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Hillary Clinton, the Democrats and the Iraq war: A socialist alternative

By Bill Van Auken, 29 April 2006

The following statement by the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for US Senate from New York, Bill Van Auken, is being distributed to the April 29 demonstration in New York City demanding an end to the US war against Iraq. It is also available in PDF.

France: Government launches assault on immigrants

By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut, 29 April 2006

A demonstration called by a broad alliance of anti-racist organisations has been called in Paris today, assembling at the Place de la République at 2 p.m.

Canada: Bloc Québécois props up Conservative government

By Éric Marquis, 29 April 2006

The Bloc Québécois—the indépendantiste party strongly supported by the Quebec trade union bureaucracy—is playing a pivotal role in sustaining Canada’s new minority Conservative government in power.

Amnesty International documents European complicity in secret US rendition programme

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 29 April 2006

The following is the second of a two-part article. The first part was posted April 28.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 April 2006

Indian state government employees strike indefinitely

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 29 April 2006

UK Peugeot workers consider strike action

Lies surround first death of an Australian soldier in Iraq

By James Cogan, 29 April 2006

The Howard government’s dishonesty and arrogance has been epitomised by its treatment of Private Jacob Kovco, the first Australian soldier to be killed while serving in Iraq. After lying about the circumstances of Kovco’s death, Australian authorities handed his corpse over to a private contractor in Kuwait, which then transported another man’s body to Australia for burial.

Survivor of West Virginia mine disaster says respirators failed to work

By Jerry White, 29 April 2006

In a letter to the families of 12 West Virginia coal miners who were killed in the January 2 explosion at the Sago Mine, the sole survivor of the disaster revealed that several of the emergency breathing apparatuses—or “rescuers”—the workers had been issued failed to operate as the mine filled with deadly gas.

A letter on Sophie Scholl: The Final Days

By , 29 April 2006

The following letter was received on the WSWS review “Sophie Scholl: The last days in the life of a German anti-fascist”

Britain: Government faces rising anger over jobs cut in National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 29 April 2006

Heckling and slow hand-clapping by 2,000 delegates at the annual conference of the Royal College of Nursing on April 26 forced Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to abandon her speech after 17 minutes.

Australia: New evidence of safety concerns as hopes fade for miners trapped underground

By Terry Cook, 28 April 2006

Tragically, the worst fears of the family and friends of three miners trapped nearly one kilometre underground at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley since Tuesday are being realised. The body of one miner, Larry Knight, 45, of Launceston, was located by rescuers at around 7.30 a.m. yesterday and recovered 12 hours later.

Fox News commentator becomes White House spokesman—a further turn to the right

By Kate Randall, 28 April 2006

President Bush’s naming of Fox News talk show host Tony Snow as White House press secretary signals a further turn to the right by the US administration.

Britain: Blair denounces liberal critics for opposing attacks on democratic rights

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 28 April 2006

Prime Minister Tony Blair has utilised an email exchange with journalist Henry Porter to attack critics of his government’s assault on civil liberties and to promise yet more draconian law-and-order measures. The emails were published in the Observer on April 23.

As support for Bush plummets, no alternative from Democrats

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, 28 April 2006

A series of opinion polls released in recent weeks have shown a massive increase in popular opposition to the Bush administration. The US president’s approval rating has dropped to barely one third, on a par with that of Richard Nixon on the eve of his resignation over the Watergate scandal.

SEP meeting launches California ballot drive

By our correspondent, 28 April 2006

John Burton, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress in the 29th District of California, addressed a public meeting in Pasadena on Wednesday. Burton spoke and answered questions about the basic issues of his campaign.

Amnesty International report exposes European complicity in secret US rendition programme

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 28 April 2006

The following is the first of a two-part article.

Job cuts begin in New Zealand as economy shrinks

By John Braddock, 28 April 2006

A wave of job cuts has begun in New Zealand as the economy declines for the first time in five years. Reports released in the past month show record balance of payments deficits, deteriorating terms of trade and a possible recession. The turn in the economic situation is already generating a gathering assault on jobs and living standards.

