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Cheney defends torture policy and CIA torturers

By Patrick Martin, 31 August 2009

In an interview Sunday, former vice president Dick Cheney defended the brutal interrogations carried out at CIA secret prisons and denounced the proposed investigation of a handful of CIA agents.

Ten years since East Timor’s independence vote

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 August 2009

Yesterday marked the tenth anniversary of the referendum that saw nearly 80 percent of the East Timorese people vote to secede from Indonesia and become a separate nation-state.

Japanese voters sweep Liberal Democrats from office

By Peter Symonds, 31 August 2009

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan routed the Liberal Democratic Party in lower house elections yesterday, ending more than 50 years of almost continuous rule.

Report exposes abuse at New York youth prisons

By Peter Daniels, 31 August 2009

Youth housed in New York State’s prisons for youthful offenders have been the victims of systematic physical and mental abuse, according to a Justice Department report.

Britain to continue privately run school academies

By Harvey Thompson, 31 August 2009

As the new academic year approaches, the Brown Labour government plans to push ahead with its flagship privately run school academies.

Germany: SEP begins crucial phase of federal election campaign

By our correspondents, 31 August 2009

The German Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) began its so-called “hot phase” of the federal election campaign over the weekend.

75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike

By Ron Jorgenson, 31 August 2009

We are posting here an article on the 1934 Minneapolis general truck drivers’ strike, originally published in four parts. It is also available in PDF.

Turkey: The Kurdish question takes centre stage

By Kerem Kaya, 31 August 2009

In recent weeks, the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has taken steps—since dubbed the “democratic process”—towards addressing the Kurdish question through peaceful rather than military means.

Sri Lankan power workers strike for pay increase

By W.A. Sunil, 31 August 2009

Thousands of Ceylon Electricity Board workers took part in an islandwide, one-day strike last Friday to demand a 40 percent pay hike, the restoration of working conditions and the scrapping of the recent Electricity Bill.

Germany’s Left Party and the European elections

By Lucas Adler, 30 August 2009

If one analyses the current European election result of the Left Party, the conclusion is clear: workers, the unemployed and those dependent on welfare payments are increasingly dismissive of this party.

Georgian crisis heightens US-Russian tensions over Ukraine

By Niall Green, 29 August 2009

The crisis in the Caucasus provoked by Washington’s belligerent policy toward Russia may soon be eclipsed by growing tensions over the future of Ukraine.

Obama’s AfPak war intensifies on both sides of border

By James Cogan, 29 August 2009

The number of US and NATO occupation troops killed in Afghanistan during 2009 reached 301 yesterday—already the highest annual toll of the eight-year war.

Letters on the death of Kennedy

By , 29 August 2009

A selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “Ted Kennedy and the decay of American liberalism”

2009 German parliamentary election: a conspiracy of silence on the implications of the economic crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 29 August 2009

While the election result on September 27 remains open, one thing is certain: The coming government—irrespective of its composition—will shift the burden of the crisis onto the population.

Japanese government faces landslide electoral defeat

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2009

Japan is poised on the eve of a political sea change. All the opinion polling points to a landslide defeat in tomorrow’s election for the Liberal Democratic Party, which has held power almost continuously since its formation in 1955.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 August 2009

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

75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike—Part four

By Ron Jorgenson, 29 August 2009

The final part of a four-part series on the 1934 Minneapolis general truck drivers’ strike.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 29 August 2009

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Coup in Honduras enters its third month

By Bill Van Auken, 29 August 2009

Despite mass popular resistance and formal condemnations by Washington, the OAS and various Latin American governments, two months after the June 28 coup the right-wing military-backed regime remains in power in Honduras.

More details of immigration raid in Mississippi, US

By Hiram Lee, 29 August 2009

The number of those arrested in Monday’s US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid on a Laurel, Mississippi manufacturing plant is significantly larger than previous reports had indicated. Approximately 595 arrests have now been confirmed, making this the largest immigration raid on a workplace in US history.

Scotland: Report exposes bankruptcy of official campaign over Diageo jobs

By Stephen Alexander, 29 August 2009

Details of the report commissioned to propose alternatives to job losses at drinks transnational Diageo in Scotland have become available.

Video evidence of Sri Lankan government war crimes

By Sarath Kumara, 29 August 2009

A grisly video of Sri Lankan soldiers executing naked, bound and blindfolded men in cold blood provides further first-hand evidence of the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government and military.

US government list of “problem banks” tops 400

By Andre Damon, 29 August 2009

Figures released Thursday show that the banking crisis continues to deepen in the US, even as a handful of mega-banks increase their market share and profits.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 28 August 2009

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

For a national boycott of NAPLAN by teachers, parents and students!

By , 28 August 2009

The Rudd Labor government’s “education revolution” constitutes a seismic shift, with every aspect of education, from early-childhood through to adult education, being subject to the full blast of market competition.

Putin’s ten years in power

By Vladimir Volkov, 28 August 2009

The tenth anniversary of Vladimir Putin’s accession to the summit of political power in Russia—first as prime minister, then president, then again as prime minister—is an occasion for an overall evaluation of the past decade and its place in modern Russian history.

US debt to hit $20 trillion by 2020

By Tom Eley, 28 August 2009

The Obama administration has seized on new forecasts for a near doubling of the national debt over the next decade to press for sweeping cuts in health care and retiree benefits.

75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike—Part three

By Ron Jorgenson, 28 August 2009

The third part of a four-part series on the 1934 Minneapolis general truck drivers’ strike.

Australia: NSW teachers union censors debate at mass meeting

By Laura Tiernan, 28 August 2009

Nearly 2,000 teachers packed the Rosehill Racecourse last night to oppose the publication of school league tables. But the New South Wales Teachers Federation worked to block any discussion, debate or struggle against the Rudd Labor government’s accelerating assault on education.

Detroit teachers’ union blocks strike action against wage cuts, layoffs

By Jerry White, 28 August 2009

The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) agreed to extend its current contract until October 31, preempting a possible strike by 6,000 teachers.

Bing administration issues layoff ultimatum to Detroit city workers

By Shannon Jones, 28 August 2009

The mayor of Detroit is demanding that city workers accept a 10 percent pay cut and other concessions by this weekend or face mass layoffs.

Thousands denied child care due to Pennsylvania budget cuts

By Samuel Davidson, 28 August 2009

Childcare centers throughout Pennsylvania are closing, laying-off staff and turning away children because state lawmakers have not reached agreement on a comprehensive budget. Parents and childcare workers spoke to the WSWS on imminent cuts they face.

Japan’s elections: the Communist Party’s role

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2009

At a critical turning point in Japanese politics, the Communist Party is positioning itself as a safety valve for the political establishment.

Union official takes the helm at New York Federal Reserve

By Bill Van Auken, 28 August 2009

The naming of New York AFL-CIO chief Denis Hughes as chair of the New York Federal Reserve Bank symbolizes the complete integration of the union officialdom into the government and corporate structures that defend the interests of finance capital.

GM and Opel: the struggle for dominance in the global auto market

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 August 2009

The intensive intervention by the German government on behalf of a Magna takeover of GM-Europe is not merely part of the election campaign being conducted by the various partners in the ruling grand coalition, and it certainly has nothing to do with “saving jobs.”

Sri Lankan government to impose onerous restrictions on political parties

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 28 August 2009

The Sri Lankan government has announced legislation to impose tough new restrictions on political parties.

Washington’s double standard: The elections in Iran and Afghanistan

By Patrick Martin, 28 August 2009

The Obama administration and the American media, after denouncing the presidential election in Iran as “rigged” and undemocratic (without any evidence), now uphold the legitimacy of the presidential election in Afghanistan, despite growing evidence of vote fraud.

Afghan war escalating in defiance of popular opposition

By James Cogan, 27 August 2009

The mounting preparations for a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan are taking place in open defiance of public opinion around the globe.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 August 2009

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

CIA probe shields architects of US torture regime

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2009

With its release of a heavily redacted version of the CIA’s 2004 torture report, the Obama administration is continuing to cover up the scale of the crimes carried out under the last administration while shielding its top figures from prosecution.

Union calls off protest by unemployed graduates in Sri Lanka

By Kapila Fernando, 27 August 2009

A 17-day protest by unemployed university graduates was shut down last week after their union accepted vague government assurances that they would get jobs.

Sweden: Koenigsegg bid to buy Saab under threat

By Jordan Shilton, 27 August 2009

Having announced in June that it was set to purchase Saab, there is a strong possibility that the consortium Koenigsegg Group AB may be unable to finance its bid.

