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The Dardenne brothers’ L’Enfant: an argument for a far more critical appraisal

By David Walsh, 30 June 2006

L’Enfant (The Child), directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Letters on Warren Buffett’s philanthropy

By , 30 June 2006

The following is a selection of letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “The philanthropy of Warren Buffett”.

Anti-flag-burning amendment to US Constitution fails by a single vote

By Patrick Martin, 30 June 2006

The US Senate fell short by the narrowest of margins Wednesday in a vote on whether to adopt the first-ever constitutional amendment to restrict free speech. An amendment backed by the Bush administration to give Congress the power to “ban desecration of the American flag” received 66 votes with 34 against, just missing the two-thirds margin required.

Israeli assault on Gaza threatens wider Middle East conflagration

By Chris Marsden, 30 June 2006

With each day that passes, Israel’s attempt to justify military aggression as a response to the capture of an Israeli soldier becomes less credible. Tel Aviv has signaled not only its intention to bring down the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA), but also its readiness to inflict massive destruction to Gaza’s infrastructure and heavy civilian casualties in order to do so.

Sri Lankan military directly implicated in two atrocities

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 30 June 2006

An escalating conflict is underway in the war zones of Sri Lanka between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the military, which is working closely with various Tamil paramilitary groups. Hundreds of civilians, LTTE cadre and supporters and military personnel have died since last November when Mahinda Rajapakse won the presidential election.

Supreme Court rules against Bush administration’s military commissions

By John Burton, 30 June 2006

John Burton is the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Congress from California’s 29th Congressional District

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 30 June 2006

Europe

Bankers’ bank puzzles over state of world economy

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2006

Recently in an email to the WSWS a reader drew a contrast between what she called the “explosive situation” in China—an “unregulated economy within a dictatorship”—and the United States where the economy is “regulated, open and handled by the best business-brains available.”

Democratic operatives aim to bar SEP from Illinois ballot

By Jerome White, 30 June 2006

Staffers for the Illinois Democratic Party, with close connections to two of the state’s most powerful machine politicians, have copied and reviewed nominating petitions submitted by the Socialist Equality Party in apparent preparation for a challenge aimed at barring SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis from the ballot. Parnarauskis, who is running for State Senate in Illinois’ 52nd Legislative District, which includes the twin cities of Champaign-Urbana, submitted petitions bearing the names of 4,991 voters on Monday, June 26.

47,600 GM and Delphi workers accept buyouts and early retirement

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 29 June 2006

General Motors announced Monday that 47,600 GM and Delphi workers have accepted buyouts and early retirement in the largest corporate downsizing in the history of the US auto industry.

“Left” publications in Germany defend strike-breaking by Verdi union leaders

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 June 2006

The three-month strike of German physicians employed by university clinics, which ended in mid-June with a partial victory, witnessed one of the most blatant examples of strike-breaking in postwar German history. The doctors’ strike was systematically attacked and sabotaged by Verdi (Vereinigte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft), the public service union, and its chairman Franz Bsirske.

The political calculations behind Israel’s assault on Gaza

By Chris Marsden, 29 June 2006

Israel’s invasion of Gaza is a calculated act of aggression for which the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit by Palestinian commandos provided the pretext. If anything, the scale and nature of the incursion, which has targeted Gaza’s infrastructure for destruction and has been accompanied by threats to assassinate the leaders of Hamas, works against the safe return of the 19-year-old conscript.

WSWS interviews Australian workers about IR laws, the Labor party and the unions

By our reporters, 29 June 2006

At yesterday’s trade union rallies in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, WSWS correspondents spoke to marchers about their reasons for participating. Many expressed distrust for the Labor and union leaders who addressed the rallies (see Tens of thousands march against Australian IR laws) and spoke about the more fundamental issues behind the attacks on working people and the accompanying escalation of military interventions in the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

An interview with James Longley, the director of Iraq in Fragments

By Joanne Laurier, 29 June 2006

American filmmaker James Longley’s remarkable documentary, Iraq in Fragments, screened recently at the San Francisco Film Festival (see WSWS review).

North Korean “missile crisis”—another example of unbridled US militarism

By John Chan, 29 June 2006

The belligerent response in Washington to a possible North Korean missile test has provided another graphic example of the way in which militarism and the manipulation of public fears play a central role in official American politics.

US Supreme court issues more anti-democratic rulings

By John Burton and Don Knowland, 29 June 2006

On June 26, the US Supreme Court issued two further decisions of an anti-democratic character. Earlier this month it handed down one ruling giving police greater license to enter homes without knocking, and another sanctioning the retroactive application of an anti-immigrant law.

Pakistan’s US-backed dictator to stage bogus presidential election

By Vilani Peiris and Keith Jones, 29 June 2006

General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s US-backed military strongman, has signaled that he will orchestrate a bogus presidential election next year in a bid to cling onto power until 2012.

Mercados mundiales se reestabilizan pero persisten los riesgos

By , 29 June 2006

WSWS : Español

Connecticut AFL-CIO endorses war hawk Joseph Lieberman for Democratic primary

By Kate Randall, 29 June 2006

On Tuesday, the Connecticut AFL-CIO endorsed Senator Joseph Lieberman for the August 8 Democratic primary. With the endorsement, the labor federation, which represents some 180,000 members in the state of New England, went on record supporting the Democratic senator most identified with the Bush administration’s Iraq war policies.

Tens of thousands march against Australian IR laws

By our correspondents, 29 June 2006

Tens of thousands of workers rallied in 30 centres across Australia yesterday as part of a “Day of Action” called by the trade unions to protest against the Howard government’s new industrial relations (IR) laws. The large demonstrations in Melbourne, where estimates ranged from 80,000 to 150,000, and Sydney, where at least 40,000 marched, showed the depth of concern and anger produced by the legislation, which has already been used to sack workers, slash wages and rip up conditions.

Illinois Democrats prepare challenge against petitions to place SEP candidate on ballot

By Jerome White, 28 June 2006

Less than 24 hours after the Socialist Equality Party submitted nominating petitions to place its candidate for Illinois state Senate, Joe Parnarauskis, on the ballot, a functionary for the Illinois Democratic Party purchased copies of the petitions and began reviewing them.

SEP candidate in Illinois holds press conference to announce petition filing for November ballot

By our reporter, 28 June 2006

Joe Parnarauskis, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for state Senate from Illinois’ 52nd Legislative District, held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce that the party had filed nominating petitions the day before to place his name on the November, 2006 ballot.

Support the Socialist Equality Party campaign for the Berlin Senate

By Socialist Equality Party of Germany (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit), 28 June 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) is standing its own candidates in the September state elections in Berlin. Our goal is to provide a clear voice and a revolutionary socialist orientation to the widespread opposition that exists to the anti-social policies of the Berlin state government, a coalition between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Left Party/Party of Democratic Socialism.

The Miami indictments: Manufacturing “terror” as a means of intimidation

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2006

Within 48 hours of the US Justice Department’s startling announcement Friday of the round-up of a “home-grown” terrorist cell in Miami, the media had all but dropped the story.

Australian government outlines pro-market agenda for its Pacific sphere of influence

By Jake Skeers, 28 June 2006

The Australian government last month released a far-reaching report that outlines a 15-year blueprint for the economic restructuring of 14 Pacific island countries and East Timor to pave the way for foreign investors, particularly from Australia.

Killing of Sri Lankan general: another sign of civil war

By K. Ratnayake, 28 June 2006

The killing of a senior Sri Lankan army commander on Monday is further confirmation of an escalating civil war on the island. While the government has seized on the incident to blame the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the escalating violence, Colombo bears the main political responsibility for plunging the country back into military conflict.

Israel launches military onslaught on Gaza

By Chris Marsden, 28 June 2006

Israeli military forces launched a major assault on Gaza at about 2.30 a.m. Wednesday (Israel time), with missile and bomb attacks on the territory’s main power station and three bridges. Infantry and armored units began entering southern Gaza soon after the air attacks.

Bush, Cheney threaten New York Times over exposure of surveillance programs

By Patrick Martin, 28 June 2006

In a brazen effort to intimidate the media and halt any further exposures of illegal US government spying, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and several Republican congressional leaders have denounced the New York Times and suggested that the newspaper could face criminal charges for its report on US government surveillance of international financial transactions.

