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World economic crisis provokes fall of Hungary’s government

By Markus Salzmann, 31 March 2009

The resignation of the Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany is a result of the rapidly deteriorating economic situation that has led to political turbulence throughout Eastern Europe.

An interview with Jennifer Venditti, director of Billy the Kid

By Joanne Laurier, 31 March 2009

The WSWS spoke recently with Jennifer Venditti, director of Billy the Kid.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 March 2009

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

Britain: Brown’s fiscal stimulus no longer an option for G20 summit

By Chris Talbot and Chris Marsden, 31 March 2009

The governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, took the unprecedented step of overruling official government policy last week.

Billy the Kid: “Can you see inside me?”

By Joanne Laurier, 31 March 2009

Billy the Kid is an unusual independent film, about a teenager in a small town in Maine.

British police to investigate MI5 over Binyam Mohamed's torture

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2009

Britain’s attorney general has authorised a police investigation into whether MI5 was complicit in the torture of ex-Guantánamo detainee Binyam Mohamed.

Spanish court weighs torture charges against former US officials

By Bill Van Auken, 31 March 2009

A Spanish court is considering criminal charges against former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other top officials in the Bush administration for providing legal justification for torture, and other crimes associated with the “war on terror.”

Ireland: Taxi strike, student protests after unions call off national strike

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2009

Only a 24-hour work stoppage by Dublin taxi drivers and a lecture boycott by students at University College Dublin went ahead after the Irish Congress of Trade Unions called off the national strike scheduled for March 30.

American mayhem: Three horrible crimes over the weekend

By David Walsh, 31 March 2009

At least 17 people are dead after three violent episodes in the US over the weekend in North Carolina, California and Massachusetts.

Obama declares war on auto workers

By Joe Kishore, 31 March 2009

In a statement dripping with class arrogance and cynicism, President Obama rejected the cost-cutting proposals of the auto companies as insufficient and demanded further concessions from auto workers.

Obama demands deeper cuts in auto workers’ jobs, wages, benefits

By Jerry White, 31 March 2009

President Obama outlined his administration’s plans to downsize the auto industry and impose more brutal wage and benefit concessions on auto workers.

Letters from our readers

By , 31 March 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

Australian airport death used to justify new police powers

By Mike Head, 31 March 2009

Led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the federal and state Labor governments in Australia have seized upon a fatal brawl at Sydney airport last week to bring forward plans for extraordinary legislation to outlaw organisations.

Sri Lanka: School principals protest in Colombo over pay claim

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 31 March 2009

More than 1,500 public school principals protested in Colombo on March 25 to demand an end to longstanding salary anomalies.

Germany: SAV promotes illusions in the Left Party

By Lucas Adler, 30 March 2009

The international economic crisis and mass protests throughout Europe mean political formations like the Left Party become increasingly significant for the ruling class, serving to prevent the independent mobilisation of the working class in a socialist direction.

London: 35,000 march in “Put People First” protest

By Chris Marsden, 30 March 2009

A march by 35,000 people through London was perhaps the largest of a number of protests in Europe directed towards this week’s G-20 summit.

European powers rebuff US, British proposals for economic stimulus

By Patrick Martin, 30 March 2009

Despite the attempts to present a picture of responsible world leaders gathering to consult and cooperate on reviving the world economy, the participants in the G-20 summit will arrive in London effectively crippled and deeply at odds.

After the slaughter: political lessons of the Balkan War

By David North, 30 March 2009

March 24 marked the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the 11-week US-NATO bombardment of Serbia and Kosovo. This statement by David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party, was originally published on June 14, 1999.

Obama escalates war in Central Asia

By World Socialist Web Site editorial board, 30 March 2009

The new military strategy announced by President Barack Obama in Afghanistan marks a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan and the official transformation of Pakistan into a theater of US military action.

Edward Upward: An artistic vision at odds with his politics

By Paul Bond, 30 March 2009

British writer Edward Upward, who died last month, aged 105, was a remarkable figure.

Workers denounce union for imposing concessions

By Carl Bronski, 30 March 2009

World Socialist Web Site reporting teams intervened at all three of Chrysler Canada’s manufacturing facilities in southern Ontario this weekend, as talks between the Canadian Auto Workers union and the company reached an impasse over the size of the concessions package that the two sides are negotiating.

