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Australia: Palm Island’s dark history of Aboriginal repression

By Erika Zimmer, 2 March 2005

This is the second of a two-part article on the history of Australia’s Palm Island settlement. Part One was published on March 1.

Australia: SEP candidate opposes closure of maternity ward in Sydney’s west

By our reporters, 2 March 2005

Mike Head, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for the Werriwa by-election, spoke at a rally late last month against the closure of the maternity unit at Camden Hospital. Camden, which lies just outside the Werriwa electorate in Sydney’s outer south western suburbs, is an area now dominated by new housing estates, occupied by young working families, usually with large mortgages.

Despite US pressure, Russia signs nuclear fuel deal with Iran

By Peter Symonds, 2 March 2005

The deal signed last Sunday for Russia to supply Iran with nuclear fuel has highlighted the fact that President Bush has returned empty-handed from his so-called charm offensive in Europe. For all the rhetoric about transatlantic unity, the European powers refused to budge on any major issue. Above all, no European troops were forthcoming to help the US out of the deepening quagmire in Iraq.

Judge orders end to indefinite detention of Jose Padilla

By Patrick Martin, 2 March 2005

In a ruling that systematically rejects White House claims of unbridled executive power to seize and detain American citizens, a federal judge in South Carolina on Monday ordered the Bush administration to release alleged terrorist Jose Padilla within 45 days or bring charges against him in a state or federal court.

More letters on the Ward Churchill question

2 March 2005

The World Socialist Web Site has received numerous letters from readers responding to David Walsh’s “Reply to reader’s letters on ‘The new McCarthyism: The witch-hunting of Ward Churchill” To encourage an ongoing discussion, we are publishing a selection of these letters below. Ward Churchill is a University of Colorado professor who has been targeted by the ultra-right. In a response to the September 11 terrorist attacks he enumerated the crimes of US imperialism and added that the “most that can honestly be said about those [suicide bombers] involved in September 11 is that they finally responded in kind to some of what this country has dispensed to their people as a matter of course.”

Report documents poverty and social misery in Afghanistan

By Joanne Laurier, 2 March 2005

A recent United Nations report on social conditions in Afghanistan provides a glimpse of the social reality behind the American media’s talk of a “new democracy” and the supposedly benevolent role of the US government in that country.

Romania: new right-wing government slashes taxes, fuels social tensions

By Markus Salzmann, 2 March 2005

“The modernisation of Romanian society starts today,” declared Prime Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu in his first speech as head of government at the end of December. He also emphasised that his government will work closely with the European Union. The chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) had just been nominated head of government by the also newly elected president, Traian Besescu, who is the head of the Democratic Party (PD). The government that has come to power aims to work in close cooperation with the EU, with the goals of privatising industry, lowering taxes and decreasing social services.

77th Academy Awards ceremony—a miserable showing

By David Walsh, 1 March 2005

The 77th Academy Awards ceremony was a largely dreary affair. What stood out? The wealth and privilege of those involved, their self-importance and the essentially trivial character, for the most part, of what they do.

Australia: Palm Island’s dark history of Aboriginal repression

By Erika Zimmer, 1 March 2005

This is the first of a two-part article on the history of Australia’s Palm Island settlement.

Britain: Blair was advised that Iraq invasion could be illegal

By Rick Kelly, 1 March 2005

Fresh revelations have emerged describing the frenetic efforts of the Blair government prior to the launching of the Iraq war to find a legal pretext for its participation in the US-led attack. Just two weeks before the invasion began, the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, warned Prime Minister Tony Blair that a war could violate international law.