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Birmingham, Michigan teachers denounce education cuts

By Shannon Jones, 30 June 2011

Teachers in Birmingham, Michigan, along with educators across the state, are facing drastic concessions and the threat of job cuts.

Letters from our readers

By , 30 June 2011

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

Austerity measures threaten legal aid for New Yorkers facing foreclosure

By Ali Ismail, 30 June 2011

As the economic crisis continues to take its toll on working families in New York, the state”s foreclosure-prevention programs and homeowner-counseling agencies are now coming under attack.

One thousand teachers to be fired in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 30 June 2011

This week, 1,000 thousand pink slips are being sent out to Chicago Public Schools teachers, as well as 150 support staff.

Washington continues to escalate tensions in South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 30 June 2011

A US Senate resolution passed this week deploring China’s use of force and supporting continued US military operations heightens the danger of a confrontation in the South China Sea.

Letters on “The American Historical Review discredits Robert Service’s biography of Leon Trotsky”

By , 30 June 2011

Letters on “The American Historical Review discredits Robert Service’s biography of Leon Trotsky,” published June 28.

Egyptian military carries out bloody crackdown on protests

By Joseph Kishore and Jonathan Aswan, 30 June 2011

Over one thousand have been injured in clashes that began Tuesday and continued into Wednesday morning, with protesters demanding the ouster of the Egyptian military regime.

Germany and China agree to huge expansion of trade

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 June 2011

The current Chinese delegation is the highest ranking since the start of diplomatic relations between Berlin and Beijing in 1972.

Corporate discontent triggers dispute in Australian opposition party

By Mike Head, 30 June 2011

A rancorous conflict in the Liberal Party points to concerns in ruling circles over the failure of the Liberals to outline any plans for a deeper attack on the social position of the working class.

ICC prosecutor clarifies purpose behind charges against Libya’s Gaddafi

By James Cogan, 30 June 2011

The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor’s statement is a mafia-style ultimatum to the Libyan political elite—abandon Gaddafi, or share his fate of death or imprisonment.

Obama backs trillions in “painful spending cuts”

By Patrick Martin, 30 June 2011

Issuing the fraudulent slogan of “balanced” deficit reduction, Obama declared his determination to impose cuts on the elderly, the sick, school children and college students.

Trade unions offer no way forward in fight against British government assault on pensions

By Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 30 June 2011

The condemnation heaped on today’s strikes by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, leading members of the Labour Party and the media must not detract from the fact that the limited action is a calculated betrayal by the trade unions—both of their own members and of every worker and youth.

Spanish unions, “left” parties facilitate anti-worker reform of collective bargaining

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 30 June 2011

There is massive opposition to the changes to workers bargaining rights approved by the Spanish Congress last week.

Greek austerity package: Social counterrevolution in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 30 June 2011

The vote in the Greek Parliament approving another package of austerity measures marks a political watershed for the whole of Europe.

No recovery for young workers and students in Canada

By Graham Beverley, 29 June 2011

Even as Canada’s Conservative government and the corporate media crow about “economic recovery,” the latest jobless figures underscore the precarious situation facing young workers and students.

Finnish ex-left joins right-wing coalition government

By Jordan Shilton, 29 June 2011

New Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of the conservative National Coalition party unveiled a six-party coalition last Wednesday in Helsinki.

Greek parliament discusses new austerity in face of mass opposition

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

The Greek government, in close cooperation with European politicians, bankers and the International Monetary Fund, is working frantically this week to push through parliament massive austerity measures overwhelmingly opposed by the Greek working class.

Richard Nixon as Obama’s role model

By Bill Van Auken, 29 June 2011

The proposal that the Obama administration model its policy in Afghanistan on Nixon’s strategy in Vietnam is a prescription for unspeakable new war crimes.

SEP calls on Sri Lankan plantation workers to reject pay deal

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 29 June 2011

The wage agreement signed by the unions this month condemns plantation workers to another two years of poverty-level wages.

Rival powers scramble for seabed mineral rights in South Pacific

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 June 2011

Lucrative mineral reserves are up for grabs, adding further fuel to tensions in a region where China has recently extended its influence.

“Putting mothers and babies under grossly unfair pressure”

By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011

The WSWS interviewed advocates for single mothers and welfare recipients about the implications of the Gillard government’s trials, which will suspend welfare payments for teenage parents.

Tunisian interim government delays Constituent Assembly elections

By Kumaran Ira, 29 June 2011

On June 8, the interim Tunisian government decided to postpone the Constituent Assembly elections to October 23.

Berlin state elections: Lively debate at PSG election meeting

By Ernst Wolff, 29 June 2011

A lively discussion about the current political crisis in Greece and its implications for Europe was at the centre of a public meeting held by the PSG in Berlin.

Israel threatens violence against Gaza aid convoy

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2011

Israel has threatened violent repression against the Freedom Flotilla II aid convoy, due to sail this week on route to Gaza.

Germany contemplates “nuclear option” for Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

Leading German industrialists and economists are arguing that Greece should either withdraw or be thrown out of the eurozone in order to avoid a breakup of the European Union.

US strives to engineer post-Saleh regime in Yemen

By Niall Green, 29 June 2011

As fighting continues in Yemen, with US warplanes and drones striking targets inside the country, Washington is working to form a pliant regime in the country.

West Virginia coal miner killed

By Clement Daly and Naomi Spencer, 29 June 2011

A West Virginia coal miner was killed early Monday morning after being crushed in a wall collapse.

Obama’s Katrina

By Patrick Martin, 29 June 2011

Large sections of rural and small-town America are being laid waste by storms, floods and wildfires, with little or no assistance from the federal government.

New Jersey residents denounce bipartisan anti-worker law

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 June 2011

Surrounded by dozens of Democratic and Republican legislators and mayors, on Tuesday New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that imposes sweeping attacks on the state’s 750,000 teachers, municipal workers and other public employees and retirees.

Australian government to stop welfare payments to teenage mothers

By Tania Baptist, 29 June 2011

The scheme is part of various measures aimed at forcing the disabled, the long-term unemployed, and single mothers off welfare and into the workforce, where they will become a new source of cheap labour.

Finnish ex-left joins right-wing coalition government

By Jordan Shilton, 28 June 2011

New Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen of the conservative National Coalition party unveiled a six-party coalition last Wednesday in Helsinki.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 June 2011

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

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 28 June 2011

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

Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution

By Dave Hyland, 28 June 2011

This is the conclusion of a three-part consideration of the English author Arthur Ransome, particularly as regards his relationship to the October 1917 revolution in Russia.

Providence, Rhode Island budget includes mass layoffs, spending cuts

By John Marion, 28 June 2011

With the end of the state and city fiscal years this week, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island is escalating his campaign to ram through a budget that includes massive layoffs, increases in taxes and fees on city residents, school closures, and cuts to public worker benefits.

Incendies: Trauma and tragedy in the Middle East

By Joanne Laurier, 28 June 2011

Based on the acclaimed play by Wajdi Mouawad, French Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve has fashioned a movie that evokes Lebanon’s painful conflicts in the 1970s and 1980s.

Montenegro: Five years after independence

By Ante Dotto, 28 June 2011

Five years after nominal independence, the social and political situation in Montenegro belies the claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia into “independent” states represented anything progressive.

Floodwaters devastate North Dakota city

By Jerry White, 28 June 2011

Flood victims in Minot, North Dakota, face the long and arduous task of rebuilding homes and lives with little or no government relief.

ICC orders arrest of Gaddafi as NATO bombings reach 100th day

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2011

The arrest warrant against Gaddafi only underscores the role of the International Criminal Court as an instrument of the US and the other major imperialist powers.

Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution

By Dave Hyland, 28 June 2011

Arthur Ransome is known today for the international best-selling series of children’s adventure books, Swallows and Amazons that he wrote from 1930 to the late 1940s. But a recent reprint of the author’s Six Weeks in Russia 1919, which includes The Truth about Russia: Open Letter to the People of America, is a reminder that Ransome produced his most important literary work some 15 years earlier, with his powerful eyewitness account of the unfolding of the Russian Revolution—the greatest event in world history.

Warnings from the central bankers’ bank

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2011

The Bank of International Settlements annual report gives clear indications that another financial crisis is in the making.