Indonesian dam collapse disaster leaves 100 dead

By Patrick O'Connor, 30 March 2009

A dam in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, burst last Friday, destroying hundreds of homes. The official death toll stands at 97; another 102 people are officially listed as missing. The number of missing persons could be higher, however, as many of the area’s residents are believed to be university students temporarily renting rooms.

Sri Lankan election: SEP campaigns among railway workers

By W.A. Sunil, 30 March 2009

As a part of its campaign for the Colombo district in the Western Provincial Council election, the Socialist Equality Party visited the quarters of railway workers in Ratmalana—a major industrial zone 15 kilometres south of Colombo city.

Germany: Thousands demonstrate on eve of G-20 summit

By our reporters, 30 March 2009

Just days before the G-20 summit in London, tens of thousands took to the streets of the German capital Berlin and its main finance centre Frankfurt-Main on Saturday to protest the policies of the German government and political establishment.

Iraqi government turns on Sunni “Awakening” militias

By James Cogan, 30 March 2009

Amid the ongoing claims of victory in Iraq, American forces and the pro-US government have come into conflict with predominantly Sunni Arab militias that were bribed into ending their resistance to the occupation during the “surge” in 2007.

Video: WSWS interviews G-20 protesters in London

By , 30 March 2009

Protesters ahead of the G-20 summit speak on the financial crisis, increasing militarism and climate change.

Populist businessman takes power in Madagascar

By Barry Mason, 28 March 2009

Opposition leader Andry Rajoelina has been sworn in president of the Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar.

Ireland: Trade unions call off March 30 national strike

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 28 March 2009

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called off its planned one-day national strike scheduled for March 30.

US: Unemployment hits double digits in seven states

By Barry Grey, 28 March 2009

Three more states in the US recorded jobless rates of more than 10 percent in February, bringing the total thus far to seven, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 March 2009

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

Obama holds “very pleasant” meeting with top US bankers

By Joe Kishore, 28 March 2009

Obama met behind closed doors with executives from the largest US banks Friday, reassuring the titans of finance that his administration has their best interests at heart.

Oppose Canada’s ban on British anti-war MP Galloway!

By Keith Jones, 28 March 2009

The Canadian government’s claim that George Galloway is a terrorist accomplice is an outrageous, politically-motivated attempt to smear the British anti-war MP and to rob Canadians of their democratic and constitutionally-protected right to hear his views.

WTO forecasts huge drop in global trade

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2009

In a report released this week, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has predicted a decline in global trade this year of 9 percent by volume—the largest since World War II.

Obama announces escalation of war in Afghanistan, Pakistan

By Alex Lantier, 28 March 2009

The policy announced by President Obama represents a massive increase in military violence not only in Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan.

G20 summit protest: A socialist answer to the global crisis is needed

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 27 March 2009

Saturday’s mass protest in London directed towards the G20 summit raises fundamental questions of political perspective.

EU president declares US economic policy is the “road to hell”

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2009

One day after being ousted as head of the Czech government Mirek Topolanek, who currently holds the revolving chair of the European Union, openly criticised the financial policy of the US government, telling European parliamentary deputies that America was on the “road to hell”.

Obama administration calls for changes in financial regulation

By Andre Damon, 27 March 2009

Tim Geithner, US Treasury secretary, testified before the House Financial Services Committee Thursday, proposing to overhaul the US financial regulation system.

Washington escalates “drug war” intervention in Mexico

By Bill Van Auken, 27 March 2009

With its reinforcement of federal agents on the border, increased aid to the Mexican military and visits by Secretary of State Clinton and other top US officials, the Obama administration is escalating its intervention in Mexico’s “drug war.”

Reject CAW sellout at Chrysler! Mobilize autoworkers across North America to defend all jobs and oppose all concessions!

By Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 27 March 2009

If Chrysler workers are not to be blackmailed into paying for the losses of the Detroit Three, they must reject the nationalist and pro-capitalist perspective of the CAW and fight to mobilize the strength of autoworkers across North America in a struggle against all concessions, layoffs and plant closures.

Australia: The political issues behind the jailing of former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld

By Patrick O'Connor and Richard Hoffman, 27 March 2009

Many serious questions surrounding the Einfeld affair remain unanswered. But the timing and nature of the media and police investigations into his speeding infringement point to the distinct possibility that they were motivated by a political desire, on the part of the former Howard government, to blacken Einfeld’s name and undermine his professional credibility.