Ted Kennedy and the decay of American liberalism

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2009

The death of Massachusetts Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy on Tuesday marks the end of the Kennedy family’s role as a major force in American politics.

Rhode Island to shut down for 12 days

By Tom Eley, 27 August 2009

Rhode Island will shut down for 12 days this year, joining a growing number of states and cities that are suspending services and furloughing workers to lessen budget deficits.


Italy: Xenophobic immigration policy leads to hundreds of deaths in the Mediterranean

By Marianne Arens, 27 August 2009

The Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi has led a contemptible months-long campaign against African refugees and is quite prepared to accept the deadly consequences of its policy.

75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike—Part two

By Ron Jorgenson, 27 August 2009

The second part of a four-part series on the 1934 Minneapolis general truck drivers’ strike.

Detroit teachers denounce pay cuts

By , 27 August 2009

WSWS Reporter Jerry White Spoke to teachers at a rally in Detroit against wage and benefit cuts. The teachers denounced concessions demanded by the school system's financial czar Robert Bobb.

Obama reappoints Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman

By Andre Damon, 27 August 2009

President Obama announced Tuesday the reappointment of Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve Chairman.

Detroit teachers rally against concessions and layoffs

By Walter Gilberti, 26 August 2009

Detroit teachers rallied in front of the public schools headquarters Tuesday to defend jobs and oppose the drastic concessions demanded by district’s financial czar Robert Bobb.

Britain: High Court hears evidence on police violence against G20 protest

By Robert Stevens, 26 August 2009

Documents disclosed to the High Court in London last week reveal more of the brutality meted out against peaceful protesters at the G20 international summit demonstrations earlier this year in London.

Mexican economy in free-fall

By Rafael Azul, 26 August 2009

The Mexican economy shrank at an annual rate of 10.3 percent in the second quarter of 2009, the worst economic performance since 1981.

US fears mount over Afghan election travesty

By Barry Grey, 26 August 2009

A partial vote tally reported Tuesday by Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission was overshadowed by mounting reports of pervasive vote-rigging, ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters by various candidates and their respective ethnic warlord backers.

Obama health care overhaul based on cost-cutting and deficit reduction

By Kate Randall, 26 August 2009

Obama has consistently stressed that his primary concern in restructuring the US health system is to trim costs—not provide quality, universal health care for all.

Obama, rendition, and the decay of American democracy

By Tom Eley, 26 August 2009

The Obama administration’s decision to carry on the practice of rendition testifies to the profound decay of American democracy.

The bidding war for Opel and German-Russian relations

By Dietmar Henning, 26 August 2009

As negotiations between General Motors and international automotive supplier Magna continue over the sale of GM’s Opel division, it is apparent that German foreign policy considerations are playing an increasingly important role.

Australia: Bus drivers strike in defiance of union

By Mike Head, 26 August 2009

A six-hour strike by 130 bus drivers in western Sydney against the imposition of new timetables has produced furious denunciations in the media because the workers defied their union.

Australia: Court case against West Gate workers ends in plea bargain

By Terry Cook, 26 August 2009

The decision to seek a plea bargain, rather than launch a public campaign to defend the 12 men, was primarily aimed at burying the issue and defusing a potentially explosive confrontation between building workers and the federal Labor government.

75th anniversary of the Minneapolis truck drivers’ strike–Part one

By Ron Jorgenson, 26 August 2009

The first part of a four-part series on the 1934 Minneapolis general truck drivers’ strike.

Riot breaks out in Kentucky prison

By Andre Damon, 25 August 2009

A riot broke out in a prison south of Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday night, leaving much of the facility destroyed and 16 people injured.

Australia: Growing opposition among Victorian paramedics to Brumby-union sell out deal

By Margaret Rees, 25 August 2009

Opposition is rapidly developing among Victorian paramedics against an “in principle” three-year industrial agreement announced by the state Labor government and Ambulance Employees Association on August 11.

Bernanke's apologia for the Fed

By Patrick Martin, 25 August 2009

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a speech to the annual summer symposium of the world’s central bankers, held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which combined a review of the past year of unprecedented financial crisis and a prognosis of the near-term prospects for the US and world economy.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 25 August 2009

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

California braces for new round of budget cuts

By Jack Cody, 25 August 2009

The draconian budget cuts pushed through less than a month ago by the Democratic-controlled state legislature and Republican governor in California are already being declared inadequate as new economic indicators point to a continuation of the recession in the state.

Japan’s fragile economy overshadows general election

By John Chan, 25 August 2009

The Japanese economy officially grew by 0.9 percent in the second quarter. The news, however, is unlikely to affect the outcome of Sunday’s general elections.

Wildfires threaten Greek capital

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 August 2009

Many Greek residents are asking—given the devastating consequences of the 2007 fires which cost nearly 70 lives—why authorities failed to adequately prepare for the latest blazes.

Lockerbie: Transatlantic row worsens over Megrahi release

By Steve James, 25 August 2009

Sections of the United States political establishment have reacted with fury to the release of Abdel Baset Mohmed al-Megrahi, the only person ever convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Massive police mobilization prepared for G20 summit in Pittsburgh

By Phyllis Scherrer and Bryan Dyne, 25 August 2009

During the G20 Summit, the Pittsburgh Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Council and the Secret Service are preparing to turn Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a militarized zone.

Internal CIA report shows agents tortured, killed prisoners

By Tom Eley, 25 August 2009

A CIA inspector general’s report discussing instances of agency torture, suppressed since 2004, was made public by court order on Monday. The same day, the Obama administration revealed it intends to carry on the practice of rendition.

Unite all Detroit area workers to defend public education and defeat the attack on jobs and living standards!

By Socialist Equality Party, 25 August 2009

The following statement by the SEP is being distributed to Detroit teachers rallying today against layoffs and wage and benefit concessions.

The firing of a German supermarket cashier: A case of class justice

By Justus Leicht and Peter Schwarz, 24 August 2009

German law professor attacks the World Socialist Web Site for its characterization of the sacking of a Berlin cashier as class justice.

70 years since the Hitler-Stalin Pact

By Alex Lantier, 24 August 2009

Seventy years ago, Nazi foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov met in Moscow to sign a hastily-negotiated Non-Aggression Pact between Hitlerite Germany and the USSR.

Former Wehrmacht officer condemned as war criminal

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 24 August 2009

The Munich regional court has convicted the Wehrmacht (German army) officer Josef Scheungraber to life imprisonment for the murder of 10 Italian civilians and the attempted murder of others in June 1944 in Falzano di Cortona in Tuscany.

War to escalate after Afghan election

By James Cogan, 24 August 2009

In the wake of last Thursday’s election in Afghanistan, the US establishment is proceeding with plans for a further expansion of the war.

Iceland: Bank bailout and corruption scandals fuel protests

By Jordan Shilton, 24 August 2009

Protests continue to mount in Iceland against the government’s bank bailout at the expense of working people. On 13 August, 3,000 gathered outside the Icelandic parliament in Reykjavik, the largest since mass demonstrations toppled the former conservative-led government of Geir Haarde in January.

US: New revelations on immigrant detainee abuse

By Peter Daniels, 24 August 2009

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) was forced last week to add 10 previously unrecorded deaths of detainees to the list of people who have died in ICE custody, bringing the total to104 since 2003.

South Korean government witch-hunts Ssangyong workers

By Terry Cook, 24 August 2009

Following the end of the 77-day occupation of Ssangyong Motor’s plant in Pyeongtaek, the government of President Lee Myung-bak is carrying out a police vendetta against the workers involved.

Hydroelectric catastrophe in Russia

By Niall Green, 24 August 2009

An explosion at Russia’s largest hydroelectric power station August 17 has killed or injured scores of workers, while exposing the breakdown of basic Infrastructure.

Blackwater mercenaries used for CIA renditions

By Patrick Martin, 24 August 2009

The German news magazine Der Spiegel announced Saturday that the security firm formerly known as Blackwater Associates was hired by the CIA to transport prisoners from Guantánamo Bay to secret prisons in Central Asia where they could be tortured.

Australian teachers union calls for streamlined dismissals

By Erika Zimmer, 24 August 2009

The New South Wales Teachers Federation is openly calling for streamlined procedures to dismiss teachers deemed “poorly performing”.

Obama administration uses Blackwater in drone killings

By Tom Eley, 22 August 2009

In spite of Blackwater’s well-established record of indiscriminate killings of Iraqi civilians, the Obama administration has retained its services in Afghanistan.


Letters from our readers

By , 22 August 2009

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

US workplace suicides up by 28 percent

By Andre Damon, 22 August 2009

The number of workplace suicides reported in 2008 rose by 28 percent over the previous year, according to figures released Thursday by the US Labor Department.

US presses Pakistan for offensive in South Waziristan

By K. Ratnayake, 22 August 2009

Washington sent its special envoy Richard Holbrook to Islamabad this week to pressure Pakistan into launching a major offensive in South Waziristan.

Sri Lanka: Detention of Tamil civilians to continue indefinitely

By Sampath Perera, 22 August 2009

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse reiterated on Monday that up to 300,000 Tamil civilians who fled the fighting in the final days of the country’s protracted civil war will remain incarcerated indefinitely.

China: Protesting steel workers halt plant privatisation

By John Chan, 22 August 2009

Thousands of steelworkers protested last week, forcing Chinese authorities to suspend the privatisation of the state-owned Linzhou Steel Corporation.

Britain: Government sued over illegal detentions in Afghanistan

By Julie Hyland, 22 August 2009

The legal charity Reprieve is suing the British government in connection with the illegal detention of two men held in Afghanistan.

Texas judge on trial for refusing to hear death row inmate’s appeal

By Hiram Lee, 22 August 2009

Judge Sharon Keller of Texas is currently on trial for refusing to extend the hours of her office in order to hear the appeal of a death row inmate executed just hours later.

Washington praises Afghan election fiasco to justify war escalation

By Bill Van Auken, 22 August 2009

In an attempt to legitimize the escalation of a war opposed by the majority of the American people, the Obama administration, backed by the US media, has hailed Afghanistan’s August 20 election.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 22 August 2009

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

Ridge’s “revelations” on US terror alerts

By , 22 August 2009

US Homeland Security Department director Tom Ridge was pressured by the Bush administration to raise the “terrorism threat level” on the eve of the 2004 presidential elections, Ridge claims in a new book due out in September.

One in three youth in Berlin living on welfare

By Dietmar Henning, 21 August 2009

For the past eight years Berlin has been governed by a coalition between the Social Democratic Party and the Left Party. Under the so-called “red-red senate,” Berlin has grown into a center of poverty in Germany.

Mass abstention and vote rigging in Afghanistan election

By Patrick O’Connor, 21 August 2009

Yesterday’s presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the exercise.

US Supreme Court orders new hearing for Georgia death row inmate

By Kate Randall, 21 August 2009

The US Supreme Court on Monday ordered a federal trial court to consider the case of Georgia death row prisoner Troy Davis.

Detroit city workers oppose concessions, layoffs

By , 21 August 2009

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party distributed statements to Detroit city workers rallying in opposition to concessions and layoffs. D’Artagnan Collier, who ran as the SEP’s mayoral candidate in the August primaries, addressed workers.

Baghdad bombings cast doubt on US troop withdrawals

By James Cogan, 21 August 2009

Wednesday’s bombings in Baghdad have dealt a significant blow to the claims of both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the country has been pacified and secured by the US military “surge”.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 21 August 2009

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

Australia: Aboriginal residents of Ampilatwatja walk out over housing conditions

By Susan Allan, 21 August 2009

Residents of the remote Aboriginal community of Ampilatwatja walked out of their settlement last month. The WSWS interviewed a spokesperson.

Canada: Federal Court of Appeal upholds order to repatriate Guantánamo detainee Omar Khadr

By Graham Beverley, 21 August 2009

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has signalled that his Conservative government will once again flout a court decision ordering it to seek the repatriation of Guantánamo Bay detainee and Canadian citizen Omar Khadr. The 22-year-old Khadr is the only citizen of a NATO country still held at the concentration camp.

2008 US Census shows sharp increase in poverty

By Tom Eley, 21 August 2009

The US census for 2008, to be released in September, will show a sharp increase in poverty. Meanwhile, this week saw unexpectedly high weekly jobless claims, a rash of mass layoffs, and a record-high foreclosure rate.

America’s Death Squads Inc.

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2009

The revelation that the CIA sought to contract out overseas assassinations to the politically connected mercenary outfit, Blackwater, underscores the grave dangers to democratic rights in the US itself.