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Two poor US efforts: Disturbia and Georgia Rule

By Jeff Lassahn, 31 May 2007

Disturbia, directed by D.J. Caruso, screenplay by Christopher Landon and Carl Ellsworth; Georgia Rule, directed by Garry Marshall, screenplay by Mark Andrus

US Defense Secretary warns new naval officers on civilian control of military

By Bill Van Auken, 31 May 2007

In a speech before the US Naval Academy’s graduating class May 25, Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued pointed advice to the newly minted officers that they must respect the Constitution and not view the Congress and the media as their enemies.

Gasoline prices and the “free market”: Refiners profit after reducing capacity

By Joe Kay, 31 May 2007

The recent sharp rise in US gasoline prices and the accompanying hardship for millions of people underscore once again the consequences of an energy market dominated by a few giant corporations. The price increase has been attributed to limited refining capacity, which has generated a sharp rise in refinery profits while facilitating market manipulation.

Britain: Parliament votes to exempt itself from Freedom of Information legislation

By Richard Tyler, 31 May 2007

With tacit support from the Labour government and Conservative front bench, a bill has been tabled that would exempt Parliament and MPs from Freedom of Information (FoI) legislation.

Letters from our readers

By , 31 May 2007

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

Spain: Socialist Party government and unions sell out struggle against Delphi plant closure

By Marcus Morgan and Paul Mitchell, 31 May 2007

The US-based auto-parts supplier Delphi is to close its Puerto Real factory in Cádiz in the Andalucía region of Spain, making 1,600 workers redundant. Thousands of families could be directly affected by the job losses, as well as dozens of smaller businesses dependent on the plant.

Germany: Huge police deployment in run-up to G8 summit

By our reporter, 31 May 2007

German politicians and security forces used the Asia-Europe summit (ASEM) held in the northern German city of Hamburg last weekend for a massive police mobilisation against demonstrators. The summit, which brought together 27 European and 16 Asian foreign ministers for discussion over environmental policies, was deliberately used by the German authorities as a “dress rehearsal” for the G8 summit due to take place next week at the Baltic Sea resort of Heiligendamm.

The US holds talks with Iran in Baghdad

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2007

US-Iranian talks—the first in nearly three decades—took place in Baghdad on Monday. American ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, met with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Kazemi Qumi in the offices of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad for four hours.

Sri Lankan university workers protest against punitive measures

By W.A. Sunil, 31 May 2007

Hundreds of workers from the universities of Colombo and Moratuwa took part in a lunchtime protest on Tuesday against punitive action imposed over recent national strike action. All who participated in the two-week strike have had their pay cut and eight union leaders and activists have been suspended. Yesterday Colombo university workers were scheduled to jointly take “sick leave” as part of the same campaign.

US Supreme Court curbs workers’ ability to sue for pay discrimination

By Barry Grey, 31 May 2007

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday sharply curtailed the ability of workers to sue employers who engage in pay discrimination. With the 5-4 decision, the court reversed long-standing legal precedent and administrative practice, reinterpreting workplace discrimination provisions of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in a manner that shields companies which illegally penalize employees because of their gender, race, religion or national origin.

ISSE holds public meeting at Florida State University

By our reporter, 30 May 2007

On Thursday, May 24, the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) at Florida State University held its first public meeting. World Socialist Web Site writer and Socialist Equality Party member Lawrence Porter delivered the featured report titled, “Which way forward in the fight against the war in Iraq?” Around twenty students and local residents attended the event.

May death toll spikes as 10 US soldiers die on Memorial Day

By Jerry White, 30 May 2007

Ten US soldiers in Iraq were killed on Memorial Day, the military reported Tuesday, bringing the total number of US forces killed so far in May to 115. This month’s death toll is the third highest since the war began, trailing only April and November 2004, when 135 and 137 US troops died respectively during the two bloody sieges of Fallujah.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 May 2007

Latin America

Afghanistan: war crimes amnesty prepares further atrocities

By Harvey Thompson, 30 May 2007

The US-backed political elite in Kabul have recently made a series of judicial rulings with grave implications for democratic rights that has received little comment in the international media.

