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German parliament approves increase in European bank bailout fund

By Christoph Dreier, 30 September 2011

The measure to support financial institutions of those states threatened by insolvency is the corollary to brutal austerity measures being implemented in Greece and throughout Europe.

French teachers protest against savage reduction in teaching posts

By Pierre Mabut, 30 September 2011

165,000 teachers throughout France took to the streets Tuesday in opposition to the government policy of reducing the number of teaching posts.

Libya: “the jewel in the crown”

By Bill Van Auken, 30 September 2011

In a recent teleconference with US businessmen, Washington’s ambassador to Libya let slip a telling phrase, referring to the North African nation’s oil reserves as “the jewel in the crown”.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 30 September 2011

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

Obama fundraising drive targets the wealthy

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2011

The Obama reelection campaign is expected to raise and spend more than one billion dollars.

Italy prepares “left” government of austerity

By Marc Wells, 30 September 2011

In order to continue the assault on workers, the Italian ruling class is looking to the formation of a more “left” government, not affected by Berlusconi’s sordid political and personal record.

The significance of the 40-year struggle by the German Trotskyists

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 September 2011

On September 17, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party—PSG) held a European workers rally against racism, war and social cutbacks at the conclusion of the party’s election campaign in Berlin.

Canada’s Conservative government promotes militarism, monarchy, and reaction

By Graham Beverly, 30 September 2011

The restoration of the traditional “royal” moniker to the air force and navy is part of a drive by Canada’s Conservative government to overhaul the official symbols of the state in order to promote a new national identity more attuned to the imperialist aims of the ruling elite.

University of California students convicted for protesting Israeli ambassador’s speech

By Tom Carter, 30 September 2011

The prosecution of the “Irvine 11,” who protested a speech by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California at Irvine last year, is an ominous attack on democratic rights in the US.

Pope Benedict speaks to German parliament against majority rule and “ungodly” laws

By Justus Leicht, 30 September 2011

The address to the Bundestag (German federal parliament) by Pope Benedict XVI was an affront to basic democratic principles.

The world at large and closer to home

By David Walsh, 30 September 2011

The recent 36th Toronto International Film Festival screened some 335 features and shorts from 65 countries.

Riots erupt in southern China over land sales to developers

By John Chan, 30 September 2011

Last week’s violent clashes are symptomatic of the escalating social tensions in rural China over land sales to benefit the wealthy elite spawned by the Beijing Stalinist regime.

More evidence of criminality by Murdoch’s media empire

By Robert Stevens, 30 September 2011

Fresh evidence has emerged on the criminality surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid and its relations with London’s Metropolitan Police.

Obama administration seeks first death penalty via military tribunal at Guantánamo

By Kate Randall, 30 September 2011

The establishment of a parallel system of secret military courts, where the Bill of Rights and other democratic protections do not apply, and where the death penalty can be imposed, is a dire warning of things to come.

Two dead in shooting at CIA headquarters in Kabul

By Oliver Campbell, 29 September 2011

The Taliban’s ability to penetrate the security structures in Afghanistan stems from the deep-seated resentment felt by broad layers of the population to the decade-long US occupation.

Union pushes through contract on Southern California grocery workers

By Kevin Martinez, 29 September 2011

The new three-year contract was pushed through by the union in a vote over the weekend, only a few days after the agreement was announced. Little has been made public, and workers were given no time to study its provisions.

Miner killed, another injured after roof collapse at UK colliery

By Harvey Thompson and Barbara Slaughter, 29 September 2011

One miner was killed and another injured after a roof collapsed on Tuesday at the private Kellingley colliery in North Yorkshire, England.

US becomes a center of poverty-wage manufacturing

By Andre Damon, 29 September 2011

With the full backing of the Obama administration, US and foreign-based corporations are transforming the US into a cheap labor platform in direct competition with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries.

Sarkozy loses his majority in the French Senate

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 September 2011

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) lost control of the French Senate to the Socialist Party and its allies in elections held September 25.

The political tasks arising from the Egyptian Revolution

By Johannes Stern, 29 September 2011

On September 17, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party—PSG) held a European workers rally against racism, war and social cutbacks at the conclusion of the party’s election campaign in Berlin.

Mass killing and humanitarian disaster in NATO siege of Sirte

By Bill Van Auken, 29 September 2011

Refugees from the Libyan coastal city report that thousands have died as a result of relentless NATO bombardment and shelling by the the Western-backed “rebels.”

Greek parliament approves “property tax” as PASOK pledges more pain

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2011

The Greek parliament’s approval of a new property tax marks an escalation in the austerity measures that are already destroying the jobs, living standards and futures of millions of working people.

Australia to shut northern TB clinics

By John Mackay, 29 September 2011

The planned closures have been strongly condemned by Australian health professionals and the World Health Organisation who fear that it will lead to an increase in multi-drug resistant or MDR-TB, already prevalent in PNG.

Unite the working class to defend public education!

By Statement Socialist Equality Party (US), 29 September 2011

This statement will be distributed to teachers and students in the United States, who returned to school this month under conditions of an all-out assault on public education.

Growing anger over police attack on Wall Street protesters

By a reporting team, 29 September 2011

The arrests and police brutality unleashed against scores of peaceful “Occupy Wall Street” protesters last Saturday, has provoked widespread anger.

Toronto demonstration opposes municipal cuts

By Carl Bronski, 29 September 2011

Protesters rallied outside Toronto City Hall to oppose $29 million in cuts being proposed by the city’s millionaire, right-wing mayor, Rob Ford, and his Executive Council.

Leon Trotsky’s remarkable work Problems of Everyday Life

By , 28 September 2011

Mehring Books is pleased to make available to readers of the World Socialist Web Site Problems of Everyday Life by Leon Trotsky.

Scottish budget sets out cuts in jobs, wages and public services

By Steve James, 28 September 2011

The first budget delivered by the majority Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh set out pay cuts, job losses and further erosion of social services between now and 2015.

Australian steel unions finalise sell-out deal with BlueScope on jobs

By Mike Head, 28 September 2011

The Australian Workers Union and other steel industry unions have reached “in-principle” agreements to impose nearly 1,500 job cuts at BlueScope’s plants at Port Kembla and Hastings.

Electricians in the UK protest threatened wage cuts

By Paul Bond, 28 September 2011

Protests are erupting across the UK against plans by major building contractors to cut electricians’ wages by up to 35 percent.

Yemen edges closer to civil war

By Will Morrow, 28 September 2011

Saleh’s refusal to step down can only further inflame political tensions and the fighting in Yemen that is threatening to plunge the country into war.

Egyptian elites demand end to strikes

By Johannes Stern, 28 September 2011

Bourgeois politicians, trade union leaders and journalists are demanding an end to strikes in Egypt and are warning of the threat of “another revolution”.

The euro crisis: Major powers plan new bank bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 September 2011

With the major powers lurching back into recession, governments on both sides of the Atlantic are planning a new bailout of the banks.

Yemen edges closer to civil war

By Will Morrow, 28 September 2011

Saleh’s refusal to step down can only further inflame political tensions and the fighting in Yemen that is threatening to plunge the country into war.

Sri Lanka: Book launch honours the life of Piyaseeli Wijegunasinghe

By our correspondents, 28 September 2011

Piyaseeli Wijegunasinghe –A Tribute was launched on the first anniversary of the death of the lifelong Trotskyist and Marxist art critic.

Imperialist powers prepare to keep UN forces in Haiti

By John Marion, 28 September 2011

Amid new controversy, the United Nations is debating renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) now available

By , 28 September 2011

Mehring Books is proud to announce the publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain).

Report warns of deepening global jobs crisis

By Kate Randall, 28 September 2011

A new ILO/OECD report warns of an entrenched global jobs crisis as “the recovery appears to have come close to a halt” in the major G20 economies.

Half of Americans cannot afford prescribed medications

By Tom Eley, 28 September 2011

A Consumer Reports study found that nearly half of all Americans prescribed medications forego them for financial reasons.

Strikes and protests mount against austerity in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 27 September 2011

Indifferent to the suffering of the Greek people and intent on pursuing a class-war policy across Europe, the “troika” experts agree that "on the ground, things will get a lot worse."

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 27 September 2011

Rhode Island homeless shelters are filled to capacity, coroners’ offices report rising numbers of unclaimed bodies, New York City threatens 100 schools with closure, and other reports of social distress in America.

The Welsh mining tragedy and the return to Dickensian-style exploitation

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 27 September 2011

Almost two weeks on from the tragic deaths of four miners at the private Gleision colliery in the Swansea Valley, Wales, investigators from the police and the Health and Safety Executive continue to claim it is too early to determine its cause.

Social inequality worsening in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 27 September 2011

South Korea is experiencing a rapidly widening gap between rich and poor, combined with a massive expansion of irregular, low-paid jobs.

Britain’s Liberal Democrats: The political walking dead

By Dave Hyland, 27 September 2011

The Liberal Democrats held their party conference in Birmingham last week, amidst the greatest global crisis of the capitalist system the world has ever seen.

German President Wulff addresses Verdi congress and thanks the unions

By Dietmar Henning, 27 September 2011

At its third national congress, the United Services Union (Verdi) prepared the more than 1,000 delegates for even closer collaboration with the government in the implementation of austerity measures.

Philippine Airlines to sack 2,600 ground staff

By Dante Pastrana, 27 September 2011

The job cuts are part of the ongoing restructuring of the airline that began in 1998 when the airline sacked 5,000 pilots, flight attendants and ground staff.

Bolivian government violently represses indigenous protest

By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2011

The government of President Evo Morales carried out a bloody crackdown against a march by indigenous protesters against the building of a new highway through their lands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 September 2011

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

India: Stalinist union works to impose company demands on locked-out Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 27 September 2011

The Stalinist leadership of the All India Trade Union Congress is urging locked-out workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant to surrender to the company’s demand that they sign a “good conduct bond” that reinforces an oppressive, dictatorial work regime.

Rolling strikes continue at Toyota Australia

By Peter Byrne and Patrick O’Connor, 27 September 2011

More than 3,000 Toyota Australia workers went on strike again last Thursday and Friday against the company’s attempt to cut real wages.

Democrats agree to no additional disaster aid in US budget dispute

By Joseph Kishore, 27 September 2011

The Democratic Party-controlled Senate passed a measure that includes no additional emergency aid to victims of natural disaster, a complete capitulation to Republican demands that additional spending be tied to cuts in other government programs.

Governor-appointed official moves to dismantle Detroit public schools

By Walter Gilberti, 27 September 2011

September 26 was the first day of work for John Covington, the former Kansas City schools superintendent who was selected by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to head a proposed new school district in Detroit that will encompass so-called failed schools.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 September 2011

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

Detroit Science Center shut down, faces permanent closure

By E. Galen, 27 September 2011

In another blow to public education and culture in the economically devastated city, the only science museum in Detroit has closed.

US, European corporations rush to secure cut from Libyan war

By Patrick O’Connor, 26 September 2011

From the outset, the NATO intervention was bound up with geo-strategic calculations across North Africa and economic interests in Libya’s oil-rich territory.

This week in history: September 26-October 2

By , 26 September 2011

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

Widespread opposition and abstentions in UAW-GM contract vote

By Jerry White, 26 September 2011

While a few local unions have reported passage of the new four-year labor agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, large numbers of workers are voting "no" or abstaining from the vote.

The many frauds of the “Buffett rule”

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2011

Obama’s populist demagogy is a fig leaf for a policy determined by the interests of the financial aristocracy.

Swedish court grants Saab bankruptcy protection

By Jordan Shilton, 26 September 2011

If Saab is able to survive beyond the end of the year, it will be on the basis of a cost-cutting offensive against the workforce by management and the state, facilitated by the unions.

The deaths of three hockey “enforcers:” The tragic contradictions of professional sports

By Jack Miller, 26 September 2011

Three current or former National Hockey League players, all of them known as “enforcers,” have died this year either by suicide or as the result of alcohol and drugs.

