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Québec Solidaire manifesto promotes nationalism and a “moral” capitalism

By Richard Dufour, 31 October 2009

Québec Solidaire recently issued a manifesto, “To End the Economic crisis: Go Beyond Capitalism?” whose title suggests that Québec Solidaire is questioning, if not radically opposing, the existing social order. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

US wages and salaries rise at record-low levels

By Andre Damon, 31 October 2009

Employment costs in the US are rising at the lowest level in at least 27 years, the result of policies designed to lower the living standards of workers.

Letters from our readers

By , 31 October 2009

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

US makes cynical overture to Sri Lanka over war crimes

By Wije Dias, 31 October 2009

The US State Department has issued a report detailing Sri Lankan army atrocities in the final months of the country’s civil war. Its purpose, however, is not to bring war criminals to justice, but to boost US influence in Colombo.

US House leaders unveil health care bill

By Kate Randall, 31 October 2009

House leaders unveiled health care legislation Thursday that would slash hundreds of billions from Medicare and other federal programs, and contains a watered-down version of a government-run “public option.”

France: Sarkozy escalates anti-immigrant campaign

By Pierre Mabut and Antoine Lerougetel, 31 October 2009

France’s minister of immigration and national identity, Eric Besson, has called for a nationwide debate on “national identity” following a month of unprecedented assaults on migrants and refugees, notably Afghans fleeing war and deprivation.

Washington pushes through deal with Honduran coup regime

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2009

With the intervention of the US State Department, the Honduran coup regime and ousted President Manuel Zelaya signed a deal Friday that legitimizes last June’s coup while betraying the demands of Honduran working people who opposed it.

An exposure of corruption: Afghanistan, on the Dollar Trail

By Mathew Benn, 31 October 2009

Afghanistan, on the Dollar Trail, written and directed by Paul Moreira and produced by Sue Spencer

Canada: Vale Inco continues provocations against Steelworkers

By Carl Bronski, 31 October 2009

Management at Vale Inco’s mine, mill and smelting complex in Sudbury, Ontario are expanding their attempts to restart production in a bid to break a 110-day-old strike against the company’s rapacious concession demands.

Obama’s banker-friendly financial overhaul

By Barry Grey, 31 October 2009

In the wake of a financial meltdown that precipitated the deepest recession since the 1930s, the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders are working to institute regulatory changes that avoid any serious constraints on Wall Street banks and financial institutions.

European Trotskyists mark 70th anniversary of World War II

By Julie Hyland, 31 October 2009

The following is a contribution by WSWS Editorial Board member Julie Hyland to an October 11 meeting convened by the European sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International to consider the lessons of the Second World War.

A political and industrial offensive against Labour government is required

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 31 October 2009

Striking postal workers in Britain are involved in a fundamental political struggle, against not just Royal Mail but also the Labour government.

Video: Ford workers speak out against concessions contract

By , 31 October 2009

The WSWS spoke to Ford workers in Michigan as they prepared to vote on contract revisions agreed by the company and the United Auto Workers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 31 October 2009

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Indian auto dispute sparks mass protest, shuts Ford Canada plant

By Kranti Kumara, 30 October 2009

Last week more than 100,000 workers from some 70 plants in the Gurgaon-Manesar area walked off the job to show support for the Rico workers’ struggle and protest the murder of a Rico striker by company thugs.

Obama signs bills for record Pentagon, Homeland Security spending

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2009

President Obama signed legislation Wednesday authorizing $680 billion for the Pentagon, the largest military budget ever. On Thursday, he signed a bill giving another $44 billion to the Department of Homeland Security, to strengthen state repression within the US.

The swine flu pandemic and the market

By Tom Eley, 30 October 2009

The Obama administration entrusted preparations for the H1N1 pandemic to pharmaceutical corporations and stood by as state and local governments laid off public health workers. The result is an acute shortage of vaccine, and little infrastructure to deliver what is available.

WSWS speaks to workers who exposed GM payoff to Canadian auto union

By Jerry White, 30 October 2009

The WSWS recently spoke with two auto workers at a General Motors transmission plant in Windsor, Ontario, who have been involved in campaigning against a secret agreement between GM and Canadian Auto Workers officials.

