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After immigration raid, workers protest conditions in Iowa meatpacking plant

By Andre Damon, 30 July 2008

Immigrant workers marched through the center of Postville, Iowa on Sunday, demonstrating against working conditions at the local meatpacking plant raided by immigration officers ten weeks ago. In the wake of the raid, the plant’s workers have reported numerous cases of labor law violations, including the employment of underage workers, physical abuse, and intimidation by management.

Australia: Qantas engineers’ union brokers another shabby pay deal

By Terry Cook, 30 July 2008

Following a new round of negotiations in a long-running pay dispute, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) announced last week it was calling off all industrial action after reaching another in-principle agreement covering 1,500 licensed aircraft engineers employed by the Australian airline Qantas.

Bush approves execution of army prisoner

By Kate Randall, 30 July 2008

President Bush on Monday approved the death sentence of Ronald A. Gray, a former US Army cook convicted on multiple rape and murder charges. The decision marked the first time in 51 years that a president has affirmed the death penalty of a member of the US military.

Germany: Praising Obama, Joschka Fischer calls for increased militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 July 2008

In his regular Monday column for the weekly Die Zeit newspaper, the former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer (Green Party), summed up “Barack Obama’s recent speech in Berlin” as follows: “Put an end to European free-riding when the military situation is serious!”

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson—a documentary

By Joanne Laurier, 30 July 2008

Written and directed by Alex Gibney

Iraq: Kirkuk on edge following suicide bombing

By James Cogan, 30 July 2008

A female suicide bomber detonated an explosion on Tuesday in the midst of a demonstration by over 5,000 Kurdish residents of the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The carnage was horrific. Seventeen people were killed immediately and more than 47 others were wounded.

Massive US deficit spells austerity policy for next administration

By Jerry White, 30 July 2008

The Bush administration this week predicted that the US budget deficit will hit a record $482 billion in 2009. This means that the next president, whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain, will follow a policy of unprecedented austerity, including gutting entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security.

The arrest of Radovan Karadzic and the complicity of the West in Bosnia’s civil war

By Paul Mitchell, 30 July 2008

The capture of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has unleashed a torrent of historical distortions echoing the propaganda used to justify US-NATO intervention in the former Yugoslavia and to obscure the role of the Western powers in the federation’s break-up.

Australia: Jack Thomas appeals against retrial on terrorist charges

By Mike Head, 29 July 2008

Lawyers for a Melbourne worker, Jack Thomas, will appear in the High Court, Australia’s supreme court, on August 1 to seek leave to appeal against a decision by the Victorian Court of Appeal in June that he face re-trial on two terrorist-related charges. Thomas has been granted bail, but the Rudd government is still keeping him under a “control order”—a modified form of house arrest originally imposed by the previous Howard government in 2006.

British government implicated in abuse of refugees and asylum seekers

By Marcus Morgan, 29 July 2008

The British government has been implicated in the abuse of refugees and asylum seekers, according to a report published this month by a group of human rights campaigners and medical legal experts.