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Britain: Police shoot-to-kill policy part of onslaught against democratic rights

By Rob Stevens and Richard Tyler, 30 July 2005

The gunning down of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on a London subway carriage has tragically exposed the shoot-to-kill policy secretly adopted by Britain’s police.

Russia and China call for closure of US bases in Central Asia

By John Chan, 30 July 2005

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a grouping of China, Russia and four Central Asian republics, issued an unprecedented statement at a summit meeting on July 5 in Kazakhstan calling on the United States to set a deadline for the removal of its military bases in Central Asia.

AFL-CIO conference passes pro-war resolution

By Joseph Kay, 30 July 2005

Before its 25th Constitutional Convention ended on Thursday, the AFL-CIO passed a resolution on the war in Iraq that buttresses the basic lies used by the US government to justify its continued occupation of the country. While the resolution calls for US troops to be withdrawn “rapidly,” it goes on to support the political process installed under the supervision of the occupying forces, under the guise of promoting “democracy.”

Amid “civil war” warnings, Rumsfeld flies to Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 30 July 2005

Amid growing concerns in Washington over the intractable conflict in Iraq and the instability of the US-backed regime there, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld staged his latest emergency flight to Baghdad Wednesday.

Twenty years since the Air India bombings—Part 2

By David Adelaide, 30 July 2005

This is the second and concluding part of a two-part article. The first part was posted July 29.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia & the Pacific

By , 30 July 2005

South Korean government forces end to hospital strike

US energy bill funnels billions to oil, utility corporations

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2005

Congressional Republican and Democratic negotiators reached agreement Monday night on major elements of a new energy bill promoted by the Bush administration to reward its corporate backers in the oil, coal and utility industries.

US: mass layoffs continue, consumer confidence declines

By David Walsh, 29 July 2005

News reporting on US economic life confirms that there are two distinct Americas in 2005: one populated by the corporate elite and the upper middle class, another inhabited by broad layers of the working population.

NASA grounds space shuttle fleet after near-disaster in Discovery launch

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2005

In a devastating blow to the US space program, NASA ordered the suspension of all future space shuttle flights Wednesday, pending an investigation into the loss of a large piece of foam insulation during the successful launch of Discovery the previous day. The space agency began an intensive review of the launch, examining photos taken by hundreds of cameras, as well as inspecting the spacecraft’s skin, looking for possible damage.

Blair defends Iraq war, vows new attacks on civil liberties and social conditions

By Julie Hyland, 29 July 2005

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s July 26 press conference was a sharp warning that his government will intensify both its pro-war alliance with Washington abroad and the imposition of sweeping attacks on civil liberties at home.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 29 July 2005

Europe

“Free market” Beijing: an on-the-spot report

By a correspondent, 29 July 2005

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing this on-the-spot report it received from a correspondent in Beijing.

China’s yuan revaluation a response to increased US pressure

By John Chan, 29 July 2005

Last week’s decision by the Chinese central bank to revalue the yuan by 2 percent against the US dollar reflected two sets of pressures operating on the Chinese government.

Twenty years since the Air India bombings

By David Adelaide, 29 July 2005

The following is the first of a two-part article. The concluding part was posted on July 30.

The split in the AFL-CIO and the organization of the unorganized

By Barry Grey, 28 July 2005

In the current split within the AFL-CIO union federation, both sides are raising as an urgent priority the organization of non-union workers—now the overwhelming majority of the American workforce.

Germany: labour court confirms dismissal of Opel auto worker in “wildcat strike”

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 July 2005

On July 19 the labour court in Bochum came down with its ruling in the case against Opel auto worker Richard Kaczorowski. The 45-year-old worker from the work logistics department of the Opel factory in Bochum had appealed against his summary dismissal by the company. In the course of the hearing, he was able to prove that the accusations made against him were groundless and part of disciplinary measures imposed following a walk-out at the company last autumn.

British soldiers face war crimes charges for killing Iraqi civilians

By Richard Tyler, 28 July 2005

Three British soldiers face war crimes charges arising from the killing of an Iraqi civilian. Mr. Baha Mousa, a 26-year old hotel receptionist, was arrested in September 2003 and taken to British Army Headquarters in Basra, southern Iraq. He died the next day. A post mortem found strangulation marks, a broken nose and three broken ribs.

Democratic Leadership Council drafts right-wing platform for coming elections

By Joseph Kay, 28 July 2005

The Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) held its annual convention in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend, outlining its program for the upcoming 2006 mid-term elections and the presidential election in 2008. Speeches at the meeting and documents published in advance indicate that the Democratic Party plans to run an extremely right-wing campaign, particularly on the issues of “national security” and the war in Iraq.

Afghans besiege US base to protest arrests

By Kate Randall, 28 July 2005

Nearly 2,000 Afghans protested Tuesday outside the US air base in Bagram, north of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Chanting “Die America!” the crowd threw stones and tried to break down an outer gate to the base, demanding the release of eight detained villagers.

An exchange on “One hundred years since Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis”

By , 28 July 2005

The following is an exchange on the four-part series entitled “One hundred years since Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis”.

China faces worst floods since 1998

By Dragan Stankovic, 28 July 2005

The summer flooding season in China has again produced a massive death toll, as well as threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions more people in numerous cities and regions. Since the beginning of June, the start of the rainy season, more than 1,000 people have died and hundreds remain missing in the worst flooding since 1998, when 4,185 people were killed.

Life sentence for Islamic fundamentalist Al-Timimi: an attack on free speech

By John Andrews, 27 July 2005

On July 13, Dr. Ali Al-Timimi, a scientist and Islamic fundamentalist preacher, was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus 70 years on charges that he urged Muslim followers in the week following the September 11 terrorist attacks to leave the United States and support Islamic military efforts in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Indonesia and Russia.

Brazil: angry protests hit state murder in London

By Bill Van Auken, 27 July 2005

The July 22 police execution of Brazilian-born electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on a London subway car has provoked shock and angry protest in the 27-year-old immigrant’s native land.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 July 2005

Latin America

The miserable end of the “Volkswagen model”

By Peter Schwarz, 27 July 2005

The recent affair at Volkswagen—which led to the resignation of betriebsrat (works council) Chairman Klaus Volkert and Director of Personnel Peter Hartz, as well as the dismissal of several leading managers against whom legal proceedings are now underway—contains all the elements of a major public scandal: corruption, sex, company-financed pleasure trips and voyages round the world for members of the works council and all sorts of wheeling and dealing behind closed doors. The media, as is their wont, have seized upon the affair, above all the tabloid Bild newspaper, which is serving up daily offerings full of new and intimate detail.

Britain: media defend state killing, police chief warns more to come

By Julie Hyland, 27 July 2005

Jean Charles de Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian slain by police last week in a London subway carriage, was shot eight times at point blank range—seven times in the head and once in the neck.

The struggle against superstition in a West African village

By Mile Klindo, 27 July 2005

This is the sixth in a series of articles on the 52nd Sydney Film Festival. Parts one, two, three, four and five were published on July 7, 12, 13, 21 and 25 respectively.

An exchange of letters on the crisis in the AFL-CIO

By , 27 July 2005

Below is a letter sent to the WSWS in response to the article “The split in the AFL-CIO”, followed by a reply by the author of the article, Shannon Jones.

New Zealand: election date set as Labour government’s support slumps

By John Braddock, 27 July 2005

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced on Monday that elections will be held on September 17. Confirmation of the date had been withheld for some weeks while Clark attempted to come to grips with an accelerating crisis in support for her Labour-led government. Labour’s hold on office is looking increasingly tenuous following a slump of almost seven points in the latest opinion polls. The last time the government had such a negative rating was in February last year.

Service workers, Teamsters split from AFL-CIO

By Bill Van Auken, 26 July 2005

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced July 25 that they have severed formal ties with the AFL-CIO, the main US trade union federation.

