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The political lessons of the American Axle strike

By World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party, 31 May 2008

American Axle workers began to return to work earlier this week, after the end of a three-month walkout in Michigan and New York. The struggle—one of the longest walkouts in the auto industry in decades—ended in a bitter defeat for the workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 31 May 2008

Protracted strike continues despite intimidation

US: AFTRA capitulates to the studios and networks, the pressure is on SAG

By Ramón Valle, 31 May 2008

The tentative agreement reached this week by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) comes as no great surprise.

Chinese earthquake victims face continuing hardship and new threats

By John Chan, 31 May 2008

Nearly three weeks after the earthquake that struck the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, millions of people are still struggling to cope with its devastating impact. With more than 68,000 dead and 18,000 missing, the final toll is likely to exceed 80,000.

French government prepares new cuts in unemployment compensation

By Kumaran Ira, 31 May 2008

As popular hostility mounts against the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy and its austerity policies, the French government is carrying out further reforms to bring down workers’ living standards. This time, the reform targets the unemployed, aiming to cut their benefits and, more broadly, to turn them into an easily policed source of cheap labor by eliminating their benefits if they turn down two job offers.

New York construction workers killed and injured in another high-rise accident

By Bill Van Auken, 31 May 2008

For the second time in two and a half months a crane collapsed in New York City Friday morning, killing two construction workers and seriously injuring another, forcing the evacuation of nearby residential buildings and throwing an entire neighborhood into chaos.

US academic Norman Finkelstein denied entry to Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 31 May 2008

Professor Norman Finkelstein, an American Jewish scholar known for his trenchant criticism of Israeli policy, was detained and interrogated by Israel’s security forces, Shin Bet, for 24 hours at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on May 23, denied entry into Israel and deported back to Amsterdam where he had been lecturing.

German Left Party holds its first congress

By Hendrik Paul, 31 May 2008

Over the weekend of May 24-25, the Left Party held its first-ever congress in the east German town of Cottbus. The Left Party emerged in June 2007 from a merger of the east German-based Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the west German Election Alternative (WASG).

Letters from our readers

By , 31 May 2008

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

Australia: Unions call off rallies against NSW electricity privatisation

By Terry Cook, 31 May 2008

Unions in New South Wales (NSW) are working overtime to prevent an open confrontation with the state Labor government as Premier Morris Iemma pushes ahead with plans to privatise the state’s electricity industry.

Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation

By David Walsh, 31 May 2008

Tens of thousands of Iraqis protested in a number of cities Friday against the proposed agreement between the puppet regime of Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration that would codify a long-term US military occupation.

Britain: An interview with the manager of Hicham Yezza’s defence campaign

By , 30 May 2008

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to Musab Younis about the arrest and imminent deportation to Algeria of Hicham Yezza, a faculty member of the University of Nottingham, England.( See “Oppose deportation of Hicham Yezza”)

German Social Democrats put forward their own presidential candidate

By Dietmar Henning and Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2008

The post of German federal president is largely of a ceremonial nature, and the successful candidate possesses little real power. This makes the election of the president all the more suitable for carrying out political manoeuvres and preparing new political constellations.

Canada complicit in illegal detention and torture of Omar Khadr

By Graham Beverley, 30 May 2008

Over the strenuous objections of the Canadian government, the country’s Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Ottawa must turn over to the legal defence team representing Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen and Guantánamo Bay detainee, some of the Crown documents that pertain to his case.

American filmmaker Sydney Pollack (1934-2008)

By David Walsh, 30 May 2008

American director, producer and actor Sydney Pollack, best known for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), The Way We Were (1973), Three Days of the Condor (1973), Tootsie (1982) and Out of Africa (1985), died May 26 in Pacific Palisades, California of cancer at the age of 73. He had been more active—and perhaps more successful—in recent years as a producer (The Quiet American, Michael Clayton, Recount) and actor in film and television than a director.

Fallout from McClellan book: The Iraq war’s “complicit enablers,” then and now

By Bill Van Auken, 30 May 2008

Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan’s new book indicting the Bush administration for employing a “political propaganda campaign” and deception to drag the US into an “unnecessary war” in Iraq has unleashed a wave of bitter recriminations from the Republican right, while prompting opportunist attempts by Democrats to exploit the tell-all memoir for their own political purposes.

Dow Chemical announces massive price increase

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2008

Dow Chemical announced it would charge up to 20 percent more for its products on May 28, citing spiraling price increases for oil and other petrochemical inputs. This decision by Dow—a behemoth with $54 billion in 2007 sales spread throughout numerous consumer industries—is expected to substantially increase inflation, which is already increasing rapidly in the US and throughout the world, cutting into workers’ purchasing power.

Why have the findings of the Solomon Islands Commission of Inquiry into the 2006 riots not been released?

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2008

It is now more than a month since the Solomon Islands’ government of Prime Minister Derek Sikua received the final report of a Commission of Inquiry investigating rioting that destroyed much of the capital, Honiara in April 2006. Yet no indication has been given as to when the official findings will be made public. There is little doubt that the Sikua government is attempting to suppress the report, and that it has the full backing of Canberra—which opposed the Commission from the outset and tried to derail it through a series of dirty tricks and illegal manoeuvres.

Australian photographer Bill Henson—scapegoat for a wider assault on democratic rights

By Richard Phillips, 30 May 2008

Australian police, encouraged by ongoing denunciations of artist/photographer Bill Henson by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, New South Wales (NSW) Premier Morris Iemma and a small group of right-wing commentators, have ramped up their witch-hunt of the internationally-acclaimed artist following the seizure of 20 of his photographs from a Sydney art gallery last week.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 30 May 2008


Britain: Oppose deportation of Hicham Yezza

By by International Students for Social Equality, 30 May 2008

The International Students for Social Equality condemns and opposes the arrest and detention of a student and a member of the faculty at the University of Nottingham in England. Student Rizawaan Sabir and staff member Hicham Yezza were both arrested on May 14 under the Terrorism Act 2000. Subsequent to this action, the Home Office has issued an order to deport Hicham Yezza to Algeria—scheduled to take place on June 1.

End of Nepalese monarchy sets stage for new period of political instability

By K. Ratnayake, 30 May 2008

The decision on Wednesday to abolish the Nepalese monarchy has been greeted with a great deal of fanfare, both in Nepal and internationally. Among ordinary Nepalese, there are many hopes that the establishment of a republic will usher in peace and prosperity. In reality, it is a desperate attempt by sections of the Nepalese ruling elite to salvage the discredited state apparatus in preparation for pro-market reforms and a fresh onslaught on the living standards and rights of workers and the urban and rural poor.

Phoenix spacecraft lands near Mars polar icecap

By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2008

In the first successful powered landing on Mars in 32 years, the Mars Phoenix Lander touched down on the surface of the planet Sunday, May 26, near the edge of its northern polar icecap. The spacecraft completed a 422-million-mile trip in just under 300 days since its launch last August 4, with virtually flawless performance of all its complex engineering systems.

Iran: Inflation, privatization intensify working class struggles

By Sina Mazdak, 29 May 2008

Working class struggles are intensifying in Iran as a consequence of inflation and the privatization of many industries. Several recently-privatized manufacturing companies have declared bankruptcy in recent months, leading to job losses and social conflicts.

Military contractor Blackwater files suit to push through new California facility

By Kevin Martinez, 29 May 2008

Blackwater Worldwide, a private contractor for the US military, filed suit last week to ask a federal judge to order San Diego, California officials to issue final permission for the construction of a new training facility along the US-Mexico border.

Low pay leads to poverty in British Army

By Harvey Thompson, 29 May 2008

A report on the state of the British Army released this month revealed considerable resentment amongst ordinary soldiers over low pay, leading many into financial difficulties, under-nourishment and the quitting of the armed forces altogether.

Bush administration uses IAEA report to make new demands and threats to Iran

By Peter Symonds, 29 May 2008

The latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear programs, handed to member states on Monday, has already prompted a new round of criticisms, demands and threats on the part of the US and its allies. The report will be released publicly only after it has been discussed at next week’s meeting of the IAEA board of governors.

Ex-Bush spokesman: White House fed war propaganda to a “complicit” media

By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2008

In a stunning blow to what very little remains of the Bush administration’s political credibility, the president’s former press secretary Scott McClellan has published a book indicting the White House for launching an “unnecessary” war in Iraq based on false “propaganda.”

