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Canada: Conservatives’ reactionary “tough on crime” bill soon to become law

By Ed Patrick, 31 January 2012

A top priority of Canada’s Conservative government is to pass an omnibus anti-crime bill replete with socially regressive measures. Taken together, these measures represent a wholesale repudiation of the notion of rehabilitation, in favor of punishment and vengeance.

Australian media furore over Canberra protest

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 January 2012

Five days after police hustled Prime Minister Gillard away from about 100 Aboriginal-rights protesters in Canberra, the media hysteria continues.

UK bank bonuses and the lie of “shared sacrifice”

By Julie Hyland, 31 January 2012

Every so often, an event occurs that cuts through the carefully managed cant and hypocrisy of official politics to expose the real state of social relations.

As EU crisis summit opens: 23 million unemployed across continent

By Patrick Martin, 31 January 2012

The summit takes place with Europe falling back into economic slump.

US military preparations for war on Iran

By Peter Symonds, 31 January 2012

Iran has repeatedly denied plans to build a nuclear weapon, but that has not stopped the barrage of unsubstantiated allegations in the media.

The French petty-bourgeois “left” and the rise of the neo-fascist vote

By F. Dubois, 31 January 2012

The petty-bourgeois “left” parties, who have strangled workers’ struggles, bear the main responsibility for the rise of neo-fascist influence.

Forty arrested at Cape Town Occupy

By Iqra Qalam, 31 January 2012

Forty people were arrested last Friday in a brutal police crackdown on an Occupy Rondebosch Common demonstration in Cape Town, South Africa.

Letters from our readers

By , 31 January 2012

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

Obama administration prosecutes CIA whistleblower for exposing torture

By Alan Gilman, 31 January 2012

In a criminal complaint filed January 23, the Obama administration’s Justice Department charged John Kiriakou, a former Central Intelligence Agency operative, with disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of Abu Zubayda.

Ireland’s United Left Alliance meets with EU-IMF-ECB “troika”

By Jordan Shilton, 31 January 2012

Ireland’s pseudo-left groups’ integration into the political establishment was on display as representatives from the United Left Alliance (ULA) met with the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Composer Gustav Mahler: A centennial appreciation

By Dorian Griscom, 31 January 2012

Gustav Mahler is among the most widely listened to of classical composers. Last year, which marked the 100th anniversary of his death, witnessed concerts, new recordings, lectures and exhibitions celebrating his life and music.

Occupy DC protesters ordered to end camps

By Niall Green, 31 January 2012

The restrictions put in place by the National Parks Service against demonstrators in the US capital are the latest politically-driven effort to shut down the Occupy movement.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 31 January 2012

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

The “Workers Party” and the sell-out of Philippine Airlines workers

By Joseph Santolan and Dante Pastrana, 31 January 2012

The Partido ng Manggagawa, a pseudo-left organization composed of union bureaucrats and ex-Maoists, is carrying out the systematic betrayal of striking airline workers.

Hands off the SEP! Defend SEP members in Jaffna!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 31 January 2012

The decision to block the SEP public meeting, called to demand the release of all political prisoners, was taken by the highest level of the Rajapakse government.

Britain’s National Health Service faces wholesale privatisation

By Robert Stevens, 31 January 2012

Free and comprehensive health care is set to end with the passage of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government’s Health and Social Care Bill 2011.

The New York Times and the drive to war against Iran

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2012

The New York Times on Sunday published a lengthy article in its weekly magazine that sympathetically and clinically lays out the arguments of Israeli policy makers in favor of a military attack on Iran sometime this year.

A friendly response to William Whitlow’s comments on Thomas Kuhn

By Philip Guelpa, 30 January 2012

This commentary is written as a supplement to the WSWS article “Thomas S. Kuhn, post-modernism and materialist dialectics,” by William Whitlow.

The capitalist crisis and the radicalization of the working class in 2012

By David North, 30 January 2012

This report was given by David North to a series of regional aggregate meetings of the Socialist Equality Party (US) held during the month of January.