Britain: Former home secretary Charles Clarke questions Blair’s survival

By Julie Hyland, 28 June 2006

The crisis within the British Labour Party and the government of Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair has intensified with a series of statements by former home secretary Charles Clarke.

Australian-led campaign pressures East Timorese prime minister to resign

By Peter Symonds, 27 June 2006

East Timor’s Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resigned yesterday amid an unrelenting campaign backed by the Australian government and media for his ousting. His announcement came less than 24 hours after a meeting of the ruling Fretilin party had refused to bow to demands by President Xanana Gusmao to sack the “illegal leadership” of Alkatiri and party president Francisco “Lu-Olu” Guterres. Gusmao had theatrically threatened to resign if his demands were not carried out, but backed away over the weekend.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 June 2006

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

A question and answer on Australia’s trade union rallies

By Tony Robson, 27 June 2006

The following is an edited letter and reply to an industrial worker and Socialist Equality Party supporter who wrote to WSWS correspondent Tony Robson, asking for advice in the lead-up to tomorrow’s June 28 Australian trade union rallies against the Howard government’s industrial relations (IR) legislation. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has called its second national “Day of Action” to protest the laws, following similar rallies last year, and to call for support for the return of an Australian Labor Party (ALP) government in the 2007 federal election. The reply refers to racist, anti-Muslim riots at Sydney’s Cronulla beach last December.

The philanthropy of Warren Buffett

By David Walsh, 27 June 2006

This past weekend investor Warren Buffett, to a vast fanfare from the media, announced his decision to donate some $37 billion worth of shares in his firm, Berkshire Hathaway, to five charitable foundations. The largest recipient (receiving some $31 billion) will be The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which specializes in global health and education projects.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 June 2006

Latin America

Sweden: Lessons of the Vaxholm builders’ dispute

By Steve James, 27 June 2006

When some 30 Latvian builders started work in Sweden in 2004, the sound of their labours echoed far beyond Stockholm. Contained within what became known as the Vaxholm dispute are issues that sharply expose the character of the European Union, the nature of its eastward expansion, and the bankruptcy of the trade union response.

Australia: Kim Beazley, the trade unions and Howard’s WorkChoices legislation

By Terry Cook, 27 June 2006

In a surprise announcement on June 11, Australian Labor leader Kim Beazley promised that a future federal Labor government would “rip up” the conservative Howard government’s new WorkChoices industrial relations laws and abolish individual Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs).

SEP to file petitions to place Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot in Illinois

By Kate Randall, 26 June 2006

Socialist Equality Party supporters gathered more than 1,300 signatures in the final weekend of campaigning in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois to place Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state Senate from Illinois’ 52nd Legislative District.

España: Funcionarios de policía de alto rango son enviados a prisión por "arresto ilegal" de militantes del derechista Partido Popular

By , 26 June 2006

WSWS : Español

Intercambio entre un trabajador estadounidense y el WSWS acerca de los "inmigrantes ilegales"

By , 26 June 2006

WSWS : Español

French Socialist Party publishes right-wing election programme

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 June 2006

In the midst of an escalating crisis of the Gaullist government of President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the French Socialist Party has issued its draft programme for the 2007 presidential and legislative elections.

Pentagon report on China highlights danger of nuclear war

By John Chan, 26 June 2006

One sinister aspect of the US Defence Department’s 2006 report on the Chinese military released last month is its discussion of nuclear policy.

Propaganda in the guise of a novel

By Gabriela Zabala-Notaras and Ismet Redzovic, 26 June 2006

Scott Simon is an American journalist who has covered 10 wars from El Salvador to Iraq, and hosts US National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Saturday.” He became a Quaker and a pacifist in the 1960s but, in a similar fashion to a variety of erstwhile liberals, radicals and lefts—such as Susan Sontag, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Jurgen Habermas and others—jumped on the militarist band-wagon during the Balkan conflicts in the early 1990s, after concluding that “all the best people can be killed by all the worst ones.”

