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Canada’s federal and Ontario governments unveil “transformative” austerity budgets

By Keith Jones, 31 March 2012

Canada's federal Conservative and Ontario Liberal governments tabled brutal austerity budgets this week to enthusiastic applause from the corporate media. .

Australia: University of Sydney job cuts temporarily postponed

By Mark Church, 31 March 2012

Planned cuts to academic staff and programs at a major Australian university have only been suspended by agreement with the academics’ trade union, giving the management greater time to wear down staff resistance.

Video: Florida workers and students speak on killing of Trayvon Martin

By Andre Damon and C. W. Rogers, 31 March 2012

In this video, the WSWS speaks to workers and young people at the March 26 rally in Sanford, Florida, against the killing of Trayvon Martin.

Australia: Coal companies provoke new miners’ walkouts in Queensland

By Richard Phillips, 31 March 2012

Bowen Basin coal miners struck on Tuesday following provocative new roster demands by the BHP-Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance.

At least 13 dead in another Honduran prison massacre

By Bill Van Auken, 31 March 2012

At least 13 prisoners died Thursday in a prison riot and fire in Honduras that has once again exposed not only the desperate conditions in the country’s prison system, but also the overall assault on basic rights of the population.

Mohamed Merah’s family denies he was Toulouse, France gunman

By Antoine Lerougetel, 31 March 2012

The family of Mohamed Merah, whom French police blamed for a wave of deadly shootings, has emphatically denied that he was the murderer or that he had terrorist ties.

Former IMF chief Strauss-Kahn faces sex crime charges

By Kumaran Ira, 31 March 2012

On Monday Dominique Strauss-Kahn was formally charged with procurement of prostitutes in the affair of the Carlton Hotel in Lille, France.

The killing of Trayvon Martin and the social crisis in the US

By Jerry White, 31 March 2012

The killing of Trayvon Martin was a horrific crime that has provoked anger and protests throughout the country and internationally. A 17-year-old young man was shot in cold blood, and his killer has not been arrested or charged of any crime.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 31 March 2012

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Barcelona’s workers and youth speak during Spain’s general strike

By Alejandro López, 31 March 2012

Thursday’s general strike in Spain was supported by 77 percent of the workforce and paralyzed whole cities.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 6

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

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.

Labour Party facing loss of Glasgow City Council

By Steve James, 31 March 2012

The Labour Party is in a state of near collapse in Glasgow.

New round of mass layoffs in North America

By Barry Grey, 31 March 2012

The US electronics retail chain Best Buy on Thursday announced it would close 50 stores this year and lay off 400 corporate and support workers.

Bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs dies at 88

By Hiram Lee, 31 March 2012

Earl Scruggs, a pioneering figure in Bluegrass music and an innovator on the 5-string Banjo, has died at the age of 88.

Unions complicit in GM attack on European auto workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 31 March 2012

General Motors is determined to impose on European workers the brutal forms of exploitation already established at its American plants.

Judge dismisses terrorism charges against Michigan militia group

By a reporter, 31 March 2012

The defendants, members of a Christian fundamentalist sect calling itself the Hutarees, were arrested two years ago.

India’s government orients towards privatizing water

By Ajay Prakash and Kranti Kumara, 30 March 2012

Under the guise of providing a solution to the country’s acute water crisis, India’s Congress Party-led Union government has issued a policy document that advocates the wholesale privatization of water delivery and sanitation.

Mehring Publishers presents two new photo documentary books at Leipzig Book Fair

By Wolfgang Weber, 30 March 2012

Mehring Publishers presented two new outstanding photo documentary books at the recent Leipzig Book Fair—Building the Revolution, dealing with architecture in the early Soviet Union, and Russian Revolutionary Posters by David King.

Millions join general strike in Spain

By Vicky Short, 30 March 2012

Yesterday’s general strike against new labour laws imposed by the right-wing Popular Party government was joined by up to 80 percent of Spain’s workforce.

