Issue 433

News

BY JESSICA ROSE ADELAIDE — The full bench of the South Australian Supreme Court has ruled against Michael Brander, head of the racist National Action organisation, in his defamation action against Messenger Newspapers. Brander claimed that he
BY GRANT COLEMAN PERTH — On December 12, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union (LHMU), Australian Hotels Association (AHA), and the Chamber and Commerce Industry (CCI) finalised a deal to increase WA hospitality pay rates to the
BY ANA KAILIS PERTH — Supporters of refugee rights here have formed a new Refugee Rights Action Network to demand the immediate release from detention of all asylum seekers and a complete overhaul of Australia's border policy. The January 16
BY JIM McILROY The federal government's program to outsource public sector information technology (IT) services to private industry has taken a big hit with the release of the Humphry Review on January 12. The review criticised the outsourcing
Adelaide: Sat Feb 3, noon. Women's Studies Resource Centre, 64 Pennington Tce, city. Ph Rebecca 8231 6982. Brisbane: Mon Feb 5, 6.30pm. TLC Bldg, 16 Peel St, Sth Brisbane. All women welcome. Ph 3831 2644. Darwin: Mon Jan 29, Feb 12, 19, 26,
BY LYNDA HANSEN BRISBANE — Each week, US-backed counterrevolutionary groups broadcast 2800 hours of propaganda into Cuba, using a frequency that the country's government cannot block without also playing havoc with aircraft navigation controls,
BY JIM McILROY BRISBANE — The Queensland Labor government is in deep trouble after one of its leading lights, MP for Woodridge and former state secretary Mike Kaiser, quit the ALP and announced he would not stand in the upcoming state election.
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Mineworkers, their union and townspeople have condemned a decision by BHP to close two underground mines at Blackwater, 200km west of Rockhampton, and the resulting loss of 200 jobs. The closure of the Laleham and Kenmare
BY JACQUI LEE FREMANTLE — Western Australia's nurses made the condition of the state's health system a make-or-break election issue when on January 15 and 16 they struck, refusing to open beds unless staffing levels were increased. The
BY FRANCES SHEEHAN & SARAH CLEARY Taking up the theme "Women fighting for global justice", the International Women's Day 2001 collectives have been launched in Sydney and Hobart. The Sydney collective is organising a political action for Saturday
BY VIV MILEY Universities are lowering academic standards in order to pass a greater number of full fee-paying domestic and international students, the preliminary results of a new study of academic freedom has revealed. The soon to be released
BY JORGE JORQUERA MELBOURNE — Yallourn Energy is attempting to use the Industrial Relations Commission to force the shedding of further jobs and conditions on the workers of the Latrobe Valley. On January 18, as the commission sat, a 400-strong
BY PETER JOHNSTON DARWIN — "We expect over 50% of the first elected parliament — definitely", Estanislau da Silva reassured trade unionists here on January 11, claiming that his party, Fretilin, is the only political group in East Timor with
BY BEN COURTICE MELBOURNE — Members of the National Union of Workers at the Qenos refinery in Altona have reached the 100th day of a management lockout. The workers are holding out against management's attempt to impose large reductions in an
BY TOM WILSON HOBART — Faced with a rising tide of public opposition to its latest woodchip mill and wood-fired power station proposal, Forestry Tasmania has decided on a complete change of tactics. Abandoning any pretence of warm and fuzzy

