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Government probe of Pasadena church: a witch-hunt against Iraq war critics

By by John Burton and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Congress from California’s 29th District, 30 September 2006

The following is a statement issued by John Burton, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Congress from California’s 29th Congressional District, which includes the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena. The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of Pasadena’s All Saints Church on the grounds that an antiwar sermon given in November 2004 violated the requirement that charitable organizations not endorse particular candidates. The church is challenging in court the IRS’s demand that it turn over documents to investigators.

“I am not terrorist or monster. I am not Dracula. I am not a monkey or cow. I am a man”

By Joanne Laurier, 30 September 2006

This is the third in a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 7-16).

Australian government rejects limits on sedition powers

By Mike Head, 30 September 2006

For the second time in less than a year, the Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has brushed aside key recommendations in an official report calling for limits on the government’s new sedition laws.

India and Pakistan agree to resume “composite dialogue”

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 September 2006

India and Pakistan—bitter rivals since the 1947 partition of South Asia—have agreed to resume the “composite dialogue” they initiated in early 2003 in the wake of a year-long war crisis that saw New Delhi amass a million troops in battle-formation along the Pakistan border and Islamabad issue thinly veiled threats of nuclear retaliation .

SEP to hold public meeting in Pasadena, California

By , 30 September 2006

The US Congress passed this week a bill that will sanction torture, indefinite detention and kangaroo-court military tribunals. The House of Representatives also passed legislation that will authorize the administration’s massive spying operations to monitor and database the phone conversations and records of American citizens. These bills mark a major stage in the destruction of democratic rights in the United States, implemented in conjunction with a policy of military aggression abroad.

Behind the rift between the Afghan and Pakistani presidents

By Peter Symonds, 30 September 2006

US President George Bush’s highly publicised attempt on Wednesday to reconcile two American allies—Afghan and Pakistani presidents Hamid Karzai and General Pervez Musharraf—appears to have come to nought.

Bolivia: class tensions rise as Morales bows to landowners, energy transnationals

By Kevin Kearney, 30 September 2006

Political tensions are boiling in the eastern lowland regions of Bolivia. The natural gas-rich departments of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando—dominated by Bolivia’s landed aristocracy, agribusiness and gas interests—are threatening secession in the muted language of a desire for greater regional autonomy.

France: Immigrant hunger strikers in a critical condition

By Kumaran Rahul and Antoine Lerougetel, 30 September 2006

As of this writing, a hunger strike by seven squatters evicted from a disused student residence on the Cachan university campus in the south of Paris is in its 38th day. The hunger strikers, immigrants who are demanding legal residence in France and decent housing, began their action August 22. According to a statement issued earlier this week by Doctor Patrice Muller, “They are entering a critical phase. They are extremely weak and are in danger of incurring irreversible muscular and neurological damage.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 September 2006

Asia

US Senate votes 100-0 for $70 billion more in war spending

By the Editorial Board, 30 September 2006

The unanimous vote by the US Senate on Friday to approve the Bush administration’s request for an additional $70 billion to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrates a basic truth of American politics: the Democratic Party, no less than the Republicans, is a party of imperialist militarism and war.

Militarism and Howard’s “Australian values” campaign

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 September 2006

Less than a month after the Australian government announced its commitment to the “war on terror” for the foreseeable future and a $10 billion expansion of the army, it has launched a new campaign to restore what Prime Minister Howard describes as “Australian values”. Just like similar moves to promote national “values” in Japan, Britain, New Zealand and the Netherlands in recent weeks, the purpose of the Australian campaign is to create a political environment for escalating militarism and a deepening assault on democratic rights.

British Labour Party conference: Brown stands up for health privatisation

By Julie Hyland, 29 September 2006

For months, sections of the British Labour Party, the trade unions and the media have been insisting that Chancellor Gordon Brown represents a more “Old Labour” alternative to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Should Brown succeed Blair as Labour leader, the result would be a Labour Party more in tune with its former social democratic credentials, they argued.

