Issue 155

News

RU486: extending women's choices By Kath Gelber The Catholic church in Australia has called for a halt to current trials of RU486, the so-called "abortion pill". The trials, taking place under the auspices of the World Health Organisation
ADELAIDE — Major cuts to health, education and housing are set to dominate the state Liberal government's budget on August 25, its first since taking office last November. While cabinet is still in the process of discussing details around proposed
'Unions need a political alternative' By Geoff Spencer MELBOURNE — Sixty people attended a Democratic Socialist Party forum on August 10 to discuss the state of the trade unions and strategies on how to rebuild the movement. Steve
Call for Burma human rights group By Nick Everett BRISBANE — "Burma — Democracy Denied" is the title of an exhibition of photos, information and a video currently on display here. A video, The Burma Deception was screened at a public
By Mairi Petersen SHELLHARBOUR — For the past ten years the right-wing Labor-controlled Council here has been promoting a plan to destroy a 780-metre popular family beach at South Shellharbour near Wollongong by building a boat harbour.
Eva Bacon 1909-1994 By Jim McIlroy BRISBANE — A moving memorial gathering was held here on August 6 for Eva Bacon, a well-known activist for womens' rights and the left over many decades. Eva died on July 23, aged 84. Many of Bacon's
Protest at new PNG logging rules By Ana Kailis BRISBANE — On August 9, 30 people picketed the Papua New Guinea consulate in protest of the Timber Supply Agreement (TSA), soon to be ratified by the PNG government. The picket was organised
ADELAIDE — An August 11 Adelaide university debate on women's rights to abortion, Resistance and the pro-choice campus clubs versus the "pro-life" group, ended abruptly when National Action forced its closure. National Action, an extreme right-wing
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — The 11 miners buried underground after an explosion at the Moura No 2 coal mine on August 7, along with their suffering families, are the victims of the profit drive of BHP and other corporate mining giants.
Police powers questioned after night club raid By Scott Lewington MELBOURNE — Forty armed police burst into popular city gay and lesbian nightclub, Tasty, on August 7, detaining 463 patrons and staff for up to three hours and strip
Students fight up-front fees By Sarah Stephen CANBERRA — A recommendation calling for the introduction of fees of up to $12,000 for the professional component of the Australian National University's law degree is being reconsidered after
Repeal all anti-abortion laws! By Kath Gelber Actions were held around Australia in the second week of August to coincide with an National Day of Action for Reproductive Rights. The actions focussed on the bid to repeal all anti-abortion
Civil liberties under threat By Jeff Sparrow MELBOURNE — In what civil liberties campaigner Tim Anderson describes as "The most important political frame-up of the decade", the trial of the "Austudy Five" begins on August 29. The Austudy
Residents oppose freeway extension By Sean Lennon MELBOURNE — The campaign against the Eastern Freeway extension has stepped up a gear after VicRoads ordered the destruction of 70 trees, some over 100 years old, in Alexandra Parade,
Campaign to revoke Timor Gap Treaty launched By Alex Bainbridge MELBOURNE — A national petition campaign calling on the Australian government to revoke the Timor Gap Oil Treaty was launched here on August 9. This campaign coincides with a
1500 rally for the forests By Stephen Robson PERTH — Undeterred by driving rain, 1500 people attended the Gathering for the Forest in Forrest Place on August 9. The rally called on the federal government to stop woodchipping in old growth
Greens contest Parramatta by-election By Janet Parker SYDNEY — On August 27, voters in the state seat of Parramatta, once a piece of Labor's "heartland" and now a marginal seat, go to the polls. Some commentators estimate the outcome will
25th anniversary of British troops By Nick Fredman SYDNEY — 200 people rallied in First Fleet Park here on August 13 as part of an international day of action organised by the "Time for peace — time to go" campaign which is demanding
WA Democrats expel members By Stephen Robson PERTH — Thirteen members of the WA Division of the Australian Democrats were expelled at the end of July by the national executive. Those expelled included individuals on both sides of the

