under conditions in which each of the five previous cuts of 0.5 percentage points failed to stimulate the US economy.

Fijian regime seeks to stall two threatening court cases

By Will Marshall, 28 June 2001

The military-appointed regime in Fiji and key members of the judiciary are going to great lengths to delay two court cases, both of which have the potential to destabilise, if not remove, the current government.

A glitzy promotion for Murdoch’s Australian studios

By Richard Phillips, 28 June 2001

Baz Luhrmann’s multi-million dollar musical Moulin Rouge premiered at the recent Cannes Film Festival and then opened a few weeks later in Australia to saturation media coverage. Newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, who financed the $US50 million production at his Fox Studios in Sydney, naturally enough led the publicity juggernaut with front-page stories, glamour shots and sycophantic reviews in the Australian and the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph. The Australian editorialised that Moulin Rouge challenged the “homogenising influences that stifle creative talent in Hollywood” and represented the “coming of age” of Australian film.

Job losses in Australia continue despite claims of recovery

By Barry Jobson, 28 June 2001

At the beginning of June, Australian Treasurer Peter Costello seized on national account figures showing a 1.1 percent GDP growth for the March quarter as evidence that the “economy had roared back”. “It [the report] has put paid to all the recession talk from some gloomy surveys,” he proclaimed.

Another rail disaster in India claims 59 lives

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 June 2001

Another tragic rail disaster has taken place in India—the product of deteriorating infrastructure, inadequate budgets, official indifference and a social system that puts profit before the lives of people.

How IBM helped the Nazis

By , 27 June 2001

IBM and the Holocaust tells the story of the involvement of this major US corporation in the establishment of Hitler’s Third Reich and the destruction of European Jewry.

Workers condemn company over sulphur fumes at West Australian mine

By Ben Nichols, 27 June 2001

Mine workers have denounced Western Mining Corporation’s disregard for health and safety after five workers were overcome by sulphur dioxide fumes in the past two months at WMC’s Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter in the West Australian Goldfields region.

The Jamie Bulger case: Release of Thompson and Venables sparks rightwing media backlash

By Barbara Slaughter, 27 June 2001

The June 22 announcement of the imminent release of Jon Thompson and Robert Venables from detention has been greeted by a hysterical campaign of vilification by the British media.

Britain: Burnley hit by riots

By Richard Tyler, 27 June 2001

Burnley has become the third northern town to be hit by riots sparked by racist attacks and police provocations in the last month, following Oldham and Leeds.

Lionel Jospin and Trotskyism: the debate over the French prime minister’s past

By Peter Schwarz, 27 June 2001

For three weeks, the French press has been full of revelations about the alleged Trotskyist past of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

The German Greens and the nuclear industry

By Dietmar Henning, 26 June 2001

The very movement in Germany that 20 years ago was most vehemently opposed to the nuclear industry—the Greens—is today among its most stalwart supporters. The Social Democratic Party (SPD)/Green Party government has given the energy companies written guarantees that they can continue running their atomic power plants and transporting radioactive waste with virtually no limitations. The nuclear power stations presently operating can continue for many decades, and this year alone a further 24 consignments of atomic waste are to be transported across Germany.

The Cincinnati riots: social inequality in the Queen City

By Jerry White, 26 June 2001

Below we post the second part in a series of articles examining the social, economic and political roots of the riots that erupted in Cincinnati, Ohio last April, following the police killing of an unarmed black teenager. The first article appeared on May 24, 2001.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 June 2001

Unemployed demonstrate in Argentina

Balkan Black Box: a festival of Balkan film in Berlin—Part 1

By Stefan Steinberg and Anders Ernst, 26 June 2001

This is the first of two articles on a recent festival of Balkan films.

Sri Lanka government in a minority as key coalition partner quits

By K. Ratnayake, 26 June 2001

The Sri Lankan government is in turmoil after one of the constituent parties quit the ruling coalition last week, leaving the Peoples Alliance (PA) as a minority in parliament with only 109 out of 225 seats. The opposition United National Party (UNP) tabled a no-confidence motion last Thursday, setting the stage for weeks of political infighting and manoeuvring as both the PA and UNP seek to shore up their position.

