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Australia’s second largest airline collapses, again

By Mike Head, 28 February 2002

For the second time in less than six months, Australia’s second largest airline has folded suddenly, eliminating the jobs of thousands of workers and leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or out of pocket. The announcement came at 9am on Wednesday, just two days before what remained of the airline was due to be taken over by the Tesna consortium of millionaire businessmen Lindsay Fox and Solomon Lew.

The Hague Tribunal: Milosevic charges NATO with war crimes

By Chris Marsden, 28 February 2002

This is the first of a three-part series dealing with the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic at The Hague. See Part 2 and Part 3.

US court sanctions further media monopolization

By Patrick Martin, 28 February 2002

A US court ruling issued February 19 means the effective end to any limitation on the drive by a handful of giant corporations to monopolize broadcasting and cable television.

US troops join invasion of Colombian rebel zone

By Bill Vann, 28 February 2002

The appearance of US Army Special Forces in the Colombian town of San Vicente del Caguan is a clear indication of the escalating US intervention in South America’s oldest civil war. San Vicente del Caguan is the capital of the so-called “safe zone” that was invaded by Colombian troops after heavy aerial bombardment last week.

Greenspan predicts US "recovery" but sounds some warnings

By Nick Beams, 28 February 2002

While US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan’s semi-annual testimony to Congress on Wednesday was broadly in line with “market expectations”—forecasting a mild recovery for the US economy—there were some notes of caution, and even words of warning.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 28 February 2002

UK teachers set to strike over allowances

The 52nd Berlin Film Festival

By Stefan Steinberg and Bernd Reinhardt, 28 February 2002

In this part we discuss three German films in the main competition at the festival—Heaven by Tom Tykwer, A Map of the Heart by Dominik Graf and Grill Point by Andreas Dresen.

Sri Lankan government and LTTE sign a tentative cease-fire agreement

By Wije Dias, 27 February 2002

After weeks of frantic behind-the-scenes activity, the Sri Lankan government signed a formal cease-fire arrangement with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on February 22—just two days before the deadline set by the Norwegian facilitators. The deal sets the stage for negotiations over a settlement to the protracted 19-year civil war that has claimed the lives of more than 60,000 people.

New York City mayor slashes public services

By Alan Whyte and Peter Daniels, 27 February 2002

The budget proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this month would mean major cuts in public and social services. The mayor called for closing a projected $4.76 billion budget deficit with funding cutbacks for city agencies ranging from 6 to 26 percent, along with a series of increased fees that will disproportionately affect workers and the unemployed. About 6,000 city jobs are to be cut through attrition and employee buyouts.

European Union takes united action against Zimbabwe

By Barbara Slaughter, 27 February 2002

The decision of the European Union (EU) to withdraw its team of election observers from Zimbabwe and impose sanctions marks a significant political shift. In the past the EU has been divided in its attitude towards Zimbabwe, whereas last week’s decision to pull out the observers shows a remarkable unanimity.

Conference of US right-wingers hears call to execute John Walker

By Patrick Martin, 27 February 2002

The largest US gathering of right-wing political activists cheered the remarks of Ann Coulter, a columnist and television commentator, who called for the execution of John Walker Lindh as a political measure to intimidate liberals.

Letters on "Political reaction and intellectual charlatanry: US academics issue statement in support of war"

By , 27 February 2002

The following letters were received in response to David North’s February 18 article, Political reaction and intellectual charlatanry: US academics issue statement in support of war.

Britain: Scandal over Mittal’s donation to Labour reveals sharp divisions within establishment

By Julie Hyland, 27 February 2002

A scandal over a millionaire Indian businessman’s donations to the Labour Party, and the extent to which this influenced government policy, has revived allegations of government corruption and sleaze.

Australian government refuses to transfer refugees from malaria-ridden camp

By Jake Skeers, 27 February 2002

The Australian government is continuing to incarcerate, in life-threatening conditions, the asylum seekers it vilified during last year’s election, when it falsely accused them of throwing their children overboard in a bid to enter the country. Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock has contemptuously rejected a call by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians to immediately transfer the 350 Iraqi refugees from an Australian-financed detention camp on Manus Island, a remote Papua New Guinea outpost, where their lives are at risk from a drug-resistant strain of malaria.

How the US media covers up civilian deaths in Afghanistan

By Jerry Isaacs, 26 February 2002

A key aspect of the American media’s role as a propaganda arm of the Pentagon is its treatment of the death and destruction wrought by the US in Afghanistan. Unable to simply deny the mounting evidence of civilian deaths caused by some 18,000 bombs dropped on the country, the media has resorted to other means to defend the slaughter of civilians, as well as combatants, by Washington’s war machine.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 February 2002

Jobless workers threaten to blockade Argentine oil refineries

Australia: Labor trials "rent-a-cop" plan

By Richard Phillips, 26 February 2002

Since his appointment by the state Labor government as New South Wales (NSW) police minister three months ago, former trade union leader Michael Costa has unveiled a series of measures to bolster the 14,000-strong state police force. They include a 12-week trial allowing private companies to hire uniformed police for security work, the shortening of police training courses to speed up recruitment and a major restructuring to boost operational numbers by over 800 officers.

British shooting of civilians heightens tensions in Afghanistan

By Mike Ingram, 26 February 2002

British troops came under fire in Kabul last week in what was widely suspected of being a revenge attack for the army’s shooting at an Afghan family attempting to take a 22 year-old pregnant woman to hospital.

Koizumi promises a plan as debt problems deepen

By Joe Lopez, 26 February 2002

In the lead-up to the visit by US president Bush last week, the Japanese government called for a plan to address the problem of deflation and bad debts in the banking system. But no one believes that the latest announcement is going to resolve the mounting problems of the Japanese economy.

German government bypasses parliament to fund military project

By Ludwig Niethammer, 26 February 2002

The war in Afghanistan has thrown down the gauntlet to Europe’s armed forces. The military superiority of the US over its European allies could not have been demonstrated more clearly.

British Columbia: Mass protest against gutting of public and social services

By a correspondent, 26 February 2002

More than 30,000 trade unionists, students, welfare recipients, and other working people marched on the British Columbia legislature Saturday, February 23, to protest against the class war policies of the provincial Liberal government.

British government accedes to demands for new corporate killing offence

By Neil Hodge, 25 February 2002

Company bosses have been warned that legal loopholes that presently allow them to escape prosecution in Britain for the deaths of employees and members of the public in their charge are to be closed. If found guilty of the proposed offence of corporate killing, directors could face large fines or possibly imprisonment.

Australian government cost-cutting results in death of 10-year-old boy

By Terry Cook, 25 February 2002

The death of 10-year-old Sam Boulding on February 6 has highlighted, in the most tragic manner, the social cost of Australian government cuts to vital services. The small boy died in the arms of his blind mother, Rose Boulding, after suffering a severe asthma attack at his family home near Kergunyah, a town in remote northeast rural Victoria.

Sharon’s war crimes in Lebanon: the record

By Jean Shaoul, 25 February 2002

Below we publish the third and final instalment of a series examining Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s role in the war crimes committed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, culminating in the massacre of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla.

FBI knows anthrax mailer but won’t make an arrest, US scientist charges

By Patrick Martin, 25 February 2002

A leading US expert on biological warfare said the FBI had identified the perpetrator of last fall’s anthrax attacks on the congressional Democratic leadership and other targets, but was “dragging its feet” in making an arrest and pressing charges, for fear that secret government activities would be exposed.

Technology, the service industries and socialism

By Nick Beams, 25 February 2002

Here we have a striking example of how the development of the productive forces—in this case digital technology—comes into conflict with the value-form itself and the social relations of capitalism. This is why the major corporations have made such efforts to protect their interests through copyright laws and the enforcement of so-called “intellectual property rights.”

Letters and replies on Bush’s State of the Union speech

By , 23 February 2002

The following are letters received in response to the January 31 WSWS editorial board statement, “State of the Union speech: Bush declares war on the world,” followed by replies by Patrick Martin.

Still awaiting the long anticipated revival of German film

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 February 2002

In the weeks preceding the 52nd Berlin Film Festival many German media outlets and film critics speculated over the possibilities of a revival in the fortunes of the German film industry. Not only have German feature films been a rarity in past years on the international festival circuit, even at home and at previous Berlinales, German films have been in short supply. In terms of domestic popularity a recent German production has broken all attendance records—over 11 million viewers, but no critic can seriously maintain that The Shoe of Manitou, a Cowboy and Indians farce poking fun at the novels of Karl May, could be regarded as the herald of a new dawn for German film.

Nepali regime steps up oppression of Maoists and civilians

By W. A. Sunil, 23 February 2002

Bloody clashes have erupted in Nepal between guerrilla fighters of the Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist (CPN-M) and state forces as a military-police offensive launched by the Kathmandu regime against CPN-M enters its fourth month.

Sharon’s war crimes in Lebanon: the record

By Jean Shaoul, 23 February 2002

Below we publish the second article in a three-part series examining Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s role in the war crimes committed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, culminating in the massacre of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 February 2002

Indian police arrest strikers in Kerala

The killing of Daniel Pearl

By David North, 23 February 2002

For reasons that have nothing to do with jingoism, let alone sympathy for the war policies of the Bush administration, the murder of reporter Daniel Pearl has been met not only with revulsion, but also with deep sadness. From the release of the initial photos that showed Pearl as a captive—his hands bound and with an automatic weapon pointed at his head—the young man was seen as a human being in a desperate situation, held responsible for events over which he had no control. Now comes the news that Daniel Pearl has been killed, and many people, far beyond the sphere of his family, colleagues and friends, mourn his death.

Bush announces new global warming plan: a Valentine’s Day gift for energy corporations

By Joseph Kay, 23 February 2002

US President George W. Bush unveiled on February 14 proposals that the administration claims are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The plan is being promoted as an alternative to the Kyoto agreement on global warming, from which the US withdrew last spring. However, the administration’s new policy, particularly as it affects carbon dioxide, will be entirely voluntary. It is essentially an abandonment of any attempt to curb such emissions, which are viewed by most scientists as the primary cause of global warming.

This year’s Academy Awards nominations

By David Walsh, 22 February 2002

What is one to make of this year’s crop of Academy Award nominations, announced last week?

Hundreds dead in Egyptian rail disaster

By Liz Smith, 22 February 2002

More than 373 people have been killed in Egypt’s worst ever rail disaster. Thousands of people were crammed on to the 23.30 Cairo to Luxor train on February 18, many of them returning home to their villages to celebrate the Eid al Adha, the largest Muslim festival of the year marking the annual pilgrimage, or Hajj, to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Letters on "State of the Union speech: Bush declares war on the world"

By , 22 February 2002

The following are some of the letters we received in response to the January 31 WSWS editorial board statement, “State of the Union speech: Bush declares war on the world”

Detroit school employees march against layoffs

By Jerry Isaacs, 22 February 2002

More than one thousand teachers, other school employees, parents and students marched in Detroit Wednesday to denounce the recent layoff of 750 workers by the city’s so-called school reform board. The layoffs, which affected substitute teachers, social workers, building tradesmen, custodians and clerical staff, are part of a budget-cutting package to reduce a $70 million deficit. It is the latest in a series of devastating cutbacks in the nation’s eleventh largest school district.

Sharon’s war crimes in Lebanon: the record

By Jean Shaoul, 22 February 2002

Below we publish the first in a three-part series examining Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s role in the war crimes committed during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, culminating in the massacre of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatilla.

Enron VP tells Congress she feared for her life

By Patrick Martin, 22 February 2002

Enron Vice President Sherron Watkins, who warned top company officials last August that the energy trading giant might “implode in a wave of accounting scandals,” said she feared for her own life during the crisis that culminated in Enron’s filing for bankruptcy.

Tensions continue to wrack Fijian government

By Peter Byrne, 22 February 2002

Two recent court cases highlight the tensions wracking the Fijian political establishment nearly two years after businessman George Speight led elite soldiers and thugs in a coup that ousted Mahendra Chaudhry’s Labour Party-led Peoples Coalition government. Both court cases had potentially explosive implications for Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s unstable, racially-based government.

Two films mark thirtieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday

By Paul Bond, 21 February 2002

On January 30, 1972, soldiers from the First Parachute Regiment of the British Army opened fire on unarmed civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland. Thirteen were killed in the street and another 14 wounded, one of whom later died in hospital.

