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Ahmed Chalabi and the “liberation” of Iraq

By Rick Kelly, 30 April 2004

With its lies about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda connections fully exposed, the White House is now arguing that its criminal war on Iraq is being waged to bring liberation and democracy to the Iraqi people. “America’s objective in Iraq is limited and it is firm,” declared President Bush at a recent press conference. “We seek an independent, free and secure Iraq.”

US: Mass opposition grows to Iraq war

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2004

In the face of the bloodbath that Washington is unleashing against the people of Iraq, mass opposition to the war and popular support for the withdrawal of US troops from the occupied country has soared among the American people.

The social roots of a Detroit tragedy

By Kate Randall, 30 April 2004

Leonard and Carissa Columbus, a recently married couple living in suburban Detroit, were unable to have children but desperately wanted to be parents. Sara Vanpopering, the 19-year-old mother of two small children, found single parenthood difficult and was seriously considering giving up her children for adoption. One might have thought the intersection of these lives could result in a happy ending for all involved. Instead, it ended horrifically earlier this month with the death of six-month-old Tyler Vanpopering and the suicide of the Columbus couple.

Australia pushes ahead with grab for Timor oil and gas

By John Roberts, 30 April 2004

At the latest border talks between East Timor and Australia held in Dili on April 19-22, Canberra reaffirmed its determination to flout international law and keep control of the lion’s share of the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea. Ignoring growing protests in East Timor and internationally, Australian representatives made no concessions to the demands of the East Timorese leadership for a greater share of the resources.

Britain: Blair pledges anti-immigrant clampdown

By Julie Hyland, 30 April 2004

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s April 27 speech on asylum and immigration to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was a cowardly capitulation to the xenophobia being pumped out by the media and the Conservative Party.

Canada: State assault on public sector workers

By David Adelaide, 30 April 2004

On Canada’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts, right-wing provincial governments have introduced draconian legislation this week to break strikes by public sector workers and impose massive wage and job cuts.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East & Africa

By , 30 April 2004

Industrial action at Fiat in Italy halts all production

Torture of Iraqi prisoners exposed

By Richard Phillips, 30 April 2004

On April 29, CBS television’s “60 Minutes II” program screened graphic images of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and sexually humiliated by US troops at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The photographs, which show American soldiers—men and women—smiling, laughing or giving thumbs-up signs alongside naked Iraqi prisoners, expose the sadistic and brutal methods employed by American forces and provide more evidence of the catalog of war crimes being committed by US-led forces in Iraq.

Forty years since the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial

By Sybille Fuchs, 29 April 2004

The following is the last in a three-part series of articles.

Britain: Government threatens to change law to enable continued detention without trial

By Ann Talbot, 29 April 2004

The release of two men from prison has once again drawn attention to the British government’s policy of detaining terrorist suspects without trial. There are currently 13 foreign nationals being held in British prisons without due process. They have not been charged with any offence, they have not heard the evidence against them, nor have they been sentenced by any court. They are being held on the basis of mere suspicion. Eight of them are being held in Belmarsh high security prison, which has been called Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.

Britain: Union leader warns of “nightmare prospect” for education under Labour government

By Liz Smith, 29 April 2004

“The school of the future will be franchised, branded and sponsored. To you it is a nightmare prospect. To New Labour it represents progress, modernisation and the future.”

New York City: Columbia graduate students go on strike

By John Levine, 29 April 2004

Some 1,900 teaching and research assistants at Columbia University in New York City have been on strike since April 19 demanding union recognition. Members of the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU), which represents teaching assistants (TAs) and research assistants (RAs), had voted for the action by an 80 percent margin.

Beijing shuts the door on democratic reform in Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 29 April 2004

In a heavy-handed intervention in Hong Kong affairs, Beijing issued an edict on Monday, declaring that there would be no direct elections for the top political post in the former British colony in 2007 and no increase in elected representation at the 2008 poll for the Legislative Council. The decision makes a mockery of China’s claims to respect Hong Kong’s autonomy. It is likely to trigger widespread opposition and renewed protests demanding democratic reforms.

