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The Hutton Inquiry: Blair’s testimony deepens government crisis

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 30 August 2003

Prime Minister Tony Blair told the Hutton inquiry into the death of whistleblower Dr. David Kelly that he would have been forced to resign if allegations that the government had “sexed up” intelligence to justify war against Iraq were true. His statement points to the gravity of the crisis facing the government, which his testimony did nothing to alleviate. Indeed, the day after he spoke, his communications director, Alastair Campbell, chose to announce his own resignation.

Vote “no” on the California recall. Vote John Christopher Burton for governor, for a socialist solution to the crisis

By , 30 August 2003

1. The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls on working people in California to utilize the October 7 recall election to deal a blow to the Bush administration and the policies of war and social reaction of both the Republican and Democratic parties. We urge a “no” vote on the recall of Governor Gray Davis, in order to defeat this latest attempt by the Republican Party, acting in the interests of the corporate elite, to subvert democratic processes. At the same time, we offer no political support to Davis, Lt. Governor Bustamante or any other representative of the Democratic Party. We urge a vote for John Christopher Burton, a Los Angeles civil rights lawyer and SEP supporter, who is on the ballot to provide a socialist alternative, should the recall succeed, to the candidates associated with the two big business parties.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 August 2003

South Korean transport strike ended by government threats

Bush guts pollution controls on energy industry

By Joseph Kay, 30 August 2003

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule on Wednesday that will undermine a crucial component of the Clean Air Act, the main piece of legislation governing air pollution. The rule is the latest in a series of modifications of the New Source Review (NSR) amendment to the act, which regulates coal-burning power plants.

Canada takes leading role in Afghan occupation

By Keith Jones, 30 August 2003

With little public discussion, Canada’s Liberal government has made bolstering the US-installed regime in Afghanistan a key Canadian foreign policy objective.

Iraq: Attack on UN spurs plans for international military force

By Peter Schwarz, 30 August 2003

The bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad has revived proposals for the deployment of international troops in Iraq. Behind the scenes at the Security Council in New York, the horse-trading has begun on a new resolution that would allow countries that had previously rejected the war to send their own troops to assist in the occupation of Iraq.

Australian prime minister embroiled in ethanol scandal

By Rick Kelly, 30 August 2003

Recently released documents proving that Australian Prime Minister Howard lied to parliament last year over a secret meeting he had with a prominent ethanol producer have demonstrated the increasingly arbitrary and autocratic manner in which his government operates.

Seven dead in Chicago warehouse killings

By David Walsh, 29 August 2003

July and August 2003 have proven to be particularly bloody months in US workplaces. In the most recent tragedy 36-year-old Salvador Tapia shot and killed six people in an auto parts warehouse on the South Side of Chicago Wednesday morning, before being shot to death by members of the Chicago police department’s Hostage Barricade and Terrorist (HBT) team.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 29 August 2003

Bus drivers strike in York, England

Egypt antiwar protesters face sedition trial

By Bill Vann, 29 August 2003

The Egyptian regime of Hosni Mubarak brought formal charges earlier this month against five activists who were involved in mass protests last March against the US drive to war in Iraq. The five—Ashraf Ibrahim, Nassir Faruq al-Bihiri, Yahya Fikri Amin Zahra, Mustafa Muhammad al-Basiuni and Remon Edward Gindi Morgan—were charged in an Emergency State Security Court.

US launches military offensive to crush growing Afghan opposition

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2003

In reply to a sharply rising level of guerrilla attacks, US and Afghan forces launched large-scale operations on Monday against armed opposition militia in the south east of Afghanistan. The attacks and the repressive response underscore the growing hostility and resistance to the US-led military occupation of the country and its client regime in Kabul.

Bush cites “war on terror” to slash federal workers’ pay raises

By Kate Randall, 29 August 2003

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Britain’s Hutton Inquiry: Still no account of how Dr. Kelly died

By Chris Marsden, 29 August 2003

When top diplomat David Broucher gave evidence before the Hutton Inquiry into the death of whistleblower Dr David Kelly, one aspect of his testimony was described by the media as a “chilling prediction” by Kelly of his own death.

Jailing of One Nation leaders sets anti-democratic precedent

By Mike Head and Linda Tenenbaum, 29 August 2003

Last week’s conviction and jailing in Australia of two leaders of a rightwing populist party on trumped-up charges of fraud has set a dangerous precedent for use against any political movement considered a threat to the parliamentary order. After a protracted political and legal witchhunt, secretly orchestrated at the highest levels of the Australian government, the criminal law has been manipulated to trample over basic democratic rights and imprison the founders of an opposition party.

Bush lied to NYC on post-9/11 pollution crisis

By Bill Vann, 28 August 2003

The Bush White House intervened in the weeks following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to suppress warnings by the Environmental Protection Agency of health hazards associated with the toxic cloud of dust and debris created by the collapse of the World Trade Center, according to a report issued by the agency’s inspector general.

The UN, de Mello and the US occupation of Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2003

In the aftermath of the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, there has been an outpouring of sanctimonious comment from political leaders and the international media defending the UN’s role in Iraq and eulogising its special envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who died in the attack.

The Hutton Inquiry: British spy chief’s testimony exposes lies on Iraq war

By Julie Hyland, 28 August 2003

Further evidence of the criminal conspiracy through which Prime Minister Tony Blair took Britain to war against Iraq has come to light.

Cuts in education funding will improve academic performance. Honest.

By Charles Bogle, 28 August 2003

Given the capitalist system’s need to mask its contradictions, no matter the ugliness that lies beneath, it was only a matter of time before the right wing of the mainstream media started spewing forth disinformation to prove, incredibly, that recent cuts in funding for public education will actually have a positive influence on academic performance. Counter arguments from opposing voices within the mainstream media do little more than support an unacceptable status quo and the bureaucracy of the teachers’ unions.

Letters on the death of Dr. David Kelly and the Hutton Inquiry

By , 28 August 2003

The following is a selection of letters from our readers on the death of British whistleblower Dr. David Kelly and the judicial investigation headed by Lord Hutton into his death.

A filmmaker sides with the unemployed, but ...

By David Walsh, 28 August 2003

Behind the credits of Los Lunes al sol (Mondays in the Sun) we see news footage of workers, evidently fighting for their jobs, battling riot police. The film is a fictional account of the lives and difficulties of a group of laid-off shipyard workers in Vigo, in northwestern Spain.

Australian officials take control in the Solomon Islands

By Will Marshall, 27 August 2003

A month after an Australian-led military intervention force landed in the Solomon Islands, Australian Prime Minister John Howard flew to the small Pacific nation on Monday for a five-hour visit to inspect the troops and to lay down the law to the country’s government.

A mirage, not an oasis

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 27 August 2003

Swimming Pool, directed by François Ozon, written by Ozon and Emanuèle Bernheim

US menaces Al Jazeera over Iraq reportage

By Richard Phillips, 27 August 2003

In late July, a few days after visiting Iraq, US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told the Murdoch-owned Fox News Sunday that the Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya television networks were “falsely reporting” events in Iraq and “endangering the lives of American troops”.

Republicans and Democrats unveil right-wing economic programs in California recall

By Andrea Cappannari and Joseph Kay, 27 August 2003

Throughout this past week leading Democratic and Republican candidates in the California recall election laid out their proposals to address the state’s economic crisis. All of them are proposing measures that, to varying degrees, will attempt to resolve California’s economic crisis through attacks on the living standards of working people.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 August 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

Bush Iraq policy in disarray

By Bill Vann, 27 August 2003

On Tuesday, the death toll suffered by US occupation troops in Iraq in the wake of President Bush’s May 1 claim that major fighting was over topped the number killed in the invasion and its immediate aftermath. A bomb claimed the life of a soldier riding in a column of army vehicles about 16 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Hutton Inquiry: How Dr Kelly and the Foreign Affairs Committee were used by the government

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 27 August 2003

Documents and testimony given to the Hutton Inquiry into the death of whistleblower Dr David Kelly shows how he was persuaded to lie repeatedly to the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) in an attempt to discredit BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan. It has also confirmed that the FAC, or more correctly its majority Labour members, helped to ensure that Kelly’s lies were used to exonerate the government of the charge that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Director of Communications Alastair Campbell had presided over the “sexing up” of a September 2002 security dossier detailing the alleged threat from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Malaysia rounds up Acehnese refugees for deportation

By John Roberts, 26 August 2003

In a flagrant attack on democratic rights, Malaysian police last week set up road blocks around the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Kuala Lumpur and detained scores of people seeking to register as refugees. Many were from the war-torn province of Aceh on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra where the Indonesian military has been conducting a huge offensive against separatist guerrillas since May.