Why the MDC opposition in Zimbabwe fell for a transparent sting operation

By Barbara Slaughter, 21 February 2002

The Zimbabwean Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is contesting the forthcoming presidential elections with its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai. Since its foundation three years ago the MDC has achieved widespread popular support, especially in the urban areas, because of the growing opposition to President Robert Mugabe’s autocratic rule through his Zanu-PF party.

Bush doubletalk on Afghan POWs: US continues to flout Geneva Conventions

By Kate Randall, 21 February 2002

In the face of mounting international condemnation over US treatment of fighters captured in Afghanistan, George W. Bush announced February 7 what was purported to be an amended policy concerning the prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Sri Lankan SEP demands the release of two Tamil detainees

By Vilani Peiris, 21 February 2002

Two young Tamil plantation workers, Arunasalam Yogeswaran and Ponniah Sarawanakumar, who have been detained without trial on bogus charges for three and a half years, are due to appear today in the Kandy High Court in central Sri Lanka.

Workers Struggles: Europe

By , 21 February 2002

French protesters halt distribution of new free newspaper

Enron fallout is spreading

By Nick Beams, 21 February 2002

The collapse of Enron appears, at least so far, to have caused relatively little disturbance in energy markets where it primarily traded. One reason for this less-than-expected outcome may be that Enron’s practice of listing the full value of the trades it arranged as sales, rather than just the income it secured, vastly inflated its size. But when it comes to the financial markets more generally, the shock waves from the Enron collapse are having a major impact and widening in their scope.

Britain: Fire at Yarl’s Wood detention centre highlights plight of refugees

By Mike Ingram, 21 February 2002

Yarl’s Wood detention centre that holds asylum and immigration detainees in Britain lies in ruins after a fire on February 14. Investigators have as yet been unable to make the building safe for inspection and up to 25 asylum seekers remain missing, possibly caught in the fire. The exact figure of those missing cannot be determined as records held in the reception area were destroyed.

Al Gore backs Bush’s war plans

By Patrick Martin, 20 February 2002

In a speech February 12, his first major political address since the US Supreme Court stopped a vote count in Florida and handed the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush, the Democratic presidential candidate, Al Gore, declared his full support to the Bush administration’s plans for expanded warfare in the Middle East. Gore called for a “final reckoning” with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Australian government drops threat to bar UN visit to detention centre

By Jake Skeers and Mike Head, 20 February 2002

After six days of threatening not to do so, the Howard government last week accepted a request from United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to send an envoy to visit the refugee detention centre at Woomera in the South Australian desert. The request followed a 16-day hunger strike by several hundred Afghan detainees against the conditions in the centre and lengthy delays in processing their claims for asylum.

Two exchanges on the US economy

By Nick Beams, 20 February 2002

Dear Editor,

Lockerbie appeal raises new questions

By Steve James, 20 February 2002

Judges have retired in the appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi against his conviction last year for blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 22, 1988. The judges’ verdict is due in March.

Hollywood heart-strings need a transplant

By J. Cooper, 20 February 2002

The release of John Q has been greeted with derision by some in the media, who question whether anyone in his or her right mind would want to see a movie about managed health care in the US. As it turns out, tens of thousands filled the theaters for the film on its opening weekend. In fact, millions of American moviegoers undoubtedly identify with the Denzel Washington character in John Q, who wages a desperate struggle against a system that denies his son a life-saving heart transplant. Unfortunately, the expectations of the audience are not met by the film, which never delivers either the drama or a strong social message.

US militarism targets South American oil

By Bill Vann, 20 February 2002

Washington’s military intervention into Colombia’s four-decades-old civil war was initiated nearly two years ago by the Clinton administration with a $1.3 billion emergency military aid package dubbed Plan Colombia. The plan was justified in the name of waging a “war on drugs.”

United Airlines, machinists union reach accord

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2002

The International Association of Machinists and United Airlines reached a tentative agreement February 18, scotching a strike threat by 13,000 mechanics and aircraft cleaners at the nation’s second largest air carrier, who have been without a pay increase since 1994.

US war plans panic Canada’s elite

By Keith Jones, 19 February 2002

Echoing the concerns of many European politicians and editorial writers, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has counselled the US not to embark on a unilateral military campaign to topple the Iraqi government.

