Issue 245

Australia

ALP stands by HECS
By Kathy Newnam
BRISBANE — The ALP is up to its old tricks trying to con students that the introduction of HECS in 1987 did not disadvantage students. Sheriff Deen, the presidential candidate on the Labor Club's YOU — Your

Thousands of university and high school students took to the streets on August 29 as part of a national day of action called by the National Union of Students. The large turnout of high school students at only two weeks' notice added a new dimension

Heat on APEC energy ministers
By Jonathan Strauss
SYDNEY — In an international appeal signed by 64 community groups from around Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) urged an Asia Pacific Economic

Over the weekend of August 23-25, protests were held calling for an end to Australia's de jure recognition of the Indonesian annexation of East Timor. Actions in Darwin, Newcastle and Hamilton were reported in the last issue of Green Left Weekly. In

By Jorge Jorquera
PERTH — The leadership of the WA branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union is facing a challenge in the union's September elections. Since May Day, the opposition ticket has run a dirty campaign against the

Irish Nationalists address meeting by phone
By Tyrion Perkins
BRISBANE — A meeting of about 100 people here on August 24 spoke directly to Irish activists in Ireland and the US. Australian Aid for Ireland organised an amplified telephone, and

World

East Timor pledge in NZ
The Auckland East Timor Independence Committee has asked candidates in the October parliamentary elections to sign a pledge binding them to support a change in NZ's policy on East Timor so that Wellington recognises the East

Russian defeat brings hope for peace in Chechnya
By Renfrey Clarke
MOSCOW — August 1996 seems destined to be remembered as the point when Russians came to accept that their armed forces had lost the war in Chechnya, and when the regime of

On August 19, it was disclosed that the New Zealand National Party government was planning to proceed with the privatisation of the Forestry Corporation, despite the fact that the government could well be turned out in national elections on October

Liberals and the Democrats
By Barry Sheppard
The "liberals" had their day at the Democratic Party convention — they were allowed to speak in respectful disagreement with President Bill Clinton, while using their influence to exhort those

By Neville Spencer
From July 27 to August 3, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) hosted one of the most unusual international conferences ever. The EZLN, in spite of not being able to operate freely and legally, invited people from around

By Reihana Mohideen and Sonny Melencio
The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will be held in the Philippines in November, at Subic Bay, once an infamous US military base and symbol of US domination of the country. Since the push

Widespread deforestation in Amazon region
Approximately 14,000 square kilometres were deforested per year in the Amazonian region of Brazil between 1992 and 1994, according to a report in the Folha de Sao Paulo on August 23. These figures are from

Approximately 20,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides are stored in Africa, often in containers that leak toxic waste into the environment, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report. FAO calls on agrochemical companies to share

Editorial

Cuts of $314 million to public hospitals and $2.6 billion to Medicare over the next four years ensure that the public health system will be a lot sicker as a result of the August 20 budget. Combined with the Coalition's subsidies to the private

Culture

By "Michael", "Jonathon" and "Rupert"
CANBERRA — The Indonesian ambassador's August 19 reception (commemorating the proclamation of the Republic of Indonesia) was shaping up to be just one more ho-hum event on the diplomatic cocktail circuit —

By John Girdham
DARWIN — Only two days after the announced budget funding cuts to ATSIC, an indigenous cultural symposium was held
at the Northern Territory University to discuss the immediate and
long-term position of the Aboriginal and

The AlchemistBy Ben JonsonDirected by Neil ArmfieldBelvoir Theatre until September 29Reviewed by Jonathan Strauss Why should an end-of-the-20th-century audience greet with guffaws and hearty applause a 385-year-old black comedy, focused on our

The Silicon TongueBy Beryl FletcherSpinifex Press, 1996$16.95Reviewed by Patricia Brien New Zealand author Beryl Fletcher's The Silicon Tongue is the story of four generations of women separated by circumstance and united by technology. It starts in

Michael Lapsley, Priest and Partisan: A South African journeyBy Michael WorsnipOcean Press, 1996. 167 pp., $19.95Reviewed by Marina Cameron This book, about the life of prominent ANC activist and Anglican priest Michael Lapsley, provides some

The State in Question: Transformations of the Australian StateEdited by Paul JamesAllen and Unwin, 1996, $24.95Reviewed by James Goodman The Howard government has just announced a profound withdrawal of the state from Australian society. Federal

By Arun Pradhan
When times are bad, it's no time for big risks. Movie producers are not going to sink money into untested "potentially" groundbreaking innovations. They go for the guaranteed money — the sequels — or they resurrect past

By Allen Myers
SYDNEY — As was his way, George Bernard Shaw provided The Misalliance with a preface as long as the play itself, in which he systematically set out his views on the defects of the English family and English education. The preface,

Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical RomanceBy Irvine WelshRandom House, 1996. 276 pp., $20 (pb)Reviewed by Nick Fredman Irvine Welsh is the young Scottish writer who shot to fame in 1993 when his first novel, Trainspotting, a gritty tale of 1980s

FlirtDirected by Hal HartleyStars Martin Donovan, Bill SageDendy FilmsOpens nationally September 12Reviewed by Margaret Allan It is unusual for the characters in a film to start discussing amongst themselves whether or not the film maker has

Violence Everywhere
In the fury of the storm when the wind turns gale,
in the struggle between predator and prey, violence strikes.
Violence breaks the will, enforcing difference.
It looks to ends: disregarding means
It has become a feature