Political crises deepen in Romania and Bulgaria

By Marcus Salzmann, 30 May 2007

Just six months after Romania’s and Bulgaria’s entry into the European Union (EU), it is apparent that the political situation in both countries has far from stabilised, contradicting predictions made by both politicians and the media. Indeed, the entry of these countries—supported by a general consensus within their political elites—has intensified the political crisis in both countries.

Bush decrees new sanctions against Sudan

By Bill Van Auken, 30 May 2007

President Bush Tuesday announced that his administration is imposing a fresh set of economic sanctions on Sudan, claiming the measures are designed to pressure the government in Khartoum to halt the bloodshed in the country’s western-most province of Darfur.

More civilians killed by US/NATO forces as fighting intensifies in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 30 May 2007

American and NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan are killing and maiming dozens of civilians as they attempt to suppress a growing anti-occupation insurgency by loyalists of the former Taliban fundamentalist regime. In case after case, the deaths are the result of indiscriminate bombing by US/NATO aircraft in retaliation for attacks on coalition troops.

The Cerberus-Chrysler deal: The case for public ownership of the auto industry

By World Socialist Web Site editorial board, 30 May 2007

Click here to download this article as a leaflet

Iraq war opponent Cindy Sheehan resigns from the Democratic Party

By David Walsh, 30 May 2007

Click here to download this article as a leaflet

Inquiry shows Canadian state was forewarned of Air India bombings

By David Adelaide, 29 May 2007

Twenty-two years after the Air India disaster, the worst terrorist crime in Canadian history, a public inquiry is unearthing further evidence that the Canadian state had advance knowledge of the impending attacks and was either unable or unwilling to stop them.

Germany: Verdi prepares sell-out of Telekom workers strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 May 2007

For the last two weeks German public sector union Verdi has been striving to maintain its control over Telekom workers and keep their strike low key. Despite management delivering an ultimatum on its plans to transfer 50,000 employees into an in-house company where they will earn up to 40 percent less while working longer hours, Verdi is refusing to expand the strike and organise a serious struggle.

US big business funnels hundreds of millions into presidential campaigns

By Tom Carter, 29 May 2007

With the 2008 US presidential election still more than 17 months away, and primaries not scheduled until next year, a “money primary” is well under way to separate the “serious” candidates—those with the most support from corporate America—from the rest.

Possible habitable planet discovered: Extending the horizons of humanity

By Rob Stevens, 29 May 2007

A team of Swiss, French and Portuguese astronomers announced on April 24 the discovery of an “exoplanet” known as Gliese 581 c.

Tense siege continues at Lebanon’s Nahr al-Bared refugee camp

By Peter Symonds, 29 May 2007

The Lebanese army siege of the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp outside of the northern city of Tripoli is now in its tenth day. Thousands of Palestinian refugees have flooded out of the camp after a shaky ceasefire was negotiated last Tuesday between the military and the Al Qaeda-linked Fatah al-Islam fighters entrenched inside the camp. Many residents, however, have refused to leave, despite the danger of a bloody showdown.

Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr makes bid for greater role in US-occupied Iraq

By James Cogan, 29 May 2007

Last Friday Moqtada al-Sadr, the 33-year-old head of the Sadrist Shiite movement in Iraq, made his first public appearance since October, putting to rest US claims that he had fled the country for Iran. Sadr delivered a speech at a mosque in his home city of Kufa, near Najaf. In an indication of the political influence now wielded by the Sadrists, the event dominated the Iraqi media over the weekend.

LTTE overruns naval outpost on key Sri Lankan island

By Sarath Kumara, 29 May 2007

A significant attack on the Sri Lankan security forces last Thursday has again demonstrated that the government’s renewed war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) will inevitably be drawn out and bloody. Concerned over widespread popular opposition to the conflict, the military played down the incident and issued false casualty figures to the media.

Sri Lankan court case exposes police investigation into missing SEP member

By our correspondent, 28 May 2007

Two months have passed since the disappearance of Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member, Wimaleswaran Nadarajah and his friend, Sivanathan Mathivathanan. Despite the demands of the SEP and protest letters by WSWS readers in Sri Lanka and internationally, the police have failed to carry out any serious investigation to find and secure the release of the two men.

