News

Between the Lines

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Contaminated steel from World Trade Centre dumped in Asia - Drug Tests on Police - Oxygen in Aeroplanes

More than 30,000 tons of contaminated steel scrap which made up the World Trade Centre have been dumped in south east Asia. The steel, containing asbestos, PCBs, mercury and dioxins, has been unloaded by workers in ports such as Chennai in India by workers with no protective clothing. Two US companies have made millions selling the scrap overseas.

Turkey: A Case of Trial and Error

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Radical academic Noam Chomsky threw the spotlight on Turkey's repressive laws last month when he challenged the Turkish state security court to prosecute him for sedition.

A Turkish publisher had been hauled before the court for printing a translation of Chomsky's writings discussing the repression faced by Kurds in Turkey. In front of the world's press Chomsky argued that if stating this fact was a crime, he and not his publisher should be in the dock.

Political Fund: History in the Making

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

An important conference of rank and file trade unionists is set to take place in London on 16 March. Organised by the Socialist Alliance, the conference will bring together shop stewards and union representatives, as well as other trade unionists to debate the issue of the trade union political fund and the financial links between New Labour and the unions. It will also discuss the campaign against privatisation.

So far over 600 trade unionists have registered and organisers are expecting the final number to exceed 1,000. Demand to register has been so great that an overflow room may be needed. There will be delegates from virtually every trade union. Over 55 union branches have already passed motions at either branch or branch committee level to send official delegations. There will also be executive members there from both Unison and Natfhe and the conference is supported by PCS general secretary elect Mark Serwotka.

Asylum: Europe's Number One Fortress

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

David Blunkett's white paper on asylum and immigration, 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven', published last month, will lead to further persecution of asylum seekers.

Under the proposals, asylum seekers are to be systematically segregated--they will either be forced to stay in accommodation centres or locked up in detention camps. New arrivals will be sent immediately to 'induction centres', modelled on the controversial Oakington centre near Cambridge, where their claims will be processed. Here already frightened, desperate people will be confronted with an array of immigration officials. They will be obliged to sign a document saying they understand the asylum seeker system.

Middle East: The Humiliation of an Entire People

Issue section: 
Issue: 

February 2002 has undoubtedly been Ariel Sharon's toughest month in power since his overwhelming election victory just over a year ago. A string of Palestinian military successes has created a climate of near panic in the Israeli press.

A large roadside bomb destroyed a Merkava tank, and an officer from the undercover Duvdevan Unit was killed by falling masonry while overseeing the demolition of a Palestinian house. Then six Israeli soldiers were ambushed and killed at a checkpoint and their Palestinian attackers got away. The Israeli army has responded by attempting to batter the Palestinian civilian population into submission.

Between the Lines

Issue section: 
Issue: 

Nestlé and food safety - McDonald's strike victory - Bush and Enron

You've heard of a fly in your soup, but what about a lump of metal in your pickle? Sue Taylor bit on something hard in her Nestlé Branston Pickle, reports Which? magazine. It was a dark metal cube which bore the number 2.5. When she contacted the environmental health office they informed her it was a piece from a vegetable chopping machine. Nestlé argued it had taken all reasonable steps to ensure food safety and avoided prosecution. It did, however, give Sue £30 in compensation.

Milosevic Trial: Sold to the Highest Bidder

Issue section: 
Issue: 

The trial of Slobodan Milosevic opened in The Hague last month to much self righteous acclaim. Commentators were quick to draw comparisons with the trial of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. Yet far from being a testimony to the moral rectitude of the west, the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) is a symbol of its moral duplicity.

The mere fact that this is indeed the first international war crimes tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo speaks volumes. Why were there no such tribunals for the US carpet-bombers of North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, where millions lost their lives? And few commentators saw fit to recall that at Nuremberg the first count on the charge sheet against Nazi leaders was that of planning and waging aggressive war. In 1999 it was Nato that planned and waged aggressive war against Yugoslavia.

Colombia: A War Conceived in Washington

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

President Andres Pastrana has announced the end of the peace process with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc).

His latest declaration to the people of Colombia had a ring of deadly finality as he authorised General Fernando Tapias, head of the Colombian Armed Forces, to retake the demilitarised zone with immediate effect.

Between the Lines

Issue section: 

Kodak website dispute - Insurance claims - China and the WTO

Kodak is refusing to honour sales of a £330 camera which it advertised for £100, after thousands of people tried to take advantage of the offer. Disgruntled customers have set up a website which has so far attracted 13,000 visitors. The debacle is similar to the Hoover flights to America scheme which led to thousands of legal claims.

Parliament of the People

Issue section: 

The international movement against capitalist globalisation faces two important tests. The first is the protests against the bosses' jamboree of the World Economic Forum, moved this year from Davos in Switzerland to New York. The second is the World Social Forum (WSF) that meets in Porto Alegre in Brazil between 31 January and 5 February.

Porto Alegre is the capital of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. It first sprang to prominence a year ago, when 13,000 people from 117 countries gathered there to attend the first WSF. A kind of global parliament of the anti-capitalist movement, the WSF throbbed with the life of all the different campaigns and coalitions represented there. A live television link-up allowed representatives of the movement led by Walden Bello to debate - and wipe the floor - with George Soros and other corporate stiffs in Davos.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - News