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Australia: Murdoch-sponsored conference outlines “new agenda” for Rudd government

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 March 2008

A two-day conference sponsored by the Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper, held in Melbourne last week and titled “New Agenda for Prosperity”, outlined the vicious economic and social measures being prepared against the working class by the new Labor government. The discussion—involving senior Labor and Liberal politicians, big business representatives, and various academics and members of right-wing think-tanks—provided considerable detail regarding the policies being embraced by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In the interests of maintaining Australia’s “international competitiveness”, wages are to be suppressed, the last vestiges of the welfare state effectively destroyed, and “free market” relations extended to social infrastructure, health, and education.

Britain: As Basra burns, Iraq inquiry call supported by just 12 Labour MPs

By Julie Hyland, 31 March 2008

As Iraq’s puppet army launched its bloody assault on Basra on March 25, Britain’s parliament once again rejected an inquiry into the Iraq war.

Charges dropped against third Marine in Haditha massacre case

By Kate Randall, 31 March 2008

The Marine Corps on Friday dismissed all charges against Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum in connection with the massacre of civilians in Haditha, Iraq. This is the third exoneration of an enlisted Marine linked to the November 2005 killings.

Writer David Mamet: Man overboard

By David Walsh, 31 March 2008

American playwright, screenwriter and film director David Mamet recently announced his conversion to “conservative” political and economic principles. In an article published in New York City’s Village Voice March 11, Mamet writes that “I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.”

Sarkozy strives to establish French-British axis

By Peter Schwarz, 31 March 2008

In a two-day visit to Britain last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy worked for a closer alliance between the two countries.

Repeated US air strikes in Basra and Baghdad

By Peter Symonds, 31 March 2008

Hundreds of people have died in six days of fierce fighting as the US puppet regime in Baghdad has sought to stamp its control over the port city of Basra, centre of Iraq’s southern oil fields. As operations by some 30,000 Iraqi security personnel stalled, US and British air strikes repeatedly hit densely populated areas of Basra, as well as other strongholds of supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Baghdad and southern towns and cities.

American Axle moves to hire strikebreakers

By Joe Kay, 31 March 2008

Click here to download this article as a leaflet.

Behind the California nurses’ strike: putting profits ahead of patient needs

By Rafael Azul, 31 March 2008

A 10-day strike and lock-out that involves 4,500 nurses in northern California, members of the California Nurses Association (CAN,) which will end on March 31, clearly illustrates the reality of a healthcare system that exists primarily to generate profits at the expense of workers and patients.

Snow Angels: Unnecessarily slight insight into a dreary world

By Joanne Laurier, 29 March 2008

Directed by David Gordon Green; screenplay by Green, based on the novel by Stewart O’Nan

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 March 2008

Asia

American Axle CEO Richard Dauch and the “right” of private property

By Jerry White and Joe Kay, 29 March 2008

Click here to download this article as a leaflet.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 March 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

India: Stalinist CPM’s triennial meeting to reiterate support for Congress Party-led government

By Nanda Wickremasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 29 March 2008

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), India’s most important Stalinist party and the dominant partner in the Left Front, is holding its 19th congress in Coimbatore, in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, from March 29 to April 3.

US: Death sentence postponed for Mumia Abu-Jamal

By Naomi Spencer, 29 March 2008

A US federal court issued a ruling Thursday in the case of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of murder in the 1981 shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer.

Philippine president accused of “treason” over Spratlys deal with China

By Dante Pastrana, 29 March 2008

More political fuel was added this month to the crisis surrounding Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. There were accusations that her administration had betrayed the country by signing a 2005 agreement with China and Vietnam to conduct a joint seismic survey of the disputed Spratly Islands chain. The new allegations come on top of accusations of massive kickbacks involving the awarding of a now-cancelled $US329 million contract to a Chinese corporation, Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Co. (ZTE), to build a nationwide broadband network (NBN) in the Philippines.

American Axle strikers in Detroit respond to plant closing threats

By our reporting team, 29 March 2008

On Thursday a WSWS reporting team spoke to American Axle strikers on the picket line in Detroit about the threat by CEO Richard Dauch to close the factories where workers are presently on strike.

The sieges of Basra and Sadr City: another US war crime in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 29 March 2008

US fighter planes and helicopter gunships struck the southern Iraqi city of Basra and the teeming slums of Baghdad’s Sadr City with bombs and missiles Friday as the offensive launched by Iraqi puppet troops against the Mahdi Army, the Shia militia loyal to Muqtada al Sadr, faltered badly.

Clinton, Obama, McCain defer to Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 29 March 2008

After months of virtual silence on the collapse of the speculative binge on Wall Street that has plunged the US economy into recession, all three major US presidential candidates delivered speeches this week on the housing and credit crises.

Global food prices rise and famine increases

By Barry Mason, 29 March 2008

The United Nations body World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the rise in global food prices will reduce its ability to feed hungry and malnourished people.

US: Returning veterans face mounting joblessness and low wages

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2008

On March 25, the Wall Street Journal published a brief summary of a US Veterans Affairs Department study on discharged veterans’ employment and wage prospects. The report, not yet publicly released and largely blacked out in the broader US media, paints a devastating picture of surging unemployment and low wages for returning veterans.

Ecuador: deepening crisis, floods trigger surge of inflation

By Asher Brum, 28 March 2008

In Ecuador, it is clear that inflation for the first quarter of this year is going to surpass the rate projected by the government for all of 2008, according to statistics from the country’s Central Bank. The principal causes of the inflationary surge are the financial crisis gripping Wall Street and climatic events, which have both served to expose the weaknesses of the Ecuadoran economy.

More Funny Games from Michael Haneke

By Hiram Lee, 28 March 2008

Austrian director Michael Haneke (Caché, La Pianiste) made the original Funny Games in 1997 as a response to what the director considered to be the deplorable and irresponsible treatment of violence in the American cinema and its impact on American moviegoers. But the English-speaking audience, which Haneke maintains was always the ideal audience, and perhaps target, of the work went largely unexposed to the small German-language art movie.

Strike wave continues in Greece

By Markus Salzmann, 28 March 2008

For the third time since December, a general strike paralysed large parts of public life in Greece last Wednesday. Among those taking part in the protests against a planned pension reform by the conservative government led by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis were doctors, air traffic controllers, dock workers, journalists, hotel personnel and gas station workers. More than 100,000 filled the city centre of Athens, and 8,000 protested in Saloniki.

Australia: Federal and NT Labor governments expand punitive measures in Aboriginal communities

By Susan Allan, 28 March 2008

Click here to download this article as a leaflet.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 28 March 2008

Europe

US shipped fuses for nuclear-armed missiles to Taiwan

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2008

In what Pentagon officials said was a major breach in US nuclear weapons security, the Defense Logistics Agency has acknowledged shipping four large electrical fuses used in nuclear missile warheads to the Taiwanese military two years ago.

Video: WSWS reports from American Axle strike in Detroit

By , 28 March 2008

Larry Porter reports for the WSWS from the American Axle picket lines in Detroit as the strike extends into its second month.

Iraqi government offensive in Basra threatens to trigger Shiite uprising

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2008

Fighting between Iraqi security forces, backed by the US military, and militia loyal to Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr continued unabated yesterday following a government offensive launched in the southern port city of Basra on Tuesday. Up to 200 people have been killed, many of them civilians, in clashes over the past three days in Basra, as well as the southern towns of Kut, Diwaniya, Hilla and Amara, and the sprawling slums of Sadr City in eastern Baghdad.

Sri Lankan government deploys military to suppress striking television workers

By W.A. Sunil, 28 March 2008

In a major attack on democratic rights, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on March 17 instructed the military to suppress a strike by employees of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC), the state-owned television network. Two days later, he appointed a retired army general to oversee the administration of the corporation.

Why the Clintons’ profiting off near-slavery is not a campaign issue

By Bill Van Auken, 28 March 2008

In the long run-up to the Pennsylvania primary, the Democratic campaign has descended ever deeper into a negative and personal mudslinging contest between the two remaining contenders, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

US: Hundreds of aging American Airlines planes grounded for inspection

By Naomi Spencer, 27 March 2008

On Wednesday, American Airlines grounded 10 percent of its planes and cancelled flights in response to a hastily issued directive from the Federal Aviation Administration that required the company—the world’s largest airline—to inspect for possible wiring dangers.

US-Pakistan ties fray, as Washington seeks to bully new government

By Keith Jones, 27 March 2008

US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Richard Boucher, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, arrived in Islamabad early Tuesday, with almost no advanced warning to their Pakistani hosts. Their sudden visit exemplifies the Bush administration’s apprehensions about the change of regime now underway in Pakistan.

Australia: National Union of Students promotes illusions in new Labor government

By Robert Morgan and Cameron Light, 27 March 2008

A “National Day of Action” called by the National Union of Students (NUS) on Wednesday March 19th to issue demands to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s government, has made clear the union’s role, along with that of the various middle class radical groups, in promoting illusions in Labor.

