International News

Super-exploitation under new act By Ian Powell WELLINGTON — A scandal over the employment of a young worker at a takeaway food shop has demonstrated how vicious the Employment Contracts Act can be on young workers in isolated workplaces. It

By Irina Gluchenko MOSCOW — Will New Holland belong to France? This is the question now before the people of Leningrad, regarding the island New Holland, which is part of the city's territory. Leningrad Mayor Anatoly Sobchak plans to grant a

By Norm Dixon Nelson Mandela's opening address reflected the fiery mood among the 2244 delegates who assembled in Durban July 2-7 for the 48th national conference of the African National Congress. The conference was the first of its kind to be

By Peter Boyle The Bush administration appears to have succeeded in convincing Israel, Syria and the Soviet Union to participate in preliminary negotiations on Middle East conflicts. However, the Israeli government insists — and the Bush

By David Robie Middle-class supporters of New Zealand's ruling National Party were hit hard by last week's tough budget. But unemployment is expected to continue growing, and economists are divided as to the future. Already lagging in opinion

By Peter Annear in Zagreb and Ljubljana The defeat of the federal army by Slovenia's territorial militia and the July 7 signing of the Brioni Declaration produced a temporary stand-off in Yugoslavia's long-simmering national crisis. Following

By Burma Support Group Burma is rich in natural resources — forests, fish, oil, minerals, gem stones and jade. In 1962, Burma was the world's largest rice exporter and the richest country in South-East Asia. By 1987, Burma had been reduced to

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — When the draft of a new Union agreement, meant to lay the basis for relations between the Soviet government and the republics of the USSR, emerged on June 17, it provoked intense discussion in the press. But enthusiasm

The Burma Support Group is a Sydney-based group of Burmese and non-Burmese volunteers supporting a free and democratic Burma. A recent "Burma Alert!" dinner and talk raised over $3200, which has been sent to the student camps on the Thai-Burmese

Peter Annear The national question in Czechoslovakia has taken some peculiar twists, among them the sacking earlier this year of the popular premier of the Slovak republic, Vladimir Meciar. PETER ANNEAR concludes a series of reports from Prague

By Ian Powell WELLINGTON — Workers at the Ashton Rest Home in Marton (a small rural town in the central North Island) are experiencing the exploitative nature of the Employment Contracts Act. Five workers were pressured by the manager of the

By Norm Dixon The South African government's (and Australian media baron Kerry Packer's) secret funding of Chief Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi's Inkatha movement, following revelations of police and military complicity in murderous attacks on

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — One of the USSR's most militant workers' organisations has resolved to shift into open political organising and campaigning. At a meeting here on July 17, leaders of the Moscow Federation of Trade Unions (MFP)

By Randy Thomas WALBRAN VALLEY, British Columbia — Fletcher Challenge has handed legal writs to tourists in British Columbia's Walbran Valley. The lawsuit claims "nuisance" and "intimidation" of the New Zealand-based logging giant's efforts to

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — There is little chance the temporary cease-fire, negotiated on August 6 by the Yugoslav federal presidency to stop fighting in Serb-dominated areas of Croatia, will hold. The low-level civil war is being used to give

By Karen Wald HAVANA — After three decades of supporting the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa — sometimes with their lives — the Cuban people expressed one of the most heartfelt welcomes they have ever bestowed on a visiting foreign

By Norm Dixon The collapse of the Stalinist regimes in Europe "forced a serious rethink on all aspects of the South African Communist Party's policies and we are still going through a process of quite developed debate", Ismail Momoniat told a

Young Soviet protesters jailed Two young Moscow anarchists have been imprisoned awaiting trial for three months, and may face prison sentences of up to seven years after being arrested at a demonstration near the offices of the KGB on March 12.

