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January 18, 2002 | Issue 390

FRONT PAGE

WANTED:
The Enron gang
The thieves who presided over the meteoric rise and even more rapid collapse of energy giant Enron are facing a dozen government investigations. And their accomplices are in trouble, too.

Years of record profits repaid with big layoffs
Ford makes workers pay
No sooner had Ford Motor Co. revealed its plans to slash 35,000 jobs worldwide than CEO William Clay Ford declared that more cuts were to come.

SPECIAL FEATURE

A tale of greed, deceit and power politics
The fall of the house of Enron
Enron was the toast of Wall Street during the 1990s. Today, the company is waiting on the bankruptcy courts to decide how to dismantle it, while its friends in Washington scramble to distance themselves from the wreckage. Read this special section for all the dirt on Enron's collapse.

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WHAT WE THINK

Will Colombia be the next target in the "war on terrorism"?
They want a war without end
George W. Bush's war on Afghanistan caused thousands of civilian deaths, put a gang of corrupt warlords in charge of the country and left some 1.5 million people on the edge of starvation. But there's more to come. The U.S. government's "war on terrorism" could now move to the other side of the globe.

Rumsfeld's idea of justice
You couldn't get away with treating animals this way. But according to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the physical and mental abuse of suspected al-Qaeda prisoners is standard operating procedure for the U.S. military.

Saying no to the IMF's bitter pill
"If I rob a bank, they throw me in jail. But if they rob me, then they say that's okay." That's how one demonstrator described the Argentine government's currency devaluation and extension of a freeze on bank accounts, implemented last week.

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NATIONAL NEWS

How the Bush gang helped an anti-Castro fanatic
Terrorist harbored in the U.S.
If the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" had anything to do with stopping terrorism, the White House would be next in line. Last week, George W. Bush named Otto Reich as his assistant secretary of state for Western hemisphere affairs--despite Reich's longstanding ties to anti-Castro terrorist Orlando Bosch.

Supreme Court's insult to the disabled
Work isn't a "major life function." That's what the U.S. Supreme Court told workers last week in a unanimous ruling that will make it harder for workers to qualify as "disabled" and force employers to accommodate their disabilities.

Bush's quiet war on the unions
George W. Bush is sending a message to corporations that break the law: Let's do business! One of his first executive decisions of 2002 was to repeal a rule introduced by Bill Clinton that bars federal contracts for businesses that violate environmental, labor and other regulations.

Why won't they talk about Bush's slur?
The mainstream media will let George W. Bush get away with anything. During a press conference earlier this month, Bush used the racial slur "Pakis" in talking about escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

ISRAEL/PALESTINE
"We heard the bulldozers, and we ran"
Sharon's latest war crime
A "defensive" measure. That's what Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dared to call his government's latest war crime. Last week, Israeli troops invaded the town of Rafah in Gaza and demolished more than 50 houses, leaving more than 600 people homeless.

ZIMBABWE
"Mugabe wants to instill fear"
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe last week pushed through laws that will criminalize his political opponents and the free press. A member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO)-Zimbabwe spoke with Socialist Worker about Mugabe's crackdown.

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COLUMNS AND FEATURES

The story of the great Lawrence textile strike of 1912
Bread and roses
James Oppenheimer wrote the song "Bread and Roses" to honor the great strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Mass., 90 years ago this month. He took the title from the banners of strikers, who demanded not just decent treatment at work, but the right to dignity and a better quality of life.

READING BETWEEN THE LINES
Evildoers in his backyard
The U.S. government's handling of last year's anthrax attacks in Washington and New York said a lot about Washington's priorities. Three months later, the investigation into the anthrax terror reveals much the same.

INSIDE THE SYSTEM
Eternal Debt, the board game
"Do you dare to defeat the IMF?" That's the slogan of the newest board game to hit Argentina's toy shelves. The game, produced in a suburb of Buenos Aires, pits players against the global financial institutions.

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SW READERS SPEAK OUT

Texas lawmakers back energy deregulation
Another rip-off by the power bosses
Texans greeted the New Year with some bizarre and troubling news: The state is moving forward with plans to deregulate its energy industry.

Destabilizing Bangladesh for the sake of oil profits
I come from a poor country named Bangladesh. After September 11, the American government received permission from the government of Bangladesh to use its airspace, refueling facilities, airports and seaports.

OBITUARY: Richard Anthony Capilitan

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ON THE PICKET LINE

Accuride workers picket UAW headquarters
"Solidarity is forever"
About 100 members of the UAW picketed the union's Solidarity House headquarters in Detroit January 14 to protest the union's move to cut off benefits to locked-out Accuride workers of Local 2036 in Henderson, Ky.

New York City plans to fire 3,500 workfare workers
Making money off welfare
With characteristic cruelty, the last act of New York City's outgoing welfare chief Jason Turner was to fire 3,500 former welfare recipients working for the Parks Department. Mark Rosenthal, president of AFSCME DC 37 Local 983, talks about their situation.

Labor in brief
Queens bus drivers wildcat; Pacifica victory; LA immigrant workers; Jack's 99 Cent Store

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REPORTS FROM THE STRUGGLE

Boycott Taco Bell
Farmworkers from Florida and their supporters plan to descend on the headquarters of Taco Bell in Southern California March 11. It will be the biggest protest yet in the struggle to win decent wages and conditions for workers who pick tomatoes used by the restaurant chain.

Charas Community Center
After a three-year fight, activists in Manhattan's Lower East Side lost a vital organizing space and community resource when the Charas/El Bohio Community Center was shut down December 27 by more than 50 police officers.

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REVIEW

Black Hawk Down sells "good war"
Black Hawk Down is a war movie that hopes to ride the wave of post-September 11 patriotism to box office success.

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