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2 March 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, directed by Tommy Lee Jones, screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga

AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting marks further disintegration of US labor federation

By Jerry Isaacs, 2 March 2006

The Executive Council of the AFL-CIO labor federation is holding its annual winter meeting this week in San Diego. The trade union officials assembled at a luxury Pacific Coast resort have overseen yet another disastrous year for unionized workers, as well as a further decline in their own organization.

After deadly blast, Mexican miners launch strikes to demand safe conditions

By Rafael Azul, 2 March 2006

In the wake of the death of 65 coal miners at Grupo México’s Pasta de Conchos mine, located in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, more than 5,000 miners struck several operations owned by the giant mining company February 28 to protest unsafe working conditions and demand decent wages.

Bangladesh: 54 workers killed in textile factory fire

By Jake Skeers, 2 March 2006

At least 54 workers were killed and over 100 seriously injured when a textile factory burned down in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong on February 23. Many of those killed or badly injured were prevented from escaping because factory guards had locked the main entrance and other gates to prevent theft and monitor the 600, mainly young women, working the night shift.

Debate over censorship emerges in China

By John Chan, 2 March 2006

In a letter circulated to journalists in mid-February, a group of former senior Chinese officials called on the Beijing government to ease its rigid media censorship, particularly of political news and commentary. The appeal is another sign of a broader debate in Chinese ruling circles on how to deal with the extreme tensions being generated by the country’s deepening social inequality.

Federal Reserve report documents widening inequality in US

By Joe Kay and Naomi Spencer, 2 March 2006

The Federal Reserve released its “Survey of Consumer Finance” on February 23, a report that measures changes in income and other financial measures and is produced every three years. Together with a number of reports that have emerged recently, the Federal Reserve data gives a partial portrait of the state of social relations in the United States—characterized by growing social inequality and increased financial hardship for most Americans.

Israel conducts military offensive in the West Bank and Gaza

By Rick Kelly, 2 March 2006

In the past fortnight, Israeli armed forces have conducted large-scale raids throughout the West Bank and repeatedly bombed targets in Gaza. The military operations are the largest since Israel’s disengagement from Gaza last year and form part of a general Israeli offensive against the Palestinian people following Hamas’s victory in the January 25 Palestinian legislative election. A total of 31 Palestinians have been killed since the vote.

New York Times raises new charges against German intelligence

By Peter Schwarz, 2 March 2006

A month before the Iraq war began, the German Intelligence Service (BND) is alleged to have handed over a copy of Saddam Hussein’s plan for the defence of Baghdad to American military commanders. The claim was made by the New York Times this Monday, based on a secret report by the US supreme command.

Nick Beams: Report on world economy in 2006

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2006

Published below is the conclusion of a three-part report delivered on January 22, by Nick Beams to an expanded meeting of the World Socialist Web Site International Editorial Board (IEB). Beams is a member of the WSWS IEB and National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), which hosted the meeting in Sydney from January 22 to 27, 2006. Part one and Part two were published on February 28 and March 1, respectively. David North’s opening report to the WSWS IEB meeting was published on 27 February. Further reports will be published subsequently.

SEP (Canada) to hold public meeting in Montreal

2 March 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (Canada) will hold a public meeting in Montreal, Saturday, March 11 on the theme “Socialism and the struggle against social reaction and imperialist war.”