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Brazil’s Lula reassures Wall Street, warns workers of austerity

By Bill Vann, 31 October 2002

In the two days following his landslide victory in Brazil’s October 27 presidential election, Workers Party (PT) candidate Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has taken pains to reassure the world’s financial markets that his government will enforce the austerity policies initiated by its predecessors.

Bali bombing used to activate repressive laws in Australia

By Mike Head, 31 October 2002

Heavily-armed Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and Australian Federal Police officers have carried out violent raids on at least seven homes in Sydney and Perth since Sunday night, terrorising Islamic working class families in the name of combatting terrorism. The Howard government and the security agencies have seized upon the October 12 Bali bomb blasts to create a climate of anti-Muslim prejudice and activate, for the first time, far-reaching new “anti-terrorist” measures.

Letter from University of Arizona student on Monday’s campus shootings

By , 31 October 2002

Dear World Socialist Web Site,

Spain: Socialist Party demands opening of Franco’s mass graves

By Vicky Short, 31 October 2002

The opposition Socialist Party of Spain (PSOE), which governed Spain for 14 years after the death of the fascist dictator General Francisco Franco and the so-called “peaceful transition to democracy”, has belatedly lodged an amendment to this year’s budget demanding the government earmark one million euros to finance the opening of the mass graves from the Civil War. Earlier this month the PSOE demanded of the Congress Constitutional Commission that the memory of the dead be honoured and their bodies recovered.

US uses nuclear revelations to raise tensions on Korean peninsula

By Peter Symonds, 31 October 2002

Less than a fortnight ago, the Bush administration announced that North Korea had admitted, during bilateral talks in early October, to having established a uranium enrichment program in breach of international agreements. In the midst of preparations to invade Iraq for allegedly possessing “weapons of mass destruction,” the US response to Pyongyang’s confession has been decidedly muted. Bush officials announced that diplomatic, rather than military, means will be used to pressure North Korea to abandon the project.

US returns to triple-digit budget deficits

By Patrick Martin, 31 October 2002

The Bush administration announced October 24 that the federal budget deficit for the fiscal year ending September 30 was $159 billion. If excess receipts for Social Security, supposedly earmarked for paying future benefits, were excluded, the latest federal deficit would top $300 billion.

Alarming breast cancer rates in northern California county

By Joanne Laurier, 31 October 2002

Women in northern California’s Marin County are presently being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at a rate approximately 40 percent higher than the officially recorded national average. In this affluent community the recorded incidence of the disease among white women aged 45 to 64 has increased by 72 percent during the last decade. Diagnoses of breast cancer for the entire female population climbed by 37 percent in the county during the last decade, compared with a 3 percent increase for the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Actor Richard Harris: a great talent only occasionally fulfilled

By Paul Bond, 30 October 2002

The actor Richard Harris, who died October 25 aged 72, was one of a number of his contemporaries who more often than was seemly traded their talent for a dubious celebrity. In some cases it is difficult to remember why they were thought to be great actors in the first place. What is remarkable about Harris is that when he found himself working on material worthy of his abilities, his gifts were still evident.

Britain: child road deaths three times higher in deprived areas

By Harvey Thompson, 30 October 2002

Children living in the most socially deprived areas of England are up to three times as likely to be hit by a car than those living in the most affluent parts of the country.

Letters to the WSWS on the "The Washington sniper and the undercurrent of rage in American society"

By , 30 October 2002

A well-done piece and, for the most part, I couldn’t agree more. If you haven’t read Gore Vidal’s book on “Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace: How We Got To Be So Hated,” it too is along the same lines. The direction this country is headed scares the living hell out of me!!!

Report on urban warfare points to US plans to destroy Iraqi cities

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2002

A new report on urban warfare by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff is a blueprint for the use of America’s overwhelming military and technological supremacy to brutalize and terrorize a far weaker opponent into submission. It suggests that in any invasion of Iraq, American military planners are prepared to use massive firepower to destroy Iraq’s major cities.

US profit rates decline despite productivity growth

By Nick Beams, 30 October 2002

The latest calculations of labour productivity growth highlight the emergence of a deepening contradiction in the US economy, and by implication, the world economy. While productivity has sharply increased over the past five years, profit rates have declined and, in the aftermath of the high-tech and stock market bubble of the late 1990s, the economy has entered a period of “jobless growth,” if not double-dip recession.