What can be expected from the Pirate Party in Berlin?

By Christoph Dreier, 26 September 2011

The Pirate Party is basically a naive, politically disoriented middle-class grouping, whose significance has been inflated by the media to divert effective protest against brutal social cutbacks in Berlin.

Sri Lankan military attacks Tamil villagers

By Subash Somachandran, 26 September 2011

The Sri Lankan army has carried out its first major assault on Tamil civilians since the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended in May 2009.

United Nations attempts to stall Palestine statehood bid

By Jean Shaoul, 26 September 2011

On Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally submitted an application to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon requesting the General Assembly recognise a Palestinian state.

New York City police arrest scores at anti-Wall Street protest

By Sandy English, 26 September 2011

The mass arrests and a new ban on sleeping bags and camping equipment in Liberty Plaza indicate that the New York’s billionaire Mayor Bloomberg and the city’s financial elite have decided to clamp down on the protesters.

Forty years since the Attica uprising

By Nancy Hanover, 26 September 2011

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the 1971 uprising by prisoners at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York and its bloody suppression by state police called in by New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Contagion, the latest from Steven Soderbergh

By Hiram Lee, 26 September 2011

Steven Soderbergh returns with a film about a mass epidemic caused by a mysterious new disease and the social panic that follows.

No new proposals from IMF on European debt crisis

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2011

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington DC concluded Sunday with no agreement on specific measures to avert a default by Greece and the threat of a new financial meltdown and global depression.

Slovenian government ousted by vote of no confidence

By Markus Salzmann, 24 September 2011

After months of continual parliamentary crisis, the Slovenian minority government led by Premier Borut Pahor was ousted from office following a vote of no confidence on Tuesday.

Letters on the execution of Troy Davis

By , 24 September 2011

A selection of letters on “The execution of Troy Davis.”

Michigan students denounce Troy Davis execution

By Tim Tower, 24 September 2011

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor protested the execution of Troy Davis Wednesday night in Georgia after the US Supreme Court refused to order a stay of his execution.

Letters from our readers

By , 24 September 2011

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

Specter of global depression haunts IMF, World Bank meetings

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2011

Three years after the Wall Street crash of 2008, finance ministers, central bankers and economists assembled in Washington for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank present a picture of perplexity and fear as the crisis spins out of control.

European powers discuss possible bankruptcy of Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 24 September 2011

Neither the austerity measures nor the latest tranche of the “rescue packet” will resolve the crisis gripping Greece, which faces looming bankruptcy.

Tensions escalate as Yemen’s president returns

By Will Morrow and Peter Symonds, 24 September 2011

The arrival of President Saleh will only inflame the conflict between his regime and opposition protesters.

Tacoma, Washington teachers union pushes through concessions

By Christine Schofelt and Naomi Spencer, 24 September 2011

Tacoma, Washington teachers voted to end their eight-day strike, despite concessions negotiated by the union bargaining team.

Report cites BP responsibility in Gulf blowout

By Tom Eley, 24 September 2011

A new government report attributes the blowout on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig to “poor risk management” by oil giant BP.

Palestine and the UN: The dead-end of the “peace process”

By Bill Van Auken, 24 September 2011

While the turn to the UN is a tacit admission of the bankruptcy of the US-brokered “peace process,” the bourgeois leadership of the Palestinian Authority is not posing any alternative.

Autistic man sentenced to prison in UK for Internet “trolling”

By Mel Simpson, 24 September 2011

Sean Duffy was sentenced to jail for the maximum sentence of 18 weeks and banned from using social networking sites for five years.

Lessons of the Southampton council workers strikes

By , 24 September 2011

The SEP public meeting will discuss the lessons of the series of rolling strikes by Southampton council workers against the imposition of fire and rehire contracts by the Conservative authority.

US SEP’s greetings to European workers rally

By Joseph Kishore, 24 September 2011

Joseph Kishore, national secretary of the SEP in the US, sent greetings to the September 17 European workers rally in Berlin.

California health care workers oppose concessions

By our reporters, 24 September 2011

Thousands of nurses and hospital staff across California went on a one day strike to protest against cuts in pensions and health care demanded by the Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance and Hospital conglomerate.