France: Sarkozy prepares shock therapy

By Peter Schwarz, 28 May 2007

The new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to use the momentum of his election success to rush through a number of reactionary measures this summer. This was the message given last week by Sarkozy’s new prime minister, François Fillon, to the TV channel Europe 1.

Israel targets Hamas’s political leadership

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2007

Israel is continuing to mount air strikes in Gaza as part of its drive to destroy Hamas as a military and political force and torpedo the Palestinian national unity government, as well as any possibility of a negotiated deal with Palestinian leaders.

ISSE meeting planned Wednesday at University of California, Los Angeles

By , 28 May 2007

The International Students for Social Equality will be holding a public meeting this Wednesday, May 30 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Joe Kay, ISSE member and writer for the World Socialist Web Site, will deliver a report on “The war in Iraq and a political strategy to end it.”

The American presidency: Only millionaires need apply

By Tom Carter, 28 May 2007

Most candidates for president in the 2008 US elections from both of the major political parties filed their personal finance disclosure reports with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) last week. The reports indicate that the top candidates from both parties are all multimillionaires.

India: Art student targeted by Hindu right and Gujarat authorities

By Arun Kumar, 28 May 2007

All those who care for and defend artistic freedom and basic democratic rights should condemn the attack that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its Hindu supremacist allies have mounted, with the support of the Gujarat authorities, against Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU) fine arts student Chandramohan Srilamantula and the acting dean of the MSU’s fine arts faculty, Shivaji Panikkar.

Bush administration failing to achieve its “benchmarks” in Iraq

By James Cogan, 28 May 2007

US President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have all personally warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that time is running out. Deadlines have gone or are fast approaching. Still, the Bush administration is no closer to achieving the “benchmarks” it demanded of the Iraqi government on January 10 and linked to the success of its current military “surge”.

Part 5: Serious, but flawed

By David Walsh, 28 May 2007

This is the fifth and final article in a series on the 2007 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 26-May 10.

Michigan school districts impose job, wage and benefits cuts

By Debra Watson, 26 May 2007

Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm ordered new funding cuts May 25 in the wake of reports that the state’s budget deficit has doubled since January. The order includes the elimination of the Department of Civil Service and the consolidation of its functions with other departments.

Solidarity and the Scottish Socialist Party: What will follow from the collapse of the Scottish left?

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2007

The result of the May 3 elections to the Scottish Parliament has been a political catastrophe for radical left groups across Britain.

Montreal transit mechanics’ union capitulates before threat of strikebreaking law

By our reporters, 26 May 2007

The union representing Montreal’s 2,200 striking bus and subway mechanics and maintenance workers concluded a tentative contract agreement with the public transit commission Friday, just hours before a 48-hour deadline set by the provincial Liberal government to end the four-day-old strike via negotiations was to expire.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 May 2007

Protracted strike by Indian auto-part workers continues

The Nation magazine offers an alibi for Democrats’ support of Iraq war

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2007

Thursday’s votes in the US Senate and House of Representatives in favor of a bill providing another $100 billion in war-funding have a far-reaching and unmistakable significance that will find an inevitable reflection in the political consciousness of broad masses of the American people.

US: FDA accused of negligence over diabetes drug

By Joanne Laurier, 26 May 2007

The US federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under sharp criticism this week for its inaction over the diabetes drug Avandia. The FDA apparently failed to implement the recommendation made several months ago by its own experts that the widely prescribed drug should carry the strongest possible warning on its label.

US steps up threats against Iran over nuclear programs

By Peter Symonds, 26 May 2007

The US administration has responded belligerently to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s refusal to suspend its nuclear programs by calling for a third UN resolution and tougher penalties. The report, which was sent to IAEA member states on Wednesday, sets the stage for a further heightening of tensions in the Persian Gulf, where the US navy provocatively began a major exercise the same day.

Poverty, dilapidated housing behind rash of deadly fires in US cities

By Jerry White, 26 May 2007

Fatal house fires occurred this week in Baltimore, Maryland, and Detroit and Saginaw in Michigan. The three fires claimed a total of 16 lives, including 13 children.

ISSE meeting to be held in Sri Lanka

By , 26 May 2007

The International Students for Social Equality and the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka will be holding a public meeting next Tuesday at the Colombo Public Library Hall on the US occupation of Iraq and the danger of imperialist world war.

US Congress ratifies Democratic cave-in on Iraq war funding

By Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, 25 May 2007

The US House of Representatives and Senate voted Thursday to approve an additional $100 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Democrats supplying ample votes in both chambers to give President Bush all of the money he requested and a free hand to further escalate the military violence in Iraq.

Massive security preparations for upcoming G8 summit in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 25 May 2007

In preparation for the G8 summit of world leaders to be held June 6-8 in Germany, the idyllic bathing resort of Heiligendamm is being transformed into a high-security tract resembling the notorious “Green Zone” in Baghdad. The leaders of the seven major industrial nations and Russia will be entrenched behind a wall 12 kilometres long, 2.5 metres high (7.5 miles by 8.2 feet), comprising 4,600 steel panels, mounted with barbed wire, cameras and sensory detectors. An exclusion zone of 11 nautical miles will be established out to sea, complemented by an air exclusion zone extended 50 kilometres into the skies.

France: Sarkozy selects Socialist Party’s Bernard Kouchner as foreign minister

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 May 2007

France’s new right-wing Gaullist president Nicolas Sarkozy, a victor in the second round run-off May 6 against his Socialist Party opponent Ségolène Royal, has recruited Bernard Kouchner, a member of Royal’s presidential campaign team, as foreign minister in his first government. The invitation to Kouchner and his acceptance reveal a great deal about the new regime and the official “left” camp.

Bush authorises covert CIA operations to destabilise Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2007

An ABC News report on Tuesday provided further evidence that the Bush administration is actively engaged in a covert campaign of destabilisation aimed at “regime change” in Iran.

Bush administration endorses anti-Palestinian, anti-Syrian offensive in Lebanon

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2007

The Lebanese government of Fuad Siniora is threatening to send the army into the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el Bared to crush the terrorist Fatah al Islam group. Such a move threatens a loss of innocent civilian lives that would dwarf the dozens that have been killed already during the five-day siege of the camp, north of Tripoli.

Russian mine disaster kills at least 38

By Bill Van Auken, 25 May 2007

A gas explosion in a Siberian coal mine Thursday morning claimed the lives of at least 38 miners, while leaving several others injured.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 25 May 2007


Letters from our readers

By , 25 May 2007

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

Death threats against protesters in northern Sri Lanka

By S. Jayanth, 25 May 2007

A clandestine poster pasted on the walls of Jaffna university on May 14 listed hundreds of names of students, academics, administrators, teachers and school principals marked for death by a shadowy outfit calling itself the Tamil Alliance to Defend the Nation. The death threat came amid ongoing protests by school and university students over the disappearance of four students from two schools on the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka.

Three German soldiers killed in Afghanistan

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 May 2007

The deaths last Saturday of three German soldiers at the hands of a suicide bomber in the northern Afghan city of Kundus make a mockery of the propaganda by the German government that the deployment of its soldiers as part of the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) mission is first and foremost a “humanitarian enterprise.”

US officials guilty of “sociocide” in Iraq must be held accountable

By the Editorial Board, 24 May 2007

This week the World Socialist Web Site ran a three-part article, “The US war and occupation of Iraq—the murder of a society,” by Bill Van Auken. The series, bringing together facts and statistics drawn from the international media and a variety of studies and surveys, painted a horrifying picture of Iraqi society after more than four years of US-led war and occupation, preceded by more than a decade of lethal sanctions.

New York: another fatal shooting of an unarmed man sparks outrage

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2007

An off-duty cop’s fatal shooting of an unarmed motorist has once again sparked outrage in one of New York City’s working class neighborhoods.

Contract talks break down at Southern California supermarkets

By Daniel Jenkins, 24 May 2007

Supermarket representatives and United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) negotiators broke off talks earlier this month, after seven months of fruitless contract negotiations. Some 65,000 members of the UFCW, employed at 685 store locations across Southern California, are affected. The chains involved include Ralph’s, owned by Kroger; Albertsons, owned by Supervalu; and Vons, owned by Safeway.