India: government policies lead to terrible toll in rural suicides

By M. Kailash, 28 April 2006

Indebtedness, crop failure and the inability to pay back loans due to high rates of interest have led as many as 25,000 peasants in India to commit suicide since the 1990s, according to official figures. The systematic neglect of India’s multi-million peasantry, combined with the free market policies implemented by successive governments, are responsible.

Jenissa Ryan: the violent death of an Australian aboriginal teenager

By Susan Allan, 27 April 2006

In early April, front-page articles appeared in the Melbourne and Sydney press reporting the horrific death of aboriginal teenager Jenissa Ryan in the remote outback town of Alice Springs, in central Australia.

US: Chief Democrat on ethics panel hit by corruption charges

By Patrick Martin, 27 April 2006

The Democratic co-chairman of the House Ethics Committee stepped down from his position April 22 after two weeks of attacks by the press and congressional Republicans over the apparent link between appropriations which he steered to five non-profit groups in his congressional district and the sudden growth of his personal real estate fortune.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 April 2006

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

Bush courts Azerbaijani president as part of build-up against Iran

By Simon Whelan, 27 April 2006

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev is to meet President George W. Bush on April 28 in Washington. The surprise invitation extended to Aliyev is wholly due to Azerbaijan’s geographical proximity to Iran, Washington’s next likely military target.

Rumsfeld, Rice fly to Baghdad to back new prime minister

By Bill Van Auken, 27 April 2006

Wednesday’s surprise visit to Baghdad by both US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice served as a further indication of Washington’s desperate crisis over the unraveling of its neo-colonialist project in Iraq.

Open warfare erupts in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 27 April 2006

After weeks of escalating violence in a murky, undeclared war in the North and East of Sri Lanka, the Colombo government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have resorted to open hostilities. While the immediate trigger was a carefully-planned suicide bombing at army headquarters in central Colombo on Tuesday, the responsibility for the conflict rests squarely with successive Sri Lankan governments which for more than three years have refused to enter into meaningful negotiations.

A socialist response to the massive rise in fuel prices

By , 26 April 2006

This article is available as a PDF leaflet to download and distribute

Racial demagogy mars New Orleans mayoral election

By Patrick Martin, 26 April 2006

After a campaign consisting largely of demagogic name-calling and appeals to racial solidarity, two candidates emerged from the April 22 New Orleans mayoral election and will contest a runoff on May 20. Mayor Ray Nagin led the field with 38 percent of the vote, while his top opponent, Mitch Landrieu, lieutenant-governor of Louisiana, received 29 percent.

Solomon Islands PM quits amid mounting opposition to Australian occupation

By Mike Head, 26 April 2006

After a week of protection by Australian-led military and police forces, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Snyder Rini resigned today in a bid to head off growing hostility to the Australian occupation of the small South Pacific country.

Egypt: Report on ferry disaster condemns official corruption

By Rick Kelly, 26 April 2006

An Egyptian parliamentary committee last week released a preliminary report on last February’s Al-Salam Boccaccio 98 ferry disaster in which 1,000 people died. The investigation found that the ferry’s owner had failed to meet a series of basic safety standards and condemned “wicked collaboration” between the ship company and officials of President Hosni Mubarak’s government.

Gazprom threat increases tensions in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2006

Threats by the Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to use its gas exports as a form of political pressure have led to violent reactions in Europe and Germany.

Behind the installation of Jawad al-Maliki as Iraqi prime minister

By James Cogan, 26 April 2006

Jawad al-Maliki, a leader of the Shiite fundamentalist Da’awa Party, was elected on Saturday to be the next prime minister of Iraq. Under the terms of the Iraqi constitution, he has 30 days in which to form a cabinet and have it approved by the parliament.

By-elections fail to end Thai political crisis

By John Roberts, 26 April 2006

By-elections held last Sunday for 40 unfilled lower house seats in the Thai parliament have failed to resolve the constitutional crisis created by the boycott of the April 2 national elections by the major opposition parties. While some seats were filled, 13 are still vacant after the candidates did not attain the necessary minimum of 20 percent of voters. The Thai constitution requires that all 500 seats be filled before parliament can meet and install a new government.

Union leader jailed for New York City transit strike

By Sandy English, 26 April 2006

Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint was jailed in New York City Monday, after a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge sentenced him to 10 days imprisonment and fined the union local $2.5 million for carrying out the 60-hour strike last December.

Global growth rates rise, but the foundations are shaky

By Nick Beams, 25 April 2006

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lifted its prediction for global economic growth by 0.6 percentage points to 4.9 percent, but repeated earlier warnings that global imbalances must be corrected lest they spark a financial crisis and recession.

Indian Stalinists reaffirm support for UPA government

By Keith Jones, 25 April 2006

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the dominant partner in the Left Front, has reaffirmed its intention to sustain the Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in power for a full five-year term—even whilst conceding that the UPA has implemented neo-liberal socioeconomic reforms and has aligned India with US imperialism.

Mexico: Armed siege of steel mill reveals escalating class war

By Rafael Azul, 25 April 2006

The killing of two young metalworkers in a military siege against strikers at a steel mill in Mexico signals a sharp escalation in the class struggle in Mexico.

Nepalese king bows to mass protests and offers to recall parliament

By W.A. Sunil and Deepal Jayasekera, 25 April 2006

Confronted with the prospect of a further major protest today that is expected to attract hundreds of thousands, Nepal King Gyanendra made a short televised statement yesterday conceding one of the main demands of the seven-party opposition alliance—the immediate recall of parliament, which was dissolved in May 2002. Parliament is due to be convened on Friday.

US: Students protest juvenile’s death in Florida “boot camp”

By Jeff Lincoln, 25 April 2006

On April 21, thousands of students and other young people from around Florida descended on the state capitol building to protest the death of Martin Lee Anderson, a 14-year-old African-American boy who died in a Florida Boot camp one day after being beaten and choked by guards. The march on the capitol was the culmination of weeklong protests that included an overnight sit-in outside Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s office.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 25 April 2006

Latin America

Four months after Sydney’s racial violence: government campaign continues against Middle Eastern youth

By Terry Cook, 24 April 2006

Despite the lack of any credible evidence, the New South Wales (NSW) Labor government is pressing police to proceed with the prosecution of six young Middle Eastern men charged with riot and affray in the Sydney coastal suburb of Brighton-le-Sands last December.

Pension cuts and inequality wiping out retirement for American workers

By Jonathan Keane, 24 April 2006

For a growing number of US workers, dreams of a decent retirement are quickly evaporating as companies shift retirement costs onto workers, in the form of deductions from already declining wages, in order to maintain profits in a competitive global economy.

Chinese president’s visit underscores Washington-Beijing tensions

By Patrick Martin, 24 April 2006

The four-day visit to the United States by Chinese President Hu Jintao, culminating in Thursday’s White House meeting with George W. Bush, produced little progress on any of the key issues in dispute between the two world powers. Instead, there was evidence of growing tension as the Bush White House inflicted a series of diplomatic snubs, ranging from the trivial to the flagrant, recorded in detail by the US media, and undoubtedly noted by the visitors from Beijing.

Peru: Nationalist ex-officer Humala to face APRA’s Garcia in runoff election

By César Uco, 24 April 2006

Ollanta Humala, a former army officer who ran on a nationalist program denouncing the rich elite and foreign capital, won the first round of presidential elections in Peru. He will face former president Alan Garcia (1985-90) from the bourgeois APRA party (American Popular Revolutionary Alliance) in a runoff election scheduled for late May or early June.

Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party to hold May Day meeting in Colombo

By , 24 April 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka is holding a public meeting in Colombo to mark May Day. International working class unity today is a matter of immediate practical necessity. Speakers will address the need for a socialist solution to the looming dangers of war and deepening social inequality.

French Polynesian president faces deepening crisis over pro-independence comments

By John Braddock, 24 April 2006

In a significant political setback for French Polynesia President Oscar Temaru, the incumbent speaker Antony Géros in the territory’s assembly was narrowly defeated by 29 to 28 votes on April 13. The successful candidate, Philip Schyle, represents one of two small parties that favour more autonomy for the territory, but oppose Temaru’s calls for outright independence from France.

A mea culpa on Iraq by pro-war journalist Johann Hari

By Paul Bond, 22 April 2006

One of the most forthright defenders of the war, Johann Hari, has recently published an article in the Independent (UK) described as “A melancholic mea culpa.” The article ran under the headline “After three years, after 150,000 dead, why I was wrong about Iraq.” In it, Hari grimly acknowledged that the situation in Iraq had worsened since the invasion, contrary to his original prognosis. (The article can be found on the author’s web site at

Reprisals against New York transit workers show need for a new political strategy

By Bill Van Auken, SEP candidate for US Senate and New York, 22 April 2006

The following statement is also available as a PDF to download and distribute.

British military doctor court martialed for refusing to serve in Iraq

By Harvey Thompson, 22 April 2006

On April 13, a court martial sentenced a British Royal Air Force (RAF) doctor to eight months imprisonment for failing to comply with orders when he refused to cooperate in training and deployment for a third tour of Iraq.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 April 2006

Indonesian workers continue protests over labour laws

Letters from our readers

By , 22 April 2006

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

White House shuffle: Bush shifts personnel but continues program of war and reaction

By Kate Randall and Patrick Martin, 22 April 2006

Changes in White House personnel announced earlier this week represented a reshuffling of key Bush loyalists rather than any fundamental change in policy. The shifts began immediately after former budget director Joshua Bolten took over as the new White House chief of staff Friday, replacing Andrew Card, who announced his resignation last month.

Sri Lankan president recruits union leaders to police public sector workers

By Vilani Peiris, 22 April 2006

Just a week after last month’s one-day public sector strike, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse recruited 21 union leaders to fill newly-created posts of trade union coordinating secretaries in key government ministries. Their job description includes an explicit reference to needing to “protect the government”—in other words, in the first instance, to undermine and sabotage the campaign for substantial pay increases.

The artist has not done the most difficult work

By David Walsh, 21 April 2006

Caché (Hidden), written and directed by Michael Haneke

By , 21 April 2006

WSWS : Español

More revelations of US profiteering and corruption in Iraq

By Jeff Lincoln, 21 April 2006

New reports of bribery and corruption involving US military officers, businessmen and occupation officials have underscored the criminal character of the American intervention in Iraq.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 21 April 2006


Shiite leader bows to US demands as Iraq slides further into civil war

By James Cogan, 21 April 2006

Shiite leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari has bowed to the campaign against him led by the Bush administration and announced that he is prepared to step aside as the prime ministerial candidate of the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament. The United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), the coalition of seven Shiite fundamentalist organisations that holds 128 of the 275 seats in parliament, is expected to meet over the next 24 hours to hold another vote on who it will put forward as prime minister. Parliament has been scheduled to convene on Saturday to form a government.

US government arrests record numbers in factory raids

By Peter Daniels, 21 April 2006

In a nationwide dragnet Wednesday, US immigration enforcement agents raided factories across the country arresting nearly 1,200 undocumented workers, a record number for a single operation.

WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh to speak in San Francisco

By , 21 April 2006

On April 27, David Walsh, arts editor and film critic for the World Socialist Web Site, will give a talk at San Francisco State University entitled “Socialism, culture and American political life.” Walsh will be attending the San Francisco International Film Festival held from April 20-May 4, and will be reviewing films shown there for the WSWS.

Australian troops dispatched to Solomon Islands to suppress local population

By by Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 21 April 2006

Nearly three years after its virtual takeover of the Solomon Islands, the Howard government has sent fresh contingents of troops and police to put down serious political and social unrest in the small South Pacific country. The Socialist Equality Party unequivocally opposes this neo-colonial operation. Its aim is to suppress the Solomons people and reinforce Australian military and economic hegemony over the region.