Letters, and some replies, on “One hundred years since Einstein’s annus mirabilis”

By , 26 July 2005

The following letters, in some cases with replies, were sent in response to the four-part series entitled “One hundred years since Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis” by Peter Symonds. The articles were posted as follows: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Life sentence for Islamic fundamentalist Al-Timimi: an attack on free speech

By John Andrews, 26 July 2005

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Homeless die in Arizona heat wave

By Joe Anthony, 26 July 2005

In Phoenix, Arizona last week at least 21 people, 14 of whom have been identified as homeless, have died from exposure to extreme temperatures in excess of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Centigrade). In addition, at least 13 undocumented immigrants have died trying to cross the desert region on the Arizona-Mexico border. Temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees in Phoenix for weeks on end, with 14 days in July having highs of 110 degrees or more.

Study documents US-inflicted carnage on Iraqi people

By James Cogan, 26 July 2005

The Dossier of Civilian Casualties 2003-2005, published this month by the organisation Iraq Body Count (IBC), is the most detailed assessment to date of how the illegal US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq have caused the death and injury of tens of thousands of civilians.

Iran-Contra redux: Bush White House ran “off-the-books” covert operation for Iraq elections

By Patrick Martin, 26 July 2005

An article by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh last week in the New Yorker magazine reveals that the Bush White House authorized a highly classified covert program to funnel financial and material aid to its favored slate in the January 30 Iraqi elections, an operation that may have included ballot-stuffing and other means of directly manipulating vote totals.

Letters from our readers

By , 26 July 2005

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

“I am in the world to change the world”: The art and life of Käthe Kollwitz

By Joanne Laurier, 26 July 2005

A lithography exhibition currently on display at the Worcester [Massachusetts] Art Museum features works by European masters (Goya, Delacroix and others) and nineteenth century lithographers (Daumier and Whistler)—as well as more modern artists. A piece in this last category is a 1909 print by German artist Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945), entitled Woman in a Blue Shawl.

Letters, and some replies, on “One hundred years since Einstein’s annus mirabilis”

By , 25 July 2005

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Four unions announce boycott of AFL-CIO convention

By Jerry White, 25 July 2005

On the eve of the AFL-CIO convention, officials from four unions representing nearly a third of the US labor federation’s membership announced they would boycott the organization’s national conference that starts Monday in Chicago. The move appears to be the first step towards an organizational breakup of the fifty-year-old labor federation, which has been beset by a bitter factional struggle within its executive board since last November.

German president clears way for early elections

By Peter Schwarz, 25 July 2005

On the evening of July 21, German President Horst Köhler announced in a national television address his highly-awaited decision to dissolve the German Bundestag (federal parliament). He explained that he had granted the motion of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and taken the decision to hold federal elections on September 18.

Former Tory Prime Minister Edward Heath dies

By Ann Talbot, 25 July 2005

The death of former British Prime Minister Edward Heath at 89 years of age on July 17 has been the occasion for a wave of nostalgia on the part of the media. He held the premiership from 1970 to 1974. After this brief spell in Number 10, he spent the rest of his long political career denouncing his successor Margaret Thatcher from the back benches.

Report implicates Indonesian intelligence in murder of human rights activist

By John Roberts, 25 July 2005

An Indonesian government fact-finding commission handed down its final report late last month on the murder of prominent human rights activist Munir Said Thalib on September 7, 2004. While the report itself has not been released, statements from leading commission members have clearly pointed the finger at senior officials in the State Intelligence Agency (BIN).

Yugoslav filmmaker at an impasse

By Ismet Redzovic, 25 July 2005

This is the fifth in a series of articles on the 52nd Sydney Film Festival. Parts one, two, three and four were published on July 7, 12, 13 and 21, respectively.

German Party of Democratic Socialism renames itself “The Left Party”

By Lucas Adler, 25 July 2005

Earlier this month, delegates at a special congress held in Berlin decided to change the name of their party from the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) to “The Left Party.”

Police gun down worker in London subway: another tragic consequence of Blair’s war policy

By WSWS Editorial Board, 25 July 2005

The public state execution of Jean Charles de Menezes in a London subway carriage on July 22 marks a watershed.

