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Politics and economics dominate response to swine flu epidemic

By David Walsh and Sean South, 30 April 2009

The outbreak of a swine flu epidemic that threatens to assume global proportions is exposing the disastrous consequences of the subordination of all aspects of social life to the capitalist market and the competing interests of nationally-based corporate elites.

Imperialist hypocrisy over the Sri Lankan war

By Peter Symonds, 30 April 2009

The human tragedy unfolding in northern Sri Lanka has become the occasion for an outpouring of hypocritical concern, on the part of the major powers, for the plight of an estimated 50,000 civilians trapped in fighting between the army and the LTTE.

Mexico: Epidemic deepens the social crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2009

With the death toll in Mexico’s swine flu epidemic having risen to at least 159, measures taken to halt the spread of the disease are deepening the country’s economic slump. Meanwhile, criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis is growing.

Pakistan: Tens of thousands displaced by US-ordered offensive

By Keith Jones, 30 April 2009

Tens of thousands of Pashtun-speaking villagers have been forced to flee from their homes in recent days as the result of the punishing offensive the Pakistani military has mounted, at Washington’s urging, against pro-Taliban militants in the country’s North-West Frontier Province.

Wall Street rallies despite sharp contraction in US economy

By Barry Grey, 30 April 2009

Wall Street’s response to the dire gross domestic product report reflects the class divide that dominates American society. It is also an expression of the growing confidence of the financial elite that it has in the Obama administration a pliant defender of its wealth and power.

Sri Lankan military continues shelling “no-fire zone”

By Sarath Kumara, 30 April 2009

Sri Lankan troops have continued shelling the tiny area still held by Tamil separatists in the island’s north, killing and maiming scores more civilians, exposing the lie of the government’s assurance that it would stop the use of aerial bombardment and heavy weapons.

Detroit American Axle plant to close

By Tom Eley, 30 April 2009

The closure of Detroit’s American Axle plant further underscores the reactionary character of the United Auto Workers. The UAW isolated and defeated last year’s strike at the company and told workers accepting massive concessions would “save” jobs.

South Africa: Zuma’s victory expresses deepening class tensions

By Chris Talbot, 30 April 2009

The election victory of the African National Congress and its leader, Jacob Zuma, is a distorted expression of powerful social tensions within South Africa.

Britain: Tories pledge “age of austerity”

By Julie Hyland, 30 April 2009

The British Conservative Party at its spring conference over the weekend outlined its plans for a new “age of austerity” in response to the global economic crisis.

US requests New Zealand SAS troops for war in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 30 April 2009

The New Zealand National government of Prime Minister John Key revealed on April 19 that it had received an official request from the United States for the highly trained Special Air Services combat unit to return to Afghanistan.