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Indian government cracks down on journalists

By K. Nesan, 31 July 2002

A series of incidents over the last two months involving the harassment of journalists all point to the fact that the Indian government of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is attempting to intimidate and muzzle its critics in the media. In themselves, the cases appear to be quite different. Taken together, however, they reveal the determination of the Hindu chauvinists in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to stamp out criticism and to impose their own views on the press.

Raffarin’s law-and-order programme: a contribution from a reader in France

By , 31 July 2002

The following commentary was submitted to the WSWS by Serge Lefort, a reader in Paris.

Germany: Another case of police brutality with fatal consequences

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 31 July 2002

On May 24, 31-year old Stephan Neisius died as a result of injuries he received earlier at the hands of the police in Cologne. He had been in hospital in a coma for two weeks after being seriously mistreated during his arrest and then kicked and beaten by police at the Eigelstein police station.

Washington debate continues over attack on Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 31 July 2002

A revealing discussion is underway in official Washington, as rival factions of the Bush administration, the congressional Democrats and Republicans, and the military brass debate the methods and pretexts which should be employed to accomplish their common goal of overthrowing Saddam Hussein and seizing control of the Iraq’s oil resources, the second largest store of petroleum in the world.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 July 2002

Brazil: iron miners threaten strike

Indian workers speak about the dangers of war

By our correspondents, 30 July 2002

Over the past six months, India and Pakistan have been engaged in a dangerous military confrontation involving one million troops backed by armour, artillery, missiles and warplanes. In both countries, the governments and the media have continued a barrage of chauvinist propaganda aimed at justifying the provocative stance taken by the nuclear-armed powers.

Anti-democratic measures guarantee Pakistan’s election will be a sham

By Vilani Peiris, 30 July 2002

Pakistan’s military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has announced National and Provincial assembly elections for October 10 in a bid to give his regime a democratic veneer and a degree of legitimacy. But a series of sweeping constitutional changes and presidential decrees announced over the last month ensure that Musharraf, not parliament, will wield power after the elections. The military junta is setting the rules for the election and at the same time ensuring that those elected will have no significant say in the running of the country.

Afghan boys denied asylum by Britain after escaping from Australian camp

By Jake Skeers, 30 July 2002

The plight of two teenage Afghan boys last week put a new international spotlight on the inhumanity of Australia’s indefinite detention of asylum seekers. After a desperate breakout from the remote Woomera detention centre, the two brothers, Alamdar and Montazar Bakhtiyari, aged 12 and 13, took the unprecedented step of applying to the British consulate in Melbourne for asylum because they are being persecuted in Australia.

Letters from readers on the arts

By , 30 July 2002

On Road to Perdition

WSWS replies to letters on boycott of Israeli academics

By Bill Vann, 30 July 2002

The WSWS posts below a reply by Bill Vann to the large volume of correspondence we have received regarding our July 12 statement “Against the boycott of Israeli academics”. Vann’s reply is followed by a representative selection of the letters we have received from readers on the issue.

Prisoners held in Australian police cells denied basic rights

By Liz Mantell, 29 July 2002

In early May, Anne Wilkins, a mother of four, conducted a seven-day hunger strike outside a police lock-up in Bendigo, a Victorian regional city, to protest against the conditions of prisoners in police cells.

Nine US miners rescued after three-day ordeal

By Eula Holmes and Paul Sherman, 29 July 2002

All nine coal miners trapped underground for three days in a southwest Pennsylvania shaft were brought to the surface by rescuers early Sunday morning. The men, who were working 240 feet down when their mine flooded Wednesday evening, emerged in various states of hypothermia, dehydration and near-starvation, but all were alive and expected to recover from their ordeal.

Ground Zero exhibition in Detroit

By David Walsh, 29 July 2002

An exhibition of art works created in response to the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City and to the events that followed it is currently on display at the Museum of New Art (MONA) in Detroit. Nearly sixty artists from a number of countries are represented by 300 paintings, photographs, digitally altered images and sculptures. The show, which opened July 13, was curated by New York artists Danny Scheffer, Frank Shifreen and Julius Vitali.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 July 2002

Indonesian plantation workers threaten occupation

Zimbabwe faces acute famine

By Chris Talbot, 27 July 2002

A warning from the Famine Early Warning System (FEWS) predicts famine in Zimbabwe on a scale that present food distribution organised by the United Nations and aid agencies will be unable to cope with.

Behind the sacking of German Defence Minister Scharping

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 July 2002

On July 18, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (Social Democratic Party—SPD) held a press conference to announce the sacking of the government’s defence minister, Rudolf Scharping (also SPD). At the conference, which lasted just a few minutes, Schröder announced that the new defence minister would be Peter Struck, the former head of the SPD fraction in parliament.

Lord Weinstock and the near terminal decline of British industry

By Jean Shaoul, 27 July 2002

Lord Weinstock, the former managing director of GEC, Britain’s premier engineering corporation, died Tuesday July 23 at the age of 77 years. Variously eulogised as “Britain’s best manager” in the Financial Times and a “giant of industry” in the Guardian, it is instructive to review his career to understand what constituted his much vaunted success.

The New Zealand elections: the anti-working class record of the Labour government

By John Braddock, 27 July 2002

New Zealanders go to the polls today in an early election, called in response to increasingly strident demands from business and the media for “certainty” and “stability”. The demands arose as a consequence of a split in the Alliance, the junior coalition partner in the Labour-led government of Prime Minister Helen Clark. The split occurred in April, after six months of inner-party turmoil over a government decision—unanimously supported by all Labour and Alliance MPs—to commit SAS troops to the US-led “war against terrorism” in Afghanistan.

A reply to a supporter of the Kosovo Liberation Army

By , 27 July 2002

The following letter was sent in response to the article The Milosevic trial: More questions raised over Racak , published May 8, 2002. by Paul Mitchell. It is followed by a reply from the author.

US corporate reform bill: much fanfare for a fig leaf

By Patrick Martin, 26 July 2002

The corporate reform bill passed by the House of Representatives and Senate July 25 and embraced by the Bush administration will have little impact on financial fraud and does nothing to compensate the victims of the colossal decline in share values over the past two years.

Bush civil rights commissioner warns of detention camps for Arab Americans

By Jeremy Johnson and Lawrence Porter, 26 July 2002

A Bush-appointed member of the US Civil Rights Commission cited the mass detention of Japanese Americans during World War II at a Detroit hearing last week and declared that in the event of another terrorist attack on the US, “[N]ot too many people will be crying in their beer if there are more detentions, more stops, more profiling.”

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East and Africa

By , 26 July 2002

Health workers strike in Latvia

Australia: "Anti-terror" laws passed with bipartisan support

By Mike Head, 26 July 2002

After months of delay caused by public opposition to its plans, the Howard government pushed its unprecedented counter-terrorism legislation through parliament late last month. With the Labor Party’s support, the package of five bills passed with only cosmetic modifications, retaining their essential anti-democratic features.

Nine trapped in Pennsylvania coal mine

By David Walsh, 26 July 2002

Nine coal miners remained trapped underground in southwest Pennsylvania after they accidentally drilled into an abandoned mine shaft July 24 that was flooded with water. Rescue workers lowered a six-inch drill into the Quecreek Mine near Somerset (55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh) early Thursday morning, and the miners could be heard tapping on the pipe. “We answered them and they answered back,” said Joseph Sbaffoni, Pennsylvania’s deep mine safety chief.

Persecution of ethnic Pashtuns continues in northern Afghanistan

By Ben Nichols and Peter Symonds, 26 July 2002

Persistent reports from a number of human rights organisations have catalogued the widespread persecution of ethnic Pashtuns in northern Afghanistan over the past nine months since the fall of the Taliban regime. The militia of the Northern Alliance, backed by the US, seized control of the area, including the main northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, in November as the Taliban forces crumbled.