Britain unprepared for bird flu threat

By Barry Mason, 20 April 2006

On April 6 the Scottish Executive announced that a dead swan found in the harbour of the small seaside village of Cellardyke in Scotland was infected with the highly contagious bird flu virus H5N1.

Training schools for Hitler’s “Thousand-Year Reich”

By Joanne Laurier, 20 April 2006

Before the Fall (Napola—Elite für den Führer), directed by Dennis Gansel, written by Gansel and Maggie Peren; Thank You for Smoking, written and directed by Jason Reitman, based on the novel by Christopher Buckley

SEP candidate John Burton to speak at public meeting in Pasadena, California

By , 20 April 2006

John Burton, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for the 29th Congressional District in California, will be speaking at a public meeting in Pasadena, California, on April 26. The 29th District includes Pasadena, Burbank and surrounding areas. At the meeting, Burton will outline the perspective of the SEP in the 2006 elections and address the issues confronting working people in his district, as well as throughout the US and internationally.

The definitive bankruptcy of centrism in Brazil

By Hector Benoit, 20 April 2006

When the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva began to win mass support among workers, beginning with the big metalworkers’ strikes of 1978-80, many so-called “Marxist” intellectuals maintained that we would finally see a “legitimate” workers’ party.

Poor conditions in East Timor spark riot by sacked soldiers

By Will Marshall, 20 April 2006

Riots occurred in East Timor’s capital Dili at the end of March after mass sackings in the military. While reports are sketchy, it seems that soldiers rampaged through Dili throwing rocks and looting shops. Their actions apparently merged with those of criminal gangs, resulting in damage to at least 20 stores. Shops and public transport were forced to shut down.

The generals’ revolt and the decay of US democracy

By Bill Van Auken, 20 April 2006

The demand by more than a half-dozen former senior military commanders that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resign has laid bare deep divisions within the state apparatus and the profound decay of America’s bourgeois democratic order.

Tel Aviv suicide bombing: An atrocity that benefits Zionism and imperialism

By the Editorial Board, 20 April 2006

The World Socialist Web Site unequivocally condemns the suicide bombing Monday at a fast-food restaurant in Tel Aviv, which killed at least nine people in addition to the young man who took his own life. Such massacres of innocents do nothing to advance the struggle of the Palestinian people against Israeli oppression and occupation. On the contrary, terrorist actions confuse and mislead the masses, politically strengthen both the Israeli regime and its imperialist sponsor in Washington, and make it more difficult to develop a united struggle of Jewish and Arab working people against the capitalist system.

Britain: Documentary reveals plan for coup against Wilson Labour government—Part 2

By Ann Talbot, 20 April 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part article reviewing the BBC 2 documentary “The Plot against Harold Wilson.” Part 1 was posted on April 19.

The very rich in America: “The kind of money you cannot comprehend”

By David Walsh, 19 April 2006

“Let me tell you about the very rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote in a 1926 story, “They are different from you and me.” But even Fitzgerald could not have imagined how different “from you and me” the very rich would become in America eight decades later.

“A mixture of technical know-how, moral anger, and all-American barbaric yawp”

By Gabriela Zabala-Notaras and Ismet Redzovic, 19 April 2006

The recent Kienholz exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) spans more than forty years of artistic work by Ed Kienholz (1927-1994). On display are some of his earlier installations and sculpture from the 1960s, but from 1972 onwards all the work is in collaboration with his fifth wife, photographer Nancy Reddin Kienholz. She continued to work after her husband’s death and some of her pieces are also on show.

Hillary Clinton outlines Democrats’ big business agenda

By Bill Van Auken, SEP candidate for US Senate and New York, 19 April 2006

New York’s Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton delivered a speech last week to the Economic Club of Chicago that served as an introduction to the right-wing economic platform upon which she and her party intend to run in the 2006 US midterm elections, as well as her own agenda in an expected bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Britain: Documentary reveals plan for coup against Wilson Labour government—Part 1

By Ann Talbot, 19 April 2006

This is the first part of a two-part article reviewing the BBC 2 documentary “The Plot against Harold Wilson.”