1968: The general strike and student revolt in France

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2008

This is the second in series of articles dealing with the events of May/June 1968 in France. Part 1, posted May 28, deals with the development of the student revolt and the general strike up to its high point at the end of May. Part 2, posted May 29, examines how the Communist Party (PCF) and the union it controls, the CGT, enabled President Charles de Gaulle to regain control. Parts 3 and 4 examine the role played by the Pabloites; the final part will examine Pierre Lambert’s Organization Communiste Internationaliste (OCI).

Part 4: Other stories, varying degrees of success

By Joanne Laurier, 29 May 2008

This is the fourth and final in a series of articles on the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival, held April 24-May 8.

The genealogy of torture

By Shannon Jones, 29 May 2008

Torture and Democracy, Darius Rejali, Princeton University Press: 2007, 880 pp., $39.50

Spiralling prices in Vietnam provoke fears of social unrest

By John Roberts, 29 May 2008

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) regime is becoming increasingly alarmed at the runaway levels of inflation that have sparked strikes and protests by workers, principally in foreign-operated manufacturing firms.

Turkey: Conflict escalates between government and judiciary

By Sinan Ikinci, 29 May 2008

The conflict between the Kemalist establishment and the elected government of the Islamist AKP (Justice and Development Party) led by Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan has reached a new peak.

Sharp increase in mental illness among US troops during 2007

By James Cogan, 29 May 2008

American military personnel deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in rapidly increasing numbers, according to statistics released on Tuesday by the US Army Surgeon-General.

Large majority vote against deal following Berlin transport strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 May 2008

The response by Berlin transport (BVG) workers to the deal worked out by the Verdi union could not have been clearer. Nearly two thirds of the Verdi membership rejected the wage contact. Only 34.3 percent of those who voted agreed to accept the deal.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 28 May 2008

Latin America

The slaying of Mark Saunders: An escalation of Britain’s “shoot to kill” policy

By Paul Mitchell, 28 May 2008

On May 6, barrister Mark Saunders was shot dead by police after he had fired a shotgun from the window of his apartment in the Chelsea district of London where he lived with his wife, Elizabeth. Officers returned fire, causing one officer to remark that the scene resembled the gunfight at the OK Corral.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 May 2008

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

Australia: NSW teachers strike against attacks on jobs and conditions

By our reporters, 28 May 2008

More than 34,0000 teachers from New South Wales (NSW) public schools and Technical and Further Education colleges stopped work for 24 hours on May 22 in protest against the state Labor government’s attacks on jobs and working conditions.

The politics of provocation: Clinton, Obama and the American media

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2008

A remark by Hillary Clinton in South Dakota Friday touched off a media furor over the weekend, with allegations that she was basing her beleaguered campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on the possibility that the frontrunner Barack Obama could be assassinated.

Army chief sworn in as Lebanon’s new president

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2008

General Michel Suleiman, Lebanon’s army chief of staff, was sworn in as the country’s new president on Sunday, amid scenes of popular celebrations at the apparent end of a long drawn out political crisis. His inauguration was attended by foreign ministers from Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, France, Italy, Spain and the European Union, and high level delegations from 22 states in the region.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

By Peter Schwarz, 28 May 2008

This is the first in series of articles dealing with the events of May/June 1968 in France. Part 1, posted May 28, deals with the development of the student revolt and the general strike up to its high point at the end of May. Part 2, posted May 29, examines how the Communist Party (PCF) and the union it controls, the CGT, enabled President Charles de Gaulle to regain control. Parts 3 and 4 examine the role played by the Pabloites; the final part will examine Pierre Lambert’s Organization Communiste Internationaliste (OCI).

Latin America: What are the real interests behind the creation of the Union of South American Nations?

By Carlos Prado, 28 May 2008

Last Friday, May 23, presidents and representatives of 12 South American countries met in Brasilia to sign a treaty creating the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur.

Sri Lankan journalists protest against abduction and torture of colleague

By our correspondents, 28 May 2008

Around 200 journalists took part in a lunch-hour demonstration at a busy junction in Colombo on May 23 to protest over the abduction and beating of Keith Noyahr, the associate editor of the Nation, an English-language weekly. A heavy security presence of more than 100 police, including several high-ranking officers, had been mobilised to deter demonstrators from marching toward Temple Trees, the president’s official residence.

True to form, the Goodmans provide a fig leaf for the Democrats in Standing Up to the Madness

By Christie Schaefer, 27 May 2008

Amy Goodman and David Goodman, Hyperion, 2008 (Hardcover), $23.95

Washington ratchets up pressure on Pakistan’s new government

By Keith Jones, 27 May 2008

In increasingly blunt fashion, Washington is making known its displeasure with Pakistan’s new elected government, which is comprised of parties opposed to the US-backed military strongman and president Pervez Musharraf.

Australia: Escalating hostility among Victorian teachers to government-union deal

By our reporters, 27 May 2008

Opposition among Victorian school teachers is rapidly escalating as details of the proposed industrial agreement negotiated by the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the state Labor government become more widely understood. A broad discussion is emerging, through emails, the internet, letters to the major newspapers, and school union branch resolutions registering teachers’ hostility to both the government of Premier John Brumby and the AEU.

France: Fishermen strike against rising energy prices

By Alex Lantier, 27 May 2008

Fishermen continued to strike and blockade ports to protest rising fuel prices in France this weekend, despite government attempts to get fishermen back to work with promises of temporary fuel subsidies. Fishermen are also protesting the gap between the high prices consumers pay for fish in supermarkets and the low price they receive for their catch. This is part of an international wave of protest in industries—notably fishing, trucking, and agriculture—suffering heavily from the explosion of world oil prices, which reached as high as $135 a barrel last week.

US military attempts to reignite fighting with Mahdi Army

By James Cogan, 27 May 2008

The order by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that his Mahdi Army militiamen offer no resistance to the US occupation is being exploited by the American military and the Iraqi government to repress his supporters in the working class districts of Baghdad and other major cities.

Burma aid conference: Demands and ultimatums, but little money for the cyclone victims

By Peter Symonds, 27 May 2008

The only commodities in plentiful supply at the UN-sponsored donors conference in Rangoon last Sunday were self-interest, cynicism and hypocrisy. While the gathering had been called to elicit aid for the estimated 2.4 million cyclone victims in Burma, the US and European powers exploited the opportunity to repeat their demands for the Burmese junta to open its doors to foreign aid efforts. Very little money was forthcoming.

Belgium: Leterme government lurches from crisis to crisis

By Paul Bond, 27 May 2008

It took Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme nearly nine months to establish his coalition government after last summer’s general election. It has taken barely two months to prove that it cannot resolve any of the political problems facing Belgium. Leterme managed to stave off an immediate crisis two weeks ago, whilst setting up further confrontations between the country’s regions.

French media lay out the red carpet for Olivier Besancenot

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 May 2008

The vast support by the French media for Olivier Besancenot, twice presidential candidate (in 2002 and 2007) for the LCR (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire—Revolutionary Communist League), signals profound shifts in French politics. And raises profound questions.

Chinese earthquake threatens wider economic dislocation

By John Chan, 26 May 2008

There was a sense of relief in international financial circles after it became clear that the destruction from China’s earthquake on May 12 was confined largely to the mountainous areas of Sichuan province, leaving the country’s major industrial centres untouched.

Iron Man: Just what sort of hero is this?

By Hiram Lee, 26 May 2008

Iron Man is the latest in a barrage of comic book superhero films to come to the big screen in recent years. Like a number of the others, it is done very well for itself at the box office and with mainstream critics. While all of these movies, from Batman Begins to The Fantastic Four, have been slight and drawn on thin sources, hardly any have been adapted from a source as repulsive as Iron Man.

Israel and Syria announce negotiations amid ongoing US-Israeli threats to Iran

By Peter Symonds, 26 May 2008

Israel and Syria announced last Wednesday that negotiations via Turkish mediators were underway for a comprehensive peace treaty. Far from being a step toward lowering regional tensions, the move is a transparent attempt on Israel’s part at detaching Syria from its ally Iran amid ongoing threats of an attack against Tehran by the Israeli and/or US military.

Britain: House repossessions rising sharply

By Barry Mason, 26 May 2008

Figures released by the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on May 9 showed a marked increase in homeowners facing court action for repossession of their homes. The figure of 37,740 for the last three months was an increase of 17 percent on the last quarter and a 20 percent increase on the figures one year ago.

Evidence of corruption during Cheney’s tenure

By Brian Smith, 26 May 2008

Criminal investigations of former Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), for alleged bribery in the construction of Nigeria’s $10 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant on Bonny Island, have been widened to cover the past 20 years of Halliburton’s operations in Nigeria. Investigators will also probe accusations of embezzlement by senior executives, and Halliburton’s relations with other multinationals, including Royal Dutch Shell.

Aftermath of US slaughterhouse raid: Fear and repression grip Iowa town

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2008

Two weeks have passed since an army of US immigration agents, backed by local and state police and members of other agencies carried out the largest single workplace raid in US history.

Australia: Labor government backs witch-hunting of photographer Bill Henson

By Richard Phillips, 26 May 2008

Click here to download this article in PDF format.

Australia: Details of the proposed AEU-Victorian government sell-out teachers’ agreement

By Frank Gaglioti, 24 May 2008

The Socialist Equality Party has called for Victorian teachers to vote against the sell-out industrial agreement negotiated by the Australian Education Union and the state Labor government, and for the convening of mass meetings to review and discuss the proposed deal. So far most teachers are not aware of the details. Yet the agreement excludes all their key demands—including a 30 percent pay rise, a significant reduction in the number of contract teachers, and for smaller class sizes—while at the same time ratcheting up the government’s ongoing attack on public education.

Russia, China denounce US missile shield at summit meeting

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2008

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived yesterday for a two-day visit in Beijing after a one-day stopover in Kazakhstan, on his first trip abroad since being elected president in March. Upon his arrival, he issued a joint statement with Chinese President Hu Jintao, denouncing plans for a US nuclear missile shield. However, this unity enforced by fear of the US military did not immediately lead to more substantive cooperation on economic matters.

Australia: NSW Labor government presses ahead with electricity privatisation

By Terry Cook, 24 May 2008

The Labor government in New South Wales (NSW) pushed ahead late last week with plans to privatise the state’s electricity industry in open defiance of a decision of a Labor Party conference on May 3 against the sell off. Not only did the conference vote 702 to 107 against the government’s plan but inserted a clause into the party’s program specifically barring power privatisation.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 May 2008

Bangladesh apparel workers strike over food prices

Germany: The growing gulf between rich and poor

By Dietmar Henning, 24 May 2008

Social polarisation in Germany is continuing apace. This is clear from the draft of the third report by the German government on wealth distribution presented by Labour Minister Olaf Scholz (Social Democratic Party, SPD) on Monday, May 19.

Forty years since May-June 1968: The lessons for today

By , 24 May 2008

The International Students for Social Equality invites students to attend meetings to mark the 40th anniversary of the May-June 1968 general strike in France on Wednesday May 28 at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

French workers’ protests say ‘No!’ to pension reform

By Pierre Mabut and a WSWS reporting team, 24 May 2008

Massive strikes and protests took place May 22 throughout France against the government’s decision to increase workers’ contributions from 40 to 41 years for a full pension. The effect will be a sharp fall in retirees’ incomes. The minimum state pension at present is €628 euros a month per person (€1,127 for a couple).

US Secretary of State Rice defends torture at Google event

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2008

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found herself compelled on Thursday to defend the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding—a potentially fatal method of induced drowning used to break the resistance of detainees—claiming that America was in a “different place” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, while insisting that the government’s actions were consistent with US law and international treaties.

Texas towns sue Homeland Security over border wall plans

By Naomi Spencer, 24 May 2008

The Texas Border Coalition (TBC), a coalition of southern Texas mayors and communities within the Rio Grande Valley, has brought a lawsuit against the federal Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to halt construction of its massive border wall. The suit (Texas Border Coalition v. Michael Chertoff et al.), filed May 16 in the Washington, D.C. federal district court, accuses the department and its chief, Chertoff, of violating due process, illegally seizing residents’ and public land, and making special exceptions for wealthy and well-connected landowners in the region.

Britain: Conservative victory in Crewe and Nantwich as Labour disintegrates

By Julie Hyland, 24 May 2008

The Brown Labour government suffered its third major defeat in a month on Thursday in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, which saw the party’s 7,078 majority transformed into a 7,860 lead for the Conservatives.

Berlusconi government incites racist pogroms

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 May 2008

On Wednesday, May 21, at an extraordinary sitting in the city of Naples the recently nominated cabinet of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi passed harsh new laws directed against immigrants. The new decrees follow several weeks of state organised raids and violence directed against Italy’s immigrant community.

Detroit American Axle workers speak out against UAW betrayal

By Jerry White and our reporting team, 23 May 2008

Click here to download this article in PDF format.

Chinese leaders respond to anger over shoddy buildings and lack of help

By John Chan, 23 May 2008

Eleven days after the deadly earthquake hit Sichuan province on May 12, the Chinese government is turning from rescue to relief and reconstruction. Yesterday it revised the number of dead and missing to 80,000. The confirmed death toll is 51,151 and another 300,000 people have been injured. As the official three-day period of national mourning ended, the biggest issue confronting Beijing is how to cope with some 5 million homeless people and to rebuild the many flattened towns and villages.

Actors and Hollywood studios, networks far apart in negotiations

By Ramón Valle, 23 May 2008

Some 500 Los Angeles-based actors attended a meeting called by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) leadership May 19 to discuss the issues facing its members after representatives of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) walked out of negotiations May 6, four weeks after they began. Talks are supposed to resume May 28.

Letters from our readers

By , 23 May 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the WSWS.

Sydney hospital nurses impose work bans: not enough beds for the mentally ill

By Gabriela Zabala-Notaras, 23 May 2008

Nurses at Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney imposed work bans for the second time in two weeks on May 15 protesting the lack of adequate treatment for psychiatric patients in both the emergency department and the hospital’s mental health unit.

Forty years since May-June 1968: The lessons for today

By , 23 May 2008

The International Students for Social Equality invites all students to attend a meeting to mark the 40th anniversary of the May-June 1968 general strike in France to be held at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) on Wednesday May 28, at 1 p.m.

As Senate approves new war funding, US massacres Iraqi civilians

By Joseph Kishore, 23 May 2008

US helicopters massacred at least eight civilians, including several children, in an operation in northern Iraq on Wednesday.

FBI files indict Bush, Cheney and Co. as war criminals

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2008

The most stunning revelation in a 370-page Justice US Department Inspector General’s report released this week was that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had formally opened a “War Crimes” file, documenting torture they had witnessed at the Guantánamo Bay US prison camp, before being ordered by the administration to stop writing their reports.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 23 May 2008

Greek workers stage nationwide strike against government privatisation plans

Despite evidence of mental retardation, Mississippi executes inmate by lethal injection

By Kate Randall, 22 May 2008

Earl Wesley Berry was executed Wednesday evening at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. His lethal injection was administered at around 6 p.m. local time after all last-minute appeals for a stay had been exhausted.

US Congress proposes allowing antitrust suits against OPEC

By Naomi Spencer, 22 May 2008

In a demagogic display before the travel-heavy Memorial Day holiday, the US House of Representatives adopted legislation Tuesday that would allow an antitrust prosecution of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). On Wednesday, the Senate called in top oil executives for theatrical grilling on price increases as oil surpassed $133 per barrel and gasoline at the pump averaged $3.79 per gallon for the week.

FBI agents created “war crimes file” documenting US torture

By Joe Kay, 22 May 2008

FBI agents who witnessed the torture of detainees at the US prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba created what they called a “war crimes” file documenting what they had seen, according to a report released Tuesday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Canada: Report whitewashes federal police’s intervention in 2006 elections

By Guy Charron, 22 May 2008

The Commission for Public Complaints Against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) published March 31 the results of its inquiry into the role Canada’s national police played in the January 2006 federal election. Public Complaints Commissioner Paul Kennedy determined that the then head of the RCMP, Giuliano Zaccardelli, personally insisted upon publicly implicating the finance minister of the incumbent Liberal government in a police investigation into insider-trading allegations.

UAW pushes through sellout at smaller American Axle plants

By Jerry White, 22 May 2008

Click here to download and distribute the leaflet in PDF format.

Credit crisis hits Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 22 May 2008

Since the beginning of the year, the Icelandic economy has been in turmoil, as the impact of the growing credit crisis is felt worldwide.