Sectarian riots in Northern Ireland

By Chris Talbot, 26 June 2001

A Protestant loyalist gang attacked Catholic homes in Belfast, Northern Ireland with paint bombs and stones on Sunday night. Elsewhere in the city, fireworks were thrown at a house and a petrol bomb was thrown at police, who also reported sporadic stone throwing throughout the Ardoyne area. The latest incidents follow three nights of rioting last week in north Belfast.

Britain: Damning report on 1999 Paddington rail crash

By Paul Mitchell, 25 June 2001

Thirty-one people died and 400 were injured in the train crash at Ladbroke Grove, two miles outside London’s Paddington Station on October 5, 1999. The report of the public inquiry conducted by Lord Cullen into the worst railway disaster in Britain for over a decade provides damning evidence of how the companies operating Britain’s trains since privatisation of British Rail have consistently placed profit before public safety.

Andrei Sakharov and the fate of liberal democratic thought in post-Soviet Russia

By Vladmir Volkov, 25 June 2001

Last May 21 academician Andrei Sakharov, renowned as one of the developers of the Soviet hydrogen bomb and later as a dissident and liberal critic of the Stalinist regime, would have celebrated his eightieth birthday. This date was marked by a wave of publications in the Russian press.

Deteriorating conditions in Sri Lankan psychiatric hospitals

By Ajitha Gunarathna, 25 June 2001

Under conditions in which the incidence of psychiatric disorders is on the rise in Sri Lanka, there has been a marked deterioration in the state of the country’s major mental institutions. Declining government health funding has resulted in understaffing, poor accommodation and a lack of necessary drugs and equipment.

Trial of Thai prime minister heightens political uncertainty

By Carol Divjak and Peter Symonds, 25 June 2001

Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra appeared last week at the final hearing of the Constitutional Court case examining corruption charges that could cost him his job. The court case has heightened the political uncertainty surrounding the Thai government, which has been in office for less than six months. A decision on the case is expected next month, and if found guilty Thaksin would be barred from holding political office for five years.

Australian newspaper chain launches unprecedented smear against Aboriginal official

By Mike Head, 23 June 2001

The Melbourne Age and its sister newspaper, the Sydney Morning Herald, last week published an extraordinary personal attack on the elected head of the Australian government’s official indigenous body, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) chairman Geoff Clark.

Bush administration widens reach of federal death penalty

By Kate Randall, 23 June 2001

The week before the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Attorney General John Ashcroft issued new guidelines for US attorneys that make it easier to bring capital prosecutions in states which do not have the death penalty.

Widespread protests against fuel increases in Zimbabwe

By our correspondent, 23 June 2001

The past week has witnessed sporadic protest actions in many of Zimbabwe’s urban areas against massive increases in fuel prices. The price hike was announced on state television on June 12. Petrol prices have risen by 74 percent, diesel by more than 67 percent and paraffin, which is used by most of the population for cooking and heating, has increased by 69 percent. The latest increases mean that fuel prices will have tripled over the last 18 months.

Powell sent to rescue Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire

By Jean Shaoul, 23 June 2001

US President George W. Bush is sending Secretary of State Colin Powell back to the Middle East next week to try to prevent the collapse of the truce between Israel and the Palestinians. In addition to the trip by Powell, who will be accompanied by Special Envoy Kenneth Williams, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be in Washington where he will meet with Bush.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 June 2001

Police attack drivers in South Korea

Angry protest in Australia against Labor government changes to workers compensation

By Terry Cook, 23 June 2001

More than 1,000 workers blockaded the NSW state parliament in Sydney last Tuesday in an angry demonstration against the longest-serving Labor Party state government in Australia. The protestors denounced Labor MPs as “scabs” and “traitors,” as the parliamentarians were escorted inside by a small army of police to vote for government amendments to workers compensation legislation.

Canadian immigration officials falsified documents to bar refugees

By François Legras, 22 June 2001

Recently published minutes of a secret review of the conduct of Immigration Canada agents shows that government officials fabricated a document to discredit an applicant for refugee status.

Philippine President Arroyo takes hardline stance over hostage crisis

By Keith Morgan and Peter Symonds, 22 June 2001

The hardline stance taken by Philippine President Gloria Arroyo over the current hostage crisis on the southern island of Basilan has once again confirmed the rightwing and anti-democratic orientation of her administration. With the backing of the United States, she has repeatedly ruled out any negotiations with the hostage takers, dispatched 5,000 troops including special forces to the area, imposed a media blackout and threatened to prosecute anyone found assisting the Abu Sayyaf rebels.

Further correspondence on socialism and human nature

By , 22 June 2001

Dear Editor,

Twenty-three reported dead in new US-British attacks on Iraq

By David Walsh, 22 June 2001

The official Iraqi news agency reported that 23 people were killed and 11 wounded when American and British warplanes targeted a playing field near the northern Iraqi town of Mosul on Tuesday. The agency denounced the bombing as “another vile crime carried out by the United States and its ally Britain” against Iraq’s people.

Peruvian court sentences Lori Berenson to 20 years

By Bill Vann, 22 June 2001

A Peruvian court on June 20 convicted Lori Berenson of collaborating with an outlawed organization—the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)—and sentenced the 31-year-old North American to 20 years in prison. Following the verdict, Berenson’s lawyer said he would appeal the conviction to the Supreme Court of Peru.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 21 June 2001

French airport workers march the runways

US auto union rallies behind Ford bosses

By Jerry White, 21 June 2001

Washington, DC on Tuesday was the scene of a degrading spectacle—a flag-bedecked convoy of Ford Explorers driven by United Auto Workers bureaucrats demonstrating their support for Ford against the tire maker, Bridgestone/Firestone.

US and Europe split on GE takeover of Honeywell

By Chris Marsden, 21 June 2001

The proposed $42 billion takeover of Honeywell by the giant US conglomerate General Electric has become a focus for intensifying trade antagonisms between the European Union and the US.

Letters on the WSWS coverage of Timothy McVeigh’s execution

By , 21 June 2001

16 June 2001

A dismal anniversary of the Korean summit

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2001

A year ago the first-ever summit meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea in Pyongyang was greeted with euphoria in official circles and the media. Editorials waxed lyrical on the prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula. Business delegations trooped off to North Korea to examine the potential advantages of the country’s cheap labour and authoritarian rule. And South Korean President Kim Dae Jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing about the rapprochement.

The crisis of the Bankgesellschaft Berlin (BGB)

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 June 2001

In the last week in May, the announcement that the losses of Berlin’s largest banking house—the Bankgesellschaft Berlin (BGB)—added up to more than four billion marks unleashed a shock in the general population. At the beginning of the year, the Berlin state government (Berlin has the status of one of the Länder, or federal states and controls 56.6 percent of the BGB shares) was relying on deriving a dividend of 135 million marks from the bank’s operations in 2000.

Henry James and his adaptors

By David Walsh, 20 June 2001

The Golden Bowl , directed by James Ivory, screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, based on the novel by Henry James

Prisoners die in Chinese mines: an indictment of "reform through labour"

By John Chan, 20 June 2001

In the six weeks from April 1 to May 18, at least 592 men lost their lives in 66 separate mine disasters in southern China. Ninety of these deaths took place in four accidents on May 18.

Rail union winds down opposition to London Underground privatisation

By Tony Robson, 20 June 2001

After reaching an agreement with London Underground the RMT trade union has called an end to its one-day strikes against the privatisation of the network. In attempting to deflect criticism that this constitutes an acceptance of the Labour government’s Public Private Partnership (PPP), the union claims that the deal secures the jobs and conditions of Tube workers whilst meeting safety concerns over the impact of privatisation.

Sri Lankan government faces two no-confidence motions and an impeachment

By K. Ratnayake, 20 June 2001

Less than a year after parliamentary elections last October, the ruling Peoples Alliance (PA) in Sri Lanka is mired in a political crisis that could rapidly become terminal. In the coming weeks, the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga faces two no-confidence motions as well as an opposition move against the Chief Justice that has the potential to plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

Second US federal execution set for Tuesday morning

By Kate Randall, 19 June 2001

Juan Raul Garza, a 44-year-old Mexican-American, will die by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana at 7 a.m. Central Daylight Time on June 19. Garza was convicted of three drug-related murders in 1993. His execution is to follow by only eight days the state killing of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, the first federal prisoner put to death in 38 years.

Nova Scotia to outlaw strikes by health care workers

By a correspondent, 19 June 2001

Nova Scotia’s Tory provincial government has introduced legislation stripping almost 10,000 health care workers of their basic trade union rights until April 2004.