Iranian director Tahmineh Milani speaks with WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 29 September 2006

Director Tahmineh Milani recently visited Australia to introduce her feature The Hidden Half (2001) at the 15th Brisbane International Film Festival. One of Iran’s best-known female filmmakers, Milani has made nine features, including Children of Divorce [1989], The Legend of a Sigh [1991], What Else Is New? [1992], Kakadu [1996], Two Women [1999], The Fifth Reaction [2003], The Unwanted Woman [2005] and Ceasefire [2006].

US Congress legalizes torture and indefinite detention

By the editorial board, 29 September 2006

The legislation adopted by the House of Representatives Wednesday and the Senate Thursday, legalizing the Bush administration’s policy of torture and indefinite detention without trial, as well as kangaroo-court procedures for Guantánamo detainees, marks a watershed for the United States.

Sri Lankan government manipulates inquiry into massacre of aid workers

By Nanda Wickramasinghe, 29 September 2006

The twists and turns of the official inquiry into the killing of 17 aid workers attached to the French-based Action Contre la Faim (ACF) last month point to a cover-up by the Sri Lankan government. The security forces are directly implicated in the murders.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 29 September 2006

Europe

Illinois SEP candidate speaks at forum on public education

By Tom Carter, 29 September 2006

On Tuesday, September 26, Illinois SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis attended a candidate forum hosted by the Illinois Association of School Boards, a nonprofit lobby group, to discuss political issues in the Illinois education system. He was given the opportunity, along with a number of other candidates, to make a statement and respond to questions from the audience.

Political lessons of the events in Hungary

By Peter Schwarz, 29 September 2006

The events that shook Hungary last week should be taken as a political warning to the working class throughout Europe. The right-wing, pro-business policies of the post-Stalinist “Socialist Party” have underscored the absence of any political force on the official “left” that in any way defends the interests of the working population. The result is a political vacuum that allowed ultra-right forces to dominate the streets of the Hungarian capital for several days.

Outcome uncertain on eve of Austrian elections

By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2006

According to recent opinion polls, the outcome of the Austrian National Council elections due to be held October 1 is entirely unpredictable. The current conservative government consisting of a coalition of the Austrian People’s Party (APP) and the Alliance for Austria’s Future (AAF), a splinter group formed by Jörg Haider following a split in the ultra-right Austrian Freedom Party (FP), has recorded virtually unprecedented levels of unpopularity amongst Austrian voters.

Socialist Equality Party launches write-in campaign in California

By of John Burton, 29 September 2006

I call on all residents of the 29th District of California to write in my name, John Burton, for US Congress this November.

Japan’s energy diplomacy and Koizumi’s trip to Central Asia

By Joe Lopez, 28 September 2006

In one of his last trips abroad before stepping down as Japan’s prime minister this week, Junichiro Koizumi visited the Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan late last month. The main aim was to secure agreements to supply oil, gas and uranium to Japan.

East Timor left to flounder in poverty and unemployment

By Chris Johnson, 28 September 2006

A great deal of hypocrisy surrounded the UN debate on East Timor last month. As Australia and its rivals jockeyed for position in a new UN mission in Dili, all expressed their concerns for the well-being of the East Timorese. Nothing demonstrates the complete indifference of the “international community” for the plight of the local population so much as the deepening social crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries.

For a socialist alternative in the 2006 US elections

By Socialist Equality Party, 28 September 2006

Make a donation today!

Ted Grant: A political appraisal of the former leader of the British Militant Tendency

By Ann Talbot, 28 September 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part obituary. Thefirst part was posted September 27.

The bankruptcy of the “left” state government in Berlin: political experiences and lessons

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 September 2006

We are publishing here the second and concluding part of a speech given by Ulrich Rippert, chairman of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party) of Germany and a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site. The speech was delivered at an election campaign meeting of the PSG held September 16 in Berlin. Rippert was one of three PSG candidates who ran for the Berlin state Senate. The election took place on September 17.

Support grows for inquiry into murder of SEP supporter in Sri Lanka

By our correspondent, 28 September 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka campaigned last week among students and lecturers at the University of Colombo for support for its demand that the Sri Lankan authorities find and prosecute those responsible for the murder of party supporter Sivapragasam Mariyadas.