Nick Beams to speak at WSWS/SEP conferences in US

By , 27 March 2009

Nick Beams, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and leading expert in Marxist political economy, will speak at conferences in the US on “The World Economic Crisis, the Failure of Capitalism, and the Case for Socialism.”

Turkish municipal elections dominated by economic, political crisis

By Sinan Ikinci, 27 March 2009

Municipal elections scheduled for March 29 in Turkey are bringing into sharp relief the impact of the global economic crisis and the internecine warfare between two factions of the ruling elite, the Islamists and Kemalists.

Duplicity: The essential unseriousness of it

By David Walsh, 27 March 2009

After the relatively critical edge of Michael Clayton, filmmaker Tony Gilroy appears to offer an olive branch to Hollywood in the form of the trivial, unengaged Duplicity.

SEP public meeting launches provincial election campaign

By our correspondents, 27 March 2009

The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka held its first public meeting on March 24, as part of the party’s campaign for the Colombo district in the Western Provincial Council election on April 25.

Czech government ousted as economy flounders

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2009

The Czech government led by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek narrowly lost a vote of confidence in parliament March 24 and the government coalition will be forced to step down.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 27 March 2009

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

The return of Hoovervilles

By Tom Eley, 27 March 2009

While the Obama administration dispenses with trillions of dollars to the finance industry, homeless encampments—reminiscent of the “Hoovervilles” of the Great Depression—have reemerged in a number of American cities.

No answers for joblessness, austerity

By Dan Conway and Kevin Martinez, 26 March 2009

At town hall meetings last week in California, Obama feigned outrage at Wall Street’s theft of public funds while seeking to convince his audiences that more sacrifice was needed by them to rescue the US financial system.

The capitalist crisis and the return of history

By David North, 26 March 2009

David North, the national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US), spoke last week at San Diego State University (March 19) and University of California, Berkeley (March 22) on “The Capitalist Crisis and the Return of History.” We publish here the notes upon which his lectures were based.

Sri Lanka: Two years since the disappearance of SEP member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran

By K. Ratnayake, 26 March 2009

Last Sunday marked two years since the disappearance of Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Nadarajah Wimaleswaran and his friend Sivanathan Mathivathanan.

Letters from our readers

By , 26 March 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

US government department routinely ignores labor law violations

By Jerry White, 26 March 2009

A report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) details how the Department of Labor routinely ignores low-wage workers who complain about the violation of federal minimum wage, overtime and child labor laws.

Two months on: The class agenda of the Obama administration

By Barry Grey, 26 March 2009

Over the past two months, culminating in the events of the past week, the Obama administration has single-mindedly worked to win the confidence of Wall Street.

Canada defends ban on British anti-war MP

By Keith Jones, 26 March 2009

Lawyers for British anti-war MP George Galloway are mounting a court challenge to a Canadian government order that prohibits him from entering the country on the grounds he is a “national security” threat and terrorist accomplice.

Global investors ponder implications of US dollar collapse

By Alex Lantier, 26 March 2009

The world bourgeoisie is beginning to consider the consequences of the huge deficit spending and money-printing operations that the Obama administration is using to fund its bailouts of Wall Street and major banks.

The world economic crisis and the socialist alternative

By , 26 March 2009

The world economy is experiencing its greatest crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Amidst the breakdown of the global financial system, industrial production and world trade are falling dramatically. The US and the rest of the world, including New Zealand, face the spectre of mass unemployment and poverty.

The Opel crisis fuels divisions in Germany’s coalition government

By Ulrich Rippert, 26 March 2009

At the heart of the disputes inside the German coalition government is how to deal with the consequences of the international financial and economic crisis.

Labor joins Netanyahu coalition as evidence of war crimes in Gaza mounts

By Chris Marsden, 26 March 2009

The decision of the Labor Party to join the coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu allows Likud to form the most right wing government in Israel’s history.

Poverty, unemployment and homelessness hit Japanese workers

By Carol Divjak, 26 March 2009

With the Japanese economy hit hard by plummeting exports and a deep recession, hundreds of thousands of people are facing unemployment and poverty.

New York Times publishes “persecuted” AIG executive’s resignation letter

By Tom Eley, 26 March 2009

On Wednesday, the New York Times ran a lengthy resignation letter from one of the AIG executives who had received a huge bonus after the company had been bailed out by the federal government.

EU leaders cancel “jobs summit” to avoid protests

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 March 2009

With unemployment increasing across Europe EU leaders decided to cancel “jobs summit” in order to avoid protests.

Obama’s “carrot and stick” approach to Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 March 2009

The US administration made a much publicised gesture toward Iran last Friday with the release of a video by President Obama to mark Nowruz, the Persian New Year. While the tone was conciliatory, the essential strategy remains the “carrot and stick” policy outlined by Obama in his election campaign.

Protest letters against LTTE threats

By , 25 March 2009

The World Socialist Web Site has received more letters in response to the March 9 statement “Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!”

Obama press conference reveals right-wing consensus in Washington

By Patrick Martin, 25 March 2009

The presidential press conference held Tuesday night, nationally televised from the White House, was a demonstration of the vast social gulf that separates the financial and political establishment of the United States and the working people who constitute the vast majority of the population.

IMF director warns of war

By Joe Kishore, 25 March 2009

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned Monday that the “dire” economic crisis poses the danger of social unrest and war.

Sweden: Saab announces more layoffs as unions agree to wage cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 25 March 2009

Saab announced 750 job cuts at its main plant in Trollhätten on March 12.

Democrats prepare to ditch AIG bonus bill

By Tom Eley, 25 March 2009

Leading Democrats have indicated that they will abandon legislation imposing a 90 percent surtax on bonuses awarded by AIG and other firms that have received government bailout funds.

Somalia: US policy shift towards Islamists after Ethiopian pullout

By Brian Smith, 25 March 2009

Somali MPs have elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, leader of the Djibouti-based Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), as the country’s new president.

Ontario: Growing numbers of “working poor”

By Daryus Jenkins, 25 March 2009

Even before the eruption of the world financial crisis and under conditions where Ontario was experiencing relatively rapid economic growth, working people’s living standards were stagnating and hundreds of thousands, including one child and youth in every nine, were forced to live in poverty.

Australia: Rudd government tries to block Guantánamo torture case

By Mike Head, 25 March 2009

Like the Obama administration, the Rudd government is using every possible legal device to suppress evidence of torture at Guantánamo Bay. It is trying to block a compensation case by Mamdouh Habib, who was detained there for three years without trial or charge.

Germany: Campaign to place the PSG on the ballot wins wide support

By our correspondents, 25 March 2009

Members and supporters of the German Socialist Equality Party have met with widespread support in their campaign to put the PSG on the ballot for the European election due in June.

US prepares new escalation of Afghanistan intervention

By Patrick Martin, 24 March 2009

The chief official overseeing US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan arrived in Brussels Monday to brief NATO representatives on the Obama administration plans for the region amid press reports that the US intends to push aside Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Britain’s Guardian writes “in praise” of Lord Myners

By Julie Hyland, 24 March 2009

The arrogance and social disengagement of the layer allied with New Labour was typified by the Guardian’s editorial March 18.

Bay City, Michigan: Fifteen-year-old dies after Taser shooting

By Tom Eley, 24 March 2009

On Sunday, a 15-year-old Michigan boy in Bay City, Michigan died after police fired a Taser “stun gun” on him.

Chinese central banker says US dollar should be replaced as global reserve currency

By Andre Damon, 24 March 2009

The remarks of Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the Chinese Central bank, underscore the deepening conflicts engendered by the economic crisis and the response of the American ruling class.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 March 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

New space telescope to search for earth-sized planets

By Bryan Dyne, 24 March 2009

On March 6, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration successfully launched the Kepler mission, which will observe 100,000 stars in search of smaller, Earth-sized planets.

German-based tire maker announces European plant closures

By Kumaran Ira, 24 March 2009

The decision of German-based tire maker and auto-parts supplier Continental AG to close plants in France and Germany is provoking widespread opposition and controversy in France.

Australia: Labor clings to office in Queensland

By Mike Head, 24 March 2009

Saturday’s general election in the Australian state of Queensland saw Labor’s vote fall 4.3 percentage points to 42.6 percent—a swing that, if repeated nationally, would be enough to oust Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s federal Labor government.