Washington signals escalation of US intervention in Colombia

By Bill Vann, 26 August 2003

The Bush administration signaled strongly last week that it is preparing to escalate its military intervention in Colombia’s four-decade-old civil war.

Alabama judge engineers Ten Commandments showdown

By David Walsh, 26 August 2003

Christian fundamentalist forces are continuing their protests and legal actions aimed at preserving the Ten Commandments monument installed by Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, the state’s capital. One hundred people demonstrated August 25 in opposition to a federal court order requiring the removal of the 5,300-pound representation of the Biblical commandments.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 August 2003

Health workers strike in Uruguay enters its third week

UK asylum policy faces criticism as Kurdish family is deported

By Niall Green, 26 August 2003

The British government’s treatment of families seeking asylum has come under growing criticism following the widely reported detention and deportation of a family of Kurdish immigrants.

US occupation force in Iraq recruiting former Iraqi secret police

By Alex Lefebvre, 26 August 2003

Faced with extensive terrorist and sabotage campaigns as well as growing popular anger over US military occupation and catastrophic social conditions, US officials in Iraq are reconstituting elements of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s secret police, the Mukhabarat, and integrating them into the US occupation authority.

Spinoza Reconsidered

By Ann Talbot, 26 August 2003

I last reviewed Jonathan Israel’s Radical Enlightenment on this site in 2001 just after it came out in hardback. Why return to it now? The book itself would justify another review since it is a large and rich work that delves deeply into early Enlightenment history and repays reading and rereading. There is always something more to find in it. A first impression of such a book will inevitably represent a limited judgement and fail to do it complete justice. It is also now out in paperback.

Acquittals in cases of communal violence in India

By Sarath Kumara, 25 August 2003

The protracted legal proceedings over the anti-Muslim pogroms in the Indian state of Gujarat in March last year have exposed just how deeply the entire official establishment is mired in Hindu chauvinism.

California’s Governor Davis denounces “right-wing power grab”

By Bill Vann, 25 August 2003

In a speech delivered to supporters at the University of California Los Angeles on August 19, California’s governor Gray Davis denounced the attempt to overturn the results of last November’s election by means of a recall ballot as a “right-wing power grab.”

Luchas obreras en las Américas

By , 25 August 2003

WSWS : Español

General Motors: From auto manufacturer to financial institution

By Nick Beams, 25 August 2003

It has been said that the hegemony of the US within the international financial system amounts to an arrangement in which the US makes the dollars while the rest of the world makes the things they can buy. The comment is an exaggeration of course, but given the increasing indebtedness of the US as its balance of payments deficit climbs to over $500 billion per year it does contain more than an element of truth.

How “entertaining” is the American entertainment industry?

By David Walsh, 25 August 2003

Charlie’s Angels, directed by McG; Hulk, directed by Ang Lee; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, directed by Gore Verbinski; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, directed by Jonathan Mostow

Lockerbie: Libyan compensation offer clarifies nothing

By Steve James, 25 August 2003

In a move agreed to by the US and British governments, Libya has offered compensation to the relatives of those killed in the bombing of Pan Am’s Boeing 747, Flight 103, which was destroyed over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

Al Gore critica la política de Bush en cuanto a la guerra contra Irak

By , 25 August 2003

WSWS : Español

Carta de John Christopher Burton, candidato del socialista en California, a Jay Leno, anfitrión del programa de televisión, The Tonight Show

By , 25 August 2003

WSWS : Español

A letter from John Christopher Burton, socialist candidate in California, to “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno

By , 23 August 2003

Below we are publishing the response of John Christopher Burton, the candidate in the California recall election endorsed by the Socialist Equality Party, to an invitation from Jay Leno to appear in the audience of The Tonight Show. The invitation, which was received by Burton on August 18, was extended to all 135 candidates in the recall election. Having requested their presence on Monday, September 22, the letter informed the recipients that The Tonight Show was “not offering this as a platform to speak.” Rather, the letter stated, “Jay will be recognizing you as a group.”