Blair’s conference speech: Labour Party applauds its own gravedigger

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 28 September 2006

The seven-minute standing ovation accorded Prime Minister Tony Blair’s last speech to the Labour Party conference shows two things: That sycophants and careerists will reconcile themselves to anything, and that Blair did indeed administer the coup de grace to what used to be the Labour Party.

Clinton and Kerry set Democrats’ pro-war agenda for 2006 election

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party candidate for US Senate from New York, 27 September 2006

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

US continues covert action in Somalia

By Chris Talbot, 27 September 2006

Copies of emails leaked to the Observer newspaper and Africa Confidential, presumably by British diplomats or intelligence operatives, show the United States is continuing its covert operations in Somalia.

Australia: James Hardie directors show contempt for asbestos sufferers

By Terry Cook, 27 September 2006

Giant building products company James Hardie Industries (JHIL) continues to treat with contempt the many thousands of people suffering terminal asbestos-related diseases caused by its products.

US threatened to bomb Pakistan back to “the Stone Age”

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 27 September 2006

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s revelation that a top US official said Pakistan would be bombed “back to the stone age” if Islamabad didn’t break its ties with the Taliban and provide logistical support to the US conquest of Afghanistan is yet another example of the mobster methods that have come to characterize US diplomacy, especially under the Bush administration.

Support the Socialist Equality Party 2006 campaign!

By , 27 September 2006

Make a donation today!

More hypocrisy and lies from Sri Lankan president at UN

By K. Ratnayake, 27 September 2006

In a particularly cynical performance at the UN General Assembly last week, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse paraded before the world as man of peace, a defender of human rights and a champion of the poor. Each claim was a lie.

The bankruptcy of the “left” state government in Berlin: political experiences and lessons

By Ulrich Rippert, 27 September 2006

We are publishing here the first part of a speech given by Ulrich Rippert, chairman of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party) of Germany and a member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site. The speech was delivered at an election campaign meeting of the PSG held September 16 in Berlin. Rippert was one of three PSG candidates who ran for the Berlin state Senate. The election took place on September 17.

Sordid deals as Australian parliamentary parties pick their candidates

By Richard Phillips, 27 September 2006

With elections due early next year in New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, currently governed by the Labor Party, the past weeks have seen a series of sleazy “preselection” deals as Liberal and Labor pick their local candidates. While political arm-twisting and anti-democratic manoeuvring are no surprise to those familiar with the so-called preselection process, this month’s events have plumbed new lows.

US gasoline prices: the “free market” and the November election

By Joe Kay, 27 September 2006

Government figures released on Monday show that gasoline prices in the United States continued their sharp decline last week. Over the past six weeks, the average price of gas has fallen 66 cents, from over $3 a gallon, to $2.38.

Ted Grant: A political appraisal of the former leader of the British Militant Tendency

By Ann Talbot, 27 September 2006

This is the first of a two-part obituary.

France’s Delinquency Bill: A step towards totalitarianism

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 September 2006

The draft Prevention of Delinquency Law, presented to the French Senate on September 13, gives greatly increased powers to local officials to pry into the private lives of families and to punish and control them. It is particularly directed at children and parents in deprived areas.

The past is present

By David Walsh, 26 September 2006

This is the second of a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 7-16).

SEP candidate on Illinois ballot fight: “A victory for democratic rights”

By Joe Parnarauskis and candidate for Illinois state Senate from 52nd district, 26 September 2006

The Socialist Equality Party candidate for Illinois state Senate from the 52nd Legislative District, Joe Parnarauskis, issued the following statement following the successful conclusion of his 170-day fight for ballot status in the November election.

East Timor left to flounder in poverty and unemployment

By Chris Johnson, 26 September 2006

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British military in crisis as NATO mission in Afghanistan unravels

By Harvey Thompson, 26 September 2006

Faced with a burgeoning insurgency and the deteriorating authority of the central government of Hamid Karzai, the NATO command has signalled its determination to sacrifice more Afghan civilians and its own soldiers in a desperate bid to wrest control of the country.