Powerful truths, limited aims: No Child by the Epic Theater Center in New York

By Sandy English, 26 June 2006

No Child, written and performed by Nilaja Sun, directed by Hal Brooks, produced by the Epic Theater Center at the Samuel Beckett Theater, New York City

US Supreme Court issues anti-immigrant ruling

By Joe Anthony, 26 June 2006

On June 22, the US Supreme Court upheld in an 8-1 decision the deportation of Humberto Fernandez-Vargas. US immigration authorities had deported the 53-year-old Mexican citizen under the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which established that undocumented immigrants who reenter the country after a previous deportation must be deported again, denied all appeals or changes in immigrant status, and barred from reentry for ten years. Vargas had entered the United States illegally in 1982 after having been previously deported.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 June 2006

Asia

Bush administration compiling massive database of bank records

By Kate Randall, 24 June 2006

The Bush administration has been secretly tapping into a global network of confidential financial transactions and compiling a vast database of bank records. According to an article in the June 23 New York Times, the program was initiated shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and has examined banking transactions involving tens of thousands of individuals in the US and internationally.

Britain: Threat of national postal strike

By Keith Lee and Paul Mitchell, 24 June 2006

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has warned Royal Mail that unless it agrees to a “platform for meaningful discussions” over a union-management efficiency agreement it will consider strike action.

Global markets stabilise but risks increase

By Nick Beams, 24 June 2006

Money markets have stabilised over the past week following a sharp downturn, but nervousness is on the rise throughout the global financial system amid concerns over rising inflation rates, tightening monetary conditions, the prospects of an economic slowdown and potential problems in the Chinese economy.

Protests mount against harassment of SEP petitioners in Illinois

By , 24 June 2006

On June 12, officials from the Urbana Free Library ordered Socialist Equality Party (US) petitioners to leave the front of the library where they were collecting signatures to place SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state Senate in Illinois’ 52nd District. This was part of a campaign of harassment against SEP petitioners that has included a similar ban on petitioning at the Champaign Public Library, and an incident on June 19, in which an SEP campaign worker was threatened by a Champaign police officer while petitioning on a busy street corner near the University of Illinois.

The killing of US soldiers in Yusufiya: who’s responsible?

By David Walsh, 24 June 2006

The principal blame for the killing, reportedly execution-style, of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Brownsville, Texas, and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Oregon lies squarely with the US government and military. On the basis of fear-mongering and lies, as part of its drive to dominate the globe, the American ruling elite put these soldiers—along with Specialist David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Massachusetts, who was killed with Menchaca and Tucker when insurgents initially attacked in Yusufiya—in a deadly situation.

Miami “terror” arrests—a government provocation

By Bill Van Auken, 24 June 2006

There are many incongruities surrounding the arrest of seven men from the impoverished Liberty City neighborhood of Miami on charges of conspiracy to “wage war on the United States” that suggest it, like so many previous “terrorist plots” announced by the Bush administration, is a government-inspired provocation mounted for reactionary political ends.

Letters from our readers

By , 23 June 2006

On “European Union-US summit in Vienna—Europe’s leaders close ranks with Bush”

US Senate backs indefinite occupation of Iraq

By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2006

After a two-day debate, the US Senate voted Thursday to reject two efforts to set limits on the duration of the US occupation of Iraq. An overwhelming bipartisan majority voted by 86-13 to reject a resolution setting a deadline of July 1, 2007 for withdrawal of US troops. Leading Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, lined up with the White House against the measure introduced by John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2004.

The International Socialist Organization and the 2006 election

By the Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, 23 June 2006

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

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 23 June 2006

Europe

Fiji’s economic conscripts: tragic victims of the war in Iraq

By Frank Gaglioti, 23 June 2006

The death of three Fijian security guards in Iraq on June 9 brought the Fijian death toll to 11 over three months and highlighted the little known involvement of more than 3,000 Fijian nationals as soldiers and contractors in the US-led occupation. The tragic deaths have had a terrible impact on the tiny island state of 893,000 people. The Fijians are economic conscripts sucked into the Middle East war through their desperation to escape poverty and unemployment at home.

Shanghai summit: China and Russia strengthen bloc to counter the US in Asia

By John Chan, 23 June 2006

The fifth summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held on June 15 was a further sign of sharpening international tensions. Confronted with an increasingly threatening US stance, Russia and China are seeking to strengthen the SCO as a counterweight to Washington and a means to assert their strategic and economic interests.

A reply to the mayor of Urbana, Illinois, on the harassment of SEP petitioners

By , 23 June 2006

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

Prosecutor demands death penalty in Hussein show trial

By David Walsh, 22 June 2006

The prosecution in the trial of Saddam Hussein has demanded the execution of the former president, along with three other top officials, for his part in the 1982 repression of Iraqis—including torture and killings—whose sole crime was opposing the Baghdad regime. The denouement of the case is taking place while the US is engaged in mass repression of Iraqis—including torture and killings—whose sole crime has been resisting the occupying forces and their puppet government.

More letters protest harassment of SEP petitioners in Illinois

By , 22 June 2006

On June 12, officials from the Urbana Free Library ordered Socialist Equality Party (US) petitioners to leave the front of the library where they were collecting signatures to place SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state senate in Illinois’ 52nd District. This was part of a campaign of harassment against SEP petitioners that has included a similar ban on petitioning at the Champaign Public Library, and an incident on June 19, in which an SEP campaign worker was threatened by a Champaign police officer while petitioning on a busy street corner near the University of Illinois.

Europe’s leaders close ranks with Bush

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 June 2006

On Tuesday, US President George Bush touched down in Vienna for the annual summit of US and European Union (EU) leaders. After brief talks in Vienna, Bush is due to fly to Budapest on Thursday for the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.

Under the guise of peace, Sri Lankan government accelerates drive to civil war

By Wije Dias, 22 June 2006

Amid the descent into all-out civil war, the Sri Lankan government, via its peace secretariat (SCOPP), issued a thoroughly cynical statement on June 18, which has been trumpetted in the international press as a “call for peace talks”. It could be more aptly described as a declaration of war on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Britain: Book alleges US sent MI5 detailed file on London bomber Khan

By Rick Kelly, 22 June 2006

On June 19, the Times of London published excerpts from a new book that raise further questions regarding the role of the British intelligence agencies in last year’s terrorist bombings in London. According to American journalist Ron Suskind’s book The One Percent Doctrine, one of the suicide bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan, was refused entry into the United States on security grounds two years before the London attacks. US authorities allegedly sent Britain’s MI5 a detailed file on the suspected terrorist following the incident.

Australian government retains detention powers

By Mike Head, 22 June 2006

Riding roughshod over deep disquiet in the legal profession, as well as among broad layers of ordinary people, the Howard government has taken a series of decisions that underscore its determination to extinguish basic legal and democratic rights.

Campaigners win broad support to place SEP candidate on ballot in California

By Joe Kay, 21 June 2006

Supporters and members of the Socialist Equality Party in the 29th District of California have won substantial support from workers and young people to put John Burton on the ballot for US Congress.

Pentagon report targets China as a military threat

By Andre Damon, 21 June 2006

The Pentagon delivered a report to Congress last month characterizing China as a military rival of the United States. The annual Defense Department assessment, entitled “Military Power of the People’s Republic of China,” warns of increasing Chinese military investment and casts the world’s most populous country as a looming threat to US military and geo-strategic interests.

Washington escalates slaughter in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2006

The killing of two American soldiers captured by insurgents at a roadblock south of Baghdad will be seized upon by Washington as justification for an intensified bloodbath against the Iraqi people.

A dangerous precedent: Australian man convicted of “preparing terrorism”

By Mike Head, 21 June 2006

In a case that sets a number of disturbing precedents for the political use of Australian “counter-terrorism” laws, a Sydney Muslim man faces life imprisonment after being convicted on circumstantial evidence of preparing to commit an unspecified terrorist act.

The truth about East Timor: Why Australia’s intervention should be opposed

By , 21 June 2006

The WSWS and Socialist Equality Party unequivocally oppose the Howard government’s military intervention into East Timor and demand the immediate withdrawal of all Australian troops and police from the tiny island state.

Indian prime minister ignores opposition to Narmada dam extension

By Jake Skeers, 21 June 2006

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Indian Supreme Court have both refused to halt construction on raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) dam from 110.64 to 121.92 metres, despite clear evidence that the extension flouted resettlement procedures and will leave tens of thousands of families homeless.