A profile of Ohio-based FirstEnergy

By Joseph Kay, 23 August 2003

In the wake of last week’s blackout, a great deal of attention has focused on FirstEnergy Corp., an Ohio-based utility holding company. FirstEnergy is the owner of four of the first five transmission lines that failed on August 14. It also owns a power plant that shut down a few hours before the blackout struck. An hour after FirstEnergy’s lines failed, the power outage spread into Michigan, and then across Canada and into New York.

Britain: Inquiry exposes lies on Iraq war

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 23 August 2003

At one point during his questioning by James Dingemans QC, the chief counsel in the judicial inquiry by Lord Hutton into the circumstances surrounding the death of whistleblower Dr. David Kelly, Alastair Campbell was asked to explain a phrase used in his personal diary.

The North American blackout: deregulation, profit and the decay of the social infrastructure

By Joseph Kay, 23 August 2003

Within 24 hours of the resumption of electrical power in New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto and a large swath of the East Coast and Midwest of the US and Canada, the Bush administration was declaring that the cost of securing the electrical grid would be borne by ordinary consumers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 August 2003

South Korean unions call stoppages over working hours

Showcomotion 2003: Children and young peoples’ film festival screens more than 100 films

By Harvey Thompson, 23 August 2003

Wallah Be (Kald mig bare Aksel), directed by Pia Bovi, 78 minutes, Denmark; Whale Rider, directed by Niki Caro, 104 minutes, New Zealand; The Boy who wanted to be a Bear (Drengen Der Ville Gore Det Umlige, directed by Jannik Hastrup, 75 minutes, Denmark/France

Australia: Media promotes Labor’s Mark Latham

By Mike Head, 23 August 2003

Only two months ago, Australian Labor Party leader Simon Crean survived a party room leadership challenge by his predecessor Kim Beazley. The mainstream media initially boosted Crean’s win as an act of political tenacity. But with his opinion poll ratings languishing at abysmal levels—currently 19 percent—there are signs that media outlets are casting around for an alternative leader.

Israel assassinates Hamas leader

By David Cohen, 23 August 2003

An August 19 suicide bombing by an Islamic militant killed 20 Israelis and wounded more than 100. The action was carried out in a bus traveling from the Western Wall to the religious neighbourhood of Har Nof. The victims were ultra-Orthodox Jews, many of them children. Two buses were hit by the blast. The one on which the suicide bomber set off his explosive device was completely devastated, while the other traveling behind had its windows blown out.

Letters from our readers

By , 22 August 2003

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

Australian military renews ties with Indonesia’s military thugs

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 22 August 2003

Few things expose the completely fraudulent character of the “global war on terrorism” as much as the decision of the Australian government last week to renew close relations with the thugs of Indonesia’s notorious Kopassus special forces. In the name of fighting terror, Canberra is planning to collaborate with one of the organisations in South East Asia that has a proven record of terrorism—from the torture and murder of political opponents to systematic violence against entire populations in East Timor, West Papua and Aceh.

France: More than 10,000 dead in record heat wave

By Francis Dubois, 22 August 2003

The unprecedented heat wave in Europe has caused many deaths across the continent, but the highest number of victims has been in France, where illness and death have reached epidemic proportions.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 22 August 2003

Chemical workers in England strike over pensions

Chancellor Schröder moves toward a German military mission in Iraq

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 August 2003

Four months after the Iraq war, the Schröder government is no longer excluding in principle the participation of German troops in the occupation of the conquered land.

Freeport murders hamper US plans for ties with the Indonesian military

By John Roberts, 22 August 2003

An ambush in West Papua on August 31, 2002, that resulted in the deaths of three teachers, including two Americans, employed at the US-operated Freeport gold mine has become a significant obstacle to the attempts of the Bush administration to reforge links with the Indonesian armed forces (TNI). Largely as a result of the determined efforts of the families of the victims, the US Congress has felt obliged, for the time being, to impede funding for the Indonesian military which has been implicated in the attack.

Showcomotion 2003: Children and young peoples’ film festival screens more than 100 films

By Harvey Thompson, 22 August 2003

2Be, directed by Eleni Christopoulou, 30 minutes, UK; Science Fiction, directed by Danny Deprez, 93 minutes, Belgium/The Netherlands; Does God Play Football?, directed by Mike Walker, 10 minutes, UK

A weak satire sans politics

By Peter Reydt, 21 August 2003

Buffalo Soldiers, directed by Gregor Jordan

Ontario: State of emergency continues one week after blackout

By Keith Jones, 21 August 2003

Seven days after northeastern North America was hit by a cascading blackout, Canada’s most populous and industrialised province—Ontario—remains under a state of emergency, with hundreds of thousands of workers off the job and authorities continuing to issue warnings of rolling blackouts.

Britain: overcrowded prisons in chaos

By Simon Wheelan, 21 August 2003

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US military kills another journalist in Iraq

By Mick Ingram and Mike Head, 21 August 2003

In the latest in a series of killings of media workers by the US military in Iraq, two US tanks opened fire at close range on a Palestinian-born Reuters cameraman outside a notorious US-run jail in Baghdad on August 17. Mazen Dana, 43, a highly respected and award-winning media representative, was fatally wounded in the chest and bled to death on the spot.

Australian Council of Trades Unions Congress 2003: another demoralised affair

By Terry Cook, 21 August 2003

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress 2003 began in Melbourne this week. But the triennial gathering of 800 well-heeled union bureaucrats will proceed largely unnoticed by the vast majority of working people. Hundreds of thousands of workers, especially young people, trapped in low paid, casual and part-time jobs, are barely aware that the body even exists.

The Iraq quagmire

By the Editorial Board, 21 August 2003

The truck bomb that blew up the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on Tuesday shattered the Bush administration’s claims that it is well on the way to pacifying Iraq. The bombing, coming on the heels of explosions that severed Iraq’s northern oil pipeline and cut off water to much of the country’s capital, as well as the daily casualties inflicted on US troops, makes it clear that the resistance to the US occupation is serious and growing.

Revientan mitos acerca de la política de Estados Unidos con elecciones de California para sacar al gobernador de su cargo

By , 21 August 2003

WSWS : Español

Ontario Tories unveil incendiary election platform

By Lee Parsons and Keith Jones, 20 August 2003

The platform put forward by the Ontario Tories for the next election—which must be held sometime in the next ten months—is the most reactionary ever issued by a sitting government in Canada. The Road Ahead is a socially incendiary document that lays the fiscal and policy framework for the dismantling of what remains of public services, scapegoats the most vulnerable, and advocates draconian new restrictions on workers’ rights, including the outlawing of all teachers strikes and an effective ban on union efforts to influence public policy.

US: Impact of Northeast blackout continues to emerge

By Jeremy Johnson and Alex Lefebvre, 20 August 2003

The blackout that began last Thursday, cutting electrical power to more than 50 million people in the US and Canada, exacted a heavy toll—causing not only widespread inconvenience but threatening the safety, lives and economic well-being of residents, as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

The UN bombing: a product of the US occupation of Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 20 August 2003

A massive truck bomb yesterday tore through the Canal Hotel that houses the UN offices in Baghdad killing at least 20 people, including the top UN official in Iraq—Sergio Vieira de Mello, and injuring more than 100. The explosion took place at around 4.30 p.m., as a press conference was underway in the three-storey building that has functioned as the UN headquarters in Iraq since 1991.

Australian prime minister bullies the Pacific Islands Forum

By Peter Symonds and Linda Tenenbaum, 20 August 2003

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Northern Ireland: Human rights redefined on sectarian lines

By Steve James, 20 August 2003

Underlying the tensions in and around the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), are two conflicting conceptions of human rights. These in turn reflect the gulf between the hopes of working people initially attached to the Northern Ireland “peace process” and its essential divisive and sectarian content.

Luchas obreras en las Américas

By , 20 August 2003

WSWS : Español

More questions over US military fatalities in Iraq

By James Conachy, 20 August 2003

On July 31, the US Army Surgeon General’s office announced that it had dispatched teams of medical experts to investigate the causes of a severe pneumonia-like condition afflicting American soldiers taking part in operations in Iraq. The military informed the press that two healthy young soldiers had died from alleged pneumonia and approximately 100 personnel had fallen seriously ill. Since then, there have been at least four more unusual deaths of US servicemen in Iraq for which no adequate explanation has been made public.