US, Arab League push for UN action against Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 30 January 2012

The United States is working with Qatar and Saudi Arabia to push through a resolution at the UN Security Council laying the basis for military intervention in Syria.

Hundreds arrested in police crackdown on Oakland protests

By Jack Hood, 30 January 2012

Police in Oakland, California used rubber bullets, flash bangs, smoke grenades, bean bag guns, batons and tear gas to suppress the demonstrations. At least one person was hospitalized with serious injuries.

This week in history: January 30 - February 5

By , 30 January 2012

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

Unite’s sabotaging of UK electricians dispute aided by ex-left

By Paul Bond, 30 January 2012

Electricians opposing the imposition of new contracts that would cut wages by up to a third face the sabotage of their struggle by the union Unite.

London march against Academy status for schools

By Jo March, 30 January 2012

Over 1,000 London parents, children, teachers, and others protested government plans to force three local primaries to become academies.

European Central Bank averted global financial freefall

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2012

European markets could have frozen last month, setting off a global credit crisis, had it not been for a massive injection of ECB funds.

Berlin calls for EU-run bankers’ dictatorship over Greek economy

By Stefan Steinberg, 30 January 2012

The German government is proposing that the European Union be empowered to directly control Greek budget policy.

Obama’s Jobs Council promotes pro-corporate policies

By Patrick Martin, 30 January 2012

The report of Obama’s Jobs Council, an advisory group of millionaire CEOs, spells out plans to subordinate every aspect of American society to a single goal—boosting corporate profits.

Downgrade of Illinois credit rating prelude to attack on retired workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 30 January 2012

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s dropped Illinois’ credit to worst in the US, paving the way for Democrats to launch an assault on retired workers’ pensions and health care plans.

US tightens the military noose around China

By Joseph Santolan, 30 January 2012

Washington’s talks with Manila over an expanded US military presence in the Philippines are another step in Obama’s reckless strategy of containing China.

New York Mayor Bloomberg backs police commissioner in uproar over anti-Muslim film

By Ali Ismail, 30 January 2012

Muslim civil rights advocates and other civil liberties supporters denounced New York Mayor Bloomberg and police commissioner Kelly over an Islamophobic film shown to 1,500 police officers.

Indian foreign minister visits Sri Lanka

By Wije Dias, 30 January 2012

While he cynically expressed concern about the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, Krishna’s trip sought to push India’s economic and geopolitical interests.

The Adventures of Tintin: A generic boy scout travels a computer-generated world

By Alex Lantier, 30 January 2012

In The Adventures of Tintin, director Steven Spielberg sets out to render the Belgian comic strip Tintin in film using motion-capture animation technology.

London primary school mounts legal challenge over academy status

By Harvey Thompson, 30 January 2012

Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, has launched a legal challenge to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s attempt to force it to become an academy.

New Zealand court refuses bail in Megaupload case

By John Braddock, 30 January 2012

The judge conceded that the US authorities had not presented any evidence in support of their substantive case against Dotcom.

US CEO pay reaches new heights

By David Walsh, 28 January 2012

One report notes that 2011 was “the year of the $50 million-plus CEO” in the US. Another study points to executives who have received “golden parachutes” worth more than $100 million. CEOs of bankrupt firms do all right too.

Canada’s Harper outlines class war agenda at Davos forum

By Keith Jones, 28 January 2012

In a speech to the Davos World Economic Forum, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed Thursday that his Conservative government will pursue a social policy counter-revolution—austerity and tax cuts, radical regressive restructuring of public health care and pensions, and deregulation.

Papua New Guinea: Dozens dead and missing in landslide

By Oliver Campbell, 28 January 2012

Local residents said blasting related to Exxon-Mobil’s nearby liquefied natural gas project may have contributed to the disaster.

Obama outlines plan to put higher education on rations

By Shannon Jones, 28 January 2012

President Obama’s proposed changes to federal financial aid programs set the stage for further attacks on the right to quality higher education.

Sri Lankan army instigates violence against Jaffna SEP members

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 28 January 2012

The attack on the SEP is a warning of the police-state measures being prepared by the government against the working class as a whole.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 28 January 2012

Tornados ripped through central Alabama again this week; hospitals contend with meth-related accident victims and dental emergencies among the uninsured; California jail conditions worsen under prisoner “realignment” program.

Arkansas Cooper Tire local ratifies contract

By James Brewer, 28 January 2012

With the help of the United Steelworkers union, Cooper Tire managed to defuse rank-and-file opposition to concessions in Texarkana, Arkansas and push through a sellout contract.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 28 January 2012

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

Cooper Tire workers in UK express solidarity with Ohio struggle

By Richard Duckworth, 28 January 2012

The WSWS spoke to workers at Cooper Tire’s European HQ at Melksham, Wiltshire, UK on the lockout of their colleagues at the Cooper Tire plant in Ohio.

Sri Lankan prison guards shoot protesting inmates

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 January 2012

The riot and its bloody suppression underscore the brutal conditions in the prisons and the anti-democratic nature of the Sri Lankan government.

Letters from our readers

By , 28 January 2012

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

Early elections in Saarland, Germany: CDU, SPD to form grand coalition

By Dietmar Henning, 28 January 2012

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democratic Party (SPD) have agreed to form a state coalition after early state elections in March.

Scottish nationalists outline independence referendum

By Julie Hyland, 28 January 2012

Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, has announced a referendum on independence from the UK to be held in autumn 2014.

Mounting social struggles cast shadow over Davos economic summit

By Nick Beams, 28 January 2012

A new factor has entered the scene—the re-emergence of the international working class as exemplified in the Egyptian revolution and the ongoing social struggles around the world.

France rules out rapid Afghanistan withdrawal

By Olivier Laurent, 28 January 2012

Sarkozy will keep French troops in Afghanistan despite rising popular opposition to the NATO occupation following the January 20 deaths of four French soldiers.

The trade unions and Obama’s State of the Union speech

By Barry Grey, 28 January 2012

The American trade union leadership can be counted on to resort to demagogy and lies in pursuit of its narrow self-interest. In its response to Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the union brass did not disappoint.

Pakistani elite preparing to restore full cooperation with US in Afghan War

By Ali Ismail, 27 January 2012

Despite the tough-sounding rhetoric from Islamabad and Rawalpindi over the NATO air strikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers, Pakistan’s civilian and military elite is moving to restore full and open cooperation with Washington.

The death of Greek filmmaker Theo Angelopoulos

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 January 2012

In many respects Angelopoulos expresses the artistic and political crisis of a generation of intellectuals who tragically failed to come to grips with the traumas of the past century and the extraordinary social and intellectual challenges of the new.

Striking truckers, fishermen clash with Italian government

By Mike Jobson, 27 January 2012

Yesterday the government of Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti moved to crush protests by truckers, fishermen, and other professions hit by Monti’s unpopular social attacks.

Kazakh elections take place amid rising social tensions

By Clara Weiss, 27 January 2012

On January 15, Kazakhstan held its parliamentary elections amid rising social tensions.

Democrats seek to defuse opposition to Detroit library cuts

By Shannon Jones, 27 January 2012

The reopening of the Montieth branch library appears to be a calculated move to dissipate anger over library closures and other cuts.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 27 January 2012

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

Unilever worker says: “It’s like we have gone back a hundred years”

By Danny Richardson, 27 January 2012

Unilever workers speak out against attack on Final Pension Scheme

The Cooper Tire lockout and the lowering of US wages

By Jerry White, 27 January 2012

On the picket lines in Findlay, Ohio, important political questions are emerging as Cooper Tire workers grapple with the issues posed by their nearly two-month struggle.

Washington to expand military presence in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 27 January 2012

The deployment of US vessels in the Philippines would be a further ratcheting up of the Obama administration’s confrontation with China.

Military mutiny in Papua New Guinea

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 January 2012

The unresolved constitutional crisis reflects the intensifying rivalry between the US and China that is fuelling instability throughout the Asia-Pacific.

