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Major Australian child care corporation at risk of bankruptcy

By Katrina Morrison, 30 September 2008

Australia’s largest child care provider ABC Learning, also the world’s largest publicly traded child care corporation, stands on the brink of collapse.

Stocks plunge on Wall Street as bailout fails in Congress

By Bill Van Auken and Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate, 30 September 2008

Wall Street suffered its biggest one-day point fall in history amid panic selling, as the proposed government bailout of the major banks and finance houses went down to defeat Monday in the US House of Representatives.

US-Pakistani skirmish points to threat of wider war

By Keith Jones, 30 September 2008

Washington and Islamabad are seeking to downplay the significance of last Thursday’s military clash between US and Pakistani armed forces on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

US government brokers Citigroup takeover of Wachovia Bank

By Barry Grey, 30 September 2008

The restructuring of the US financial system, concentrating financial resources and power in the hands of a few banking behemoths, took a further step Monday with the sale of the banking operations of Wachovia to Citigroup, the nation’s largest bank.

Letters from our readers

By , 30 September 2008

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

Germany: Left Party leader supports Wall Street bailout

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 September 2008

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has received support from an unexpected quarter. The chairman of the German Left Party, Oskar Lafontaine, has expressed his support for the Bush plan to provide Wall Street with hundreds of billions of tax dollars.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party—Part 2

By , 30 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (US) today continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party. The document was discussed extensively and adopted unanimously at the Founding Congress of the SEP, held August 3-9, 2008.

Political power struggle in Malaysia continues unabated

By John Roberts, 30 September 2008

The deadline set by Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to force the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition from office—September 16—has come and gone. Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is still in power and the government insists that it will continue to rule. Yet the power struggle shows no signs of ending.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Israel’s plan to attack Iran confirmed

By Jean Shaoul, 30 September 2008

Reports confirmed last week that Israel was actively considering a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities last spring.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party--Part 3

By , 30 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (US) today continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party. The document was discussed extensively and adopted unanimously at the Founding Congress of the SEP, held August 3-9, 2008. (See "Socialist Equality Party holds founding Congress"

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party—Part 1

By , 29 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (US) today begins the publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party. The document was discussed extensively and adopted unanimously at the Founding Congress of the SEP, held August 3-9, 2008.

Indian CEO killed after negotiations with group of dismissed workers go awry

By Parwini Zora and Kranti Kumara, 29 September 2008

In the course of heated negotiations between a group of laid-off contract workers and the management of Graziano Transmission India, the company’s chief executive, Lalit Kishore Chaudhary, was killed Monday, September 22nd by a blow to the head.

The Obama-McCain debate: Right-wing politicians agree on bailout and militarism

By Patrick Martin, 29 September 2008

Friday night’s presidential election debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain demonstrated that there is no choice in the 2008 presidential election within the confines of the official two-party system.

Interview with Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, directors of Lorna’s Silence

By David Walsh, 29 September 2008

The WSWS interviewed Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne at the recent Toronto film festival.

The Dardenne brothers: but what about the “extenuating circumstances”?

By David Walsh, 29 September 2008

This is the fifth and final part of a series devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13).

Afghanistan: US, NATO, Karzai regime investigate Azizabad massacre

By Harvey Thompson, 29 September 2008

The United States, NATO, and the Karzai regime in Kabul have announced a joint investigation into the most recent coalition air strike massacre of Afghan civilians.

Democrats take charge of pushing through Bush’s bailout of Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 29 September 2008

Democratic congressional leaders held a press conference late Sunday afternoon to announce agreement on a bill to hand over more than $700 billion in taxpayer funds to US banks and finance houses and press for its passage by Wednesday.

Finland: Second school shooting in less than a year

By Jordan Shilton, 29 September 2008

On Tuesday, September 23, at approximately 11a.m., Finland was hit by the second mass shooting episode in less than 12 months, this time at a college in the town of Kauhajoki.