Wall Street celebrates government windfall for banks and big investors

By Barry Grey, 24 March 2009

Wall Street erupted in a demonstration of euphoria and greed Monday as the Obama administration announced a plan to offload bankers’ bad debts that amounts to an unprecedented looting of taxpayer funds to benefit the financial elite.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 March 2009

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

US, China and the war in Sri Lanka

By Peter Symonds, 24 March 2009

Diplomatic skirmishing in the UN Security Council between the US and China over the war in Sri Lanka underscores the intensifying rivalry for influence in every corner of the globe. Both powers are intent on staking out their claims in Colombo as the 25-year conflict on the island reaches its climax.

Obama’s auto task force: a collection of Wall Street investors and asset strippers

By Jerry White, 24 March 2009

Obama’s auto task force is made up of former private equity investors and corporate asset strippers involved in previous restructurings where tens of thousands of workers were robbed of their jobs, wages and pensions.

Economic conditions worsen in Iraq

By James Cogan, 23 March 2009

After six years of occupation and repression, millions of Iraqis now face a further deterioration in their appalling living standards due to the collapse in world production and trade.

Obama administration plan for “toxic assets”: A windfall for Wall Street

By Barry Grey, 23 March 2009

The Obama administration is expected to provide more details today of its plan to enable Wall Street banks to offload up to $1 trillion of their bad mortgage loans and other “toxic” assets at public expense.

Canada bars British anti-war MP Galloway

By Keith Jones, 23 March 2009

Canada’s Conservative government has barred British anti-war MP George Galloway from entering the country on the grounds he represents a threat to Canada’s “national security.”

Wall Street hysterics over the AIG bonus bill

By Joe Kishore, 23 March 2009

Wall Street bankers have come out in full force to denounce bonus restrictions, and the Obama administration is moving to water down or block such legislation making its way through Congress.

Protest letters against LTTE threats

By , 23 March 2009

The World Socialist Web Site has received more letters in response to the March 9 statement “Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!”

Britain: The significance of the Scargill/Kinnock row

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2009

A bitter row between Arthur Scargill and Neil Kinnock has played itself out in the media and at rival public meetings in the UK.

EU summit rejects US demand for increased stimulus packages

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 March 2009

European Union leaders emerged from a two-day summit last week. The 27 assembled heads of government and state announced that they had been able to reach a consensus on a number of measures in response to the growing international financial and economic crisis.

Australia: Economic crisis provokes turmoil within Liberal Party leadership

By Patrick O'Connor, 23 March 2009

While there is no shortage of personal ambition at stake, the current infighting within the Liberal Party is not merely the product of ego-driven personalities. Rather, it reflects a wider debate within corporate and media circles on how to respond to the deepening world economic crisis.

Washington DC: Over 3 percent infected with HIV or AIDS

By Ed Hightower, 23 March 2009

According to a new report, the HIV rate in Washington DC is the highest in the country, with nearly 3 percent of residents living with HIV/AIDS.

Israeli troops detail Gaza atrocities as demand grows for war crimes probe

By Bill Van Auken, 21 March 2009

Testimony by Israeli soldiers detailing atrocities in which they participated or that they witnessed has fueled demands for an international war crimes tribunal to investigate the Israeli siege of Gaza last December and January.

Reports on the March 19 demonstrations in France

By a WSWS reporting team, 21 March 2009

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers and youth participating in demonstrations in France on March 19.

A case of class law: harsh judgement against Berlin cashier

By Verena Nees, 21 March 2009

While speculators and criminal banking agencies go unpunished, a Berlin shop worker is sacked on suspicion of pocketing €1.30.

More protest letters against LTTE threats

By , 21 March 2009

The World Socialist Web Site has received further letters in response to the March 9 statement “Oppose LTTE campaign of threats and violence against SEP supporters in Europe!”

SEP candidate addresses power workers in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 21 March 2009

A meeting of power workers in Sri Lanka called to discuss legislation that sets the stage for privatisation has highlighted the political gulf between the Socialist Equality Party’s perspective and that of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 21 March 2009

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

Britain: The fraud of Brown’s “crusade” for social mobility

By Simon Whelan, 21 March 2009

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has proclaimed a “national crusade” to encourage upward social mobility.

Obama maneuvers to protect Wall Street bonuses

By Barry Grey, 21 March 2009

Obama is attempting to navigate between placating public anger over AIG and similar outrages by Wall Street firms that have received hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer funds and satisfying the demands of the financial elite, which will brook no government interference in its drive for self-enrichment.