Stop the slaughter in Iraq

By the Editorial Board, 29 April 2004

Before the eyes of millions of people around the world, the US military has begun a systematic and deliberate slaughter in the Iraqi city of Fallujah. Speaking at the White House yesterday, President Bush publicly lifted all restraints on the conduct of the US troops. American forces, Bush declared, “will take whatever action is necessary” to subjugate the city.

Australian defence adviser sacked for refusing to write WMD lies

By Margaret Rees, 28 April 2004

Former Australian defence adviser Jane Errey has provided further evidence of the Howard government’s manipulation of intelligence in order to manufacture a case for the US-led invasion of Iraq and of the resentment its actions have provoked inside the defence establishment.

Part 2—The accused: Henchmen acting under orders

By Sybille Fuchs, 28 April 2004

The following is the second in a three-part series of articles.

Britain: Former diplomats blast Blair’s support for US Middle East policy

By Julie Hyland, 28 April 2004

An unprecedented attack on Prime Minister Tony Blair’s policy in the Middle East by 52 of the UK’s former senior ambassadors has brought longstanding divisions over the British government’s foreign policy into the open.

Australian government faces new charges of manipulating intelligence

By Mike Head, 28 April 2004

Over the past two weeks, the government of Prime Minister John Howard has faced a virtual revolt from within the Australian military and intelligence establishment, involving the leaking of damaging secret documents. Long-simmering opposition to the government’s manipulation and suppression of intelligence reports for its own political purposes has erupted, following the collapse of all the lies used to justify Australian participation in the invasion of Iraq.

Support the Socialist Equality Party in the 2004 US elections

By Socialist Equality Party, 28 April 2004

Support the Socialist Equality Party in the 2004 US elections Bill Van Auken for president

Massive march on Washington for women’s rights

By Jamie Chapman, 28 April 2004

Many hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Washington, D.C., last Sunday in favor of abortion rights and women’s health issues in the face of a series of attacks by the Bush administration. March organizers estimated the crowd at 1.15 million, which would make Sunday’s protest one of the largest in US history.

Bush administration claims police-state powers in Guantánamo arguments before US Supreme Court

By John Andrews, 28 April 2004

On April 20, the United States Supreme Court held oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Rasul v. Bush and Odah v. United States, habeas corpus petitions filed on behalf of prisoners held at the Guantánamo Naval Station in Cuba.

Washington unleashes bloodbath in Iraq

By the Editorial Board, 28 April 2004

With thousands of troops massed outside the besieged cities of Fallujah in central Iraq and Najaf in the south, the Bush administration has unleashed a bloodbath against the Iraqi people.

What the September 11 commission hearings revealed

By Patrick Martin, 27 April 2004

The following is the third part of a series on the recent hearings in Washington DC investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The first part was posted April 22. Part two was posted April 26.

Spain attempts to appease the US on Iraq

By Vicky Short, 27 April 2004

As soon as new Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero announced that he would withdraw troops from Iraq as soon as possible, he telephoned President George W. Bush to inform him of his decision. He then instructed his foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, to speak to Secretary of State Colin Powell and arrange a visit to Washington to discuss the move with him.

Tropical storms and heavy flooding devastate Fiji

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 April 2004

A severe tropical rainstorm has caused major flooding on Fiji’s two main islands—Viti Levu and Vanua Levu—leaving local authorities struggling to cope with the thousands of people who have been affected. The storm began on April 8 with wind gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour accompanied by torrential rain that lasted for more than a week, causing flash flooding and landslides.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 April 2004

Family of Coca-Cola union leader machine-gunned

New York Mayor Bloomberg reaches concessions deal with city’s biggest union

By Peter Daniels, 27 April 2004

The tentative contract agreement announced last week between the administration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the municipal workers union representing more than 120,000 city employees imposes anti-working class concessions sought by big business and its political representatives in New York for more than 20 years.

Forty years since the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial

By Sybille Fuchs, 27 April 2004

The following is the first in a three-part series of articles.

The struggle against war and the 2004 US elections

By David North, 27 April 2004

We are publishing here the report delivered by David North, chairman of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the US, to a Midwest aggregate meeting of the SEP held April 17 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

SEP holds meeting in Colombo against US occupation of Iraq

By our correspondent, 27 April 2004

The Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held a public lecture in Colombo on April 21 to oppose the US neo-colonial occupation of Iraq and support the popular uprising of the Iraqi masses. Called at short notice, the meeting attracted more than 70 workers, young people and intellectuals, some of whom came after reading the meeting notice placed on the World Socialist Web Site.

What the September 11 commission hearings revealed

By Patrick Martin, 26 April 2004

The following is the second part of a series on the recent hearings in Washington, DC investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The first part was posted April 22.

Nauru deal cements Australia’s Pacific incarceration policy

By Jake Skeers, 26 April 2004

The Australian government’s recent “memorandum of understanding” with the tiny Pacific state of Nauru amounts to a take-over of the administration of that country. It also cements the deal struck more than two and a half years ago to incarcerate refugees seeking asylum in Australia on Nauru, thereby denying them their rights under Australian law.

Slovakia takes up membership in the European Union with extreme right-wing president

By Ute Reissner, 26 April 2004

In the second round of voting in the Slovakian presidential elections held on April 17, Ivan Gasparovic emerged the winner against former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Both candidates stand on the far right of the political spectrum and are hated by broad sections of the population.

Blair y Bush planean mayores crímenes en Oriente Medio

By , 26 April 2004

WSWS : Español

Letters from our readers

By , 26 April 2004

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

Partido Socialista por la Igualdad en Alemania se postula para las elecciones europeas

By , 26 April 2004

WSWS : Español

Northern Ireland: Reports detail Britain’s collusion with loyalist murder squads

By Steve James, 26 April 2004

Four reports by Canadian judge Peter Cory into collusion between state authorities and the killers of two human rights lawyers, a Catholic worker, and a pro-British Protestant loyalist were finally published on April 1.

Pentagon censors images of US soldiers’ coffins returning from Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 24 April 2004

The release this week of hundreds of photos of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq has triggered a furor in the Pentagon and the White House.

Danish whistleblower charged after accusing prime minister of exaggerating Iraqi WMD

By Niall Green, 24 April 2004

A former Danish intelligence officer, Major Frank Soeholm Grevil, was charged on April 14 with breaching official secrecy rules by leaking documents indicating that Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen had exaggerated the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The Liberal-Conservative Danish government has been one of Bush’s staunchest allies in Europe over the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Britain: Bob Copper, foremost traditional singer dies

By Paul Bond, 24 April 2004

Bob Copper, who has died at age 89, was the most important English traditional folksinger of the twentieth century. He was a hugely accomplished musical performer of the songs that had been passed down through his family. Just as importantly, his love and enthusiasm for these songs (at a time when the environment in which they had been sung was changing rapidly) became a key factor in their transmission to subsequent generations of singers.

Britain: Blunkett to legislate for “thought crimes” and guilt by association

By Richard Tyler, 24 April 2004

Twenty years after 1984, the date for George Orwell’s dystopian vision, the British home secretary hopes to introduce a new category of imprisonable offence—“thought crime,” or guilt by association.

New Sri Lankan parliament descends into chaos

By K. Ratnayake, 24 April 2004

The opening session of the new Sri Lankan parliament on Thursday has again exposed the deep divisions wracking the ruling elites. Convened to appoint a speaker, normally nothing more than a formality, the house descended into chaos as the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and opposition United National Front (UNF) vied for the post. After more than nine hours and three rounds of voting, the UPFA candidate D.E.W. Gunasekera, a veteran member of the Sri Lankan Communist Party, lost by one vote to W.J.M. Lokubandara from the UNF.

Cyprus: referendum on the Annan Plan

By Justus Leicht, 24 April 2004

On April 24 a referendum will be held in Cyprus over the plan for the reunification of the island put forward by UN General Secretary Kofi Annan. There will be separate votes in the Turkish north of the island and the Greek south. Should both halves of the island accept the plan, a united Cyprus will take up membership in the European Union on May 1. Should either the north or the south, or both parts of the island, vote no, then only the Greek half will join the EU.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 April 2004

Indian Telecom workers protest

California guts workers’ compensation system

By Don Knowland, 23 April 2004

On April 16, the Democrat Party-dominated California legislature voted overwhelmingly to revamp the state’s workers’ compensation system. Coming on the heels of anti-worker legislation last year, the changes further reduce the chance that injuries to workers will be recognized, treated or compensated.