Philippine government renews its communal war in Mindanao

By Dante Pastrana, 29 September 2008

An offensive by the Philippine military to seize areas of southern Mindanao island controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is now in its seventh week.

Fighting intensifies as Sri Lankan army advances on LTTE stronghold

By Sarath Kumara, 29 September 2008

Heavy fighting is taking place in northern Sri Lanka as government forces advance toward the town of Kilinochchi, which has functioned as the political and military headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil (LTTE) for the past decade.

SEP presidential candidate speaks with workers in Detroit

By , 28 September 2008

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White went with a team of supporters to speak with workers at a crowded farmers market in downtown Detroit on Saturday, September 27. Many spoke with the World Socialist Web Site and contributed to the campaign.

Democrats, Republicans conspire to remove Wall Street bailout from election debate

By Patrick Martin, 27 September 2008

Closed-door talks continued throughout the day Friday between congressional Democratic and Republican leaders and the Bush administration, with all sides pledging to reach agreement on terms of a $700 billion bailout package for the US financial system before the Asian stock markets open Monday morning—Sunday afternoon in the US.

Bavarian election reveals deep divisions within German right

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 27 September 2008

The election being held for the state parliament in Bavaria Sunday could have serious national political repercussions in Germany.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 September 2008

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Britain’s Chancellor Alistair Darling and the International Marxist Group

By Chris Marsden, 27 September 2008

When Britain’s Chancellor Alistair Darling was interviewed by Decca Aitkenhead in the August 30 edition of the Guardian, his comments created an international furore.

Taro Aso: third Japanese prime minister in two years

By John Chan, 27 September 2008

The lower house of Japanese parliament, the Diet, endorsed Taro Aso as Japan’s new prime minister on Wednesday, after he won the post of president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 22. Aso takes over from former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, amid low support for the LDP government, a global financial crisis and signs of recession in the Japanese economy.

Biggest US bank failure ever

By Barry Grey, 27 September 2008

Another US banking giant fell Thursday, with the government seizure of Washington Mutual and the purchase of its operations and assets by JPMorgan Chase.

California: foreclosures and homeless on the rise

By Rafael Azul, 27 September 2008

Stagnating wages, increasing unemployment and rising food and fuel prices are driving a wave of foreclosures in California, forcing hundreds of thousands into destitution. The housing crisis has left many working class families homeless or forced to go to food banks to survive day to day.

European reactions to the financial crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 26 September 2008

The call for a form of “regulated capitalism—that can prevent risky speculative transactions, cutting down to size the power of finance capital and giving priority again to production and trade—runs like a thread through comments and statements of the press and politicians of all stripes. But it is an illusion.

Broken US promises undermine North Korean nuclear agreement

By Peter Symonds, 26 September 2008

The six-party agreement on the denuclearisation of North Korea is threatened with breakdown after Pyongyang took a series of steps this week to restart the plutonium reprocessing plant adjoining its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

German radicals provide political cover for Left Party

By Ulrich Rippert, 26 September 2008

On September 11, the SAV (Socialist Alternative) group announced the entry of Lucy Redler and her supporters into the Left Party. The SAV is affiliated to the Committee for a Workers International, which originated in a British group led by Ted Grant that broke with Trotskyism half a century ago.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 26 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Some urgency about the state of the world

By Joanne Laurier, 26 September 2008

This is the fourth of a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13).

Democrats push for quick adoption of Bush plan to bail out Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2008

The turn of events at the White House summit announced Wednesday night by President Bush and held Thursday to press for bipartisan agreement on his plan for a bailout of Wall Street has underscored the cynical and reactionary role being played by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Barack Obama.

Letters on the Wall Street bailout

By , 26 September 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on the US financial crisis and the Wall Street bailout.

Documents of the SEP Founding Congress: Statement of Principles—Part 2

By , 26 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (US) has begun publication of the documents from its founding Congress, starting with the SEP Statement of Principles. Click here to download a PDF version of the Statement of Principles.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White addresses ISSE meeting at the University of Michigan

By our reporter, 26 September 2008

On September 24, SEP presidential candidate Jerry White spoke on the financial crisis at a well-attended public meeting at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The meeting was the first in a series of election meetings organized by the SEP.

Chrysler 1979: Lessons from an early corporate “bailout”

By Tom Eley, 26 September 2008

In 1979, Chrysler Corporation, the third largest US automaker, hovered on the verge of collapse, a victim of sharply declining revenue and cash-on-hand that had reached the level of threatening daily operations.

Livni’s election and the ongoing shift to the right in Israeli politics

By Jean Shaoul, 26 September 2008

Tzipi Livni, foreign secretary in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Kadima-Labour coalition government, narrowly won the vote for the leadership of the Kadima party after her predecessor was forced to resign over mounting allegations of corruption.

Bloc Québécois covers up its support for the Harper Conservative government

By Guy Charron, 26 September 2008

The Bloc Québécois (BQ), the federal political party that advocates independence for Canada’s only majority French-speaking province, has sought to staunch the haemorrhaging of its support by appealing to Quebec voters on the basis that only the BQ can prevent the coming to power of a Conservative majority government.

Contradictory verdicts in Australia’s largest terrorism trial

By Mike Head, 26 September 2008

Australia’s largest and most protracted terrorist trial ended with distinctly mixed results last week in Melbourne. After a Victorian Supreme Court trial that ran for 115 days, the jury took nearly four weeks to reach their verdicts.

World’s largest particle accelerator begins operations

By Dan Conway, 25 September 2008

On September 10, scientists at CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, successfully sent a beam of protons around a 17-mile ring overlapping the borders of France and Switzerland. This marked the beginning of the largest, most ambitious science experiment in all of human history, the Large Hadron Collider.

Sri Lankan police release arrested SEP member

By the the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 September 2008

Sri Lankan police have finally released Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his brother-in-law Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan. The release took place at the office of the Negombo area magistrate on Tuesday.

Bush demands passage of Wall Street bailout

By Socialist Equality Party, 25 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party emphatically rejects President George Bush’s call, in his televised speech Wednesday night, for a massive bailout of Wall Street.

Obama’s embrace of bailout wins favor on Wall Street

By Patrick Martin, 25 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has seized upon the financial crisis to increase his support within the US financial elite by giving all-out backing to a federal bailout of Wall Street and providing assurances that an Obama administration will be a reliable and ruthless defender of corporate interests.

Army deploys combat unit in US for possible civil unrest

By Bill Van Auken, 25 September 2008

For the first time ever, the US military is deploying an active duty regular Army combat unit for full-time use inside the United States to deal with emergencies, including potential civil unrest.

WHO report discloses extent of global health inequality

By Barry Mason, 25 September 2008

In August the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report, “Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health.”

New documentary on Pinochet’s dictatorship: Some wounds should not heal

By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008

The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

French parliament votes for continued military presence in Afghanistan

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 September 2008

On September 22, the French National Assembly and the Senate voted for government’s motion approving the continued presence of France’s military contingent in Afghanistan.

Australia: Methane gas landfill leak forces residents to evacuate suburb

By Peter Byrne, 25 September 2008

On September 11, Country Fire Authority chief officer Russell Rees advised owners of about 250 houses in the working class outer-Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne to move out after methane levels of 60 to 65 percent were found in some houses. Concentrations of 5-15 percent are considered an explosion risk.

Documents of the SEP Founding Congress: Statement of Principles

By , 25 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (US) today begins publication of the documents from its founding Congress, starting with the first part of the SEP Statement of Principles. The Statement of Principles was unanimously adopted by the Congress, held August 3-9, 2008.

Brown at Britain’s Labour conference: Bailout for banks, nothing for jobless and homeowners

By Julie Hyland, 24 September 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s keynote speech to the Labour Party conference was billed as a declaration of war on the “something-for-nothing” society. It served as a perfect reminder of why his government is so detested.

