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July 20, 2001 | Issue 373


As workers face more job losses...
Corporate fat cats are cashing in
Winifred Thorne is nervous. For the first time in 20 years, she doesn't have a job. Now she's scrambling to finish computer training before her unemployment benefits run out next month.

U.S. ignores global warming threat
Dubya fiddles as the world burns
George W. Bush is ignoring a plea by 1,800 scientists from 100 countries to "act now to head off potentially disastrous climate change."


Five years of welfare "reform"
Punishing the poor
Five years ago, President Clinton fulfilled his promise to "end welfare as we know it," signing welfare "reform" legislation. In this special report, Socialist Worker looks at the impact five years later.

What's behind growing opposition to the death penalty?
America's execution machine exposed
In early July, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor publicly criticized the U.S. execution machine. She was the latest in a series of mainstream politicians and public figures--some of whom, like O'Connor, have championed capital punishment for years--to admit that the death penalty system is broken.

Ken Riley on the fight for the Charleston Five
"We won't rest until they're vindicated"
Five members of International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) Local 1422 in Charleston, S.C., are facing up to five years in prison for defending their union and their rights. ILA Local 1422 President KEN RILEY speaks out on the struggle to defend them.

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G8 leaders celebrate free market at Genoa summit
How can they justify this suffering?
When the United Nations issued its annual Human Development Report in 1999, its findings were a stunning indictment of the world system.

Enough of these anti-abortion fanatics!
In George W. Bush's head, it's okay that 43 million living Americans are without health insurance. But the "pre-born" are first on his list for federally funded health care.

War criminals that the U.S. likes
U.S. government hypocrisy was on full display in July with the war crimes cases against former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and ex-Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

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Guess who's back in Washington?
Reagan's loyal war criminal
The Bush gang must have had a good laugh when they picked Elliott Abrams for the National Security Council's office of democracy, human rights and international operations. Using Abrams and the words "human rights" and "democracy" in the same breath is a sick joke.

Closing of D.C. General
Putting profits before people
D.C. General Hospital is set to close its doors on July 16. The official shutdown of the Washington's only public hospital will sharply limit access to health care for the city's poor--and cause the largest layoff in the city's history.

Consumers pay the price for energy crunch
California customers of Pacific Gas & Electricity (PG&E) are fearing the arrival of their July electricity bills.

No tolerance policy blames the victims
Women's rights groups are challenging an Oregon "zero tolerance" policy against violence that could lead to the eviction of victims of domestic abuse.

Going to bat for the anti-gay bigots
The Bush administration retreated in July after its plan to allow religious charities to break laws prohibiting discrimination against gays was exposed.

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Palestinians face increased repression
Israel threatens all-out war
Israeli tanks pounded Palestinian homes in the West Bank city of Hebron in mid-July even as U.S. government officials continued to urge "both sides" to "curb violence."

G8 prepares for Genoa
Protesters vow to defy crackdown
More than 150,000 protesters are expected to march on the leaders of the world's most powerful countries when they meet this month in the Italian city of Genoa.

Blair blames victims after Nazis spark new rioting
The city of Bradford exploded in July in the latest in a series of riots in northern England sparked off by Nazi bigotry.

Miners and families fight for back wages
Some 10,000 Chinese miners and their families blocked a railroad track in the northeastern town of Jishu July 9 in a protest over unpaid back wages.

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Feds' figures understate unemployment
Lost in the statistics
Unemployment is back in the headlines, with the June jobless rate edging up to 4.5 percent and the Bush administration predicting it will top 5 percent by summer's end.

Can we end bigotry through education?
Many people outraged by racism, sexism or anti-gay bigotry believe that the solution is more "education"--in the form of diversity programs, for instance. But can education overcome bigotry?

Sigh of the oppressed in a heartless world
"Too little importance has perhaps been given to the religious character of Marxism." This passage from an anticommunist history book repeats an argument often used to discredit Marxists. But the dominant religious ideas in society aren't about social change.

Remembering Israel Shahak
"A determined critic of Israel's apartheid"
The movement for justice for the Palestinians lost one of its most dedicated supporters earlier this month when Israel Shahak died in Jerusalem.

The right stuff on Fox
Fox News claims to deliver objective reporting--"We report, you decide" is one of its slogans. But a study of Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News' marquee news show, found that of 56 partisan figures interviewed in a five-month period, 50 were Republicans and six were Democrats--a greater than 8 to 1 ratio.

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Strikers take on power bosses
A huge energy corporation is out to crush a union in Chicago--again.

Ruling excludes nurses from union drive
Supreme Court v. workers' rights
The U.S. Supreme Court took a shot at workers' right to organize in a decision that excludes some nurses from union certification votes.

Why concessions won't save steel jobs
The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) this month agreed to take massive concessions in wages and benefits in an effort to keep bankrupt steelmaker LTV Corp. from shutting down for good.

Labor in brief

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Feds target Puerto Rican student for anti-ROTC protest
Drop the charges against Pedro Colón!
A student at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) is being targeted by the federal government for the "crime" of protesting.

"Freedom Rides" in Texas against the racist drug war
Activists from across the country will go on "Freedom Rides" this month to the small Texas town of Tulia to protest the racist war on drugs.

Reports in brief

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Overzealous prosecutors thwart justice
I was set up before my eyes
My time has come for trial so that I may prove my innocence. But unfortunately, a fair trial is unlikely in this unjust system.

Taking on the heat and winning--twice
Last week, my coworkers and I were working in 96-degree heat for APEX--Addiction Prevention Employment Experience, a program run by Washington, D.C.

Other letters

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A.I.: Spielberg's feel-creepy movie
Director Steven Spielberg's films often rely on characters that serve only to carry the action along. But for once, wooden characters are just what this Spielberg movie needs.

Telling the story of the gay victims of the Nazis
Only 10 gay men out of 15,000 who were sent to Hitler's concentration camps in Germany are known to still be alive. Eight of their stories are documented in the gut-wrenching documentary Paragraph 175.

Site of great labor battles of the past
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has put a lot of effort into marketing Chicago as a tourist attraction. But for me, the most interesting places to visit in Chicago are the reminders of the city's role in the epic labor battles of the 19th century.

A movie star who didn't fit the image
Jack Lemmon, who died at the end of June at the age of 76, didn't fit the classic image of a movie star.

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