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Australian government takeover of Aboriginal communities: the real content of the “Children are Sacred” report

By Susan Allan, 30 June 2007

Prime Minister John Howard has claimed that the trigger for his announcement last week of a federal military takeover of Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory was the Northern Territory Board of Inquiry’s report into sexual abuse of Aboriginal children, entitled “Little Children are Sacred”.

Divisions erupt in the French Socialist Party

By Antoine Lerougetel and Peter Schwarz, 30 June 2007

The knives have come out in France’s Socialist Party (PS) following its defeats in the presidential and parliamentary elections. The party’s national council meeting held last weekend in Paris was dominated by sharp divisions between the camp of presidential candidate Ségolène Royal and the party apparatus, led by her former partner François Hollande, the PS first secretary. Many of the 306 delegates attending the meeting attacked Royal, and she, for her part, disavowed the party by refusing to turn up at the gathering of its highest body.

East Timor’s election held under shadow of Australian military

By Mike Head, 30 June 2007

Today’s parliamentary elections in East Timor are being conducted amid continuing Australian interference and pressure to secure the defeat of the Fretilin government, which has been in office since formal independence was declared in the former Indonesian territory in 2002.

German government complicity in CIA abductions: The case of Khaled al-Masri

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2007

On June 8, the Council of Europe’s Special Raporteur for human rights, Dick Marty, presented his second report concerning the illegal transport and secret imprisonment of prisoners (so-called “special renditions”). This report presents the facts and refutes the misleading and false statements made by government officials in the US and Europe.

Italy: Trial of CIA agents deferred until October

By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2007

On June 18, a Milan court decided to defer to October the trial of those charged with abducting the Egyptian expatriate Imam Osama Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Judge Oscar Magi agreed to the motion of the defence lawyer representing the main Italian defendant, the former chief of Italian Military Intelligence (SISMI), Nicolò Pollari.

Letters from our readers

30 June 2007

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

Padilla “terrorism support trial” unravels

By Alex Lantier, 30 June 2007

The US government’s “terrorism support trial” against Jose Padilla and two acquaintances, Adham Amin Hassoun and Kifah Wael Jayyousi, is rapidly unraveling as the prosecution continued with its case this week. Even though US District Judge Marcia Cooke has let the prosecution introduce irrelevant evidence and proceed despite procedural violations, it is clear the prosecution is grasping at straws to make a case against the accused.

The new Sarkozy government hosts conference on Darfur

By Alex Lantier, 30 June 2007

Representatives of the US, France, the European Union, the Arab League, Russia and China met June 25 in Paris to discuss possible peacekeeping operations in the war-torn Sudanese province of Darfur. The press widely presented it as a means for newly elected French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his foreign minister Bernard Kouchner to demonstrate a more accommodating attitude toward Washington than Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

US: Senate Republicans kill plan to overhaul immigration law

By Bill Van Auken, 30 June 2007

The defeat Thursday of sweeping immigration legislation backed by both the White House and the Democratic congressional leadership underscores the profound crisis of the Bush administration and the continuing swing to the right by the US political establishment and both of its major parties.

US Senate Republicans block union-sponsored bill

By Patrick Martin, 30 June 2007

In a near party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate rejected a proposal to take up the Employee Free Choice Act, an AFL-CIO-sponsored bill that would have removed some of the procedural obstacles used by corporations to thwart union organizing drives. The 51-48 vote fell nine short of the 60 required to end debate and force a vote on the legislation. Only one of 49 Senate Republicans, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, voted for cloture, along with 48 Democrats and two independents.