Bruce Boon looks at the darker side of the World Cup: the working conditions of the workers, including child and forced labourers, who make footballs and other merchandise for FIFA and the multinational sponsors of the tournament. He also looks at the sham codes of conduct that these companies draw up with the help of NGOs to show that their workers are actually treated well.

Ten days after the devastating tsunami that wreaked havoc in the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004 it is becoming increasingly clear that much more could have been done to avert the massive destruction and the death of 146,000 people (so far) in the region. It is also clear that a lot more could be done to assist in aid and relief after the disaster.

Globalisation really means the rise of the American Empire. That was the capitalist story of the 20th century. The story of the 21st century will probably be the fall of the American empire as the imbalances in the system unravel. Will the world slip back into some new form of barbarism or will it be replaced by real globalisation, namely world socialism?

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