18 December 2014

Obama, Castro move to “normalize” US-Cuba ties

By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2014

The simultaneous speeches by the US and Cuban presidents mark a turning point in the protracted search for rapprochement between the Castro regime and US imperialism.

Fed Chair Yellen reassures Wall Street on record low interest rates

By Andre Damon, 18 December 2014

The US Federal Reserve pledged Wednesday it would be “patient” in raising the benchmark interest rate, sparking a sharp run-up in stock prices.

Oil price slide and ruble plunge shake global markets

Former Polish president confirms existence of secret CIA torture prison

By Konrad Kreft, 18 December 2014

The publication of the US Senate report on torture has proven the existence of a clandestine CIA prison in Poland and the close collaboration between European and US governments.

US Supreme Court Justice Scalia says Constitution allows torture

What is in the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on CIA torture: Part one

Cheney on CIA torture: “I’d do it again in a minute”

Brennan’s defense of CIA torture

More on CIA torture »

Australian government announces “review” of Sydney siege

By James Cogan, 18 December 2014

The hostage crisis is being exploited by the Abbott government to press ahead with its agenda of support for US wars abroad and new anti-democratic measures at home.

Unanswered questions about the Sydney siege

The Sydney siege

Confronting anger over two-tier wages and low pay
US auto union president postures in advance of 2015 contract talks

By Shannon Jones, 18 December 2014

UAW President Doug Williams’ remarks reflect the union's awareness of wide hostility among auto workers to the two-tier wage system

US Supreme Court decision broadens police powers of search and seizure

By Nick Barrickman, 18 December 2014

The recent ruling in Heien v. North Carolina is yet another blow to the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Edward Snowden denied entry by German Constitutional Court

By Robert Stevens, 18 December 2014

The ruling underlines the fact that the German ruling elite will not hesitate to collaborate in Snowden’s arrest and extradition to the US.

More on NSA spying »

UN report accuses Ukrainian government of human rights abuses

By Stefan Steinberg, 18 December 2014

The report provides grounds for charging leading Kiev politicians with war crimes and opening investigations into the role of the US and Europe in fomenting civil war.

Catalan minister admits independence demand used to divert social unrest

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2014

The statement by Planning Minister Santi Vila is confirmation of the warnings made by the World Socialist Web Site of the politically criminal role played by the pseudo-left.

US pushes for trilateral anti-missile cooperation in North East Asia

By Ben McGrath, 18 December 2014

Washington is pressing South Korea and Japan for defense collaboration as it continues its military build-up in Asia aimed against China.

Sri Lankan government censors Prasanna Vithanage’s latest film

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 December 2014

The government’s demand for extensive cuts to With You, Without You is an attack on basic democratic rights.

New in French

État de siège à Sydney

Par Peter Symonds, 18 décembre 2014

Le gouvernement australien a transformé une intervention policière certes grave, mais relativement simple, en une crise nationale pour justifier un virage en politique étrangère et domestique.

France: avec la loi Macron, le Parti socialiste fait avancer la déréglementation libérale

Par Kumaran Ira, 18 décembre 2014

Dans le but soi-disant de favoriser « la croissance et l’activité économique », la loi vise, dans l’intérêt du capital financier, à appauvrir la classe ouvrière et une partie de la petite bourgeoisie.

New in German

Pegida: ein Produkt des Staates

Von Christoph Dreier, 18. Dezember 2014

Die Pegida-Demonstrationen sind nicht Ausdruck einer allgemeinen Rechtsentwicklung, sondern das Produkt einer systematischen Kampagne in Politik und Medien.

Ölpreisverfall und abstürzender Rubel erschüttern globale Märkte

Von Nick Beams, 18. Dezember 2014

Immer stärker wirkt sich die globale Rezession auf die Finanzmärkte aus.

Russland: Rubel verliert aufgrund von wachsenden sozialen und politischen Spannungen stark an Wert

Von Andrea Peters, 18. Dezember 2014

Russische Regierungsvertreter konnten angesichts der schlimmsten Wirtschaftskrise des Landes seit dem Staatsbankrott 1998 den Wertverlust des Rubels nicht verhindern.