Police force UK broadcasters to hand over footage from London riots

By Julie Hyland, 24 September 2011

UK television broadcasters—the BBC, ITN and Sky News—are in the process of handing over hundreds of hours of untransmitted video footage from the riots in London in August to the Metropolitan Police.

Australia: Mounting job losses in basic industry

By Alex Messenger, 24 September 2011

Outside of mining, which only covers 1.7 percent of employees, the economy is stagnating or in sharp decline, exposing the Labor government’s claims of immunity from the international financial turmoil.

European workers rally: The French “left” and the building of a new revolutionary party

By Kumaran Ira, 24 September 2011

On September 17, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party—PSG) held a European workers rally against racism, war and social cutbacks at the conclusion of the party’s election campaign in Berlin.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 September 2011

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

French car workers strike against 23 percent wage cut

By Antoine Lerougetel, 24 September 2011

Four hundred workers at the Fonderies du Poitou at Ingrandes near Poitiers in central France have been on strike since September 2 against management’s demand that salaries be slashed by 23 percent.

Australian big business steps up campaign for more “flexible” industrial relations laws

By Patrick O’Connor, 23 September 2011

Opposition leader Tony Abbott is under fire for last Tuesday declaring that he did not support the reintroduction of individual workplace agreements.

World stock markets slump as Europe moves into recession

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 September 2011

World stock markets slumped sharply on Thursday following reports indicating a slide into recession in Europe and the US, together with a rapid slowing of growth in Asian markets.

New hominin fossil finds in South Africa may fill a gap in the record of human evolution

By Philip Guelpa, 23 September 2011

A newly reported fossil discovery from the Malapa, South Africa may provide greater insight into the evolution of the genus Homo from our australopithecine ancestors. The fossils consist of remains of two individuals, an adult female and juvenile male, possibly a mother and son.

Wealth and poverty in America

By Joseph Kishore, 23 September 2011

The wealth of the richest 400 Americans increased 12 percent over the past year, while new census figures document a shocking increase in the level of poverty in cities and communities throughout the country.

Australia: Jeld-Wen strike into third week

By Mike Head, 23 September 2011

The door workers’ fight against pay-cutting flows directly from the intensifying global financial crisis that began in 2007-08, when it devastated the US housing market.

Japanese government proposes major tax increases

By John Chan, 23 September 2011

Like its counterparts around the world, the ruling Democratic Party of Japan is imposing the burdens of the worsening global economic crisis onto the backs of working people.

Police retreat from attack on Guardian over Murdoch phone-hacking scandal

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2011

On Tuesday, citing procedural irregularities, the Met dropped its attempt to force the Guardian to hand over its sources for stories exposing phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World.

Photo story: The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

By Andre Damon, 23 September 2011

The Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant employees almost 3,000 production workers and contractors, whose pay is among the lowest for auto workers in the US.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 23 September 2011

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

Julie Hyland addresses Berlin election campaign rally

By Julie Hyland, 23 September 2011

On September 17, the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party—PSG) held a European workers rally against racism, war and social cutbacks at the conclusion of the party’s election campaign in Berlin.

Opposition to UAW-GM deal grows

By Jerry White and Shannon Jones, 23 September 2011

There is widespread hostility among workers towards the new four-year labor agreement accepted by United Auto Workers for 49,000 hourly workers at General Motors

Greek workers strike, protest against brutal austerity measures

By David Walsh, 23 September 2011

Tens of thousands of Greek public transport workers, teachers, civil servants and air traffic controllers walked off the job Thursday to protest the latest round of austerity measures announced by the PASOK government.

Volkswagen’s Tennessee plant sets new standard for low wages

By Andre Damon, 23 September 2011

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly plant, notorious for paying its entire production workforce $14.50 an hour, is now starting new-hires at $12.

Ex-general set to win Guatemalan presidency

By Kevin Kearney, 23 September 2011

Otto Perez Molina, a former army general during Guatemala’s bloody civil war, won the greatest number of votes in the first round of the country’s presidential election.