The death of Joe Paterno and the Penn State scandal

By Hiram Lee, 27 January 2012

Legendary college football coach Joe Paterno, demonized in the media for his role in the Penn State scandal, died January 22 at the age of 85.

Trustees endorse Unilever attack on UK workers’ pensions

By Danny Richardson, 27 January 2012

As workers began picketing at Unilever plants across the UK, the company’s pension trustees endorsed its plan to gut retiree benefits.

Social protests spread in Eastern Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 27 January 2012

The wave of social uprisings that rocked the Middle East, the US, Greece, Spain and other countries last year has now reached Eastern Europe.

Israel prepares for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 January 2012

The Israeli political and military establishment is preparing to attack Iran, and pushing the US to advance its own plans for war.

Totally drug-resistant tuberculosis reported in Mumbai

By Debra Watson, 27 January 2012

Doctors in Mumbai, India’s largest city, reported in December that they had confirmed four cases of Totally Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.

Child poverty map of UK paints a bleak picture

By Dennis Moore, 27 January 2012

In some of the poorest areas of the UK, between 40 and 50 percent of children live in poverty, with areas of London featuring heavily.

Australian protesters denounced as “ugly mob”

By Mike Head and Peter Symonds, 27 January 2012

The incident yesterday in Canberra has been used by the media and political establishment to suggest that political protest is illegitimate and potentially dangerous.

Insolvency of Schlecker drugstore chain threatens 47,000 jobs throughout Europe

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 27 January 2012

The privately owned drugstore empire is seeking a so-called orderly bankruptcy plan, preserving the company but enabling it to terminate contracts.

US militarism and Obama’s State of the Union address

By Alex Lantier, 27 January 2012

US President Barack Obama made a calculated gesture to the US military in Wednesday’s State of the Union Address, opening and closing his speech with fawning references to the armed forces.

Letters from our readers

By , 26 January 2012

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

Renewed mass protests mark anniversary of Egyptian Revolution

By Johannes Stern, 26 January 2012

One year after the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution on January 25, millions of workers and youth took to the streets and squares all over Egypt to protest the-US backed military junta in Egypt.

Social and political crisis hangs over World Economic Forum in Davos

By Nick Beams, 26 January 2012

Twelve months ago, the mood at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was somewhat upbeat.

United States Postal Service ends negotiations with two unions

By Hector Cordon, 26 January 2012

Contract negotiations between the United States Postal Service and two of its unions ended last Friday with the USPS rejecting any further extensions to bargaining.

Turkey threatens intervention into Iraq

By James Cogan, 26 January 2012

The Turkish stance toward Maliki is inseparable from the broader US-backed drive to shatter the regional influence of Iran.

Two dozen arrested in San Francisco, California Occupy march

By Jack Hood, 26 January 2012

About two thousand people participated in demonstrations on Friday in San Francisco, and police in riot gear responded with 24 arrests.

The State of the Union address

By Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore, 26 January 2012

The White House proposes to revive US manufacturing by slashing the living standards of American workers.

Cargo ship grounded in New Zealand breaks apart

By John Braddock, 26 January 2012

The Rena broke in two, worsening the environmental disaster, as the government sought to scapegoat the ship’s captain and navigation officer.

Aluminum giant Alcoa closes plant in Sardinia

By Mike Jobson, 26 January 2012

On January 9, the aluminum company Alcoa announced the closure of its primary aluminum plant in Portovesme, on the Italian island of Sardinia.

“Sing like your life depends on it”: Etta James—1938-2012

By Paul Bond, 26 January 2012

Etta James had an instantly recognisable voice, sinuous, tender and harsh in equal measure. She died a few days short of her 74th birthday.

Connecticut police charged with brutalizing Hispanics

By Peter Daniels, 26 January 2012

Police abuse in the Connecticut city of East Haven reflects growing social tensions and threats to civil liberties.

Montenegrin unions agree to pay and job cuts

By Ognjen Markovic, 26 January 2012

Unions in Montenegro have agreed to a cut in the number of public employees, pay reductions and a three-year ban on strikes.

