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Auto parts maker Visteon files for bankruptcy

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2009

Visteon, the auto parts supplier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. The company, which was spun off from Ford in 1997, is one among dozens of auto parts suppliers facing bankruptcy amid the economic crisis and the downturn in the auto industry.

More letters on Obama, Cheney and democratic rights

By , 30 May 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on the Obama administration, Cheney and the threat of dictatorship in America.

Obama administration targets the working class

By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2009

The drastic cuts imposed on auto workers at General Motors and Chrysler are not an exception, but the rule. The Obama administration is spearheading an assault by the entire corporate ruling elite in the United States against the jobs, wages and benefits of the working class.

Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic claims US granted him immunity

By Paul Mitchell, 30 May 2009

Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has alleged he was given an immunity deal by US diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the end of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s 1992-1995 war.

India’s Congress-led government to do big business’ bidding

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 May 2009

India’s Congress Party-led government, which won re-election in this month’s general election, has rushed to reassure big business that it will do its bidding, accelerating the pace of neoliberal reform and reining in a rapidly escalating budget deficit.

Sri Lankan government prepares broad attack on democratic rights

By S. Jayanth, 30 May 2009

The Sri Lankan government has refused to lift its state of emergency and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, which allows security forces to continue their arbitrary detention without trial of “LTTE suspects”.

Capitalist breakdown and the need for a socialist Europe

By , 30 May 2009

The Socialist Equality Party will be holding a public meeting on Sunday, June 7, in Manchester, England.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 30 May 2009

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

The Opel rescue plan: Who is being rescued?

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2009

Irrespective of which takeover bid is successful, all the proposed plans for Opel involve job cuts, wage reductions, cuts in break time and more shift work.

US cybersecurity plan poses new war threats, attacks on democratic rights

By Tom Eley, 30 May 2009

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced the creation of a “cyber czar” who would oversee the defense of US financial networks. Separately, plans proceeded within the military-intelligence apparatus to develop a Cyber Command that would have offensive-war capabilities.

Solomon Islands: Julian Moti challenges Australian government’s “politically-motivated” prosecution

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2009

International constitutional lawyer and former Solomon Islands attorney general Julian Moti is challenging statutory rape charges now being heard in the Australian judicial system as trumped-up and politically motivated.

Lymelife: How filmmakers look at recent American life

By David Walsh, 30 May 2009

Lymelife, directed and co-written by Derick Martini (along with his brother Steven), takes place in a New York City suburb in the late 1970s or early 1980s. The film has its share of clichés, but it also reveals a certain insight.

Canada: Furor over soaring federal budget deficit

By Keith Jones, 29 May 2009

Canada’s Finance Minister has attributed the sharp rise in the projected federal budget deficit to plummeting tax revenues, increased Employment Insurance (EI) claims, and the cost of the auto industry bailout.

French Socialist Party considers alliances to the left and to the right

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 29 May 2009

The poor performance of the Socialist Party (PS), France's main bourgeois left party, in the European election campaign is provoking widespread concern in the French political and media establishment and calls for new political alliances.

“England People” deeply flawed

By Paul Bond, 29 May 2009

Richard Bean’s latest play England People Very Nice fails both artistically and politically.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 May 2009

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 29 May 2009

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

Thai economy contracts, exacerbating political tensions

By John Roberts, 29 May 2009

Efforts by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to stabilise his shaky coalition government are being undermined by the country’s deteriorating economy.

US: Army base ordered on stand-down after multiple suicides

By Naomi Spencer, 29 May 2009

Members of the 101st Airborne Division were ordered to suspend regular operations at the Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Army base Wednesday after the suicide toll rose to 11 for the year.

US Army chief sees Iraq, Afghanistan occupations continuing for a decade

By Bill Van Auken, 29 May 2009

Amid mounting violence in Iraq and preparations for a major escalation of the US war in Afghanistan, the chief of staff of the US Army said that the military is preparing to continue its interventions in the two countries for at least another decade.

UN body covers up Sri Lankan government’s war crimes

By Wije Dias, 29 May 2009

The UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution that blocks any independent inquiry into the Sri Lankan military’s war crimes and hails the government for its victory in the communal war against the LTTE.

Wall Street throws General Motors into bankruptcy

By Jerry White, 29 May 2009

The events of the past few days have demonstrated the naked class interests behind the Obama administration’s “restructuring” of the auto industry and its plan to throw General Motors into bankruptcy.

