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Germany: establishment parties unite behind Hartz IV laws

By Ulrich Rippert, 31 August 2004

At a national press conference on August 18 that marked the official end of the summer recess, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder gave his answer to the recent Monday demonstrations against his plan to slash social benefits. There would be no concessions. The Hartz IV laws on the “reform” of the labour market would be fully implemented by 2005. The parallel decision to lower the highest tax rate would take effect at the same time.

Australia: Howard government cynically “tweaks” its anti-refugee policy

By Mike Head, 31 August 2004

In a partial about-face reeking of hypocrisy and electoral calculations, the Howard government last week announced that it would allow more than 9,000 refugees living in Australia on three-year Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to apply for permanent residency visas. After depriving TPV holders of every basic legal and democratic right for the past five years, since introducing the temporary visas as part of its anti-refugee measures in 1999, the government was claiming—on the eve of calling a federal election—to welcome asylum seekers.

US census figures show rise in poverty, uninsured

By John Levine and David Walsh, 31 August 2004

On the eve of the Republican National Convention and nine weeks before the general election, the US Census Bureau has released figures on poverty and health coverage that represent a devastating indictment of the Bush administration, and the Democratic Party as well.

Influence and the rise of modern art

By Lee Parsons, 31 August 2004

This Toronto exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) brings together the work of three of the foremost artists of the nineteenth century, J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) and Claude Monet (1840-1926). It presents 100 paintings, watercolors, pastels and prints—an expansive project involving the cooperation of some 34 museums and collectors across North America and Europe.

The JVP intensifies its campaign against Sri Lankan peace talks

By Wije Dias, 31 August 2004

As part of a campaign heightening communal tensions in Sri Lanka, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is conducting a series of lectures throughout the island entitled “Who are the true enemies of peace?”. While the JVP claims to be in favour of peace, the entire thrust of these lectures, one of which was delivered in Colombo on August 17, is to plunge the country back to war.

Head of Spain’s largest bank calls for an end to Europe’s welfare state

By Daniel O’Flynn, 31 August 2004

Earlier this year the head of Spain’s largest bank said there was not much time left to destroy what remains of social welfare in Spain.

Documents confirm US colluded in Indonesia’s 1969 incorporation of Papua

By John Roberts, 30 August 2004

Recently declassified documents from the archives of the US State Department have shed a little more light on one of the many grubby chapters of US foreign policy in the Cold War period: how Washington worked with the UN and Indonesia’s Suharto dictatorship to stage a phoney “Act of Free Choice” in West Papua in 1969.

Chinese police generate “sex scandal” against Hong Kong election candidate

By John Chan, 30 August 2004

In what has all the hallmarks of a political set-up, Chinese police have arrested Alex Ho, a Democratic Party candidate in the upcoming Legislative Council elections in Hong Kong, on charges of soliciting a prostitute. The 46-year-old Ho was detained in a police raid in the early hours of August 13 in the southern city of Dongguang. He was allegedly found in a hotel room with Zhou, a 25-year-old woman.

Massive anti-Bush march in New York

By the a WSWS reporting team, 30 August 2004

Hundreds of thousands of people marched Sunday past New York City’s Madison Square Garden, site of this week’s Republican National Convention, in a massive repudiation of the policies of the Bush administration.

Appeals court upholds discriminatory filing deadline: Ohio SEP candidate to conduct write-in campaign

By the Editorial Board, 30 August 2004

On August 27, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling denying ballot status to David Lawrence, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for the US House of Representatives from the 1st Congressional District of Ohio, which includes most of Cincinnati. The decision by a three-judge panel was unanimous.

Canada: budget cuts have contributed to spread of super-bug

By Guy Charron, 30 August 2004

Reports published in succeeding issues of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) assert that government cost-cutting has led to a deterioration in hygiene at Canada’s hospitals and that this in turn has contributed to an alarming rise in Clostridium Difficile bacteria infections and fatalities

An exchange on the crisis in Sudan’s western Darfur region

By , 30 August 2004

The WSWS received the following letter on the article “Sudan: Western powers move towards military intervention” . It is followed by a reply by Chris Talbot, the article’s author.

