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A song, an era that still haunt us

By Joanne Laurier, 30 December 2003

Gloomy Sunday [Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod], directed by Rolf Schübel, written by Schübel and Ruth Toma, based on the novel by Nick Barkow; In America, directed by Jim Sheridan, written by Sheridan, Naomi Sheridan and Kirsten Sheridan

Australian detainee at Guantanamo Bay pressured to plead guilty

By Richard Phillips, 30 December 2003

After two years’ illegal detention without charge or trial, David Hicks, one of two Australian citizens held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is being pressured to plead guilty to conspiracy. In a direct violation of Hicks’s basic democratic rights, the Pentagon has appointed a military defence lawyer, Major Michael Mori, and indicated that unless the 28-year-old Australian admits to conspiracy there will be no trial.

Earthquake kills tens of thousands in Iran

By David Walsh, 30 December 2003

The earthquake that struck the city of Bam in southeastern Iran December 26 is a human tragedy of historic proportions. Estimates of the final death-toll range as high as 40,000. More than 25,000 bodies have already been retrieved, many of those subsequently buried in mass graves dug by bulldozers. Tens of thousands of people were also injured in the quake, which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale and released energy roughly equivalent to a one-megaton hydrogen bomb. The earthquake was the world’s most deadly in at least a decade.

Georgia: “Rose revolution” destabilises southern Caucasus

By Simon Wheelan, 30 December 2003

The following is the conclusion of a two-part series on the US-backed coup in Georgia and its aftermath. The first part was posted December 29.

Libyan government assists US aggression in the Middle East

By Steve James, 30 December 2003

Libya’s declaration that it will abandon its “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) ends a long process through which the regime of Colonel Muammar Gadhaffi has sought to accommodate itself to the United States’ plans for a redivision of the world.

SEP holds public meeting on the political crisis in Sri Lanka

By our correspondent, 30 December 2003

In the midst of the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held a public meeting in Colombo on December 18 to explain its perspective and program. The working class could not stand passively on the sidelines as events unfolded but had to intervene independently into the political situation on the basis of its class interests, SEP General Secretary Wije Dias stressed in the course of his report.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 December 2003

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by emailing information to: editor@wsws.org

Australia: New fare hikes and job cuts in NSW public transport

By Terry Cook, 29 December 2003

The Labor government in Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, has exploited a report on the parlous condition of the state’s public train, bus and ferry services to drive up fares and initiate a new round of job cuts.

Australian government joins Bush’s “missile defence” system

By Mike Head, 29 December 2003

Despite sharp opposition expressed by European and Asia-Pacific powers, including Russia, China, Indonesia and New Zealand, the Australian government ended 2003 by formally committing itself to joining the Bush administration’s so-called missile defence system. Coming in the wake of its participation in the illegal US-led invasion of Iraq, the decision is another turning point in the Howard government’s unconditional alignment with Washington.

Behind the India-Pakistan ceasefire

By Keith Jones, 29 December 2003

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of initiatives aimed at easing tensions between India and Pakistan, nuclear powers that in 2002 came to the brink of all-out war.