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US consumer confidence plunges to two-year low

By Barry Grey, 31 August 2011

In a further sign that the economic slump is deepening, the Conference Board reported Tuesday that US consumer confidence dropped almost 15 points this month to its lowest level since April 2009.

Fight axing of BlueScope steel jobs!

By , 31 August 2011

Workers are not responsible for the failure of capitalism and must not be forced to pay.

Social inequality proved to impact educational performance in UK

By Tania Kent, 31 August 2011

Two newly released studies have reaffirmed that poverty is the most significant barrier in educational achievement.

The capitalist crisis and the conditions facing the youth

By Andre Damon, 31 August 2011

The conditions facing youth at the beginning of the new academic year are an indictment of the capitalist system.

Corruption scandal rattles Indonesian government

By John Roberts, 31 August 2011

The latest scandal has further damaged President Yudhoyono’s standing, particularly as it has involved younger Democrats that helped promote his anti-corruption drive.

Hurricane Irene death toll at 42 as flooding continues

By Kate Randall, 31 August 2011

The death toll from Hurricane Irene rose to 42 yesterday as inland areas of the Northeast US were still experiencing severe flooding.

Divisions emerge among Libya’s NATO-led “rebels”

By Bill Van Auken, 31 August 2011

With the US and its European allies set to install a puppet regime based on the Benghazi-based National Transitional Council, deep divisions have emerged among the NATO-led “rebels”.

Outsourcing education: The rise of virtual schools

By Nancy Hanover, 31 August 2011

There are a growing number of American young people for whom “going to school” is now logging in at the family computer.

More deaths at the hands of UK police

By Robert Stevens, 31 August 2011

In the space of just seven days, three more people have been killed in police operations in the UK involving the use of lethal Taser guns and pepper spray.

Nick Beams addresses SEP conferences in Sydney and Melbourne

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2011

“We are confronted with great dangers arising from the breakdown of the capitalist order. But these dangers also mean great opportunities—to seize the wheel of history and play our part in turning it to build a world fit for humanity.”

Ban on Central Michigan University faculty strike extended

By David Walsh, 31 August 2011

On August 26, a Michigan circuit judge extended an injunction against a walkout by faculty members at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Berlin election: SEP rally calls for nationalization of the banks

By our reporters, 31 August 2011

On Saturday, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party, PSG) held its third rally in its Berlin city election campaign under the demand: “Neither national solutions nor Euro-bonds. Expropriate the banks!”

Young people speak at Fight for Socialism Today conference in Sydney

By our correspondents, 31 August 2011

The WSWS interviewed some of the new participants, mostly young workers and students, at the August 20-21 Socialist Equality Party conference in Sydney.

More than one in five British households suffers fuel poverty

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 30 August 2011

Figures released in July by the Department of Energy and Climate Change from their Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics 2011 show a large rise in British households suffering from fuel poverty.

Outsourcing education: The rise of virtual schools

By Nancy Hanover, 30 August 2011

There are a growing number of American young people for whom “going to school” is now logging in at the family computer.

Tripoli faces humanitarian crisis

By Bill Van Auken, 30 August 2011

Tripoli is on the brink of a severe humanitarian crisis, its 2 million residents facing a lack of water, electricity, food and medical care while fighting continues in parts of the capital and elsewhere in Libya.

Australian government, unions, business collaborate in job destruction

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 August 2011

This is the process that the unions want extended to the entire manufacturing sector—a never-ending onslaught on jobs and conditions to drive up productivity, and “orderly closures” where that is no longer possible.

Hurricane Irene and the decay of US infrastructure

By Kate Randall, 30 August 2011

The massive power outages resulting from Hurricane Irene serve as a stark reminder of the decrepit state of the US infrastructure.

Letters from our readers

By , 30 August 2011

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

Canada: The death of Jack Layton and the myth of national solidarity

By Richard Dufour, 30 August 2011

To understand why the late social-democratic politician Jack Layton is being made into an object of national adulation it is necessary to examine his political record as NDP leader and the state of class relations.

New Japanese PM pledges austerity measures

By Peter Symonds, 30 August 2011

Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda yesterday won the leadership of the DPJ but takes over a party deeply divided on fundamental economic and foreign policy issues.

Conferences on the Fight for Socialism Today held in Sydney and Melbourne

By our correspondents, 30 August 2011

Socialist Equality Party conferences discussed the new stage in the breakdown of global capitalism, and the fight for a socialist and internationalist perspective for the working class to answer the intensifying social counter-revolution.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 30 August 2011

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

The failure of capitalism and the fight for socialism today

By , 30 August 2011

Every section of the international working class confronts an intensifying assault against their living standards, social conditions and democratic rights.

New York State workers speak out against concessions contracts

By a WSWS reporting team, 30 August 2011

New York State workers voiced opposition to concessions and anger toward the unions for accepting drastic cuts in wages and benefits.

Germany: Foreign Minister Westerwelle under fire for abstention in Libya war

By Peter Schwarz, 30 August 2011

The German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has come under heavy attack following the conquest of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, by NATO-backed rebels.

Gene McDaniels, soul singer and songwriter, dead at 76

By Hiram Lee, 30 August 2011

Soul singer and songwriter Gene McDaniels, composer of “Compared to What” and other protest songs, died July 29 at the age of 76.

Municipal Workers join South African strike wave

By Susan Garth, 30 August 2011

Municipal workers organised in the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) and the Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) have joined South Africa’s continuing strike wave.

Gulf slick matches oil from BP spill

By Hiram Lee, 30 August 2011

Scientists confirm that oil observed in the Gulf of Mexico last week is a chemical match to oil from BP's Macondo well.

Verizon workers denounce union agreement to end strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 August 2011

Verizon and the unions are set to begin negotiating one week after the unions called off the strike of 45,000 workers. The WSWS spoke to several workers in New York City.

This week in history: August 29-September 4

By , 29 August 2011

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

A letter: Some thoughts on author Stan Barstow (1928-2011) and postwar British social realism

By , 29 August 2011

Stan Barstow, who died August 1, was best known for his 1960 novel A Kind of Loving.

Hungary: Fidesz government presents draft of new labour law

By Markus Salzmann, 29 August 2011

Scrabbling to defend their privileges, Hungary’s trade union leaders warn of a social explosion following legislation to outlaw strikes.

US government intervenes against faculty at Youngstown State University

By Andre Damon, 29 August 2011

Obama’s Department of Education has instructed the administration of Youngstown State University in Ohio to withhold federal financial aid from students while the faculty threatened to strike.

Uneasy truce between Indian government and anti-corruption campaigner

By Sarath Kumara, 29 August 2011

Nothing has been settled in the deal with Hazare, whose focus on “corruption” has been to the exclusion of the economic and social crisis facing the vast majority of working people.

Hurricane Irene leaves millions without power on US East Coast

By Kate Randall, 29 August 2011

Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the US this weekend, leaving more than 4 million people and businesses without power and killing at least 18.

IMF chief warns of new financial meltdown

By Barry Grey, 29 August 2011

Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warned of the prospect of a new global financial crisis in a speech Saturday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Australia: Wollongong residents denounce BlueScope sackings

By Mike Head, 29 August 2011

The human and social impact will be enormous in Wollongong, where the steelworks has been the centrepiece of the local economy and employment prospects since it was built in 1928.

Spain’s opportunist United Left forms “broad front”

By Paul Mitchell, 29 August 2011

The United Left (IU) has formed a so-called broad front in order to oppose the necessary creation of a socialist party of the Spanish working class.

Italian ex-leftists and the new austerity measures

By Marc Wells, 29 August 2011

The response of the Italian ex-leftists organized in Sinistra Critica to the government’s austerity measures reveals their essential approval for the social cuts, their class collaboration and nationalism.

Evidence mounts of atrocities by Libyan “rebels”

By Patrick Martin, 29 August 2011

There are numerous reports from journalists in Tripoli of summary executions and torture by the NATO-backed forces that have seized power in Libya.