Poland: Last shipyards in Gdansk threatened with closure

By Marius Heuser, 29 May 2009

Ceremonies currently taking place marking the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Stalinist regime in Poland have been overshadowed by shipyard workers protests in Gdansk.

Torture photos: US soldiers raped, sodomized Iraqi prisoners

By Tom Eley, 29 May 2009

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph published Wednesday, former US General Antonio Taguba said that photographs the Obama administration is seeking to suppress show images of US soldiers raping and sodomizing Iraqi prisoners.

Australian bushfire royal commission: Survivors expose “stay or go” policy

By Perla Astudillo, 28 May 2009

Testimony during the first two and half weeks of the Victorian royal commission into the February 7 bushfires has revealed that the tragically high death toll was caused by inadequate emergency services, lack of fire warnings and the absence of any centralised evacuation plan.

The issues facing Screen Actors Guild members

By Ramón Valle and David Walsh, 28 May 2009

On May 19 ballots were sent out to some 110,000 Screen Actors Guild members throughout the US, asking them to vote “yes” or “no” on the tentative agreement reached between negotiators for SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

GM workers speak out on concessions contract

By , 28 May 2009

The WSWS interviewed GM workers at the Michigan Poletown plant on a new concessions contract agreed by the UAW and GM, with the backing of the Obama administration.

US Supreme Court ruling curbs “identity theft” arrests of immigrants

By Michael Stapleton, 28 May 2009

The Supreme Court ruled that in order to charge undocumented immigrants with identity theft, the government must prove illegal immigrants knowingly assumed the identity of another person.

The German Left Party loses support and two prominent members

By Lucas Adler, 28 May 2009

The German Left Party has sunk below 10 percent approval in opinion polls as the economic crisis deepens.

Thousands of soldiers perished in Sri Lankan war

By Sarath Kumara, 28 May 2009

Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse has revealed the staggering level of casualties suffered by government soldiers in the last phase of the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Credit card “bill of rights” puts few restraints on banks

By William Moore, 28 May 2009

There is little in the legislation passed by Congress to aid the large numbers of working and middle class people who are being crushed by credit card debt.

The Grundgesetz: 60 years of Germany’s post-war constitution

By Justus Leicht, 28 May 2009

Sixty years ago, May 23, 1949, saw the enactment of the Grundgesetz (literally, basic law, or constitution).

New York “terror” arrests: another government-orchestrated plot

By Tom Eley, 28 May 2009

Police arrested four men in New York City May 20, alleging they planned to blow up synagogues and shoot down US military planes in New York. The case against the men has been created and orchestrated by the FBI and a paid informant.

Grim forecasts for British economy

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2009

A series of reports have painted a grim picture of the British economy following the bailout of the banks, with mounting public debt pointing to the threat of savage public spending cuts.

Millions displaced as Pakistani military extends its offensive

By James Cogan, 28 May 2009

The Pakistani military is deepening its assault against Islamist militants in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) district of the Swat Valley and beginning to extend its campaign into other ethnic Pashtun-populated areas.

The fundamental social division is class, not race or gender

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2009

The introduction of Sonia Sotomayor as President Obama’s first selection for the US Supreme Court took place at a White House media event of a completely choreographed and stereotyped character, using biography as a substitute for policy.

French “anti-capitalist” Olivier Besancenot justifies collaboration with reformists and Polish nationalists

By Antoine Lerougetel and Stefan Steinberg, 27 May 2009

The appearance by Olivier Besancenot of the French New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in Katowice and his defence of collaboration with Polish nationalists at a Belgian press conference represent a warning about the role the NPA will play.

Britain: Job losses escalate across all sectors

By Robert Stevens, 27 May 2009

Unemployment in Britain has topped 2 million and is expected to rise to 3 million by the end of the year as job losses hit all sections of the economy.

Stop the shutdown of Detroit!

By An open letter from the Socialist Equality Party, 27 May 2009

The SEP distributed this statement to Detroit public school teachers on Tuesday.

North Korean nuclear test triggers international tensions

By Peter Symonds, 27 May 2009

North Korea’s detonation of a small nuclear bomb on Monday provoked immediate condemnation by the UN Security Council and sharply raised tensions in North East Asia.

France: Port of Marseille hit by economic crisis

By Anthony Torres, 27 May 2009

Since the beginning of 2009, activity in French ports has undergone a substantial slowdown linked to the world economic crisis.

Star Trek: Boldly going where no man has gone before, again

By Hiram Lee, 27 May 2009

The latest Star Trek film returns to the original characters of the 1960s show and reveals how the crew of the “Starship Enterprise” was formed. One of several recent attempts at “rebooting” a once-popular film or television franchise.