Australian government pledges to slash billions from budget

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 March 2012

Labor’s budget preparations are centrally directed towards satisfying the demands of the international financial markets.

Government readies military as UK tanker drivers vote to strike

By Paul Stuart, 30 March 2012

Two thousand tanker drivers at five major oil distribution companies have voted overwhelmingly to strike against sustained attacks on jobs, wages and working conditions.

Trade unions isolate London teachers and lecturers strike

By our reporter, 30 March 2012

On Wednesday, members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and University and College Union (UCU) took 24-hour strike action in London to protest cuts in pension rights.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 5

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 30 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 30 March 2012

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

Pope Benedict backs market measures in Cuba

By Rafael Azul, 30 March 2012

Pope Benedict spent three days in Cuba, supporting the turn toward private property and foreign capital by the government of Raúl Castro.

SEP vice presidential candidate ends New York tour with meetings in Ithaca and Syracuse

By our reporters, 30 March 2012

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer completed her tour of upstate New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, speaking at two meetings in Ithaca and one in Syracuse.

The award-winning A Separation and the humanity of the Iranian people

By David Walsh, 30 March 2012

The US government and military-intelligence apparatus is relentlessly and recklessly driving toward war against Iran. Asghar Farhadi’s film A Separation offers a rare glimpse into the reality of Iranian society.

US House of Representatives approves plan to destroy Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps

By Patrick Martin, 30 March 2012

The budget, drafted by Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, is part of a bipartisan campaign to slash spending on social programs upon which millions of people depend.

Trade unions in Italy play crucial role in the abolition of workers’ rights

By Marianne Arens, 30 March 2012

Italian prime minister Mario Monti knows he has nothing to fear from the unions and Italy’s pseudo-leftist organisations as he introduces his new labour reform.

Ireland pushes for debt restructuring to avoid second bailout

By Jordan Shilton, 30 March 2012

Dublin is pushing for an agreement with the “troika” of the European Central Bank, European Union and International Monetary Fund to allow it to restructure a portion of its debt.

Tamil separatists lobby imperialist powers against Sri Lankan government at UN

By Athiyan Silva, 30 March 2012

Tamil nationalist groups are appealing to US imperialism and its allies to investigate war crimes by the Sri Lankan government during the Sri Lankan civil war.

Wildcat strike at Air Canada outrages and unnerves ruling elite

By Carl Bronski, 30 March 2012

Canada’s most influential newspaper has published an editorial fulminating against last week’s wildcat strike at Air Canada and demanding stern action be taken against workers who “hand-clapped” the country’s Labour Minister.

Sham election in Hong Kong reveals sharp social tensions

By John Chan, 30 March 2012

The outcome of chief executive “election” was largely determined by backroom manoeuvres in collusion with Beijing.

North Sea gas leak threatens environmental disaster

By Robert Stevens, 29 March 2012

The gas leak at the Total oil conglomerate Elgin platform in the North Sea threatens an environmental disaster.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 4

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 29 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.

US and Australia prepare military build up in Indian Ocean

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 March 2012

The US Marine deployment marked only the first stage in a far-reaching US-Australian military realignment that is centrally directed against China.

Pakistan: Power cuts spark mass protests across Punjab

By Ali Ismail, 29 March 2012

Mass protests have erupted in Pakistan’s largest province in response to prolonged electricity-power cuts that have disrupted daily life and exacerbated the economic crisis ravaging the country.

Davenport, Iowa aluminum strike in second month

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 March 2012

Workers at Nichols Aluminum in Davenport, Iowa have been on strike since January 20.

Spanish “left” groups use one-day general strike to promote trade union bureaucracy

By Alejandro López, 29 March 2012

The Communist Party, the Anti-Capitalist Left of the Pabloite United Secretariat, In Struggle (Spanish affiliate of the British Socialist Workers Party) and other pseudo-left organisations have acted as unabashed promoters of the union bureaucracy.