Washington provides troops to protect its political puppet in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 25 July 2002

Nothing underscores the beleaguered and dependent character of the Afghan administration so much as the decision this week to replace the Afghan troops guarding transitional president Hamid Karzai with a squad of 45 to 50 American soldiers, including Special Forces troops.

A reader responds to correspondence on the boycott of Israeli academics

By , 25 July 2002

The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to “An exchange of letters on the boycott of Israeli academics,” posted on July 17, 2002.

Profiteering and the "war on terrorism": Cheney’s former firm cashes in on US militarism

By Joseph Kay, 25 July 2002

An important component of the growing political crisis within the United States is the relationship between Vice President Dick Cheney and Halliburton Corp., the Fortune 500 oil services and construction company Cheney headed between 1995 and 2000. In addition to accusations of accounting fraud, recent reports have detailed the lucrative relationship between Halliburton and the American military. Cheney’s old firm has been a major beneficiary of the expansion of US military operations around the world in the aftermath of September 11.

Israel: Sharon government faces widespread condemnation

By Chris Marsden, 25 July 2002

Israel’s bombing of a Gaza City apartment building, killing 15 people including nine children, has provoked outrage amongst Palestinians and met with international condemnation.

Filthy lives have filthy consequences

By Joanne Laurier, 25 July 2002

Road to Perdition, directed by Sam Mendes, screenplay by David Self, based on the graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner

Bush comments fail to halt market roller coaster

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2002

As economic interventions go it must surely rank as one of the biggest failures in history. Since US president George Bush went to Wall Street on July 9 to deliver his speech on the need for improved corporate governance, the stock market has fallen by more than 1,500 points or 16 percent.

Top court in Malaysia rejects Anwar’s appeal

By John Roberts, 24 July 2002

A three-judge panel of Malaysia’s highest judicial body, the Federal Court, has rejected an appeal by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim over his 1999 conviction on charges of abuse of power. In their ruling on July 10, the judges claimed that the errors pointed out in the appeal had not contributed to “a substantial miscarriage of justice”. They also refused to reduce the six-year jail sentence.

German engineering giant Babcock Borsig collapses

By Dietmar Henning, 24 July 2002

Coming just two months before federal elections in Germany, the financial collapse of engineering giant Babcock Borsig has delivered a severe blow to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in their Ruhr heartland. The insolvency proceedings now initiated will have catastrophic consequences for the workforce. It shows that the SPD does not have any answer to Germany’s increasing economic problems, and is losing core voters even in the party’s stronghold of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW).

US chief justice signals support for White House assault on constitutional rights

By John Andrews and Don Knowland, 24 July 2002

William Rehnquist, chief justice of the United States, on June 15 gave a speech before a gathering of federal judges in which he condoned the suppression of democratic rights in wartime.

Once again: the New York Times and the case of John Walker Lindh

By Jerry Isaacs and Barry Grey, 24 July 2002

The day after the US Justice Department concluded its case against John Walker Lindh—the American youth captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan—the New York Times praised the plea bargain agreement that will send the 21-year-old to federal prison for two decades as a model of judicial fairness. The plea agreement, the Times declared in its July 16 editorial, “honors the demands of criminal justice, national security and America’s commitment to constitutional rights.”

Sharon’s latest war crime: Gaza missile attack kills 15

By Chris Marsden and Jean Shaoul, 24 July 2002

At least 15 people, including nine children, were slaughtered by an Israeli missile attack on a residential building in Gaza on the morning of July 23. The military head of Hamas, Sheikh Salah Shahada, was the target of this attack.

Karaoke bar fire kills 53 in Indonesia

By John Edwards, 24 July 2002

Fifty-three people died after fire engulfed a karaoke bar in the Indonesia port city of Palembang on the island of Sumatra on the evening of July 7. As the fire swept through the five-floor Heppi Karaoke bar, people were trapped inside because the building had just one stairwell and the only elevator had failed.