World

By Norm Dixon JOHANNESBURG — "It's like going to war!" That was how Kgalema Motlanthe, general secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers, recently described the situation facing this country's 500,000 mineworkers every day. The sweat
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Picture the situation. An important economic bill drafted by presidential aides meets with strong opposition in the parliament. Efforts to find a compromise fail, and the bill is rejected by the lawmakers. Then
By Barry Sheppard CHICAGO — The founding convention of the Committees of Correspondence (CoC) held here over July 23-24, reflected and registered the progress — and lack of it — the organisation has made in the two years since the Berkeley
PT launches Brazilian agriculture program On July 24, the Brazil Popular Front, the coalition supporting the Workers Party (PT), launched its program for Brazilian agriculture — Land, Work and Food for Brazilians — in two regions with a
MEXICO — On February 5, 20,000 Mexicans celebrated the founding of the National Democratic Alliance. The Alliance, which will contest the elections on August 21, is the new left electoral body which brings together up to 15 diverse political
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Some 67% of Russians, a recent survey discovered, have no savings. Those who do have money saved up protect it against inflation through a variety of methods. These include depositing it in savings banks or in the
High Court challenge to Timor Gap Treaty By Jon Land A High Court hearing on the legality of the Timor Gap Treaty took place in Canberra on August 9-10. If successful, the outcome will have a major impact on Australia's relations with
Sisulu Jnr to head SABC South Africa's public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), which became notorious for its role as the mouthpiece of apartheid and its rigid political and moral censorship, is to be headed by
By Reihana Mohideen Six hundred thousand Cubans rallied in Havana's Revolution Square on August 7 to pay tribute to a 19-year-old police officer killed on August 4 while trying to foil the hijacking of a passenger boat in Havana Bay. The rally
By Norm Dixon JOHANNESBURG — Twenty thousand striking car assembly workers took to streets in different parts of the country last week in support of demands for higher pay and the rapid elimination of race-based wage anomalies. Thousands of

Culture

Passion-packed parliamentary potboiler A Parliamentary Affair By Edwina Currie Hodder and Stoughton London 1994 546 pp., $19.95 (pb) Reviewed by Tony Smith Edwina Currie writes from parliamentary experience: she was known around
A Fate Worse than Debt By Susan George Penguin Books 1990 300 pp., $17 Reviewed by Jack Lance In A Fate Worse than Debt George analyses the structure of global debt and its effects on all of us — the main ones being poverty,
Two films by Australian women directors Boys and Balls Directed by Sue Thomson In Bed With Your Neighbours Directed by Doerthe Janson Presented by Gil Scrine Films August 19-21, University Hall, Harris St Ultimo, Sydney; August 26-28
Twinkletoes Lion Theatre, Adelaide Starring Carol Scarlan Reviewed by Stephen Spence Jennifer Johnstone's Twinkletoes is about "everything and nothing". Carol Scarlan's strong performance of this piece for the Third International
A one-sided picture Manila — The Real Thing The Cutting Edge SBS Television Tuesday August 23, 8.30pm (8pm South Australia) Previewed by Peter Boyle One of my first impressions as a recent visitor to Manila was how dim most of the
Good listening music Twelve Songs By Enda Kenny Blues for Thought By Terry Evans Larrikin Records Reviewed by Cathy Lawrence Twelve Songs is a collection of good listening music in the tradition of folk and blues. Each song
Andrea Rieniets alive By Penny Farrow Adelaide-based artist Andrea Rieniets' Open Cheque Book Performance at the Proscenium on July 29 was a fundraiser to produce her own CD. Andrea is accompanied by her computer which is programmed
The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Briagde: Americans in the Spanish Civil War By Peter N Carroll Stanford University Press 1994, 440 pp., $35.00 (pb) Reviewed by Phil Shannon When the Spanish Civil War began in 1936 with General Franco's
A how-to on saving oiled birds Rescue and Rehabilitation of Oiled Birds A field manual by Erna Walraven Available from Taronga Zoo PO Box 20, Mosman 2088 $30 pus $8 postage Reviewed by John Tognolini How do you pick up a Wandering
Gettysburg Written and directed by Ronald Maxwell Turner Pictures Starring Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen and Jeff Daniels Pitt Centre, Sydney for two weeks from September 8 Astor Cinema, Melbourne for two weeks from October 9 Reviewed by
Human nature and society Bad Boy Bubby Directed by Rolf de Heer Screening at Wallis Theatres, Adelaide Reviewed by Anthony Thirlwall Bad Boy Bubby has been in his room for 35 years. He knows only three living things — his mother,
By Craig Cormick Based on highly reliably international contacts, leaked documents and horoscopes from several TV magazines, Nostradamus' Media Watch presents a highly accurate forecast of political events across the globe. Blow for

Editorial

A glimpse behind the figleaf A good deal of the decisions that most affect our lives are made in secretive and confidential meetings by senior corporate executives — those with the power to invest, speculate, close down factories and