French welfare payments under attack

By Pierre Mabut, 28 June 2011

The French government is launching an all-out assault on workers who receive long-term unemployment benefits.

Letter from US Postal Service worker

By , 28 June 2011

A letter sent in response to “US Postal Service halts payments to retirement fund.”

Political unrest looms after Thai elections

By John Roberts, 28 June 2011

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s election, further political unrest is possible amid infighting in Thai ruling circles.

White House anticipates “significant” deal with Republicans to slash social spending

By Joseph Kishore, 28 June 2011

President Obama met Monday with Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Harry Reid in an effort to work out a bipartisan plan to cut trillions of dollars in social spending.

The American Historical Review discredits Robert Service’s biography of Leon Trotsky

By The Political Committee Socialist Equality Party (US), 28 June 2011

The American Historical Review has published a critical examination of two books: the denunciatory biography Trotsky by British historian Robert Service and In Defense of Leon Trotsky by David North, the chairman of both the Socialist Equality Party in the United States and the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site.

Obama joins talks on massive US budget cuts

By Patrick Martin, 27 June 2011

The resumption of the budget talks following Thursday’s orchestrated “collapse” only sets the stage for a completely predictable capitulation by Obama to the demands of the Republican right.

Trade union-based NDP facilitates passage of striking-breaking law

By Keith Jones, 27 June 2011

The trade union-based New Democratic Party has facilitated passage of a savage strikebreaking law that criminalizes all job action by the country’s 48,000 urban postal workers and ensures sweeping contract concessions will be imposed upon them.

The Nation’s Tom Hayden falsifies Obama’s Afghanistan plan

By David Walsh, 27 June 2011

On the Nation web site, Tom Hayden, longtime Democratic Party operative, has posted a dishonest and contemptible article about Barack Obama’s June 22 speech on the war in Afghanistan.

Twenty years after the dissolution of Yugoslavia: Slovenia’s government in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 27 June 2011

Slovenia’s conservative opposition parties are poised to oust the current government, in order to subject the country to the social devastation demanded by the EU and IMF.

Carmaker Citroën-Peugeot to close plants in France and Spain

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 June 2011

Leaked internal documents reveal that PSA, the French Citroën-Peugeot car manufacturer, intends to close three of its plants.

This week in history: June 27 - July 3

By , 27 June 2011

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

Police crack down on two strikes in China

By John Chan, 27 June 2011

The tough official response to the strikes indicates that Beijing cannot tolerate any industrial action that could spread, as the Honda auto strikes did a year ago.

Australian tribunal allows greater exploitation of student labour

By Mike Head, 27 June 2011

The ruling is part of a concerted government-backed drive to slash wages and conditions of low-paid retail workers amid falling sales, a wave of store closures and signs of deepening slump.

The Supreme Court and corporate America

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2011

The US Supreme Court is steadily shielding corporate criminality while cutting back fundamental democratic rights.

Journalist Robert Fisk faces libel action for pointing out Bahrain-Saudi alliance

By Jean Shaoul, 27 June 2011

On June 14, Bahrain, the tiny island kingdom in the Persian Gulf off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, announced that it is to sue the Independent newspaper for libel over an article written by its veteran Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk.

The Democratic Party and the assault on public workers

By Barry Grey, 27 June 2011

Last week, the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Assembly passed a sweeping package of pension and health care cuts and attacks on government workers’ bargaining rights, while workers in Connecticut rejected a concessions deal pushed by the Democratic governor and backed by the unions.

Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution

By Dave Hyland, 27 June 2011

This is the second in a three-part consideration of the English author Arthur Ransome, particularly as regards his relationship to the October 1917 revolution in Russia.

California moves to increase charter schools

By David Brown, 27 June 2011

Under conditions of oppressive budget cuts, some public schools are effectively being coerced into privatization as an alternative to cuts to essential programs.

Connecticut state workers reject union-backed concessions

By Fred Mazelis, 27 June 2011

The state government of Connecticut has been thrown into crisis following the June 24 announcement that the state’s 45,000 state employees have rejected a $1.6 billion concessions contract.

Changes to Obama health care program limit patient appeals

By Kate Randall, 25 June 2011

Changes to provisions of the health care overhaul will significantly restrict the conditions under which patients can challenge denial of coverage by insurers.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 June 2011

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

US detains thousands as states pass new anti-immigrant laws

By Bill Van Auken, 25 June 2011

US immigration authorities announced a record number of arrests resulting from a nationwide dragnet last month.

Detroit Public Schools announces 10 percent pay cuts, massive layoffs

By Toby Reese, 25 June 2011

The cuts demanded by Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts are part of a broader dismantling of the public education system in Detroit.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 25 June 2011

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

German Green Party moves toward coalition with Christian Democrats

By Dietmar Henning, 25 June 2011

The special congress of the Green Party in Berlin on Saturday will mark a political turning point in the direction of closer cooperation with the rightwing Christian Democratic Union.

Bin Laden killing roils US ties with Pakistani army

By Vilani Peiris, 25 June 2011

US deputy special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Frank Ruggiro arrived in Islamabad on Monday, part of a series of visits to Pakistan by US administration officials since the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1.

Worker unrest in China sends tremors through world capitalism

By John Chan, 25 June 2011

The CCP is still haunted by the upheavals of May-June 1989 when millions of workers joined students in Beijing and other cities to demand decent living standards, only to be brutally suppressed.

Arthur Ransome and the Bolshevik Revolution

By Dave Hyland, 25 June 2011

This is the first in a three-part consideration of the English author Arthur Ransome, particularly as regards his relationship to the October 1917 revolution in Russia.

US House defeats measure to reduce funding for Libya war

By Patrick Martin, 25 June 2011

The House of Representatives voted against a resolution authorizing the war in Libya, but then refused to cut back funding for its continuation.

Wealth of world’s richest rose nearly 10 percent in 2010

By Chris Marsden, 25 June 2011

The collective wealth of those having more than $1 million in free cash reached $42.7 trillion in 2010, a 9.7 percent rise.

Australia: Victorian government threatens to slash wages of construction workers

By Margaret Rees and Patrick O’Connor, 25 June 2011

The Victorian Liberal government has moved to gut wages and conditions in the construction industry, following a five-day strike of up to 1,000 workers at a huge desalination plant project near Melbourne, the state capital.

Letters in response to “Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life: A world of confusion”

By , 25 June 2011

Letters on David Walsh’s June 20 review of the film The Tree of Life.

Britain and France insist bombing of Libya must continue

By Peter Symonds, 25 June 2011

Britain and France have dismissed a call by Italy for a ceasefire in Libya, underscoring mounting tensions within NATO over its bid to install a compliant regime in the oil-rich country.

US auto workers union to abandon hourly wage increases

By Jerry White, 24 June 2011

In the coming talks with Detroit automakers, the UAW is preparing to permanently throw overboard the principle of increases in hourly base pay.

WikiLeaks exposes US profiteering after Haiti earthquake

By John Marion, 24 June 2011

On June 15, the whistleblower web site WikiLeaks began releasing US diplomatic cables from the period immediately following the devastating Haitian earthquake of January 2010.

Canada's NDP stampedes to the right

By Keith Jones, 24 June 2011

Having been catapulted into the role of Official Opposition, the trade union-based New Democratic Party is now seeking to convince the Canadian ruling class it can be trusted to rule on their behalf, supplanting the Liberal Party as the bourgeoisie’s “left” party of government.

Britain: The fraud of the upcoming “mass strike” in Britain

By Stephen Alexander, 24 June 2011

On June 30, a number of trade unions dominated by ex-left tendencies plan to hold a limited strike across England and Wales.

Revolution and Counterrevolution in Spain by Felix Morrow

By , 24 June 2011

Mehring Books is making available for online purchase Felix Morrow’s Revolution and Counterrevolution in Spain.

Fed downgrades forecast for US economic growth

By Barry Grey, 24 June 2011

The Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday downgraded its projections for US economic growth and ratcheted up its estimates for unemployment for both 2011 and 2012.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 24 June 2011

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

The New Zealand budget and the fight against austerity

By , 24 June 2011

The National government’s budget, handed down on May 19, is part of an international offensive on the working class.

Australia: Working people paying for Queensland’s mining “boom”

By Ellen Blake and Mike Head, 24 June 2011

The social reality of the mining boom is that jobs and living standards are being torn apart to satisfy the requirements of the mining giants.

Washington budget talks: Pressure mounts for trillions in spending cuts

By Patrick Martin, 24 June 2011

Congressional Republicans walked out of White House talks, demanding that the Obama administration agree that tax increases on the wealthy were off the table.

US Postal Service halts payments to retirement fund

By Toby Reese, 24 June 2011

The United States Postal Service announced Wednesday that it will stop employer contributions to the Federal Employees Retirement System.

All US troops out of Afghanistan now!

By Bill Van Auken, 24 June 2011

Obama’s Thursday night speech on “the way forward in Afghanistan” offered only years more of a dirty colonial war that both the American and the Afghan people overwhelmingly oppose.

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: The political background to the nuclear disaster in Japan

By a guest contributor, 24 June 2011

The propagation of nuclear technology in Japan was a direct consequence of US efforts—for military reasons— to wield influence over the country’s development immediately after the Second World War.

More flooding triggers emergency evacuations in North Dakota

By Naomi Spencer, 24 June 2011

Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate Minot, North Dakota, ahead of unprecedented flooding.

Greece: The Syntagma Square movement—no real democracy

By Peter Schwarz, 24 June 2011

The call for “no politics” is itself a political program, and one of the vilest sort. It is exclusively directed against a genuine, leftist perspective dedicated to the political independence of the working class.

Mounting US-China rivalry over South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 24 June 2011

Back-to-back US training exercises, a clear instance of sabre rattling, have provide a justification for US ships to remain in the disputed waters as an assertion of American hegemony in the region.

Bi-partisan assault on public education in Detroit

By Walter Gilberti, 23 June 2011

A proposal by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to drastically reorganize the Detroit school district, the latest stage in the dismantling of public education in the city, has received the complete support of the Obama administration.

From Hiroshima to Fukushima: The political background to the nuclear disaster in Japan

By a guest contributor, 23 June 2011

The propagation of nuclear technology in Japan was a direct consequence of US efforts—for military reasons—to wield influence over the country’s development immediately after the Second World War.

Obama’s Afghanistan speech: An exercise in political duplicity

By Bill Van Auken, 23 June 2011

The American president’s proposal represented a tacit admission of the failure of the US intervention in Afghanistan and of the immense crisis of American capitalism.

James Watt and Our World, an exhibition at the Science Museum, London

By William Whitlow, 23 June 2011

Anyone with an hour or two to spare in London over the next year will be rewarded by a visit to the James Watt exhibition at the Science Museum.[1] As befits an exhibition relating to this genius whose inventions were at the core of the Industrial Revolution, there are several steam engines on display, including the massive “Old Bess,” the second steam engine built by James Watt and his partner Matthew Boulton in their Birmingham “Manufactory,” in 1777.

The role of the ex-left in Spain’s los indignados protests

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2011

The ending of the occupation of Madrid’s main Puerta del Sol square after more than three weeks provides an occasion to address the “autonomy/no politics” perspective advanced by its leadership.

Quebec: Resignations of prominent legislators rocks Parti Québécois

By Éric Marquis, 23 June 2011

Three Parti Québécois frontbenchers resigned from the party June 6 to sit in the Quebec National Assembly as independents. Coming on the heels of the debacle suffered by the Bloc Québécois in the May 2 federal election, the resignations have thrown the PQ into disarray and greatly exacerbated a mounting crisis in the Québec independence movement.

The land of unlimited inequality

By Patrick Martin, 23 June 2011

The gap in the United States between the wealthy and everyone else has widened to unprecedented dimensions.

One year since the Australian Labor Party coup

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 23 June 2011

Twelve months later, the crisis of the government has only deepened, as the geopolitical and economic contradictions that gave rise to Rudd’s ousting have intensified.

Huge turnout for viewing of Emancipation Proclamation in Michigan

By Shannon Jones, 23 June 2011

More than 21,000 people turned out to see the Emancipation Proclamation, which was on view for 36 hours at the Henry Ford Museum in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan

Bahrain: Show trial sentences critics of regime

By Niall Green, 23 June 2011

A military court in the US-allied monarchy of Bahrain has handed down lengthy prison sentences to 21 people involved in anti-government protests earlier this year.