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Gulf oil spill threatens economic, environmental catastrophe

By Shannon Jones, 30 April 2010

The leak from the collapsed BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is five times larger than original estimates, threatening wholesale environmental devastation.

New Jersey students punished for participating in school walkout

By Sandy English, 30 April 2010

Several school districts have responded to the mass protests by suspending students, and at least 17 were arrested after walking out of class on Thursday.

Jan van der Marck, former chief curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts, dies

By David Walsh, 30 April 2010

Jan van der Marck, the former chief curator of the Detroit Institute of Arts and a remarkable figure in the world of art, died April 26 after a long battle with cancer.

Uneasy standoff in Bangkok after violent clash

By John Roberts, 30 April 2010

A clash on Wednesday between anti-government protestors and Thai security forces has left one soldier dead and two others injured, along with 16 demonstrators.

Australia: Labor government rejects inquiry into impact of mining on health

By Terry Cook, 30 April 2010

A television documentary on open cut coal mining in the Upper Hunter Valley in the Australian state of New South Wales has revealed deep public concern over the resultant health problems.

Sri Lanka: New government threat against the media

By W.A. Sunil, 30 April 2010

In his first press conference yesterday, Sri Lanka’s newly installed deputy media minister, Mervin Silva, warned the media to toe the government’s line.

University of Pittsburgh: Striking Cafeteria workers ordered back to work by SEIU

By Patrick Zimmerman, 30 April 2010

Striking Cafeteria workers at the University of Pittsburgh were ordered back to work by the Service Employees International Union on Wednesday, just two days after going on strike.

US Supreme Court deals further blow to separation of church and state

By John Burton, 30 April 2010

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court reversed the decision of a lower court, which had blocked the federal government from transferring into private hands a small parcel of land bearing an eight-foot cross. The arguments leading court members used to justify this decision constitute an attack on the separation between church and state.

BBC Radio Manchester interviews SEP candidate Robert Skelton

By our correspondent, 30 April 2010

BBC Radio Manchester’s Michelle Daniel interviewed Robert Skelton, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Manchester Central.

Greek government agrees to deeper cuts in return for expanded bailout

By Barry Grey, 30 April 2010

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met with trade union and business leaders Thursday to outline new austerity measures designed to more rapidly reduce the country’s budget deficit, in accordance with conditions for an expanded bailout laid down by the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Two miners killed in Kentucky mine collapse

By Naomi Spencer, 30 April 2010

Two miners were buried Wednesday night by a roof collapse in the western Kentucky Dotiki Mine. The mine, owned by billion-dollar coal company Alliance Resource Partners, has an extensive record of safety violations.

German state election reveals an all-party coalition against the population

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 April 2010

The backdrop to the upcoming state election in North Rhine-Westphalia is the rapidly developing economic crisis.

US soldiers’ stories: The terrible cost of Washington’s wars

By Bill Van Auken, 30 April 2010

The “letter of reconciliation” to the Iraqi people written by two recent veterans and their subsequent public statements point to deepening opposition among American working people and within the ranks of the military itself to the continuing US wars.

California: San Juan Capistrano teachers union calls off three-day strike

By Dan Conway, 30 April 2010

An agreement reached between the San Juan Capistrano School District and the Capistrano Unified Education Association ended a three-day teachers’ strike on Tuesday morning. The sellout contract includes wage cuts and attacks on employee health care benefits.

Full rights for all immigrants! For the international unity of the working class!

By Socialist Equality Party, 30 April 2010

This statement of the Socialist Equality Party will be distributed at mass demonstrations in the US on May 1 in opposition to the anti-immigrant bill signed into law in Arizona.

Britain’s general election: An historic political shift

By Chris Marsden, 30 April 2010

Whatever the final outcome of the UK General Election on May 6, British political life has already undergone a tectonic shift.

Senate hearing covers up role of government in West Virginia mine disaster

By Samuel Davidson, 30 April 2010

The first of several congressional hearings into the explosion at a mine in West Virginia is setting a precedent for ignoring the criminal culpability of Massey Energy, its executives and government regulators for the death of 29 miners.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 30 April 2010

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

Canada’s Speaker rebukes government for withholding Afghan detainee documents

By Keith Jones, 29 April 2010

The Speaker of Canada’s House of Commons ruled Tuesday that Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative government has violated parliament’s constitutional rights by refusing to obey a Common’s order to hand over all documents concerning the fate of Afghans captured by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

New York City: thousands line up for a handful of jobs

By Sandy English, 29 April 2010

On a rainy weekend, an estimated two thousand workers lined up, many of them overnight, for about 100 elevator mechanics’ apprentice jobs in Queens.