Lawyers for accused in Toronto terror plot charge authorities with abuse

By Keith Jones, 21 June 2006

Lawyers for the accused in the alleged Toronto terrorist conspiracy have charged authorities with violating their clients’ rights and subjecting them to various forms of abuse, including sleep deprivation and violence.

Belgium: Racist murderer linked to Flemish nationalists

By Paul Bond, 21 June 2006

Some 20,000 people, many wearing white armbands, joined a march against racism in Belgium’s second largest city, Antwerp, last month. The march had been called following two recent attacks in the city that left three people dead and another seriously injured.

American democracy in decay: US Congress debates the Iraq war

By Patrick Martin, 20 June 2006

The congressional debate last week on the Iraq war combined Republican bullying, Democratic hand-wringing and lies piled upon lies from both sides of the aisle.

Week one of the World Cup

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 June 2006

In the course of the past week millions of football fans in Germany and hundreds of millions around the world have celebrated and lamented in turn as the football World Cup produced its first winners and losers. The international dimension of the World Cup being held in a host of German cities is unmistakable. Trains, buses and streets in Berlin and other major German cities have been turned into a sea of color, with fans from every corner of the globe sporting the shirts, scarves and caps of their national teams.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 20 June 2006

Latin America

The US Supreme Court’s “no-knock” decision: a frontal assault on democratic rights

By John Burton, 20 June 2006

John Burton is the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for the House of Representatives from California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the suburban Los Angeles communities of Pasadena, South Pasadena, Glendale, Altadena, Alhambra, San Gabriel and part of Burbank. The incumbent is pro-war Democrat Adam Schiff, a former United States prosecutor who supported the Patriot Act and its recent extension, and has introduced legislation to permit the Bush administration police-state measures of seizing people as “enemy combatants” in the “war on terror” and defending the NSA’s monitoring of telecommunications to spy on American citizens without warrants.

Modernist architect Harry Seidler dies in Australia

By Paul Bartizan, 20 June 2006

Australian architect Harry Seidler died March 9, aged 82, nearly a year after suffering a massive stroke, from which he never fully recovered. Seidler was an uncompromising, passionate and skilled architect who designed over 180 buildings in a career spanning more than half a century.

Australian government presses ahead with plans to dominate East Timor

By Peter Symonds, 20 June 2006

Having established an army of occupation in East Timor, the Australian government is engaged in ongoing political warfare on several fronts to ensure its predominance over the half-island. In the United Nations, Australian diplomats are pressing to ensure that Canberra retains control over any new UN mission. As part of this offensive, the Australian media is conducting an unrelenting campaign against Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who is regarded as too close to rival Portugal and thus an obstacle to Australian interests.

Champaign, Illinois officials uphold unconstitutional ban on SEP petitioners

By Jerome White, 20 June 2006

The deputy city attorney of Champaign has upheld the decision by library officials to remove Socialist Equality Party supporters from outside the public library where they were gathering signatures to place SEP state senate candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot in Illinois’ 52nd District.

Widespread unrest erupts among textile workers in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 19 June 2006

Angry protests by thousands of textile workers broke out last month around the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka and reemerged again this month. The unrest threatened to create a political crisis for the government, as the economy is heavily dependent on textile and garment exports produced in the country’s sweatshops.

Czech Greens enter right-wing government

By Markus Salzmann and Dietmar Henning, 19 June 2006

Following the Czech parliamentary elections of June 2 and 3, the Green Party is now preparing to join the right-wing government of the arch-conservative Citizens Party (ODS).

Police threaten Socialist Equality Party petitioners in Illinois

By the editorial board, 19 June 2006

With the approach of the June 26 deadline to submit nominating petitions to place Socialist Equality Party candidate Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state Senate in Illinois’ 52nd District, local authorities have mounted a campaign of obstruction aimed at preventing the SEP from meeting the signature requirement.

Letters from our readers

By , 19 June 2006

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

Fighting continues to escalate in Sri Lanka

By Wije Dias, 19 June 2006

While neither the Sri Lankan government nor the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has formally torn up the 2002 ceasefire agreement, an undeclared war is escalating in the North and East of the island.