France: proposed security laws raise danger of police state

By Alex Lefebvre, 23 July 2002

The new French government of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin is preparing a major reorganization of police forces and of the legal system, measures that represent a serious move in the direction of a police state. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled his proposals on the police forces on July 16; the next day Justice Minister Dominique Perben presented his justice reforms at the National Assembly. As a whole, these measures increase the police’s resources, their repressive capabilities, and the legal means they can use to detain those they arrest.

US moves closer to war against Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 23 July 2002

Last week’s visit to Turkey by US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz marks another step towards full-scale American military action against Iraq. Wolfowitz is the Bush administration policymaker most closely identified with plans for war with the oil-rich Persian Gulf country. The purpose of his trip was to hold top-level talks with the regime whose cooperation is most vital to such an attack.

Northern Command chief backs domestic use of US military

By Peter Daniels, 23 July 2002

US Air Force General Ralph E. Eberhart, head of the newly established Northern Command, says he supports giving greater domestic powers to the military in the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism.” The Northern Command, which will begin operations October 1, will oversee all military personnel flying patrols over American cities, as well as those patrolling waters up to 500 miles off the US coast.

Indian cabinet reshuffle: a desperate bid to restore support

By K. Ratnayake, 23 July 2002

In response to a growing crisis within India’s ruling Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP), Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee carried out his seventh cabinet reshuffle in early July. But far from resolving the political problems confronting the government, the new ministerial lineup is likely to heighten them.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 July 2002

Health workers strike in Ecuador

Spain and Morocco clash over a rock

By Vicky Short and Brian Smith, 23 July 2002

Relations between the neighbouring countries of Morocco and Spain reached boiling point last week over the sovereignty of an uninhabited rocky islet.

Sri Lanka: Cross infections kill seven children at pediatric hospital

By a correspondent, 23 July 2002

Seven children have died in the last two months in Sri Lanka after contracting hospital-acquired infections in Lady Ridgeway Hospital, the country’s only designated pediatric hospital. Most of the deaths were the result of infections from pathogens resistant to simple antibiotics. This tragedy, which has received little publicity, is a product of government cuts that have undermined the already meagre facilities and led to the overcrowding of patients, serious staff shortages and poor sanitary conditions.

Trans-Atlantic tensions worsen over agricultural policy

By Alex Lefebvre, 22 July 2002

As during the recent fight over steel, the United States government has passed a protectionist bill whose compliance with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules is questionable. European Union officials have proposed massive subsidy cuts in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and, with an eye to international support, are adopting a free-trade stance while criticizing US subsidies. However, reform proposals are meeting increased resistance from national governments across Europe, and negotiations may last months.

Mounting anger over US atrocities in Afghanistan

By Peter Symonds, 22 July 2002

Three weeks after an American AC-130 gunship killed and injured more than 100 civilians in the small Afghan village of Kakarak, US military officials have refused to admit that the raid was a mistake or to rule out similar actions in the future. The massacre and the dismissive attitude of US officials have added to the mounting anger among ethnic Pashtuns in Uruzgan and neighbouring provinces in the country’s south and east.

Kenya: Malaria outbreak kills hundreds

By David Rowan, 22 July 2002

An outbreak of highland malaria in Kenya has killed more than 300 people and infected over 158,000 others since June. The epidemic has affected the Rift Valley and Nyanza provinces in the west of the country, about 300 kilometres north of the capital Nairobi. The Kenyan Red Cross reported that it had mobilised up to 1,000 people as volunteers to distribute food, mosquito nets and water purification tablets in the worst hit areas.

Operation TIPS: Bush plan to recruit 1 million domestic spies

By Kate Randall, 22 July 2002

Your new cable television service was just hooked up. The local utility worker came by to read your meter. A package was delivered to your doorstep. Under a new program proposed by the Bush administration, the workers who visit your home to provide such services may have been recruited by the government to spy on you. They may have already made a toll-free call to a national hotline to report “suspicious activity.”

