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A dark and complex beauty

By Paul Bond, 30 May 2005

Caravaggio: The Final Years at the National Gallery, London, February 23-May 22, 2005

French electorate rejects European constitution

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2005

The following is an initial report on the results of Sunday’s referendum in France on the European Union constitution. A more comprehensive analysis of the vote and its political implications will be posted Tuesday.

Letters from our readers

30 May 2005

The following is a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

More on Newsweek’s retraction of the Koran story

By Kate Randall, 30 May 2005

New details emerging about detainee abuse at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp underscore the utterly craven and politically motivated character of Newsweek’s retraction of its May 9 article citing desecration of the Koran.

Turkey: IMF plan demands new attacks on working people

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 May 2005

On May 12, Turkey signed a new three-year, $US10 billion loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

World economy becoming more dependent on US debt

By Nick Beams, 30 May 2005

The increasing fragility of the world economy is underlined by the latest report from International Monetary Fund staff on the position of the United States. The report, which will be the subject of discussion before a final document is prepared, said there was “general agreement” that the outlook for the US in 2005 and 2006 was “favourable” with gross domestic product (GDP) expected to expand at around 3.5 percent over the next two years.

Amnesty International report denounces US abuses of human rights

By Chris Marsden, 28 May 2005

Amnesty International has called on the Bush administration to close its prison camp at the US Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, calling it “the gulag of our time.”

Australia: school principals given power to select teachers

By Erika Zimmer, 28 May 2005

A new agreement between the Labor government in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) and the NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF) takes a significant step toward dismantling the current public school staffing system. Launched late last month, the agreement is the second major shift in this direction, following last year’s amendments to the Teaching Services Act, which allowed for the dismissal of school principals who failed to satisfy various performance benchmarks.

Laura Bush, Mubarak and Washington’s “crusade for democracy”

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2005

Only a merciless satirist could have choreographed the trip through the Middle East last week by Laura Bush, wife of the US president. Mrs. Bush visited Jordan, Israel and the occupied West Bank, then finished up with two days in Egypt, where she visited Cairo, the pyramids, and the site of the ancient library at Alexandria.

The essential things go unexplained

By Joanne Laurier, 28 May 2005

Crash, directed by Paul Haggis, screenplay by Haggis and Robert Moresco