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Australia votes with the US against UN condemnation of Israel’s wall

By Rick Kelly, 31 July 2004

In another demonstration of the Howard government’s unwavering support for the Bush administration, Australia joined the US in voting against a UN General Assembly resolution on July 20 that called on Israel to dismantle its so-called security barrier. The vote underscores Canberra’s determination to align itself with Washington, irrespective of its impact on relations with other nations, or its standing in bodies such as the UN.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 31 July 2004

Miners evade police cordon to protest in Beijing

Germany: total union capitulation at DaimlerChrysler

By Dietmar Henning and Peter Schwarz, 31 July 2004

In the conflict with the DaimlerChrysler (DC) subsidiary Mercedes, the IG Metall trade union and its factory committee have totally capitulated to company demands. Following protest actions in the middle of the month involving tens of thousands of employees, the trade unions agreed on July 23 to demands by the company executive for cuts in personnel costs amounting to a half-a-billion euros per year.

Polio epidemic threatens Africa

By Trevor Johnson, 31 July 2004

The global rate of polio infection declined in recent decades to the point where the disease was almost eradicated. This year, the disease has experienced a resurgence, as basic health care collapses in large parts of Africa and in other poor countries around the world.

United Airlines halts pension payments: a major attack on retirement programs in US

By Joseph Kay, 31 July 2004

United Airlines announced on July 23 that it was halting all payments to its pension plan while it remains under bankruptcy protection. The move came only a few days after the world’s second largest airline announced that it would be deferring a $72.4 million payment to the plan.

La convención Demócrata y la crisis política en EE.UU.

By , 31 July 2004

WSWS : Español

Spain seeks to extend its influence in North Africa

By Paul Bond, 31 July 2004

The Spanish government of Jose Luis Zapatero has lost little time in stressing again its role as a key diplomatic player in North Africa, following the resignation last month of James Baker, the United Nations secretary general’s personal envoy to Western Sahara.

Kerry, Edwards vow to continue war and social reaction

By Bill Van Auken, 31 July 2004

The following is a statement by the Socialist Equality Party’s presidential candidate Bill Van Auken.

SIEU head says unions might be better off if Democrats lose

By Kate Randall, 30 July 2004

Andrew Stern, head of the 1.6-million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), commented Monday that both organized labor and the Democratic Party might be better off if John Kerry were to lose the election.

The great unmentionable at the Democratic convention: Kerry’s antiwar past

By David Walsh, 30 July 2004

One of the most striking and dishonest features of the Democratic Party convention and nomination of Senator John Kerry this week in Boston has been the concerted effort to excise the moral high point of its presidential candidate’s career: his outspoken repudiation of and opposition to the Vietnam war in the early 1970s.

Democrats withdraw objections to SEP petitions: Tom Mackaman to be on the ballot in Illinois

By Jerry White, 30 July 2004

The attorney representing Tom Mackaman, Socialist Equality Party state legislative candidate in Illinois’ 103rd District, received word late Thursday that the Democratic Party was withdrawing its objections to the SEP candidate’s nominating petitions. The following is an initial report on this development. Further reports and commentary will follow.

Britain: Blair’s claims on Iraqi mass graves refuted

By Elaine Gorton, 30 July 2004

In November 2003, British Prime Minister Tony Bair said, of Iraq, “We’ve already discovered, just so far, the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves.”

Another Australian whitewash

By Mike Head, 30 July 2004

The Flood report into the performance of the Australian intelligence agencies in the lead-up to the Iraq war is another blatant whitewash. By the time the report was released last week, every one of the Howard government’s lies about why it participated in the illegal invasion of a sovereign country had disintegrated: Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed no “weapons of mass destruction”, no nuclear weapons materials and no links to Al Qaeda. Instead of being greeted as “liberators” the US-led force has confronted bitter and determined popular opposition.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 30 July 2004

Europe

WSWS readers comment on the Democratic National Convention

By , 30 July 2004

Below we publish a selection of letters from readers on WSWS coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Official indifference as South Asia floods affect 40 million people

By Wimal Perera, 30 July 2004

Millions of people across the Indian subcontinent have been affected by what are considered to be the worst floods in 15 years. According to the latest figures, around 40 million people are homeless and at least 1,300 people have been killed. Officials have admitted that the final death toll could be much higher, with rescue and relief measures still not reaching some areas. Water-borne diseases are also expected to cause many more fatalities.

Anger at International AIDS Conference over Bush administration’s policies

By Carol Divjak, 29 July 2004

More than 17,000 delegates, including scientists, health officials, policy makers and activists, gathered from July 11 to 17 at the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok. What dominated the agenda was not so much the latest scientific research but the failure of the major powers, especially the US, to provide the resources needed to deal with the rapidly spreading AIDS epidemic.

Populism and patriotism: behind the posturing at the Democratic National Convention

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2004

Two themes have run through the speeches by leading Democrats at the party’s national convention in Boston: a limited and thoroughly hypocritical appeal to popular revulsion over the Bush administration’s favors to the wealthy; and a celebration of presidential nominee John Kerry’s Vietnam War military record, which is being touted as proof that a Democrat in the White House will be just as willing to use force and shed blood as the current occupant.

Review upholds SEP ballot petitions in Illinois

By Jerry White and Walter Gilberti, 29 July 2004

The following is an initial report on the Champaign County Electoral Board hearing on July 27, which examined the objections filed by the Democratic Party against more than half the signatures submitted by the Socialist Equality Party to place its state legislative candidate, Tom Mackaman, on the ballot in Illinois’ 103rd District. Further articles and commentaries will be forthcoming.

Zionist settlements expanding in West Bank and Gaza

By Chris Marsden, 29 July 2004

The Peace Now organisation has issued reports detailing the expansion of Zionist settlements, despite pledges made by the Israeli government to halt their growth. The expansion is most significant in the Gaza Strip because of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s proposed “unilateral separation” initiative, which promises the removal of Israeli settlements there by 2005 combined with a land grab annexing half of the occupied West Bank permanently to Israel.

Australian union continues to attack the SEP

By Terry Cook, 29 July 2004

When the Socialist Equality Party issued leaflets denouncing the Rail Tram Bus Industry Union (RTBIU) in the Australian state of Victoria for collaborating in the sacking of 100 tram workers earlier this year, the union leadership accused the SEP of lying.

German DaimlerChrysler workers face political tasks

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 July 2004

The following statement was posted July 23 on the German WSWS site. Since then, the union leadership has capitulated to DaimlerChrysler’s demands for wage concessions and other give-backs. A statement on the union sell-out will be posted in English later this week.

Worldwide opposition to Democrats’ attempt to bar SEP candidate from Illinois ballot

By , 29 July 2004

The following are some of the most recent letters were sent to Mark Shelden, the county clerk in Champaign, Illinois, to protest the efforts of the state and local Democratic Party to exclude the Socialist Equality Party and its state legislative candidate, Thomas Mackaman, from the ballot in the November elections.

Corporate America throws Democrats a $50 million party

By Patrick Martin, 28 July 2004

The Democratic National Convention underway in Boston will be the most expensive political spectacle ever staged in the history of the United States—at least until next month, when an even more lavish commercial advertisement will be staged in New York City for the Republican Party. Both events are being bankrolled by giant corporations, which are making use of the conventions as a form of legalized bribery of favored politicians.

Humanitarian crisis in Sudan used as cover for neo-colonial ambitions

By Chris Talbot, 28 July 2004

The deepening humanitarian disaster in the Darfur region of Sudan has given media hacks and western politicians the chance to put their feigned moral outrage into overdrive. They see the opportunity to justify a military intervention in a key oil producing country that would otherwise be all too clearly recognised as an imperialist venture.

“There’s 67 percent poor people—we need our own government”

By our reporters, 28 July 2004

Among those present when a coronial inquest into the death of 17-year-old youth TJ Hickey concluded on July 16 was Bowie Hickey, 51, TJ’s second cousin, and “aunt” in traditional Aboriginal custom. The Aboriginal boy’s death in February ignited a violent confrontation between police and Aborigines in the Sydney suburb of Redfern.