Divisions within ruling elite drive impeachment of Lithuanian president

By Niall Green, 23 April 2004

In a move that marks a sharp increase in tensions within Lithuania’s fractious social elite, the country’s parliament has voted narrowly to impeach President Rolandas Paksas. Paksas was removed from office and temporarily replaced by the parliament’s speaker—and Paksas’s main political rival—Arturas Paulauskas.

US officer threatens to turn Fallujah into “a killing field”

By James Conachy, 23 April 2004

An unnamed senior American officer told yesterday’s New York Times that the US forces besieging the predominantly Sunni Muslim Iraqi city of Fallujah could turn it into “a killing field in a couple of days”. The statement, filled with murderous intent, is only one of the more chilling indications that the Bush administration has ordered the military to drown the city of 300,000 in blood and make it an example of what will happen in other areas of Iraq if the three-week uprising against the US occupation continues.

India’s elections: the decline and decay of the Congress Party

By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 April 2004

In the elections currently underway in India, the main opposition to the ruling Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) is the Indian National Congress: the traditional party of the national bourgeoisie with roots going back to the anti-colonial struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Bush forced to cover World Trade Center health claims

By Clare Hurley, 23 April 2004

Already struggling to contain the damage caused by recent revelations concerning its failure to take any action to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, the Bush administration moved quickly last week to avert another potentially embarrassing 9/11 scandal.

Contribuciones sobre las artes, derechos demócraticos y Nader

By , 23 April 2004

WSWS : Español

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 23 April 2004

UK: Birmingham postal workers to continue strike

Britain: Documentary shows police laughing as man dies in station

By Keith Lee, 22 April 2004

On April 14, the BBC showed the documentary “Death On Camera,” which included CCTV camera footage of the last 11 minutes of Christopher Alder’s life, as he lay dying on an East Yorkshire police station floor surrounded by policemen.

Indian general election begins

By Keith Jones, 22 April 2004

India’s general election, which is to be held in five phases ending May 10, began Tuesday with voters in 140 parliamentary constituencies spread over 13 states and 3 Union territories going to the polls.

Blair and Bush plan further crimes in the Middle East

By , 22 April 2004

The visit by Prime Minister Tony Blair to Washington on Friday, April 16, exposed the political reality behind the myth of his “special relationship” with President George W. Bush. After months in which Blair has advanced himself as a voice of reason, a check on America’s unilateralist impulses, and a bridge between Europe and America, he was shown to be nothing of the sort.

Proceed carefully with interest rate rise, IMF warns

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2004

The US Federal Reserve Board needs to proceed with caution as it begins to lift interest rates, lest it set off a crisis in global financial markets. That is the view of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which released its World Economic Outlook this week. The Fed should prepare the world economy for higher interest rates to “avoid financial market disruption both domestically and abroad,” it said.

Angry response to international pressure to keep Indonesian cleric in jail

By Peter Symonds, 22 April 2004

Just a fortnight before he was due to be released from jail, Indonesian police last Friday declared Islamic fundamentalist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir to be a “suspect” and thus subject to interrogation over new terrorism charges. Under the country’s anti-democratic laws, Bashir can be detained for up to six months without trial while the police investigation proceeds.

What the September 11 commission hearings revealed

By Patrick Martin, 22 April 2004

The independent commission investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington has held five days of televised public hearings and released hundred of pages of staff reports and other documents, including much new material on the activities of US intelligence and counterintelligence agencies in the period leading up to 9/11.

Iraq crisis spurs call for US military draft

By Bill Van Auken, 22 April 2004

With the Pentagon straining to find troops to confront the popular resistance in Iraq, and over 100 US soldiers killed since the beginning of this month, a senior Republican legislator has called for the reinstitution of the military draft, abolished during the Vietnam War more than 30 years ago.