Stop the shutdown of Detroit!

By , 27 May 2009

The SEP has called a meeting for Thursday, May 28, to address the crisis facing the city of Detroit.

Obama names Sonia Sotomayor to US Supreme Court

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2009

The Sotomayor nomination is being hailed by liberals and damned by the ultra-right in equal measure, but it confirms Obama’s predilection for the predictable, conservative choice.

French university strikes end in union betrayal

By Pierre Mabut, 27 May 2009

The 16-week movement against the government’s “autonomy” law for universities has broken up. It did so under the pressure of government threats over upcoming exams and the sabotage of the unions in refusing to mobilise any solidarity.

Fijian military junta faces economic and social turmoil

By Frank Gaglioti, 27 May 2009

With Fiji on the verge of bankruptcy, Commodore Frank Bainimarama’s regime has stepped up its attacks on the conditions of workers and small farmers.

US media ignores threat to democratic rights

By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2009

The media’s reaction to last week’s extraordinary back-to-back speeches by President Obama and former Vice President Cheney has been one of complacency and cover-up in the face of a profound threat to basic democratic rights exposed in their remarks.

Reject GM-government-UAW blackmail!

By Jerry White, 27 May 2009

This statement will be distributed to General Motors auto workers on Wednesday and Thursday, as they vote on a contract agreed by the United Auto Workers (UAW).

75th anniversary of the Toledo Auto-Lite strike

By Charles Bogle, 27 May 2009

In 1934 workers in Toledo, Ohio, carried to victory one of the most important strikes in US history. Led by socialists, the Auto-Lite strike won broad support from the unemployed.

Unions and Detroit school board hold meeting to prepare for concessions

By our reporting team, 27 May 2009

Detroit Teachers Unions and the Detroit School Board held a mandatory meeting Tuesday in preparation for the school closures and concessions. In interviews with the WSWS, teachers expressed significant opposition to the cuts.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 May 2009

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

Doctor condemns conditions in Sri Lankan detention camps

By our correspondent, 27 May 2009

Hundreds of thousands of civilians who fled the north-eastern war zone in Sri Lanka have been herded into detention camps. A doctor who recently visited one camp spoke to the WSWS about the conditions there.

Growing calls for early general election in Britain

By Ann Talbot, 26 May 2009

The MPs’ expenses crisis is being used by the financial oligarchy and the media to shift the agenda of official politics to the right and to prepare for a frontal assault on the living standards of working people.

For the unity of Canadian and American workers

By Statement of D’Artagnan Collier and SEP candidate for Detroit mayor, 26 May 2009

D’Artagnan Collier distributed this statement to striking city workers in Windsor, Ontario.

Stalinist Left Front suffers debacle in its West Bengal bastion

By Arun Kumar, 26 May 2009

The Left Front, the electoral bloc led by the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist), was in many respects the biggest loser in India’s recently concluded national elections. In West Bengal, where the Left Front has held power for the past 32 years, it suffered a humiliating defeat, losing 20 seats and recording an 8 percentage-point drop in its share of the popular vote.

Former Lehman Brothers banker to head New York City’s Housing Authority

By Sandy English, 26 May 2009

New York City’s billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg, has appointed a fellow Wall Street veteran, former Lehman Brothers top executive John B. Rhea, to head the New York City Housing Authority.

Spain: Unemployment could soar to one-in-four next year

By Marcus Morgan, 26 May 2009

Unemployment is set to rise to record levels in Spain as the economy contracts under the impact of the global financial meltdown.

Opel rescue plan: German unions offer wage cuts

By Ludwig Weller, 26 May 2009

Leading representatives of the German IG Metall engineering union have offered to sacrifice €1 billion in members’ wages to “rescue” Opel.

D’Artagnan Collier visits striking city workers in Windsor, Ontario

By our reporter, 26 May 2009

SEP candidate for mayor in Detroit, D’Artagnan Collier, visited striking city workers in Windsor, Ontario, where he discussed the necessity of an international political struggle against capitalism and its political representatives.

The European election: Trade unions and the necessity for socialism

By Ulrich Rippert, 26 May 2009

From the standpoint of workers’ interests it is no longer possible to designate unions as workers’ organisations. They are bureaucratic apparatuses that seek to suppress any independent movement of the working class.

China and Russia forge closer military cooperation

By John Chan, 26 May 2009

As the US war in Afghanistan and US-sponsored fighting in Pakistan intensify, Russia and China are stepping up military cooperation, announcing 25 joint manoeuvres this year.

New evidence of Sri Lankan army war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 26 May 2009

The visit by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon to Sri Lanka last weekend provided a glimpse into the terrible conditions facing Tamil civilians who fled recent fighting between the army and the LTTE.

Australia: James Hardie court ruling another affront to asbestosis victims

By Noel Holt, 26 May 2009

Just as a court ruled that former directors of James Hardie Industries had issued a false statement in 2001 about the company’s asbestosis compensation fund, the company revealed that its current fund might be unable to meet its commitments by 2013.

Irish child abuse: The Ryan Report cover-up

By Steve James, 26 May 2009

For all the details of sadistic physical, sexual, emotional abuse, neglect and brutalisation of children in Ireland’s industrial school system, the report of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA) is a cover up.

Senate approves $91 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2009

By a margin of 86-3, the US Senate voted Thursday to approve a $91.3 billion supplemental funding bill to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30. The bill brings the total expended on the two wars of aggression to more than $900 billion.

Letters on the Obama administration, the CIA, and democratic rights

By , 25 May 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site on articles relating to the Obama administration, Cheney, the CIA and the attack on democratic rights.

Two million rendered refugees by fighting in Pakistan

By Vilani Peiris, 25 May 2009

The Pakistan military offensive against pro-Taliban militia in the country’s North-West Frontier Province has produced a massive humanitarian crisis. More than one-and-a-half million people have fled their homes. The fighting and resulting exodus of Pashtuns from the NWFP is also exacerbating national-ethnic tensions in Pakistan.

Mexico’s “war on drugs” employs army torture and police-state tactics

By Rafael Azul and Kevin Kearney, 25 May 2009

Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission, an independent government agency, has reported that the Mexican army is torturing citizens just across the US border in its war on drug cartels.

2009 San Francisco International Film Festival Part 3: The trauma produced by events

By Joanne Laurier, 25 May 2009

The recent San Francisco film festival, its 52nd, presented 151 films from 55 countries to a combined audience of some 82,000 people. This is the third article in a series.

London 7/7 bombing investigation a “whitewash”

By Paul Mitchell, 25 May 2009

Families of victims of the July 7, 2005 bombings in London have denounced a parliamentary investigation into the events as a “whitewash”.

Sri Lanka becomes a diplomatic battleground

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2009

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Sri Lanka last weekend has brought into sharp relief the intense international rivalry following the end of the island’s protracted civil war.

Obama offers nothing to the Palestinians

By Jean Shaoul, 25 May 2009

His three-hour meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu made clear that President Barack Obama has no more intention of acting as an “honest broker” to secure a settlement with the Palestinians than his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Pro-Israel forces attempt to silence University of California Santa Barbara professor

By Jack Cody, 25 May 2009

A professor at the University of California Santa Barbara is under investigation on charges of anti-Semitism for an email he sent to his students in which he compared the Israeli assault on Gaza to the Nazi occupation of Warsaw.

Australia: Evidence points to Labor cover-up over refugee boat deaths

By Mike Head and Linda Levin, 25 May 2009

More than a month after five asylum seekers drowned on April 16, when their small wooden boat exploded and sank off Australia’s north-west coast, the Rudd Labor government continues to block the release of information about the circumstances that led to the tragedy.

Iceland: Social democrats and Left Greens finalise coalition agreement

By Jordan Shilton, 23 May 2009

The new Icelandic government takes office committed to continuing the IMF measures which put the burden of the country’s banking crisis on to the working class.

Sri Lankan elites press for greater economic sacrifice

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 23 May 2009

An editorial entitled “It’s time for hard work” in the Sri Lankan newspaper, the Island, set out the agenda being demanded by the country’s corporate elite following the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Olivier Besancenot in Poland

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 May 2009

Olivier Besancenot’s participation in the European election congress of the Polish Party of Labour (PPP) last weekend makes clear the real aims of his newly founded Anti-Capitalist Party (Parti Anticapitaliste).

Stoking hunger and homelessness: North Carolina jobless rate remains in double-digits

By Rosa Lexington, 23 May 2009

Unemployment in North Carolina remained at 10.8 percent in April, one of eight US states with double-digit jobless rates last month.

Letters from our readers

By , 23 May 2009

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

UAW, Inc.

By Jerry White, 23 May 2009

The transformation of the United Auto Workers into a business entity is the culmination of decades of betrayals and degeneration in which the UAW apparatus developed material interests separate from, and hostile to, the “members” it claimed to represent.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 23 May 2009

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

California social programs threatened with devastation following special election

By Dan Conway, 23 May 2009

Following the defeat of ballot propositions last Tuesday, California state officials are already implementing devastating attacks on what remains of the state’s social safety net, including more than $5 billion proposed to be slashed from public education.

Obama’s AfPak war engulfs Pakistan’s Swat Valley

By James Cogan, 23 May 2009

The Pakistani military assault into Buner, Lower Dir and the Swat Valley has rapidly degenerated into the savage collective punishment of entire Pashtun communities.

Part 2: Human drama, partially treated

By David Walsh, 22 May 2009

The recent San Francisco film festival, its 52nd, presented 151 films from 55 countries to a combined audience of some 82,000 people. This is the second article in a series

Polish PPP congress marks lurch to the right by the new European left

By Marius Heuser and Tadeusz Sikorski, 22 May 2009

In a speech given in Katowice, Poland, the head of the NPA (New Anti-capitalist Party) justified his alliance with a group that has no connection with socialism and which includes openly right-wing forces.

World economy in freefall

By Andre Damon, 22 May 2009

Governments of the world's major economies announced huge first-quarter contractions in recent days, as real indicators of the economic crisis continued to worsen.

The Obama-Cheney “debate” and the threat of dictatorship in America

By Joe Kishore, 22 May 2009

Behind the competing speeches from Obama and Cheney lie sharp differences within the American military-state apparatus and the deep erosion of democratic forms of rule in the United States.

Japan’s economy suffers record contraction

By Peter Symonds, 22 May 2009

The Japanese economy shrank by 4 percent in the first quarter of 2009 or an annualised rate of 15.2 percent. The plunge in GDP was the worst since records began in 1955 and the largest of any major industrialised country.

Canada’s political elite spearheads attack on GM workers

By Keith Jones, 22 May 2009

Canada’s federal Conservative government and the Ontario Liberal government are spearheading the drive to gut what remains of the rights and benefits won by generations of auto workers through militant struggle.

Sri Lankan students protest against education privatisation

By Kapila Fernando, 22 May 2009

More than 2,000 students from seven medical faculties in Sri Lanka held a protest in Colombo against the establishment of two private medical colleges.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 22 May 2009

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

London hearing in Ivory Coast toxic dumping lawsuit

By Barry Mason, 22 May 2009

After thousands of people became ill in the West African country of Ivory Coast following the dumping of toxic waste, one of the companies alleged to be involved is indicted in a British court.

Sri Lankan government blocks international aid to detention camps

By Sarath Kumara, 22 May 2009

Despite pleas from the UN and the International Red Cross, the Colombo government has refused to provide unrestricted access its detention camps where at least 280,000 Tamil civilians are now being held in appalling conditions.

Mass layoffs threaten San Francisco city workers

By Marge Holland, 22 May 2009

On May 15 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced hundreds of layoffs of city workers in response to the rejection of contract concessions. Draconian cuts to services are forthcoming.

The world economic crisis, the failure of capitalism and the case for socialism

By , 21 May 2009

This resolution was discussed and passed unanimously at three conferences in the US sponsored by the World Socialist Web Site, the Socialist Equality Party, and the International Students for Social Equality.

Video: Protesting students and parents speak to the WSWS

By , 21 May 2009

Both Kettering High School students and parents were eager to speak to WSWS cameras in defense of their principal and their school.

Teachers protest in Los Angeles as more budget cuts loom

By a WSWS reporting team, 21 May 2009

Several hundred teachers, students and supporters protested outside the Los Angeles Unified School District office near downtown Los Angeles on May 15 as more cuts in the district are prepared.

Sri Lanka: the defeat of the LTTE and the dead-end of nationalism

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2009

The defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has unleashed immense suffering on the Tamil people of northern Sri Lanka. Sympathy for the LTTE’s massacred fighters, however, must not prevent political lessons being drawn from this debacle.

The Soloist: Strife and despair in the City of Angels

By Dan Conway, 21 May 2009

The Soloist chronicles the real-life encounters of columnist Steve Lopez and Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, Jr., a former cello-playing prodigy whose musical ambitions were derailed by a severe case of schizophrenia, leaving him homeless.

US military denies atrocity in Afghanistan’s Farah province

By David Walsh, 21 May 2009

On Wednesday the American military released the findings of its interim investigation into the mass killing of civilians in Afghanistan’s Farah province May 4. It was a whitewash.