Fijian military junta targets bloggers

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 May 2007

The Fijian military junta has targeted anti-regime web logs (blogs), and threatened to arrest the people behind them. On May 17, army commander Colonel Pita Driti announced that blogs “critical of the army and members of the government” would be shut down as they posed a “threat to national security”.

Australia: Behind the $33.49 million package for Macquarie Bank’s chief executive

By Richard Phillips, 24 May 2007

The announcement last week that Australia’s highest paid executive Macquarie Bank chief Allan Moss received a massive 57 percent hike in his annual remuneration package last year further highlights the vast and widening gulf between ordinary workers and the handful of super-rich that control the economy.

Democratic Party completes its capitulation on Iraq

By Barry Grey, 24 May 2007

The Democratic congressional leadership on Tuesday formally accepted a supplemental war-funding bill that abandons any timelines for withdrawing US troops from Iraq. The bill further gives President Bush the power to waive economic penalties should the Iraqi government fail to meet a series of “benchmarks” for stabilizing the country and opening up its oil resources to exploitation by American oil conglomerates.

Britain: Funding crisis in higher education

By Jordan Shilton, 24 May 2007

With the abolition of student grants—and, more recently, the introduction in England of tuition fees for students—ever-greater responsibility has been placed on individual students in Britain to fund their further education.

Gonzales aide stonewalls on White House role in firing of US attorneys

By Patrick Martin, 24 May 2007

The former Justice Department liaison with the White House testified under oath before a congressional committee Wednesday and denied ever having discussed the firings of eight US attorneys with then White House counsel Harriet Miers or Bush’s top political aide Karl Rove.

Irish election likely to be close

By Steve James, 23 May 2007

The outcome of tomorrow’s Irish general election is thought too close to call.

Democrats drop “withdrawal” deadlines as administration mulls post-surge Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2007

With just days left until Congress goes into its Memorial Day recess, the Democratic leadership has reportedly dropped any proposal for a timeline for partial withdrawal of US troops from Iraq as part of a new war-funding bill.

France: Sarkozy concentrates power in his own hands

By Peter Schwarz, 23 May 2007

Newly elected French president Nicolas Sarkozy has used the first days in office to concentrate a broad range of power in his hands comparable only to that possessed by former French leader Gen. Charles de Gaulle. Even prior to the parliamentary elections in June, Sarkozy is undertaking a series of initiatives which will allow him to govern without any effective external control. To this end he is exploiting the constitution of the Fifth Republic to its limits—and beyond.

Trains cross the Korean border for the first time in six decades

By John Chan, 23 May 2007

Two trains made short, symbolic trips across the heavily militarised border between South and North Korea last week, in what was acclaimed as a step toward reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

Full speed ahead to the right, damn the public

By Richard Dufour, 23 May 2007

First published in French May 19, 2007

Iraq: British troops battle Shiite militia in Basra

By James Cogan, 23 May 2007

British troops have been hurled into the bitter power struggles taking place between the Shiite movement led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and rival Shiite parties for control over the oil-rich southern city of Basra and other centres in southern Iraq.

Part 4: Films on Africa—“ The problem always comes back to poverty”

By Joanne Laurier, 23 May 2007

This is the fourth of a series of articles on the 2007 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 26-May 10.

Britain’s Guardian promotes Bush administration war propaganda against Iran

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2007

The Guardian offered its May 22 front page as a propaganda conduit for the Bush administration to provide preemptive justification for an escalation of the US military “surge” in Iraq and possible military action against Iran.

American military deaths soar as US extends its “surge” in Iraq

By Barry Grey, 22 May 2007

Twenty one US soldiers were killed in Iraq between Thursday and Sunday of last week. Their deaths brought the total number of US military deaths since the war began in March of 2003 to 3,422, according to, an independent web site that tracks military deaths. Other estimates place the death count at near 4,000.

Scotland: Minority SNP government seeks pro-business “consensus”

By Niall Green, 22 May 2007

The Scottish National Party (SNP) formed a minority administration last Wednesday when its leader Alex Salmond was voted into office as first minister, the head of the devolved government in Scotland.