The Kuomintang returns to power in Taiwan

By John Chan, 27 March 2008

The landslide victory of Ma Ying-jeou, the candidate of Kuomintang (KMT), in last Saturday’s presidential election marks the return to power of the party that ruled the island for decades as a dictatorship. After eight years in office, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which promoted itself as the democratic opposition to the KMT, was unceremoniously thrown out of office. Ma will be formally inaugurated as President of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s official title, on May 20.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 March 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Washington again forecasts ruin for Medicare and Social Security

By Kate Randall, 27 March 2008

In what has become virtually an annual ritual, the Social Security Board of Trustees issued a report Tuesday projecting a bleak future for the US government’s two biggest benefit programs, Social Security and Medicare. The general projections of the board, all Bush administration members, were identical to last year’s.

Richard Dauch and the aristocratic principle in America

By Jerry White, 27 March 2008

The following statement is also posted as a pdf file. We urge all auto workers and WSWS readers to download the statement and distribute it at your factories and workplaces, and in your communities.

Britain: Police want children routinely put on DNA database

By Richard Tyler, 27 March 2008

Britain’s police want to routinely put children as young as five on the National DNA Database (NDNAD), even when no crime has been committed.

Boeing challenges refueling contract to Airbus

By Alexander Fangmann, 27 March 2008

Earlier this month, Boeing submitted a formal challenge to the decision by the US Air Force to award a major contract to a rival group, composed of Northrop Grumman and the European Aeronautical Defense and Space Company (EADS), the parent of Airbus. The contract covers the purchase of airplane-refueling tankers and is expected to be worth some $35 billion.

Australia: Haneef inquiry seeks to “restore confidence” in terror laws

By Mike Head, 26 March 2008

The old saying that a government only establishes a judicial inquiry when it knows the outcome has once again been proven correct. In this case, the inquiry has been set up by the Rudd government to report on last year’s failed frame-up of Indian Muslim doctor Mohammed Haneef on a terrorism charge.

Cheney’s tour of Middle East raises tensions with Iran

By Peter Symonds, 26 March 2008

The overriding theme of US Vice President Dick Cheney’s now-concluded trip to the Middle East was to marshal support for the Bush administration’s menacing stance against Iran. Referring to Tehran as the “darkening cloud” over the region, Cheney left no doubt that the Bush administration has not resiled from its oft-repeated threat to keep all options—including the military one—on the table.

Brown government promotes patriotism and militarism

By Simon Whelan, 26 March 2008

Faced with intractable problems, the Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown has embarked on an attempt to promote British patriotism and militarism.

US Supreme Court rejects international law, ruling against Mexicans on death row

By Bill Van Auken, 26 March 2008

In an extraordinary ruling that epitomizes the lawlessness and arrogance of Washington’s conduct on the world stage, the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal on behalf of 51 Mexican nationals, most of them condemned to death, finding that American state courts are not bound by international law.

Home prices, consumer confidence plunge in US

By Joe Kay, 26 March 2008

In continued signs of economic recession in the US, figures released on Tuesday show home prices and consumer confidence falling sharply.

Iraqi regime launches assault on Basra

By David Walsh, 26 March 2008

Fighting between Iraqi government forces and militias loyal to Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr erupted Tuesday in the southern port city of Basra, as well as other towns and certain districts of Baghdad. Dozens were killed in the conflicts, according to the media and hospital officials.

Ex-SLA member Sara Jane Olson returned to prison

By Hiram Lee, 26 March 2008

Former Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) member Sara Jane Olson was arrested March 22, just five days after her release from a California prison. Paroled after serving six years of a 12-year prison sentence, Olson’s release was met with protests from right-wing media and police groups. Responding to pressures from these groups, authorities in the California Department of Corrections declared there had been an error in the calculation of Olson’s sentence, and that the former radical had not yet served enough time to qualify for parole.

Blackwater abandons plans for California training camp

By Kevin Martinez, 26 March 2008

On March 7, private contractor Blackwater Worldwide announced it was abandoning plans to construct a military and police training facility in Potrero, California, a small town in southeast San Diego County. The decision came after a storm of public protest that culminated in a special recall election that replaced county officials who supported Blackwater’s bid.

Letter from a Brazilian teacher

By , 26 March 2008

It is incredible to see the same demands being made on the other side of the world. According to the World Socialist Web Site, this is what is happening in Australia in the state of Victoria. Public teachers in this state are on strike, carrying out half-day stoppages to demand a 30 percent salary increase. But it’s not just that. They are demanding an end to temporary contracts, which, just like here, mean that teachers are fired at the end of the school year.

