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German reactions to Aznar defeat: Die Zeit insults Spanish voters

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 March 2004

The Spanish parliamentary election, which took place in the aftermath of the devastating bombings in Madrid, has met with ferocious reactions in all the European capitals. The election defeat of the conservative Aznar government shook the governments in London, Rome and Warsaw, which lost an important ally in the axis of those willing to wage war. Moreover, in Paris and Berlin, where the Iraq war was viewed more critically, the result unleashed a shock.

Sri Lankan election: SEP opposes disenfranchisement of voters in LTTE areas

By Wije Dias, 30 March 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) strongly condemns the decision by the Sri Lankan election commissioner not to establish polling booths for the voters living in areas of the North and East under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This is a gross infringement of the civil rights of a large segment of the population. An estimated 275,000 potential voters—overwhelmingly Tamil—live in these so-called uncleared areas and will now be effectively excluded from the election on April 2.

US Justice Scalia’s memo on Cheney case: contempt for the law and democratic rights

By John Andrews, 30 March 2004

In an unprecedented 21-page memorandum [see here], United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia last week reaffirmed his decision not to recuse himself from the appeal of a case involving Vice President Dick Cheney, who is seeking to nullify a court order that he respond to questions about meetings with energy industry representatives during the preparation of the Bush administration’s energy policy.

US shuts down anti-occupation Iraqi newspaper

By James Conachy, 30 March 2004

Thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad on Sunday to demonstrate against the US shutdown of Al Hawza, a weekly journal published under Sadr’s editorial influence. A tense standoff ensued outside the newspaper’s offices between nervous American troops and crowds of angry Iraqis chanting “Where is democracy now?”

Why won’t Condoleezza Rice give open, sworn testimony on 9/11?

By Bill Van Auken, 30 March 2004

President Bush’s National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice appeared on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” Sunday night to reiterate the US administration’s rejection of growing demands that she testify publicly and under oath before the national commission formed to investigate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 March 2004

Ecuadorian workers strike over wages

“Independent” candidate Ralph Nader offers alliance with Democrat Kerry

By Jerry Isaacs and Barry Grey, 30 March 2004

Just five weeks after announcing he would run as an independent candidate for president in the November US election, consumer advocate and 2000 Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader has all but dropped the pretence of opposing the Democratic nominee, John Kerry.

Government routs opposition parties in Malaysian elections

By John Roberts, 29 March 2004

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi scored its largest-ever electoral win at the national polls in Malaysia on March 21. BN won 198 of the total of 219 parliamentary seats, up 50 from the 1999 election. Badawi’s own United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the major component of the BN coalition, increased its seats from 71 to 109.

Israel: Sharon government creates ever widening social inequality

By Brian Smith, 29 March 2004

The Israeli government’s subjugation of the Occupied Territories and the defence of its illegal settlements has not only brought untold misery and suffering to the Palestinians. It has severely exacerbated economic difficulties and social contradictions within Israel itself.

On the US election: “The two-party system is a two-headed monster”

29 March 2004

Today, we continue publishing the remarks and written contributions of delegates attending the conference on “The 2004 US Election: the Case for a Socialist Alternative,” held by the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party on March 13-14 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.