Germany: Deutsche Telekom strike enters second week

By our reporter, 22 May 2007

Following the recent overwhelming majority vote for strike action by Deutsche Telekom workers, approximately 2,500 strikers assembled for a demonstration in Munich on Friday, May 18. The mood among the workers, most of whom had travelled from throughout Bavaria, varied from indignation over the arrogant attitude of the management to outright rage over the fact that temporary staff had been brought into some enterprises to be used as strike-breakers.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 22 May 2007

Latin America

The US war and occupation of Iraq—the murder of a society

By Bill Van Auken, 22 May 2007

This is the final part of a three-part series. Part one was posted May 19 and part two on May 21. Its purpose is to examine a series of recent reports establishing the immense scale of death, destruction and oppression that have been wrought by the US occupation of Iraq, now in its fifth year. Taken together, these reports confirm that US operations in Iraq have amounted to sociocide—the deliberate and systematic murder of an entire society.

Evo Morales and the fraud of “nationalization” in Bolivia

By Jair Antunes, 22 May 2007

In a bombastic statement to the media earlier this month Bolivian President Evo Morales announced the concretization of his planned nationalization of the country’s oil and natural gas industries. These enterprises had been privatized at the end of the 1990s during the “neo-liberal turn” throughout Latin America. According to Morales, the Bolivian people are now resuming their role as the true owners of the natural wealth that exists in the subsoil of their county.

Australian nursing home deaths reveal chronic under-funding

By Paul Bartizan, 22 May 2007

Five elderly residents of a Melbourne nursing home died last month in the space of eight days, while five others were hospitalised following an outbreak of gastroenteritis. The nursing home management and the state and federal governments have responded by attempting to cover up or downplay the tragedy.

Mother, three children perish in Detroit house fire

By Mark Rainer and Shannon Jones, 22 May 2007

A pregnant mother and her three young children were killed in a house fire in southwest Detroit early Monday morning. The father remains in critical condition, with burns over 85 percent of his body.

Detroit-area hospital shake-up fueled by drive for profit

By Charles Bogle, 22 May 2007

Click here to download this article as a leaflet

US reaffirms support for Musharraf

By Vilani Peiris and Keith Jones, 22 May 2007

The Bush administration has reiterated its support for Pakistan’s military strongman, General Pervez Musharraf, in the wake of bloody, government-orchestrated attacks on opposition protesters in Karachi, May 12 and 13, that left more than forty people dead.

Lebanese army lays siege to Palestinian refugee camp

By Peter Symonds, 22 May 2007

At least 60 people have died in fierce fighting over the past two days between Lebanese troops and the Sunni extremist Fatah al-Islam militia based at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near the northern city of Tripoli. Security officials say that the dead include 27 soldiers, 15 militants and 24 civilians, but the actual toll could be much higher as there are no accurate figures for casualties inside the densely populated camp.

Australia: Police-state measures for APEC summit in Sydney

By Mike Head, 21 May 2007

Unprecedented military and police powers will be in force for this September’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney. Fundamental democratic rights and civil liberties will be flouted in order to block protests and prevent ordinary people from getting anywhere near the gathered government leaders, including US President George Bush.

Former US President Jimmy Carter blasts Bush and Blair over Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2007

In a pair of back-to-back interviews, former US President Jimmy Carter delivered a blistering critique of George W. Bush—declaring his administration the “worst administration in history”—and Tony Blair, describing the British prime minister’s support for US foreign policy “abominable.”

Senate immigration “compromise”: Democrats join Bush in assault on democratic rights

By Patrick Martin, 21 May 2007

The US Senate begins consideration Monday of S. 1348, the bipartisan immigration bill negotiated between the Bush administration and a group of senators, Democratic and Republican, and backed by the Senate leadership of both parties. While described in the media as a “compromise” bill, in which advocates and opponents of immigration have sought to bridge their differences, the actual provisions of the bill represent an escalation of the war against democratic rights that the Bush administration has waged since its inception.

US envoy raises muted concerns about democratic rights in Sri Lanka

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 21 May 2007

During his visit to Sri Lanka on May 8-10, US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher for the first time made reference to US concerns over the abuse of basic democratic rights by the government and the country’s security forces.