The socialist alternative to Bush and Kerry

By Socialist Equality Party, 28 August 2004

The following statement is being distributed this weekend by supporters of the Socialist Equality Party at demonstrations coinciding with the Republican National Convention in New York City. The leaflet is also available in PDF format, which we urge readers and supporters to download and distribute widely.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 28 August 2004

Spanish tow truck drivers strike

Germany: protests held in over 140 towns and cities

By a WSWS reporting team, 28 August 2004

For the fourth consecutive week, tens of thousands took part in protests last Monday against social cuts that the Social Democratic-Green coalition government plans to implement in 2005. More than 60,000 people took to the streets in the cities of Leipzig, Magdeburg and Berlin alone. In addition, demonstrations were held in 140 small and medium-sized towns.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 August 2004

Day of protest in India

The family business and its discontents

By Joanne Laurier, 28 August 2004

Rutherford and Son, by Githa Sowerby, directed by Jackie Maxwell, at the Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, until October 9

New Bush administration rules slash overtime pay for millions of workers

By John Levine, 28 August 2004

The Department of Labor’s “FairPay” rules came into effect August 23, taking away the right to overtime compensation for millions of workers. Congress allowed the rule changes to take effect in a vote July 10 in the House of Representatives, which defeated a measure to stop the new rules, by a margin of 213 to 210.

Fuerza de tarea "contra el terrorismo" persigue a los adversarios de Bush

By , 28 August 2004

WSWS : Español

US torturers in Afghanistan were redeployed to Iraq

By David Adelaide, 28 August 2004

American intelligence officers, in interviews with journalists, have alleged that US military interrogators involved in the atrocities at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison were also involved in earlier cases of prisoner abuse that took place in Afghanistan. This helps give the lie to official claims that the Abu Ghraib crimes were the independent actions of low-level soldiers and not the result of a deliberate policy aimed at bullying and intimidating the Iraqi people into accepting the occupation.

US pulls back from Najaf

By James Conachy, 28 August 2004

A ceasefire has been declared in Najaf and American and Iraqi interim government troops have begun pulling back, following the arrival in the city of Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and thousands of unarmed Shiite demonstrators demanding the withdrawal of foreign troops from the area surrounding the Shrine of Ali Mosque—the most important Shiite holy site.

Spain: controversy surrounds opening of Garcia Lorca’s grave

By Vicky Short, 28 August 2004

A state of expectation is growing in Spain regarding the disinterment of the body of the great Spanish poet, author and playwright, Federico Garcia Lorca. He was shot by General Franco’s Falangist forces just four months after their rebellion against the second elected Republic in 1936 and dumped in an unmarked grave.

Canada to expand its armed forces to facilitate foreign interventions

By Keith Jones, 27 August 2004

Canada’s minority Liberal government is pressing forward with an election campaign commitment to increase the ranks of Canada’s armed forces by 5,000 and bolster the number of reservists by 3,000.

Mark Thatcher arrested over alleged African coup plot

By Chris Marsden, 27 August 2004

The name of Thatcher has assumed political prominence once again, carrying with it a familiar bad smell. This time the Thatcher in question is Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark, who has been arrested in South Africa after being accused of involvement in an alleged coup.

Small oases and the much larger desert

By David Walsh, 27 August 2004

Collateral, directed by Michael Mann, screenplay by Stuart Beattie; Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater; Garden State, written and directed by Zach Braff

Four workers die in Japanese nuclear plant accident

By Joe Lopez, 27 August 2004

On August 9, a fatal accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant raised new concerns about the safety of the country’s nuclear energy program. Four contract workers were killed at a plant in Mihama, a small city 320 kilometres west of Tokyo, and seven were seriously injured when a cooling pipe carrying super-heated water burst.

Florida man burns himself over son’s death in Iraq

By David Walsh, 27 August 2004

The horrifying cost of the Bush administration’s illegal and criminal war in Iraq continues to mount. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians, nearly a thousand US troops and now the near-death of a distraught father in Florida.

Britain: Iraqi asylum seeker ends 46-day hunger strike

By Julie Hyland, 27 August 2004

Late on Saturday August 21, asylum-seeker Naseh Ghafor ended a 46-day hunger strike begun in protest at plans by Britain’s Home Office to deport him to Iraq.

Suharto’s political machine backs Megawati in Indonesian poll

By John Roberts, 26 August 2004

With the second round of the Indonesian presidential elections just a month away, the incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri last week signed a formal coalition agreement with Golkar, the United Development Party (PPP) and several smaller parties.

New Zealand High Court overturns conviction for flag burning

By John Braddock, 26 August 2004

Late last month, the New Zealand High Court upheld an appeal lodged by 38-year-old teacher Paul Hopkinson against his conviction for setting fire to the national flag.