Glimpses of daily life for ordinary Palestinians

By Richard Phillips, 22 July 2002

A Wedding in Ramallah, a 90-minute film by Sherine Salama, documents the arranged marriage of a Palestinian couple, Mariam and Bassam Abed, in the West Bank and their lonely life seven months later in the US. Shot over a 12-month period beginning in July 2000, under conditions of an ever-tightening Israeli economic and military siege of the Palestinian Territories, Salama’s film is a thoughtful and compelling work.

Union betrayal at Navistar— A warning to Canadian auto workers

By Keith Jones, 20 July 2002

The very week that the Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) began contract talks with the three major North American automakers, it wound up the struggle against union-busting at Navistar.

The Milosevic Trial: William Walker’s role as provocateur

By Keith Lee, 20 July 2002

William Walker, the former head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) insisted in his testimony to The Hague that Slobodan Milosevic had knowledge of the events in Kosovo and should be held responsible for the atrocities carried out there.

Chilean Supreme Court ends legal proceedings against Pinochet

By Mauricio Saavedra, 20 July 2002

The Chilean Supreme Court excused General Augusto Pinochet from legal proceedings in a decision on July 1, which effectively means that the ageing former dictator will not face trial for any of the crimes carried out during his brutal 17-year rule.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 20 July 2002

On “Big business backing Labour to win New Zealand election”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 July 2002

Union brokers deal to end car dispute

What lies behind the political crisis in Turkey?

By Justus Leicht, 20 July 2002

Turkey’s current government is collapsing. The government, a coalition of the social democratic Democratic Left (DSP) of Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit, the neo-fascist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP—Grey Wolves) of Vice Premier Devlet Bahceli, and Mesut Yilmaz’s conservative Motherland Party (ANAP), lost its absolute majority following the resignation of 59 deputies and seven ministers and state secretaries earlier this month.

Who is stonewalling the US anthrax investigation?

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2002

Two commentaries by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, published July 12 and July 19, raise further questions about the refusal of the FBI and the Bush administration to take any action against the most likely suspect in the anthrax terrorist attacks that killed five people last fall. These columns—and the near-universal silence in the rest of the media—underscore the high-level complicity in the suppression of any serious investigation into the terrorist attacks that targeted two leading Democratic senators.

Sophistry in defense of opportunism: an exchange with a member of the French LCR

By , 20 July 2002

The letter posted below was received by the WSWS from a member of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR), one of several organizations in France claiming adherence to Trotskyism, in response to “The French Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire defends its opportunism” . A reply by David Walsh follows.

Issues raised by the career of US filmmaker John Frankenheimer

By David Walsh, 19 July 2002

The American film director John Frankenheimer died in Los Angeles of a stroke July 6 after complications from surgery. He was 72. Frankenheimer is best known for works he directed in the 1960s, The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May and The Birdman of Alcatraz in particular. After suffering a decline in the 1970s and 1980s, Frankenheimer returned to some prominence, primarily as a director of historical films for television ( Andersonville, George Wallace), in the mid-1990s. His most recent effort was Path to War, which examined the process by which the US, under Lyndon B. Johnson, became embroiled in a full-scale intervention in Vietnam.

South Africa: apartheid victims sue ANC government for compensation

By Barbara Slaughter, 19 July 2002

Khulumani, a support group for victims and survivors of apartheid, is suing the South African government in the Cape Town High Court. They are demanding that payments be made to thousands of victims of the apartheid regime—which ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994—who have waited years for compensation.

Wall Street plunge swells US government deficit

By Patrick Martin, 19 July 2002

The Bush administration announced July 12 that the federal government would run a deficit of $165 billion during the current fiscal year, a turnaround of nearly $300 billion from the $127 billion surplus in the fiscal year which ended last September 30. Budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. blamed the reversal largely on the dramatic decline of revenue from taxes on capital gains, a result of the plunge in stock prices.