After the Chrysler sale—Cerberus set to demand massive concessions

By Shannon Jones, 21 May 2007

Click here to download this article as a leaflet

Israel stokes up Hamas-Fatah strife in Gaza, considers ground invasion

By Jean Shaoul, 21 May 2007

Israel is intervening in the mounting factional strife in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas, with the explicit aim of eliminating Hamas as a military and political force.

The US war and occupation of Iraq—the murder of a society

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2007

This is the second part of a three-part series. Part one was posted May 19. Its purpose is to examine a series of recent reports establishing the immense scale of death, destruction and oppression that have been wrought by the US occupation of Iraq, now in its fifth year. Taken together, these reports confirm that US operations in Iraq have amounted to sociocide—the deliberate and systematic murder of an entire society. The third and concluding part was be posted May 22.

ISSE meeting planned at Florida State University

By , 21 May 2007

The International Students for Socialist Equality will be holding a public meeting this Thursday, May 24, at Florida State University College of Law, entitled, “What way forward in the fight against the war in Iraq?”

US military blocks soldiers’ access to blogs, popular social sites

By Naomi Spencer, 21 May 2007

The US Department of Defense issued regulations April 19 severely curtailing the use of the Internet by military personnel, contractors, and their families. As of May 14, the Pentagon has blocked use of public weblogs, forums, video hosting and social sites on military-run networks, citing bandwidth limits and security.

US demands lead to border clashes between Pakistan and Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 19 May 2007

Pakistan’s attempts to tighten security along its border have led to a series of clashes with US-occupied Afghanistan. On Thursday, for the second time this week, Pakistani forces in the Kurram tribal agency fired mortars and rockets at positions in the adjacent Afghan province of Paktia. Four Afghan troops were killed, while US aircraft reportedly buzzed the skies overhead.

Britain: The Guardian whitewash of Mr Blair

By Chris Marsden, 19 May 2007

The cloying nostalgia, mild rebuke and genuine sense of loss that pervades much of the commentary by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on the imminent departure of Prime Minister Tony Blair are hard to stomach.

Congressional Democrats, Republicans begin talks with White House on war spending bill

By Tom Carter, 19 May 2007

The congressional Democrats’ “anti-war” charade over the Bush administration’s war-funding request is coming to its inevitable, ignoble end.

OxyContin manufacturer reaches $600 million plea deal over false marketing practices

By Naomi Spencer, 19 May 2007

On May 10, federal prosecutors announced fines and a plea agreement against OxyContin producer Purdue Pharma for illegally “misbranding” its powerful narcotic painkiller as less addictive than it actually was and deliberately misleading regulators, doctors and patients about the drug’s risks. The company was fined $600 million in criminal and civil penalties in conjunction with the felony charge.

Behind the World Bank’s ouster of Paul Wolfowitz

By Patrick Martin, 19 May 2007

In the end, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz went out with a whimper, accepting a mildly worded resolution of the bank’s board of governors thanking him for his two years at the helm of the international lending institution while declaring that “mistakes were made.”

European Union-Russia summit a diplomatic debacle

By Niall Green, 19 May 2007

The summit between the European Union (EU) and Russia, held May 18 in the Russian city of Samara, ended in a debacle for the European powers as antagonisms between the United States and Russia reach a breaking point.

Demonstrations greet new French president

By Pierre Mabut, 19 May 2007

On the day of Gaullist Nicolas Sarkozy’s inauguration as the new president of France, May 16, demonstrations by youth took place in a number of major cities. Although generally small in size, the protests’ frustration and anger came in response to fears that Sarkozy intends to rapidly put in place his ‘reform’ of higher education.

Plan bipartita del Senado explotaría a los trabajadores inmigrantes aún más

By , 19 May 2007

WSWS : Español

Britain: Charges dropped against police in de Menezes shooting

By Paul Mitchell, 19 May 2007

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has dropped disciplinary charges against 11 front-line firearms and surveillance officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22, 2005.

ISSE meetings to be held in Poland and Austria

By , 19 May 2007

The International Students for Social Equality, the student organization of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Committee of the Fourth International, will be holding meetings in Warsaw, Poland, and Vienna, Austria. The meeting dates are Saturday, May 19, and Sunday, June 17, respectively.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 19 May 2007

Strikes continue to erupt in Vietnam