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A highly-orchestrated election in East Timor

By Frank Gaglioti and Mike Head, 30 August 2001

Even before a single vote was cast in today’s United Nations-organised election of a constituent assembly in East Timor, the local and international media had declared the result to be a foregone conclusion. Fretilin, the former independence front that has worked closely with the UN administration since Indonesia’s withdrawal from the territory two years ago, was “expected to sweep to power” according to media reports.

Australian SAS troops seize Norwegian freighter to prevent refugees from landing

By Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds, 30 August 2001

An extraordinary standoff is underway in the seas off Christmas Island, an Australian outpost in the Indian Ocean. Yesterday a squad of Australian Special Air Services (SAS) troops in full military gear and armed with automatic weapons seized control of the Norwegian freighter, the Tampa, in order to prevent about 460 refugees, plucked from a leaking boat just four days ago, from landing on Australian territory.

Bush’s nominee to head Joint Chiefs promotes militarization of space

By Joseph Kay, 30 August 2001

President George W. Bush announced August 24 that he was nominating Air Force General Richard B. Myers to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military position in the United States. The administration’s selection of the former head of the US Space Command underscored its determination to build a national missile defense system and extend American military capabilities into space.

Europe seeks greater role in Middle East

By Jean Shaoul, 30 August 2001

The assassination of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine leader Abu Ali Mansour and the subsequent invasion of Palestinian controlled areas show the continued push by Israel for war. It took place within days of the announcement by Germany that it would host talks between Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Shimon Peres, Israel’s Foreign Minister, confirming a pattern whereby Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responds to every peace initiative by stepping up the provocations against the Palestinians.

How the social democrats came to the aid of Pinochet

30 August 2001

Augusto Pinochet: 503 Days Trapped in London (Augusto Pinochet: 503 Días Atrapado en Londres) By Mónica Pérez and Felipe Gerdtzen Editorial Los Andes, Santiago de Chile ISBN 956-7849-14-5

The curse of the self-involved Manhattanite

By Joanne Laurier, 30 August 2001

Woody Allen’s The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, a film noir crime caper set in 1940s Manhattan, is a film of few merits, despite the striking cinematography of Zhao Fei and remarkable period reconstruction of production designer Santo Loquato.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

30 August 2001

Scottish medical secretaries strike over pay

AIDS campaigners sue South African government

By Barry Mason, 29 August 2001

On August 21, the South African Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) sued the government in an attempt to force it to make available anti-HIV drugs that TAC estimates could save 35,000 new born babies a year from becoming infected by their HIV infected mothers. The organization has given the government until 12 September to respond to its legal challenge.

Britain: Labour places biggest ever government order for closed circuit cameras

By Simon Wheelan, 29 August 2001

Britain’s Labour government has just announced funding plans for the purchase of thousands more closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The CCTV cameras will be installed up and down the country at 250 crime “hotspots”—commercial shopping areas, transport and hospital sites.

Bush torpedea tratado de armas biológicas

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2001

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