Exigen en España que se excaven las fosas comunes

By , 30 October 2002

WSWS : Español

India and Pakistan begin to demobilise troops

By Sarath Kumara, 29 October 2002

After 10 months of tense confrontation, the Indian and Pakistani governments have begun a partial withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of troops, heavy armour, artillery and rockets from forward positions along the border. The buildup, involving more than a million soldiers, was the largest military mobilisation on the subcontinent in the past 50 years.

The death of US Senator Paul Wellstone: accident or murder?

By the Editorial Board, 29 October 2002

There is a serious question about the sudden death of Democratic Senator Paul Wellstone that has no doubt occurred to many people: was Wellstone the victim of a political assassination?

Brazil’s "Lula" celebrates victory, IMF demands more austerity

By Bill Vann, 29 October 2002

The election of Workers Party (PT) candidate and former metalworkers union leader Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva triggered horn-honking, flag-waving celebrations in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other major Brazilian cities Sunday night. Foreign and domestic capital markets held their fire in anticipation of PT’s announcement of an economic transition team.

Two students killed in Australian university shooting

By Margaret Rees, 29 October 2002

Two fourth year honours commerce students were killed and five other people wounded, when a student suddenly opened fire in a classroom at Melbourne’s Monash University on October 21. The tragedy occurred at the beginning of an econometrics tutorial on the sixth floor of the Menzies building at the suburban Clayton campus. It points to a growing crisis within Australia’s tertiary education system, which is creating profound social tensions that remain totally unaddressed.

Putin’s gas attack in Moscow—the outcome of Russia’s barbaric war in Chechnya

By the Editorial Board, 29 October 2002

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the storming of the Moscow musical theatre by special units of the Russian secret police. With this brutal action, employing poison gas, the government of Vladimir Putin brought the type of indiscriminate killing it routinely employs against the Chechen masses into the nation’s capital, directing it against Russian hostages as well as Chechen hostage-takers.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 October 2002

Mexico: National University employees to strike this week

An essentially unprincipled approach

By David Walsh, 29 October 2002

Heaven, directed by Tom Tykwer; The Grey Zone, written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson; Late Marriage, written and directed by Dover Kosashvili

International demonstrations against Bush war plans

By our reporters, 28 October 2002

Demonstrations and protests against the preparations of the United States government for war against Iraq took place October 26 in Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico, Switzerland, Australia and Japan. The protests were coordinated to coincide with demonstrations taking place in many cities across America.

Australian drought used to push small farmers off the land

By Alan Leigh, 28 October 2002

Despite months of drought across wide areas of Australia, which has devastated small farmers and rural workers, state and federal governments are still delaying relief, reluctant to assist struggling family farmers. Many families and communities are now reliant on trucked water supplies and grain growers have abandoned their winter and spring crops, while some dairy, sheep and cattle farmers have been forced to shoot their dying livestock or take to the roads with their herds in the hope of finding feed.

US demonstrators speak out against Iraq war

By a reporting team, 28 October 2002

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site interviewed people who came to the anti-war rallies held October 26 in Washington and San Francisco. For many, it was the first demonstration in which they participated. A number of those interviewed said they were regular readers of the WSWS.

Hundreds of thousands in US protest Iraq invasion plans

By Bill Vann, 28 October 2002

Rallies and marches to oppose the Bush administration’s plan to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq brought hundreds of thousands of demonstrators into the streets in Washington DC, San Francisco and several other US cities on October 26.

Coup attempts continue in Venezuela

By Bill Vann, 28 October 2002

An attempt by a ring of 14 high-ranking Venezuelan officers to spark a military rebellion against the government of President Hugo Chavez appeared to have fizzled Thursday when army units failed to respond to their call for “disobedience.”

The Washington sniper and the undercurrent of rage in American society

By David Walsh, 28 October 2002

The arrest of two men at a Maryland rest stop early October 24 apparently brought to an end the killing spree that has been terrorizing the Washington, D.C. area and neighboring Maryland and Virginia for the past three weeks. The random shootings, carried out with a sniper rifle, left ten people dead and three seriously wounded.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 October 2002

Chinese clothing workers protest lay-offs

Ten people killed by police and Sinhala thugs in Eastern Sri Lanka

By , 26 October 2002

Ten people were killed and dozens more were injured following a deliberate provocation by Sri Lankan security forces in the east of the island earlier this month.