Sri Lankan peace talks on the verge of collapse

By Nanda Wickremasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 19 April 2006

The Geneva peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are on the brink of collapse, amid escalating violence in the war zones of Sri Lanka’s North and East. Some 70 people, including military personnel, LTTE cadres and civilians, have been killed since the beginning of April. Many more have been injured and thousands have been displaced.

New York City: random searches for public school students

By Sandy English, 19 April 2006

In a further erosion of democratic rights in New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that after April 24, School Safety Agents and police officers will perform random searches with metal detectors of students attending the city’s middle and high schools. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the searches might affect as many as 10 schools a day, noting that the Police Department already had the necessary material and personnel. The president of the United Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, praised the policy as a “very important first step” and called for the “enforcing of codes of conduct.”

Letters from our readers

By , 19 April 2006

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

The ETA ceasefire, the Catalan Statute and the fracturing of Spain—Part 2

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part article explaining the recent moves to greater regional autonomy in Spain. Part 1 was published on April 17.

British government restricts recruitment of non-EU doctors

By Ajay Prakash, 18 April 2006

The hopes of thousands of doctors from overseas for a better job and life in Britain sank recently after the government effectively banned their recruitment from July 2006. From that date, all foreign doctors will require a work permit. In addition, hospitals will only be allowed to offer them jobs if they can prove that they cannot fill the vacancy with someone from the UK or the European Union.

Lawsuit details AT&T cooperation in illegal government spying on Americans

By Joe Kay, 18 April 2006

A lawsuit underway in a US district court in San Francisco charges telecommunications giant AT&T with violating the privacy of its customers by handing over massive amounts of data to the government. The class action lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of AT&T customers, is based on documents provided by a former AT&T employee that detail the company’s participation in the National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless spying program that was first revealed late last year.

Fall, but no decline

By Ann Talbot, 18 April 2006

Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History, (London: Macmillan, 2005)

New Zealand government extends Afghanistan military operations

By John Braddock, 18 April 2006

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced on April 10 that the country’s military intervention in Afghanistan is to be extended until September 2007. The latest deployment of a 120-strong Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Bamiyan and other military postings were originally due to expire in September.

A mixture of technical know-how, moral anger, and all-American barbaric yawp

By Gabriela Zabala-Notaras and Ismet Redzovic, 18 April 2006

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Growing unrest in Indonesian Papua

By Chris Johnson, 18 April 2006

There are increasing signs of instability in Indonesian Papua, fuelled by Jakarta’s reneging on promises of provincial autonomy and heavy-handed military repression against political opposition.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 18 April 2006

Latin America

Substandard conditions for institutionalised children in Sri Lanka

By Kalpa Fernando, 18 April 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

The ETA ceasefire, the Catalan Statute and the fracturing of Spain—Part 1

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 2006

This is the first of a two-part article explaining the recent moves to greater regional autonomy in Spain.

Behind the Indian press’s adulation of Sonia Gandhi

By Sarath Kumara and Keith Jones, 17 April 2006

When Congress Party boss Sonia Gandhi announced last month that she was resigning her parliamentary seat only to seek re-election in the by-election her resignation triggered, India’s corporate media all but unanimously proclaimed her a master political strategist. Once again, Gandhi had confounded her political opponents, or so the story went, while bolstering her credentials as a politician uninterested in the perks of office.

Francie: Milióny lidí protestují proti „První pracovní smlouv&;", odbory nazna&;ují ústup

By , 17 April 2006

Verze pro tisk | Pošlete odkaz na tento &;lánek emailem | Pošlete email autorovi

Australian television program highlights censorship of climate scientists

By Frank Gaglioti, 17 April 2006

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) program entitled “The Greenhouse Mafia”, which appeared in February on the “Four Corners” television series, highlighted the Australian government’s censorship of eminent scientists studying climate change and its subservience to business interests that are heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Scientists from the state-funded Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) were specifically prohibited from discussing the potentially devastating consequences of governments’ failure to reduce greenhouse gases.