US: Lack of insurance linked to thousands of child deaths

By Naomi Spencer, 30 October 2009

Lack of health insurance may have caused or directly contributed to the deaths of nearly 17,000 children in the United States over the past two decades, a new study has found.

End the war in Afghanistan

By , 30 October 2009

The International Students for Social Equality is holding a series of meetings to demand an end to the war in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of all occupying forces.

Britain: Three days of post strikes under way

By our reporters, 30 October 2009

Yesterday saw the start of three more days of postal strikes after days of talks failed to broker a deal.

Britain: Deepening recession fuels concern over corporate bonuses and bailouts

By Julie Hyland, 30 October 2009

Disagreements over the Brown government’s policy on the global economic crisis have become more vocal after figures showed that the UK economy shrank by 0.4 percent from July to September.

Wrangling continues over Iranian nuclear deal

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2009

An international agreement on Iran’s low-enriched uranium is yet to be finalised. An initial Iranian response handed yesterday to the IAEA reportedly contains caveats that are not likely to be accepted by the US and its European allies.

Opel’s future once again up for grabs

By Dietmar Henning, 30 October 2009

Although the new German government has barely taken office, all the deals struck between the trade unions, General Motors and the consortium from the Canadian-Austrian automotive supplier Magna and the Russian Sberbank are once again up for grabs.

US: GDP figure masks deepening economic crisis

By Barry Grey, 30 October 2009

The Commerce Department on Thursday reported that the US gross domestic product (GDP) grew 3.5 percent on an annualized basis in the third quarter, breaking a string of four consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Swine flu vaccine shortage disrupts local response plans

By Andre Damon, 30 October 2009

People lined up at treatment centers throughout the country this week to receive swine flu immunizations.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 30 October 2009

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

Australian man faces lengthy jail term for “offensive” letters

By Mike Head, 30 October 2009

A Muslim man faces up to 14 years in prison for sending allegedly offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Education spending targeted by all parties in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 29 October 2009

The new German government coalition’s attack on education draws on the devastating work already carried out by the Social Democratic Party, the Greens and the Left Party.

Yemen: Regional instability worsens as government pursues insurgents

By Brian Smith, 29 October 2009

Fierce fighting in the northern Yemen region of Saada between government forces and insurgents has unleashed a humanitarian crisis and threatens the stability of the country and wider region.

Historians in the service of the Big Lie:

By , 29 October 2009

These public lectures on November 15 in New York and December 13 in London will be given by David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site and US national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party.

Bridgestone closes plants in Australia and New Zealand

By Terry Cook, 29 October 2009

The Bridgestone closures, which end tyre production in Australasia, are part of a global restructuring of the auto industry, in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis.

Chicago city and transit budgets pose mass layoffs and deep cuts in services

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 October 2009

The city of Chicago and the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have recently announced budget proposals for 2010 that include furloughs and layoffs that will affect thousands of workers in and around Chicago.

The way forward for Ford workers

By Socialist Equality Party, 29 October 2009

With votes tallied at factories employing more than a third of Ford’s 41,000 US workers, the concessions contract being pushed by the UAW appears headed for defeat.

What are US troops dying for in Afghanistan?

By Bill Van Auken, 29 October 2009

After several days in which US troops suffered their worst casualties in the eight-year-old war in Afghanistan, it was revealed Wednesday that President Hamid Karzai’s brother, reputedly a key figure in the country’s drug trade, is on the CIA payroll.

Britain: Protests and political campaigning redefined as “domestic extremism”

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2009

A central feature of the assault on democratic rights in Britain, carried out by the Labour government in the name of the “war on terror,” is its effort to criminalise political activity.

Attack on UN in Kabul in lead-up to sham Afghan election

By Peter Symonds, 29 October 2009

An attack by Taliban fighters on a UN guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has underscored the fragility of the US-led occupation in the lead-up to the second round of presidential elections on November 7.

Pension fund probe into possible bribery of former Los Angeles deputy mayor

By Kevin Mitchell, 29 October 2009

The California Public Employee’s System (CalPERS) is investigating allegations that over $50 million in fees were paid to agents who directed the pension fund’s investments.

Ukrainian economy suffers sharp fall in 2009

By Niall Green, 29 October 2009

Five years after the “Orange Revolution,” the Ukrainian economy is in the deepest crisis since the post-Soviet economic and social implosion of the 1990s.

October the bloodiest month for US troops since Afghan war began

By Bill Van Auken, 28 October 2009

The deaths of eight more soldiers in bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan Tuesday made October the bloodiest month for US occupation forces since the war began in 2001.

Sri Lanka: Plantation unions accept wage sell-out

By M. Vasanthan, 28 October 2009

All the plantation unions, including those that initially opposed it, have effectively fallen into line behind a deal that binds workers to poverty-level wages and productivity speed-up for the next two years.

US companies, governments continue to slash jobs and pay

By David Walsh, 28 October 2009

The US economy continues to shed jobs, wreaking havoc on countless lives, even as government officials prepare to announce the official end of the recession that began in December 2007.

America’s crumbling infrastructure

By Jeff Lassahn, 28 October 2009

America’s roads, bridges, and sewerage are in advanced state of decay, according to a 2009 report by an association of civil engineers.

Child deaths from abuse and neglect rise in the US

By Naomi Spencer, 28 October 2009

Five children died from abuse or neglect every day on average in the United States between 2001 and 2007, according to a new report. Over the period, 10,440 child deaths were linked to abuse or neglect.

Australian government intensifies crackdown on asylum seekers

By Richard Phillips, 28 October 2009

The Rudd government is planning an “Indonesian solution” paying Jakarta to incarcerate refugees intercepted while trying to reach Australia.

Germany: A government of social confrontation

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 October 2009

All of the parties represented in the new German coalition government are agreed that the burden of the economic crisis and the ballooning state debt is to be placed upon the backs of the general population.

Ford workers speak out against contract

By our reporters, 28 October 2009

Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to Ford workers in Michigan on Tuesday, who denounced the UAW-Ford concessions contract, as more locals voted “No.”

Pakistani army offensive devastates tribal communities

By James Cogan, 28 October 2009

The military offensive into South Waziristan is having a devastating impact on the entire civilian population. Villages and towns are literally being bombed into rubble and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee for their lives.

Israel, the United States and international law

By Jean Shaoul, 28 October 2009

Israel has responded to accusations of war crimes during its assault on Gaza by denouncing the United Nations and seeking to overturn existing international law.

US casualties rise as Obama prepares Afghan escalation

By Bill Van Auken, 27 October 2009

Eleven US soldiers and three drug agents were killed in the space of 24 hours in Afghanistan as the Obama administration’s war cabinet prepared to meet Monday on escalating the war.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 October 2009

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

US formally requests extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski

By Hiram Lee, 27 October 2009

The United States has formally requested that filmmaker Roman Polanski be extradited from Switzerland. New details of the Swiss government’s role in Polanski’s arrest have now come to light.

Sri Lanka: Petroleum unions call off work-to-rule bans

By W.A Sunil, 27 October 2009

Unions called off a work-to-rule campaign by petroleum workers in the expectation of talks yesterday over wages. However, the Sri Lankan president rejected outright any pay rise before next year.

Romania: Boc government resigns after no-confidence vote

By Marcus Salzmann, 27 October 2009

Five weeks prior to scheduled presidential elections, the Romanian government led by the Democratic Liberal Party prime minister, Emil Boc, has collapsed following a vote of no-confidence in parliament.

Arizona sheriff carries out immigrant raid

By Josué Olmos, 27 October 2009

A sheriff in Phoenix, Arizona, this weekend carried out an immigrant round-up in open defiance of a federal decision limiting his office’s power to enforce immigration laws.


Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 October 2009

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

The reality behind the US “success” in Iraq

By James Cogan, 27 October 2009

The massive explosions in central Baghdad on Sunday are a particularly bloody reminder of the sectarian, ethnic and political conflicts that have been generated in Iraq by six-and-a-half years of US occupation.

Detroit: A city for sale, and very few takers

By Patrick Martin, 27 October 2009

Over a four-day period a huge portion of the city of Detroit was put on the auction block, but very few bids were submitted. Of the 9,000 homes and lots put up for sale for prices as low as $500, only 1,800 attracted buyers.

Mass opposition to Ford-UAW concessions contract

By Andre Damon, 27 October 2009

Workers at three US plants have rejected a concessions contract backed by the United Auto Workers and Ford, including a 92 percent “no” vote at a major local in Kansas City, Missouri.

White House promotes tax on “Cadillac” health care plans

By Kate Randall, 27 October 2009

The top White House economic forecaster argued Monday that cutting government health care costs is key to addressing the federal budget deficit, and that taxing so-called Cadillac health care plans is an essential part of restructuring the system.

South Korean government cracks down on workers’ rights

By Terry Cook, 26 October 2009

Following the suppression of the 77-day occupation of the Ssangyong Motor plant at Pyeongtaek in August, the government has broadened its offensive against the rights and conditions of the working class.

Britain: Post workers speak to SEP during second day of national strike

By our reporters, 26 October 2009

The second day of national strike action by postal workers on October 22 involved 76,000 postal delivery workers.

A program of social devastation in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 26 October 2009

The new German government plans to use cuts to social expenditure as its most important means of redistributing social wealth in favour of the wealthy.

Obama declares US national emergency over H1N1 flu

By Tom Eley, 26 October 2009

Major pharmaceuticals that contracted with the US government to provide vaccines against the swine flu have delivered only a fraction of what was anticipated, leaving thousands to wait in lines for a chance to be vaccinated.

Paris CGT jobs protest dominated by nationalist politics

By Antoine Lerougetel, 26 October 2009

Some 20,000 industrial workers from all over France converged on Paris last Thursday, in a protest against the wave of plant closures and sackings engulfing their sector. The demonstration was dominated by the CGT’s right-wing nationalist politics.

German building cleaners strike against wage cutting

By Ludwig Weller, 26 October 2009

On Thursday of last week 96.7 percent of union members active in the building cleaning branch voted in favor of the first national strike in the history of the industry. The response of the union, however, has been to call out just a fraction of its membership.

Atlanta shelter director speaks on the homeless crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 26 October 2009

Emergency shelter providers in Atlanta, Georgia, are confronted by a huge increase in need. Anita Beaty, director of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the worsening situation.

The Sri Lankan government’s “resettlement” of Tamil detainees

By Sarath Kumara, 26 October 2009

The government last Thursday carried out a much-publicised resettlement of around 6,000 Tamil detainees held in internment camps. Every aspect of the exercise was a fraud designed to deflect criticism at home and internationally.

The runoff farce in Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 26 October 2009

The crisis over the fraudulent election in Afghanistan, culminating in President Karzai’s acceptance of a runoff, has laid bare the colonial character of the US occupation and the puppet status of the government in Kabul.

German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk defends racist remarks by central banker

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 October 2009

The German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk has openly defended racist remarks made by German Central Bank executive member Thilo Sarrazin.

Living standards continue steep fall in Eastern Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 October 2009

Twenty years after the reintroduction of capitalism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, a World Bank report acknowledges that a third of the population in the region lives in poverty.

Russia: Workers at AvtoVaz protest against mass layoffs

By Vladimir Volkov, 24 October 2009

Following a wave of labor actions across Russia in the summer and early fall, workers at auto giant AvtoVaz are protesting mass layoffs.

Irish Fianna Fail/Green coalition prepares major budget cuts

By Steve James, 24 October 2009

Ireland’s ruling coalition of Fianna Fail and the Green Party are preparing a confrontation with the working class.

UAW says key local passed Ford contract by 51 percent

By Andre Damon, 24 October 2009

Local media reported that United Auto Workers Local 900 narrowly ratified the latest concessions contract. The vote passed by only 51 to 49 percent, prompting allegations of fraud from workers interviewed by the WSWS and other sources.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 October 2009

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

White House rejects new measures to stem jobs crisis

By Barry Grey, 24 October 2009

Even as the Labor Department reported an unexpected rise in initial claims for unemployment benefits, the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leaders reiterated their opposition to any significant new outlays to address the jobs crisis.

Britain: Postal strikers speak to SEP campaign teams

By our reporters, 24 October 2009

Postal workers yesterday staged their second of two 24-hour strikes, the first major national strike since 2007.

Michigan governor again takes axe to education

By Tom Eley, 24 October 2009

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced a $127-per-pupil funding cut on Thursday. This follows a $165-per-head cut and $54 million in vetoes of educational spending in a bill Granholm made law on Monday.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 October 2009

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

US bankers cash in despite phony pay restraint

By Patrick Martin, 24 October 2009

According to the report issued Thursday by Treasury Department “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg, at least 66 of the 138 bank and corporation executives under his jurisdiction will receive government-approved compensation packages totaling more than $1 million a year.

White House unveils token bank pay restrictions

By Andre Damon and Joe Kishore, 23 October 2009

As details of the Obama administration’s bank pay restrictions were released, it became evident that they will do little to limit compensation, even at the handful of companies affected.

Germany: Closure of Quelle mail order business costs 7,000 jobs

By Peter Schwarz, 23 October 2009

Three weeks after the federal election, Germany’s best known mail order company is being closed down with the loss of 7,000 jobs.

Atlanta homeless shelters strain under economic crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 23 October 2009

As the economic crisis deepens, Atlanta, Georgia, emergency providers are straining to accommodate more than 7,000 homeless people, including many newly homeless families.

Britain: South Yorkshire firefighters threatened with mass sackings over new shift patterns

By Simon Whelan, 23 October 2009

At 18.00 hours (GMT) today, firefighters in South Yorkshire, England, will carry out the second of two 24-hour stoppages.

Opposition mounts to UAW-Ford concessions contract

By Jerry White, 23 October 2009

Opposition from rank-and-file workers is mounting to the concessions deal reached by the United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Co.

British postal workers launch two-day national strike

By Chris Marsden, 23 October 2009

Britain’s postal workers began two days of strike action yesterday, the first major national strike since 2007.

Washington pushes Pakistan to the brink

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2009

Under heavy pressure from the Obama administration, Pakistan is now waging all-out war in South Waziristan.

Tensions between India and China flare again

By John Chan, 23 October 2009

The immediate spark was a visit by the Indian prime minister to the northern state of Arunachal Pradesh. The trip provoked a protest from Beijing, which disputes Indian control of the area, resulting in heated words in the Indian and Chinese media.

Sri Lankan regime keeps student union convener detained

By Kapila Fernando, 23 October 2009

The remand custody of Inter University Students Federation convener Udul Premaratne has been extended until October 30. Premaratne has been in remand prison since he and 14 Ayurvada University students were arrested at a demonstration on September 17.

Britain: Leeds refuse workers vote to continue strike

By Barbara Slaughter, 23 October 2009

At a mass meeting on October 21, striking Leeds refuse workers voted by a massive 92 percent majority to reject the “final offer” from Leeds City Council and continue their seven-week strike.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 23 October 2009

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

Unite Michigan teachers, students, workers to stop school cuts!

By Statement Socialist Equality Party, 23 October 2009

This statement, calling for opposition to the attack on public education and cuts in school funding, is being distributed to teachers, students and workers in Michigan.

Karzai bows to US pressure on Afghanistan runoff

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2009

In an action that was as predictable—and as degrading—as a serf prostrating himself before his master, the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, bowed to relentless pressure from the Obama administration and agreed Tuesday to a runoff election.

The “Balloon Boy” hoax, celebrity culture, and the American media

By Hiram Lee, 22 October 2009

The “Balloon Boy” hoax has been the subject of wall-to-wall coverage by the major US news networks. Yet another episode in which an unhealthy celebrity culture and media sensationalism have revealed themselves.

Iran makes significant concession to defuse nuclear standoff

By Peter Symonds, 22 October 2009

A draft agreement was finalised yesterday to ship Iran’s low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for processing into fuel for its Tehran research reactor.

Letters from our readers

By , 22 October 2009

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

Sun Microsystems to cut 10 percent of workforce

By Andre Damon, 22 October 2009

Sun Microsystems, maker of servers and database software, announced plans Tuesday to lay off 3,000 people ahead of its merger with Oracle Corp. 

Australia: Five men convicted of terrorist “conspiracy”

By Mike Head, 22 October 2009

Following one of the longest jury deliberations ever recorded—23 days—five Sydney Islamic men were convicted last week on terrorist “conspiracy” charges.

US college tuition skyrockets

By Tom Eley, 22 October 2009

A new study reveals sharp college tuition increases across the US in the 2009-2010 academic year.

Germany: Armed Forces memorial unveiled in Berlin

By Bernd Reinhardt, 22 October 2009

Leading political and military circles in Germany are conducting a systematic campaign to revive militarism.