Social inequality leads to gap in US life expectancy

By Jerry White, 26 March 2008

A series of recent reports highlights the magnitude of social distress confronting tens of millions of ordinary working people in the United States as the impact of the economic downturn and growing gap between the super-rich and the rest of the population hits home.

Video: The WSWS reports from the American Axle strike in Detroit

By , 26 March 2008

Jerry White reports for the WSWS from the American Axle picket lines in Detroit as the strike extends a full month. For more information visit wsws.org.

Canada: Kingston, Ontario, ISSE to show Tsar to Lenin

By , 26 March 2008

The Kingston, Ontario, chapter of the International Students for Social Equality will be hosting a showing of the classic documentary Tsar to Lenin on Thursday, March 27.

Pay for American Axle CEO rises to $10.2 million

By Jerry White, 25 March 2008

Click here to download this article as a leaflet.

Former Australian prime minister feted by US Republican right

By James Cogan, 25 March 2008

Until March 5, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard had avoided any interviews or public appearances after his humiliating electoral defeat in November last year, when he not only lost office, but his own parliamentary seat as well. Howard has now signaled that this was only a temporary state of affairs. He will continue to publicly advocate the policies with which his government was most associated—above all, its participation in the militarist US agenda being carried out in the name of the “war on terror”.

Detroit mayor charged on eight criminal counts

By Patrick Martin, 25 March 2008

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and other criminal counts on Monday. The charges arise from his decision to have the city of Detroit, which is nearly bankrupt, pay millions of dollars in hush money to several former policemen whose eyewitness accounts of Kilpatrick’s behavior would be politically damaging.

White House signals continued Iraq escalation as US death toll tops 4,000

By Bill Van Auken, 25 March 2008

The White House delivered a strong signal Monday that President Bush is virtually certain to support a recommendation that the escalation of the US military intervention in Iraq continue indefinitely, despite the rising death toll among US troops.

ISSE in US supports Sri Lankan demonstration

By , 25 March 2008

The following letter was sent by Joe Kay, convenor of the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in the US, in support of a demonstration and meeting held in Sri Lanka to demand the release of left wing Iranian students. See accompanying article.

Britain: Labour makes massive cuts in higher education

By Robert Stevens, 25 March 2008

The Labour government of Prime Minster Gordon Brown is implementing significant cuts in higher education.

New York’s premier library to be renamed for billionaire Wall Street speculator

By Peter Daniels, 25 March 2008

The central branch of the New York Public Library is one of the iconic buildings of New York City. The Beaux Arts structure, officially known as the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, was completed in 1911 and extends for two city blocks on Fifth Avenue south of 42nd Street. It is known far and wide as a symbol of learning and culture.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 March 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

The Kite Runner: the Afghan tragedy goes unexplained

By Harvey Thompson, 25 March 2008

Directed by Marc Forster, screenplay by David Benioff, based on the novel by Khaled Hosseini

Five years since the invasion of Iraq: War, the economic crisis, and the 2008 elections

By , 25 March 2008

In March and April, the International Students for Social Equality in the US is holding a series of meetings to mark the fifth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 25 March 2008

Latin America

Germany: Turkish youth dies in police custody

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 25 March 2008

On March 5, Adem Özdamar from Hagen in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, died from injuries he received while in police custody on February 17. The manner of his death raises many questions, which have so far not been answered by the police officers involved and the public prosecutor’s office.

Paris meeting commemorates the life and work of Keerthi Balasuriya

By our correspondent, 25 March 2008

The International Committee of the Fourth International held a meeting in Paris on March 16 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death, aged 39, of Sri Lankan Trotskyist leader Keerthi Balasuriya.

Sri Lankan ISSE meeting to demand release of jailed Iranian students

By our correspondents, 25 March 2008

The International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) held a public meeting in Colombo on March 10 to demand the immediate release of members of the Students for Freedom and Equality imprisoned by the Iranian government in December. The ISSE and Socialist Equality Party held a demonstration on same day in front of the Iranian Consulate and campaigned at the busy Fort Railway Station. (See: “Demonstration and meeting in Sri Lanka to protest prosecution of Iranian students”)

Taxi to the Dark Side: Murder of young Afghan driver exposes US torture policies

By Richard Phillips, 24 March 2008

One of the few well-deserved Oscars at last month’s Academy Awards went to Taxi to the Dark Side, a disturbing documentary feature by Alex Gibney that exposes the Bush administration’s use of torture, rendition and other criminal violations of the Geneva Conventions. Gibney, who also directed Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), delivered the only significant speech at the tightly-regulated event.

