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Canada: Telus workers confront ferocious assault on job security

By David Adelaide, 31 August 2005

Twelve-thousand five-hundred Telus workers in British Columbia and Alberta have been walking the picket lines since July 21. The conflict has been provoked by Telus, the largest telecommunications company in western Canada, with the intention of busting the union and shredding what few obstacles remain to the contracting out of any part of the company’s operations.

Hurricane Katrina: a calamity compounded by poverty and neglect

By Joseph Kay, 31 August 2005

The enormous devastation wreaked upon parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama by Hurricane Katrina is only beginning to come to light, even as the situation in New Orleans grows worse by the hour. Large parts of the coastal regions of these states along the Gulf of Mexico have experienced extensive flooding, destruction of buildings and homes, and loss of life.

Sri Lankan SEP holds meeting to warn of dangers of war and autocratic rule

By our correspondents, 31 August 2005

Amid Sri Lanka’s ongoing political turmoil, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held a public meeting at Colombo’s Public Library auditorium on August 22 to present a socialist alternative to the mounting social and economic crisis and the danger of communal violence and renewed war. More than a hundred workers, professionals and young people attended the meeting.

Reader in Utah comments on police raid

By , 31 August 2005

To the editor:

From the days of “Anybody but Bush”

By John Levine, 31 August 2005

Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear, & the Selling of American Empire, written and directed by Jeremy Earp and Sut Jhally

Australia: Queensland by-elections reveal hostility to Labor

By Mike Head, 31 August 2005

Voters in two working class electorates in the Australian state of Queensland took the opportunity to register their disgust with the state Labor government of Premier Peter Beattie in by-elections held on August 20. Labor lost the seats of Chatsworth and Redcliffe, suffering sizeable swings against it of 14 percent and 10 percent respectively.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 August 2005

Mexican university workers strike

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

Northwest mechanics rally in Minnesota

By our reporter, 29 August 2005

Hundreds of striking airline mechanics, their families and supporters held a noon rally Saturday, August 27 near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to show their determination to fight against the union-busting attack by Northwest Airlines management. But no serious perspective was advanced by some twenty speakers—a majority of whom were Democrats seeking local, state and national office—to advance the interests of the striking mechanics or the working class as a whole. Instead, a hodge-podge of myths and fictions were promulgated to sow illusions among the strikers.

US pushes military build-up in Afghanistan as armed resistance escalates

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2005

Under strong pressure from Washington, a number of countries have been building up troop numbers to bolster the US-led occupation of Afghanistan. While nominally to provide security for parliamentary elections due to take place on September 18, the military build-up is taking place amid a sharp escalation of armed resistance to the US presence that has led to a rising toll of casualties.

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

By , 29 August 2005

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

Socialist Equality Party and WSWS hold summer school in US

By , 29 August 2005

WSWS :

Sharon vows to accelerate settlement expansion in the West Bank

By Rick Kelly, 29 August 2005

In the immediate aftermath of Israel’s evacuation of 21 Zionist settlements in Gaza and 4 in the West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has promised to step up construction in other West Bank settlements. The provocative remarks, made to the Jerusalem Post on August 22, confirm the reality that Sharon’s “unilateral disengagement” scheme has nothing to do with alleviating the oppression of the Palestinian people, and is instead aimed at consolidating a massive Israeli land grab in the Occupied Territories.

Germany: Constitutional Court legitimises new elections

By Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, 27 August 2005

In a seven-to-one vote, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled on Thursday that the early general election called by the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder complies with the German constitution. Nothing now stands in the way of the Bundestag (parliamentary) election scheduled for September 18.

What the Pat Robertson affair reveals

By Patrick Martin, 27 August 2005

Before the Pat Robertson affair is completely swept under the rug by the American media and political establishment, the incident is worth more careful consideration for what it reveals about the state of political life in the United States. It is, after all, not every day that a prominent American and one-time presidential candidate openly advocates the assassination of a foreign head of state.

Australian “counter-terrorism” summit to discuss police-state measures

By Mike Head, 27 August 2005

As it did after the September 11 and Bali terrorist atrocities in 2001 and 2002, the Australian government has seized upon the July 7 bombings in London to bring forward a new wave of measures that will overturn centuries-old civil liberties.

Films from Sally Potter and Tim Burton: thin and wearing thin

By Joanne Laurier, 27 August 2005

Yes, written and directed by Sally Potter; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, directed by Tim Burton, written by John August, based on the book by Roald Dahl

Britain: anti-terror measures threaten basic rights

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 27 August 2005

The anti-terror measures announced by Home Secretary Charles Clarke on August 25 represent a fundamental attack on democratic rights.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 August 2005

Korean Hyundai workers to strike

Letters from our readers

By , 26 August 2005

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

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 26 August 2005

British Rolls Royce workers strike following dismissal of union representative

Fifty-four years in jail without trial: the plight of prison inmates in India

By Parwini Zora, 26 August 2005

Machang Lalung, aged 77, was released from incarceration last month in the northeast Indian state of Assam after spending more than half a century behind bars awaiting trial.

Machinists union grabs jobs of striking Northwest mechanics

By Joseph Kay and John Levine, 26 August 2005

Six days into the strike by mechanics and cleaners at Northwest Airlines, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) has stepped up its collaboration with the company’s strikebreaking operation. On Thursday, Northwest announced that the jobs of some of the striking workers, who belong to the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), will be taken over by members of the IAM, which represents baggage handlers and other ground employees at the airline.

Shiite factions clash as opposition mounts to the draft Iraqi constitution

By James Cogan, 26 August 2005

The Bush administration has continued to maintain the lies that the adoption of a constitution will be a step toward democracy and stability in Iraq. The arm-twisting by US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and backroom horse-trading over the draft constitution, all carried out behind the backs of the Iraqi people, has exposed the first lie. The extensive clashes between rival Shiite factions across southern Iraq in the past two days, provoked in large measure by the draft constitution, have undermined the second.

Unanswered questions about Sri Lankan foreign minister’s assassination

By W.A. Sunil and K. Ratnayake, 26 August 2005

It is now two weeks since Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was shot dead by a sniper at his private residence in Colombo late in the evening of August 12.

Banned Basque demonstration attacked by police

By Paul Bond, 25 August 2005

Around 20 people were injured when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a demonstration in the Basque city of San Sebastian on Sunday, August 14. The demonstration was called by the Basque separatist party Batasuna.

Australian government continues to back discredited US military tribunals

By Richard Phillips, 25 August 2005

The release on July 31 of emails written by two senior US military prosecutors denouncing the Guantánamo Bay military tribunals has intensified the opposition facing the Howard government over its stance on the only remaining Australian detainee, David Hicks.

Detroit union betrays teachers, agrees to concessions contract

By Joseph Kay, 25 August 2005

In a meeting on Wednesday, the leadership of the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) presented to its membership the contract that the union has negotiated with the Detroit City School District to cover the 2005-2006 school year. By a large majority, the several thousand teachers and staff voted to return to work on the basis of the contract, pending a final ballot September 6. The agreement averted a potential strike by the teachers.

American Library Association calls for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

By Sandy English, 25 August 2005

At its annual conference in Chicago earlier this summer, the 182-member Council of the American Library Association, representing more than 65,000 librarians, passed a resolution calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Father of Australian Guantánamo prisoner speaks to the WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 25 August 2005

Terry Hicks, the father of Australian Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, recently spoke with the World Socialist Web Site. His son David, who was arrested by Northern Alliance militia in Afghanistan in December 2001 and then transferred to Guantánamo, has been incarcerated in the US military prison in violation of his basic legal rights for over three and a half years.

More lies from the British police on the de Menezes murder

By Chris Talbot, 25 August 2005

More evidence has emerged relating to the July 22 police killing of the young Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London, providing further proof that the police systematically lied about the subway shooting and have been conducting a cover-up, with the aid of the Labour government of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a largely compliant media.

What would genuine nonconformism look like?

By David Walsh, 25 August 2005

Broken Flowers, written and directed by Jim Jarmusch

Joint Russian-Chinese war games: a reaction to aggressive US policies

By Peter Symonds, 24 August 2005

China and Russia staged their first-ever joint military exercises over the past week. While the stated aim of “Peace Mission 2005” was to combat “terrorism, separatism and extremism”, there is no doubt that the war games stem from deep concerns in Moscow and Beijing over the aggressive policies of the Bush administration, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Bush’s campaign on Iraq: more lies in defense of war

By the Editorial Board, 24 August 2005

The campaign launched by the Bush administration this week to boost public support for the war in Iraq is both reactionary and desperate. Reactionary, because it entails an escalation of the lies spewed forth to conceal the predatory aims of American imperialism in its conquest of Iraq. Desperate, because the White House imagines that official propaganda can offset the impact of the daily bloodshed in Iraq on American public opinion.