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — In the still-raw atmosphere of Soviet parliamentary politics, charges of "totalitarianism", "Stalinism" and even "fascism" are not unusual. In May, a scandal erupted in the Moscow city soviet when Socialist deputy

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — A new law on employment came into force on July 1 in the Russian Federation. For the first time since the late 1920s, the terms "unemployment", "unemployment benefits" and "labour exchange" are part of the official

Indonesian prisoners released Two Indonesian Communist Party political prisoners, Rewang and Martosuwandi, were unexpectedly released from Cipinang Prison, Jakarta, on July 24, apparently on the orders of President Suharto. Rewang should have

By Sally Low LONDON — Standing on a creaking escalator descending into King's Cross Tube Station, next to the one that had stopped working altogether, I fought back a feeling of panic. It wasn't just the thought of the terrible fire some years

By Pip Hinman Against a backdrop of increasing economic and political instability, Nicaragua's largest party, the Sandinista National Liberation Front, held its first congress in Managua beginning on July 19. The three-day congress (sessions of

By Bryan R. Thomas BONN — Doubts are beginning to be aroused about the intentions of the German government since reunification just over one year ago. At that time many critics expressed fears that a united Germany might revert to the

By Ndungi Wa Mungai Kenya is experiencing "disturbances" in universities and schools, which have led to several deaths, a year after the Saba Saba — pro-democracy demonstrations — that rocked Nairobi and outlying towns in July 1990.

A German delegation visited Istanbul in mid-July to investigate the deaths of 10 people in a police raid on July 12. The visit was in response to information from relatives of the victims as well as Amnesty International and the Turkish Association

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — "If only there were a free press in the Soviet Union!" That was the dream of generations of the Soviet intelligentsia. Somewhat more than a year ago, the dream came true: the last elements of state censorship were

By Will Firth BERLIN — Debate has flared in the German media about compulsory military service. The weekly Der Spiegel reported last month that the Ministry of Defence was planning to abolish conscription. This was promptly denied by a ministry

Grenada 14 sentences commuted The government of Grenada has commuted the death sentences on Bernard Coard and 13 others convicted of murdering former prime minister Maurice Bishop. The 14 have denied responsibility for the killing of Bishop

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — A sea change may be occurring in popular sentiments among the national groups locked into Yugoslavia's low-intensity civil war. British journalist Laura Silber recently visited the village of Ivanovci in the central

By Stephen Robson The National Assembly of Vietnam in the first week of August elected Vo Van Kiet prime minister. Kiet takes over the position from Do Muoi, elected general secretary of the Communist Party at the Seventh National Congress at the

By Patrick Campbell One of the dirty tricks pulled by the British Special Forces and the loyalist Ulster Defence Association in 1974 will come back to haunt both organisations early next year, when a documentary on the North is aired on television

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — When the 35 member governments of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) met here on August 8-9 to draft an appeal for a cease-fire in the bloody conflict in Yugoslavia, they must have suspected

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — The Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) government has opened a serious attack on the country's new trade unions, which have grown in strength since last October's taxi and transport workers' blockade. Parliament passed

Cholera expected to kill 4000 in Panama PANAMA CITY — The local representative of the Pan-American Health Organisation, Oscar Falla, said on August 7 that 4000 Panamanians may be killed by the cholera epidemic which is sweeping parts of Latin

Profits in pollution Pork bellies, soybeans, wheat futures — and now sulphur dioxide allowances. The Chicago Board of Trade voted on July 16 to add sulphur dioxide emission allowances to the list of commodities in which it trades. Under 1990

By Sally Low Control over women, no matter what social order we live in, is an important pillar of that order. If all the hundred or so women at the conference of the European Forum of Socialist Feminists in June agreed on anything, perhaps it was

Fire at Mexican pesticide plant Mexican environmentalists need international support for their effort to have an ecological disaster investigated by the country's Human Rights Commission. On May 3, fiery explosions engulfed a pesticide

NPA leader captured MANILA — Philippine police on August 5 captured the top official of the New People's Army at a suburban hospital. He was apparently seeking treatment. Romulo Kintanar was captured with his wife, Gloria Jopson, at the Makati

By Norm Dixon Revelations that the South African government has secretly directed millions of rands to the Inkatha organisation, responsible for the deaths of thousands in murderous attacks in black townships, has put the de Klerk regime on the

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