18,000 Iraqis illegally held in jails and prison camps

By Richard Phillips, 22 April 2004

On April 8, Condoleezza Rice shamelessly declared that the Bush administration and its allies were “helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to build free societies...to spread the blessings of liberty and democracy as alternatives to instability and terror.”

Concessions imposed on Minnesota transit workers

By , 22 April 2004

Minneapolis and St. Paul bus drivers, mechanics and office personnel returned to their jobs April 19 after a bitter 44-day bus strike that resulted in workers being compelled to accept a concessionary contract under which they will pay for the budget shortfalls in the state’s transit system. The new agreement covering the 2,200 members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005 will expire in little more than 15 months on July 31, 2005, and lay the basis for a new round of expected concessions.

Why did Bush give Israel a green light to assassinate Hamas leader Rantisi?

By Chris Marsden, 21 April 2004

The question that must be asked is not if, but why Washington gave either explicit or tacit approval for the April 17 assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi by an Israeli gunship.

US: opposition erupts over rule to expense stock options

By Joseph Kay, 21 April 2004

The opposition that has been generated by a proposed rule requiring corporations to expense stock options is the latest indication that corporate looting in the United States continues unabated. Despite the great publicity given to the trial of a handful of executives, powerful sections of the American corporate and political establishment are determined to ensure that the parasitic structure of American capitalism—a structure that has allowed for the vast accumulation of wealth by a tiny section of the population—goes unaltered.

The Columbine High School massacre: American Pastoral ... American Berserk

By , 21 April 2004

April 20 marked the fifth anniversary of the worst school shooting in US history. The massacre/suicide left 14 dead at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. We repost here the commentary written by David North on April 27, 1999.

Testing of New York guardsmen: first confirmed cases of Iraq war depleted uranium exposure

By Joanne Laurier, 21 April 2004

A group of American soldiers suffering from unexplained illnesses due to service in the Iraqi war have been diagnosed with radiation contamination likely caused by dust from depleted uranium shells fired by US troops.

The Negroponte nomination: a warning to the people of Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2004

With the nomination Monday of John Negroponte as the new US ambassador in Baghdad, the Bush administration has unmistakably signaled that it is planning to wage a protracted and dirty war of repression against the Iraqi people.

Suharto’s cronies make significant gains in Indonesia’s elections

By John Roberts, 21 April 2004

Only six years after widespread protests forced military strongman Suharto from power, the main beneficiaries of the April 5 vote for Indonesia’s House of Representatives (DPR) are individuals and parties closely associated with the former US-backed dictatorship.

Australia: NSW government axes jobs to fund decaying rail system

By Terry Cook, 21 April 2004

With a good deal of fanfare, Premier Bob Carr’s New South Wales (NSW) state Labor government recently announced it would spend $2.5 billion on the state’s ailing rail network. Introducing a mini-budget in parliament on April 6, NSW Treasurer Michael Egan declared that funding allocations for rail would provide for “the biggest ever overhaul of the Sydney rail system”. A total of $2.5 billion over six years has been allocated for new fleet requirements and for 15 projects that are part of the government’s “Rail Clearways” plan. About $300 million of this is due to be spent in the coming year.

Senate committee finds four million Australians living in poverty

By Rick Kelly, 20 April 2004

As many as 4.1 million Australians—22.6 percent of the population—are living in poverty, according to a Senate report on poverty released last month. The publication, which is the first official investigation into poverty in Australia since 1975, details an unprecedented increase in social inequality during the past three decades, resulting in the pauperisation of wide layers of society.

Colonel Gadhaffi’s long journey and the collapse of Arab nationalism—Part 2

By Steve James, 20 April 2004

This is the concluding part of a two-part article on the underlying causes of Libya’s Muammar Gadhaffi’s recent visit to Brussels. Part one was posted May 19.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 20 April 2004

Chilean dock workers strike against port privatization

Letters from our readers

By , 20 April 2004

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

Washington to use UN to select puppet regime in Iraq

By James Conachy, 20 April 2004

It is a measure of the political crisis created by the popular uprising in Iraq that the Bush administration has now been compelled to turn to the UN to install a compliant regime in Baghdad. After effectively sidelining the organisation in the lead-up and immediate aftermath of the invasion, both Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair endorsed on April 16 the proposal by special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that the UN play the main role in selecting the members of the “caretaker” Iraqi government scheduled to come into existence on June 30.