Russian miners protest again, as they did 15 years ago

By Stanislav Smolin and Vladimir Volkov, 26 August 2004

The series of miners’ strikes that swept across many parts of Russia (the Rostovskaya and Chelyabinskaya regions, Primorye, and the Republic of Komi) during April and July of this year are a harbinger of a new period of mass struggle by the working class for its rights and interests.

New European Commission dedicated to free market offensive

By Chris Marsden, 26 August 2004

When the new European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso announced the composition of his commission earlier this month, most commentary focused on the relative weight given to the representatives of what US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had described as “old” and “new” Europe.

Democrats’ drive to keep Nader off ballot: a reactionary attack on democratic rights

By Patrick Martin, 26 August 2004

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on August 23 blocked certification of petitions to place independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the state ballot. The board deadlocked 2-2 on whether to certify more than 50,000 signatures filed on behalf of Nader, far more than the 31,000 required by state law. The two Democrats on the board voted to keep Nader off the ballot, while the two Republicans voted to put him on. The deadlock means that the issue will now be resolved in the courts.

Spanish government immigration policy costs migrant lives

By Keith Lee, 26 August 2004

The recently elected Socialist Party government’s immigration policy has done nothing to alleviate the suffering of an increasingly desperate number of immigrants trying to reach Spain from Africa.

Socialist Equality Party candidates attain ballot status in Washington, Iowa and Michigan

By Andrea Peters, 26 August 2004

The Socialist Equality Party’s presidential candidates—Bill Van Auken for president and Jim Lawrence for vice president—have gained ballot status in Washington and Iowa. Success in these two states means that the SEP candidates will be in a position to address some 10 million voters and offer an alternative to the pro-war, big-business agenda of both the Democratic and Republican parties. In another achievement, the SEP’s Jerry White has also been officially approved as a congressional candidate in Michigan’s 15th District.

Layoffs plague Detroit city services

By our correspondent, 26 August 2004

Nearly 400 Detroit city workers were laid off this summer by the Democratic mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. These layoffs are in addition to the thousands of jobs being cut from the Detroit public schools. The city has a deficit of $333 million dollars, and is targeting city services to make up the shortfall.

The Corporation: a reformist plea for state regulation

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 25 August 2004

The Corporation, co-created by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan

A letter from the great niece of civil rights martyr Viola Liuzzo

By , 25 August 2004

On March 25, 1965, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, the 39-year-old wife of a Detroit Teamsters official and mother of five, was murdered on an Alabama highway by a carload of Ku Klux Klan members, one of whom was an FBI informer. Liuzzo, the only white woman killed during the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, was an uncompromising fighter for social justice and equality.

Champaign newspaper publishes smear against SEP candidate Tom Mackaman

By the Editorial Board, 25 August 2004

On August 23, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette published an article in its local news section containing unfounded and libelous accusations against SEP candidate Tom Mackaman.

Detroit schools open following a summer of discontent

By Debra Watson and Walter Gilberti, 25 August 2004

Detroit’s public schools open this week to a deepening fiscal and material crisis. Throughout the months of June and July more than 1,000 public school and city workers picketed, demonstrated and spoke out in City Council and “town hall” meetings against the massive layoffs of school employees and continuing cuts in city services carried out by Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit Public Schools CEO Kenneth Burnley.

The Monday Demonstrations in Germany—1989 and today

By Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party), 25 August 2004

The ongoing demonstrations against the social cuts contained in the “Hartz IV” act have resurrected an unresolved political conflict from the time of the collapse of the Stalinist regimes in 1989/90—the antagonistic interests between rich and poor, between labour and capital on a global scale.

Australia: Howard’s 2001 election lies return to haunt him

By Mike Head, 25 August 2004

Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s lies during the 2001 election campaign have caught up with him in the lead-up to this year’s scheduled election, for which he has so far failed to set a date. Last week, two former senior public service officials came forward with specific evidence that Howard deliberately deceived the public just two days before the last poll on November 10, 2001.

Former detainees detail abuses at Guantanamo Bay

By Peter Reydt, 25 August 2004

Earlier this month, three Britons detained for more than two years by American forces in Afghanistan and the notorious camps at Guantanamo Bay released a dossier detailing their treatment. The three, Shafiq Rasul, Rhuhel Ahmed and Asif Iqbal all from Tipton in the West Midlands, returned from Guantanamo in March and were almost immediately released without charge by the British authorities.

WSWS readers condemn denial of ballot status to SEP candidate in Ohio

By , 25 August 2004

We are publishing below a selection of letters to the WSWS opposing the decision by Ohio federal judge Susan J. Dlott to deny ballot status to Socialist Equality Party congressional candidate David Lawrence. [See “Judge rejects ballot lawsuit of SEP congressional candidate in Ohio”].

In run-up to Republican convention: 24-hour surveillance of protest organizers

By Jamie Chapman, 25 August 2004

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has dispatched hundreds of cops around the country to put some 56 people under 24-hour surveillance in advance of the Republican National Convention (RNC). The convention, to be held at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, opens Monday, August 30.

SEP presidential campaign files petitions in Washington state

By Bryce Carter, 25 August 2004

On Monday, August 23, the Socialist Equality Party filed petitions in Washington’s state capital, Olympia, to place presidential candidates Bill Van Auken and Jim Lawrence on the Washington state ballot. Nearly 1,500 signatures were gathered between July 11 and August 21, 2004, by SEP members and supporters, marking the first time the SEP will have achieved ballot access in the state. After the validation of our petitions by Washington’s secretary of state, Van Auken and Lawrence will appear in voters’ guide pamphlets statewide and on the November 2 general election ballot.

Australia’s highest court sanctions indefinite detention

By Richard Hoffman, 24 August 2004

In a series of landmark decisions handed down on August 6, 2004, the High Court of Australia declared that the federal government can detain rejected asylum seekers indefinitely—perhaps for life—regardless of their inability to be deported to any other country and irrespective of the intolerable conditions inside the government’s immigration detention centres.

Australian foreign minister falls off the diplomatic tightrope in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 24 August 2004

Last week’s visit by Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer to North East Asia provided a revealing glimpse into the strategic dilemmas confronting the Australian ruling elite.

California National Guardsman files suit against extension of tour of duty

By John Levine, 24 August 2004

An army sergeant in the California National Guard filed a lawsuit August 19 charging the White House with violating the contract of thousands of military and National Guard recruits through its use of “stop-loss” orders. Choosing to remain anonymous for fear of right-wing attacks, he filed the suit under the name of John Doe and is represented by attorney Michael Sorgen.

Bank with close ties to Bush administration engulfed in scandal

By Joseph Kay, 24 August 2004

The Justice Department announced on Friday that it is launching a criminal investigation into Riggs Bank. In recent months, the Washington-based bank has become engulfed in a scandal related to charges of money-laundering, corruption and terrorist financing.

Kerry’s dilemma: defending medals from a criminal war

By Bill Van Auken (SEP presidential candidate), 24 August 2004

As the 2004 presidential election contest moves into high gear, the struggle between the Democratic and Republican parties has taken on a surreal character.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 August 2004

United States

Spanish government discusses extending scope of Anti-Terror Pact

By Paul Bond, 24 August 2004

In opposition, the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) provided invaluable service to the right-wing Popular Party (PP) government’s suppression of democratic rights—under the cover of uniting against terrorism. In government, the PSOE is now seeking to extend that agreement still further.

Republican congressman calls Iraq war “a costly mess”

By Barry Grey, 23 August 2004

Representative Doug Bereuter, a 26-year member of the US House of Representatives from southeastern Nebraska, has sent a four-page letter to his constituents saying he has reconsidered his previous support for the US invasion of Iraq and concluded that the war was a disastrous mistake.

Henri Cartier-Bresson dies—a pioneer of modern photography

By Richard Phillips, 23 August 2004

“The intensive use of the photographs by the mass media lays ever fresh responsibilities upon the photographer.... We must take greater care than ever not to allow ourselves to be separated from the real world and humanity.”

The battle for Najaf and the US crisis in Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2004

The ongoing siege of Najaf has graphically underscored the crisis of US imperialism in Iraq. Whatever the immediate outcome of the confrontation between the US military and the militia of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the occupation has turned into a nightmare for the American ruling elite. Having invaded Iraq to plunder its oil and dominate the Middle East, the US faces a widening popular uprising that is having a profoundly destabilising impact on the region and indeed on world capitalism.

Canada: meatpackers profit from BSE crisis

By David Adelaide, 23 August 2004

A recently released report by Alberta’s auditor general reveals that the major meatpacking companies reaped windfall profits from Canada’s BSE crisis, while the social cost of the crisis fell onto cattle producers, including small farmers and farm workers, and the public treasury.