Black Hawk Down: naked propaganda masquerading as entertainment

By Ann Talbot, 19 February 2002

Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down sets out to tell the story of a US military debacle. On October 3, 1993, Somali gunmen brought down two Black Hawk helicopters as American Special Forces tried to seize the warlord Farah Aideed. During a night of fighting 18 US soldiers died and 73 were wounded. One pilot was taken hostage and CNN showed scenes of American dead being paraded through the streets of Mogadishu. Within months the Clinton administration pulled US forces out of Somalia.

Murder of an Afghan minister reveals a weak, divided government

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2002

The killing of Afghanistan’s Tourism and Aviation Minister Abdul Rahman at Kabul airport last Thursday evening has highlighted the fractious and unstable character of the interim administration headed by Hamid Karzai.

How the Australian election was subverted

By Linda Tenenbaum, 19 February 2002

Three months after the Australian general election, information is starting to come to light of a dirty tricks operation, involving upper echelons of the public service, the military and intelligence agencies, aimed at subverting the election process and ensuring the re-election of the Howard government.

What is behind the Olympics figure skating furor?

By David Walsh, 19 February 2002

The most striking aspect of the furor over the Olympics pairs figure skating medal is the disparity between the intrinsic significance of the incident that sparked the flap and the media/political uproar it provoked. The affair has shed light on two interrelated phenomena: the degraded state of the Olympics and the poisoned state of international political relations.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 February 2002

Argentina: refinery under siege by angry workers

Political reaction and intellectual charlatanry: US academics issue statement in support of war

By David North, 18 February 2002

A group of 60 right-wing academics and public policy experts influential in government and media circles has issued a statement entitled “Why We’re Fighting: A Letter From America.”[1] Purporting to present a philosophical and moral defense of the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism,” the authors succeed only in providing a devastating self-exposure of their own hypocrisy, dishonesty and aversion to essential democratic principles.

Africa and the perspective of international socialism

By Nick Beams, 18 February 2002

Dear editor,

Bush le declara guerra al mundo en su discurso sobre el Estado de la Nación

By , 18 February 2002

WSWS : Español

Blair government refuses to protest false imprisonment of British nationals by Saudi Arabia

By Simon Wheelan, 18 February 2002

Five Britons are currently being held in solitary confinement in a Saudi Arabian prison, having been framed for a series of bomb explosions within the country last year. An American and a British national were killed and other Western workers seriously injured during a prolonged terrorist bombing campaign that was, in all likelihood, conducted by Al Qaeda members within the oil-state.

The New Zealand Greens and the war in Afghanistan

By John Braddock, 18 February 2002

A week before Christmas, New Zealand’s Labour-Alliance government announced that members of its elite SAS soldiers had joined the fighting in Afghanistan. The 30-strong contingent was believed to have been deployed around the Tora Bora area, although Prime Minister Helen Clark refused to comment on the details, citing “security” concerns. Government statements confirmed, however, that the troops, originally offered in September as part of the US-led military operations, had at last been sent. Deputy Prime Minister and Alliance leader Jim Anderton supported the troop deployment, saying that because it “complied with UN resolutions” it was in accord with his party’s policy.

El presupuesto de Bush convierte al país en guarnición con billlones de dólares para la guerra y represión

By , 18 February 2002

WSWS : Español

A letter from David North to the New York Times on the obituary of Dave Van Ronk

By , 18 February 2002

The following letter was sent by David North, chairman of the World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the United States, to the New York Times .

Bush administration confirms plans for war against Iraq

By the Editorial Board, 16 February 2002

In an appearance by Secretary of State Colin Powell before a Senate committee, as well as through selected leaks to the press, the Bush administration has confirmed plans to launch a war with Iraq in a matter of months.

Blair’s neocolonialist vision for Africa

By Chris Talbot, 16 February 2002

In a four-day visit to West Africa, British Prime Minister Tony Blair set out his agenda for future imperialist intervention in the continent. He did so in his characteristic style, which increasingly resembles that of a colonial missionary. With moralizing zeal Blair took up the theme he raised several times last year that Africa is a “scar on the conscience of the world,” and suggested that with an African child dying every three seconds, “no responsible world leader can turn their back on Africa.”