Letters on the "Pledge" ruling, the Supreme Court and democratic rights

By , 19 July 2002

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS.

Brutal killing in Kashmir threatens to raise India-Pakistan tensions

By Vilani Peiris and Sarath Kumara, 19 July 2002

An attack on July 13 on a predominantly Hindu slum in Jammu, the winter capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, has underscored the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. While the incident has not resulted in any immediate military threats from New Delhi, the region remains a powderkeg. More than a million Pakistani and Indian troops still confront each other along the border since last December when Kashmiri separatists attacked the Indian parliament building in New Delhi.

A scandal over genetically modified food dominates New Zealand election campaign

By John Braddock, 19 July 2002

At the midpoint of the campaign for New Zealand’s July 27 election, claims that the Labour-Alliance government engaged in an 18-month cover-up of the planting of genetically modified corn seed have come to dominate election coverage and political debates. The media, which previously described the campaign as dull, has latched onto the allegations, dubbed “Corngate,” as the “defining issue” that calls into question the integrity of Prime Minister Helen Clark and her government.

Argentina’s ex-dictator Galtieri faces "Dirty War" trial

By Bill Vann, 19 July 2002

Former military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri and at least 40 other former military officers have been arrested in Argentina on charges of murder, kidnapping and torture in connection with brutal acts of repression carried out more than two decades ago.

Britain: National strike by municipal workers against low pay

By Julie Hyland, 19 July 2002

The 24-hour national strike by over 750,000 local authority employees on July 17 is indicative of the growing impoverishment of working people, as a direct consequence of the policies of the Blair Labour government.

¿Por qué el gobierno de los Estados Unidos protege al terrorista del ántrax?

By , 19 July 2002

WSWS : Español

Estudiante Alemán se suicida en salón de clases

By , 19 July 2002

WSWS : Español

Israeli cabinet backs down from law banning Arab land ownership

By Jean Shaoul, 18 July 2002

The Israeli government has voted 22-2 to sideline a bill instigated by Knesset member Rabbi Haim Druckman and the National Religious Party that would allow Jewish-only communities.

Washington threatens Bolivia on presidential vote

By Tomas Rodriguez and Bill Vann, 18 July 2002

In the run-up to the selection of a new president in Bolivia, the Bush administration has issued unconcealed threats of US sanctions and potential military retaliation if the candidate opposed by Washington ends up winning.

Little substance in Greenspan’s reassurances

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2002

Anxious not to set off a wave of selling in what he described as “skittish” financial markets, US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan offered some reassurances on the state of the American economy when he delivered his semi-annual report on monetary policy to the Senate on Tuesday.

Legal witch-hunt of John Walker Lindh ends with plea bargain

By John Andrews, 18 July 2002

On July 15, after his lawyers negotiated an agreement with government prosecutors, John Walker Lindh pled guilty to violating a 1999 federal regulation banning the provision of services to the Taliban, a felony charge with a maximum sentence of ten years. Because Lindh, as a Taliban soldier, carried grenades and an assault rifle, he agreed to an additional ten years for using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 18 July 2002

Council workers hold first national strike for more than 20 years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Reunión cumbre de la Unión Europea expande la agresión contra los extranjeros y los refugiados

By , 18 July 2002

WSWS : Español

Britain: Government seeks limit on jury trials

By Julie Hyland, 18 July 2002

Leaked details of a government white paper on the reform of the criminal justice system reveal further efforts by the Labour government to curtail civil liberties.

