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Leadership tensions mount as Australian Treasurer outlines new agenda

By Mike Head, 30 July 2001

With the Australian government facing possible defeat in elections due later this year, Treasurer Peter Costello is positioning himself to replace Prime Minister John Howard as Liberal Party leader as soon as possible after the poll, regardless of the outcome.

Lucent Technologies to cut 15,000 to 20,000 more jobs

By Paul Scherrer, 30 July 2001

Lucent Technologies, the US’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, plans to lay off 15,000 to 20,000 workers by the end of this year, in addition to the 24,500 it had announced earlier this year. In addition to these layoffs, the company will also eliminate another 10,500 jobs through the sale of its fiber unit and two manufacturing plants.

Oklahoma denies clemency to death row inmate from Mexico

By Kate Randall, 30 July 2001

Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating has denied clemency to death row inmate Gerardo Valdez, a Mexican citizen who was not advised of his right to contact his embassy at the time of his arrest. The right of arrested foreign nationals to contact diplomats from their native country is spelled out in Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which the United States has ratified.

Recriminations follow the collapse of the India-Pakistan summit

By Sarath Kumara, 30 July 2001

In the aftermath of the India-Pakistan summit held in Agra on July 14-16, there have been recriminations in both Islamabad and New Delhi over the meeting’s failure to produce even what is usual for such events—a vaguely worded joint communiqué setting out the points of general agreement.

African Union initiative offers little prospect of end to Burundi civil war

By John Farmer and Chris Talbot, 28 July 2001

The peace agreement signed at Arusha, Tanzania, last Monday appears to offer no solution to the civil war that has continued in this small country since 1993 and has resulted in over 200,000 deaths.

Bush administration torpedoes germ warfare treaty

By Patrick Martin, 28 July 2001

In the latest round of the US government vs. the world, the Bush administration announced Thursday that it was rejecting a treaty against biological weapons which has required seven years of international negotiations. The chief US representative at the Geneva talks on germ warfare, Donald A. Mahley, said the 210-page draft agreement contained “serious, substantive” flaws.

Israeli attacks on Palestinians aimed at provoking all out war

By Jean Shaoul, 28 July 2001

The past two weeks have seen a series of Israeli provocations against the Palestinians aimed at inciting retaliatory attacks. The Sharon government hopes any such “suicide” missions would generate sympathy for Israel and provide the excuse for a full-scale military offensive and re-occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Koizumi’s support to be tested in Japanese upper house elections

By James Conachy, 28 July 2001

Tomorrow’s elections for Japan’s upper house of parliament, the House of Councillors, will be the first significant test of the popularity of newly installed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. A great deal is riding on the outcome for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), big business and of course Koizumi himself. In coming to power, Koizumi broke from the traditional mold of Japan’s conservative party and promoted himself as a reformer and a maverick. He needs a decisive win to consolidate what remains a tenuous hold on the LDP leadership.

Slumping US economy spurs new round of international job-cutting

By Jerry White, 28 July 2001

Corporations in the US, Europe and Asia announced a wave of mass layoffs this week affecting tens of thousands of workers in telecommunications, computers, chemicals and other industries. The layoffs coincided with the release of several second quarter reports showing staggering corporate losses and a US government report showing that the American economy slowed to a meager 0.7 percent growth rate in the spring, the weakest performance in eight years.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 July 2001

Indonesian workers demand severance pay