The New York Times on the Milosevic trial: a triumph of cynicism

By Barry Grey and David Walsh, 16 February 2002

The New York Times published an editorial on February 11 hailing the opening of the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic as a “triumph for the civilized world.” The column was the latest example of a species of commentary that has come to characterize the Times’ editorial page.

Letters on Dave Van Ronk

By , 16 February 2002

Below are letters about the February 14 obituary “Dave Van Ronk, folk and blues artist, dead at 65”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 16 February 2002

Indonesian furniture workers strike for better pay and allowances

¿Había estado los Estados Unidos prevenido del ataque del 11 de septiembre?

By , 16 February 2002

WSWS : Español

European foreign ministers attack Bush’s policy

By Peter Schwarz, 15 February 2002

Two weeks after President Bush’s State of the Union speech an open conflict has erupted between the US and the European Union over international policies. While at first only the European media voiced somewhat muted criticism of Bush’s address, and politicians exercised diplomatic restraint, now more and more leading European politicians are sharply criticising US foreign policy, with the media following suit.

5,800 job cuts at British Airways provokes strike threat

By Mike Ingram, 15 February 2002

British Airways announced 5,800 layoffs on February 12, bringing the total job losses since September last year to 13,000. The latest job cuts are part of a “significant restructuring” of the airline’s short-haul services which will see the workforce reduced to 43,700 by March 2004, almost 20,000 fewer than two years ago.

Australian government launches new attacks on free speech

By Mike Head, 15 February 2002

Like the Bush administration, Prime Minister John Howard’s government in Australia is intent on exploiting the September 11 terror attacks in the US to further curtail free speech and suppress opposition to its policies.

France: the politics of presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Chevènement

By Marianne Arens and Françoise Thull, 15 February 2002

The campaign for the forthcoming presidential election in France has been under way since the end of January. The first round of the election is to take place on April 21, followed by the second round on May 5. Several weeks later, in June, the members of the new parliament will be elected.

Bush’s "evil axis" speech destabilises the Korean peninsula

By James Conachy, 15 February 2002

The threat of US military action against North Korea implicit in George Bush’s State of the Union address has cast a pall over the South Korean government’s “sunshine policy” of rapprochement with Pyongyang and revived fears of another conflagration on the Korean peninsula. Along with Iran and Iraq, the US president labelled North Korea as part of an “axis of evil” that would be targetted as part of his “global war on terrorism”.

Britain: Case against Algerian sought by FBI collapses

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2002

The first person to be accused by the FBI of involvement in the September 11 terror bombings to have gone before a judge looks set to walk free, following the collapse of the supposed case against him. The Algerian citizen, Lotfi Raissi, was released on bail by a London court on February 12 after five months in custody. British police arrested the 27-year old pilot last September, acting on an international warrant issued by the United States, which was seeking his extradition. The pilot has always protested his innocence.

Dave Van Ronk, folk and blues artist, dead at 65

By Fred Mazelis, 14 February 2002

Dave Van Ronk, the acclaimed blues and folk singer, guitarist, songwriter and teacher, died February 10 at the age of 65. His death came three months after surgery for colon cancer.

Share market fall deepens Japan’s banking crisis

By Joe Lopez, 14 February 2002

Japan’s benchmark share index, the Nikkei 225, plummeted to its lowest level in 18 years earlier this month, driven down by fears over the viability of some Japanese banks.

Afghan villagers killed and prisoners beaten in US military "mistake"

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2002

After a fortnight of flat denials from the Bush administration and the US military, the truth is finally emerging about the bloody events in the early hours of January 24 in the Afghan village of Hazar Qadam in Uruzgan Province.

US layoffs continue to mount in new year

By Shannon Jones, 14 February 2002

Job slashing is continuing at a near record pace in the United States, undermining the claims of many analysts that the recession has ended. In recent weeks thousands of new layoff announcements were made in the auto industry, telecommunications, computers and retailing. Among those companies making large job cuts were auto parts manufacturers Lear Seating and Visteon, PC maker Gateway, the Toys ’R’ Us retail chain and telecommunications firms Nextel and Tyco.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 14 February 2002

Transport workers strike in France to demand lower age of retirement

Britain: Scargill’s cronies proclaim him honorary president for life of miners union

By Chris Marsden, 14 February 2002

At a special conference of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) held last month, Arthur Scargill was elected to the newly created post of honorary president. He will hold the unpaid position for 10 years.