Moody’s credit downgrade sends warning to Japan’s next leader

By John Chan, 27 August 2011

The new government will face the impossible task of boosting growth amid deepening global economic turmoil, while cutting spending and imposing greater tax burdens on working people.

WikiLeaks cables expose Washington’s close ties to Gaddafi

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2011

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks expose the close collaboration between the US government and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered.

Turkey’s assault on Kurds in Iraq presages regional conflicts

By Jean Shaoul, 27 August 2011

Turkish jets invaded Iraqi airspace August 17-22, carrying out an intense bombardment of the Kurdish autonomous region.

The Help: A civil rights era film that ignores the civil rights movement

By Joanne Laurier, 27 August 2011

In Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s, African-American women had few options but to labor as exploited domestics for wealthy white families.

Norway’s Labour Party mounts political whitewash of establishment in mass shootings

By Jordan Shilton, 27 August 2011

In the aftermath of Anders Behring Breivik’s terrorist attacks in Norway on July 22, a concerted campaign is underway to promote a message of national unity.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 27 August 2011

Conditions are deteriorating for New Jersey’s homeless, the poor in Nevada, and Illinois’ prison population.

Lockout continues at American Crystal Sugar Company

By Michael Stapleton, 27 August 2011

One thousand three hundred sugar beet workers at plants in Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota have been locked out by their employer, American Crystal Sugar Company, since August 1.

A right-wing rant against British youth from Slavoj ‌Zi‌zek

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 August 2011

Slovenian philosopher Slavoj ‌i‌ek has launched a vicious attack on the youth involved in the riots.

Bomb blast in Nigerian capital kills at least 18

By David Walsh, 27 August 2011

A massive explosion ripped through the United Nations complex in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, Friday morning.

Steel unions appeal for deal to impose BlueScope sackings

By Mike Head, 27 August 2011

As they have done since the 1980s, the unions are working with management and the government to deliver an “orderly closure” of the steel plants, at the expense of working people.

Teenager killed by police in mass demonstrations in Chile

By Joseph Kishore, 27 August 2011

Hundreds of thousands of Chilean workers and students took part this week in mass demonstrations and a general strike against social inequality and the privatization of education.

Libya: The criminal face of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 27 August 2011

NATO’s assault on Libya, a criminal imperialist war from its outset, has descended into an exercise in out-and-out murder as special forces operatives and intelligence agents hunt down Gaddafi.

South Carolina jobless up 10,000 in one month

By a reporter, 27 August 2011

South Carolina’s unemployment rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.9 percent in July, up almost half a percentage point from June.

US Fed chief Bernanke offers no measures to ease jobs crisis

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2011

In a much anticipated speech Friday before a gathering of central bankers and international financial officials, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to reassure panicky markets while proposing no measures to ease the worsening jobs crisis.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 August 2011

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

Australia: Eleven die in Queensland house fire

By Oliver Campbell, 27 August 2011

The blaze raises questions about the increasingly difficult economic conditions facing working people, and the adequacy of safety regulations that could have prevented the deaths.

Stand-off continues over Indian anti-corruption bill

By Sarath Kumara, 27 August 2011

Sections of the corporate elite, while continuing to exploit the Hazare protests, have become increasingly nervous about the present parliamentary logjam and the potential for escalating political instability.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 27 August 2011

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

Video: Australian steel workers face deep job cuts

By our reporters, 26 August 2011

Steel workers and local residents in Wollongong and Port Kembla denounce BlueScope Steel’s decision to axe up to 1,400 workers’ jobs.

Economic growth stalls amidst debt crisis, austerity

By Andre Damon, 26 August 2011

A new batch of economic figures released this week confirms a renewed economic downturn, amidst an intensified assault on jobs and living conditions internationally.

Australian Labor “left” Doug Cameron, the mining companies and the steel layoffs

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 August 2011

BlueScope employees are being subjected to a conscious political one-two act, with right- and “left”-wing diversions being pulled out to cover over the real political issues they confront.

Michigan legislature requires cities and schools to cut health care payments

By James Brewer, 26 August 2011

In its first day back in session, the Michigan legislature passed anti-worker legislation on health care and welfare.

Martin Luther King and the fate of the civil rights movement

By Patrick Martin, 26 August 2011

On Monday, the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial was unveiled in Washington DC. A week-long series of events in the capitol was to culminate on Sunday in a dedication featuring president Obama.

CERN experiment weighs antimatter to unprecedented precision

By Bryan Dyne, 26 August 2011

The research provides further confirmation of quantum mechanics.

The rape of Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 26 August 2011

Five days after “rebels” entered Tripoli, under the cover of NATO bombing and led by foreign special forces, the abject criminality of imperialism’s takeover of Libya is becoming increasingly evident.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 26 August 2011

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

One in ten US employers to cut health insurance by 2014

By Kate Randall, 26 August 2011

A new study shows that nearly one in 10 large and midsized companies plans to stop offering health insurance to their employees by 2014.

New Zealand government imposes punitive welfare measures for teenagers

By Tom Peters, 26 August 2011

Amid worsening levels of poverty, the Key government has announced draconian policies to slash welfare spending on young people.

New York City police, CIA in massive spying operation among Muslims

By Peter Daniels, 26 August 2011

The New York City Police Department, working in close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, has carried out an unprecedented spying operation directed against Muslim immigrants and Muslim-Americans over the past decade. Details of the work of the NYPD’s intelligence division were reported in a lengthy investigative article released by the Associated Press on August 24.

Metropolitan Police deny due process to British youth

By Robert Stevens, 26 August 2011

Three weeks after the outbreak of widespread rioting in London, the Metropolitan Police continue to hunt down anyone suspected of involvement.

The fight against the right requires a struggle against the SPD-Left Party government

By Christoph Dreier, 26 August 2011

The following leaflet will be distributed on Friday at a demonstration against the congress of the far-right “Pro Germany” party.

US government preparing new attacks against WikiLeaks

By David Walsh, 26 August 2011

The Obama administration and its Department of Homeland Security are continuing their assault on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, as part of the effort to stifle opposition to American militarism and imperialism.

The Australian Workers Union, steel sackings and anti-China chauvinism

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 August 2011

In the name of protecting steel jobs by boosting the competitiveness of Australian steel at the expense of China, Howes is advocating an economic war that can only have devastating consequences for workers in Australia, China and internationally.

Kentucky food bank faces rising social need, deep budget cuts

By Ryan Rahilly, 25 August 2011

The primary food bank serving eastern and central Kentucky reports a staggering level of hunger and emergency food requests.

A letter from an auto worker to Verizon workers

By , 25 August 2011

This letter, written by one of the organizers of the Indianapolis Rank-and-File Committee, advises Verizon workers to build new organizations to carry forward the struggle against the company.

Obama’s health care “reform” and the Verizon strike

By Tom Eley, 25 August 2011

In demanding deep cuts to workers’ health insurance, Verizon cited Obama’s imposition of taxes on so-called “Cadillac” health care plans.

Tunisian interim government faces widespread opposition

By Kumaran Ira, 25 August 2011

Anti-government protests took place across Tunisia on August 15. Thousands of Tunisians participated, denouncing the interim government and calling for its resignation.

US, NATO plan Libyan “stabilization” as fighting continues

By Bill Van Auken, 25 August 2011

Even as fighting continues in Libya, Washington and its NATO allies are drawing up plans to “stabilize” the oil-rich North African country, including the possible deployment of foreign troops.

German imperialism seeks a share in Libyan war spoils

By Dietmar Henning, 25 August 2011

In addition to Libya’s rich energy reserves, German companies are particularly interested in the billions of euros of government assets that have been frozen in foreign accounts.

Canada: How the NDP facilitates imperialist war

By Graham Beverly, 25 August 2011

The trade union-based New Democratic Party has played a pivotal role in rallying popular support for Canada’s participation in the NATO war against Libya—a war whose transparent purpose has been to effect the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime and replace it with one even more subservient to North American and European imperialism.

Fullerton, California authorities attempt to cover up police murder of innocent homeless man

By Tom Carter, 25 August 2011

The official and now fully-discredited whitewash by city authorities of a brutal police killing in Fullerton, California gives some indication of the depth of the social crisis in the United States.

Yemeni political crisis set to escalate

By Will Morrow and Peter Symonds, 25 August 2011

The government and opposition groups are preparing for confrontation after President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced that he would return to the country.

Letters from our readers

By , 25 August 2011

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

Scottish government aided suppression of youth riots

By Steve James, 25 August 2011

The Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh despatched riot police earlier in August to assist police forces in England with the suppression of youth riots in major cities.

Death at UK Sonae factory highlights appalling safety record

By Danny Richardson, 25 August 2011

The recent death of James Dennis Kay at a factory in Kirkby, Merseyside, England has highlighted the appalling health and safety record of Sonae, the Portuguese chipboard manufacturer.

Credit card affair threatens survival of Australian government

By Mike Head, 25 August 2011

The ratchetting up of the Thomson scandal is bound up with mounting impatience in the corporate establishment with the Labor government.

Randy Newman at the Sydney Opera House: an evening with a unique musical story-teller

By Richard Phillips, 25 August 2011

Randy Newman, who began his career in the late 1950s, still continues to write and perform his ironic vignettes, political satires and poignant love songs.

The ex-left and the British riots

By Chris Marsden, 25 August 2011

The riots that swept London and other cities earlier this month revealed the plethora of fake-left groupings that portray themselves as “socialist,” “communist” and even “Trotskyist” to be the champions of capitalist “law and order.”

France: Trade unions and bourgeois left parties pledge support for capitalist policies

By Antoine Lerougetel, 24 August 2011

The main French trade unions issued a statement following the Merkel-Sarkozy mini-summit pledging to play their part with government and the employers in “supporting growth, supporting employment and reducing the debt, while guaranteeing social cohesion.”

Fighting continues in Tripoli after Gaddafi compound is overrun

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2011

Fighting continued in the Libyan capital of Tripoli Tuesday after NATO-backed forces sacked Muammar Gaddafi’s compound.

CWA and IBEW abandon workers victimized by Verizon

By Samuel Davidson, 24 August 2011

At least 80 Verizon workers were suspended during the two-week strike, and are now left at the mercy of the company.

Germany: SEP rally calls for defence of British youth

By our correspondents, 24 August 2011

As part of its election campaign in Berlin, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party) recently held a rally in solidarity with the British youth.

British police kill unarmed man with Taser

By Harvey Thompson, 24 August 2011

On August 16, officers from Cumbria Police responded to reports that a man was causing a disturbance at an address in Barrow-in-Furness.

Libya as a model for redividing the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 24 August 2011

Former State Department official Philip Zelikow offers Libya as a model for carving up the Middle East and smashing up the Arab states.

Slovenia government on verge of collapse

By Markus Salzmann, 24 August 2011

The Slovenian government led by Premier Borut Pahor faces collapse following unpopular austerity measures and allegations of corruption.

Canada: How the NDP facilitates Imperialist War

By Graham Beverly, 24 August 2011

Whenever a consensus has emerged within the ruling class to deploy Canada’s military overseas, the NDP—the ostensible part of the left—has given support.

Biden’s visit to China underscores America’s decline

By John Chan, 24 August 2011

Never in modern history has a senior US political figure had to assure a creditor of the security of investing in US bonds.

Karachi torn by mounting political-ethnic violence

By Ali Ismail, 24 August 2011

A wave of ethnic-killings arising from turf wars between Karachi's establishment parties and the rival gangs they patronize has sparked calls for the army to be deployed.

Obama administration moves to quash state investigations of Wall Street banks

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 24 August 2011

The Obama administration has intervened to support a settlement by banks charged with fraudulent practices in the processing of home foreclosures that would prevent state governments from carrying out their own investigations of major Wall Street firms.