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The wage-cutter in chief visits Detroit

By Patrick Martin, 31 July 2010

President Obama’s four-hour visit to Detroit Friday brought him to the center of the economic catastrophe created by the profit system.

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party considers role in government

By Pierre Mabut and Alex Lantier, 31 July 2010

In a recent interview, NPA leader Alain Krivine signaled his party’s willingness to consider a role in government with the social democrats, even as social democratic governments across Europe implement huge spending cuts directed against the working class.

“Nothing will ever be the same”—interview with an eyewitness

By our correspondents, 31 July 2010

The WSWS interviewed an eyewitness to the tragedy at the Love Parade in Duisburg

Europe’s class policy: A blank check for the banks, austerity for workers

By Stefan Steinberg, 31 July 2010

The same week that European officials announced the results of rigged bank stress tests, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet demanded that governments across the continent press ahead with austerity programs that will slash jobs, wages and social programs.

Rhode Island ACLU expands lawsuit over Chinese immigrant’s death

By John Marion, 31 July 2010

The Rhode Island branch of the ACLU has filed an amended lawsuit in the case of Hiu Lui Ng, a Chinese immigrant, who died at the age of 34 while a prisoner in a state detention facility in August 2008.

Dozens arrested in Arizona demonstrations against anti-immigrant law

By Josué Olmos, 31 July 2010

Demonstrations were held throughout the day in Arizona and around the country on Thursday in opposition to SB 1070 and the brutal tactics of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County.

Greek truck drivers defy government

By Stefan Steinberg, 31 July 2010

Greek truck drivers decided on Friday to continue their five-day national strike, despite a series of punitive measures by the social democratic government of Prime Minister George Papandreou aiming to break their action.

New York police to continue stop-and-frisk onslaught despite new law

By Sandy English, 31 July 2010

The New York City police will continue subjecting hundreds of thousands of working class and minority youth to stop-and-frisks, despite a new state law limiting the NYPD’s power to store information on these encounters in electronic data bases.

As BP winds down cleanup, environmental impact spreads

By Tom Eley, 31 July 2010

BP announced Friday it will scale back cleanup operations, in spite of fresh evidence of environmental catastrophe in the Gulf.

In Defense of Leon Trotsky by David North now available

By , 31 July 2010

Mehring Books announces the publication of In Defense of Leon Trotsky by David North, a new collection of essays exploring Trotsky’s lasting contributions to the socialist movement and exposing the campaign of historical falsification against him.

Australia: Labor’s punitive industrial legislation in action

By Noel Holt and SEP candidate for Newcastle, 31 July 2010

Months after a settlement was reached in a dispute at Woodside Petroleum’s $12 billion Pluto gas project in Western Australia, hundreds of workers are facing huge fines for taking industrial action to defend their basic conditions.

As casualties in Afghanistan rise, Army suicides, drug use set new records

By Bill Van Auken, 31 July 2010

As US military fatalities in Afghanistan hit a new high in July, the US Army issued a report exposing record suicides, drug use and other signs of deep demoralization among its ranks after a decade of colonial-style wars.

Iraq establishes special court to prosecute journalists

By Jordan Shilton, 31 July 2010

Iraq is seeking to extend the powers of the state over the media, with the announcement earlier this month of the creation of a special court to try journalists.

The American left and the WikiLeaks documents

By David Walsh, 31 July 2010

American liberalism and the “left” have responded to the WikiLeaks revelations as an element of the establishment, suggesting alterations in policy, but rejecting an independent struggle against war based on a break with the Democratic Party.

Duisburg protesters demand resignation of mayor

By our correspondents, 31 July 2010

A crowd of around 500 people gathered on Thursday in front of the Duisburg city hall to demand the resignation of the mayor who had insisted that the Love Parade take place despite obvious and serious security risks.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 31 July 2010

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

Techno music festival disaster—those responsible deny all charges

By Lena Sokoll, 31 July 2010

The fact that the deadly disaster at last Saturday’s Love Parade techno music festival was so foreseeable makes it a crime.

Sri Lanka: The JVP’s cynical posturing as a defender of democracy

By Vilani Peiris, 31 July 2010

The JVP’s campaign for “democracy” has nothing to do with defending the rights of ordinary working people, but is primarily concerned with preventing the growing hostility of workers and youth becoming a threat to the political establishment and capitalist rule.

“If you got hurt and took an ambulance, you would die”

By a WSWS reporting team, 30 July 2010

The small town of Matewan, situated in the steep mountains of Mingo County, West Virginia, earned a place in history for the struggles of the coal miners who called it home in the first part of the twentieth century.

Michigan oil spill forces evacuations

By Tom Eley and Dwight Stoll, 30 July 2010

Dozens of families have been evacuated from their homes along streams and rivers in central Michigan in the wake of an oil spill from a ruptured pipeline, which likely took place on Sunday. Local health officials have also warned residents against drinking water from wells that may be contaminated by the oil.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 30 July 2010

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

Corporate media downplays Gulf oil spill

By Josué Olmos, 30 July 2010

A number of recent articles in the corporate media have sought to minimize the effects of the Gulf oil spill and purge the event from the consciousness of the American people.

French parliamentary commission approves pension cuts

By Kumaran Ira, 30 July 2010

In closed-door hearings, a parliamentary committee approved bitterly unpopular pension cuts in France, which are scheduled to go to a vote in the National Assembly in early September.

EU, Australia and Canada impose tough sanctions on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2010

While promoted as means of pressuring Iran, the sanctions are a further escalation of a dangerous confrontation that is setting the stage for war.

Italy’s Berlusconi government racked by scandals and growing tensions

By Marianne Arens, 30 July 2010

The current corruption scandals in Italy far exceed those involved in the so-called Tangentopoli swamp of 1991, and a succession of ministers and state secretaries has already resigned.

Young people disenfranchised in Australia’s snap election

By Richard Phillips and SEP candidate for Blaxland, 30 July 2010

Australians not already registered on the electoral rolls had only one working day to secure their right to vote in the August 21 federal election.

The social crisis in Appalachia

By Naomi Spencer, 30 July 2010

The population of the coalfields region of eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia has hemorrhaged with the collapse of wages and jobs in the coal industry since the 1980s.

An interview with Richard Brenneman, journalist who covered the Polanski trial

By David Walsh, 30 July 2010

Swiss authorities announced July 12 that 76-year-old filmmaker Roman Polanski would not be extradited to the US. Polanski was arrested September 26, 2009 on his arrival in Zurich to attend a film festival. He remained under house arrest at his chalet in Gstaad until the Swiss justice ministry rendered its recent decision.

Democrats, Republicans posture as friends of small business

By Patrick Martin, 30 July 2010

President Obama and congressional Republicans both claim to defend small business, while advocating tax breaks and other handouts that mainly benefit corporate America and the wealthy.

UN court upholds Kosovo’s declaration of independence

By Julie Hyland and Paul Mitchell, 30 July 2010

The United Nations International Court of Justice ruled last week that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008 was legal.

Pentagon retaliates against WikiLeaks, Pvt. Manning

By Bill Van Auken, 30 July 2010

In response to the WikiLeaks posting of tens of thousands of secret documents on the Afghanistan war, the Pentagon has launched a manhunt within the military and called in the FBI for possible prosecution of the actual source of the leak.

Russia to expand military aid to US occupation of Afghanistan

By Niall Green, 30 July 2010

The Kremlin has announced plans to begin shipping arms to support the US occupation of Afghanistan along the Northern Distribution Network that passes through Russia.

Returning to the scene of the crime

By Jerry White, 30 July 2010

President Obama is visiting two Detroit area auto plants today, a year after ordering the destruction of tens of thousands of jobs at GM and Chrysler and enforcing a 50 percent cut in the wages of auto workers.

Report exposes journalist killings in Honduras

By Rafael Azul, 29 July 2010

Seven journalists were shot to death and another severely wounded in Honduras earlier this year. These assassinations expose Washington’s claims that Honduras is on the road of democracy and reconciliation.

The “new normal”: More than one in five Americans at risk of destitution

By Barry Grey, 29 July 2010

More than one in five Americans in 2009 suffered a household income loss of 25 percent or more over the previous year, according to a new report sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and entitled "Economic Security at Risk."

The German Love Parade disaster: Not a tragic accident, but a crime

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 July 2010

Numerous eyewitness testimonies indicate that the organizers and those politically responsible disregarded concerns and warnings raised by experts.

Support the socialist alternative to war, social inequality and attacks on democratic rights! Build the Socialist Equality Party!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 29 July 2010

The Socialist Equality Party calls on working people and youth to support our campaign in the August 21, 2010 federal election and vote for our candidates in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Gulf oil spill: 100 days of disaster

By Tom Eley, 29 July 2010

The first 100 days of the BP Gulf oil catastrophe have provided an object lesson in the destructiveness and irrationality of capitalism.

The Afghanistan documents and the struggle against war

By Bill Van Auken, 29 July 2010

The utter indifference of the US media and the political establishment as a whole to the WikiLeaks documents’ exposure of massive violence against the people of Afghanistan poses the critical need for a new strategy in the struggle against war.

Sri Lankan students protest against police over university death

By Suranga Siriwardena and Kapila Fernando, 29 July 2010

Thousands of university students have taken part in protests for the past three days over the death of fellow student Susantha Aruna Bandara. He died last Friday, one month after a police attack on students at Ruhuna university.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 July 2010

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

Sri Lankan SEP to hold a public meeting against police-state measures

By , 29 July 2010

The methods used against the Tamil masses during two decades of civil war are being turned against working people as a whole as the government wages its “economic war” to “build the nation”.

800,000 gallons of oil spilled into Michigan river

By Josué Olmos, 29 July 2010

On Sunday, July 25, a leak at an oil pipeline pump near Marshall, Michigan sent over 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilling into the Kalamazoo River. The health and environmental effects of the spill have already begun to take their toll.

A somber look back: Mad Men, Season 4

By James Brookfield, 29 July 2010

AMC’s Mad Men, whose fourth season premiered on Sunday night, stands out as one of the more interesting and well-written US television series at present.

SEP (Australia) relaunches party web site

By , 29 July 2010

The Socialist Equality Party has relaunched its website,, featuring the SEP’s 2010 election statement, profiles of its candidates and information on the campaign.

Judge blocks main provisions of Arizona anti-immigrant law

By Patrick Martin, 29 July 2010

Federal district judge Susan Bolton barred enforcement of the major provisions of SB 1070, which was to go into effect July 29, until constitutional challenges are resolved. This means that the law will be effectively blocked until a final decision by the US Supreme Court.

Australia: Prime Minister Gillard answers damaging leaks with display of “steel”

By Mike Head, 29 July 2010

In an attempt to confront damaging leaks about her opposition in cabinet to spending on pensions and parental leave, Gillard provided an aggressive display of the ruthless pro-business and austerity agenda that lay behind her installation as prime minister.

Congress ratifies Obama escalation of Afghanistan war

By Patrick Martin, 28 July 2010

One day after the release of 91,000 documents detailing US military atrocities in Afghanistan, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives gave final approval to an emergency funding bill to pay for further escalation of the war.

Australia: Labor’s mental illness plan and the healthcare crisis

By Joe Lopez and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Swan, 28 July 2010

Yesterday’s pledge by Prime Minister Gillard to spend just $69 million more a year on suicide prevention measures underscores the government’s utter contempt for people suffering from mental illness, and points to its wider plans to cut health spending.

Ontario Liberals push wage freeze scheme

By Carl Bronski, 28 July 2010

Ontario’s Liberal finance minister summoned provincial public service union leaders to a meeting this week to demand that the labour bureaucrats accept an across-the-board wage freeze for some 710,000 unionized workers.

British politicians and media dismiss WikiLeaks details of Afghanistan war crimes

By Julie Hyland, 28 July 2010

Britain’s political elite are attempting to play down the so-called Afghan War Diary—the 92,000 documents published by WikiLeaks, details of which are being serialised in the Guardian newspaper.

Australian election takes place in a ‘parallel universe’

By Alex Messenger, 28 July 2010

As the Australian federal election campaign enters its second week, the major political parties and corporate media, followed obediently by the Greens and “ex-left” groups, have already sharply narrowed the terms of permissible debate.

The New York Times and the Afghan documents

By Bill Van Auken, 28 July 2010

The posting by WikiLeaks of some 92,000 secret documents on the Afghanistan war has sparked comparisons with the leaking nearly 40 years ago of the Pentagon Papers, which provided a devastating exposure of US policy in the Vietnam War.

“Priority Schools” in Detroit: A thin disguise for charters and privatization

By Walter Gilberti, 28 July 2010

The emergency financial director of the Detroit public schools is poised to implement a sweeping reorganization of the district that will trample on the working conditions and democratic rights of teachers.

BP’s Hayward out, with golden parachute

By Tom Eley, 28 July 2010

BP announced that CEO Tony Hayward will be replaced by American Robert Dudley on October 1. Hayward will be given a multi-million dollar pension and a lucrative new position with a BP venture in Russia.

Indian security forces crack down on Kashmiri protests

By Arun Kumar, 28 July 2010

Demonstrations and strikes are continuing in Indian-ruled Kashmir despite the deployment of Indian troops to the state.

BP to take $10 billion tax write-off for cleanup

By Tom Eley, 28 July 2010

BP’s billions of dollars in tax write-offs in the US and UK will essentially shift the burden of paying for much of the cleanup and compensation onto the public.

