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Alarm in Washington over deepening disaster in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 30 August 2006

The New York Times vented the concern in US ruling circles over the deteriorating state of affairs in Afghanistan with a lengthy article on August 23 and an editorial the following day, entitled “Losing Afghanistan”. Close to five years since the country was invaded and occupied in the name of the “war on terror,” the newspaper made the bleak assessment that “there is no victory in the war for Afghanistan, due in significant measure to the Bush administration’s reckless haste to move on to Iraq and shortsighted stinting on economic reconstruction”.

Australia’s first “control order” imposed on Jack Thomas

By Mike Head, 30 August 2006

In the first use of draconian police-state powers introduced last December, the Howard government has imposed a house arrest-style “control order” on Melbourne man Jack Thomas, just a week after he was acquitted on all terrorist-related charges.

Egypt: a social and political tinderbox

By Jean Shaoul, 30 August 2006

Last week’s collision between two trains on a busy route packed with workers travelling into Cairo for work from the poorer northern outskirts of the city has exposed the social and political relations within Egypt today.

Letter on Katrina disaster relief

30 August 2006

I write in response to Patrick Martin’s article on the New Orleans mayoral election (See “Racial demagogy mars New Orleans mayoral election”) and the recent August 26 article on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (See “One year since Hurricane Katrina: the rebuilding of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast”). The latter article captured the plight of thousands left abandoned by the government in still devastated communities. In the communities of Pascagoula, Ocean Springs, and Biloxi, Mississippi, 90 percent of the structures are but a few feet above sea level and were hit with a storm surge 25 to 32 feet high, destroying all buildings for a quarter mile inland. Winds damaged almost every building 5 to 20 miles inland along the coast from east to west through Slidell into New Orleans. (A minor note: the towns Pascagoula, Biloxi, etc. run along I-10, not I-90).

Letters from our readers

30 August 2006

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

Media frenzy over JonBenet “killer” ends in fiasco

By David Walsh, 30 August 2006

The Boulder, Colorado district attorney’s office dropped all charges Monday against John Mark Karr for the 1996 murder of six-year-old child beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey, after DNA test results proved that he could not have been the killer. The collapse of the case against Karr is one more fiasco for the utterly unscrupulous, venal and ignorant American media.

One year after Katrina disaster: No accountability for US political elite

By Patrick Martin, 30 August 2006

President Bush visited New Orleans Tuesday, the anniversary of the city’s virtual destruction by Hurricane Katrina, and blandly admitted the indifference with which the US ruling elite responded to the greatest natural disaster in American history.

Spain: A decade of economic boom and stagnant wages

By Paul Mitchell, 30 August 2006

By all accounts, Spain has experienced an economic boom over the last decade. It has “continued its prolonged economic expansion” (International Monetary Fund) and “weathered the international slowdown” (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) making it “one of Europe’s best-performing economies” (Economist magazine).

Sri Lankan military launches new offensive in strategic Sampur area

By Sarath Kumara, 30 August 2006

The Sri Lankan military launched a major new offensive on Sunday aimed at capturing the Sampur area in the East of the island from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The operation is another flagrant breach of the 2002 ceasefire agreement and again exposes the Colombo government’s lies that its armed forces are engaged only in “defensive actions”.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 August 2006

Latin America