Around the globe
- OVER 10,000 engineers and technical workers at the Boeing aerospace company in the US began an indefinite strike on Wednesday of last week. The white collar workers are demanding a pay and conditions package similar to the one production workers won two years ago. The action is one of the largest white collar strikes in US history and is taking place in Seattle, the site of mass protests against the World Trade Organisation last year. Less than one in three technical workers were in the union six months ago. Membership has doubled since then.
- THE WEST'S main ally in the Middle East, Israel, bombed three power stations in neighbouring Lebanon last week. The attacks blacked out much of the capital, Beirut, and injured civilians. Israel claims it is responding to "terrorist attacks" on its own civilians by the Islamic guerrillas of Hizbollah. But the only people Hizbollah has injured have been soldiers of the 1,000 strong Israeli force which illegally occupies a strip of land in southern Lebanon. The bombing makes a mockery of Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's claim that he wants peace with Lebanon and Syria.
- THE LEAST developed countries are "becoming increasingly marginalised in the world economy", according to a new report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. It found that the number of nations officially classified as poor has risen from 25 in 1971 to 48 today. Some 33 of them are in Africa.