Oil spill from BP explosion spreads in Gulf of Mexico

By Tom Eley, 29 April 2010

An oil spill caused by last week’s deadly explosion on a BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is spreading toward the coast of Louisiana, threatening the region’s economy and environment. In the face of the disaster, the Obama administration has proclaimed it will maintain its call for expanded deep sea drilling.

Sri Lanka: The political decomposition of the LSSP

By Vilani Peiris, 29 April 2010

The April 8 parliamentary election has again underlined the putrefaction of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party.

David King’s Red Star Over Russia now available in German

By , 29 April 2010

David King’s Red Star Over Russia: A Visual History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Death of Stalin is now available in German translation, published by Mehring Verlag.

Sunday Times Rich List shows fortunes of British super-rich soar by a third

By David O’Sullivan and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Oxford East, 29 April 2010

The latest annual Sunday Times Rich List reveals a massive increase in the wealth of Britain’s super-rich.

Obama’s blueprint for austerity

By Patrick Martin, 29 April 2010

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility held its inaugural hearing on Tuesday, launching the process through which the Obama administration plans to introduce drastic attacks on social spending and working class living standards.

Australia: Workers rally against Labor government’s building industry watchdog

By Margaret Rees, 29 April 2010

Construction workers around Australia yesterday rallied against the Labor government’s construction industry “watchdog”, the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 April 2010

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

Expanded Greek bailout discussed as credit crisis engulfs Europe

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2010

German and IMF officials discussed a €135 billion bailout for Greece yesterday, as Spain’s credit rating was downgraded and fears grew that the sovereign debt crisis would spread throughout Europe.

SEP campaign in Oxford East: Cowley Road residents interviewed

By our correspondent, 29 April 2010

Socialist Equality Party campaigners have been speaking to voters and residents around Cowley Road in the East Oxford constituency. Discussions have thrown up diverse experiences, reflecting the varied character of the area.

Unite the working class to defend public education!

By Socialist Equality Party, 29 April 2010

This statement of the Socialist Equality Party will be distributed at a rally during a one-day strike of teachers in Oakland, California called for April 29.

DTE profits soar in first quarter

By Andrea Peters, 29 April 2010

On Tuesday, energy giant DTE announced a 29 percent increase in first quarter profits compared to last year. Meanwhile, thousands of Detroit area residents are in danger of losing utility service for non-payment.

Japan: Mass protest against US base on Okinawa

By John Chan, 29 April 2010

A rally of 90,000 people in Okinawa on Sunday against the continued presence of a US Marine air base has heightened the political crisis facing the Japanese government over the issue.

German chancellor steps up pressure on Greece

By Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2010

The German government is linking the provision of bailout funds for Greece to entirely new conditions, thereby delaying financial aid.

The hardcore composer: Gang Starr’s Guru dies at 48

By Hiram Lee, 28 April 2010

Rapper Guru of Gang Starr, a significant figure in hip hop music for two decades, died on April 19 at the age of 48.

Goldman Sachs executives defend deceptive marketing of securities

By Kate Randall, 28 April 2010

Testifying Tuesday before a Senate investigative panel, Goldman Sachs executives defended their deceptive marketing of mortgage-backed securities and denied any responsibility for the global economic crisis.

Fundamental Problems of Marxism by Georgi Plekhanov

By , 28 April 2010

This week’s featured title by Mehring Books provides an outline of historical materialism in the context of the development of Marxist philosophy.

Britain: Tragic suicide highlights plight of young unemployed

By Statement by Robert Skelton and SEP candidate for Manchester Central, 28 April 2010

On March 31, a young, bright, popular and talented 21-year-old took her life with a massive overdose of drugs.

World markets plunge as Greek credit downgraded to “junk” status

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 April 2010

Stock markets in Europe, the US, and other regions closed sharply lower yesterday after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded its sovereign credit rating of Greece to “junk” status and also lowered Portugal’s rating by two notches.

Hidden toll of US wars: 18 veterans commit suicide daily

By Bill Van Auken, 28 April 2010

An average of 18 US military veterans are taking their lives every day as the Obama administration and the Pentagon grow increasingly defensive about the epidemic of suicides driven by Washington’s wars of aggression.

Video: SEP candidate addresses Oxford Union

By , 28 April 2010

On April 20, David O’Sullivan, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Oxford East, spoke at an election hustings organised by the Stop the War Coalition.

Puerto Rican students occupy four universities

By Alphonso Santana and Rafael Azul, 28 April 2010

Students have occupied Puerto Rico’s largest university, the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, in a suburb of San Juan, to oppose tuition increases and the privatization plans of Governor Luis Fortuño.

British press calls for election debate on budget cuts

By Alex Lantier, 28 April 2010

With the May 6 British general election approaching, press commentators have identified the massive budget cuts the next government must implement.

Obama seizes on Arizona law to push repressive immigration overhaul

By Tom Eley, 28 April 2010

The anti-immigrant law passed in Arizona last week has caused widespread shock and anger, and a wave of protests in Arizona and across the US. The Obama administration is seeking to use the measure to push through its own reactionary immigration “reform.”

Charges dropped over Philippine political killings

By John Braddock, 28 April 2010

The Philippine government has dropped charges against two members of a prominent political family accused of conspiracy in last year’s massacre of 57 people in southern Mindanao.

New Jersey: Thousands of high school students walk out to protest education cuts

By Sandy English, 28 April 2010

The mass demonstrations by students reflects growing opposition to the attack on public education, which is backed by both political parties.

US soldier in WikiLeaks massacre video: “I relive this every day”

By Bill Van Auken, 28 April 2010

Iraq war veteran Ethan McCord, seen running with an Iraqi child in his arms in a video posted by WikiLeaks of a July 2007 massacre in Baghdad, talked to the World Socialist Web Site about the impact of this and similar experiences in Iraq.

Sri Lanka: Opposition parties unanimously back new parliamentary speaker

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 27 April 2010

One aspect of the proceedings in the first parliamentary session last week underlined the degree to which the entire political establishment supports the anti-working class agenda of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Obama’s phony banking “reform”

By Barry Grey, 27 April 2010

The Obama administration’s banking “reform” does nothing to curb the power of the banks or limit their parasitic and socially destructive activities.

Detroit mayor appoints DTE executive to top post

By Andrea Peters, 27 April 2010

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing continues to add former DTE Energy executives to his staff, announcing on Friday the appointment of Robert Buckler as the city’s chief operating officer.

SEP candidate speaks at comprehensive school hustings in Oxford East

By Steve James, 27 April 2010

David O’Sullivan, SEP candidate in the Oxford East constituency, took part in an election hustings organised by the Parent Teacher Association at Cheney School in Oxford.

Indian Stalinists stage one-day protest strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 April 2010

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its allies in the Left Front are joining today with nine regional- and caste-based parties in staging an all-India hartal—or national strike—to protest the recent decision of India’s Congress Party-led central government to raise gasoline, diesel, and fertilizer prices.

On the road to ruin: The Runaways

By Hiram Lee, 27 April 2010

The Runaways tells the story of the all-girl rock band with the same name that began performing in the 1970s and whose rise to fame was as much a tragedy as it was a success.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 April 2010

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

New York City: Luxury housing market recovers as homelessness rises

By Dan Brennan and Ali Ismail, 27 April 2010

The impact of the economic crisis on housing in New York City has once again laid bare the nature of class relations that exist in America’s largest city and the capital of global finance.

Sarkozy proposes total ban on the burqa in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 April 2010

Sarkozy is moving to fast-track a total ban on the burqa in France over objections that the bill is unconstitutional, and despite widespread popular hostility to his recent “national identity” campaign.

Israel expels first Palestinians under new military edict

By Jean Shaoul, 27 April 2010

Israel has deported two Palestinian men to the Gaza Strip under a new military regulation that came into effect two weeks ago restricting the right of Palestinians to live in the West Bank.

US military escalates its dirty war in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 27 April 2010

American special forces’ units are operating in and around the Afghan city of Kandahar, assassinating or capturing alleged leaders and militants of the Taliban resistance ahead of a major US-NATO offensive.

Hungary: Right-wing Fidesz wins two-thirds majority

By Markus Salzmann, 27 April 2010

The right-wing conservative Fidesz (Federation of Young Democrats), led by Victor Orban, won a more than two-thirds majority in the second round of the Hungarian parliamentary election.

A letter on Witnesses to Permanent Revolution

By , 27 April 2010

This letter was sent in response to David North’s review of Witnesses to Permanent Revolution: the Documentary Record.

Political stalemate continues in Thailand

By John Roberts, 27 April 2010

The crisis in Bangkok is intensifying as thousands of anti-government protesters entrenched in the upmarket Ratchaprasong commercial area confront heavily armed soldiers and police.

Indian writer Arundhati Roy threatened with prosecution under anti-terrorism law

By Kranti Kumara, 26 April 2010

Police in the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh are “exploring” laying charges under the state’s draconian anti-terrorism law against Arundhati Roy.

“Casemix”: The model for cutting Australian hospital spending

By Margaret Rees and Mike Head, 26 April 2010

The Rudd government’s hospital plan centres on using the “casemix” funding model to slash costs and ration patients’ access to services.

Miners and friends at memorial service speak on mine explosion

By Jeff Lassahn and Samuel Davidson, 26 April 2010

Attendees at the memorial Sunday expressed their sorrow, their support for the families and friends of those who were killed, and anger at Massey Energy and federal and state regulators.

Britain: David O’Sullivan addresses hustings in Oxford East

By Julie Hyland, 26 April 2010

Over the past week, David O’Sullivan, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Oxford East, has spoken at a number of local hustings leading up to the May 6 General Election.

Germany prepares to deport 14,000 refugees to Kosovo

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 26 April 2010

The German government is preparing to deport 14,000 refugees to Kosovo, despite warnings by the United Nations Refugee Commission that they face dangers to life and limb.

Arizona immigration bill: A frontal assault on democratic rights

By Patrick Martin, 26 April 2010

The new anti-immigrant law passed in Arizona last week and signed by Governor Jan Brewer is a blatantly racist and anti-democratic measure authorizing police-state methods against the Hispanic population of the state.

Google publishes figures on government requests for data

By Mick Ingram, 26 April 2010

Google has launched a new function that allows users to see how many requests have been made by governments for the data Google routinely collects on users.

Obama preaches reconciliation with coal bosses

By Jerry White, 26 April 2010

In a eulogy for the 29 coal miners killed in the April 5 explosion in West Virginia, President Obama sought to conceal the responsibility of the mine owners and the complicity of the federal government.

Britain: SEP candidate addresses Greenpeace hustings

By Julie Hyland, 26 April 2010

Greenpeace held a political hustings in Oxford Town Hall last Wednesday entitled “Ask the Climate Question”.

Climate scientists exonerated in hacked emails inquiry

By Chris Talbot, 26 April 2010

An independent inquiry into the conduct of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Britain has found “absolutely no evidence of any impropriety whatsoever.”

European officials demand new cuts following Greek bailout request

By Alex Lantier, 26 April 2010

European and IMF officials indicated they will demand further social cuts in Greece following Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou’s request for a bailout.

Unexplained naval sinking produces political crisis in South Korea

By John Chan, 26 April 2010

President Lee Myung-bak is increasingly under pressure from sections of his right-wing Grand National Party and the military to take action against North Korea over the incident.

This week in history: April 26-May 2

By , 26 April 2010

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Britain’s leaders’ debate: A fraud in three acts

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2010

The second of three televised debates between the leaders of Britain’s main parties was meant to focus on foreign policy, but over half was given over to questions of “general interest”.

What is the situation facing immigrants and asylum seekers in Britain?

By Jean Shaoul, 24 April 2010

Official statistics refute the claims that Britain is being “swamped” by immigration and show the desperately impoverished conditions in which immigrants live and work.

Britain: Workers must oppose prejudice against immigrants and asylum seekers

By Robert Skelton and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Manchester Central, 24 April 2010

The Socialist Equality Party, in its campaign in Manchester Central, has repeatedly encountered workers who are by no means racist, but who argue that with jobs and public services under attack, immigration is too high and must be curbed.

Vindictive prosecution of Polanski continues

By David Walsh, 24 April 2010

On Thursday a California appeals court denied an appeal by filmmaker Roman Polanski to be sentenced in absentia for having sex with an underage girl in 1977. This opens the door to Polanski’s possible extradition to the US to face sentencing in person.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 April 2010

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

Sri Lanka: New cabinet installed to implement austerity program

By K. Ratnayake, 24 April 2010

Following the April 8 parliamentary election, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed the new cabinet yesterday in preparation for what will be a far reaching offensive against the living standards of workers.

Sri Lankan SEP and ISSE to hold May Day meeting

By , 24 April 2010

Sri Lankan SEP and ISSE will hold a public meeting in Colombo on May 1 to mark the international workers’ day.

Search ended for eleven workers missing in Louisiana oil rig explosion

By Tom Eley, 24 April 2010

The US Coast Guard on Friday evening ended its search for 11 workers missing since a Tuesday night explosion on a British Petroleum oil rig off Louisiana’s coast.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 April 2010

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

The Greek crisis and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Alex Lantier, 24 April 2010

The de facto support by the trade unions and pseudo-left groups for the Papandreou government’s austerity policies underscores the need for a new political perspective and new leadership in the working class.