An interview with Chus Gutiérrez, director of Return to Hansala

By David Walsh, 24 September 2008

The WSWS interviewed Chus Gutiérrez at the recent Toronto film festival. (See “Toronto International Film Festival 2008--Part 3: Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City: What the filmmakers now see”)

The origins and implications of the financial crisis: A Marxist analysis

By , 24 September 2008

Between now and Election Day, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White and vice presidential candidate Bill Van Auken will speak at a series of meetings throughout the country.

Letters and a reply on Zimbabwe

By , 24 September 2008

The following letters were received in response to the September 19 article, “Power-sharing deal signed in Zimbabwe.” They are followed by a reply by the article’s author, Ann Talbot.

West Bengal: Standoff continues over Stalinists’ land seizure for Tata Motors

By Ajay Prakash and Keith Jones, 24 September 2008

The political situation in West Bengal remains highly charged, with the Left Front state government desperately seeking to put an end to peasant agitation against the seizure of prime agricultural land for a Tata Motors car assembly complex.

China’s milk crisis: another disaster unleashed by the capitalist market

By John Chan, 24 September 2008

The contamination of Chinese milk products with the toxic industrial chemical melamine is rapidly becoming a major national and international scandal. Already, some 53,000 infants have become sick and at least 12,892 have been hospitalised.

French postal service to be privatised

By Olivier Laurent, 24 September 2008

President Nicolas Sarkozy announced September 17 the creation of a commission comprised mostly of political and trade union representatives to discuss the privatisation of the French postal service. It is to produce a report November 30.

Obama says bailout will postpone spending plans

By Patrick Martin, 24 September 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said that the $700 billion bailout of US financial institutions now moving through Congress would force a delay in additional spending by an incoming Democratic administration.

The ties that bind: Dodd, Schumer and Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2008

There is nothing mysterious about the abject servility exhibited by the members of the Senate Banking Committee toward Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at Tuesday’s hearing.

Forbes publishes list of 400 wealthiest Americans

By Tom Eley, 24 September 2008

Even as the US careens into its greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, the financial aristocracy whose parasitism and criminality has brought on the crisis has held its own—and then some.

The 70th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International

By the the, 24 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International with public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne this week. SEP national secretary Nick Beams, a member of the World Socialist Web Site international editorial board and an authority on Marxist political economy, is the keynote speaker.

The LCR covers for “left” supporters of French imperialism in Afghanistan

By Francois Dubois and Peter Schwarz, 24 September 2008

On September 20, demonstrations were held in 10 different French cities demanding the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan. Protests against the war in Afghanistan were also held in a number of other European countries, including Britain, Italy and Germany.

Britain: Cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes—“We fear another cover-up”

By our correspondent, 24 September 2008

Patricia da Silva Armani is the cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes. She spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the eve of the coroner’s inquest convened into the innocent Brazilian’s brutal murder by a police gun squad.

Canada: Financial crisis intrudes on federal election campaign

By Carl Bronski and Keith Jones, 24 September 2008

The meltdown of the US and global financial system, the panic sell-offs on international stock exchanges, and the unprecedented plans by the US Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board for a massive $700 billion bailout of collapsing American banks and other financial institution, all made a rather rude intrusion into Canada’s federal election campaign last week.

Germany’s war in Afghanistan

By Ludwig Weller, 24 September 2008

The official explanation that the 3,500 German soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are only “construction workers in uniform” is no longer tenable. The events in which they are embroiled are becoming bloodier each day. Increasingly, German soldiers are killing insurgents and civilians, or are themselves being killed.

Democrats signal support for Wall Street bailout at Senate hearing

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2008

At a hearing Tuesday, Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee assured Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke that they would move quickly to pass legislation authorizing the Bush administration to launch a trillion-dollar-plus bailout of Wall Street.