Britain: Sacking of Mirror editor over Iraq abuse photos—a major attack on press freedom

By Chris Marsden, 20 April 2004

The sacking of Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan on May 14 is a victory for a government-led campaign to silence all criticism of the brutal occupation of Iraq.

Letters on the murder of Nick Berg

By , 20 April 2004

The following is a selection of letters received on “The terrible and strange death of Nick Berg” posted on the WSWS on May 14.

The social consequences of European Union expansion

By Markus Salzmann, 20 April 2004

The accession of 10 Eastern European states to the European Union from May 1 will intensify the social crisis in these countries as well as in the rest of the EU. The population in Eastern Europe has already suffered an enormous rise in poverty and unemployment, wage cuts and the devastation of social provisions in order to fulfil the criteria for EU membership.

The political questions raised by Justice Scalia’s attack on the media

By John Andrews, 20 April 2004

The latest scandal enveloping Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, the ideological leader of the US Supreme Court’s right wing, has demonstrated once again his profound hostility to basic Constitutional norms.

Spain: New prime minister says troops to be withdrawn from Iraq

By Mike Ingram and Vicky Short, 20 April 2004

In a televised statement April 18, within hours of his new government being sworn into office, Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ordered Spanish troops to be pulled out of Iraq “as soon as possible.”

San Francisco International Film Festival 2004—Part 1

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2004

This is the first in a series of articles on the 2004 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 15-29.

Stop the war on the Iraqi people! Withdraw US troops from Iraq!

By , 19 April 2004

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) of Sri Lanka will hold a public lecture in Colombo on Wednesday against the US-led occupation of Iraq. Entitled “Stop the war on the Iraqi people! Withdraw US troops from Iraq!”, the lecture will be delivered by Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary and member of the WSWS International Editorial Board.

India’s election commission demands BJP explain its role in Lucknow tragedy

By Kranti Kumara, 19 April 2004

India’s Election Commission has issued a show-cause notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the dominant partner in India’s ruling coalition, demanding it explain its role in an April 12 function at which 22 impoverished women and children were trampled to death. The deaths occurred during the free distribution of saris, the traditional garment of Indian women, at an event in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh—the electoral constituency of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. The event’s ostensible purpose was to celebrate the 70th birthday of Lalji Tandon, a senior BJP leader and Vajpayee’s prospective campaign manager.

Britain: Labour Party membership plummets

By Julie Hyland, 19 April 2004

The Labour Party’s official membership has fallen to less than a quarter of a million—its lowest level for 70 years.

Kerry on “Meet the Press:” Democratic candidate reiterates support for Iraq war

By Patrick Martin, 19 April 2004

In an hour-long appearance Sunday on the NBC News program “Meet the Press,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Senator John Kerry, reiterated his support for the US war in Iraq, while suggesting that it would take the election of a new president for Washington to succeed in mobilizing additional foreign troops and resources to reinforce its grip on the conquered country.

Government indifference to dengue outbreak in Indonesia

By Dragan Stankovic, 19 April 2004

At least 634 people have died so far this year in Indonesia from an outbreak of dengue fever that is the worst in years. As of April 13, the number of cases stood at 54,176, surpassing the total for the whole of 2003 and affecting 30 of the country’s 32 provinces. The number of deaths is twice the figure at the same time last year. In all, 743 people died from the disease in 2003.

Britain: Antiwar protesters call for withdrawal of troops from Iraq

By Mike Ingram, 19 April 2004

Several hundred protesters gathered for a lobby of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s official residency in London on Saturday, April 17, to protest the continued occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain.