A government of lies: The political meaning of the Rove affair

By Patrick Martin, 23 July 2005

Whenever a major crisis emerges in political life, it is necessary to distinguish between the often peculiar forms in which the crisis makes its initial appearance and the more fundamental underlying issues. So it is with the uproar touched off by the reports that Karl Rove, Bush’s top political aide, leaked the identity of a CIA undercover operative to the press, as part of an effort to punish critics of the Iraq war.

US military exonerated torturers of John Walker Lindh

By David Walsh, 23 July 2005

The US soldiers responsible for the abuse and torture of John Walker Lindh at an Afghan military base in December 2002—and photographing their handiwork—were cleared of all charges by military investigators more than two years ago on the grounds that their behavior amounted to little more than “barracks humor.” The documents revealing this finding were among materials related to detainee treatment released July 19, in heavily censored form, in response to a federal suit by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia & the Pacific

By , 23 July 2005

Indian tea strike enters second week

The state of the modern soul

By David Walsh, 23 July 2005

L’argent [Money], directed by Robert Bresson, a DVD released by New Yorker Video

Tsunami victims struggling to survive in eastern Sri Lanka

By M. Aravindan and Sarath Kumara, 23 July 2005

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team recently visited the eastern Ampara district of Sri Lanka and spoke to survivors of the tsunami that devastated much of the coastal belt on December 26. According to local officials, about 25,000 people were killed and another 166,000 were left homeless in the district. Six months later, more than 40,000 victims are still living in inadequate accommodation with little or no government financial assistance.

New York Times’ Thomas Friedman libels opponents of Iraq war

By Joseph Kay, 23 July 2005

The bombings in London have been accompanied by a campaign on the part of the political and media establishment to deny the obvious—that these attacks are the inexorable consequences of American and British foreign policy, above all the war in Iraq. A particularly provocative example of this campaign is Thomas Friedman’s column in the July 22 New York Times, entitled “Giving the Hatemonger No Place to Hide.”

The formation of Iraq’s interim government and the missing billions

By James Cogan, 22 July 2005

Over the past year, a number of US government audits have documented the mismanagement, lack of accounting, corruption and likely theft of billions of dollars during the 13 months that the US-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) governed Iraq. Legal actions have been initiated against US contracting companies such as Haliburton and calls for further investigations were made in June in the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform.

Philippines President Arroyo refuses to step down

By John Roberts, 22 July 2005

Embattled Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is clinging to office amid continuing calls for her to resign over allegations that she was involved in rigging last year’s presidential elections. She has been compelled to reorganise her administration after the resignation of senior cabinet members and advisors, including her entire economic team, earlier this month.

Enron unmasked, but not comprehended

By Nancy Hanover, 22 July 2005

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, by director and screenwriter Alex Gibney, produced by Todd Wagner, Alex Gibney and Jason Kliot, released spring 2005

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 22 July 2005

Europe

US woos India with support in becoming a “world power”

By Keith Jones, 22 July 2005

In a joint statement Monday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W. Bush proclaimed “their resolve to transform the relationship between their countries” into a “global partnership.”

Greenspan points to “significant uncertainties” in US economy

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2005

In what could be his last semi-annual report to Congress on monetary policy, Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan delivered his expected upbeat assessment of the state of the US economy. The baseline outlook, he said, is “one of sustained economic growth and contained inflation pressures”.

Some interesting documentaries

By Richard Phillips, 21 July 2005

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the 52nd Sydney Film Festival.

Who is Judge Roberts?

By Barry Grey, 21 July 2005

In naming Judge John Roberts to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, President Bush has selected a Washington insider and trusted advocate of corporate interests who can be counted on to move the high court further to the right.

German Green Party election program—tailored to the interest of big business

By Dietmar Henning, 21 July 2005

At last week’s national congress, the German Greens—Bündnis [Alliance] 90/The Greens—adopted the program they will take into the elections expected this September. In their programmatic statements, the Greens pick up from where they left off as partners in the previous government coalition and for which they have been punished in numerous state and local elections—with policies tailored to the interests of big business.