Wall Street falls reflect concerns over bailout and fears for US economy

By Peter Symonds, 24 September 2008

US stocks suffered their worst two-day slump in six years this week, amid concerns in financial circles about any obstruction or delay to the Bush administration’s massive $700 billion bailout announced last Friday as well as its adequacy and long-term consequences.

Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky, Terence Davies’ Of Time and the City: What the filmmakers now see

By David Walsh, 24 September 2008

This is the third of a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13). To create a visually appealing and insightful film is difficult. There are many technical problems to confront, as well as the complex task of developing the themes and overall mood of a work in an artistic manner. To withstand various pressures, to tell the truth without flinching, to be true to what is best in oneself—none of this is easy.

Banks race to profit from US bailout

By Barry Grey, 23 September 2008

The announcement of a virtually open-ended government bailout of Wall Street has set off a frenzied competition among the biggest banks and financial firms to grab the lion’s share of the super profits to be reaped from the program.

Paulson warns: No limits on CEO pay

By Barry Grey, 23 September 2008

US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson opposed proposals from some Democrats as well as Republicans that the Bush administration’s plan for a massive taxpayer bailout of the most powerful banks and financial institutions include provisions limiting the pay of CEOs whose companies benefit from the government handout.

Who is Henry Paulson?

By Tom Eley, 23 September 2008

The plan to rescue the US financial industry arrogates virtually unlimited money and power over the financial affairs of the state to the office of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Obama demands deep cutbacks to pay for Wall Street bailout

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2008

As the Bush administration and Congress continued negotiations Monday on a trillion-dollar bailout package for Wall Street, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama delivered a speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin in which he promised to carry out sweeping cuts in government spending and impose strict fiscal discipline on the US government.

Letters from our readers

By , 23 September 2008

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

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 23 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Georgia death row prisoner faces execution following denial of clemency

By Kate Randall, 23 September 2008

The state of Georgia is intent on executing Troy Anthony Davis. Barring a last-minute intervention by the US Supreme Court, Davis will die by lethal injection Tuesday at 7 p.m. local time in the death chamber at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification State Prison in Jackson.

France: Union thugs threaten immigrants at a Communist Party fair

By Antoine Lerougetel, 23 September 2008

Members of the Coordination des sans Papiers 75 (CSP75), which organises some 2,000 undocumented workers and their families in Paris, are reported to have been told by CGT officials that they would do all in their power to prevent their applications for legal residence from being granted.

Statement of the International Students for Social Equality (Britain)

By , 23 September 2008

The following statement is being distributed by the ISSE during Freshers’ Week at university campuses across the UK.

Deborah Kerr: an actor with genuine subtlety and integrity

By Richard Phillips, 23 September 2008

This is the last in a series of articles on the 2008 Sydney Film Festival. Part 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 appeared on September 16, 17, 18, 19 and 22 respectively.

Sri Lankan police detain SEP member for over a week

By K. Ratnayake, 23 September 2008

Sri Lankan police are still holding Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Velummailum Kamalthasan and his brother-in-law Santhiralingam Ilancheliyan in the police lock-up at Negombo after more than a week, in spite of vigorous objections by the SEP.

California budget: $7 billion in cuts, tax breaks for big business

By Rafael Azul and Dan Conway, 22 September 2008

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, together with Democratic and Republican legislators, agreed Friday on the final details on California’s budget for the 2008/2009 fiscal year, breaking a 12-week impasse.

Scotland: Alex Salmond and Thatcherism

By Steve James, 22 September 2008

The appointment of Sir Angus Grossart to the Scottish Futures Trust reveals a great deal about the social and political character of the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh.

Ethiopia threatens to withdraw from Somalia

By Brian Smith, 22 September 2008

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has warned that he is prepared to withdraw his country’s troops from Somalia, where they are propping up the US-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG), even if the latter was not in control of the country.