Ireland: Yes vote in referendum on European Union expansion

By Steve James, 26 October 2002

The dominant sections of Irish business and the political and media establishment finally secured a yes vote in an October 19 referendum on the terms laid down in the Nice Treaty for European Union enlargement. Sixty three percent of the 1,442,000 people who voted supported the treaty, while 37 percent voted against it. Turnout was 49 percent.

Mass protests against job cuts in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 26 October 2002

Millions of workers in Italy have taken to the streets in recent days to protest against job cuts. According to the trade unions, a total of 13 million workers took part in an 8-hour nationwide general strike on October 15. Most of Italy’s public transport came to a standstill and over a million joined demonstrations held in a total of 120 cities. The biggest protests occurred in the northern city of Turin, home of the Italian auto industry.

US: West Coast shippers call for government sanctions against dockworkers

By Rafael Azul, 26 October 2002

On October 23, the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) filed a report with the Justice Department accusing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) of organizing a “concerted, systematic slowdown” at 29 West Coast ports.

UN report accuses Western companies of looting Congo

By Chris Talbot, 26 October 2002

An investigation carried out by a team of experts on behalf of the United Nations shows how the four year old war in the Congo has enabled the large-scale and systematic robbery of the country’s mineral wealth.

Ejército colombiano le pone sitio a barrio de Medellín

By , 25 October 2002

WSWS : Español

From a safe distance?: Reflections on an exhibition of surrealist art

By Sybille Fuchs, 25 October 2002

Surrealism 1919-1944, an exhibition at the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, 20 July-24 November, 2002

A political strategy to oppose war against Iraq

By World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 25 October 2002

The following statement of the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party will be distributed at demonstrations to be held Saturday, October 26 in Washington DC and other US cities.

“People are a lot more aware”

By our reporters, 25 October 2002

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed voters last Saturday at three of the largest polling booths in the Cunningham by-election: Wollongong Central, where significant numbers of students and professional people voted, together with workers and unemployed; Figtree, one of Wollongong’s western suburbs, where workers and their families predominated; and Corrimal East, in northern Wollongong, which includes a large public housing estate.

Washington leaves open Israeli involvement in war against Iraq

By Chris Marsden, 25 October 2002

Efforts by the Bush administration to bring Ariel Sharon on-message with its plans for war against Iraq dominated the Israeli Prime Minister’s three-day trip to Washington last week.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 25 October 2002

One million workers in general strike against government policies in Italy

Australian Labor Party suffers humiliating by-election defeat in Wollongong

By Mike Head, 25 October 2002

The voters of Wollongong, a major industrial city 80 kilometres south of Sydney, delivered a humiliating defeat to the Australian Labor Party and its leader, Simon Crean, last Saturday. In a by-election caused by the sudden resignation of the sitting member, Labor lost the federal seat of Cunningham for the first time.

Festival Internacional de Cine en Toronto, 2002: Los problemas persisten aún cuando se logra el éxito

By , 25 October 2002

WSWS : Español

One year since the anthrax attacks on the US Congress

By Patrick Martin, 24 October 2002

The Bush administration and the American media have passed by the anniversary of the anthrax attacks on leading congressional Democrats in virtual silence. There has been little media commentary assessing the meaning of the attempt to kill Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, whose offices were targeted with letters filled with trillions of lethal anthrax spores that could have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of people.

Census reports highlight dramatic social changes in Australia

By Dragan Stankovic, 24 October 2002

Reports from the 2001 census of Australia give a picture of far-reaching changes in social and family life over the past three decades. Fewer people than ever are marrying, while more are divorcing; childlessness has increased; and the number of people living alone has risen.

Bush employs lies and maneuvers to pave way for war against Iraq

By Bill Vann, 24 October 2002

With the preferred D-Day for a US invasion of Iraq barely three months away, there are growing signs of unease within sections of the US ruling elite over the implications of the Bush administration’s plans for a preemptive war of conquest and a protracted military occupation of the Arab country.

Right-wing government collapses in the Netherlands

By Wolfgang Weber, 24 October 2002

On October 16, the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced the end of the right-wing coalition of his Christian Democratic Party (CDA) and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) with the List Pim Fortuyn (LPF). New elections are planned for next January. Until then government business will be conducted by the present cabinet. It is still undecided whether the head of state, Queen Beatrix, will accept the resignation of the government and thereby open the way for new elections.

Pakistani election reveals growing opposition to Musharraf

By Vilani Peiris, 24 October 2002

Pakistan’s ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, held carefully stage-managed national elections on October 10 in an effort to provide his military regime with a measure of political legitimacy. The results, however, and the low voter turnout reveal a growing hostility to the US-backed junta and to the continued presence of US troops, police and CIA agents in the country as part of the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism”.

Condenar ataque violento de la LTTE contra socialista de Sri Lanka

By , 24 October 2002

WSWS : Español

French diplomacy and Bush’s campaign against Iraq

By Alex Lefebvre, 24 October 2002

The French government is trying to contain the US offensive against Iraq through negotiations in the UN Security Council, where France has veto power. It is insisting on a two-step process: first a resolution returning UN weapons inspectors to Iraq, and then a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq if the weapons inspectors judge that Baghdad is not cooperating.

Festival Internacional de Cine en Toronto, 2002: ¿Por qué hay tantas películas tan decepcionantes?

By , 24 October 2002

WSWS : Español

Indonesian government bows to foreign pressure and issues anti-terrorist decree

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 23 October 2002

On October 19, just a week after the terrorist attack on the Indonesian island of Bali, President Megawati Sukarnoputri issued an anti-terrorist decree that greatly increases police powers of arrest and interrogation and provides the death penalty for a series of offences. The decree has been made retrospective to October 12 to cover the bombings in Bali, which have now officially claimed 190 lives.

La guerra contra Irak y la campaña de los Estados Unidos para dominar al mundo

By , 23 October 2002

WSWS : Español

Festival Internacional de Cine en Toronto, 2002: Conversación acerca del cine

By , 23 October 2002

WSWS : Español

Iraqi tie to September 11 hijacker debunked

By Bill Vann, 23 October 2002

The much publicized allegation that the man named as the ringleader of the September 11 terrorist attacks met with an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague was a lie, and the Czech president told the Bush administration so, according to an article appearing in the New York Times October 21. Yet top administration officials have continued to insist upon this phony Iraqi-Al Qaeda connection in order to bolster their case for war.

Letters to the WSWS

By , 23 October 2002

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Top LTTE leaders remain silent as SEP defence campaign gathers support

By K. Ratnayake, 23 October 2002

The leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has remained silent in the face of growing support for the campaign by the World Socialist Web Site to demand that it call a halt to threats and physical violence against members of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) on the northern Sri Lankan island of Kayts.

Britain’s privatised energy industry on brink of bankruptcy

By Jean Shaoul, 23 October 2002

Less than ten years after the privatisation of the electricity industry, the energy market has effectively gone bust. With the growing crisis engulfing ever more companies, power supplies in Britain are now precarious, workers’ jobs and pensions are in jeopardy, and the government faces a hefty bill and a burgeoning political crisis.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 22 October 2002

Social security workers occupy headquarters in Argentina

Israel: Clashes between settlers and soldiers destabilise Sharon’s coalition

By David Cohen, 22 October 2002

Israel’s Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has threatened to resign, faced with furious denunciations by the far right for the removal of hundreds of Jewish settlers from the illegal Havat Gilad, or Gilad Farms, in the West Bank.

Iranian film director denounces US immigration policy

By David Walsh, 22 October 2002

Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi forwarded a prize bestowed on him by the Chicago International Film Festival to President George W. Bush as a protest against US immigration policies. Ghobadi, the director of the much acclaimed A Time for Drunken Horses (2000), was refused a visa to enter the US despite taking extensive and time-consuming steps to obtain one.

Helsinki bomb tragedy points to social tensions in Finland

By Steve James, 22 October 2002

A nineteen-year-old student killed himself and six passers-by, including a seven-year-old child, with a shrapnel bomb on October 11 near the Finnish capital, Helsinki.

Germany: SPD and Green Party present new coalition pact

By Peter Schwarz, 22 October 2002

Last week, after 16 days of negotiations, the SPD (Social Democratic Party) and the Greens reached agreement on a new coalition pact for the next four years and presented the new government.