Britain: Labour government awards itself a large pay rise

By Simon Wheelan, 19 June 2001

In the early 1980s, the then Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher railed against progressive rates of taxation and fiscal redistribution with the quip “you don’t make poor people richer by making rich people poorer”. Twenty years later, and yet another case of political déjà vu during the recent election campaign. Asked about the acceleration of income and wealth inequality under his government, Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair parroted Thatcher stating, “My job is not to make rich people poorer, but to make poor people richer”.

Bush’s European tour signals fracturing of Atlantic Alliance

By Bill Vann, 19 June 2001

George W. Bush’s European tour has highlighted a rupture between the United States and its erstwhile NATO allies that is unprecedented in the post-World War II period. The US president’s debut on the European stage (only the second time ever that this multimillionaire son of an ex-president has visited the continent) has confirmed that American foreign policy, in the hands of the Republican right, has assumed a more extreme unilateralist and militarist character.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 June 2001

Sugar workers seize union office in Mexico

Striking Minneapolis nurses describe chronic staffing shortages

By Eric Anderson, 19 June 2001

Hospital management and union officials for the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) will meet for the first time in the two-and-a-half-week strike by 1,350 registered nurses at two Minneapolis area hospitals. The strike, which affected the Fairview Southdale Hospital in the suburb of Edina and the Fairview-University Medical Center’s Riverside campus in Minneapolis, seeks to address the critical workloads and staffing shortages severely plaguing the hospital industry.

Australian university refuses to reinstate sacked academic

By Mike Head, 19 June 2001

The University of Wollongong, south of Sydney, is continuing to refuse to reinstate Associate Professor Ted Steele despite international condemnation and blackbans by academics, as well as widespread anger among university staff and intellectuals throughout Australia.

France implicated in attempted coup in Central African Republic

By John Farmer and Chris Talbot, 19 June 2001

After 11 days of intense fighting in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), it appears that an attempted coup has been prevented. According to unofficial estimates, up to 300 people were killed in the fighting between troops loyal to President Ange-Felix Patasse and a rebel group led by General Kolingba who ruled the country from 1981 to 1993.

Labour-Alliance budget cuts New Zealand health and education services

By John Braddock, 18 June 2001

In the budget presented to the New Zealand parliament last month, the Labour-Alliance coalition government has abandoned any pretence of reversing the devastating assault on the social position of the working class over the past two decades. Essential social services will be starved of funds while money is made available to assist businesses and boost the police.

Three demonstrators shot, hundreds arrested at Göteborg EU summit

By Stefan Steinberg, 18 June 2001

Following violent clashes on Friday, three of the protesters outside the European Union summit in Göteborg, Sweden were shot by police. One of the injured demonstrators remains hospitalised in critical condition.

South Korean unions rapidly shut down national strike campaign

By a correspondent, 18 June 2001

Bowing to government threats and pressure from the media, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) has effectively ended most industrial action just days after launching an indefinite strike campaign on June 12 for a 12 percent wage rise and improved conditions.

Nortel losses rock Canadian capital

By Keith Jones, 18 June 2001

Telecommunications equipment manufacturer Nortel Networks announced Friday that it anticipates losses of $19.2 billion (US) in its second quarter and will cut a further 10,000 jobs.

US industrial output falls for the eighth consecutive month

By Jerry White, 18 June 2001

Industrial output from US factories, mines and utilities fell for the eighth straight month in May and has reached the lowest level since 1983, the Federal Reserve reported last Friday. The continued falloff in industrial production, coupled with a new series of mass layoff announcements and warnings of lower corporate earnings, has undermined suggestions that the US economy had begun to rebound from its months-long decline.

Oxfam report says "rigged trade" is widening gap between rich and poor countries

By Trevor Johnson, 16 June 2001

A recent report by the charity, Oxfam, contains figures showing how the richer more industrialised nations rig trade in their favour, at the expense of the poorest countries.

An exchange of letters on Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh

By , 16 June 2001

To the editor:

An exhibition in memory of Australian painter John Perceval

By John Christian, 16 June 2001

The Last of the Angry Penguins is the title of a small tribute exhibition of 23 paintings, pastels and drawings by John Perceval at the Wagner Gallery in Sydney. The show provided a rare chance to study and appreciate work by this significant Australian artist. Perceval, who died of a stroke last October at the age of 77, was the last surviving member of the Angry Penguins, a loose-knit group of Australian painters who radically changed the local art scene in the 1940s and early 1950s.

Ohio executes schizophrenic death row inmate

By Kate Randall, 16 June 2001

Despite widespread protests both internationally and in the US, the state of Ohio executed 48-year-old Jay D. Scott on Thursday, June 14. Scott was a diagnosed schizophrenic with a low IQ who suffered an abusive childhood and spent all but 28 months in prison since the age of 13. He was only the second inmate put to death in Ohio since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1981.

IMF insists on far-reaching market reforms in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 16 June 2001

A series of documents released by the International Monetary Fund last month in relation to Sri Lanka confirm what has been known in broad terms for a long time—that in return for a much-needed loan the Peoples Alliances (PA) government has made commitments to far-reaching market restructuring measures that will have devastating consequences for working people.

Britain: Prime Minister Blair selects new cabinet for Labour's second term

By Julie Hyland, 16 June 2001

Britain’s new parliament met for the first time on Wednesday, following the June 7 general election, with members of Parliament (MPs) swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen. Labour now enjoys a 167-seat majority and Prime Minister Tony Blair lost no time in reshuffling his cabinet. Having pledged that his government would “hit the ground running”, Blair announced the first cabinet changes on June 8, with the junior appointments following shortly afterwards.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 June 2001

Indonesian workers battle police

Britain: Wyre Forest protest vote exposes limitation of single-issue politics

By Jean Shaoul, 15 June 2001

Retired physician Richard Taylor made local hospital provision the central issue of his general election campaign in Wyre Forest, in the west Midlands. Taylor, who stood as a candidate for “Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern”, successfully overturned a 7,000 Labour majority, to become only the second independent MP elected to Westminster since 1945. Until 1997, Wyre Forest had been a safe Conservative seat.

Oregon welfare applicants told to dig through trash to save money

By Paul Scherrer, 15 June 2001

Applicants seeking welfare assistance were told to “check the dump and residential/business dumpsters” during an Oregon state training workshop on how to save money. Oregon's Department of Human Services (DHS) requires all welfare applicants to take the workshop before becoming eligible to receive benefits, as part of the state's efforts to reduce welfare rolls.

Severe shortage of casual teachers in disadvantaged Australian schools

By Erika Zimmer, 15 June 2001

A survey of almost 100 primary and secondary public schools in Sydney's working class western suburbs has revealed that thousands of students are missing out on classes each week because of an acute shortage of casual teachers to replace teachers who are ill or on leave.

Chinese think-tank warns of growing unrest over social inequality

By James Conachy, 15 June 2001

An unofficial report released on June 1 by a high-level Chinese think-tank warns that social discontent with the government is widespread and growing. According to the New York Times of June 3, the report “describes mounting public anger over inequality, corruption and official aloofness and it paints a picture of seething unrest almost as bleak as any drawn by dissidents abroad.”

Letters on "Execution Day in America"

By , 15 June 2001

The following letters were sent in response to our June 13 article “Execution Day in America” []

Italy: Berlusconi forms ultra-right cabinet

By Peter Schwarz, 15 June 2001

Authoritarian and racist views, disrespect for the most elementary democratic rights, an ultra-free market economic policy combined with unrestrained self-interest, and a clear shift in foreign policy from Brussels to Washington—these are the defining elements of the new Italian government which was sworn into office in Rome on June 11. The government is the most right-wing to have taken power in Europe since the fall of the fascist dictators.

Tercer Festival de Cine Independiente de Buenos Aires—Segunda Parte

By , 14 June 2001

WSWS : Español

Strike wave rocks Zambia

By our correspondent, 14 June 2001

A strike by civil servants and public sector workers in Zambia continues to escalate. According to press reports, about 90 percent of the 90,000 civil servants have been on strike since May 28, demanding a 100 percent pay increase. Five public sector unions have rejected the government's 35 percent offer, as it fails to keep pace with inflation, running at over 25 percent for the last six years.