World

BY SEAN HEALY Two shockwaves have hit the Central American country of El Salvador in the first weeks of January. One, a massive earthquake which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck on January 13 and killed more than 600 people, devastating
BY SEAN HEALY Bangladesh's 22.3 million landless farmers secured a major win on December 18 when the government agreed to an 11-point charter of demands which labourers' organisations have been fighting for since 1978. The agriculture ministry's
EAST TIMOR: UN agency workers go on strike BY VANYA TANAJA DILI — Workers at three World Food Program warehouses here took strike action on January 8 and then went to the headquarters of the WFP the next day when the agency took no
BY ISRAEL SHAMIR Among the colourful revellers of Allenby street, in crowded restaurants of merry-making Tel Aviv nights, a vision came to me, a vision of an angel in battle-dress, chalking up on a wall three words: Mene, Tekel, ufarsin. My
 NORTHERN IRELAND: South Armagh — the militarised zone BY STUART ROSS “How many days of normality have you gained because the checkpoints on the border aren't there anymore, because honest people can go to a pub or a school or a
BY JOHN GAUCI SYDNEY — One hundred and fifty people rallied outside the Australian Defence Force headquarters here on January 20 to support self-determination for the Indonesian province of Aceh. The action coincided with a self-determination
BY DAVID BACON BERKELEY — California's experiment with deregulating electricity is on its last legs. "Deregulation is dead", declared Public Utilities Commissioner Carl Wood. And from the governor to the PUC to the legislature, almost everyone
BY JIM GREEN Depleted uranium (DU) is a by-product of uranium enrichment. Enriched uranium contains a greater percentage of the uranium-235 isotope than natural uranium, whereas the DU by-product contains less uranium-235 (and more uranium-238).
BY MEENA NANJI PESHAWAR, Pakistan — I am buzzing through the streets in an auto rickshaw with a woman whose real name I do not know. She has no fixed address and cannot tell me where we are going. The woman accompanying me was a member of RAWA,
BY MOUIN RABBANI There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity designed to achieve an Israel-Palestinian treaty prior to US President Bill Clinton's January 20 departure from the White House. On January 3, the White House announced that
BY MARGARET ALLUM On January 12, a delegation of 50 US activists and scientists, led by US former attorney general Ramsey Clark, boarded a flight to Bagdad. The plane also carried US$1.5 million worth of medical aid and school supplies. The
BY RUSSELL MOKHIBER AND ROBERT WEISSMAN This year, rushing to the head of the pack of irresponsible biotech companies was the French corporation Aventis, the maker of Cry9C corn, sold under the name StarLink. Earlier this year, StarLink corn —
BY ALLEN MYERS PHNOM PENH — With 92 votes in favour and none opposing, the National Assembly on January 2 approved a bill to establish a special court to try former leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime, which was responsible for the deaths of up to
BY IGGY KIM SEOUL — Delegates attending the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions' 19th congress met at the Olympic Park wrestling stadium here on January 18 to elect a new leadership. While KCTU congresses meet each year, a new leadership is
BY FAROOQ TARIQ In a dramatic political move, the ruling military government has allowed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif to leave Pakistan for Saudi Arabia with 19 family members. Sharif had been sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for trying to
BY JON LAND Speculation is increasing that, after the stalemate that occurred at the first round of talks in October, the federal government and representatives of the East Timorese are readying to compromise on the future of the Timor Gap Treaty
BY ROBYN MARSHALL DILI — Aurora Ximenes, the coordinator of the East Timor Women's Network, which comprises 15 grassroots organisations, is angry that women are being sidelined in the transition to independence. Listening to her story, it seems
BY FAROOQ SULEHRIA In its first major electoral success, the Labour Party Pakistan has bagged 12 local council seats in the Sindhi town of Larkana, home town and power base of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. One party candidate also won in

Culture

Rory McLeod is a one-man-band with soul, poetry and politics running through his veins. His eccentric melodies are infused with influences from English music halls, Spanish Flamenco and the blues, through to Celtic, eastern European and Calypso
REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Bob Dylan Behind the Shades: The Biography — Take TwoBy Clinton HeylinViking, 2000780 pp, $50 (hb) In February 1991, as the US was bombarding Iraq in a frenzy of bloodletting, Bob Dylan received a Lifetime Achievement
Renegades of funk BY RICHARD PITHOUSE Rage Against the Machine have lobbed their last sonic Molotov cocktail at musical mediocrity and political injustice. Rage Against the Machine, by far the most politically radical rock band to achieve major
The Taj Mahal, that tomb of white marble,travels the world on lips of tourists,in books, film, on-line, sent postcards.No other human edifice so exquisitely lovelyfixed the image in all our headsexpressed the royal grief of one man.She died so young
Voices of the ValleyVarious artists, produced by Geoff FrancisAvailable from Hobart Resistance Bookshop, the Wilderness Society Shop or order from <glazfolk@trump.net.au>. REVIEW BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE The Voices of the Valley CD —

Editorial

You would think that discussions in the Australian capitalist press about politics in the coming year would be exhibiting some excitement. After all, there is going to be a federal election and several state elections. Most bourgeois economists