US: Forty years since the national postal strike

By Hector Cordon, 24 April 2010

Forty years ago postal workers defied their unions, anti-strike laws, and the Nixon administration’s deployment of the military in New York City to carry out the first national strike against the US government in history.

Obama administration spending billions on new global strike weapons

By Bill Van Auken, 24 April 2010

The Obama administration is spending billions of dollars to develop new weapons systems, including powerful conventional warhead missiles capable of striking any target in the world within less than an hour.

Police beating of Maryland student caught on video

By Niall Green, 24 April 2010

Police in Maryland brutally assaulted a student, lied about the incident in an attempt to smear him, and may have tampered with video evidence. The case highlights the increasing turn by police towards harsh attacks on youth in the US.

European trade unions agree to closure of GM plant in Belgium

By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2010

Trade union work councils at the Opel motor company agreed to the closure of the Belgian plant in Antwerp last Sunday.

Afghanistan: Another massacre as a bloody summer looms in Kandahar

By James Cogan, 23 April 2010

The regular killing of civilians has dramatically heightened the already pervasive hatred of occupation forces by the Afghan population, even as a steady build-up takes place of US and NATO troop numbers in the country.

Ex-CEO, regulators trade blame for Lehman collapse

By Andre Damon and Patrick Martin, 23 April 2010

Richard Fuld, former head of collapsed investment bank Lehman Brothers, denied knowing about illegal accounting practices at his firm in congressional testimony Tuesday.

Greek public sector workers strike to oppose austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 April 2010

A strike by tens of thousands of civil servants in opposition to austerity measures comes as the Greek government is in discussions with IMF and European officials on further attacks on workers.

Arizona legislature passes police-state measures against immigrants

By Josué Olmos, 23 April 2010

On Monday, April 19, the Arizona state legislature passed new immigration legislation that severely restricts the rights of both documented and undocumented workers. Senate Bill 1070, which provides a legal mandate for racial profiling, awaits a decision by Republican Governor Jan Brewer by Saturday.

NAPLAN testing and My School: Rudd’s free market education agenda

By , 23 April 2010

In January this year, the Rudd government launched its My School web site, which ranks schools nationally, based on their performance in standardised literacy and numeracy tests (known as NAPLAN). The real purpose of My School is to unleash a divisive struggle between schools.

Israel: Whistleblower faces espionage charges for exposing IDF assassinations

By Danny Richardson, 23 April 2010

Anat Kamm, a 23-year-old former soldier and journalist, is accused of passing secret documents to a fellow journalist that expose assassinations of Palestinians carried out by the Israeli army.

Oxford East voters speak following SEP candidate’s appearance at election hustings

By our reporter, 23 April 2010

Over the last week, David O’Sullivan, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for Oxford East, has addressed a series of general election hustings organised by various churches and organisations such as Oxfam and the Stop the War Coalition.

US soldier on Baghdad massacre: “Not out of the ordinary in Iraq”

By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2010

Iraq war veteran Josh Stieber, whose company is seen in the video posted by WikiLeaks of a July 2007 massacre of civilians in Baghdad, talked to the World Socialist Web Site about his experiences in Iraq and why he has chosen to speak out.

US soldiers issue apology over killings in Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 23 April 2010

Two soldiers who served in an Army unit depicted in a shocking video released by WikiLeaks have issued a public apology for the carnage, which they say was routine during their deployment in Iraq.

DTE Energy launches PR campaign to deflect anger over utility shutoffs

By Lawrence Porter, 23 April 2010

In response to the growing popular anger over utility shutoffs and a series of utility-related house fires in Detroit, DTE Energy is stepping up its public relations campaign to portray itself as a caring company willing to do everything to help its low-income customers.

The Chancellor’s lies

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 April 2010

With opposition to the Afghanistan war growing in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a speech to the German parliament claiming that there was “no alternative” to the deployment of the country’s military there.

Australian government’s policy sparked fatal refugee boat fire

By Mike Head, 23 April 2010

Media commentators and politicians distorted the coroner’s findings to falsely accuse refugees of deliberately blowing up their boat.

Obama reassures Wall Street on bank regulation bill

By Barry Grey, 23 April 2010

President Barack Obama went to lower Manhattan Thursday to deliver a message to Wall Street: Your profits and bonuses will not be disturbed by the regulatory overhaul making its way through Congress.