Asesinatos policiales despiertan el espectro de la dictadura militar en Argentina

By , 18 July 2002

WSWS : Español

Head of Bush’s "financial crimes swat team": a fox to guard the henhouse

By Joseph Kay, 18 July 2002

Larry D. Thompson, the US deputy attorney general, has been named to head the new corporate crime task force that George W. Bush announced in his July 9 speech on Wall Street. The 16-member panel, which Bush called a financial crimes “swat team,” will include several individuals from the Justice Department as well as Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Australia: Anti-democratic election laws behind trial of right-wing politicians

By the Editorial Board, 18 July 2002

The recent decision to place right-wing Australian politician Pauline Hanson and a co-founder of her One Nation Party, David Ettridge on trial on electoral fraud charges highlights the anti-democratic character of electoral laws passed over the past decade to make it increasingly difficult to register new political parties and challenge the major parties.

Letters on Bush, the Wall Street crisis and war threats against Iraq

By , 17 July 2002

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the WSWS .

Outrage over police beating of black youth in Los Angeles suburb

By Kim Saito, 17 July 2002

The violent police assault of 16-year-old Donovan Jackson in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California on July 6 has drawn public outcries and charges of police brutality and civil rights violations. Its videotaped images appearing and reappearing in local and national newscasts throughout the week have evoked memories of the police beating of black motorist Rodney King in 1991. The acquittal of the police officers involved in King’s beating sparked the Los Angeles riots in April 1992.

The background to the air collision over Germany

By Patrick Richter and Ulrich Rippert, 17 July 2002

At the beginning of this month two jets collided over Lake Constance on the Swiss-German border, resulting in the death of 71 people. The cause of this tragedy is to be found in devastating cost-cutting measures and staff shortages in flight monitoring agencies in the private sector.

An exchange of letters on the boycott of Israeli academics

By , 17 July 2002

The World Socialist Web Site on July 12 published the statement “Against the boycott of Israeli academics”, opposing a boycott being organized by liberal and radical academics in the US. The WSWS statement has provoked an outpouring of correspondence, both pro and con, on the issue. Below we are publishing one of the letters attacking the position of the WSWS followed by a reply by Editorial Board members David North and Bill Vann.

Detained Detroit Muslim cleric seeks political asylum

By Lawrence Porter, 17 July 2002

On July 9, Rabih Haddad’s attorneys appeared in Detroit before Immigration Court Judge Elizabeth Hacker to petition for his political asylum in the US. Haddad, a co-founder of the charity Global Relief Foundation (GRF), was arrested nearly seven months ago on an alleged minor visa violation. The government is seeking to deport Haddad and his family to Lebanon. This was the first public hearing for Haddad since he was arrested at his Ann Arbor, Michigan home on December 14, 2001. A trial date has been set for August 27.

Indonesian Supreme Court bows to international pressure in key bankruptcy case

By John Roberts, 17 July 2002

Under considerable international pressure, the Supreme Court of Indonesia on July 8 overruled a decision by the country’s Commercial Court declaring bankrupt the local subsidiary of the Canadian-based Manulife Financial Corporation. The June 13 Commercial Court judgment, which threatened Manulife’s assets in a company considered solvent by Indonesia’s finance ministry, had provoked outrage in international financial circles and warnings of a collapse of foreign investment.

French neo-Nazi attempts to assassinate Chirac

By David Walsh, 17 July 2002

A 25-year-old neo-Nazi fired a shot at French President Jacques Chirac during the Bastille Day parade in Paris on Sunday. Maxime Brunerie, an individual with extensive connections to the extreme right, took a .22-caliber rifle out of a guitar case and was able to get off one shot, although his arm was jostled, before being subdued by spectators in the crowd.

US deports 131 Pakistanis in secret airlift

By Kate Randall, 16 July 2002

The US Department of Justice secretly deported 131 Pakistanis aboard a chartered Portuguese jet late last month. The majority of those deported were rounded up in the Bush administration’s anti-terror sweep in the wake of September 11, and have been held for months at Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) detention facilities around the country.