Un ritratto eterno della lotta anti-colonialista in Algeria

By , 28 July 2004

WSWS : Italiano

The Democratic convention and Kerry’s left apologists

By Bill Van Auken (SEP presidential candidate), 28 July 2004

Boston’s FleetCenter is ringed by double seven-foot metal fences and surrounded by thousands of police and security agents. However, there is another layer of protection for the Democrats’ national convention, which, though not as obtrusive, is every bit as critical.

Britain’s 380,000 “hidden homeless”

By Richard Tyler, 28 July 2004

The charity Crisis estimates that some 380,000 people are without a home, almost equal to the population of Manchester. It projects that this figure could rise to one million by 2020 on present trends.

Police involvement in death of Aboriginal youth exposed

By Rick Kelly, 28 July 2004

A two-week coronial inquest into the death of 17-year-old Aboriginal youth Thomas “TJ” Hickey concluded in Sydney on July 16. In the course of the proceedings, clear evidence emerged of a systematic police cover-up of the circumstances of the youth’s death. TJ died on February 14 after he came off his bicycle and was impaled on a metal fence in the inner-city suburb of Redfern. While police immediately denied any involvement, a number of witnesses saw him being chased by police moments before the fatal crash. The incident sparked a violent clash between Aboriginal residents of Redfern and approximately 200 police.

Ruling coalition suffers backlash in Japan’s upper house election

By Joe Lopez, 28 July 2004

The results of Japan’s upper house election on July 11 revealed a continuing political backlash against Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s economic and foreign policy agenda, in particular his decision to send Japanese troops to bolster the US occupation of Iraq.

Democratic National Convention: Boston gripped by “anti-terror” security operation

By Kate Randall, 27 July 2004

As Democratic delegates and the party’s elite gather in Boston this week for the Democratic National Convention, the host city has been overrun with police from numerous agencies and barricades have been erected to shield the convention venue. Landmarks, major roads and highways are being blocked off for hours daily, and subway routes are being diverted.

Britain: the take-over battle for Marks & Spencer

By Jean Shaoul, 27 July 2004

The recent take-over battle for Marks & Spencer, the doyen of British retailing, exposes much more than the dubious activities, social mores and relationships of the City speculators warring over control of the high street chain. It brings into sharp relief the economic and social decrepitude of British capitalism at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

The human cost of fratricidal war

By Ismet Redzovic, 27 July 2004

Witnesses (Svjedoci), directed by the Croatian director Vinko Bresan and based on co-scriptwriter Jurica Pavicic’s novel Plaster Sheep (Ovce od gipsa), is a brave and intelligently made film, but not without weaknesses. This is Bresan’s third feature and a change in direction for the 40-year-old director. His first two features—How the War Began on My Island (Kako je poceo rat na mom otoku [1996]) and Marshall Tito’s Spirit (Marsal [2002])—were comedies of a sort.

New York: Sotheby’s workers locked out for more than a week

By Alan Whyte, 27 July 2004

Sotheby’s, the well-known auction house located in the fashionable East Side of Manhattan, has locked out 54 union workers who had been working without a new contract.

Acute power shortages cause disruptions across China

By John Chan, 27 July 2004

The feverish inflow of foreign investment into China to take advantage of the country’s huge reserves of cheap labour has stretched the country’s basic infrastructure to the point of breakdown and produced its most serious power supply crisis in 50 years.

Germany: SPD/PDS senate jail Tamil refugee

By Ludwig Niethammer, 27 July 2004

After a six-week hunger strike, the life of 23-year-old Tamil Paramesvaran Sivabalasundaram is hanging by a thread. Only at the last minute did the Berlin senator, Dr. Eckhart Körting of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), decide it was necessary to transfer the Tamil refugee from a detention centre to a regular hospital. His interior secretary, Ulrich Freise (SPD), announced that deportation proceedings have only been temporarily delayed to allow the victim to recover before he is deported.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 July 2004

Latin America

The Democratic convention and the crisis of the two-party system

By the Editorial Board, 26 July 2004

The Democratic National Convention, which opened Monday in Boston, is the culmination of a drive by the most powerful forces in the Democratic Party, the media and the US ruling elite as whole to banish from the November presidential election any debate on the most critical issue facing the American people—the war in Iraq.

Some Australian documentaries: plenty of room for improvement

By Richard Phillips, 26 July 2004

The rise in popularity of feature-length documentaries over the last few years is an important political phenomenon. In the past, non-fiction films rarely gained cinema release, with screenings largely restricted to festivals or specialised arts events. All this changed with Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine in 2002 and even more dramatically with Fahrenheit 9/11, which has already earned over $US100 million in the US, where it is screening in more than 2,000 American cinemas, and breaking ticket-sale records for documentaries in every country it has been shown.

Australia: latest “terrorist” case relies on police entrapment

By Mike Head, 26 July 2004

In the lead-up to this year’s scheduled federal election, the Howard government, assisted by a complicit media, is pursuing a series of dubious prosecutions of Muslim men on terrorist charges. With the collapse of all the lies told in order to invade Iraq, the government wants to produce some evidence of major terrorist plots to justify its assault on basic democratic rights under the banner of the “war on terror”.

Support for SEP candidate builds in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

By Jerry White, 26 July 2004

Supporters of Socialist Equality Party candidate for Illinois state legislature Tom Mackaman this weekend broadened the campaign against the Democratic Party’s efforts to remove his name from the ballot by distributing an open letter from the SEP candidate to the workers and students of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois.

Chairman of US Federal Reserve assures Congress wages will be kept low

By Joseph Kay and Barry Grey, 26 July 2004

In his July 20 testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan revealed the ruthless class strategy of American big business, which is based on an unrelenting offensive against the wages and living standards of workers.

Cassini-Huygens spacecraft begins systematic exploration of Saturn system

By Patrick Martin, 26 July 2004

The successful passage of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft through Saturn’s rings June 30-July 1 sets the stage for an unprecedented four-year exploration of the second largest planet in the solar system and its complex system of 31 moons, powerful magnetic field and unique rings. On July 22, NASA released the first glorious full-color image of the rings, taken as the spacecraft approached them from below in late June (see http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMod/PIA05421_modest.jpg).

Huge funding shortfall for global AIDS epidemic

By Trevor Johnson and Chris Talbot, 26 July 2004

The UNAIDS report released at the fifteenth International AIDS Conference last week shows that there is an escalating shortfall in the funding required to deal with the global spread of AIDS.

Berlusconi government wracked by crisis

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 26 July 2004

Over the recent period, the right-wing Italian government led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (Forza Italia—Italy Forward) has been plunged into its deepest crisis since taking power three years ago. Observers of Italian politics are increasingly asking whether the government will be able to complete its term in office to 2006, or whether new elections will be called.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 24 July 2004

Unions at French car parts company agree to end 35-hour week

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 July 2004

Police block miners convey on way to Beijing

Spain: Socialist Party government to send troops to Afghanistan and Haiti

By Vicky Short, 24 July 2004

The Socialist Workers Party of Spain (PSOE) government has committed more troops to Afghanistan, as well as a contingent of civil guards and police experts to Haiti. The measure was approved in the Spanish Congress on July 6.

Bus drivers in South Yorkshire, England, strike over pay

By Robert Stevens, 24 July 2004

On July 20, 800 bus drivers throughout South Yorkshire, England, began indefinite strike action from midnight in an ongoing dispute over pay. The drivers are employed by the First Group bus company.

Open Letter to the workers and students of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, from SEP candidate

By , 24 July 2004

The following statement is being distributed in the Champaign-Urbana area by SEP candidate Tom Mackaman and his supporters.

Indian budget: pro-business agenda dressed up in a pro-poor disguise

By Deepal Jayasekera, 24 July 2004

The first budget of India’s new Congress-led government, brought down on July 8, amounts to a confidence trick aimed at duping the rural and urban poor, many of whom voted for the coalition in May as a means of expressing their hostility to the economic policies of the previous administration.