Kashmir election results in defeat for ruling party

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 October 2002

Recent elections in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir have resulted in a decisive defeat for the National Conference (NC), which has held power for most of the past five decades. Party leader Omar Abdullah, whose grandfather Sheikh Abdullah founded the NC and was considered likely to take over from his father Farooq Abdullah as the state’s chief minister, lost his seat in the state’s summer capital of Srinagar.

Australian police agents involved in sabotage of refugee boats

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 21 October 2002

October 19 marked one year since the tragic drowning of 353 asylum seekers when their boat literally broke up in international waters between Indonesia and Australia. The refugees—from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Palestine and Algeria—were packed onto a small, unseaworthy fishing boat, now known as “SIEV X” (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel Number 10), which was making its way from Indonesia to Australia’s Christmas Island. Among the dead were 150 children.

Why the US plans to bomb Iraq and not North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 October 2002

The US response last week to North Korea’s admission that it has maintained a secret nuclear weapons program exposes the complete hypocrisy of the Bush administration’s plans for war against Iraq. If one were to accept the basic premises of Washington’s stated foreign policy as good coin then there is simply no credible explanation for its decision to seek to disarm Pyongyang with “diplomacy” while proposing to use precision-guided munitions for the same purpose against Baghdad.

Famine could affect 15 million in Ethiopia and Eritrea

By Barry Mason, 21 October 2002

Warnings that a severe famine could affect up to 15 million people in Ethiopia and Eritrea have been made by aid agencies. This comes at a time when the famine that is still developing in Southern Africa is affecting 15 million, together with six million needing emergency food rations in Afghanistan and up to two million in Angola.

Mass abstentions nullify Serbian election result

By Paul Bond and Tony Robson, 21 October 2002

Described by one observer as “an election that never was”, the failure of the Serbian presidential elections to produce a result offers a damning commentary on the record of the Western-supported coalition that has governed since the ousting of President Slobodan Milosevic.

Australian government uses Bali atrocity to demand new repressive powers

By Mike Head, 19 October 2002

The Australian government has quickly seized upon the atrocity in Bali last Saturday to demand more draconian “anti-terrorism” laws than those introduced since September 11 last year. Even as conditions at the scene of the Kuta Beach explosion deteriorate and the toll of death and injury mounts, the government’s main preoccupation has been to use the tragedy to its political advantage.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 19 October 2002

Sacked Indonesian workers blockade

Colombian army lays siege to Medellín neighborhood

By Bill Vann, 19 October 2002

Colombian assault troops and police backed by tanks and helicopter gunships laid siege Wednesday to an impoverished neighborhood in Medellín, the South American nation’s second largest city.

Germany: Defeat for “reformers” at PDS conference in Gera

By Hendrick Paul and Peter Schwarz, 19 October 2002

Three weeks after its poor showing in the German national elections, the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism, formerly the Stalinist ruling party, SED, of East Germany) is being torn apart by internal divisions.

Canadian Auto Workers union pushes corporatist settlement at DaimlerChrysler

By Keith Jones, 19 October 2002

The Canadian Auto Workers union (CAW) scuttled a planned strike against DaimlerChrysler late Tuesday evening, announcing that it and the automaker had agreed on the “framework” of a contract settlement.

Corporate corruption and academia: The Bush-Harvard-Enron connection

By Joseph Kay, 19 October 2002

Information that has come to light over the past several weeks underscores the extent to which both the Bush administration and the academic establishment are implicated in the wave of corporate corruption scandals in the United States.

Incoming Macedonian government pledges subservience to Western powers

By Tania Kent and Paul Stuart, 19 October 2002

On September 16, the President of Macedonia, Ljubco Georgijevski of Vmro-Dpmne, was voted out of office in a shock election result.

Washington and Canberra push for military ties with Indonesia

By Peter Symonds, 18 October 2002

Six days after bomb blasts killed at least 180 people and injured more than 300 others on the Indonesian island of Bali, none of the basic questions as to how and why the attack was carried out have been answered. Yet, despite the lack of evidence, the Bush administration and the Australian government have both blamed Al Qaeda for the attack, demanded Jakarta crack down on its alleged affiliate in South East Asia—Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)—and used the tragedy to forge new links with the Indonesian military.

