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Fourteen more US troops killed in Afghanistan: What are they dying for?

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2010

With Obama’s Afghanistan surge now up to full strength, casualties among both US troops and Afghan civilians are rising sharply. New revelations of corruption and CIA payoffs raise the inescapable question: What are they dying for?

French government seeks European backing for its anti-Roma policy

By Stefan Steinberg, 31 August 2010

The French government is seeking to win support from official European institutions for its racist policy of rounding up and deporting members of the Roma community.

Caretaker PM delivers pitch to independents and financial markets

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2010

Caretaker prime minister Julia Gillard had two objectives in her address to the National Press Club today: to secure the support of independents for a minority Labor government and to reassure the Australian corporate elites.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 August 2010

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

Australia: Detained refugee dies in Perth hospital

By Leticia Marshall, 31 August 2010

An asylum seeker held at the Curtin detention centre in the remote north-west of Western Australia died on August 22 at Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

US arrests 370 immigrants in Midwest raids

By Tom Eley, 31 August 2010

A large-scale US Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation resulted in the arrest of 370 immigrants in ten Midwestern states last week.

Five years since Hurricane Katrina

By Naomi Spencer, 31 August 2010

Five years after the destruction of New Orleans, Louisiana, critical infrastructure remains crippled and many working poor residents are in want of basic social services.

Corporations, UAW continue campaign against Indianapolis GM workers

By Jerry White and Andre Damon, 31 August 2010

Investor JD Norman held a meeting with a small group of Indianapolis GM workers and their families on Sunday in an effort to undermine widespread opposition to his demand for a 50 percent wage cut.

Jesse Jackson, UAW hustle votes for Democrats at Detroit “jobs” march

By Shannon Jones, 31 August 2010

The “Rebuild America: Jobs, Justice and Peace” march held Saturday in Detroit provided a campaign platform for Democrats and the very policies that have devastated the city.

Global youth unemployment reaches record levels

By Jordan Shilton, 31 August 2010

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has issued a report documenting the severe impact of the global economic crisis on employment prospects for the world’s youth.

The Australian election crisis: The political issues facing the working class

By , 31 August 2010

The Socialist Equality Party is holding public meetings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Newcastle to discuss the unprecedented crisis that has resulted from the August 21 federal election and the political issues now confronting the working class.

Pakistan floods displace another million people

By Sampath Perera, 31 August 2010

Hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh over the past few days as flood waters threatened cities and towns.

Two Detroit-area men killed in Taser-related incidents

By Tracy Montry, 31 August 2010

Over the last two weeks, two Detroit-area residents have been killed by police using Tasers.

Five years since Hurricane Katrina

By Naomi Spencer, 30 August 2010

For the poor and working class of New Orleans, the immense destruction Hurricane Katrina inflicted on the city turned out to be only the beginning.

Glenn Beck in Washington: Preaching the gospel of Mammon and militarism

By Bill Van Auken, 30 August 2010

The Washington rally organized by right-wing Fox News TV personality Glenn Beck offered a twisted mix of religion, potted American history and the glorification of militarism under the banner of “restoring honor” to the USA.

This week in history: August 30-September 5

By , 30 August 2010

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

British Royal Mail plans mail centre closures and job cuts

By Tony Robson, 30 August 2010

Royal Mail (RM) has outlined plans to axe mail centres up and down the country.

Russia to partially privatize major industries

By Niall Green, 30 August 2010

The Russian government announced last month that it would sell minority stakes in 11 state-owned companies.

Evidence that Afghan leaders are on CIA payroll

By James Cogan, 30 August 2010

Leaks over the past week have revealed that members of the Afghan government headed by President Hamid Karzai are paid agents of the CIA.

72 immigrants massacred in Mexico

By Kevin Martinez and Rafael Azul, 30 August 2010

The bodies of 72 undocumented immigrants were found in a ranch in northern Mexico by Mexican marines after a gun battle with drug traffickers on August 25.

Pakistan’s floods, partition and imperialist oppression

By Keith Jones, 30 August 2010

The floods in Pakistan are a calamity of monumental dimensions. Yet for the rival national bourgeoisies of Pakistan and India, it is business as usual.

Twenty-Five Years Since the Split with the Workers Revolutionary Party

By , 30 August 2010

This resolution on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the split between the International Committee of the Fourth International and the British Workers Revolutionary Party was passed unanimously by the first regular National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party (US), held from August 11-15, 2010.

Australia: Corporate media voice concerns over “courtship” of independents

By Nick Beams, 30 August 2010

Negotiations between three key independents and the Liberal and Labor Party leaderships on the composition of the government begin today, with the outcome expected to be decided by the end of the week, after the poll is declared.

US ramps up pressure on Burmese junta over war crimes

By John Roberts, 30 August 2010

Washington’s move has nothing to do with bringing the Burmese generals to justice for their oppressive rule, but is to pressure the junta for concessions, and undercut Chinese influence in Burma.

US soldiers punished for not attending Christian rock concert

By Ed Hightower, 30 August 2010

The revelation that US soldiers were punished for refusing to attend a religious rock concert on their base is the latest evidence that Christian fundamentalism is supplanting the Constitution in the American military.

US slashes estimate of second-quarter economic growth

By Barry Grey, 28 August 2010

The Commerce Department on Friday sharply cut its estimate of US economic growth in the second quarter of 2010.

Murdoch media issues threats to independents

By Mike Head, 28 August 2010

The Murdoch press has threatened three independents with political oblivion if they fail to back an Abbott-led minority government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 August 2010

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

Contamination scandal in the German city of Dortmund

By Katharina Wied, 28 August 2010

In a major environmental scandal, workers at a factory In the German city of Dortmund were continually exposed to extremely high doses of poisonous chemicals.

Detroit Symphony musicians appeal for support as contract deadline approaches

By Shannon Jones, 28 August 2010

Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, who face massive concession demands, held a free public concert Thursday to build community support

Five years since Hurricane Katrina

By Naomi Spencer, 28 August 2010

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States. The world looked on in horror as the city of New Orleans was submerged, killing 1,800 and trapping thousands of poor residents for days without emergency provisions or rescue.

British trade unions hold secret talks with government

By Robert Stevens, 28 August 2010

With the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government planning the most drastic attacks on the working class since the 1930s, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is working to ensure they are imposed without opposition.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 August 2010

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

India to conduct caste census

By Arun Kumar and Keith Jones, 28 August 2010

Whatever form India’s caste census ultimately takes, the mounting of a caste-based census is a retrograde and reactionary step. It will contribute to the further caste-ization of Indian politics and life, serving to split the working class and oppressed toilers on caste lines.

Japan’s prime minister faces leadership challenge

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2010

Japan is heading for new political turmoil after key powerbroker Ichiro Ozawa announced a bid on Thursday to oust Naoto Kan as prime minister.

UAW, Jesse Jackson push illusions in Democrats with phony “jobs march”

By Tom Eley, 28 August 2010

The August 28 “March for Jobs, Justice and Peace” is a fraud perpetrated against the people of Detroit, aimed at channeling growing anger over the social and economic crisis behind those chiefly responsible for the devastation of the city.

Obama to escalate slaughter in Yemen

By Bill Van Auken, 28 August 2010

With the opening of a new front in Yemen for the CIA’s drone “targeted killing” program, the Obama administration is expanding the role played by both the agency and US military Special Operations forces as a global Murder Incorporated.

Chicago teachers speak about mass layoffs

By Kristina Betinis and Christopher Davion, 27 August 2010

The WSWS speaks to recently laid off public school teachers at a job fair in Chicago.

Philippine hostage tragedy exposes tense international relations

By Joseph Santolan, 27 August 2010

These events simultaneously exposed the rot at the core of the new Philippine government, the empty bluster of the news-as-entertainment media, and the taut and tenuous nature of relations between the Philippines and China.

Another utility worker killed in Detroit

By Lawrence Porter, 27 August 2010

Veteran utility worker Michael Parks was electrocuted and killed while repairing a power line August 24.

Thousands of Detroit-area unemployed attend “over 50” job fair

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 August 2010

Thousands of older, unemployed workers turned out for a job fair in the Detroit suburbs Wednesday.

US Marine general rejects Obama’s Afghanistan deadline

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2010

General James Conway, commandant of the US Marine Corps, publicly challenged the July 2011 deadline set by President Obama for beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, saying it gave “sustenance” to the Taliban.

“Alarm bells” ring for Australian government over deepening China-East Timor ties

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 August 2010

The Australian cited unnamed senior diplomatic analysts who said that “China’s foray into what has been traditionally regarded as ‘Australia’s sphere of interest’ had set alarm bells ringing in Canberra.”

Conservatives contend for power in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia

By Dietmar Henning, 27 August 2010

The replacement by the CDU, which is currently rent by internal conflicts, of party heads in six states whose previous leaders recently lost power or resigned provides an indication of the future course of the party.

Heavy flooding creates further havoc in China

By Zac Hambides, 27 August 2010

China’s worst flooding in a decade has already left nearly 3,900 people dead or missing. This week, China’s northeast was also hit resulting in the relocation of more than a quarter of a million residents.

US agencies delayed action on tainted eggs for weeks

By Kate Randall, 27 August 2010

US federal agencies delayed action for weeks after becoming aware of a salmonella outbreak linked to Wright County Egg. The revelation comes as the egg recall has expanded to two new brand names and a total of 23 states.

Sri Lankan government evicts street hawkers and shanty dwellers

By Vilani Peiris, 27 August 2010

The cabinet recently approved a plan to evict 66,000 families from shanties in Colombo to clear the way for private developers. Street vendors are also being targeted.

Struggle by Indianapolis GM workers raises crucial issues

By Jerry White, 27 August 2010

In discussions with GM stamping plant workers in Indianapolis, a series of questions have arisen on how to take forward their fight and whether new organizations of struggle are needed to replace the UAW.

Class struggle erupts in South Africa

By Ann Talbot, 27 August 2010

The strike by 1.3 million public service workers in South Africa represents a significant escalation of the international class struggle in response to the global recession and the austerity measures that governments have adopted worldwide.

Queensland Labor proceeds with privatisations, despite last weekend’s electoral rout

By Mike Head, 27 August 2010

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, backed by the Murdoch media, has vowed to proceed with her government’s privatisation program despite Labor’s electoral rout in last Saturday’s federal election.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 27 August 2010

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

Germany: Heinrich Heine in the “Marble Galgotha”

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 August 2010

In the last week of July, the celebrated German poet Heinrich Heine was bestowed a very dubious honour, as his bust was placed in the “Teutonic” Hall of Fame built by King Ludwig I of Bavaria, which Heine had himself ridiculed.

The fairytale of Germany’s “miracle growth”

By Peter Schwarz, 26 August 2010

While the current economic growth has negatively impacted workers’ incomes and jobs, company and bank profits are rising even more strongly than turnover.

Pakistan floods unleash desperate economic crisis

By Ali Ismail, 26 August 2010

The catastrophic floods spreading across Pakistan have dashed any hopes of an economic recovery in the poverty-stricken country.

The Australian election and the war in Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 26 August 2010

The death of three Australian soldiers in Afghanistan over the past week has brought into stark relief the virtual censorship of the war in the course of the still unresolved Australian federal election.

The Jungle in 2010

By Tom Eley and Barry Grey, 26 August 2010

This week’s massive recalls of contaminated eggs and lunch meats have lifted the veil on the source of the US food supply in brutal and unsanitary sweatshops.

New Zealand union rallies mount sham opposition to new labour laws

By John Braddock, 26 August 2010

New Zealand unions staged rallies against new labour legislation last weekend, effectively appealing a return to close working relations with the conservative National Party government.

Uttar Pradesh farmers latest victims of Indian business’ land grab

By Arun Kumar, 26 August 2010

Three protesting farmers were shot dead and more than forty others injured August 14, when police opened fire on a protest at Jikarpur, a village in the Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

US forges closer military ties with Vietnam

By Peter Symonds, 26 August 2010

The Obama administration has taken several steps to boost its military relationship with Vietnam as part of a broader strategy aimed undermining Chinese influence in East Asia.

“Why are we still in Afghanistan!”

By our reporters, 26 August 2010

Voters spoke to the WSWS on election day in Australia expressing their alienation from the major parties and their concerns on a range of issues—from the Afghan war to the political coup within the Labor party and the deterioration of living standards.

US primaries: Millionaire candidates, right-wing politics and few voters

By Bill Van Auken, 26 August 2010

Democratic and Republican primaries held in five states on Tuesday were dominated by multi-millionaire candidates, right-wing politics and the participation of scant numbers of voters.

Tensions emerge between Rwanda and Western backers

By Linda Slattery and Ann Talbot, 26 August 2010

Tensions began to emerge between President Paul Kagame and his Western backers in the course of the recent elections.

Israeli-Palestinian talks part of preparations for US aggression against Iran

By Chris Marsden and Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2010

The August 20 announcement of a resumption of direct talks between Israel and Palestine solicited widespread disbelief internationally.

James Reid: a political profile

By , 25 August 2010

The following article was published by the Socialist Labour League, the forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, as an appendix to Reformism on the Clyde, by Stephen Johns, published by Plough Press in 1973.

Securities fraud case against New Jersey exposes pensions crisis

By Fred Mazelis, 25 August 2010

The securities fraud case against the state of New Jersey provides a glimpse of the enormous crisis facing pension funds covering millions of public employees.

Australia: Greens willing to join coalition government with Labor or Liberal

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 August 2010

The Greens are utilising their new power to demonstrate their “responsibility” and commitment to “stable government”. They have already begun closed door discussions with both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Jimmy Reid, Stalinist union leader who betrayed Scottish shipyard struggle, dies at 78

By Steve James, 25 August 2010

Jimmy Reid, the leader of the famous 1971 “work-in” at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS) in Glasgow, Scotland, died on August 10.

Record drop in US home sales

By Barry Grey, 25 August 2010

Sales of existing US homes in July plunged by a record 27.2 percent from the previous month. The virtual collapse in home sales affected every region of the country and was more than twice as bad as anticipated by economic analysts.

German army abandons investigation of officer who ordered Kunduz massacre

By Markus Salzmann, 25 August 2010

No one is to be held accountable for the single biggest massacre carried out by German soldiers since the Second World War.

Egg recall exposes unsafe US food supply

By Naomi Spencer, 25 August 2010

The owner of the company responsible for a mass salmonella outbreak in the US has a long history of egregious health, labor and environmental violations.

Greek unions posture as opponents of privatisation

By John Vassilopoulos, 25 August 2010

The union leaders have portrayed themselves as emulating the last stand of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae, while actually collaborating with the government in privatising companies and arranging wage cuts for the workers.

Facebook postings of abuse of Palestinians highlight polarisation of Israeli society

By Jean Shaoul, 25 August 2010

Photographs showing a female Israeli soldier smirking at blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian men have sparked outrage in Israel and around the world.

Obama administration continues to cover up US torture of prisoners

By Tom Carter, 25 August 2010

The Obama administration has rebuffed numerous requests for information and documentation from foreign governments, many of them its close allies, who have been compelled for domestic political reasons to open investigations into torture and illegal detention of prisoners by US government agents.

Hearing reveals confusion aboard Deepwater Horizon rig

By Hiram Lee, 25 August 2010

Testimony Tuesday from Transocean employees who were aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig revealed enormous confusion in the aftermath of the April 20 blowout.

“It’s like the election got hijacked”

By our reporters, 25 August 2010

Voters spoke to the WSWS on election day in Australia expressing their alienation from the major parties and their concerns on a range of issues—from the Afghan war to the political coup within the Labor party and the deterioration of living standards.

Back to Vichy

By Alex Lantier, 25 August 2010

By scapegoating politically isolated minorities with measures last officially used in France by the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis in World War II, the French state is preparing to repress working class opposition to its policies.

Pakistan lacks adequate international flood aid

By Sampath Perera, 25 August 2010

Three weeks after floods inundated Pakistan, millions of people are still without basic assistance—food, clean water, shelter and medicine. While aid promises have increased, the UN reported on Monday that it had received only about 70 percent of its emergency appeal.

US, British media keep pushing smear of WikiLeaks founder

By Patrick Martin, 25 August 2010

Reports appearing in the US and British press seem aimed at lending credence to the politically motivated accusations of rape against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and rebutting his claim that he is the target of a smear campaign instigated by the Pentagon and CIA.

China: Foxconn hold rallies to boost its image

By John Chan, 24 August 2010

In a cynical public relations exercise, Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics outsourcing manufacturer, organised rallies of employees last week.

Letter from a Spanish air traffic controller

By , 24 August 2010

A letter from an air traffic controller in Madrid, Spain on “Spanish government prepares to use military against air traffic controllers”

US to spend $1.3 billion on Afghanistan bases

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2010

The US Congress is preparing to appropriate $1.3 billion in the fiscal 2011 budget for the building of base facilities for US forces in Afghanistan, some of which will not be completed for years.

Canada’s Conservatives purge establishment critics

By Carl Bronski, 24 August 2010

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seeking to silence criticism of its right-wing policy agenda by purging high-level critics within Canada’s public service.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 August 2010

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

Conflicts erupt within the German Left Party

By Johannes Stern, 24 August 2010

The mudslinging within the German Left Party has nothing to do with political principles or the interests of the working class.

Jasmine, duet recordings from Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden

By Hiram Lee, 24 August 2010

Jasmine, the new album from pianist Keith Jarrett and bassist Charlie Haden, reunites the two artists who had not recorded together for three decades for a moving album of standards and love songs.

Federal judge orders halt to US funding of stem cell research

By Tom Carter, 24 August 2010

The US District Court for the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday that temporarily halts federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

Who is JD Norman?

By Jerry White, 24 August 2010

A 34-year-old former stockbroker from Chicago has demanded that GM workers work for half their wages in exchange for buying the Indianapolis stamping plant.

After the Australian election: The way forward for the working class

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 24 August 2010

The hung parliament that emerged from Saturday’s election is a further expression of the deepening crisis of the parliamentary system both in Australia and internationally.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 August 2010

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

European Commission urges Greek government to press ahead with austerity

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 August 2010

Despite widespread social opposition, the European Commission has urged the Greek government to press ahead with its extensive program of spending and income cuts.

“Everything is far from rosy”

By our reporters, 24 August 2010

Voters spoke to the WSWS on election day in Australia expressing their alienation from the major parties and their concerns on a range of issues—from the Afghan war to the political coup within the Labor Party and the deterioration of living standards.

Australia: Labor and Liberal vie to form minority government

By Patrick O’Connor, 24 August 2010

Negotiations have begun between the independent and Greens parliamentarians, and Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott, for the formation of a minority government.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra demands musicians accept huge cuts

By Shannon Jones, 24 August 2010

Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians face management demands for a 28 percent pay cut and other concessions.

SEP 2010 Australian election campaign wins powerful response

By Linda Levin, 24 August 2010

The socialist and internationalist program advanced by the SEP in the 2010 Australian federal election has won a strong response from significant layers of workers and young people throughout the country.

Americans cut back on medical care due to economic crisis

By Kate Randall, 23 August 2010

More than a quarter of Americans report cutting back on routine medical care as a consequence of the economic crisis, according to a recent study.

This week in history: August 23-August 29

By , 23 August 2010

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

New Zealand soldier killed in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2010

Tim O’Donnell’s death is a tragedy for his family and friends, for which the entire New Zealand political establishment is responsible. Both the National Party government and Labour Party opposition have supported the war.

Illinois uranium workers locked out over health care dispute

By Clement Daly, 23 August 2010

The lockout of more than 220 workers at a uranium enrichment plant in Metropolis, Illinois has entered its ninth week. Honeywell International is seeking to offload health care costs onto workers, who are exposed on a daily basis to radioactive substances.

South Africa: ANC government uses police, army and courts against strikers

By Ann Talbot, 23 August 2010

Strikers at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and Helen Joseph hospital in Johannesburg were attacked by South African police using water cannon and rubber bullets last week.

New provocation against WikiLeaks

By Patrick Martin, 23 August 2010

The rape charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, announced and then withdrawn by Swedish prosecutors, bear all the hallmarks of a US-inspired provocation against the Internet-based organization for its exposure of US war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.