What the 9/11 commission report ignores: the CIA-Al Qaeda connection

By the editorial board, 24 July 2004

The report of the national commission investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, released July 22, is a lengthy document that deserves careful study. It will be the subject of extended analysis on the World Socialist Web Site. But it is already possible, on the basis of the commission’s composition, the scope of the investigation, and the media coverage surrounding the release of the report, to draw certain definite conclusions.

Illinois county clerk’s findings vindicate SEP petitions

By a reporting team, 24 July 2004

The Champaign County Clerk on Friday issued a preliminary judgment on the objections filed by the Democratic Party against the petitions of Socialist Equality Party Illinois state legislative candidate Tom Mackaman. The clerk’s analysis vindicates the position of Mackaman and the SEP, and repudiates the Democratic Party’s bad-faith effort to disqualify the signatures of hundreds of legally registered voters and remove the SEP candidate from the ballot.

WSWS readers comment on US government discussions on postponing election

By , 23 July 2004

The following is a selection of letters on the July 12 statement of the Socialist Equality Party, “Bush administration takes steps to cancel US election” and other WSWS articles on the same subject.

What is at stake in Australia’s “History Wars”

By Nick Beams, 23 July 2004

Below we are publishing the final part in a 10-part series written by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The remaining parts are available at the following links: Part 1: Competing political agendas; Part 2: The establishment of the Australian nation-state; Part 3: The doctrine of "White Australia"; Part 4: From "White Australia" to Geoffrey Blainey; Part 5: John Howard and "the Australian way of life"; Part 6: Keating versus Howard; Part 7: Inequality and the development of racial theory; Part 8: Extermination of the Aborigines and the Nazi holocaust; and Part 9: Windschuttle's liberal critics

Britain: unions found anti-Blair ginger group

By Julie Hyland, 23 July 2004

On Saturday July 3, some 350 delegates gathered at the Trades Union Congress headquarters in London for the founding congress of a Labour Representation Committee.

More letters oppose Democrats’ attempt to bar SEP candidate from Illinois ballot

By , 23 July 2004

The following letters were sent to Mark Shelden, the County Clerk in Champaign, Illinois, to protest the efforts of the state and local Democratic Party to exclude the Socialist Equality Party and its state legislative candidate, Thomas Mackaman, from the ballot in the November elections.

Factional warfare breaks out in Palestinian Authority

By Chris Marsden, 23 July 2004

The Palestinian Authority is wracked by factional conflict that has led to attacks on government buildings and a number of armed confrontations and shootings.

Growing imbalances belie Greenspan’s confidence

By Nick Beams, 23 July 2004

US Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan has given an upbeat assessment of the US economy, discounting concerns that, in the light of recent falls in consumer spending and manufacturing output, the 2003-2004 recovery may be somewhat short-lived.

US media covers for Allawi—Washington’s executioner-in-chief in Iraq

By James Conachy, 22 July 2004

On July 17, two of Australia’s leading daily newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, published the testimony of two unnamed Iraqi men who claim to have witnessed the interim prime minister, Iyad Allawi, shoot and kill at least six prisoners at the Al-Amariyah security center in Baghdad. The murder of the suspected anti-US insurgents was reportedly carried out in mid-June, in the presence of Iraq’s interior minister and American military personnel, among others.

European governments make an example of Cap Anamur refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 22 July 2004

On June 20, the rescue ship Cap Anamur picked up 37 African refugees from a sinking inflatable boat in the Mediterranean Sea, near the Italian island of Lampedusa. When the Cap Anamur tried to dock at Empodocle, the nearest port in Sicily, Italian navy frigates and helicopters as well as the Coast Guard were sent to force it back to sea.

Motion to dismiss Illinois Democrats’ challenge to SEP candidate

By Jerry White, 22 July 2004

The attorney representing Tom Mackaman—the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for state representative in Illinois—filed a motion before the Champaign County Electoral Board Wednesday demanding the dismissal of the fraudulent objection filed by the Democratic Party to throw out the signatures of hundreds of legally registered voters who signed Mackaman’s nominating petitions and remove him from the ballot.

Victims of Indian school fire: “The government is responsible for this tragedy”

By our correspondents, 22 July 2004

The Sri Krishna private school, which burnt down in the town of Kumbakonam in southern India last Friday killing 90 children, was typical of thousands of similar institutions in rural areas of the country. It was grossly overcrowded and lacking in elementary safety measures and basic facilities. But for those who sent their sons and daughters there, it was still better than most government schools.

School fire in southern India kills 90 children

By Arun Kumar and Ram Kumar, 22 July 2004

The deaths of 90 young children in a school fire in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has highlighted the appalling state of schools—private and public—throughout the country. The tragedy is one of the consequences of a decade-and-a-half of market reforms, which have led to a steady deterioration of an already inadequate public education system and a proliferation of private schools that are often overcrowded, in shoddy buildings, and largely unregulated.

What is at stake in Australia’s “History Wars”

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2004

Below we are publishing the ninth in a 10-part series written by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The remaining parts are available at the following links: Part 1: Competing political agendas; Part 2: The establishment of the Australian nation-state; Part 3: The doctrine of "White Australia"; Part 4: From "White Australia" to Geoffrey Blainey; Part 5: John Howard and "the Australian way of life"; Part 6: Keating versus Howard; Part 7: Inequality and the development of racial theory; Part 8: Extermination of the Aborigines and the Nazi holocaust; and Part 10: Private property, the nation state and socialism

The Berger affair: Kerry campaign cowers before Republican provocation

By Patrick Martin, 22 July 2004

Former Clinton administration national security adviser Samuel (Sandy) Berger resigned as an informal adviser to the Kerry campaign Monday, one day after the Bush administration leaked a report to the media that Berger was the subject of an FBI investigation for mishandling classified documents.

Britain: Labour’s privatisation of roads

By Jean Shaoul, 22 July 2004

Secretary of State for Transport Alastair Darling recently announced plans to open a private toll road between Birmingham and Manchester.

New York City officials muzzle anti-Republican protests

By John Levine, 22 July 2004

Negotiations between New York City officials and organizers of protests planned for next month’s Republican Party convention have reached an impasse, with the city rejecting all demands for an accessible public rally. Instead, the administration of billionaire Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg is insisting that protesters be relegated to an isolated strip of highway far from the convention site.

Portugal’s Prime Minister Barroso nominated as European Commission president

By Paul Stuart, 21 July 2004

The European Council of Ministers has nominated Portuguese Prime Minister José Manuel Durão Barroso for the presidency of the European Commission. Barroso’s nomination by the ministers, who are appointed by national governments, must be approved in a secret ballot of members of the elected European Parliament on July 22.

May police now arrest people for refusing to identify themselves?

By Jennifer Van Bergen, 21 July 2004

The following article was contributed to the WSWS by Jennifer Van Bergen, the author of the upcoming book, The Twilight of Democracy: The Bush Plan for America. She has been an adjunct faculty member of the New School for Social Research in NYC since 1993 and lectures on the antiterrorism laws and the Constitution.

What is at stake in Australia’s “History Wars”

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2004

Below we are publishing the eighth part in a 10-part series written by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The remaining parts are available at the following links: Part 1: Competing political agendas; Part 2: The establishment of the Australian nation-state; Part 3: The doctrine of "White Australia"; Part 4: From "White Australia" to Geoffrey Blainey; Part 5: John Howard and "the Australian way of life"; Part 6: Keating versus Howard; Part 7: Inequality and the development of racial theory; Part 9: Windschuttle's liberal critics; and Part 10: Private property, the nation state and socialism

La contribución de Michael Moore

By , 21 July 2004

WSWS : Español

El gobierno de Bush toma pasos para cancelar las elecciones

By , 21 July 2004

WSWS : Español

Report highlights unchecked looting of Iraq’s oil resources

By Rick Kelly, 21 July 2004

The British based non-government organisation Christian Aid released a report on June 28, pointing to the unrestricted plundering of Iraq’s oil by the US and its allies. The paper, “Fuelling suspicion: the coalition and Iraq’s oil billions”, revealed that up to $US3 billion in oil export revenues has gone missing.