Amnesty report criticises Spain over human rights

By Vicky Short, 19 June 2006

Spain’s record on human rights is severely criticised in last month’s Amnesty International annual report, particularly over the treatment of immigrant women and children.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 17 June 2006

Asia

Bomb blast kills 64 villagers and catapults Sri Lanka toward war

By K. Ratnayake, 17 June 2006

A powerful landmine blast killed 64 passengers and injured at least 80 travelling on a bus to the town of Kebitigollewa in Sri Lanka’s north central province on Thursday morning. This criminal act is a deliberate provocation aimed at destroying what remains of the 2002 ceasefire and plunging the island back toward civil war. Whoever carried out the attack, there is no doubt that the Colombo government and its chauvinist allies are directly responsible for inflaming communal hatreds and creating the political climate in which such an atrocity can take place.

Letters from our readers

By , 17 June 2006

On “On the official US response to the killing of Zarqawi”

A grim milestone in the Iraq war: 2,500th US military death

By the Editorial Board, 17 June 2006

The death of a US marine Thursday brought to 2,500 the number of American military personnel killed in the war in Iraq. The Pentagon will release the marine’s name—along with those of two other American servicemen or women who died that day—24 hours after notification of his family. In a tragic scene that has been replayed over and over again since March 2003, three more families will receive the devastating news that their loved ones have been killed.

Global market slide may have further to go

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2006

The global market slide, which started in the second week of May, has wiped off at least $2 trillion from the value of shares, with predictions that it still has some distance to run.

The film version of A Prairie Home Companion: Less than might have been hoped for

By David Walsh, 17 June 2006

A Prairie Home Companion, screenplay by Garrison Keillor, story by Keillor and Ken LaZebnik, directed by Robert Altman

How Blair’s government fleeces British workers on behalf of business

By Julie Hyland, 17 June 2006

Plundering the Public Sector—How New Labour Are Letting Consultants Run Off with £70 Billion of Our Money, by David Craig with Richard Brooks, Published by Constable, 2006

SEP campaign in Illinois reaches minimum signature requirement

By Tom Carter, 16 June 2006

Supporters of the SEP campaign to place Joe Parnarauskis on the ballot for state senate in the 52nd senate district of Illinois have now gathered more than 3,000 ballot access petitions, surpassing the minimum requirement of 2,985 set by the state of Illinois. However, supporters will continue to gather signatures to reach the goal of 5,000 by June 26, to create a buffer of signatures against the challenge the SEP will likely face from the Democratic Party.

Populist demagogy and immigrant-bashing in the US: The case of Lou Dobbs

By Patrick Martin, 16 June 2006

Right-wing politicians and media pundits in the United States are seeking to use immigrant workers as a scapegoat for the increasingly difficult social and economic conditions facing the working class and considerable sections of the middle class. They claim that immigrant workers are “stealing” the jobs of native-born Americans, and that the low-wage exploitation of immigrants is responsible for declining living standards in the US.

SEP (US) launches election web site

By , 16 June 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (US) today launches the web site for its campaign in the 2006 elections. We are running seven candidates in states across the country for both state and local office, and are presently conducting petition drives to place our candidates on the ballot for US Congress in Michigan and California and for State Senate in Illinois.

Communist Party Congress in Vietnam pledges more pro-market measures

By John Roberts, 16 June 2006

The 10th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), held in Hanoi in April, signalled a further intensification of its doi moi (renewal) program of market reforms aimed at integrating Vietnam into the world capitalist economy and attracting foreign investment.

The Toronto terror plot and the Canadian establishment’s political agenda

By Keith Jones, 16 June 2006

The alleged Toronto terror plot is being used by Canada’s ruling elite to stampede the public into accepting a dramatic shift to the right in Canada’s foreign and domestic policies.

Berlin youth goes on a rampage—a symptom of a society in decline

By Lucas Adler, 16 June 2006

In recent weeks, media attention in Germany has focussed on Berlin following a public appeal for help by a number of teachers at the Rütli High School and an attack by extreme rightists on a parliamentary deputy of the Left Party-PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism). Now, a violent incident involving a knife-wielding teenager has thrown the spotlight on social decline in the German capital.

Modernist architect Harry Seidler dies in Australia

By Paul Bartizan, 16 June 2006

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Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 16 June 2006

Europe