Dated: 05 Jun 2004
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BUSH AND Blair's occupation of Iraq is threatening economic chaos as oil prices spiral. Now the siege in Saudi Arabia has triggered a new leap in prices. The impact on the world's poorest could be catastrophic.
They only want to post a profit
THE ANNUAL conference last weekend of the lecturers' union Natfhe clearly demonstrated widespread anger over Labour's policies. Natfhe has conspicuously supported the Stop the War Coalition. This was reflected in a series of motions which condemned the brutal treatment of Iraqi prisoners and civilians as well as the obscene levels of war funding.
IAN MURCH is standing for general secretary of the biggest teachers' union, the NUT, with the support of the left in the union. Ballot papers go out to a quarter of a million NUT members next week. The government is desperate to see elected the current NUT deputy general secretary, who is for partnership with New Labour. Ian Murch spoke to Socialist Worker about his alternative vision for the union.
MEMBERS OF the NUJ journalists' union at the Blackpool Gazette and its associated weekly papers are to go on strike over pay on Friday next week. Workers on the Johnston Press-owned title have rejected an offer which would leave senior journalists on £17,600, or even lower.
"WE WILL not force countries onto our programmes."
Rising petrol prices sparked protests in Beirut in Lebanon last week, where six demonstrators were killed by the army in the suburb of Hayy El Seloum in the south of the city. The army tried to disperse a protest led by taxi drivers by shooting live ammunition in the air. Protesters retaliated by throwing stones. The army then opened fire, killing protesters.
THE SEIZURE and killing of foreign employees in Saudi Arabia last weekend has underlined the depth of the crisis the US faces across the Middle East. Shockwaves spread through the world's oil markets in the wake of the attack. Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and the only country currently with the capacity to boost output to drive down prices.
I WAS lucky enough recently to visit South Korea-a country that is changing extraordinarily fast. It belongs to the handful of dynamic East Asian economies that have been tilting the centre of gravity of global capitalism towards the Pacific Rim.
FELTHAM YOUNG offenders' institution is notorious for its racism, violence and general degradation of the human spirit. The appalling case of Zahid Mubarek was bad enough. He was killed by a psychopathic racist Robert Stewart, who he was forced to share a cell with.
VIV FROM Manchester told me how Socialist Worker went down with the firefighters who took unofficial action against the government's "modernisation" plans last week. "We got a really good response from all the stations we visited. Over two days we went to some 20 stations and we sold copies of the paper at every one. We also sold 15 at the firefighters' mass meeting. They really liked the coverage of their dispute in the paper, but they weren't just interested in their own dispute. The troops out of Iraq petition went down well and the firefighters were really interested in Respect."
With one week to go to the Thursday 10 June elections Respect's campaign is winning an audience
ALFIO NICOTRA is heading the European Parliament list for Rifondazione Comunista in the central Italy constituency, which includes Rome.
Workers at the Euro Packaging factory in Birmingham have organised a series of strikes against low pay and bullying managers, and now they've voted to go all out. Some of the strikers and Respect candidate Salma Yaqoob spoke to Salma Iqbal about the dispute.
OVER 200 health workers in the Unison and Amicus unions at Sunderland Royal Infirmary staged an unofficial walkout on Thursday of last week. They were protesting against changes to their pay under the government's Agenda for Change scheme-the biggest ever shake-up of pay and conditions in the NHS. Sunderland hospital is an "early implementer" site being used as a test-run for the government's plan. A week before the walkout, management started to send out letters to inform staff of their new pay bands.
FOR THE anniversary of D-Day, the landings in Normandy, President George Bush will visit Paris and Rome to mark their liberation. In reality he will spend little time in either city, fearing demonstrations against the American occupation of Iraq. Neither the Americans nor the British liberated Paris. An insurrection by French resistance forces freed the city.
Abrupt climate change has been a growing topic of concern for climate scientists. They fear that global warming could shut down the "ocean conveyor" that warms the North Atlantic, plunging Europe and parts of North America into Siberia-like conditions within a few decades or even years.
Gilad Atzmon wanders on stage in Brighton tugging on a customary cigarette. "Smoking kills," he announces. "But Blair kills more." On clarinet or saxophone, Gilad is now among the top UK-resident jazz musicians, winning awards and plaudits from all corners. Last year his Exile album won both the Radio 3 and Time Out awards for jazz album of the year.
Bad Education Directed by Pedro Almodovar
THE ELECTIONS next week are set to be a defining political moment. People will be voting across Britain for the last time before the general election, expected next year. The results on 10 June will shape the political landscape, the forces on that landscape and the direction those forces take.
MANCHESTER HAS suffered at the hands of those who would deprive our thriving multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith city of an anti-racism festival on institutionally racist and inexcusable grounds. I do not want to live in a city which cannot celebrate its diversity openly and honestly.
TEN THINGS you should know about the UK Independence Party: