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Chinese patrol boats confront Vietnamese oil exploration ship in South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 31 May 2011

Tensions are being fuelled by the US backing of Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries to contest China’s activities in a strategically sensitive region that has vast oil and gas reserves.

Banks demand savage austerity measures in Greece

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 May 2011

The European financial elite is dispensing all pretence of basic democratic norms as it demands a new round of brutal austerity and privatisations.

Spanish anti-austerity protests spread to more cities

By our reporters, 31 May 2011

On Sunday evening thousands of protesters voted to continue the occupation of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, in the “tent city” established in the immediate aftermath of the May 15 mass demonstration.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 May 2011

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

The war in Libya and the crisis of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2011

The following article is based on a report, given by Peter Schwarz, secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International, at a seminar of the German section of the Socialist Equality Party during the Easter holidays in 2011. We are publishing it in three parts.

United Nations report warns of dollar "collapse"

By Andre Damon, 31 May 2011

The world economy faces the “looming risk of a collapse of the dollar,” together with the dangers of rising commodity prices, continued high unemployment and the risk of sovereign debt default.

German insurance bankruptcy threatens the elderly and sick

By Elisabeth Steinert and Elisabeth Zimmermann, 31 May 2011

The insolvency of the German health insurance fund City BKK is a product of the healthcare “reforms” of successive German governments over the past 10 years.

Australian government rejects UN criticism of refugee abuses

By Will Morrow, 31 May 2011

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay publicly criticised the Labor government’s recently announced “Malaysian solution”.

Egypt’s “second revolution”

By Joseph Kishore, 31 May 2011

Demonstrations last Friday in Egypt were among the largest since the revolutionary movement of workers and youth forced out the longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. They raise basic questions of political program and perspective.

Two-thirds of US mining disaster victims had black lung

By Samuel Davidson, 31 May 2011

Autopsies performed on 24 of the 29 miners killed in the April 5, 2010, blast showed 17 had Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP).

Obama administration seeks to block legal challenges to Medicaid cuts

By Naomi Spencer, 31 May 2011

The Obama administration is seeking to block lawsuits challenging state budget cuts to the health care program for the poor and disabled.

UK pay gap widens, millions in dire straits

By Julie Hyland, 31 May 2011

The wages of “lower to middle income” workers are set to collapse, with wage rates in 2015 expected to be no higher than they were in 2001.

Spain’s M-15 protests continue

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

The occupation of Spain’s main Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid continued over the weekend, and protests are set to carry on next week.

The jobs crisis in America

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2011

Amid the worst mass unemployment since the 1930s, states throughout the US are cutting benefits to jobless workers.

Trade unions collaborate in attacks on Scottish teachers

By Stephen Alexander, 30 May 2011

The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) is working with the trade union bureaucracy to impose £45 million in wage and benefit cuts on Scottish primary and secondary school teachers and staff.

Cuts in US welfare programs hit hundreds of thousands of poor families

By James Brewer, 30 May 2011

A recent report documents the erosion of the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and warns of drastic cuts that many states are implementing that will put even more Americans at risk.

Twelve children killed in another US massacre in Afghanistan

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 May 2011

The incident, one of several involving civilian deaths recently, is yet another atrocity committed by the US-NATO forces.

The Aboriginal “intervention” in Australia: four years on

By Susan Allan, 30 May 2011

Aborigines, the most oppressed section of the working class, were used as a test case for punitive measures against welfare recipients nationally.

Deep budget cuts ahead of New Zealand election

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2011

With an election due in November, the National government budget contains the deepest spending cuts seen in 20 years.

“If things carry on like this, there won’t be work for any of us,” say Spain’s indignados

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

WSWS reporters speak to Madrid’s “angry ones”.

This week in history: May 30-June 05

By , 30 May 2011

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

Obama in Joplin: More empty promises to disaster survivors

By Patrick Martin, 30 May 2011

While the president promised not to forget the tornado victims, the scale of federal aid is entirely inadequate.

Three men jailed over Tongan ferry disaster

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2011

The trial was a blatant act of scapegoating to cover up the failure to address the government’s role in the sinking.

Germany’s new military doctrine of “national self-assertion”

By Sven Heymann, 30 May 2011

The new German Defence Minister Thomas de Maizière has introduced his plans to “reform” the armed forces.

The war in Libya and the crisis of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2011

The following article is based on a report given by Peter Schwarz, secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International, at a seminar of the German section of the Socialist Equality Party during the Easter holidays in 2011. We are publishing it in three parts.

Tom Jacobson’s The Chinese Massacre (Annotated)…or Massacred History (Restored)

By Richard Adams, 30 May 2011

The Chinese Massacre (Annotated), written by Tom Jacobson, directed by Jeff Liu and presented by Circle X Theatre Company at the Atwater Village Theatre, Los Angeles. April 22-May 28, 2011.

Joplin, Missouri tornado death toll rises to 132

By Naomi Spencer, 28 May 2011

The death toll continues to climb five days after Joplin, Missouri, was devastated by a tornado.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 May 2011

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

Mass protests demand “second revolution” in Egypt

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2011

Demonstrations Friday brought huge crowds back to Tahrir Square in Cairo and in dozens of other cities throughout Egypt.

White House unveils corporate deregulation scheme

By Joseph Kishore, 28 May 2011

The Obama administration this week released details of its plans to sharply cut regulations on corporations, as part of the effort to eliminate all constraints on big business profit-making.

Obama signs extension of Patriot Act spy powers

By Andre Damon, 28 May 2011

US President Barack Obama signed a renewal of three of the most notorious provisions of the Bush Administration's USA PATRIOT Act Friday, meaning that the whole of the act will remain in effect without modification through 2015.

Win Win: Recognizably and unusually human

By David Walsh, 28 May 2011

In Win Win, the third feature film from writer-director Tom McCarthy, Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is an eldercare attorney whose practice is in trouble, a victim of the economic downturn.

A revealing prison “escape” in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 28 May 2011

The living conditions of wealthy prisoners in New Bilibid Prison are much better than those of the people who live on the edges of the prison grounds.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 May 2011

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

Amidst divisions, G8 meeting pledges austerity and war

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 May 2011

At the end of their two day summit, G8 leaders demanded an intensification of austerity programs across the globe and reiterated their resolve to secure the change of uncooperative regimes by military force.

A letter on the Joplin tornado and Wal-Mart

By , 28 May 2011

The WSWS publishes here a reader’s letter in response to “The Joplin, Missouri tornado” on the dominance of Wal-Mart over the region.

Syria becomes centre of struggle for regional influence

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2011

With the failure of the anti-government movement to make significant headway against President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime, there are now regional efforts to bolster the disparate and fractious opposition forces.

Sri Lankan free trade zone workers demonstrate against pension bill

By Nihal Geekiyanage, 28 May 2011

The walkout, in defiance of the trade unions, was a clear sign of growing discontent throughout the working class over the government’s escalating attacks on living standards.

Australian waterfront union capitulates, calling off industrial action

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 May 2011

The MUA’s capitulation underscores its determination to entrench itself as the enforcer of restructuring measures and productivity speed-ups on the docks.

Police beat anti-austerity protesters in Barcelona, Spain

By our reporters, 28 May 2011

Spanish police yesterday fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with truncheons in a vicious attempt to clear demonstraters from the Plaza de Cataluna square in Barcelona.

Germany’s Bremen state election: A vote against the federal government

By Dietmar Henning, 27 May 2011

In Sunday’s Bremen election, the Christian Democratic Union received fewer votes in a state election than the Green Party for the first time in its history.

US Supreme Court decision exposes barbaric conditions in California prisons

By Kevin Kearney, 27 May 2011

In a narrow majority opinion, the court found that gross overcrowding and its effect on inmate health care constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution.

California teachers and students protest against education cuts

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 May 2011

In response to past budget cuts and the threat of future ones, California’s schools have continued to layoff teachers and staff while axing programs.

Tunisian interim prime minister visits France ahead of G8 summit

By Kumaran Ira, 27 May 2011

Tunisian interim prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi met with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on May 17-18 to plan joint strategy against continuing protests in Tunisia.

Video: Hundreds of Michigan families seek assistance in Southfield

By , 27 May 2011

DTE Energy held a customer assistance event this week. Thousands of Detroit-area families face utility shutoffs every year after falling behind on bills.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 27 May 2011

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

Aboriginal boxer Lionel Rose dies, aged 62

By Richard Phillips, 27 May 2011

Lionel Rose will be remembered long after the well-heeled politicians “paying their respects” have left the scene.

WikiLeaks cables reveal Chinese vice president’s secret visit to Fiji, in defiance of Australia

By Robert Morgan, 27 May 2011

Beijing told Canberra the 2009 flight to Fiji was a mere “transit” stopover, en route to Latin America, but Vice President Xi Jinping then spent two days meeting with senior junta members.

Death toll soars in fighting in Yemeni capital

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2011

More than 100 people have been killed in four days by fighting between anti-government militiamen and forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

New York City budget will decimate libraries

By Sandy English, 27 May 2011

Budget cuts will sharply reduce library services in New York City, and hit workers and the poor especially hard.

New York Times reporter subpoenaed in leak case

By Patrick Martin, 27 May 2011

James Risen could face contempt of court charges and imprisonment if he refuses to testify against a former CIA operative.

What way forward for Spain’s “angry ones”?

By Chris Marsden, 27 May 2011

The mass demonstrations in Spain that began on May 15 testify to the huge anger over the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) government.

G8 summit: major powers discuss how to contain “Arab Spring”

By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2011

The G8 summit opened in France with discussion on a response to the so-called “Arab Spring” that has seen mass uprisings against Western-backed regimes.

New US jobless claims top 400,000 for seventh straight week

By Kate Randall, 27 May 2011

New US claims for unemployment benefits rose last week by 10,000, climbing to a seasonally adjusted 424,000.

Qantas prepares offensive on Australian workforce

By Terry Cook and James Cogan, 27 May 2011

Thousands of Qantas workers—from pilots to baggage handlers—sense that an offensive is looming that will see wholesale job losses.

Police officer shoots benefit claimant in German unemployment office

By Marianne Arens, 26 May 2011

On Thursday May 19, a police officer shot dead a 39-year-old unemployed woman in a benefit centre in the German city of Frankfurt-am-Main.

A letter in response to “A discussion with film historian Joseph McBride about Steven Spielberg: A Biography”

By , 26 May 2011

A reader’s response to “A discussion with film historian Joseph McBride about Steven Spielberg: A Biography”.

Report on US mine disaster: An indictment of American capitalism

By Jerry White, 26 May 2011

The recently released findings from an investigation into last year’s explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia expose the brutal and deadly conditions in the US coal industry.

Death toll rises in Joplin as more tornadoes hit US Midwest

By Naomi Spencer, 26 May 2011

124 are now confirmed dead from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. More tornadoes swept across through the region Tuesday and Wednesday, taking at least 15 more lives.

Obama addresses UK parliament: A joint agenda for austerity and war

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2011

Obama’s state visit to the UK underscored the unity of Washington and London in pursuing a social counter-revolution in their own countries, while insisting on similar “medicine” for the peoples of the world.

Charges dropped against Australian soldiers over Afghan civilian killings

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 May 2011

As the result of a military court decision, Australian forces have effectively been given a green light to kill civilians.

US budget talks target $1 trillion in cuts

By Patrick Martin, 26 May 2011

Vice President Joseph Biden said that bipartisan talks between the Obama administration and congressional leaders have identified more than $1 trillion in spending reductions.

Explosion at Foxconn’s new China plant

By John Chan, 26 May 2011

Two workers were killed in an accident that underscores the brutal exploitation of Foxconn’s vast regimented workforce in China.

From Shakespeare to comic books: Kenneth Branagh directs Thor

By Hiram Lee, 26 May 2011

Thor, directed by actor-director Kenneth Branagh, is this year’s first blockbuster comic book movie.

Republicans lose House seat in special election

By Patrick Martin, 26 May 2011

The vote for a long-held Republican seat in western New York state amounted to a referendum on proposals to privatize Medicare.

Finnish parliament approves Portuguese bailout

By Jordan Shilton, 26 May 2011

Finland’s parliament approved the European Union’s bailout for Portugal yesterday, by a vote of 137 to 49.

Georgia governor signs anti-immigrant bill

By Ed Hightower, 26 May 2011

On May 13, Georgia became the latest state to pass a police state “immigration reform” bill.

US Defense Secretary Gates urges post-2011 occupation of Iraq

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2011

Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged a continuation of the occupation of Iraq beyond a December 31 deadline, claiming a US military presence is necessary to counter Iran.

Growing resistance to union sell-out of Berlin hospital workers

By Lucas Adler, 26 May 2011

Wide opposition has emerged among workers at Berlin’s Charité university hospital to the deal reached two weeks ago by ver.di (United Services Union).

Letters from our readers

By , 26 May 2011

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site

Australian waterfront company steps up provocations against dock workers

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 May 2011

The dispute is regarded as a critical test case for the Labor government and its draconian industrial relations regime, Fair Work Australia.

Alabamans speak on aftermath of April tornadoes

By Naomi Spencer, 25 May 2011

One month after tornadoes ripped across the US South, devastated communities are struggling to rebuild without meaningful federal assistance.

University of Nottingham suspends professor in major assault on free speech

By Robert Stevens, 25 May 2011

The University of Nottingham has suspended lecturer Rod Thornton after he published a paper on the May 2008 arrest of two men held under the Terrorism Act of 2000.

Anti-government protests continue in Georgia

By Andrea Peters, 25 May 2011

Ongoing anti-government protests in the country of Georgia have resulted in confrontations with police and the arrest of oppositionists.

Following more budget cuts, tuition to increase at California’s public colleges

By Kevin Martinez, 25 May 2011

In his revised May state budget proposal, California’s Democratic governor Jerry Brown proposed a multitude of tax extensions and spending cuts to balance California’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit.

NATO bombing of Tripoli kills 19 civilians, wounds 150

By Bill Van Auken, 25 May 2011

With the most intense bombing raid yet against Tripoli and a threat to deploy attack helicopters, the US and NATO are sharply escalating the war in Libya.

Nevada budget deficit highest in nation

By Roger Herman, 25 May 2011

Nevada currently leads the US in unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, and now it has a budget deficit that stands at 54 percent of the total state budget, the highest percentage in the nation.

As more storms move in, death toll rises in Joplin, Missouri

By Naomi Spencer, 25 May 2011

Another major storm system churned into Oklahoma and the US Midwest Tuesday, bearing more tornadoes. The death toll from Sunday’s tornado in Joplin, Missouri has grown to 124.

Indiana lawmakers attack reproductive health services

By Jackie Pearson, 25 May 2011

In early May, Indiana’s governor signed into law a bill that prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving government money.

India: Rightwinger Banerjee becomes West Bengal’s new chief minister

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 25 May 2011

Mamata Banerjee, the anti-communist demagogue who leads the Trinamool Congress (TMC), has been installed as West Bengal’s Chief Minister setting the stage for a sharp intensification of the class struggle.

Spain: Local and regional elections show mass dissatisfaction

By Alejandro López, 25 May 2011

The ruling PSOE has suffered its worst defeat in local and regional elections in history.

Massive security preparations for the G8 meeting in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 May 2011

The French government is to mobilise over 12,000 police, gendarmes and troops to protect the leaders of the eight richest industrialized countries due to meet in Normandy on Thursday and Friday.

Split erupts within Fijian military regime

By Frank Gaglioti and Patrick O’Connor, 25 May 2011

Lieutenant Colonel Tevita Mara has coupled his demand for “regime change” with an appeal to Australia and New Zealand to intervene.

Japanese nuclear company confirms meltdowns in three reactors

By Mike Head, 25 May 2011

TEPCO’s announcement was made amid rising public distrust of the information that it and the government have provided.

The Joplin, Missouri tornado

By Joseph Kishore, 25 May 2011

The victims of the disastrous tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri Sunday must be made whole, as part of a multi-trillion dollar public works program to rebuild housing and infrastructure in the United States.

“People depend on these government programs just to sustain life”

By Kate Randall, 24 May 2011

The Massachusetts state budget will underfund Medicaid by $750 million and cut $7.9 million in direct benefits to the poor.

Brutal state budget cuts hit schools in Philadelphia

By Trent Novak, 24 May 2011

Thousands of teachers and other school employees face layoffs and services will be slashed.

Rwandan general sentenced for role in 1994 genocide

By Susan Garth, 24 May 2011

Augustin Bizimungu, head of the Rwandan army at the time of the 1994 genocide, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Gun battles erupt in Yemeni capital after Saleh refuses to step down

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2011

At least 18 people were killed and many more wounded in gun battles that erupted Monday in the Yemeni capital after the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh reneged on a deal to step down.

Report reveals “corporate culture” of safety violations before fatal blast at West Virginia mine

By Samuel Davidson, 24 May 2011

An investigation into the April 2010 explosion that took the lives of 29 miners in West Virginia uncovered a “corporate culture” that placed production over safety.

Tornado kills at least 116 in Joplin, Missouri

By Naomi Spencer, 24 May 2011

The huge tornado that razed much of Joplin, Missouri Sunday evening killed at least 116 and injured hundreds more, making it the deadliest single tornado in the US since at least 1953.

Australia: Union enforces job cuts at Fairfax Media

By Terry Cook, 24 May 2011

Thanks to the collaboration of the union, Fairfax Media will now proceed with impunity to outsource sub-editing at its mast-head publications, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Quake disaster renews debate over Japan’s relations with China

By Peter Symonds, 24 May 2011

The central dilemma confronting the Japanese ruling elite is where to line up in the rivalry between its longstanding ally, the US, and its largest economic partner, China.

The way forward in the fight against budget cuts in California

By , 24 May 2011

This public meeting will address the political issues in the fight against the attack on health care and education in California and throughout this US.

The Libyan war and American democracy

By Patrick Martin, 24 May 2011

President Obama is defying the War Powers Act restrictions on presidential war-making.

Director Lars von Trier at Cannes: Playing with social dynamite

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 May 2011

Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier’s latest outburst took place at the Cannes Film Festival, which came to an end at the weekend.

As popular opposition grows, European ruling class demands austerity

By Andre Damon, 24 May 2011

Europe's ruling classes have escalated their assault on government spending and social services, with the Euro Group president calling for privatization scheme in Greece modeled on East Germany.

The social conditions behind the deadly US tornado outbreak

By Naomi Spencer, 24 May 2011

Joplin is only the latest in a series of communities devastated by tornadoes this year, highlighting the deadly impact of social inequality and underdeveloped infrastructure.

Housing report points to growth of UK inequality

By Paul Bond, 24 May 2011

A report by the Halifax bank into house prices has highlighted an escalating housing crisis and the growth of inequality across Britain. The situation is particularly acute in London.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 24 May 2011

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