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Britain: union agrees to hundreds of redundancies to sell out Gate Gourmet strike

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 30 August 2005

The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) and the in-flight catering company Gate Gourmet are seeking to impose an agreement to end the strike by more than 600 workers that began August 10.

Democratic governor in Tennessee oversees drastic Medicaid cuts

By Naomi Spencer, 30 August 2005

On July 1, the beginning of the 2006 fiscal year, the Tennessee legislature approved Democrat Governor Phil Bredesen’s budget proposal, which included plans to cut by the end of the year 323,000 beneficiaries from TennCare, the state Medicaid program. Additional across-the-board benefit reductions, including extreme restrictions on prescription drugs, are also currently being implemented for the hundreds of thousands remaining in the program.

Hurricane Katrina hits southern US

By Naomi Spencer, 30 August 2005

Just after six in the morning on Monday, Hurricane Katrina hit the southern US state of Louisiana with 145 mile an hour winds and waves of up to 20 feet. There have been reports of massive flooding in some areas, while winds and rain have toppled buildings and houses. The Hurricane also caused serious damage in parts of Alabama and Mississippi. Casualty figures are not yet known, however reports late on Monday indicated at least 55 deaths, with 50 of these in Harrison County, Mississippi. This figure will likely rise much higher as the death toll in Louisiana is counted.

Iraq’s draft constitution: a recipe for neo-colonial rule

By James Cogan, 30 August 2005

The constitution that was endorsed by Iraq’s presidential council on Sunday, and is to be put to a referendum by October 15, is an outrage against the Iraqi people. From beginning to end, it has been written to advance US imperialist ambitions in the Middle East, notably long-term control over Iraq’s oil reserves and permanent military bases in the country.

Irish smallholders jailed for opposing gas pipeline

By Steve James, 30 August 2005

For almost eight weeks, five men have been incarcerated in Dublin’s Cloverhill jail for opposing compulsory acquisition orders taken out for the construction of a multi-billion-euro gas pipeline and terminal.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court orders new presidential elections

By Wije Dias, 30 August 2005

In a highly political decision, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court ruled last Friday that the term of the current president, Chandrika Kumaratunga, must end this November, rather than in November 2006 as she had claimed. The ruling is a rather desperate attempt to find a way out of the political impasse in Colombo that has produced a succession of unstable governments and stalled peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 August 2005

Mexican university workers strike

Chancellor Schröder poses as opponent of war

By Ludwig Niethammer, 29 August 2005

In similar fashion to the German parliamentary elections of 2002, Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder is once again posing as an opponent of American war policy in order to win support for his Social Democratic Party (SPD).

Hurricane Katrina bears down on New Orleans

By Naomi Spencer, 29 August 2005

Residents of New Orleans, Louisiana braced Sunday night for a potentially catastrophic hurricane headed for the southern US city. On Friday August 26, seven people in southern Florida were killed, four struck by uprooted trees, by the category three Hurricane Katrina as it scraped the coast and moved west. Once into the pocket of the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane gained strength and bore directly toward the antiquated and impoverished city of New Orleans.

Letters from our readers

29 August 2005

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