Letters from our readers

By , 20 August 2003

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

The US blackout and “homeland security”

By Bill Vann, 20 August 2003

Last week’s massive blackout demonstrated the destructive impact of an economic system that subordinates the basic necessities of life, including electricity, to corporate profit and the accumulation of personal wealth. The workings of this system pose a far more immediate and profound threat to the security of the American people than any terrorist cell or so-called rogue nation.

Spain: ETA bombing campaign aids government offensive against democratic rights

By Paul Bond, 19 August 2003

The ruling conservative Popular Party (PP) in Spain is looking to exploit another summer bombing campaign by the Basque separatist terrorist group ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna—Basque Homeland and Freedom) as an opportunity to clamp down on domestic opposition, particularly in the Basque region.

Turkey: Reform limits some military powers

By Justus Leicht, 19 August 2003

With the signature of Turkish state president Ahmet Necdet Sezer to the so-called “seventh reform package” the moderate Islamic government of Recep Tayip Erdogan has been able to register a minor victory in its power struggle with the Turkish military.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 August 2003

Honduran trade unions threaten to strike

Iraq: Civil unrest hits British-controlled Basra

By Mike Ingram, 19 August 2003

A Danish soldier became the latest military casualty of the occupation of Iraq when he was shot in an incident in the British-controlled Basra area on August 16.

Bush grants permanent legal immunity to US corporations looting Iraqi oil

By Rick Kelly, 19 August 2003

An extraordinary Presidential Executive Order, signed into law by President Bush on May 22 but kept out of the pages of the US media, further underscores the real motivations behind the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Iraq: No letup in anti-US riots and guerrilla attacks

By Alex Lefebvre, 19 August 2003

Iraqi and US casualties have continued to rise over the last week, as US and British forces mounted campaigns to locate former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and put down riots in Baghdad and Basra, the two largest Iraqi cities. Anger is growing in Iraq over killings of innocent civilians by US and British forces, and over the deplorable state of public services. Armed confrontations continue in north-central Iraq, the major southern city of Basra, and the capital city Baghdad.

John Christopher Burton, candidato socialista para gobernador de California, exige investigación completa del apagón en el este de Estados Unidos

By , 19 August 2003

WSWS : Español

Texas Republicans impose heavy fines on boycotting Democratic legislators

By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2003

The Republican majority in the Texas state Senate voted August 12 to begin imposing fines of up to $5,000 a day on Democratic state senators who are boycotting a special legislative session in order to block a redistricting plan that would effectively transfer five federal congressional seats from Democratic to Republican control.

International clamour for revaluation of the Chinese yuan

By John Chan, 18 August 2003

In recent months, China has been the target of a growing international campaign calling for the revaluation of its currency—the yuan. The yuan has been fixed or “pegged” in a narrow range against the US dollar since 1994. Over the last year as the US dollar has weakened against the euro and other currencies, the yuan has followed suit, making Chinese exports even more competitive, particularly in European and Japanese markets.

US antiwar protesters face $10,000 fines for travel to Iraq

By Jeremy Johnson, 18 August 2003

The Bush administration has moved to prosecute US citizens who traveled to Iraq in February and March as part of a campaign to deter the bombing of hospitals, schools and critical civilian infrastructure there. Loosely organized by the London-based group Human Shields and by the Chicago-based Voices in the Wilderness, about 300 people from some 30 countries participated, including as many as 20 from the United States.

US force enters Liberia as former president goes into exile

By Chris Talbot, 18 August 2003

Charles Taylor, Liberia’s president since 1997 meekly travelled into exile on Monday August 11.

California recall exposes political myths

By Bill Vann, 18 August 2003

The California Secretary of State’s office announced August 13 that 135 candidates had been certified for the ballot in the October 5 recall election that will decide whether Democratic incumbent Governor Gray Davis is ousted, and, if so, who shall replace him.

Australian central bank report points to credit bubble

By Nick Beams, 18 August 2003

In recent years the Australian economy appears to have been something of an exception with regard to global trends. While Europe, the United States and Japan have been experiencing low, or even close-to-zero growth rates, the Australian economy has been expanding by 3-4 percent annually.

Verizon negotiations continue as unions reject strike

By Shannon Jones, 18 August 2003

Negotiations between Verizon Wireless and its unions, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), have dragged on more than two weeks past the official contract expiration date.