Australian Labor budget punishes society’s most disadvantaged

By Terry Cook, 22 May 2008

The federal budget brought down on May 13 by the Rudd Labor government is anything but the Robin Hood exercise that it is being portrayed in the media. Following on from where the conservative Coalition government left off, Labor is making further inroads into the rights and living standards of the most vulnerable sections of society, while delivering billions to corporate interests.

Obama gains majority of elected Democratic Party delegates

By Patrick Martin, 22 May 2008

Senator Barack Obama split two statewide primaries Tuesday with Senator Hillary Clinton, winning Oregon and losing Kentucky, in the process collecting enough delegates to give him a majority of the delegates elected in primaries and caucuses.

The Visitor: “Human” or “political”?

By David Walsh, 22 May 2008

Written and directed by Tom McCarthy

Reject UAW sellout at American Axle! Mobilize auto workers against attacks on jobs and wages!

By World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party, 22 May 2008

The following statement will be distributed to American Axle workers voting on the tentative agreement at UAW Local 235 in Detroit on Thursday. Click here to download and distribute the leaflet in PDF format.

Israeli press reports US pledge of war on Iran—is Bush preparing an October Surprise?

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2008

An Israeli press report that US President George W. Bush intends to launch a military attack on Iran before he leaves office at the beginning of next year prompted a heated denial from the White House Tuesday.

Letters on the American Axle strike

By , 21 May 2008

The following is a selection of letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to our coverage of the American Axle strike in Michigan and New York, including “Anger in Detroit over UAW sellout at American Axle,” and the WSWS/SEP statement, “Reject UAW sellout at American Axle! Mobilize auto workers against attacks on jobs and wages!”

Australia: NSW teachers strike but union prepares to deliver staffing changes

By Erika Zimmer, 21 May 2008

Public school teachers in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will strike on May 22 to fight the state Labor government’s latest move to abolish the state-wide system of staffing schools. The NSW Teachers Federation (NSWTF), however, is working to accommodate the government’s demands.

German parliamentary deputies award themselves hefty pay rise

By Dietmar Henning, 21 May 2008

Germany’s ruling grand coalition of the Social Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (SPD and CDU-CSU) are in the process of awarding themselves an unprecedented increase in salary. From January 1, 2010, the parliamentary allowance for the 612 Members of the Bundestag is to be raised from the current level of €7,339 to €8,159 (US$12,660) per month.

Iraq: Mass detentions in Mosul as troops move into Sadr City

By James Cogan, 21 May 2008

More than 1,300 men have been detained by the US military and the Iraqi government in the northern city of Mosul over the past 10 days, as part of an operation ostensibly aimed at smashing the Sunni fundamentalist insurgent organisation, Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Britain: University students face worsening conditions, rising debt

By the International Students for Social Equality (Britain), 21 May 2008

Recent studies reveal that students in the UK face higher fees and growing levels of debt, coupled with cutbacks in universities.

US and Israel refuse to attend international conference on cluster bomb ban

By Naomi Spencer, 21 May 2008

This week, delegations from over 100 countries arrived in Dublin, Ireland for the drafting of a global treaty banning the use of cluster munitions. The weapons, scattered indiscriminately from the air, have maimed and killed more than 13,000 people, according to the United Nations, the vast majority of them civilians and a great many of them children.

Senate committee passes pro-business housing bill amidst foreclosure crisis

By Joe Kay, 21 May 2008

A key US Senate committee passed bipartisan-supported legislation Tuesday that will provide meager relief to homeowners while allowing banks and mortgage companies to receive government backing for some failing loans.

Forty years since May-June 1968: The lessons for today

By , 21 May 2008

The International Students for Social Equality at UNSW invites all students to attend a meeting to mark the 40th anniversary of the May-June 1968 general strike in France.

Violent attacks on immigrants in South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 21 May 2008

At least 32 people have been killed in violent attacks on immigrants in South Africa. It is reported that upwards of 6,000 people have sought shelter in police stations and churches.

Rising death toll, popular anger in China quake

By Alex Lantier, 21 May 2008

Official casualty figures in the May 12 earthquake disaster in southwestern China’s Sichuan province continue to rise, amid continuing concerns about possible aftershocks, flash flooding and sanitary conditions. Reports have also begun to emerge of organized protests against shoddy construction, especially by parents whose children were killed in the numerous school collapses caused by the earthquake.