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Australian Prime Minister backs down on stem cell research

By Frank Gaglioti and Peter Symonds, 30 April 2002

In the face of growing opposition, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has been compelled to back away from plans to severely restrict medical research involving human stem cells and to salvage a last minute compromise with state premiers at a recent meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Ericsson plan 17,000 more job losses

By Steve James, 30 April 2002

Swedish based telecom manufacturer Ericsson AB intends to slash a further 17,000 jobs over the next two years. Job losses will take effect both in Sweden and internationally, although as yet there are no further details of exactly where they will occur. The announcement came after Ericsson posted larger first quarter 2002 losses than expected, following 2001 figures which saw the 127-year-old company lose money for the first time in its history. In the first months of this year Ericsson lost $527 million, worse than their expected $469 million loss. Total sales fell from $4.86 billion, in last years opening months to $3.68 billion this year. New orders fell from $6.77 billion to $4.09 billion over the same period. News of the losses, along with falling sales predictions from rival Nokia, triggered a selling spree across the world’s technology markets. Ericsson stock fell 24 percent on the Stockholm stock exchange. Commentators suggested that Ericsson’s fall alone would have a significant effect on the Swedish economy, as the company accounts for 15 percent of Swedish exports.

Israel on Jenin: "Nothing to hide"... but no one can look

By Barry Grey, 30 April 2002

The world is witnessing a grotesque diplomatic farce over the proposed United Nations investigation into Israeli atrocities at the Jenin refugee camp. A government that laid siege for eight days to a densely populated area with tanks, bulldozers, helicopter gunships and snipers; blocked ambulances from rescuing the wounded; fired on journalists seeking to enter the combat zone; and for a week after the assault refused to allow access to Red Cross medical teams or UN human rights observers, is blocking the implementation of a Security Council resolution calling for an investigation.

Mass demonstrations against Le Pen throughout France

By Peter Schwarz in Paris, 30 April 2002

France has been in a state of turmoil ever since it became clear that Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of the neo-fascist Front National, had finished second in the first round of the presidential election and would face the current president Jacques Chirac in the second round May 5. There have been mass demonstrations every day expressing popular opposition to Le Pen’s racist, ultra-right politics.

Pakistan’s military ruler holds referendum to tighten grip on power

By Joseph Kay, 30 April 2002

With the support of the Bush administration, Pakistan’s military dictator, General Pervez Musharraf, is staging a national referendum today to give a popular fig leaf to his continued rule.

SEP to hold May 12 meeting in London: "The perspectives for socialism in the 21st century"

30 April 2002

On May 12, the Socialist Equality Party of Britain will be holding a public meeting, The perspectives for socialism in the 21st century.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 April 2002

Social protests in Argentina

AOL Time Warner announces record loss

By Nick Beams, 29 April 2002

The extent of the financial bubble that developed in the US economy in the late 1990s and the scale of false accounting that accompanied it has been underscored by the announcement last week by AOL Time Warner, the world’s largest media conglomerate, of the biggest quarterly corporate loss in history.

Bill Vann replies to a member of the International Socialist Organization

29 April 2002

Dear World Socialist Web Site,

Camp Bondsteel and America’s plans to control Caspian oil

By Paul Stuart, 29 April 2002

Camp Bondsteel, the biggest “from scratch” foreign US military base since the Vietnam War is near completion in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo. It is located close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result defence contractors—in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services—are making a fortune.