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"Campus Watch" web site witch-hunts Middle Eastern studies professors in the US

By Jeremy Johnson, 30 December 2002

A web site set up in September by right-wing columnist Daniel Pipes represents the latest attempt to stifle the growing opposition on American campuses to the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism.” Known as Campus Watch, it initially posted “dossiers” on eight targeted professors of Middle Eastern studies—all of them prominent in their field—who supposedly showed “bias” in their teaching and public statements. Their crimes included daring to suggest that US foreign policies may have contributed to the growth of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, or proposing that Israeli assaults on the Palestinians constitute oppression.

Britain buys US plasma company due to continued vCJD threat

By Barry Mason, 30 December 2002

The extraordinary measures taken by the British government to obtain supplies of blood plasma underscores the continued threat of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the brain wasting disease resulting from eating meat from cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease).

Bush sets course for confrontation with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 30 December 2002

The Bush administration is preparing to escalate the current standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program into a full-blown confrontation, with reckless indifference to the potentially disastrous consequences for the Korean peninsula and the entire region.

New account of US torture of Afghan and Arab prisoners

By Patrick Martin, 30 December 2002

A leading US newspaper published an extensive account December 26 of the methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency in interrogating prisoners captured in Afghanistan. The techniques employed—mainly at a top security facility inside Bagram air base outside Kabul—include many which are classified as torture by international human rights groups.

Britain: More than half all London children living in poverty

By Tania Kent, 28 December 2002

A report published last month has exposed the deepening gulf between rich and poor in Britain’s capital. Commissioned by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, the report revealed that a staggering 600,000 children in inner London live below the government’s official poverty line.

David Walsh picks his favorite films of 2002

By David Walsh, 28 December 2002

2002 was an exceptionally poor year for the commercial cinema, especially American cinema. There was not a single US feature film I could include on either a list of best films that I saw during the year or best films that played in North American movie theaters in 2002. The gap between the harsh, rapidly-moving social and political events and the artistic perception of reality continues to grow. Something has to give.

EU intensifies collaboration to deport refugees

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 28 December 2002

European Union interior ministers have intensified their collaboration for the more rapid and efficient deportation of refugees. At their last meeting at the end of November in Brussels they agreed to charter more joint flights in order to transport asylum-seekers whose applications had been rejected by their countries of their origin.

Gujarat election opens door for more communal violence in India

By K. Nesan, 28 December 2002

In a sharp electoral turnaround, the Hindu chauvinist Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) won the December 12 election in the western Indian state of Gujarat, setting the stage for further communal violence throughout the country. BJP state leader Narendra Modi pushed for an early poll following anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat earlier in the year and deliberately inflamed communal tensions in the course of the campaign to divert attention from the failure of his administration’s social and economic policies.

HBO film on Gulf War: self-congratulation and banality instead of history

By David Walsh, 28 December 2002

Live from Baghdad , directed by Mick Jackson, written by Robert Wiener, Richard Chapman, John Patrick Shanley and Timothy J. Sexton, based on the book by Robert Wiener

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 December 2002

Indonesian communication workers protest