More troubling facts emerge in the Trayvon Martin shooting

By James Brewer, 29 March 2012

While Florida authorities have dragged their feet in pursuing an investigation, a local newspaper has published leaks aimed at smearing Trayvon Martin.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 March 2012

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

Taser death in Australia: A warning to youth

By the International Students for Social Equality, 29 March 2012

The ISSE condemns the police killing of young Brazilian student Roberto Laudisio Curti in Sydney’s CBD on March 18.

German union facilitates mass layoffs at Schlecker drugstore chain

By Michael Regens, 29 March 2012

On March 24, the German drugstore chain Schlecker closed nearly half of its 5,400 branches in Germany and laid off 11,200 workers.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White campaigns in Boston

By Kate Randall, 29 March 2012

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White campaigned in Boston on Tuesday, speaking to commuters at an transit station and addressing a public meeting.

Three workers killed in Peru mining protests

By Armando Cruz and Luis Arce, 29 March 2012

On March 15, three workers were shot dead in protests against Peruvian government decrees penalizing those involved in “informal mining.”

Obama’s nuclear disarmament hoax

By Peter Symonds, 29 March 2012

The slogan of “disarmament” is one means used by the ruling classes to dupe working people as war is prepared.

French Socialist Party presidential candidate backs police in Toulouse shootings

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 March 2012

François Hollande has refused to make any political criticism of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s handling of the Toulouse shootings.

Parents of Trayvon Martin speak to the WSWS

By Andre Damon and C.W. Rogers, 29 March 2012

In this video, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, the parents of Trayvon Martin, speak about their son's death and legacy.

In wake of Syria peace plan, US steps up bid for regime-change

By Bill Van Auken, 29 March 2012

In the wake of the Assad regime’s acceptance of a United Nations peace plan, the US, Western Europe and Turkey are preparing a Friends of Syria meeting to escalate the armed campaign for regime-change.

US Congress passes phony “JOBS Act”

By Joseph Kishore, 29 March 2012

The name of the Jump-Start Our Business Startup Act was chosen to yield the acronym “JOBS Act,” but this awkward terminological concession was the only nod that the framers gave toward actual job creation.

Indian budget raises taxes and prices

By Deepal Jayasekera, 29 March 2012

The working people and rural toilers will be hit by higher prices, particularly for fuel and fertiliser, in an effort to satisfy the financial markets by cutting the budget deficit.

Australian government bars Chinese telco on “security” grounds

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 March 2012

The decision is consistent with the Gillard’s lockstep loyalty to Obama’s aggressive drive to maintain US dominance in the Asia Pacific against the challenge posed by China.

Israelis protest war with Iran

By our correspondent, 28 March 2012

Saturday saw the first public demonstration in Israel opposing war against Iran.

Romney tightening grip on Republican presidential nomination

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2012

The Republican campaign underscores the shift to the right in both the main parties of American capitalism.

Democrats seek to channel mass anger over killing of Trayvon Martin

By James Brewer, 28 March 2012

Democratic politicians are intervening in the mass outrage over the Trayvon Martin killing, both in a Washington forum and at demonstrations across the country, to divert popular anger into safe political channels.

British Columbia criminalizes teachers’ strike to force through wage cut

By Vic Neufeld, 28 March 2012

Recent events in British Columbia have exposed not only the provincial Liberal government’s vicious assault on worker rights, but also the role of the unions and New Democratic Party in demobilizing resistance to the attack on living standards and quality education.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 3

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

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.

Record opposition to Afghanistan war as killings mount

By Bill Van Auken, 28 March 2012

An opinion poll released Tuesday shows nearly seven out of 10 Americans opposing the war in Afghanistan, a record level of antiwar sentiment since the US invaded the country over a decade ago.

UK Conservatives hit by “cash for access” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 28 March 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron published details of “significant” Conservative donors who have dined with him at his official residence between February 2011 and February 2012.

Why does The Hunger Games strike a chord?

By Christine Schofelt and David Walsh, 28 March 2012

The Hunger Games depicts a future North America divided into 12 districts, in which a popular uprising has been violently quashed decades before. A thirteenth district was entirely wiped out in the repression.