Sweden: Anna Lindh killer’s conviction thrown out

By Steve James, 21 July 2004

The Svea Court of Appeals in Sweden has overturned Mijailo Mijailovic’s conviction for the murder of Swedish Foreign Minister, Anna Lindh. The court upheld an appeal on the basis that Mijailovic was “under the influence of a serious psychiatric disorder” at the time of the murder, rejecting the January 2004 verdict that had found the clearly disturbed Mijailovic guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

German interior ministers end separation of police and intelligence services

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 20 July 2004

On July 9, the German upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, enacted the “Hartz IV” bill, containing drastic cuts to the social welfare system, unprecedented in this country’s history. On the same day, the state’s interior ministers met in the northern German city of Kiel and agreed on a series of further restrictions on democratic rights.

Israel: Labour Party to prop up Sharon

By Jean Shaoul, 20 July 2004

Coalition negotiations have begun between the Likud Party of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the Labour Party and are expected to continue all this week. They follow Labour’s endorsement of Sharon’s invitation to Shimon Peres, the 80-year-old party head, to join his shaky coalition to pre-empt a major political crisis.

United Airlines announces deferment on pension payments

By Joseph Kay, 20 July 2004

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. stated last week that it is deferring a $72.4 million payment to its pension fund for retired workers. The announcement is a further indication that the major US airlines are determined to force their workers to pay for the increasingly beleaguered financial position of the industry.

The New York Times and the threat to cancel the November election

By Barry Grey, 20 July 2004

It took the New York Times six days to respond editorially and publish more than a news brief on the revelation that the Bush administration had initiated internal discussions on the possible cancellation of the November presidential election.

Press conference denounces Illinois Democrats‘ effort to remove Nader from ballot

By Jerry White, 20 July 2004

The Socialist Equality Party broadened its campaign against the Illinois Democratic Party’s effort to deny ballot status to Tom Mackaman—its candidate for State Representative in the 103rd District in Champaign-Urbana—by participating in a joint press conference Monday denouncing similar efforts by the Democrats against independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

What is at stake in Australia’s “History Wars”

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2004

Below we are publishing the seventh part in a 10-part series written by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The remaining parts are available at the following links: Part 1: Competing political agendas; Part 2: The establishment of the Australian nation-state; Part 3: The doctrine of "White Australia"; Part 4: From "White Australia" to Geoffrey Blainey; Part 5: John Howard and "the Australian way of life"; Part 6: Keating versus Howard; Part 8: Extermination of the Aborigines and the Nazi holocaust; Part 9: Windschuttle's liberal critics; and Part 10: Private property, the nation state and socialism

Former general on top after first round of Indonesian presidential election

By John Roberts, 20 July 2004

With more than three quarters of the vote counted in the first round of the Indonesian presidential elections, no candidate has achieved an absolute majority. A run off on September 20 is now all but certain between the two leading candidates—Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a retired army general, and the incumbent president Megawati Sukarnoputri.

Notice of postponement: ICFI/WSWS public meeting in Wellington, New Zealand

By , 20 July 2004

Notice to WSWS readers:

German “labour reform”: all-out attack on the unemployed

By Dietmar Henning, 20 July 2004

On July 9, the Upper House of Parliament voted through the so-called labour market reforms. With the agreement of the Upper House, a law that represents the greatest and most comprehensive change in German welfare legislation since the introduction of labour and social insurance by Bismarck in the nineteenth century passed its last parliamentary hurdle.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 20 July 2004

Latin America

Iraqi prime minister accused of murdering detainees

By James Conachy, 19 July 2004

In an exclusive report in the Sydney Morning Herald and Age newspapers, two Iraqi men claim to have witnessed Iyad Allawi, the US-installed Iraqi interim prime minister, murder six handcuffed and blindfolded prisoners. The summary executions allegedly occurred in mid-June, while Allawi was visiting the Al-Amariyah security center in Baghdad.