Floods ravage China, worse feared to come

By Angela Pagano and James Conachy, 16 July 2002

After more than six weeks of torrential rainfall, millions of Chinese are at risk from severe flooding during this year’s wet season, which officially began this month. More than 596 people have already drowned or died in landslides or building collapses, and some 300 people are still reported as missing. On July 6, eight people were killed when a wall they were sheltering behind collapsed in a market place in central Hunan province. The water level of major rivers and lakes is already so high that experts are warning of even more catastrophic floods than those of 1998, which claimed over 4,000 lives.

Corporate Europe follows the Enron model

By Steve James, 16 July 2002

The oft-repeated claim that fraudulent accounting practices are an American phenomena has been proved false. Three major European corporations are mired in financial scandals, every bit as politically explosive as those at Enron, Xerox and WorldCom.

New bombing raids on Iraq as US seeks pretext for war

By Bill Vann, 16 July 2002

US warplanes over the weekend carried out an intensive bombardment of both military and civilian targets in Iraq’s Dhi Qar province, about 200 miles south of Baghdad, as Washington continued casting about for a pretext for another war against the Arab country.

India’s ruling party continues to fan communal tensions in Gujarat

By K. Nesan, 16 July 2002

Almost four months after extensive violence broke out against Muslims in the Indian state of Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP)-led state government continues to stoke communal tensions in a bid to shore up its flagging support.

Bush le da carta blanca a Israel para que continúe ataques contra palestinos

By , 16 July 2002

WSWS : Español

Michigan Democrats, unions refuse to break ties with anti-Semitic candidate

By Jerry Isaacs, 16 July 2002

The Michigan Democratic Party has indicated it will impose no sanctions against State Representative William Callahan, who recently said Sander Levin, his opponent in an August 6 primary election, could not represent voters in the 12th Congressional District because Levin was a “liberal” and a “Jew.” The United Auto Workers union and the Michigan AFL-CIO, which have close ties with Callahan, have similarly refused to demand the resignation or removal of the three-term state legislator.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 16 July 2002

Brazilian auto strike

Toronto: NDP and union leaders strangle city workers’ strike

By Keith Jones, 15 July 2002

Leaders of the New Democratic Party, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Ontario Federation of Labour have joined forces with Ontario’s Tory provincial government to write and enforce legislation breaking a strike by 22,000 Toronto municipal workers.

Latest figures reveal continued destruction of full-time jobs in Australia

By Barry Jobson, 15 July 2002

The June employment figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) last week show that joblessness has begun to worsen again, despite official economic growth of 4 percent over the past year—reputed to be the highest rate among developed countries.

A question on the falling rate of profit

By Nick Beams, 15 July 2002

Dear Editorial Board,

AIDS could kill 55 million in Africa over next two decades

By Ann Talbot, 15 July 2002

As the International AIDS conference in Barcelona got under way on July 7, UNAIDS released figures showing the epidemic has still not reached its peak. Although three million people died last year of AIDS, Dr Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS told the conference that the epidemic was still only in its early stages.

The morality of plutocracy: the Washington Post and the Harken Energy "distraction"

By Joseph Kay, 15 July 2002

The lead editorial in the July 12 Washington Post casts a great deal of light on the nature of social life in the United States. Entitled “The Harken Energy Distraction,” the editorial is dedicated to a defense of President Bush and the corrupt dealings by which he made his millions. Coming from one of the bastions of American “liberalism,” the defense is an indication of the insularity of the entire ruling elite from the broad masses of the American population.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 13 July 2002

Hong Kong government workers march against wage reduction

After bullying fails, US blinks on global court

By Bill Vann, 13 July 2002

After months of threats and bullying, the Bush administration has apparently backed down in its confrontation with Western Europe over the newly formed International Criminal Court (ICC).

Ex-president stonewalls Mexican massacre probe

By Bill Vann, 13 July 2002

Mexico’s former president Luis Echeverría continued to deny any responsibility for the repression carried out by security forces during the 1960s and 1970s after appearing July 9 for a second time before a prosecutor investigating the bloody events of that period.