Young Guantánamo detainee details abuse

By Naomi Spencer, 24 March 2008

In an affidavit released last week, a Canadian-born detainee held in the US military-run prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has detailed coercion, torture and other crimes committed by his American captors over the past six years.

Documentary producer Eva Orner speaks with WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 24 March 2008

Film producer Eva Orner spoke last week with the World Socialist Web Site about her involvement in the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side. Directed by Alex Gibney, the feature-length documentary is a detailed exposure of American use of torture in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay. The film is currently on limited cinema release in America cinemas and a 52-minute version was televised in Europe, Japan and Australia late last year.

US steps in to prevent collapse of gas pipeline project

By Keith Lee, 24 March 2008

The United States has stepped in to prevent the collapse of the first project to construct a natural gas pipeline that will bypass Russia. It is pressuring the European Union (EU) and Central Asian countries to complete plans for the construction of the Nabucco pipeline, which is intended to link up with the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum and planned TransCaspian networks. It will bring gas 3,300 kilometres from Central Asia under the Caspian Sea to Turkey, through Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary to Austria.

Eight US soldiers and dozens of Iraqis killed in weekend violence

By Joe Kay, 24 March 2008

At least eight US soldiers were killed in Iraq over the weekend, amid a resurgence of violence underscoring the instability of the US-led military occupation. The number of US soldiers who have died in Iraq now stands at 4,000.

NY Times article questions official explanation of sex probe that forced New York governor to resign

By Barry Grey, 24 March 2008

An article published by the New York Times on March 21 raises serious questions about the official explanation given by federal prosecutors for the high-powered investigation into the sexual activities of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer that led to Spitzer’s public humiliation and forced resignation on March 12.

New Zealand economy sliding into recession

By John Braddock, 24 March 2008

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) economists warned last week that New Zealand was heading for a recession—and that it may already be there. One spokesman said the housing slump and global credit crunch had combined to form an almost “perfect storm”.

Video: American Axle and Chrysler workers in Detroit speak out

By , 22 March 2008

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with striking American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) workers, and Chrysler workers supporting their struggle, as the strike by 3,650 AAM workers at plants in Michigan and western New York enters in fourth week.

Canada’s Liberals support war and social reaction

By Guy Charron, 22 March 2008

The Liberals, the Official Opposition in Canada’s parliament, provided the minority Conservative government with the votes it needed last week to extend the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) lead role in the US-NATO counter-insurgency war in Afghanistan to the end of 2011.

Australia: teachers continue strike action against Victorian Labor government

By Margaret Rees, 22 March 2008

Teachers in Victorian government schools are continuing a campaign of industrial action against the state Labor government of Premier John Brumby. In addition, a series of well attended half day regional stoppages has been held, with at least 4,000 Catholic school teachers participating in a strike meeting on March 7.

Germany: The shrinking middle class and the rise of inequality

By Dietmar Henning, 22 March 2008

A recent study of income distribution carried out by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) has unleashed a debate in Germany. The study concludes that the middle class in Germany has shrunk from 62 percent of the population in 2000 to just 54 percent in 2006.

Workers protest rising prices in UAE, Egypt

By Joe Kay, 22 March 2008

The global financial crisis that has its origins in US credit markets is heightening social tensions around the world. This week, social unrest exploded to the surface in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where as many as 1,500 workers staged protests against inflation and unpaid wages.

Bush, McCain “gaffes” on Iran echo Iraq war lies

By Bill Van Auken, 22 March 2008

Within the past week, both US President George W. Bush and the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for the 2008 presidential election, Senator John McCain, have made widely broadcast statements about Iran that are as demonstratively false as they are provocative.

Recessionary trends deepen, sparking gyrations on stock, commodities markets

By Barry Grey, 22 March 2008

In the wake of the bailout of Bear Stearns, brokered and largely financed by the US Federal Reserve Board, fears of a deepening recession and continuing uncertainties over the solvency of major finance houses fueled a week of wild gyrations on American stock exchanges.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 March 2008

Asia

American painter Edward Hopper in Chicago

By J. Cooper, 22 March 2008

Edward Hopper, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 6 through August 19, 2007; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., September 16, 2007 through January 21, 2008; Art Institute of Chicago, February 16 through May 11, 2008

Bush administration illegally examined Obama passport file

By Patrick Martin, 22 March 2008

In an apparent “dirty tricks” operation against Senator Barack Obama, one of the two remaining Democratic presidential candidates, State Department employees illegally accessed personal data from his electronic passport file.