IMF and EU step up the pressure on Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 July 2010

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union have tightened the screws on Hungary following a government decision to introduce a levy on banks and insurance companies, and delay the introduction of some of its planned austerity measures.

The social crisis in Appalachia

By Naomi Spencer and Rosa Lexington, 27 July 2010

Reckless surface mining operations in close proximity to communities has exposed residents of the coalfields to water contamination, flash flooding, and other dangers.

The refoundation of Spain’s United Left: A turn to the banks

By Paul Stuart and Alex Lantier, 27 July 2010

The Stalinist United Left signalled at it June congress that it was prepared to shift decisively to the right, backing the policies of social-democratic Prime Minister José Zapatero as he carries out massive austerity policies in the interests of the banks.

Implications of Rudd coup discussed at SEP meeting in Newcastle

By our reporter, 27 July 2010

SEP national secretary Nick Beams and Noel Holt, the SEP candidate for the federal seat of Newcastle, addressed workers, students and professionals at a well-attended meeting on Sunday.

BP attempts to buy silence of Gulf Coast scientists

By Josué Olmos, 27 July 2010

As part of its campaign to cover up the devastating effects of the Gulf oil spill, BP offered contracts to public university scientists that stipulated strict secrecy and lawyer-dictated research assignments.

“Massey has destroyed the wells and the water”

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 July 2010

Residents of Williamson spoke to the WSWS about declining conditions, environmental destruction, and corruption in Williamson.

Report reveals systematic brutality against child offenders in Britain

By Zach Reed, 27 July 2010

The Children’s Rights Alliance for England has revealed the brutal regime facing children held in privately run Secure Training Centres.

Mass teacher firings in Washington, DC

By Walter Gilberti, 27 July 2010

On Friday, Washington DC’s schools chancellor Michelle Rhee fired 241 public school teachers, setting a precedent for the termination of tens of thousands of instructors nationally who are being scapegoated for low test scores.

Police cleared of all charges in death of London G20 victim Ian Tomlinson

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2010

On July 22, the Crown Prosecution Service cleared a Territorial Support Group police officer, PC Simon Harwood, of any charges relating to the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 summit in London last April.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 July 2010

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

Leaked documents expose imperialist war in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 27 July 2010

Nearly 92,000 military documents posted on the Internet by the WikiLeaks web site paint a devastating picture of US-NATO imperialist atrocities in Afghanistan.

Germany: 20 dead and hundreds injured at techno music festival

By Dietmar Henning, 27 July 2010

Twenty people have paid with their lives due to the subordination of safety to economic interests at the annual Love Parade in Germany.

Sri Lankan government enlists services of former LTTE leader

By Athiyan Silva, 27 July 2010

Further evidence has emerged in recent weeks of the LTTE’s continuing political disintegration with reports indicating that senior LTTE leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan is now actively collaborating with the government and military intelligence.

An insider’s critique of education “reform”

By Walter Gilberti and Jerry White, 27 July 2010

Diane Ravitch’s book presents a summary on the attack on public education, from its origins during the Reagan era to Obama’s Race to the Top.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 July 2010

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

Australian election: The fraud of Labor’s “Work Choices” scare campaign

By Noel Holt and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Newcastle, 27 July 2010

Labor’s legislation actually strengthens the anti-strike provisions of Work Choices. It outlaws all industrial action except during the limited bargaining periods for enterprise agreements at individual workplaces.

Crowding, rising tuition at Michigan community colleges

By Dwight Stoll, 27 July 2010

The WSWS spoke to students at a Detroit community college about rising tuition prices and overcrowding.

I am Love and The Leopard: Italian cinema new and old

By Joanne Laurier, 27 July 2010

Numerous critics argue that director Luca Guadagnino’s I am Love represents something of a revival of Italian cinema, and compare the new film favorably to Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterpiece, The Leopard.

A record of war crimes

By Bill Van Auken, 27 July 2010

The tens of thousands of documents posted online by WikiLeaks have provided a detailed, documentary portrait of the criminal war being waged by the Obama administration.

The Sherrod affair and American social reality

By David Walsh, 27 July 2010

The Shirley Sherrod affair, the case of the black US Department of Agriculture official fired July 20 because of an allegedly racist remark, is profoundly discrediting to every wing of the American establishment.

1,500 layoffs at Pittsburgh health system

By Alexander Demir and Samuel Davidson, 26 July 2010

West Penn Allegheny Health Systems has announced the layoff of 1,500 doctors, nurses, aides and other staff, as well as the closure of most services, at its 98-year-old flagship West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood.