General election presages sea change in British politics

By Socialist Equality Party of Britain, 14 June 2001

Despite the appearance of continuity, Labour’s election for a second term heralds a sea change in political relations in Britain. Prime Minister Tony Blair and New Labour, as the favoured party of business, have been placed in office without a popular mandate, pledged to carry through the destruction of the welfare state and public services.

Bank report points to growing difficulties for world economy

By Nick Beams, 14 June 2001

The sharp drop in US growth rates since midway through last year has given rise to concerns at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) that something more than a short-lived downturn in the business cycle is at work and that the world economy as a whole could be entering troubled times.

Record low turnout in Irish referendum returns "No" vote for European Union expansion

By Richard Tyler, 14 June 2001

By the narrowest of margins, in a record low turnout, Ireland has voted against endorsing the Nice treaty that opens up European Union membership to many Eastern European counties.

Canada: business "flabbergasted" by British Columbia government's tax cut

By Keith Jones, 14 June 2001

On its first day full day in office, British Columbia's new right-wing government announced cuts to personal income taxes far beyond anything promised in its election manifesto. The cuts, which are heavily weighted in favor of the upper middle class and the rich, will cause a large government revenue shortfall that will be used to legitimize future social spending cuts. They are also meant to underline the determination of the newly elected Liberal government to make good on its pledge to institute major policy changes during “90 days of decision.”

Khatami confirmed as president of Iran

By Justus Leicht, 14 June 2001

The widely anticipated landslide re-election of Iran's President Mohammed Khatami has been hailed by all factions of the Iranian government and the Western media as an expression of the Iranian people's “trust” in his policies and the apparent ability of the Islamic Republic to undertake democratic change.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 14 June 2001

Thousands protest in Paris against job losses

Indonesian police and thugs break up anti-globalisation conference

By Peter Symonds, 14 June 2001

A police raid on an anti-globalistion conference in Jakarta last week is a provocative attack on democratic rights and marks a dangerous new turn in the political situation in Indonesia.

Execution Day in America

By Barry Grey, 13 June 2001

Monday was Execution Day in America. The country awoke to the smiling faces of television anchors reporting from Oklahoma City and Terre Haute, Indiana that the final countdown to the execution of Timothy McVeigh had begun. Good Morning America!

A question on "rent-seeking"

By , 13 June 2001

Dear Editor,

Letters on the McVeigh execution

By , 13 June 2001

The following is a selection of recent letters to the WSWS on Timothy McVeigh.

Execution Day in America

By Barry Grey, 13 June 2001

Monday was Execution Day in America. The country awoke to the smiling faces of television anchors reporting from Oklahoma City and Terre Haute, Indiana that the final countdown to the execution of Timothy McVeigh had begun. Good Morning America!

Australian state premier declares he will "cement" long-term prisoners in their cells

By Mike Head, 13 June 2001

Enlightened social policy used to be measured by how humanely a state treated its prisoners and how effectively it could rehabilitate them so that they could safely return to society. Since being elected in 1995, Bob Carr, the Labor Party Premier of the Australian state of New South Wales, has never missed an opportunity to denigrate and repudiate these conceptions.

Some limited but honest films, and the social role of pessimism

By David Walsh, 13 June 2001

There are filmmakers with limited aims and perspectives, but whose works nonetheless honestly reflect aspects of life.

Lionel Jospin's "Euro speech": European integration process falters

By Peter Schwarz, 13 June 2001

Barely a decade after the signing of the Maastricht treaty, paving the way for the introduction of the euro as the single European currency, efforts to integrate Europe politically have come to a standstill. In speeches on policy principles, government leaders from Germany and France—whose close cooperation is essential for the success of the Maastricht accord—have made it clear that there no longer exists any common view of the shape Europe is to take.

Protests continue in Australian detention centres

By Kaye Tucker, 13 June 2001

Determined protests have erupted inside Australia's three largest refugee detention centres in recent weeks, highlighting the growing crisis of the Howard government's mandatory detention regime. Incarcerated indefinitely in inhumane and intolerable conditions at remote, near-desert locations, asylum seekers are staging increasingly desperate demonstrations, while the government has responded with escalating violence.

Japan's economy contracts as Koizumi announces restructuring plans

By Joe Lopez, 12 June 2001

Japan's gross domestic product fell by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year and appears certain to officially enter a recession, defined as two successive quarters of negative growth.