Letters from our readers

By , 21 July 2005

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

Obituary: Alvaro Cunhal—leading betrayer of Portugal’s 1974 revolution

By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 21 July 2005

Last month saw the death at age 91 of Alvaro Cunhal, leader of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) for more than 30 years, from 1961 to 1992. This long-serving Stalinist functionary played a crucial role in helping to save Portuguese capitalism from the revolutionary upheaval known as the “Carnation Revolution” that followed the collapse of the Salazar-Caetano dictatorship in 1974.

Letters from our readers

By , 20 July 2005

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

Demythologising requires a political appraisal

By Paul Bond, 20 July 2005

Frida Kahlo at the Tate Modern, London, through 9 October 2005

Australian government exploits “people smuggler” conviction to continue SIEV X cover-up

By Jake Skeers, 20 July 2005

With typical cynicism, the Howard government seized upon the conviction of a man on “people smuggling” charges last month to continue its whitewash of the October 2001 sinking of a refugee boat that cost the lives of 353 men, women and children. The over-loaded vessel sank between Indonesia and Australia in international waters that were under intensive Australian military surveillance.

A legal sham: first charges laid against Saddam Hussein

By Peter Symonds, 20 July 2005

The decision announced July 17 to file the first charges against deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein has set the stage for what can only be called a political show trial later in the year. Confronting deep popular hostility and fierce armed resistance, US authorities and the puppet regime headed by Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari have decided to put Hussein on trial in a bid to both cow public opposition and garner support from sections of the Shiite and Kurdish communities that suffered most under the Baathist dictatorship.

14,500 jobs to be slashed at Hewlett-Packard

By David Walsh, 20 July 2005

Computer and printer giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) revealed plans July 19 to eliminate 14,500 jobs, or some 10 percent of its global workforce of 151,000. The company, based in Palo Alto, California, also said it would freeze the pension and retiree medical-program benefits of certain employees, increasing instead its contributions to most of these workers’ 401(k) plans.

A tale of two classes

By Joseph Kay, 20 July 2005

Sometimes the real character of social relations in the United States manages to find its way into pages of the American press. Such was the case in Tuesday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal. The front page of the newspaper’s Marketplace section featured two articles, which when combined give a sense of the class division that cuts across American society.

Australian government sends troops back to Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 19 July 2005

The Australian government is sending troops back to Afghanistan some two-and-a-half years after they were withdrawn. An elite force of 150 Special Air Service (SAS) personnel and Army commandos will be dispatched in September for a 12-month tour, following the deployment of 450 Australian troops to southern Iraq in February. An additional 200-strong engineering unit is likely to be sent to Afghanistan in April 2006.

US court upholds military trials for Guantánamo prisoners

By Joseph Kay, 19 July 2005

On July 15, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of the Bush administration on the use of military commissions to try prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The unanimous decision of the three-judge appeals court panel overturned a November, 2004 ruling by US District Court Judge James Robertson in the case of Salim Hahmed Hamdan v. Donald Rumsfeld, et al.

Detroit area nursing home workers locked out

By our correspondent, 19 July 2005

More than 200 nursing home workers who were fired and locked out on June 24 are holding daily protests in front of several facilities operated by MediLodge in the Detroit metropolitan area. The company fired the workers at facilities in Southfield, Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills and Rochester Hills when their union, Service Employees International Union Local 79, called off a threatened strike after year-long negotiations for a new contract broke down.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 July 2005

Latin America

PDS, unions impose wage cut on Berlin transit workers

By Lucas Adler, 19 July 2005

The recent alliance of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Election Alternative (WASG) likes to present itself as a new “left party,” and its programme talks a lot about workers’ rights. However, in those regions where the PDS has a controlling hand in political events, it tramples on the interests of the working class. A good example of this is what happened in the state-run Berlin Transit Corporation (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe—BVG).