Petition: The Court of the Complainants—a potent Chinese documentary about injustice and state repression

By Richard Phillips, 25 January 2012

Petition explores the plight of poverty-stricken workers and farmers involved in stubborn and ultimately tragic appeals for “justice” from China’s Stalinist bureaucracy.

Australian jobs fall for first time in 20 years

By Alex Messenger, 25 January 2012

The 2011 contraction was the first since the recession of the early 1990s, when official unemployment rose to 9 percent.

IMF warning on global downturn

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2012

Revising down its forecast for global growth in 2012, the International Monetary Fund said world recovery was threatened by “intensifying strains in the euro area and fragilities elsewhere.”

US budget cuts devastate shelters for victims of domestic violence

By E. Galen, 25 January 2012

Federal and state funding for shelter and other services for victims of domestic violence is being cut even as the need for emergency shelter is going up.

Croatia: Referendum paves way for EU accession

By Markus Salzmann, 25 January 2012

Croatian voters approved the country’s joining the European Union in a referendum held on Sunday.

No prison time for Marine charged in Haditha massacre

By Naomi Spencer, 25 January 2012

As part of a plea deal, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, leader of a Marine squad responsible for the 2005 slaughter of 24 Iraqi civilians, received no prison time.

German government report highlights Nazi past of public officials

By Sybille Fuchs, 25 January 2012

A recent report issued by the German government makes clear the extent to which the West German authorities were riddled with former Nazi Party, SS and SA members.

The French political establishment and Gilles Jacquier’s death in Syria

By Kumaran Ira, 25 January 2012

Evidence points to French journalist Gilles Jacquier having been killed by pro-Western forces in Syria, contrary to initial accusations by French media and political parties.

Obama’s State of the Union address: War and wage-cutting

By Patrick Martin, 25 January 2012

The State of the Union Speech delivered by Barack Obama Tuesday night was memorable only as a further milestone in the decay of American democracy.

Arab League calls for Syria’s Assad to step down

By Jean Shaoul, 25 January 2012

The Arab League, in line with Washington’s drive to install a pro-US regime in Syria and isolate Iran, has used its observer mission to Syria to call on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

Illinois continues to shed jobs

By James Nykvist, 25 January 2012

The worsening global economy continues to take its toll on Illinois workers as the month unfolds.

UK: Breast implant failures threaten health of thousands

By Eileen Rose, 25 January 2012

The ongoing scandal over PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) breast implants makes clear the human cost of the privatisation of health care in the UK, and the callous indifference of the political elite towards its consequences.

Toyota Australia slashes 10 percent of workforce

By Will Marshall, 25 January 2012

The destruction of the car workers’ jobs has been orchestrated by the company with the Labor government and the trade unions.

Detroit Democrats continue cynical campaign against Emergency Manager law

By Lawrence Porter, 25 January 2012

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day demonstration at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s home was part of a campaign to divert popular opposition to the law behind political forces no less committed to attacking the working class than the governor.

Unions isolate Cooper Tire workers in Ohio

By Lawrence Porter, 25 January 2012

The struggle by Cooper Tire workers in Findlay, Ohio is being deliberately isolated by the United Steelworkers union.

The 84th Academy Awards nominations—uneventful, for the most part

By Hiram Lee, 25 January 2012

The 84th annual Academy Awards nominations were announced Tuesday in Los Angeles. Few of the films have anything substantial to say about real life.

Manroland: WSWS article unleashes debate in local newspaper

By our reporter, 25 January 2012

A recent article in the WSWS dealing with the sellout by the union of workers at Manroland has unleashed a lively debate in a German newspaper.

Nigerian government uses terror bombing to justify clampdown

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2012

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is using a spate of terrorist bombings to justify measures aimed at growing working class opposition to his rule.

One year of the Egyptian Revolution

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2012

One year ago today, millions of workers in cities throughout Egypt took to the streets on the first day of revolutionary protests against President Hosni Mubarak.