Alarm on BP oil rig disabled prior to explosion

By Josué Olmos, 26 July 2010

A technician has testified that the general alarm system on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was partially disabled, one of a series of decisions sacrificing safety that led up to the April 20 explosion.

Australia: Gillard and Abbott stage sham election debate

By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for the Senate in Victoria, 26 July 2010

Last night’s sole election campaign debate between Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition Liberal leader Tony Abbott comprised lengthy diatribes by both leaders against refugees and immigrants, and a series of lies and evasions on the world economic crisis, the war in Afghanistan, mounting social hardship, and climate change.

SEP candidate to be placed on the ballot in Detroit

By , 26 July 2010

SEP candidate D’Artagnan Collier, will be on the ballot for the 9th district of the Michigan state house of representatives.

The socialist alternative to austerity, social inequality and war

By , 26 July 2010

The SEP candidates will be addressing public meetings over the next four weeks and final rallies in Melbourne and Sydney.

Yonkers, New York slashes schools, services

By Steve Light and A. Woodson, 26 July 2010

Yonkers, New York state’s fourth largest city, has carried out drastic cuts in education and public services to stave off impending bankruptcy.

This week in history: July 26-August 1

By , 26 July 2010

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

Australia’s political coup and the role of the ex-left

By Laura Tiernan and Nick Beams, 26 July 2010

The response of the middle-class pseudo-left groups to the coup that removed Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and installed Julia Gillard has highlighted the class interests they serve.

On Wall Street, crime pays very well

By Patrick Martin, 26 July 2010

The Obama administration’s “special master” has rubber-stamped the awarding of billions in bonuses to top executives of major banks during the period when they were being bailed out by the US Treasury.

Afghanistan casualty rate highest of war

By James Cogan, 26 July 2010

The rate of US and allied casualties has soared to the highest level of the nearly nine-year war and is beginning to match the bloodiest stages of the occupation of Iraq.

Stress test whitewash of European banks

By Stefan Steinberg, 26 July 2010

The results of the stress tests of European banks, made public last Friday, amounted to a whitewash of the major financial institutions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 July 2010

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

US naval exercise heightens tensions in Asia

By John Chan, 24 July 2010

The war games involve around 20 South Korean and US warships, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 200 aircraft and 8,000 military personnel.

Most oil industry lobbyists in US worked for government

By Josué Olmos, 24 July 2010

Data from the Center for Responsive Politics show the extensive influential reach of BP and the oil industry through their lobbyists and campaign contributions. There is no clear line of division between the US government and the oil industry.

Ontario Liberals push wage freeze scheme

By Carl Bronski, 24 July 2010

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Dwight Duncan summoned provincial public service union leaders to a meeting this week to demand that the labour bureaucrats acquiesce to an across-the-board wage freeze for some 710,000 unionized workers.

Australian PM Gillard’s climate change speech—another admission of bankruptcy on the environment

By Patrick O’Connor and Socialist Equality Party candidate for Senate in Victoria, 24 July 2010

Labor Prime Minister Gillard’s speech on climate change was a conscious fraud, combining lies on the science of global warming with new sound-bite driven measures pitched towards business which do nothing to adequately address the environmental crisis.

British deputy prime minister admits Iraq war was illegal

By Julie Hyland, 24 July 2010

The statement by British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that the Iraq war was “illegal” leads to only one conclusion—that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and many others must immediately be arraigned on war crimes charges.

The social crisis in Appalachia

By Naomi Spencer, 24 July 2010

This is the second in a series of articles on the history, economy, social and environmental conditions of the Appalachian coalfields.

Sri Lankan government pushes university privatisation

By Kapila Fernando, 24 July 2010

The growth of private education will be paralleled by the continuing rundown of public education creating a two class system—quality institutions for those who can afford to pay, and rundown, overcrowded and underfunded institutions for the rest.

Germany’s ex-defence minister warns of a “cold military putsch”

By Johannes Stern, 24 July 2010

A proposed reform of the German Armed Forces will increase the powers of the military over society as a whole.

Venezuela breaks with Colombia over guerrilla accusations

By Bill Van Auken, 24 July 2010

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez broke off diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia over charges by that country’s government that Caracas has sheltered FARC guerrillas.

Britain: Local authorities face devastating cuts and rationalisation

By Stephen Alexander, 24 July 2010

A report by the New Local Government Network has warned that local authorities could lose at least a third of central government funding over the life of the current parliament.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 July 2010

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