Moroccan immigrants die trying to reach Spain

By Keith Lee, 16 August 2003

Fishermen have found the bodies of 10 immigrants who drowned when the boat they were in hit a rock. The bodies were found near Fuerteventura, off Spain's southern coast. The vessel was carrying 28 people, 18 of whom managed to swim ashore.

Ontario: Blackout highlights crisis in infrastructure

By Keith Jones and Lee Parsons, 16 August 2003

The cause of the blackout that paralyzed northeastern North America and deprived 50 million people of electricity is still under investigation. But there is little doubt the deregulation and privatization policies pursued by Ontario’s Tory government were a contributing factor.

Lenient judgement for Cologne police

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 16 August 2003

Following an 11-day trial against six Cologne policemen, the presiding judge of the district court of Cologne pronounced judgement on July 25. On the evening of May 11, 2002, the accused policemen had so badly maltreated 31-year-old Stephan Neisius, during and after his arrest, that Nesius fell into a coma the same night and died two weeks later, on May 24.

By Richard Phillips, 16 August 2003

In the wake of its participation in the US-led invasion of Iraq, the Howard government has stepped up its political attack on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), accusing the state-owned national network of anti-American bias in its coverage of the war, and forcing a new round of budget cuts. The two-pronged offensive forms part of the government’s ongoing attempts to transform the network into a direct mouthpiece for government policy.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia & the Pacific

By , 16 August 2003

At least 37 perish in mine explosion in China

Britain: Hutton Inquiry hears damning evidence against government

By Julie Hyland, 16 August 2003

A surreal atmosphere has surrounded the first week of Lord Hutton’s judicial inquiry into the death of Dr. David Kelly, the government scientist found dead just days after he was “outed” as the source of reports that the government had manipulated intelligence material to justify its plans for war against Iraq.

John Christopher Burton, socialist candidate for California governor, demands full investigation into eastern US blackout

By , 16 August 2003

The following statement was issued Friday, August 15 by John Christopher Burton, a civil rights lawyer and socialist who is running as an independent candidate in the California recall election set for October 7. Burton is calling for a “no” vote on the recall of the sitting governor, Gray Davis, while calling on Californians to vote for him as the socialist alternative to the candidates associated with the two big business parties, in the event that the recall succeeds and Davis is removed from office. The Socialist Equality Party is supporting Burton’s candidacy. This statement is available in a PDF leaflet format to download and distribute.

Britain: Food Agency plays Russian roulette with BSE/Mad Cow Disease

By Barry Mason, 15 August 2003

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recommended that the government abolish the Over Thirty Month (OTM) rule under which only cattle under 30 months of age are permitted to enter the human food chain. The rule was originally introduced to prevent cattle that were incubating the brain wasting disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), passing it on to humans who ate their meat.

Iraq war: more revelations of lies over Niger uranium

By Barbara Slaughter, 15 August 2003

Claims made by the British government in its September 2002 “intelligence dossier” to justify the pre-emptive war on Iraq--that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that could be deployed within 45 minutes and had attempted to buy nuclear material from Niger in 2001--have been exposed to the world as a pack of lies.

Behind the Solomons intervention: Australia stakes out its sphere of influence in the Pacific

By the Editorial Board, 15 August 2003

The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States has ushered in a new period of conflict between the major powers for spheres of influence. Having functioned as a loyal junior partner in the Bush administration’s “coalition of the willing,” Australia, a third rate imperialist power, has lost no time in prosecuting its own neo-colonial agenda in the South Pacific.

Massive power blackout hits millions in Canada and the US

By Peter Symonds, 15 August 2003

A systemic power failure yesterday in northeastern America resulted in the largest blackout in history, affecting some 50 million people in major US and Canadian cities, including New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto and Ottawa. US officials rapidly ruled out a terrorist attack. But they are still seeking to identify what triggered a cascade of power plant shutdowns that created havoc throughout the region as transport systems, services and businesses closed down.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 15 August 2003

French bus drivers strike over heat wave conditions

Thousands die in European heat wave

By Stefan Steinberg, 14 August 2003

Record-high temperatures across Europe—causing heat-related deaths and leading to a series of deadly forest fires in Southern Europe—have claimed thousands of lives. The French health ministry has now reported that up to 3,000 have died in recent weeks in France as a result of the heat wave, after previously claiming there was no accurate way to measure heat-related deaths.