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Australian government poised to make sweeping industrial relations “reform”

By Terry Cook, 30 April 2005

Under mounting pressure from major corporations, investors, banks and media owners, the Australian government is poised to ram through anti-working class industrial relations (IR) “reforms” when it gains control of the parliamentary upper house, the Senate, on July 1.

Britain: Blair forced to publish legal advice on Iraq war

By Julie Hyland, 30 April 2005

As the general election campaign enters its final stages, the issue that all the main parties have sought to suppress—the Iraq war—has finally reared its head.

Bush demands deep cuts in Social Security benefits

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2005

President Bush used a rare prime-time nationally televised press conference Thursday to open up a campaign for cutting Social Security benefits and ultimately dismantling the country’s principal old-age pension system.

Christian fundamentalist bigotry reigns at US Air Force Academy

By Patrick Martin, 30 April 2005

Evangelical Christians among the officers and cadets at the US Air Force Academy have created an atmosphere of systematic intolerance towards Jewish and non-religious students, according to reports by minority students and investigations by off-campus groups concerned about the rise of fundamentalist bigotry.

New York bus workers end strike

By Alan Whyte, 30 April 2005

Bus drivers, mechanics and cleaners returned to work Monday after being on strike since March 3 against Bee-Line/Liberty Lines Bus Company in Westchester County, New York. The strike by 568 members of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) was over wages, health benefits and retirement age. During the course of the strike, 41 workers were arrested on the picket lines. About 55,000 commuters were affected by the walkout, which halted the company’s bus service from New York City’s northern suburbs.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 April 2005

Thousands of miners strike for pay increase

Anti-Japanese protests and the reactionary nature of Chinese nationalism

By John Chan, 29 April 2005

Three weeks of anti-Japanese protests in China were brought to a halt last weekend when Beijing stepped in to shut them down. After giving tacit support to the demonstrations, the Chinese leadership declared that the protests had become a threat to social stability and dispatched police to prevent any continuation. A handful of protesters detained by police over violent incidents were paraded in the media as a warning to others.

Britain: Islamic fundamentalist group threatens candidates and voters

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 29 April 2005

A series of threats and provocations by a group of Islamic fundamentalists against Respect candidate George Galloway and other political figures, combined with efforts to intimidate Muslim voters, represents a serious attack on democratic rights that must be opposed by all working people.

Graduate students strike at Columbia and Yale universities

By Alan Whyte, 29 April 2005

Graduate student-employees coordinated a five-day strike at both Columbia University in New York City and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut last week in order to publicize their demand that the two US Ivy League schools recognize their right to unionize. There were widely different evaluations of the walkout’s impact, depending on which side provided the estimate. According to a Yale union representative, more than one half of the 700 teaching assistants walked out, affecting more than 450 classes.

Iraqi cabinet announced under US pressure

By James Cogan, 29 April 2005

After months of infighting, and despite numerous unresolved differences, the dominant pro-occupation parties in the Iraqi National Assembly have been pressured by the Bush administration into forming a government. A cabinet list was submitted by transitional prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to the assembly yesterday and approved by 180 of the 275 legislators.