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Bhutto assassination heightens threat of US intervention in Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken, 29 December 2007

With Pakistan erupting in violence over the assassination of its former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and amid conflicting accounts as to both the identity of her assassins and even the cause of her death, official Washington and the American mass media have coalesced around a version of events that has been crafted to suit US strategic interests.

Danish elections: Government remains dependent on far right

By Jordan Shilton, 29 December 2007

The Danish Liberal-Conservative coalition, supported by the anti-immigrant nationalist Danish People’s Party (DPP), achieved the slimmest of majorities in the November 13 elections. The snap poll was called by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen two years ahead of schedule. In the 179-seat parliament, the alliance achieved 90 seats, one of those made up by the Unionist Party from the Danish Protectorate of the Faroe Islands.

Turkey continues its incursions into northern Iraq

By Justus Leicht, 29 December 2007

Over the weekend and again on Tuesday and Wednesday, Turkey carried out new air raids against Kurdish areas in northern Iraq. According to a representative of the Kurdish Peschmerga, villages in the province of Dohuk were bombed on Wednesday. There are as yet no reliable reports on the number of victims or the material damage from the attacks.

US mayors’ report: Hunger and homelessness intensify in US cities

By Debra Watson, 29 December 2007

The number of people hungry and homeless in US cities rose dramatically again in 2007, according to the annual report on hunger and homelessness from the US Conference of Mayors.The 23-city Hunger and Homelessness Survey was released in late December.

US occupation prepares Basra operation following British withdrawal

By James Cogan, 29 December 2007

In the wake of the formal conclusion on December 17 of day-to-day policing by British troops in the Iraqi city of Basra, there are signs that the US military and the Iraqi government are preparing a new operation to shatter Shiite fundamentalist influence in the city and its surrounds, including the oil industry and the country’s only port, Umm Qasr.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2007

Indian teachers protest

Bob Dylan as a psychological pastiche: I’m Not There

By James Brewer, 28 December 2007

I’m Not There, for better or worse, is a film not so much about singer-songwriter Bob Dylan as about the idea of Bob Dylan. More precisely, it is about several different such ideas. It was directed and co-written by Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven). Six actors play six characters, each with a different name, who represent different facets or incarnations of Dylan.

Germany: BMW announces 8,000 job cuts

By Markus Salzmann, 28 December 2007

On December 21, Bavarian auto manufacturer BMW announced plans to implement several thousand redundancies in the coming year. The slashing of jobs is part of an extensive savings programme aimed at boosting the company’s profits. Between now and 2012, BMW plans to achieve savings amounting to approximately €6 billion.

In wake of assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Bush administration rushes to defense of Musharraf

By Keith Jones, 28 December 2007

Pakistan People’s Party “life chairperson” and prime ministerial candidate Benazir Bhutto was assassinated early Thursday evening, Pakistani time, while campaigning for national and provincial assembly elections scheduled for January 8.

Scores killed in Indonesian Boxing Day landslides

By Will Marshall, 28 December 2007

Major landslides in Indonesia’s Central Java province on December 26 have killed at least 70 people and left thousands displaced. The tragedy struck during the early hours of Wednesday morning—the third anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami which claimed the lives of over 167,000 Indonesians in 2004 after a massive earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra.