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Australian court orders re-trial on terrorist charges

By David Taylor and Mike Head, 30 December 2006

The same Victorian Court of Appeal that four months ago quashed two terrorist-related convictions against Melbourne man Jack Thomas, last week ordered a re-trial. In a case that has become a symbol of the determination of the Howard government and sections of the media to pursue the “war on terror” at all costs, the decision sets another dangerous precedent for flouting fundamental legal and democratic rights.

Blair government cancels British Aerospace-Saudi arms inquiry

By Jean Shaoul, 30 December 2006

This is the conclusion of a two-part article. Part one can be found here.

David Walsh picks his favorite films of 2006

By David Walsh, 30 December 2006

2006 was generally a poor year for US and English-language films. In 2005 a number of American films grappled with important problems—including Syriana (Stephen Gaghan), Munich (Steven Spielberg) and Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney)—with varying degrees of success. There was no such comparable work in 2006. A global radicalization in cinema, however, is undoubtedly under way. Given the state of the world, how could there not be?

Ethiopian troops occupy Mogadishu

By Ann Talbot, 30 December 2006

Ethiopian troops staged a triumphal entry into Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu on Friday. Thousands of fighters loyal to the United Islamic Courts (UIC) were left slaughtered in the wake of a rapid Ethiopian advance. Opposition crumbled after the Ethiopians pounded the Islamic forces with tanks, heavy artillery and fighter aircraft.

Germany: Left Party-PDS and Election Alternative agree on a common reformist program

By Hendrik Paul, 30 December 2006

On December 10 the executive committees of the Left Party-Party of Democratic Socialism and the Election Alternative—Labour and Social Justice (WASG) agreed to programmatic guidelines for the planned merger of the two organisations in the middle of next year. Under discussion was not a finished program for the new party, which is to be known simply as the Left Party, but rather programmatic points, which give some indication of the organization’s future political orientation.

Government report concedes India’s Muslims are a socially deprived, victimised minority

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 December 2006

A report prepared by a seven-member committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar has conceded that India’s Muslim minority faces appalling socioeconomic deprivation and is the victim of official neglect and frequent police harassment and violence.

Maryland Reservist killed by police after refusing deployment to Iraq

By a reporter, 30 December 2006

A 29-year-old ex-soldier who had served 12 months in Afghanistan, upset over orders to deploy to Iraq, was shot to death December 26 after a night-long standoff at a house in Maryland. James E. Dean was notified earlier this month to report to Fort Benning, Georgia, on January 14, 2007, for service in Iraq.

More US troops to Kuwait, as Bush moves to escalate the war in Iraq

By Joe Kay, 30 December 2006

The Pentagon announced December 27 that it will send 3,500 additional US soldiers to Kuwait in January, a clear step toward the increase in American combat troops and escalation of the war in Iraq that President Bush is expected to announce early in the new year.

Sri Lankan tsunami victims speak out

By our reporters, 30 December 2006

On the eve of the second anniversary of the 2004 Asian tsunami disaster, a WSWS reporting team visited Matara to meet tsunami survivors. Matara, one of the worst hit areas, is a coastal town, 160 kilometres south of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.

The execution of Saddam Hussein

By the Editorial Board, 30 December 2006

The execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein serves not justice, but the political purposes of the Bush administration and its Iraqi stooges. The manner in which the execution was carried out—hurriedly, secretively, in the dark of night, in a mockery of any semblance of legal process—only underscores the lawless and reactionary character of the entire American enterprise in Iraq.