Sri Lankan government imposes police state measures in Colombo

By Parwini Zora, 26 September 2006

As fighting has intensified between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north and east of Sri Lanka, the government has imposed drastic security measures throughout the country, including in the capital Colombo.

Shinzo Abe: Japan’s new prime minister

By John Chan, 26 September 2006

Shinzo Abe is due to be installed today as Japan’s new prime minister, succeeding Junichiro Koizumi, after being elected as the president of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 20. He will continue Koizumi’s right-wing agenda of reviving militarism to assert Japanese strategic and economic interests abroad, while continuing a relentless assault on the social position of working people at home.

Democrats defend “our president” against international criticism

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2006

The pretense that the Democratic Party represents some sort of opposition to the Bush administration was punctured again last week when leading Democrats vociferously condemned the anti-Bush speech given by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to the United Nations General Assembly.

An interview with Bahman Ghobadi, director of Half Moon

By David Walsh, 26 September 2006

David Walsh and Joanne Laurier spoke to Iranian-Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi at the Toronto film festival

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 26 September 2006

Latin America

Thailand’s coup leaders suppress democratic rights

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 25 September 2006

It is less than a week since Thai military leaders ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and installed themselves as the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM). While the media have emphasised the coup’s bloodless character and featured pictures of smiling soldiers with young children, the junta backed by the monarchy is no more benevolent than the repressive Thai military regimes of the past.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 September 2006

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

SEP writes to Sri Lankan attorney general to demand inquiry into supporter’s murder

By our reporter, 25 September 2006

Socialist Equality Party General Secretary Wije Dias wrote to the Sri Lankan Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabeyson on September 19 vigorously protesting over the lack of a proper police inquiry into the death of party supporter Sivapragasam Mariyadas on August 7. The letter is part of an ongoing campaign by the SEP and World Socialist Web Site to demand a full investigation of the crime and the prosecution of the killers.

Britain: Labour has shifted taxes from rich to poor

By Simon Whelan, 25 September 2006

Research by the “free market” think tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), has revealed how the burden of taxation has fallen heaviest on the working class and the poor under Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Private Jacob Kovco: the unanswered questions

By Mike Head, 25 September 2006

Like everything associated with the invasion of Iraq, the military board of inquiry into the death of Private Jacob Kovco has become a fiasco laced with lies and cover-up. On April 21, Kovco, aged just 25, became the first Australian soldier to die in Iraq after being shot through the head with his own 9mm Browning pistol while in his barracks at the Australian Embassy in Baghdad.

British Labour: A party of war and social reaction

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2006

The following speech by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, was delivered to an election campaign meeting of the German SEP on September 16 in Berlin.

The extreme-right NPD wins seats in German election

By Dietmar Henning, 23 September 2006

In Germany’s recent state election the extreme right-wing German National Party (NPD) was able to profit from the right-wing policies of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Left Party/Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). The NPD, which openly acknowledges its allegiance to the legacy of National Socialism, was able to pick up six seats in the parliament of the east German state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, following elections Sunday, September 17. In Berlin, the NPD was able to win seats in 4 of the city’s 12 district councils.

Harper outlines the Canadian elite’s imperialist agenda

By Keith Jones, 23 September 2006

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a trip to New York this week to press for even closer economic, military, and geo-political ties between Canada and the US.

Senate-White House compromise sanctions CIA torture of detainees

By Joe Kay and Barry Grey, 23 September 2006

The Bush administration and Republican senators agreed Wednesday night on legislation that sanctions secret CIA prisons and permits abusive interrogation methods that violate the Geneva Conventions and other international and domestic anti-torture statutes.

As Brazilian election nears, crisis deepens for major parties

By Hector Benoit, 23 September 2006

Earlier this month, Brazil’s ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, leader of the PSDB (Party of Brazilian Social Democracy), wrote an open letter acknowledging that the members of the PSDB made a serious error when they kept their mouths shut in 2005. He said that at the moment in which the corruption scandals involving the ruling Workers Party (PT) and the government of President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva were exploding, the PSDB should have been far more forceful.

Torture and civilian deaths reach record levels in Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 23 September 2006

The latest UN findings on Iraq provide a devastating picture of torture, escalating civilian deaths and lawlessness that represents a damning indictment of US-led occupation. Three years after the illegal invasion, the violent activities of the US military and its allies in suppressing any opposition have been supplemented by a spiralling sectarian civil war.

The struggle against war: Break with Labour and build a new socialist party

By by Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 23 September 2006

The following leaflet is being distributed today to the “Time to Go” demonstration being held outside the Labour Party conference in Manchester.

“Outlaw regimes” and the harboring of terrorists: the case of Posada Carriles

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2006

In the run-up to the fifth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, President George W. Bush delivered a series of speeches aimed at recouping the fading credibility of his “global war on terrorism” and reversing the stunning growth in popular sentiment against the war in Iraq.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 September 2006

Asia

SEP candidate Parnarauskis addresses meeting at University of Illinois

By , 23 September 2006

On September 20, the SEP candidate for state Senate in Illinois 52nd District, Joseph Parnarauskis, addressed a meeting of the Students for Social Equality on the campus of the University of Illinois. Jerome White, the SEP candidate in the 12th Congressional District in the Detroit suburbs, also spoke at the meeting.

Illinois election board certifies SEP candidate for November ballot

By Tom Carter, 22 September 2006

The Illinois State Board of Elections voted unanimously yesterday afternoon to certify Socialist Equality Party state Senate candidate Joseph Parnarauskis for the November 7 ballot. The election board, which had delayed certification of the SEP candidate for three weeks, was under order by Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Kelley to fulfill its statutory duty and place the SEP candidate on the ballot by 2 p.m., September 20, or face being held in contempt of court.

Mass protests demand resignation of Taiwan’s president

By John Chan, 22 September 2006

A huge protest in Taipei last Friday besieged the office of President Chen Shui-bian and demanded his resignation over corruption allegations. Police estimated the number of protesters at 350,000, but organisers claimed that more than a million people took part in a march that stretched over five kilometres.

Some things are sinking in

By David Walsh, 22 September 2006

This is the first of a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 7-16).

Republican senators’ resistance to Bush torture bill reflects tension between White House and military brass

By Joe Kay, 22 September 2006

The Bush administration and several prominent Republican senators are seeking to negotiate a compromise on a bill that would perpetuate a CIA interrogation program and establish military commissions for prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 22 September 2006

Europe

Palestinians to form national unity government

By Jean Shaoul, 22 September 2006

Last week, following months of negotiations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, announced that he would form a national unity government with Hamas.

Australia: Employers launch vicious attacks on workers’ conditions and rights

By Terry Cook, 22 September 2006

Employers are using the plethora of industrial relations laws introduced by the Howard government in a mounting assault on wages, working conditions and workers’ rights. This has escalated since the government’s WorkChoices laws came into force in March, bolstering the existing bank of harsh anti-working class laws. Working people across the country are being prosecuted, penalised, arbitrarily sacked, locked out and victimised almost on a weekly basis.

Bush administration denies responsibility for torture of Canadian

By Patrick Martin, 22 September 2006

On the same day that President Bush lectured the United Nations on democracy and threatened Iran and other countries, and White House and congressional leaders continued their negotiations over the exact language of new legislation to legalize torture by the CIA, the Bush administration’s chief law enforcement officer publicly denied responsibility for the well-documented torture of a Canadian citizen who was seized by US agents in New York City four years ago.

Ratzinger’s Crusade

By Justus Leicht, 22 September 2006

The Vatican has gone to some lengths to dampen down the controversy following the lecture given by Josef Ratzinger, alias Pope Benedict XVI, at Regensburg University in Germany. Ratzinger’s remarks provoked violent protests by Muslims across the globe.

Hungary erupts in violent protests

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 21 September 2006

A cynical speech by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany has led to a wave of mass demonstrations and violent protests in Hungary over the past few days.

