Issue 570

News

Sarah Stephen The Australian government delegation sent to the Pacific island state of Nauru to assess its health services on January 12-14 released the report of its findings on January 29. The delegation was given narrow terms of reference for
Leon Parissi, Sydney Thousands of NSW TAFE students face a massive fees hike this year. A union- and student-based campaign to oppose the new fees has built up a head of steam since the middle of last year. Unionists oppose the fees because public
Jon Edwards, Canberra On February 4, Greens senator Kerry Nettle expressed concern at comments made by federal ALP leader Mark Latham that rule out a future Labor government's support for gay marriage. At the time he was elected as ALP
Anthony Benbow, Fremantle The battle to save WA's Coogee Beach is hotting up. A large part of the beach is in danger of being swallowed up by the proposed Port Coogee development, which would also see some of the ocean in Cockburn Sound filled in
Age
Sue Bolton, Melbourne On February 3, John Fairfax Holdings suddenly announced the closure of its printing operations at Spencer St in the city, cutting 66 production workers' jobs. Fairfax owns the Melbourne Age, the Australian Financial Review and
Protest for Kashmiri self-determination CANBERRA — Members of Canberra's Pakistani community rallied on February 5 in Garema Place to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day. They demanded a referendum in occupied Kashmir to decide the territory's future.
Marcus Pabian, Melbourne On February 4, an historic mass meeting at the Collingwood Town Hall of 1000 Electrical Trades Union (ETU) stewards from across the industry voted for a sustained state-wide campaign for a 36-hour working week. Improved
New Zealand resettles more refugees On January 27, the New Zealand government announced that it would resettle on humanitarian grounds 20 asylum seekers held in the Australian-funded detention centre on Nauru. The asylum seekers have not been

World

Philadelphia — On January 29, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger presented an award from the Inter-American Economic Council to Gustavo Cisneros, a Venezuelan billionaire identified by Newsweek and Venezuelan publications as one of the
Jorge Jorquera With a new indefinite strike looming, Bolivia is on the verge of its third national uprising since February last year. That uprising brought hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants into the streets, but failed to resolve the
Eva Cheng Evictions and other forms of land seizure — approved by if not instigated by corrupt officials — have become such a social problem in China that the State Land and Resources Department on February 4 issued two decrees in an effort to
Doug Lorimer Eleven months after the US-led invasion of Iraq, the electricity supply in the country's two largest cities — Baghdad and Basra — has still not been fully restored. By contrast, it took Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime only three
Allen Myers, Phnom Penh On January 29, police announced the arrest of two people they accuse of fatally shooting Chea Vichea, the president of the Free Trade Union of Workers. Vichea was killed a week earlier, as he read newspapers at a news
Kamal Fadel On January 30, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1523, which extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) until April 30 to give the government of Morocco, which
On January 27, in Columbus, Georgia, Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was sentenced to three months in federal prison. A member of Voices in the Wilderness, Kelly has been committed to
Julian Coppens, London "Nothing other than a mighty new political force has been born!", bellowed George Galloway in his closing speech to more than 1500 activists, who assembled on January 25 at Freedom House in London for the founding
Roberto Jorquera & Neville Spencer On January 1, Haiti marked the 200th anniversary of its independence — the first black republic in the world. Yet the celebrations were overshadowed by protests against the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide,
Rohan Pearce When US President George Bush made his "case" for invading Iraq, he didn't only cite Iraq's (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction as a justification. The White House warmongers, and their British and Australian collaborators, also

Culture

Molly and MobarakWritten and directed by Tom ZubryckiShowing at the Kino Cinema, Melbourne; the Schonell, St Lucia, Brisbane; and the Valhalla, Glebe, Sydney REVIEW BY TONY ILTIS Tom Zubrycki's documentary film Molly and Mobarak opens with shots
REVIEW BY RICHARD PITHOUSE The Essential Bruce SpringsteenBruce SpringsteenColumbia records It is a time when the relentless commodification of everything has largely driven politically and artistically valuable popular culture underground. So it
Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. Includes the Green Left news. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9pm. Phone (02) 9564 1277. Visit
The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History of Ancient Romeby Michael ParentiThe New Press, 2003276 pages, $43 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Julius Caesar, supreme commander of the Roman Republic, should have followed the local augur's

General

Tim O'Connor, Port Moresby As I was sitting under a swaying palm tree, dangling my feet in the rippling waters, feeling the soothing afternoon breeze and chatting with articulate villagers about the dramatic changes in the environment caused by a
Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Brisbane Coral Wynter held a Challenge to Beattie rally on February 4. "We all know that Premier Peter Beattie will win this election", Wynter said. "The real question is: what will Labor do with its
Margaret Perrott Members of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) will ignore the bed restrictions in NSW hospitals and admit mentally ill patients for "as long as they need". The ABC Radio National's PM program
Socialist Alliance national executive member Brian Webb reports from the ALP national conference. There was a lot to be cynical about at the ALP national conference — the record number of business observers, the corporate venue, and the new
Ian Jamieson, Fremantle Most days, you will find Chris Cain, state secretary of the Western Australian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia, behind his desk with a landline phone in one ear, a mobile in the other, a pile of messages building
During the short Queensland election campaign, the three Socialist Alliance candidates mobilised more than 100 supporters to take socialism to the electorate. Adrian Skerritt, candidate for Inala, received 3.1% of the primary vote, after running a
Jim McIlroy, Brisbane The ALP government of Premier Peter Beattie has been swept back into office in the February 7 Queensland election, with its record majority only slightly reduced. The net loss of ALP seats is likely to be three to
Chris Latham, Perth On January 29, John Kobelke, minister for Consumer and Employment Protection, released Restoring Fairness, Balance and Certainty: Workers' Compensation Reforms. The document's introduction states that it is the final stage of
Chris Williams, Wollongong Residents of Thirroul, a suburb north of Wollongong, are outraged at plans to redevelop the Beaches Hotel site in the main street. Wests Illawarra Leagues Club has submitted a development application to Wollongong City
Sue Bolton There are a wide range of responses among unionists to the question of how much the ALP's industrial relations policy changed at the party's 2004 national conference, held at the end of January. On one hand, the Australian Council of
The recent Australian Labor Party federal conference presents us all with a major challenge. Despite the hype and spin that Mark Latham's ascendancy over the ALP has been able to generate in the media, none of this extravagant attention addresses the
Kiraz Janicke, Perth Around 40 students ambushed Prime Minister John Howard on February 3, chanting "Howard, come off it, education is not for profit" as he entered the 6PR radio station. The following day, another crowd gathered outside Liberal