Britain: soldier opposed to Iraq war commits suicide

By Robert Stevens, 23 August 2004

On August 10, the funeral of Private Peter Mahoney, a soldier with the Territorial Army (TA) who served for six months in the war against Iraq in 2003, was held at St. Aidan’s church in his hometown of Carlisle, England.

Back the SEP election campaign! Donate today—we need your support now!

By , 21 August 2004

The Socialist Equality Party calls on all US readers of the World Socialist Web Site to send generous donations to our election fund in order to finance legal appeals against the decision by the Ohio federal judge to deny ballot status to SEP candidate David Lawrence. [See “Judge rejects ballot lawsuit of SEP congressional candidate in Ohio”]

Mounting protests against social cuts in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 August 2004


Mexico: judge quashes “genocide” indictment of former president Luis Echeverría

By Rafael Azul, 21 August 2004

On July 22, the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Past Social and Political Movements (FEMOSPP), headed by Ignacio Carrillo, ordered the arrest of former Mexican president Luis Echeverría and 11 others, charging them with genocide. Specifically, the indictment accused them of ordering an illegal paramilitary squad to shoot down dozens of students on June 10, 1971, in Mexico City, in what became known as the Corpus Christi Massacre.

Scotland: explosion the result of industrial deregulation

By Steve James, 21 August 2004

Three months after the event, the cause of the May 11 blast that killed nine people and injured over forty at ICL Plastics’ factory in Grovepark Street, Glasgow is still unknown.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 21 August 2004

Korean textile workers blockade plant

Oil workers’ strike heightens Sri Lankan government crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 21 August 2004

A strike by oil workers on August 13 has provoked a serious crisis for Sri Lanka’s minority United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) government, which is already facing widespread hostility over broken election promises and deteriorating social conditions. While union leaders averted further industrial action by reaching a temporary deal with President Chandrika Kumaratunga on August 18, none of the underlying issues have been resolved.

An exposé of dishonest media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict

By Jean Shaoul, 21 August 2004

Bad News from Israel: Greg Philo and Mike Berry, Pluto Press, London, 2004

Germany: Which way forward in the struggle against Hartz IV?

By the Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit), 21 August 2004

Those demonstrating against Hartz IV are demanding more than mere cosmetic changes to this latest piece of anti-social legislation. What is at stake is the struggle against a social development that is throwing ever-larger sections of the population into bitter poverty, while a small minority are shamelessly enriching themselves. Hartz IV is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

Why was Senator Kennedy placed on US “no fly” list?

By David Walsh and Barry Grey, 21 August 2004

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on August 19, convened to discuss the September 11 commission’s recommendations, Senator Edward Kennedy revealed that for a period of five weeks this spring he had been repeatedly told he could not fly on commercial airplanes because his name was on the government’s “no fly” list.

Civil rights advocates denounce FBI harassment of protesters

By Jamie Chapman, 20 August 2004

In response to reports that the FBI has visited dozens of people in advance of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions (see “Specter of a police state: FBI “anti-terror” task force targets Bush administration opponents”), civil rights attorneys and others have denounced the FBI tactics as heavy-handed, with an obvious “chilling” effect on protest or other forms of free speech.

Hundreds of nurses strike Michigan hospital over staffing cuts

By a WSWS reporter, 20 August 2004

More than 500 nurses at Mount Clemens General Hospital have been on strike since August 9. The strike is primarily over staffing issues. MCGH management has imposed an increased workload on the nursing staff, already drastically reduced by the elimination of 100 positions over the past year. The nurses are members of Local 40 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), which has been in arbitration with the hospital since 2003 for contract violations related to staffing.

Stabbing in a Beijing kindergarten: another sign of social breakdown in China

By John Chan, 20 August 2004

A tragic incident involving the stabbing of children at a kindergarten in Beijing this month is another symptom of China’s deepening social crisis.

Ohio SEP candidate David Lawrence appeals for support in fight for ballot status

By David Lawrence, 20 August 2004

David Lawrence, the candidate of the Socialist Equality Party for the US House of Representatives from Ohio’s 1st Congressional District, issued the following statement in response to a federal court ruling August 18 rejecting his legal challenge to the state’s discriminatory filing deadline for independent congressional candidates.