German SEP gains official ballot status for European elections

By , 17 April 2004

On Friday, April 16, the German national electoral commission met in Berlin to decide which parties can participate in the European elections due to be held June 13. With all the votes of members of the election commission, the German Social Equality Party was granted official ballot status.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 17 April 2004

Cambodian hotel workers ordered back to work

Sweden: Anna Lindh’s killer given life sentence

By Niall Green and Steve James, 17 April 2004

A clearly disturbed 25-year-old man, Mijailo Mijailovic, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Sweden’s Social Democratic foreign minister Anna Lindh in a knife attack.

Los Demócratas y la "guerra de Bush"

By , 17 April 2004

WSWS : Español

South Korean voters reject right-wing establishment parties

By Peter Symonds, 17 April 2004

South Korea’s general election on Thursday produced a major political upheaval. Voters gave a parliamentary majority to the Uri Party, which was formed less than six months ago, and delivered a stinging rebuff to the established parties—the right-wing Grand National Party (GNP) and the Millenium Democratic Party (MDP) of former president Kim Dae-jung.

Letters and a reply on “Professor Chomsky comes in from the cold”

By David Walsh, 17 April 2004

A number of readers have sent in comments on an article by David Walsh, “Professor Chomsky comes in from the cold,” posted April 5, 2004. Below we publish the author’s reply, followed by the letters.

The Parmalat scandal and globalization: impact on the Italian economy

By Chris Sverige, 17 April 2004

Although it will be more than a year before those involved in one of the biggest cases of corporate fraud in European history are brought to trial, the impact of the Parmalat scandal can be seen throughout the economic landscape. Food giant Parmalat, Italy’s eighth-largest industrial empire, collapsed late last year amid fraud accusations against top company executives and scandal involving several major players from the world of international finance.

ANC wins South African elections in low voter turnout

By Chris Talbot, 17 April 2004

The African National Congress (ANC) gained a clear lead in South Africa’s April 14 general elections, taking nearly 70 percent of the votes cast—more than the 66.4 percent in 1999 and 64 percent in 1994.

US tax agency gives big business a free ride—corporate audits drop

By Joanne Laurier, 17 April 2004

Underscoring the Bush administration’s commitment to the non-stop transfer of society’s wealth to the corporate elite, a new report has disclosed that the government has been auditing fewer corporations, while at the same time ramping up its audits of individual taxpayers.

Britain: Ruling elite discuss Iraq strategy

By Julie Hyland, 16 April 2004

As Prime Minister Tony Blair heads for Washington to reaffirm the trans-Atlantic partnership in face of the growing crisis that the US and its British ally face in Iraq, rumblings of discontent follow him.

Threat of civil war hangs over Georgia

By Simon Whelan, 16 April 2004

This is the concluding part of a two-part article on the growing tensions within Georgia. The first part was published on April 15.

Bush backs Sharon’s West Bank land grab

By Bill Van Auken, 16 April 2004

With his endorsement of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “disengagement” plan Wednesday, President George W. Bush broke with nearly four decades of official US diplomacy, dropping even the pretense that Washington is committed to a negotiated settlement of the Middle East conflict. He has aligned the US government publicly and unequivocally with Israeli aggression and the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

Japanese government shaken by Iraq hostage crisis

By Joe Lopez, 16 April 2004

The abduction of three Japanese citizens in Iraq, who were released unharmed yesterday, has created the biggest political crisis for the Koizumi government since it came to power in 2001. It could well lead to electoral defeats for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in by-elections on April 25 and the July upper house elections.

Workers Struggles: Europe, the Middle East and Africa

By , 16 April 2004

Power workers in France strike to oppose privatisation

Rifts open up in new Sri Lankan government

By Wije Dias and K. Ratnayake, 16 April 2004

Even before Sri Lanka’s new minority United Peoples Freedom Party (UPFA) government has begun to function, sharp differences have emerged between the two major coalition partners—President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Turkey: Victory for the AKP in local elections masks social tensions

By Justus Leicht and Sinan Ikinci, 16 April 2004

The moderate Islamic AKP (Party of Justice and Development) led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan emerged the winner of local elections in Turkey on March 28. The traditional parties of the Turkish establishment lost further ground and left-wing and Kurdish parties are hit by a particularly deep crisis.