Military launches coup in Mali

By Olivier Laurent, 28 March 2012

Mutinous soldiers led by Captain Amadou Sanagou seized power last Thursday in Bamako, the capital of Mali.

UN Human Rights Council passes resolution on Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 28 March 2012

The toothless US-backed resolution has nothing to do with addressing human rights abuses in Sri Lanka but is aimed at advancing US interests in South Asia.

SEP vice presidential candidate speaks in Ithaca, New York

By a WSWS reporting team, 28 March 2012

Phyllis Scherrer spoke to two classes of students at Ithaca College on Monday. She also gave an interview to a local radio station as part of a campaign in upstate New York.

Reports indicate Toulouse gunman was French intelligence asset

By Alex Lantier, 28 March 2012

Reports and comments by intelligence officials suggest that Mohamed Merah, the alleged gunman in a deadly Toulouse shooting spree, was a French intelligence asset.

British trade unions call off national strike over public sector pensions

By Tony Robson, 28 March 2012

Four public sector unions have called off the joint national strike that was planned for today.

German Pirate Party takes 7 percent in Saarland state election

By Christoph Dreier, 28 March 2012

In the absence of a progressive alternative, the Pirate Party was able to profit from protest votes in the latest German state election.

German state election: Main parties in Saarland form grand coalition

By Sven Heymann, 28 March 2012

For the first time in German history, two parties—the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party—openly campaigned during an election on the basis of forming a grand coalition.

The Obama recovery

By Barry Grey, 28 March 2012

While the United States remains mired in the deepest slump since the Great Depression, President Obama is touting a modest improvement in employment over the past several months to boost his electoral prospects in November.

SEP campaigns in National City, California and Ann Arbor, Michigan

By our reporters, 27 March 2012

Supporters of the SEP campaign for president talked to workers in the predominantly Hispanic town of National City in San Diego County, and to hospital workers and visitors in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Obama uses nuclear summit to issue new threats against North Korea and Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2012

While the international summit in South Korea is supposedly about nuclear disarmament and peace, Obama utilised it as a platform to threaten new wars of aggression in the Middle East and Asia.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 2

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 27 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is continuing publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.

Washington’s “human rights” fraud

By Bill Van Auken, 27 March 2012

Within the past week, the Obama administration has invoked “human rights” as the pretext for stoking a civil war in Syria, preparing war against Iran, and ratcheting up military tensions with North Korea and China.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 March 2012

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

Free health screening draws unemployed, homeless in Detroit

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 March 2012

Hundreds of Detroit area residents turned out Saturday at Bert’s nightclub in Detroit’s Eastern Market for free health screenings for diabetes, hypertension, dental, vision and other conditions.

Sri Lankan farmers demonstrate for a higher rice price

By W.A. Sunil, 27 March 2012

World Socialist Web Site correspondents visited Hingurakgoda, in North-Central Province, to speak to protesting farmers.

Thousands march to demand arrest of Trayvon Martin killer

By Andre Damon and C.W. Rogers in Sanford Florida, 27 March 2012

Thousands of people took part Monday in a protest in Sanford, Florida, to demand the arrest of George Zimmerman, the killer of South Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

The 2012 elections and the assault on voting rights in the US

By Ed Hightower, 27 March 2012

The 2010 mid-term elections put Republicans in control of many state legislatures, largely due to the disaffection, arising from the administration’s right-wing policies, of many who had voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Since then, at least 17 states have attempted to restrict voting rights in advance of the November ballot.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 March 2012

A selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site

US Supreme Court hears challenge to Obama health care law

By Kate Randall, 27 March 2012

The US Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Monday into the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health care legislation.

Sri Lankan SEP calls plantation workers’ congress

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 27 March 2012

The Plantation Workers’ Congress will be held on May 20 to discuss and adopt a socialist program to defend basic democratic and social rights.

Papua New Guinea government moves against judiciary

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2012

The O’Neill government is attempting to consolidate power by suppressing its opponents within the judiciary.