Debate on troop redeployment: saber-rattling from both Bush and Kerry

By Bill Van Auken (SEP presidential candidate), 20 August 2004

The clash this week between President George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger John Kerry over the proposed redeployment of US troops stationed in Europe and Asia has only underscored the commitment of both major parties to a continued escalation of US militarism.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 20 August 2004


Germany: political double talk—the PDS and the “Hartz IV” welfare reforms

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 August 2004

“Hartz IV must go,” declares the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) up and down the country. Wherever the party shares power, however, it is a different story. The PDS is the successor party to the Socialist Unity Party—the ruling Stalinist party of former East Germany. Last weekend, Harald Wolf, a leading member of the PDS and economics minister in the Berlin Senate, declared that he regarded much of the so-called Hartz IV reform in a positive light.

FBI’s Albany terror “sting” begins to unravel

By Bill Van Auken, 19 August 2004

The prosecution on terrorism charges of two Muslim immigrants in Albany, New York, has begun to unravel with the revelation that the principal piece of evidence used to justify their entrapment in an FBI sting operation was falsified.

Australia’s jobless rate back on the rise

By Terry Cook and Barry Jobson, 19 August 2004

Despite the Howard government’s predictions to the contrary, the official jobless rate in Australia is edging back toward the 6 percent mark. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released this month show that unemployment rose in July for the second straight month to 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in June.

New York Times and Washington Post remain silent on murder allegations against Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi

By James Conachy, 19 August 2004

Paul McGeough, the award-winning Australian journalist who published eyewitness accounts that Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi carried out the extra-judicial execution of six prisoners, authored a further comment on the issue in the August 12 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald.

La campaña política de Kerry y del Partido Demócrata se convierte en farsa

By , 19 August 2004

WSWS : Español

WSWS readers write on terror alerts and the war against Iraq

By , 19 August 2004

On “Two ‘sting’ operations raise disturbing questions about US terror alert”

SEP files petitions for presidential ballot status in Ohio

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 August 2004

On August 17, the Socialist Equality Party filed petitions bearing more than 7,900 signatures with the Ohio secretary of state’s office to place its candidates Bill Van Auken for president and Jim Lawrence for vice president on the statewide ballot. The total is far above the minimum requirement of 5,000 signatures.

Judge rejects ballot lawsuit of SEP congressional candidate in Ohio

By the Editorial Board, 19 August 2004

A federal judge in Cincinnati, Ohio has ruled against Socialist Equality Party candidate David Lawrence in his lawsuit against the discriminatory filing deadline imposed by the state of Ohio.

Canberra tightens its hold over the Pacific Islands Forum

By Frank Gaglioti, 19 August 2004

Australian Prime Minister John Howard used the annual meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), held in Samoa in early August, to tighten Canberra’s grip over the tiny island states of the region. In the name of “good governance”, he pushed ahead with an agenda of “reforms” aimed at opening up these economies to foreign investment and placing key sectors, including finance and policing, under the supervision, if not direct control, of Australian officials.

Britain: social inequalities widen under Blair government

By Julie Hyland, 19 August 2004

Earlier this month the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published an “audit of social justice” examining the impact of the Labour government’s policies on poverty and social inequality in Britain. Its findings are an indictment of the big business agenda imposed by Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government during its seven years in office.

FBI “anti-terror” task force targets Bush administration opponents

By the Editorial Board, 18 August 2004

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has embarked on a large-scale operation to intimidate and attack opponents of the Bush administration’s war policy. In advance of the Democratic National Convention held earlier this month in Boston and the upcoming Republican convention in New York City, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) has mobilized agents to spy on, interrogate and threaten antiwar protesters and disrupt their activities.

Britain: new findings point to larger outbreaks of vCJD “mad cow disease”

By Trevor Johnson, 18 August 2004

UK scientists are upwardly revising their estimates of the number of people likely to die from new variant CJD (vCJD, also known as “mad cow disease”). It follows the death of a second patient, who contracted the disease after a blood transfusion [1].

Sri Lanka returns to the brink of war

By the Socialist Equality Party, 18 August 2004

Sri Lanka stands on the brink of the re-eruption of the civil war that has already claimed the lives of more than 65,000 people since 1983, and created a disaster throughout the island. Two and a half years after a ceasefire was signed between Colombo and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), both sides are preparing to plunge back into armed conflict.

Workers struggles: The Americas

By , 18 August 2004

Latin America

Solomon Islands: prison protest over lack of rights under Australian intervention

By Mike Head, 18 August 2004

A prison protest broke out in the Solomon Islands last week, less than three weeks after official celebrations to mark the first anniversary of the arrival of more than 2,000 Australian-led military and police officers in the South Pacific country. For all the claims of a popular and successful intervention, the uprising in Honiara’s overcrowded Rove prison—the Solomons’ main jail—highlights the suppression of basic legal and democratic rights that has accompanied it.

India: Hindu supremacist BJP in disarray

By Deepal Jayasekara and Keith Jones, 18 August 2004

Three months after falling from power, the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in disarray, with its leadership sharply divided over the reasons for its defeat in the April-May general election and unsure how to proceed.

Norway: “anti-terror” investigation exposes US-backed torture in northern Iraq

By Niall Green, 18 August 2004

Norwegian authorities have dropped terrorist charges against exiled Iraqi cleric Mullah Krekar after investigators discovered that the main evidence against him, provided by the US, was obtained through torture.

CIA-backed opposition suffers defeat in Venezuelan referendum

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2004

The Venezuelan people on Sunday delivered a stunning defeat to a right-wing coalition backed by Washington, rejecting its demand for the ouster of the country’s elected president, Hugo Chavéz.

Another vicious police attack on Bata strikers in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 17 August 2004

On the afternoon of August 12, Sri Lankan police attacked striking workers who were blocking the compound gate in front of Bata Shoe factory warehouses in Ratmalana on the outskirts of Colombo. The workers were lying down on the road in an attempt to stop vehicles loaded with stocks of shoes from leaving.

Fighting in Najaf exposes an unpopular, isolated Iraqi regime

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2004

The current battle for Iraqi city of Najaf has exposed just how isolated and dependent on Washington the interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is. While popular support for rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has been visibly growing over the weekend, Allawi confronted angry protests at the UN-sponsored three-day national conference which began on Sunday. Delegates demanded an end to US attacks on the Old City of Najaf and the Imam Ali Shrine where al-Sadr’s militia forces are entrenched.

Germany: tens of thousands protest against government assault on welfare state

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2004

Normally, the term “summer break” applies not only to German schools, universities and cultural events, but also to political life. Politicians, together with functionaries of the trade unions, political parties and public and private organisations, use the summer months to take their holidays. The press fills its columns with “summer recess” themes, which are briefly blown up and then quickly forgotten. Debates, meetings and protests are put off until the autumn.

Germany: Magdeburg demonstrators denounce Hartz IV cuts

By Marius Heuser, 17 August 2004

On August 9, a reporting team from the World Socialist Web Site spoke with participants at the demonstration against the Hartz IV measures in Magdeburg.

Interview with Reuben Irving of Gorilla Cinema

By Harvey Thompson, 17 August 2004

Reuben Irving, along with Eleni Christopoulou, has been responsible for the works exhibited at Showcomotion 2004. These are a small part of the work of Gorilla Cinema with various schools throughout the Sheffield, England, region. Last year Gorilla Cinema worked with children at Abbeydale Grange Secondary school to help produce the documentary film 2be.

Showcomotion 2004: children’s and young people’s film festival—Part 2

By Harvey Thompson, 17 August 2004

This is the conclusion of a two-part review. Part 1 was posted August 16.

Fifty-five Dominican refugees die at sea

By Peter Daniels, 17 August 2004

Fifty-five refugees from the Dominican Republic died when the small boat on which they set out for Puerto Rico on July 29 lost power and drifted for nearly two weeks at sea. These are the latest victims of the growing misery in the poorest regions of the world.

A modern day slave trade: Indonesian domestic servants in Malaysia

By Carol Divjak, 16 August 2004

The plight of Indonesian maids in Malaysia was graphically highlighted in May when 19-year-old Nirmala Bonat from West Timor was discovered by neighbours in the hallway of her employer’s apartment suffering from severe burns to her chest, back and legs. She told them she had been branded with an iron and scalded with boiling water by her employer Yim Pek Ha.

Socialist Equality Party campaign makes gains in Iowa, Ohio, Michigan

By a reporting team, 16 August 2004

The Socialist Equality Party has completed petition drives to win ballot status in three key midwestern states over the past week. The efforts in Iowa, Ohio and Michigan represent a major advance for the socialist campaign, coming in the face of intensive campaigning and heavy commercial advertising by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates and a concerted media blackout of third-party candidates.