Muslims protest against police massacre in eastern Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 21 September 2006

Protests continued for the third day yesterday in the Pottuvil area of eastern Sri Lanka over the murder of 10 young Muslim workers. While the government attempted to blame the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), locals have accused members of the elite police commando unit, the Special Task Force (STF), of being responsible.

French State Rail Company found guilty of Nazi collaboration

By Pierre Mabut and Antoine Lerougetel, 21 September 2006

On June 6, 2006, a court in Toulouse found the French state and the SNCF state railway company guilty of collaborating with the Nazis in deporting Jews to concentration camps during World War II.

Military coup ousts Thai prime minister

By John Roberts, 21 September 2006

Late Tuesday night, the Thai military deployed troops backed by armoured vehicles to seize control of the capital Bangkok, surrounding the parliament building, the prime minister’s office and taking over all television stations. The coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra followed months of political intrigue fuelled by deep rifts in the ruling elites and a constitutional crisis that saw the April 2 national elections annulled by the courts.

Bush wants a bloodbath in Baghdad

By Bill Van Auken, 21 September 2006

Increasingly desperate over the deteriorating situation in Iraq, the Bush administration is demanding that the US-installed government in Baghdad support a savage intensification of repression or give way to a dictatorial regime that will.

Solomon Islands PM publicly denounces Australian government

By Mike Head, 21 September 2006

The Australian government’s push for “regime change” in the small Pacific state of Solomon Islands has struck unexpectedly defiant opposition from the man it is seeking to oust, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

Letters from our readers

By , 21 September 2006

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

DaimlerChrysler unveils downsizing plan

By Naomi Spencer, 21 September 2006

On Tuesday, DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche announced a large reduction in US vehicle shipments set to take effect this fall. The cuts are the latest in an ongoing restructuring scheme that also includes medical coverage cuts for hourly workers, layoffs and plant closures.

Britain: Promotion for police commander involved in de Menezes shooting

By Paul Mitchell, 21 September 2006

Cressida Dick, the police commander in charge of the “shoot-to-kill” operation that led to the death of Jean Charles in London last year, has been recommended for promotion to deputy assistant commissioner, one of the highest ranks in the capital’s Metropolitan Police service.

Washington threatens wider Middle East war

By Bill Van Auken, 20 September 2006

In a speech to the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday, US President George W. Bush delivered a remarkably belligerent warning to the peoples of the Middle East that Washington intends to continue and even widen its campaign of military aggression.

Judge orders election board to certify Illinois SEP candidate

By Jerome White, 20 September 2006

A Sangamon County Circuit Court judge on Tuesday ordered the Illinois State Board of Elections (SBE) to amend its list of certified candidates to include the name of Joe Parnarauskis, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for State Senate in the 52nd Legislative District. Judge Patrick Kelley gave the election board until Thursday, September 21, at 2 p.m., to certify the SEP candidate or face being held in contempt of court. The judge also ordered election authorities in Champaign and Vermilion counties, as well as the city of Danville, not to print ballots until the election board complied with the judge’s ruling and certified Parnarauskis.

Sweden: Right-wing coalition takes power

By Steve James, 20 September 2006

Sweden’s Social Democrats have lost power to the right-wing Alliance led by Moderate party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt. The Alliance victory was declared with sitting Prime Minister Göran Persson’s concession speech just short of three hours after polls closed on September 17. Persson announced he would resign as leader of the Social Democrats next March. The new government will be formed by October 5.

State elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

By Peter Schwarz, 20 September 2006

In state elections held in Germany September 17 all those parties involved in government on a national and state level—the Left Party/PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU)—suffered drastic losses in their support among voters.

Sri Lankan war threatens humanitarian catastrophe on Jaffna peninsula

By our reporter, 20 September 2006

More than half a million people on Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula are facing a humanitarian disaster as the government plunges the country back to war. Hundreds of civilians have been killed during the fighting in the area already, and the entire population is threatened by starvation, and daily abductions and intimidation by pro-government forces.

Illinois SEP candidate condemns Chicago mayor’s veto of minimum wage law

By Joe Parnarauskis and SEP candidate for Illinois Senate, 20 September 2006

On September 11, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, a Democrat, vetoed the so-called “Big Box” ordinance requiring mega-stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot to pay a higher wage than the minimum wage set by Illinois law. The Chicago City Council, which passed the original ordinance by a 34-15 margin, failed to override Daley’s veto after three Democratic aldermen switched sides to oppose the measure.

Australian government’s role in ousting East Timor’s prime minister Alkatiri

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2006

Over the past three weeks, a series of media reports has confirmed that the Australian military intervention into East Timor in May was not a humanitarian operation aimed at preventing violence and protecting the East Timorese people. It was part of a political campaign to oust East Timor Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and install a government more amenable to Canberra’s demands.

Construction slowdown threatens Spain’s economic boom

By John Vassilopulos, 19 September 2006

Economists are predicting a slowdown in Spain’s construction industry in 2007, which has been at the heart of the country’s decade-long economic boom. They warned that unless the disproportionate role the construction sector occupies in the economy is addressed, “Spain may soon be on track for economic mediocrity.”

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 19 September 2006

Latin America

Political lessons of the Detroit teachers strike

By our reporter, 19 September 2006

The Socialist Equality Party held a public meeting Thursday, September 14, one day after Detroit teachers voted narrowly to end their more than two-week-long strike. They had defied a court injunction issued the previous Friday ordering them to return to work.

IAEA exposes US committee’s lies on Iran’s nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 19 September 2006

Four years ago, President George Bush appeared before the UN General Assembly and demanded that the UN rubberstamp a war against Iraq that was based on flagrant lies about Saddam Hussein’s so-called weapons of mass destruction. Today, as Bush goes to the UN to demand tough action against Iran, American claims that Tehran has a nuclear weapons program have been exposed as fabrications.

Britain’s Labour Party: No honour amongst thieves

By Julie Hyland, 19 September 2006

Only last week Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown staged a show of unity in an attempt to halt the internecine warfare within the party over the timing of Blair’s departure from office.

Illinois election board still deadlocked on SEP candidate

By Tom Carter, 19 September 2006

With the clock ticking and ballots scheduled to be printed within a matter of days, the Illinois election board remained deadlocked at a meeting yesterday in Springfield. While Socialist Equality Party candidate in the 52nd state Senate district Joseph Parnarauskis has not been removed from the ballot, the four Democrats on the eight-member State Board of Elections (SBE) are continuing to block the vote needed to certify his name for the November 7 ballot.

Support for inquiry into murder of SEP supporter in Sri Lanka

By our reporter, 19 September 2006

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka has started to petition for a full investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the murder of the SEP supporter Sivapragasam Mariyadas. The petition is part of an international campaign launched by the SEP and the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) to demand that the Sri Lankan authorities take action.

The Bush administration and the CIA prisons: a new campaign of lies

By Joe Kay and Barry Grey, 18 September 2006

In a White House press conference Friday, and in statements of government officials over the weekend, the Bush administration has mounted a new campaign of lies and intimidation to justify the repudiation of international law and a government policy of torture.

Construction slowdown threatens Spain’s economic boom

By John Vassilopulos, 18 September 2006

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Letters from our readers

By , 18 September 2006

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

No nonsense about Dada

By Clare Hurley, 18 September 2006

Dada, an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, June 18—September 11, 2006. MoMA is the exhibition’s final of three venues. Centre Pompidou in Paris (October 5, 2005—January 9, 2006) and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (February 19—May 14, 2006) were the first two.

Australia: Income distribution study details growth of social inequality

By Fergus Michaels, 18 September 2006

A paper released earlier this year by the Australian National University’s Centre for Economic Policy Research, The Distribution of Top Incomes in Australia, provides details on the massive growth of social inequality that has taken place in Australia over the past 25 years.

SEP candidate Joe Parnarauskis to speak at University of Illinois

By , 18 September 2006

Joe Parnarauskis, the SEP candidate for Illinois state Senate from the 52nd District, will speak at a campaign meeting to be hosted by the Students for Social Equality on the University of Illinois campus on Wednesday, September 20.