Inside a union rally at the PSA auto plant in Aulnay, France

By our reporters, 27 March 2012

WSWS reporters attended a March 22 rally organized by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) union at the PSA auto plant in Aulnay, north of Paris.

German public service union continues token strikes

By Dietmar Henning, 27 March 2012

Functionaries of the Verdi public service trade union are channelling workers’ frustration into dead-end token strikes, while cooperating with employers to impose brutal cuts in wages and working conditions.

Canada: NDP picks ex-Liberal minister as federal party leader

By Keith Jones, 27 March 2012

Canada's social democrats have chosen former Quebec Liberal cabinet minister Thomas Mulcair as their new federal party leader, thereby making him the head of the Official Opposition.

US steelworkers union prepares betrayal of refinery workers

By David Brown, 27 March 2012

The workers at two out of Tesoro's seven refineries have authorized strikes in response to the company's cuts to benefits and pensions. The United Steel Workers are already looking to isolate their members and have accepted a concessions contract at separate refinery.

Thatcher papers show how Murdoch’s media domination was secured

By Dave Hyland, 27 March 2012

The private papers of the former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, have been opened to the public.

The life and times of a Sri Lankan migrant worker

By Ajanta Silva, 27 March 2012

An interview with Chandima Gayani, a 40-year-old Sri Lankan woman, on her experiences as a migrant worker.

Joan Miró: An artist “in the service of mankind”

By Paul Mitchell, 27 March 2012

The works of painter Joan Miró were recently the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, “The Ladder of Escape”, at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. The show opens in Washington, D.C. in May.

A strategy to mobilize the working class is needed

By Richard Dufour, 27 March 2012

The student strike against the Quebec Liberal government’s drastic increase in university tuition fees is at a crossroads.

West Virginia house fire kills nine

By Clement Daly, 26 March 2012

A house fire in Charleston, West Virginia early Saturday morning left nine dead, including seven children.

German and British GM plants threatened with closure

By Sybille Fuchs, 26 March 2012

The trade unions have done everything possible to prevent any united solidarity action by GM’s European workers.

Obama administration expands illegal surveillance of Americans

By Tom Carter, 26 March 2012

Last Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder enacted guidelines that further expand the US government’s asserted powers to collect and store private information, without a warrant, concerning individuals who are not suspected of any crime.

British teenager arrested for Facebook comments criticizing Afghan war

By Harvey Thompson and Mark Blackwood, 26 March 2012

Azhar Ahmed, a19-year-old from Ravensthorpe, England, was arrested last week by West Yorkshire Police and charged with a “racially aggravated public order offence”.

Hire-and-fire labor reform: A historic attack on the Italian working class

By Mike Jobson, 26 March 2012

On Friday the Italian cabinet approved a reform advanced by the unelected Monti government to scrap Article 18 of Italy’s labor code.

The Many Mistresses Of Martin Luther King and the politics of race in America

By Richard Adams, 26 March 2012

Andrew Dolan’s play, currently on stage in Los Angeles, attempts to address racial stereotyping, identity politics and the academic world.

Lutte Ouvrière mounts nationalist French presidential election campaign

By Anthony Torres, 26 March 2012

On March 7, the 521 signatures of mayors required for Nathalie Arthaud, successor to Arlette Laguiller at the head of Lutte Ouvrière (LO), to run in the presidential election were delivered to the Constitutional Council.

The killing of Trayvon Martin

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2012

The killing of Trayvon Martin is a consequence of the dominance of political reaction in the United States for more than 30 years.

Australia: Brisbane voters speak to the WSWS

By our correspondents, 26 March 2012

Workers and young people in the southern suburb of Kingston spoke bitterly about the reality of mass unemployment, insecure jobs, poverty-line wages and broken promises.

Wild rumours of a coup in Beijing

By John Chan, 26 March 2012

The story resulted in tremors in international financial markets amid growing fears about the implications of splits that have emerged in the Beijing bureaucracy.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)—Part 1

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 26 March 2012

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) which was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Colombo, 27–29 May 2011.