What is at stake in Australia’s “History Wars”

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2004

Below we are publishing the sixth part in a 10-part series written by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The remaining parts are available at the following links: Part 1: Competing political agendas; Part 2: The establishment of the Australian nation-state; Part 3: The doctrine of "White Australia"; Part 4: From "White Australia" to Geoffrey Blainey; Part 5: John Howard and "the Australian way of life"; Part 7: Inequality and the development of racial theory; Part 8: Extermination of the Aborigines and the Nazi holocaust; Part 9: Windschuttle's liberal critics; and Part 10: Private property, the nation state and socialism

More letters oppose Democrats’ attempt to bar SEP candidate from Illinois ballot

By , 19 July 2004

The following letters were sent to Mark Shelden, the County Clerk in Champaign, Illinois, to protest the efforts of the state and local Democratic Party to exclude the Socialist Equality Party and its state legislative candidate, Thomas Mackaman, from the ballot in the November elections.

Spain: military chiefs replaced over Yak-42 plane crash

By Keith Lee, 19 July 2004

The Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) government has replaced three of its top generals after it was discovered that 22 bodies from the May 2003 Yak-42 military plane crash were given to the wrong families.

Sri Lanka: Bata footwear occupation enters fourth week

By Krishantha Jayasinghe and Saman Gunadasa, 19 July 2004

More than 500 workers have been occupying the Bata Shoe factory in Sri Lanka for nearly four weeks, demanding the reinstatement of their union branch leader and cancellation of the company’s retrenchment plans. The workers occupied the plant in the Ratmalana industrial estate, 15 km from Colombo, on June 22, just after the company suspended the union leader, allegedly for “misconduct”.

Beijing detains SARS doctor for raising questions about Tiananmen Square

By John Chan, 17 July 2004

A 72-year-old former military surgeon, Dr Jiang Yanyong, has been arrested in China and is currently being forced to undergo indoctrination. His alleged crime appears to be the “serious political mistake” of sending an open letter to the Chinese leadership in February demanding a reassessment of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre.

German auto workers protest job cuts by DaimlerChrysler

By Dietmar Henning, 17 July 2004

On July 15, a total of 60,000 DaimlerChrysler (DC) workers took part in a range of strikes and other actions to protest the company’s plans for job cuts and attacks on working conditions. Workers at virtually all of the German-US transnational company’s plants in Germany stopped work for a period.

Green Party, Libertarians join SEP to denounce attack on third party campaigns

By a reporting team, 17 July 2004

Socialist Equality Party candidate Tom Mackaman held a press conference at the University of Illinois in Urbana to condemn the undemocratic and illegal effort of the Democratic Party to remove him from the ballot in November. He called on the Office of the Illinois Inspector General to investigate the use of state employees in the Democrats’ bad faith challenge to Mackaman’s nominating petitions.

Letter to Illinois Inspector General from Tom Mackaman

By , 17 July 2004

The following letter was sent to the Office of the Illinois Inspector General, created in January 2003 to investigate fraud and abuse in state government, by Tom Mackaman, the SEP candidate for State Representative in Illinois’ 103rd District.

Thirty years since the Portuguese Revolution—Part 3

By Paul Mitchell, 17 July 2004

The following is the conclusion of a three-part series. Part one was posted July 15 and Part 2 was posted July 16.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 17 July 2004

Union ends bank workers’ strike

Britain: Blair knew claims on Iraqi WMDs were dubious

By Chris Marsden, 17 July 2004

Prime Minister Tony Blair was warned a full two weeks before publication of the September 2002 security dossier on Iraq that the sources of the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45-minutes, and that it continued to produce chemical and biological weapons at all, were of dubious provenance.

Democratic candidate Kerry vows to maintain US troops in Iraq for years

By Patrick Martin, 17 July 2004

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry declared that, if he were elected, US troops would remain in Iraq throughout his first term in office—to the end of 2008. The Democratic candidate also suggested that the Bush administration was more likely to withdraw troops quickly than a Kerry administration.

Thirty years since the Portuguese Revolution—Part 2

By Paul Mitchell, 16 July 2004

This is the second in a three-part series. Part 1 was published on July 15.