Germany: growing social polarisation provokes opposition

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 24 August 2005

All recent studies investigating changes in the distribution of wealth in Germany show that the gulf between rich and poor is growing ever larger. This process has accelerated considerably since the Social Democratic Party/Green Party coalition entered government in 1998.

Banned Basque demonstration attacked by police

By Paul Bond, 24 August 2005

Around 20 people were injured when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a demonstration in the Basque city of San Sebastian on Sunday, August 14. The demonstration was called by the Basque separatist party Batasuna.

A sympathetic examination of the problems facing Sri Lankan youth

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 24 August 2005

When Mille Soya, the latest feature by Sri Lankan writer/director Boodee Keerthisena, was released in local cinemas last year it attracted significant audiences. Last month the movie, also known as Buongiorno Italia, won several Presidential Film Awards, Sri Lanka’s most prestigious cinema prizes, including for best feature, best direction and editing.

New York City: banned graffiti block party to go forward

By Jamie Chapman, 24 August 2005

This article is also posted on the WSWS in PDF format to download and circulate.

Christian Coalition leader Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Venezuelan president

By John Levine and David Walsh, 24 August 2005

Pat Robertson, the Christian fundamentalist politician and broadcaster with close ties to the Bush administration, has publicly called for the assassination of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

The Northwest strike: the end of the AFL-CIO and the political lessons for the working class

By World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 24 August 2005

This statement is also posted on the WSWS in PDF format to download and circulate.

The political issues facing Detroit teachers

By Socialist and WSWS Editorial Board, 23 August 2005

The following statement is being distributed to Detroit teachers meeting Tuesday, August 23 to take a strike vote. Detroit school authorities are demanding sweeping cuts in wages and other benefits, having already eliminated hundreds of teachers’ jobs and cancelled a scheduled wage increase. This statement is also posted on the WSWS in PDF format, and we urge all teachers to download and circulate it as widely as possible.

Iraqi constitution delayed again amid deep differences

By James Cogan, 23 August 2005

A vote on a new constitution for Iraq was delayed last night for another three days due to the bitter, fundamental differences among the various political factions in the parliament.

Protesters rally outside Bush ranch in show of support for Cindy Sheehan

By Michael de Socio and Mark de Socio, 23 August 2005

Supporters continue to converge on Camp Casey outside President George Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas ranch despite the absence of Cindy Sheehan, who left to tend to her ailing mother.

Bitter dispute over timing of Sri Lankan presidential election

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 23 August 2005

In a hearing that began yesterday, a five-judge bench of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court is due to deliver a key decision this week on the timing of the next presidential election. The fact that the election date has been a matter of a lengthy and rancorous dispute between President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the official opposition is another indication of the intractable political impasse that has been reached in ruling circles in Colombo.

Northwest Airlines gloats over union-busting against striking mechanics

By Joseph Kay, 23 August 2005

Three days into a strike by mechanics at Northwest Airlines, executives have begun to gloat over the ability of the company to continue operations.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 August 2005

No agreement yet in Mexican steel strike

German elections: the “competence team” of the conservative opposition

By Dietmar Henning, 23 August 2005

Last Wednesday, Angela Merkel, the leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), introduced her so-called “competence team” for the upcoming September federal elections. Presented as a closely knit lineup of senior members from the CDU and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), a closer look at its composition reveals the exact opposite. The CDU and CSU (together known as the Union) are both riven by deep divisions, with numerous diverging interests competing against one another.

Greek air crash raises serious safety issues

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 August 2005

On Sunday August 14 a Cypriot airliner, Flight 522, crashed near Athens with the loss of all 121 passengers. The plane hit a hill after both pilots were apparently incapacitated by a drop in cabin pressure. The plane was carrying 6 crew and 115 passengers, including an estimated 48 children on their way to an international football competition.

The Guardian and the de Menezes killing

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 22 August 2005

New leaks from official sources in Britain have added to the evidence already brought to light, proving that the official story of how Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was gunned down was a pack of lies. In response, the liberal daily newspaper the Guardian has rushed to the defence of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, justifying the use of death squads and excusing a cover-up aimed at concealing how the police murdered an innocent man.

Spain: Guardia Civil beat farm labourer to death

By Vicky Short, 22 August 2005

In an August 10 letter to the Spanish authorities, Amnesty International (AI) has asked for “a full, thorough and independent investigation” into the events that led to the death of a farm labourer while in custody at the headquarters of the Civil Guard in Roquetas de Mar (Almeria).

Minto: a case study in the destruction of public housing in Australia

By Erika Zimmer and Carol Divjak, 22 August 2005

A visit to Minto, the site of one of 110 Department of Housing estates in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, highlighted the rapidity with which public housing is being dismantled across the country. Entire swathes of the suburb are being torn down or left to rot, and residents are being stampeded or coerced into quitting their homes. The state Labor government is steadily demolishing 800 dwellings, affecting 4,000 residents.

Striking Northwest Airlines mechanics face union-busting assault

By a WSWS reporting team, 21 August 2005

Northwest Airlines, the fourth largest US carrier, launched a massive strikebreaking operation against its mechanics and airplane cleaners, members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Organization (AMFA), who struck at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Further into the Iraqi quagmire: US intensifies repression

By James Cogan, 20 August 2005

To use the term “democracy” in relation to the situation in Iraq makes a mockery of the word. The reality of life for the Iraqi masses is a social and economic catastrophe, alongside ever-more brutal colonial rule at the hands of the American military and its local Iraqi security forces. As tensions increase, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are presiding over a stepped-up campaign of repression against the population.

After killing of Sri Lankan minister, clamour for war grows in Colombo

By K. Ratnayake, 20 August 2005

Following the assassination of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar last week, there is a distinct beating of war drums in Colombo ruling circles.

Indonesia signs shaky peace deal with Acehnese separatists

By John Roberts, 20 August 2005

On August 15, the exiled leaders of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) signed a pact with the Indonesian government in the Finnish capital Helsinki to end their 29-year struggle for independence. The terms were worked out in five negotiating sessions held in Helsinki since January, under the auspices of the Crisis Management Initiative Organisation headed by former Finland President Martii Ahtisaari.

Colonial oppression in a South Pacific idyll—impressions of New Caledonia

By John Braddock, 20 August 2005

In his seminal work History of the Paris Commune of 1871, published in 1876 and later translated into English by Eleanor Marx, the journalist Lissagary described the deportation of condemned political prisoners to the French penal colony of New Caledonia following the bloody suppression of the commune.

Letters from our readers

By , 20 August 2005

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 August 2005

Korean government steps in to end pilots’ strike

Poland: protesting miners clash with police as elections approach

By Brigitte Fehlau, 20 August 2005

Angry miners fought fierce battles with police and security forces on the streets of the Polish capital Warsaw at the end of July. Poland’s Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) government, led by an unaffiliated finance expert, Marek Belka, had announced proposals to do away with a traditional scheme allowing miners to retire early. According to Polish law, every miner is entitled to full pension rights after 25 years of work.

Food shortages leave millions of North Koreans facing starvation

By Carol Divjak, 20 August 2005

While US officials from Bush down regularly accuse the North Korean dictatorship of “starving its people”, the protracted food shortages in the country are being aggravated by Washington and other powers and are being exploited to further their political ends on the Korean peninsula.

Australia: state Labor leader positions himself for a federal political career

By Richard Phillips, 19 August 2005

Bob Carr, the longest serving premier of New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, suddenly resigned on July 27 precipitating a wave of eulogies from the media, the resignation of two senior state cabinet ministers, and a scramble by Labor’s political machine to find a replacement and rearrange the state cabinet.

Airport catering workers still sacked at Heathrow airport

By Robert Stevens, 19 August 2005

More than 600 airport catering workers employed by in-flight catering firm Gate Gourmet at Heathrow Airport in London remain sacked. The workers have been fighting to be reinstated by the company over the past week following their replacement with temporary staff hired by a company called Vera Logistics.

Large parts of Africa face chronic food shortages

By Barry Mason, 19 August 2005

As the news of starving people in Niger drops from the headlines, warnings of food shortages in many parts of Africa have been issued by the US Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and a number of aid agencies.

SPD’s program for German election: window dressing and lies

By Dietmar Henning, 19 August 2005

At first glance the manifesto of Germany’s governing Social Democratic Party (SPD) for the September 18 general election appears bizarre. “We stand for social justice” is boldly printed on the election posters for the party that is responsible for the most far-reaching welfare cuts and the highest number of unemployed since the Second World War.