Germany: The international financial crisis and illusions in an enlightened capitalism

By Peter Schwarz, 22 September 2008

A week following the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers the extent and consequences of the international financial crisis still remain incalculable. Not a single country or continent is exempt from the crisis.

SEP presidential candidate denounces Wall Street bailout

By , 22 September 2008

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate denounces Wall Street bailout and the support for it given by the Democratic Party. Jerry White declares that working people are being forced to pay the debts of the very people responsible for the economic crisis.

Yung Chang speaks with WSWS about Up the Yangtze

By Richard Phillips, 22 September 2008

This is the fifth in a series of articles on the 2008 Sydney Film Festival. Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 appeared on September 16, 17, 18 and 19 respectively.

Marriott Hotel bombing: another sign of Pakistan’s deepening crisis

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2008

The massive bomb blast that devastated the luxury Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday evening is one more sign of the deepening political crisis in Pakistan produced by the Bush administration’s spreading “war on terrorism”.

Row over Internet "war plans" highlights China-Vietnam tensions

By John Chan, 22 September 2008

Relations between Vietnam and China deteriorated over the past fortnight after Hanoi formally protested at online discussions in China about a war with Vietnam. While only a small layer of Chinese nationalist fanatics made the web postings, the incident underscores the ongoing tensions between the two countries.

No to Wall Street bailout! The socialist answer to the financial crisis

By Socialist Equality Party National Committee, 22 September 2008

The Socialist Equality Party and its presidential and vice presidential candidates, Jerome White and Bill Van Auken, unequivocally oppose the plan to bail out Wall Street with hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds announced by the Bush administration and embraced by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership.

Safety incidents plague Australian airline

By Terry Cook, 22 September 2008

A string of safety incidents has raised mounting questions about an underlying deterioration of maintenance and safety standards at Qantas, the privatised Australian airline.

Withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq! A socialist answer to war and militarism

By Socialist and Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 20 September 2008

Demonstrations calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan are taking place today in German, French and British cities. The Socialist Equality Party and the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, the British and German sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International, support this demand. We call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

US government to bail out Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 20 September 2008

The Bush administration on Friday announced plans for a massive and unprecedented federal bailout of the US banking system. In separate appearances Friday morning, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and President Bush announced a series of measures to shore up collapsing financial markets and called on Congress to pass legislation next week to use, in Paulson’s words, “hundreds of billions” of taxpayer dollars to buy virtually worthless mortgage-backed assets that cannot be sold on the market from banks and other financial institutions.

Japan’s ruling party to select new prime minister as economy slides into recession

By John Chan, 20 September 2008

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is due to pick a replacement for outgoing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on Monday.

Social drama

By Joanne Laurier, 20 September 2008

This is the second of a series of articles devoted to the recent Toronto film festival (September 4-13).  Part 1 was published September 18. A deeply felt humanism characterized many of the films seen by this reviewer at the Toronto festival. For the most part, such films exhibited insight and sensitivity about how people operate in their daily lives in distressing social circumstances. Not much was taken lightly, even in comedies. The plight of immigrants or the native-born in some of the poorest—and richest—of lands was often rendered with care.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 20 September 2008

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Canadian Medical Association Journal attacks Harper government for listeria epidemic

By John Mackay, 20 September 2008

The Canadian Medical Association Journal, one of the world’s top medical publications, has made a scathing attack on Canada’s Conservative government, charging that “government policy errors helped bring about” the recent epidemic of listeriosis.

Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS leaves Britain’s banks in trouble

By Julie Hyland, 20 September 2008

Lloyds TSB’s £12 billion takeover of Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) Thursday followed a collapse of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders’ shares, which threatened to destablise the entire British banking system.

US-Pakistani relations remain on the boil

By Keith Jones, 20 September 2008

Only hours after giving military assurances that US forces would respect Pakistan’s sovereignty, the US staged another predator-drone attack inside Pakistan, killing at least six people in a South Waziristan village.