Queensland government calls in Hawke to attack the right to strike

By Terry Cook, 18 October 2002

On the advice of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, the Queensland state Labor government is planning tough new industrial laws to further erode the right to strike for the state’s 200,000 public sector employees. The legislation, unprecedented in Australia, will shorten to three weeks the period in which government workers can legally take industrial action in disputes over new work agreements.

Bush seizes on Washington sniper attacks to use military for domestic policing

By Bill Vann, 18 October 2002

The Pentagon has deployed sophisticated military spy planes in the Washington metropolitan area as part of the manhunt for the sniper who has fatally shot nine people in a killing spree in suburban Virginia and Maryland.

The Pentagon gassed American soldiers and civilians in 1960s tests

By Patrick Martin, 18 October 2002

A centerpiece of the Bush administration’s propaganda to justify a US invasion of Iraq is the charge that Saddam Hussein “used gas against his own people.” This is a reference to the Iraqi military’s gassing of Kurdish villages in the latter stages of the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, a crime that was carried out with the tacit support of the Reagan administration and Reagan’s special envoy to the Middle East, the current secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 18 October 2002

Fiat workers in Italy protest against job losses

Quebec government and unions conspire against Vidéotron strikers

By Keith Jones, 18 October 2002

Negotiations between the Quebec-based cable and internet company Vidéotron and its 2,200 striking workers resumed Wednesday following an appeal from Quebec Premier Bernard Landry and the inclusion of his predecessor, Lucien Bouchard, on the company’s negotiating team.

Nigerian regime loses legal dispute over oil

By Trevor Johnson and Chris Talbot, 18 October 2002

Nigeria has lost its eight-year legal battle with neighbouring Cameroon over the Bakassi Peninsula, an area rich in offshore oil and gas deposits. The International Court of Justice at The Hague ruled against Nigeria’s claim over the land that dates back to a 1913 deal between the colonial powers, Britain and Germany, giving the peninsula to Cameroon.

Israel: Public sector strike and protests against austerity budget

By David Cohen, 17 October 2002

The Histadrut trade union federation has threatened to expand its public sector strike following the failure of negotiations with the Finance Ministry on October 14. Garbage continues to pile up in the streets and many kindergartens are disrupted by the absence of teachers’ aides. In addition, sanctions have been extended at government hospitals.

Germany: Massive state infiltration of far-right party

By Marius Heuser, 17 October 2002

On October 8, a hearing took place before Germany’s Supreme Court, the Bundesverfassungsgericht (BVG), to clarify whether to continue the government’s proceedings to ban the right-wing extremist NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany). This legal action had ground to a halt following revelations that the German state had massively infiltrated the NPD.

Anger mounts over Australian government’s failure to give Bali warning

By Linda Tenenbaum, 17 October 2002

In the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks on New York and Washington, the Australian government introduced a series of draconian security measures, arguing that democratic and civil rights needed to be sacrificed in order to protect the Australian population from terrorism. More than a billion dollars was allocated in last May’s budget to beefing up the country’s security and intelligence agencies. Hundreds of millions more have been spent policing the country’s borders against innocent refugees, all in the name of safeguarding the lives of Australia’s citizens.

Protest against Iraq war in Dearborn, Michigan

By Shannon Jones, 17 October 2002

Some 500 people demonstrated outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Dearborn, Michigan on October 14 to protest the threatened US invasion of Iraq. Inside the hotel, President Bush addressed a $1,000-a-plate political fundraising event.

More than 41 million Americans without health insurance

By Patrick Martin, 17 October 2002

A census report released at the end of September found that the number of Americans without health insurance rose to 41.2 million last year, a rise of 2.5 million from the figure that had been reported for 2000. The increase has two components: an upward adjustment of 1.1 million in the number of uninsured in 2000, based on more accurate census figures, and an increase of 1.4 million in the number becoming uninsured during 2001 itself.

Further international protests against LTTE death threats

By K. Ratnayake, 17 October 2002

The World Socialist Web Site has received a steady stream of letters from around the world protesting the death threats made by local officials from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) against members of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) on the island of Kayts in northern Sri Lanka.