Public servants’ strike deepens Tonga’s political crisis

By John Braddock, 19 August 2005

In the largest ever protest rally in the Pacific Island kingdom of Tonga, up to 10,000 public servants, their families and supporters marched through the capital Nuku’alofa to the royal palace on August 8. At the same time, an unprecedented general strike by 3,000 government workers entered a third week, demanding wage increases of up to 80 percent. The cabinet had earlier warned strikers that if they failed to return to work, they would be dealt with under the Public Service regulations, a thinly veiled threat that they would be sacked or punished.

SEP to hold public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan political crisis

By , 19 August 2005

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, August 23 to warn of the grave dangers of a return to civil war and the establishment of autocratic rule, and to advance a socialist alternative.

9/11 commission told of Atta cover-up

By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2005

A longtime Army intelligence officer went public with his allegations about a cover-up in the 9/11 investigation, giving an on-the-record interview Monday night to the New York Times and Fox News, and then further interviews Tuesday to other news outlets.

Germany Interior Minister Schily seeks introduction of preventive detention

By Justus Leicht, 19 August 2005

In a recent newspaper interview Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily (SPD-Social Democratic Party) urged new laws along the lines of those already in force in Great Britain allowing the preventive detention of persons for months at a time even if there is no proof that they have committed, or intend to commit, a criminal offence. Prominent politicians from the conservative opposition in Germany supported Schily’s proposals and announced they would put them into effect should they emerged as victors in federal elections planned for this September.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 19 August 2005

Greek police attack bank workers’ demonstration

Australia: terrorism trial of Jack Thomas to rely on coerced evidence

By David Taylor, 18 August 2005

After a series of court hearings over recent months, partly held behind closed doors, a young Australian worker, Jack Thomas, will go on trial next year on terrorism-related charges, with the prosecution largely relying on statements obtained from him under torture in Pakistan in early 2003.

The Israeli state and the right-wing settler movement

By Jean Shaoul, 18 August 2005

This is the conclusion of a four-part series. Parts one, two and three were published on August 15, 16 and 17 respectively.

What about the ABC of social understanding?

By Joanne Laurier, 18 August 2005

ABC Africa, directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Israeli forces remove Zionist settlers from Gaza

By Rick Kelly, 18 August 2005

Midnight Wednesday marked the final deadline for Jewish settlers to evacuate their 21 settlements in Gaza. Of the 8,500 settlers in the Palestinian territory, approximately half had left their houses in the days preceding the cut-off date. The situation remains tense, however, as the remaining residents have been joined by an estimated 5,000 supporters who have vowed to resist Israeli police and military forces ordered to remove those defying Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “unilateral disengagement” plan.

The media and Cindy Sheehan

By Barry Grey, 18 August 2005

It is both fascinating and instructive to observe the manner in which the American media seeks to handle the phenomenon of Cindy Sheehan, the 48-year-old woman from Vacaville, California, who has become a focus of anti-war sentiment in the US.

Britain: government lies exposed over de Menezes murder

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 18 August 2005

Documents and photographs leaked to ITV News demonstrate that the entire story used by the police, the media and the government to excuse the killing of the young Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes in London was a lie.

French government seizes on London bombings to escalate attack on civil liberties

By Antoine Lerougetel, 18 August 2005

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has taken advantage of the outrage and confusion produced by the July 7 bombings in London and the failed attempts of July 21 to further his law-and-order agenda.

Canada: top general spouts rhetoric of Bush administration

By David Adelaide, 17 August 2005

Canada’s top military commander, Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier, has been the focus of a blitz of media attention in the wake of a series of bellicose public appearances. Openly adopting the militarist rhetoric of the Bush administration, the general frothed to a media briefing that the targets of an expanded Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployment to Afghanistan were “detestable murderers and scumbags” who “detest our freedoms... detest our society... [and] detest our liberties.”

The Israeli state and the right-wing settler movement

By Jean Shaoul, 17 August 2005

This is the third article in a four-part series. Parts one and two were published on August 15 and 16 respectively.

Germany: DaimlerChrysler CEO suddenly resigns

By Patrick Richter, 17 August 2005

Investors cracked open their champagne bottles on hearing July 28 that DaimlerChrysler CEO Jürgen Schrempp had resigned. The company’s stock price jumped by 10 percent to more than 40 euros, pushing the market capitalisation of the world’s fourth largest car maker—behind General Motors, Toyota and Ford—from 36 to 40 billion euros. Rarely has the departure of a CEO caused such a surge in the company’s share price.