Cheney’s “peace” trip to Middle East prepares new wars

By David Walsh, 21 March 2008

US Vice President Dick Cheney, during a trip to the Middle East aimed at consolidating Washington’s position in its ongoing wars of aggression and preparing new ones, gave vent Wednesday to his utter contempt for the will of the American people.

Widespread flooding hits the US Midwest

By Naomi Spencer, 21 March 2008

Torrential rains have triggered flash flooding throughout the US Midwest and central states, causing at least 13 deaths in the region. At this writing, several more people are missing, hundreds are sleeping in makeshift evacuation shelters, and thousands of homes have been flooded.

Alan Thornett’s denunciation of Trotskyism

By Chris Marsden, 21 March 2008

This is the second and concluding part of a two-part article analysing the role of Alan Thornett’s International Socialist Group in British Member of Parliament George Galloway’s Respect Renewal project. The first part was posted March 20.

Letters from our readers

By , 21 March 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Relations with China dominate Taiwanese presidential election

By John Chan, 21 March 2008

Saturday’s presidential election in Taiwan has been dominated by the question of the island’s relations with China. Until recently, the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which advocates closer relations with China, appeared set to defeat the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which supports moves toward declaring independence from China. Beijing’s heavy-handed suppression of Tibetan protesters, however, has become a significant issue in the campaign, making the outcome less certain.

“We have a house, but we are very poor”

By our reporters, 21 March 2008

WSWS supporters interviewed homebuyers in the working class suburb of Blacktown in Sydney’s west about the impact of rising interest rates and mortgage payments.

Britain: ISSE holds meetings on the fifth anniversary of Iraq war

By our correspondent, 21 March 2008

Earlier this month, the International Students for Social Equality held a series of meetings to mark the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war at the University of Glasgow, University of Manchester, the London School of Economics and Brighton University.

Housing stress at record levels in Australia

By Chris Gordon, 21 March 2008

It is now clear that thousands of people face losing their homes in Australia, with more than a million households living in “housing stress,” because of the deepening turmoil on global money markets in the wake of last year’s sub-prime mortgage collapse in the United States.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 21 March 2008

Greek workers stage general strike

A letter on the “Cool/Cruel Britannia” trend

By , 21 March 2008

The WSWS received the following letter on “Cool/Cruel Britannia,” in response to a review of In Bruges.

American Axle strikers in Detroit determined to halt wage-cutting

By our reporting team, 21 March 2008

The following article is posted as a leaflet in pdf format.

Race, class and the politics of the Obama campaign

By Patrick Martin, 20 March 2008

The widely publicized speech Tuesday by Barack Obama on race relations in the United States was another exercise in walking the political tightrope for the Democratic candidate in his closely contested struggle with Hillary Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination.

On Iraq war’s fifth anniversary, Bush says US troops must stay

By Bill Van Auken, 20 March 2008

President George W. Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the US war in Iraq on Wednesday by touting the supposed successes of the “surge” that sent an additional 30,000 US troops into the occupied country, while insisting that the expanded troop levels must be maintained to avoid “chaos and carnage.”

The crisis of American capitalism and the war against Iraq

By David North, 20 March 2008

We are reposting here the statement written by David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, that was originally published by the WSWS on March 21, 2003, at the onset of the US invasion of Iraq.

Mobilize auto workers behind the American Axle strike

By World Socialist Web Site editorial board, 20 March 2008

The following statement is posted as a leaflet in pdf format. We urge our readers and supporters to download and distribute it as widely as possible.

Verdi trade union prepares sell-out of Berlin transport strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 March 2008

After only 12 days the public service trade union Verdi has wound down the strike by transport workers employed by the Berlin Transport Company (BVG) even though the local employers’ association (KAV) had refused to make any sort of concession.

Alan Thornett’s denunciation of Trotskyism

By Chris Marsden, 20 March 2008

This is the first part of a two-part article analysing the role of Alan Thornett’s International Socialist Group in the Respect Renewal project led by British Member of Parliament George Galloway. Part two will be posted on Friday, March 21.

Shades of 1929: the global implications of the US banking collapse

By , 20 March 2008

World Socialist Web Site readers in Australia are warmly invited to attend a public meeting being held by the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality in Sydney to discuss the global significance of the escalating crisis now wracking the US financial and banking system.