An exchange with an Ohio auto worker

By , 19 July 2005

Below we post a letter from an auto worker in Ohio on the experiences of workers in his plant after they voted to affiliate with the United Auto Workers union (UAW). It is followed by reply by Jerry White for the WSWS editorial board.

Germany: PSG campaign finds a positive response in Hesse

By Marianne Arens, 19 July 2005

In the space of three weeks the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG (Socialist Equality Party) has collected 2,040 signatures in the German state of Hesse for its candidacy in the upcoming national election. Although the election has not yet been officially announced and the usual period of notice has been drastically shortened, the PSG is obliged to collect 2,000 official signatures of support before being allowed to take part in the elections under the name “Socialist Equality Party, Section of the Fourth International.” In addition to Hesse, the PSG is also currently collecting signatures in the states of Berlin, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Attack on civil liberties intensifies after London bombing

By Mike Ingram, 18 July 2005

The British Labour government is advancing new repressive measures in the aftermath of the July 7 London bombings.

France: Villepin government attacks the working class

By Antoine Lerougetel, 18 July 2005

Dominique de Villepin was appointed prime minister by President Jacques Chirac in the wake of the rejection of the European Constitution by the French electorate in the referendum of May 29. Upon assuming office, Villepin declared he would respond decisively within 100 days to the major concern of the French people: mass unemployment.

Secularism and the American Constitution

By Charles Bogle, 18 July 2005

In recent years, Supreme Court justices, politicians and religious figures have advanced the argument that the Founding Fathers based the US Constitution on God’s word. Some have asserted that the Founding Fathers meant for the Constitution to be understood as a Christian document of governance for a Christian nation.

Lack of aid for tsunami victims on Sri Lanka’s east coast

By M. Aravindan and Sarath Kumara, 18 July 2005

A World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) reporting team recently visited Ampara, a district in the east of Sri Lanka that was among the areas worst affected by the December 26 tsunami. Six months after the disaster struck, some of the better off victims have been able to put their lives back together. Many of the poor, however, are still struggling to cope with surviving day to day.

Australia: Victorian Labor government scraps gambling research

By Marco Trevisiol, 18 July 2005

The Labor government in Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, announced in late May that it was axing research into the links between gambling and crime and depression, as well as how to better detect “problem” gamblers. This amounts to yet another confirmation that, at the state government level, Australia’s mainstream political parties have become addicted to gaming revenue, largely obtained at the expense of ordinary working people.

An exchange on science, evolution and intelligent design

By , 16 July 2005

On June 20, 2005 the World Socialist Web Site published an article on the decision by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History to show a documentary put out by the Discovery Institute. The Discovery Institute is the country’s foremost advocate of Intelligent Design, a quasi-religious view that aims to attack the theory of biological evolution. [See “An attack on science: Smithsonian Institution to show film on Intelligent Design”].

Spain: Vatican intensifies campaign against Socialist Party government

By Paul Stuart, 16 July 2005

Spain’s Catholic Church has organised a series of demonstrations against the Socialist Party (PSOE) government’s legalization of homosexual marriage. The largest of these took place on June 18 in Madrid.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe’s ”Operation Murambatsvina”

By Barbara Slaughter, 16 July 2005

Since May 19, the Zimbabwean government of President Robert Mugabe has been carrying out a brutal campaign of forced evictions, cynically named “Operation Murambatsvina”—which is Shona for “get rid of trash.” Hundreds of thousands of families who are struggling to survive in the urban areas have been branded as criminals and driven into the countryside, where they will face the possibility of starvation and death.

Hunger in California’s Central Valley: rising poverty in leading food-producing region

By Kevin Kearney, 16 July 2005

According to a report released by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for Health Policy Research in June, the pains of poverty are sharpening in California with hunger and food insecurity on the rise in the state. In the cruelest of ironies, the study found that some of the worst conditions in the state prevail among the poor and working poor in the Central Valley region of San Joaquin County—one of the nation’s centers of agricultural production.

Amidst new torture reports, US military defends architect of abuse at Guantánamo

By David Walsh, 16 July 2005

Even as new information emerged about US military torture of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon gave a clean bill of health to the individual who presided over the abuses.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia & the Pacific

By , 16 July 2005

Indian tea estate workers on indefinite strike

The rise and fall of Bernie Ebbers

By Joseph Kay, 16 July 2005

On July 13, former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison. For Ebbers, who is 63 years old and has a heart ailment, this will likely mean spending the rest of his life behind bars for his role in the biggest corporate accounting fraud in US history. He was convicted by a federal district court in New York of fraud, conspiracy and making false filings.

American Samoa: factory owner jailed for 40 years over “human trafficking”

By John Braddock, 16 July 2005

In a case of what amounts to modern day slavery, a US federal judge in Hawaii late last month sentenced Kil Soo Lee, the former owner of a garment factory in American Samoa, to 40 years jail. The court also ordered the South Korean businessman to pay $US1.8 million in restitution to about 300 immigrant workers, who were lured to the South Pacific islands with the promise of three years’ employment and wages of $US400 per month.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 15 July 2005

Europe

Worsening health inequality in Australia

By Karen Holland, 15 July 2005

After an unexplained delay of many months, the Howard government earlier this year finally released two reports on health inequalities. They show that mortality rates in 1998-2000 for the poorest Australians remained significantly higher than for the wealthy, with the gap increasing substantially over a 15-year period.

US Supreme Court rules in favor of entertainment giants and big cable Internet providers

By Don Knowland, 15 July 2005

On June 27, the US Supreme Court decided two important cases involving Internet use.

Germany: North Rhine Westphalia government adopts austerity programme

By Joerg Victor and Martin Kreickenbaum, 15 July 2005

Following their election victory in the state of North Rhine Westphalia on May 22, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and free market Free Democratic Party (FDP) have agreed a programme for their coalition government. The two parties signed a coalition contract that heralds massive cuts in public services, which will undoubtedly hit ordinary people very hard. Two days later, Juergen Ruettgers (CDU) was sworn in as the new state premier. The victory of the CDU and FDP in NRW broke the decades-long stranglehold on the state held by the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which suffered an historic defeat.

Bush administration refuses to relinquish US control of Internet

By Mike Ingram, 15 July 2005

A statement published by the US government last week reverses previous promises to relinquish control of the Internet’s Domain Name and Addressing System (DNS) and transfer it to an international body.

The London bombings: Why did it happen here?

By Chris Marsden, 15 July 2005

The response of the Labour government to the July 7 bombings in London has been a mixture of hand-wringing and hypocrisy.

More letters on the jailing of Judith Miller

By , 15 July 2005

On July 7, the World Socialist Web Site published an article opposing the jailing of New York Times reporter Judith Miller. ordered by Federal District Judge Thomas Hogan after she refused to answer questions posed by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. (See “Jailing of Times reporter: an attack on press freedom and democratic rights” ). We received many letters critical of our position, to which Patrick Martin wrote a reply (See “Why the WSWS opposes the jailing of Judith Miller” ). The following letters were received in response to Martin’s reply.

Another angry protest in China

By Carol Divjak, 15 July 2005

Social tensions in China are taking on an increasingly explosive form. A riot by 10,000 people triggered by a car accident in the city of Chizhou in Anhui province is the latest case to be reported. Around 3 p.m. on June 26, a Toyota sedan hit a teenage student as he was riding a bike. As the student and driver began to argue, three men emerged from the car and along with the driver began to beat up the student.

Letters from our readers

By , 14 July 2005

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

Letters on the London bombings

By , 14 July 2005

The following are a selection of letters received by the World Socialist Web Site on the recent bombings in London.

Further shift to the right by the German Green Party

By Dietmar Henning, 14 July 2005

Last weekend, Bündnis 90/The Greens officially adopted their program for the planned prematurely called elections this autumn. The program was drafted over the last six weeks by the Greens immediately after the announcement of new elections.

One hundred years since Albert Einstein’s annus mirabilis

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2005

This is the conclusion of a four-part series on Einstein’s scientific contributions. Part one, part two, and part three were published on July 11, 12 and 13, respectively.