A closer look at Kierkegaard

By Tom Carter, 17 April 2006

Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography, by Joachim Garff, translated by Bruce H. Kirmmse. 867 pages, Princeton University Press, $35

Indian Supreme Court gives green light to sell off Mumbai mill lands

By Parwini Zora and Daniel Woreck, 17 April 2006

The Indian Supreme Court early last month sanctioned the sale of hundreds of acres of land occupied by textile mills in Mumbai (Bombay) to private developers despite widespread protests. In all, 58 mills sit on 602 acres of prime land in the heart of a city where prices are high even by world standards. The land will be used to build expensive shopping malls and high-end apartments for the affluent few.

Germany: Social Democratic Party loses another chairman

By Dietmar Henning and Peter Schwarz, 17 April 2006

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) has lost its third chairman in two years. Matthias Platzeck, who was elected last November at the Karlsruhe party congress with 99.4 percent of the vote, announced his resignation last week and revealed the name of his successor, the state premier of Rhineland Palatinate, Kurt Beck.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 15 April 2006


Substandard conditions for institutionalised children in Sri Lanka

By Kalpa Fernando, 15 April 2006

A report released in February documented the appalling conditions facing many thousands of Sri Lankan children who have been institutionalised in government and privately-run homes.

Detroit mayor demands city’s poor foot bill for garbage pick-up

By Kate Randall, 15 April 2006

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s budget address on Wednesday constituted an arrogant affront to city residents and workers, who have suffered years of budget cuts, decimation of city services and layoffs. Under conditions where city employees and working-class families have seen their standards of living plummet at the expense of gentrification and tax breaks for the wealthy, the mayor requested the Detroit City Council implement new fees for services, and threatened to impose a 10 percent wage cut on city workers if they refused to accept it “voluntarily.”

Rumsfeld and the generals: Splits, recriminations over Iraq debacle

By Patrick Martin, 15 April 2006

The barrage of public criticism of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld by at least half a dozen retired generals, including several with recent major roles in the US occupation of Iraq, has dealt another serious political blow to the Bush administration. It is a further demonstration of the enormous repercussions produced by failure of the US effort to establish a reliable stooge regime in the oil-rich country.

An American oligarch: Former Exxon CEO leaves company with massive payout

By Joe Kay, 15 April 2006

In the world of American corporate CEOs, there are those who make more than a million dollars a year. By the standards of the American ruling elite, such people are doing moderately well. Then there are people like Lee Raymond, former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. In comparison to the sums brought home by Raymond, a million dollars is mere pocket change.

German Greens, Conservatives draw closer together

By Dietmar Henning, 15 April 2006

Last week, the conservative Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the free-market liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) started official talks aimed at forming a new coalition government in the state of Baden-Württemberg, after elections were held there at the end of March. Both parties aim to agree on a coalition pact by May 6. The state’s premier, Günther Oettinger (CDU), made this announcement two days before the CDU’s parliamentary faction was due to meet.

The “Lisbon Strategy” and the European trade unions

By Rick Kelly, 15 April 2006

The Gaullist government’s withdrawal of the “First Job Contract” (CPE) following more than two months of protests and strikes by French students and workers has evoked calls within the European ruling elite for a redoubling of efforts to dismantle employment protections and create a US-style “free market” economy.

The Iraq war and the eruption of American imperialism

By Nick Beams, 14 April 2006

The following is the second and concluding part of a speech delivered by Nick Beams to public meetings in Sydney on April 4 and Melbourne on April 11 to mark three years since the US-led invasion of Iraq. Beams is the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site. The first part was published yesterday.

Canada bans LTTE under draconian anti-terrorist legislation

By Keith Jones, 14 April 2006

Canada’s Conservative government announced Monday that it has proscribed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) under the country’s draconian anti-terrorist laws.

Workers Struggles: Europe and Africa

By , 14 April 2006

Polish doctors strike