RUSSIA IS pursuing a brutal and relentless war in Chechnya, deliberately copying the tactics used by NATO to devastate the Balkans. Last weekend Russian leaders ordered the entire population of Grozny, the Chechen capital, to leave the city. The military is ready to destroy the entire city. The evacuation of the city will add tens of thousands of refugees to the 300,000 already fleeing the fighting.
RIGHT WING forces celebrated last weekend as they heard the result of the Australian referendum on whether the queen should remain the country's head of state. Australian voters narrowly rejected a proposal to establish a republic, headed by a president, by 54 to 46 percent. In Britain the vote was enough to convince many of Prince Charles's advisers that he can look forward to renewed public support in this country if he becomes king.
Doctors in Zimbabwe, southern Africa, have won big concessions from the government after a strike lasting over a month. They fought not only for better pay, but also for better patient care. Zimbabwe's health service is in crisis. The government's pro-market policies and its attempts to cut back on welfare mean the most basic equipment is in short supply.
Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians struck and demonstrated on Wednesday of last week against unemployment and recession caused by the government's free market policies. The strike and protests were organised by the CUT union federation and involved students and landless farmers as well as workers.
BOMBS SMASHED into a refugee convoy, slaughtering at least 25 civilians and injuring over 150 people. This could have been a scene of horror from NATO's war in the Balkans. But the bombing happened last week - the latest atrocity in Russia's increasingly horrific war against Chechenia. The Red Cross said the refugee convoy was clearly marked and visible from the air. Two Red Cross workers were also killed in the bombing.
A JUDGE has ordered a stay of execution for Mumia Abu Jamal, the former Black Panther on death row in the United States. Mumia, who was framed for the killing of a police officer, had been given a date for execution, 2 December. But now Judge Yohn has allowed additional hearings to be allowed.
THE HORRIFIC result of NATO's war in the Balkans continues. Last week a column of Serb refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing was set upon by Albanians. Dutch troops stopped the attack. But a UN representative with the Serb convoy said, "I'm surprised I wasn't burned alive in my car."