291 personas mueren en Lima—las raíces sociales del terrible incendio

By , 13 February 2002

WSWS : Español

Germany: Christian Democrats nominate right-winger Stoiber to run for chancellor

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 February 2002

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) have launched their joint campaign for this year’s general election with bombastic slogans and aggressive attacks on the Social Democratic-Green Party government. Although the Bundestag (federal parliament) elections are not until September 22, the internally divided CDU/CSU have tried to seize the initiative, in order to use the attack on the Schröder government to draw their own ranks together.

A woman in war

By Joanne Laurier, 13 February 2002

Charlotte Gray, directed by Gillian Armstrong, written by Jeremy Brock, based on the novel by Sebastian Faulks

¿Había estado los Estados Unidos prevenido del ataque del 11 de septiembre?

By , 13 February 2002

WSWS : Español

G-7 meeting keeps silent on major problems

By Nick Beams, 13 February 2002

The meeting of the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors in Ottawa last weekend took place amid a series of problems, which, by any objective standard, must rank among some of the most serious to have confronted the world capitalist economy in the post-war period.

At least 50 dead as floods inundate much of Jakarta

By Carol Divjak, 13 February 2002

At least 57 people are dead and 365,000 have been made homeless in one of the worst floods in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in decades. Flooding and mudslides throughout the archipelago, including East Java, Madura, Aceh, Bali and West Kalimantan, have claimed another 90 lives.

Letters on the Enron collapse

By , 13 February 2002

Many readers have sent comments on the recent WSWS articles on the Enron collapse: “White House stonewalls Congressional probe into Enron links” by Jerry Isaacs, 4 February 2002; “The Enron collapse and the crisis of the profit system” by Nick Beams, 29 January 2002; “The strange and convenient death of J. Clifford Baxter—Enron executive found shot to death” by Patrick Martin, 28 January 2002.

Bush targets Middle Eastern immigrants in new police dragnet

By Lawrence Porter and Kate Randall, 13 February 2002

US federal agents will soon begin arresting and interrogating thousands of immigrants charged with ignoring deportation orders issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). An internal Justice Department memo obtained by the Washington Post details the agency’s “Absconder Apprehension Initiative,” which will begin with the apprehension of some 6,000 Middle Eastern immigrants.

Britain: Postal workers vote for national pay strike

By Keith Lee, 13 February 2002

Britain’s postal workers have voted two to one for strike action over a five percent pay claim. In a 65 percent turn out, 63 percent voted in favour of industrial action. Consignia (formerly Royal Mail) had offered a two percent pay rise.

Corporate Detroit demands more school cuts

By Debra Watson, 12 February 2002

On orders from Detroit Schools CEO Kenneth Burnley, 700 school district workers were laid off in January, including 120 maintenance workers, 49 social workers and 165 teachers. In addition, 88 clerical workers and 70 upper-level administrative positions have been eliminated, on top of the 277 administrative positions cut last spring.

The promise of Iranian cinema

By David Walsh, 12 February 2002

The availability of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 film, Close-up, on DVD and VHS is a welcome event. It offers those not residing in a handful of large cities or able to attend film festivals the possibility of viewing this remarkable work.

Letters on "Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack?"

By , 12 February 2002

The following are a selection of letters received in response to the series “Was the US government alerted to September 11 attack?” by Patrick Martin, posted January 16, 18, 22 and 24.

The cause of capitalist crises

By Nick Beams, 12 February 2002

Dear Mr. Beams

India: Ayodhya campaign heightens the danger of communal conflict and war

By Sarath Kumara, 12 February 2002

The World Hindu Council (VHP), a Hindu extremist group connected to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is pressing ahead with plans to construct a temple to the Hindu god Ram in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya. The VHP insists on building the temple on the site of the Babri Masjid (mosque), which was torn down by Hindu fanatics in 1992. The campaign threatens to fan religious communalism in the region right at the point when India and Pakistan are engaged in a tense military standoff.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 12 February 2002

Protest on anniversary of Mexican student strike