TONY BLAIR won rare approval in the headlines last week when he apparently persuaded George Bush to halt legal proceedings against two British prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.
The prime minister's official spokesperson bragged, 'The president listened to the concerns of the prime minister.'
But at the press conference announcing the 'concessions', Bush dubbed Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi 'bad men', even though they have never been charged with anything, let alone convicted. Showing how dedicated he was to securing convictions, Bush added, 'These men were illegal combatants. They were picked up off the battlefield aiding and abetting the Taliban.'
Three days later it was revealed the two still face secret trial by a US military tribunal, dashing the hopes of their friends and supporters that they might get some justice at last. Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi have been kidnapped and held for months in appalling conditions.
No money for victims of AIDS
REPRESENTATIVES OF the world's great powers sentenced millions of people to death from AIDS last week. They gathered in Paris for a conference of the Global AIDS Fund and withheld the money they had promised just weeks before.
The British government gave nothing extra to the fund-breaking pledges it made at the G8 meeting in June.Although the Paris gathering was called a 'donors' meeting', the Irish and Greek governments were the only ones to pledge more cash.
Meanwhile in the US Bush's much-trumpeted $3 billion to fight AIDS has been pared down by a third. When Bush presented his funding requests to Congress last week he had reduced the cash by $1 billion and earmarked just $200 million for the Global AIDS Fund. The rest will go to politically focused US programmes.
Remembering Carlo's death
OVER 20,000 people gathered in Genoa, Italy, last Sunday to mark the second anniversary of the death at police hands of Carlo Giuliani. Carlo was shot by an Italian paramilitary police officer after the Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi ordered repeated police attacks on the protest against the G8 summit in 2001. The chief police officer on the day is now in charge of Italian 'peacekeepers' in Iraq.
A lively Globalise Resistance contingent from Britain received a warm welcome as trade unionists, left wingers and thousands upon thousands of young people marched from the spot where Carlo was murdered to the seafront. There, in the early hours of the morning, his family came on stage to join the headline act at a free concert.