Bush menaces Iran with threat of military attack

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2005

President George Bush’s inflammatory comments last Friday menacing Iran with military attack have again underscored the lawless character of the US administration. His declaration that “all options are on the table,” that is, including the military one, directly undermines European efforts to negotiate a deal with Iran over its nuclear programs and signals that Washington is moving toward unilateral military aggression.

The character is confused, but so is the filmmaker

By David Walsh, 17 August 2005

Hustle & Flow, written and directed by Craig Brewer

Partei für Soziale Gleichheit certified to take part in German federal elections

By the Editorial Board, 17 August 2005

At its meeting in Berlin on August 12, the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) decided which parties can participate in elections for the German parliament (Bundestag) scheduled for September 18. The Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (PSG—Socialist Equality Party) was officially accepted to participate in the election with the unanimous approval of the commission, meeting under the chairmanship of Johann Hahlen.

Sri Lankan court ruling over aid deal: a sign of sharp political tensions

By Wije Dias, 17 August 2005

The assassination of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar last Friday has heightened the danger of a return to civil war on the island. His death, however, is just one element of a highly-charged political situation that was already sliding toward renewed conflict.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 16 August 2005

Mexican steelworkers picket labor ministry, block roads

Over 120 lives lost in Chinese mine flood

By Dragan Stankovic, 16 August 2005

At least 123 miners working the Daxing Coal mine in Xingning County, in China’s southern Guangdong province, are believed to have lost their lives on August 7 when a shaft suddenly flooded. The death toll could be far higher. The management has fled and there is no record of how many men were underground at the time. A former miner told China Daily that there were normally as many as 200. Just four workers escaped the rising waters and only one body has been recovered so far.

Where Frank Rich goes wrong: the war in Iraq and the stakes for American imperialism

By Patrick Martin, 16 August 2005

Frank Rich of the New York Times is one of a handful of columnists for the major daily newspapers in the United States who exhibit intelligence and compassion. He makes no secret of his loathing for the war in Iraq—a sentiment entirely to his credit and rare in the media. And he recognizes that the Bush administration, with its combination of criminality and recklessness, represents something qualitatively new and troubling in American political life.

Northwest Airlines prepares union-busting assault against mechanics

By Shannon Jones, 16 August 2005

Management at Northwest Airlines is organizing a massive strikebreaking operation against its 4,400 mechanics and cleaners, members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). The airline is seeking to provoke a strike on August 20, when a 30-day cooling-off period expires, by demanding sweeping concessions totaling $176 million a year. These include a huge wage cut and the elimination of 50 percent of the mechanics’ jobs. Should the union decide not to strike, Northwest is poised to declare a lockout.

Australia: students protest against dismantling of university unions

By our reporters, 16 August 2005

Thousands of tertiary students, academics and supporters participated in rallies across Australia on August 10, protesting against the Howard government’s so-called voluntary student unionism (VSU) legislation, which aims to dismantle student unions.

The Israeli state and the ultra-right settler movement

By Jean Shaoul, 16 August 2005

This is the second article in a four-part series. Part one was published on August 15.

Growing support for Cindy Sheehan protest against Iraq war

By Kate Randall, 16 August 2005

The ranks of protesters who have converged on Crawford, Texas to support Cindy Sheehan have swelled to some 300 since the 48-year-old mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq set up camp August 6 down the road from George W. Bush’s ranch, where the president is vacationing until the end of August.

Despite US pressure, no agreement reached on Iraqi constitution

By James Cogan, 16 August 2005

After six weeks of negotiations and intense pressure from Washington, the Iraqi political factions supporting the US occupation of Iraq failed to agree on the wording of a new constitution by the August 15 deadline set down by the Bush administration. At 20 minutes to midnight, the parliament voted instead to give the committee drawing up the document until August 22 to finalise a draft.

British Airways disrupted by unofficial strike

By Robert Stevens, 15 August 2005

More than 1,000 ground and check-in staff employed by British Airways (BA) at Heathrow airport in London took unofficial strike last Thursday and Friday. They walked out in support of more than 600 catering workers who were fired en masse the previous day.

British government attacks civil liberties with pending deportations

By Mike Ingram, 15 August 2005

The detention of ten immigrants by the British government pending deportation is a wide-ranging attack on civil liberties and predicted by legal experts to become a landmark legal battle. The ten face deportation to regimes where they could be imprisoned without fair trial and possible torture.