Sweden: Social Democratic government propped up by Greens and Lefts

By Naill Green, 17 October 2002

After weeks of bartering following the September 15 general elections, Goran Persson’s Social Democrats (SAP) have negotiated a new arrangement with the Green and Left parties. This will continue the arrangement in the last parliament, where both parties supported the SAP despite being denied ministerial posts. Prime Minister Persson again intends to rely on the Lefts and Greens on budgetary and social policies and on the opposition Moderates on international issues.

Britain’s Conservatives riven by factional infighting

By Chris Marsden, 16 October 2002

There were at least two occasions during Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith’s conference speech last week when it was impossible not to laugh.

Wall Street/Washington insider spills the dirty secret of Iraq war

By Bill Vann, 16 October 2002

In his October 7 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, George W. Bush, addressing the question, “Why Iraq?”, declared, “While there are many dangers in the world, the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place.”

Deflation threat to world economy

By Nick Beams, 16 October 2002

As stock markets continue to fall and financial problems start to spread, a discussion has broken out in sections of the financial press over whether the global economy is entering an era of deflation of a kind not seen since the Great Depression.

A serious attempt to encourage Sri Lankan opera

By Piyaseeli Wijegunasingha, 16 October 2002

Sonduru Varnadasi, Premasiri Khemadasa’s latest opera, was recently staged at the Elphinston Theatre in Colombo. Based on one of the many traditional stories about the life of Buddha, the opera is another important example of Khemadasa’s fusion of Western and Asian dramatic and musical forms.

25 years since the assassination of Tom Henehan (1951-1977)

By , 16 October 2002

Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the assassination of Tom Henehan, a member of the political committee of the Workers League—the predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party in the US.

Spain: Excavation of Franco’s mass graves demanded

By Vicky Short, 16 October 2002

The Spanish government and judges might be instructed to cooperate in the investigation of scores of secret mass graves dating from the civil war (1936-39) and its aftermath. They may be forced to begin opening such graves and to identify the corpses lying within.

Military-style killer on the loose near US capital

By Patrick Martin, 15 October 2002

A serial killer using a sniper rifle to target random individuals has terrorized the Washington, DC metropolitan area for nearly two weeks, killing eight people and wounding two, while eluding capture and leaving practically no evidence to identify or locate him.

Further indications of Indonesian military involvement in Papuan mine murders

By John Roberts, 15 October 2002

In the six weeks since the murder of two American teachers and one Indonesian employee of the international school at the US-owned Freeport gold and copper mine in the Indonesian province of Papua, further evidence has emerged pointing to the involvement of the Indonesian military (TNI).

New York City firefighters protest low salaries

By Alan Whyte, 15 October 2002

On the eve of a massive memorial service to honor 343 New York City firefighters killed in last year’s terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, thousands of their co-workers rallied in the pouring rain to protest the city’s refusal to pay them a decent salary. The day before the demonstration, held in Central Park, delegates from the Uniformed Firefighters Association voted 365 to 2 to reject the city’s wage offer of 11.5 percent over 30 months.

German Telekom plans to axe 55,000 jobs in three years

By Hendrick Paul, 15 October 2002

There have been numerous reports in the past two weeks concerning the proposed downsizing of German Telekom, with the size of the announced job cuts growing at a staggering rate.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 15 October 2002

Columbus day protests against economic oppression

Canada falls in line behind US war drive

By Keith Jones, 15 October 2002

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien told an audience of high school students October 10 that Canada would join a US-led war against Iraq.

Anti-war protests begin in Asia-Pacific

By our correspondents, 15 October 2002

Recent protests against the planned US invasion of Iraq indicate a growing level of opposition to the war throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Newspaper opinion polls suggest a marked shift in public sentiment since the last assault on Iraq in 1991.

International campaign against attacks on Sri Lankan socialists: Asian Tribune publishes WSWS reply to LTTE apologist

By the Editorial Board, 14 October 2002

On October 12 the Asian Tribune, an internet newspaper widely read by Tamils internationally, published a letter by David North, chairman of the WSWS Editorial Board, replying to a letter attacking the WSWS campaign in defense of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka. Officials of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the island of Kayts in the north of Sri Lanka have issued threats against Socialist Equality Party (SEP) members, and on October 8 a well-known member of the LTTE violently assaulted an SEP member, who is also an official in the Kayts fishermen’s union.