Mit welchem Recht sanktionieren Obama und der Kongress Venezuela?

Von Bill Van Auken, 18. Dezember 2014

Inmitten der US-Folterkrise hat sich die Obama-Regierung entschieden, Venezuelas Führungspolitiker wegen angeblicher Menschenrechtsverletzungen zu sanktionieren.

Ukraine-Berichterstattung: Beschwerde gegen Beitrag im ZDF Heute-Journal

Von Sybille Fuchs, 18. Dezember 2014

Die Publikumskonferenz wirft dem Beitrag „geschichtsvergessene Darstellung“, kritiklose Übernahme von ukrainisch-nationalistischen Narrativen sowie Verschweigen der SS-Vergangenheit eines Interviewten vor.

Other Languages

Perspective

Imperialism and the ruble crisis

18 December 2014

As imperialism encircles and financially strangles Russia, the catastrophic consequences of the dissolution of the USSR are being made all too clear.

Earlier Perspectives »

In Defense of Historical Truth

Wide audience for online interview with David North, author of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

Obituary

Sri Lankan Trotskyist P. V. Nandasena dies at age 71

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 17 December 2014

About 500 people attended Nandasena’s funeral, indicating the great respect in which he was held by SEP members, family and many other people.

History

I Want To Live: The memoir of Izrail Agol

By Clara Weiss, 17 December 2014

The childhood memoir of the revolutionary, geneticist and Marxist theoretician of biology Izrail Agol (1891-1937) is an important document on the history of the revolutionary movement in Russia and the devastating impact of Stalinism.

Arts Review

15th Tokyo Filmex—Part 1
The Prince and A Few Cubic Meters of Love: Two films about Iran and Afghanistan

By John Watanabe, 17 December 2014

The Prince, the better of the pair of films, is a “docu-fiction” about the life journey of Jalil Nazari, an Afghan refugee in Iran, who subsequently applied for asylum in Germany.

Under the Skin (or aliens from another social class) and Mood Indigo (more inventiveness from Michel Gondry)

By David Walsh, 16 December 2014

Commentary

US unions back historic assault on workers’ pensions

By Jerry White, 17 December 2014

British troops returning to Iraq

By Mark Blackwood, 17 December 2014

More on the crisis in Iraq and Syria »

US Department of Justice forces journalist Risen to testify in leak case

By Niles Williamson, 17 December 2014

Terrorist attack in Pakistan kills more than 130 children

By Keith Jones, 17 December 2014

New details emerge on the execution of Clayton Lockett

By Matthew MacEgan, 17 December 2014

Germany: The reactionary programme of the organisations backing “Winter of Peace”

Right-wing LDP wins Japanese election amid low turnout

FBI investigates possible lynching of 17-year-old in Bladenboro, North Carolina

The Fight Against Imperialist War

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung editor defends his attack on the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit

By Johannes Stern, 15 December 2014

The German Partei für Soziale Gleichheit answers the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung’s defense of Jörg Baberowski

By the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, 3 December 2014

For scholarship instead of war propaganda
IYSSE standing candidates in student elections at Humboldt University

Humboldt University seeks to ban criticism of right-wing professor
Statement of the Socialist Equality Party and IYSSE of Germany

Socialist Equality Party

SEP public meetings in Australia oppose preparations for war

By our reporters, 16 December 2014

Students and workers speak out on the danger of war

SEP statement for Sri Lanka’s presidential election
Vote for SEP candidate Pani Wijesiriwardena! Fight for a socialist program against war and social counterrevolution!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 15 December 2014

25 years ago: US invades Panama

On December 20, 1989, the US launched a full-scale invasion of Panama to oust strongman Manuel Noriega.

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50 years ago: Political crisis in South Vietnam

On December 20, 1964, the South Vietnamese military dissolved the civilian legislature, provoking a new political crisis for the US puppet government.

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75 years ago: First air battle of World War II

On December 18, 1939, the first major air battle of the Second World War occurred between British and German forces.

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100 years ago: France launches winter offensive against Germany

On December 20, 1914, French forces, led by the Fourth Army, launched an offensive against German positions in the Champagne region of northeast France.

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