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Richard Linklater’s Bernie, about life and death in East Texas

By David Walsh, 31 May 2012

Bernie is the latest film from American independent director Richard Linklater, responsible for Slacker (1991), Dazed and Confused (1993) and The Newton Boys (1998), among others.

Indian government attempts to smash pilots strike

By Sathish Simon, 31 May 2012

The attacks on Air India pilots are a warning to the entire working class.

Former Australian union chief appeals to big business to rely on Labor

By Terry Cook, 31 May 2012

The underlying purpose of Bill Kelty’s speech was to stiffen the backs of the assembled union functionaries and rally them behind the Labor government’s austerity agenda.

Mass student protests hit media bias in Mexican elections

By Rafael Azul, 31 May 2012

The run-up to Mexico’s July 1 elections has been suddenly overshadowed by a nationwide student protest movement denouncing the political bias of the country’s privately owned mass media.

Opel/Vauxhall workers need an international strategy

By Socialist Equality parties of the UK and Germany, 31 May 2012

The European head of General Motors, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, will put forward a restructuring plan involving annual savings of $1 billion (800 million euros) at GM’s supervisory board on June 28.

Washington Post airs another unlikely Iranian assassination plot

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2012

The article, which claims US officials in Azerbaijan were targetted by Iran, is another attempt to blacken Tehran as new sanctions and war loom.

French unions discuss wave of sackings after presidential elections

By Francis Dubois and Antoine Lerougetel, 31 May 2012

On Tuesday, unions officials revealed there would be tens of thousands of sackings throughout France.

Democrats run right-wing campaign in Wisconsin recall election

By Patrick Martin, 31 May 2012

After running a campaign in which he has hardly mentioned the issues that provoked mass protests last year, Democratic candidate Tom Barrett appears likely to lose recall elections scheduled for June 5.

Jerry White speaks at Quad Cities election meeting

By our reporters, 31 May 2012

At the election meeting in the Quad Cities, located on the Iowa and Illinois banks of the Mississippi River, White reviewed the basic issues in his campaign.

Illinois Caterpillar workers reject “revised” offer, continue strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 31 May 2012

By a 82 percent margin, workers at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Illinois voted to continue their strike against the heavy equipment manufacturing giant.

Letters from our readers

By , 31 May 2012

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

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

By Jack Hood, 31 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the third installment in a four-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914.

British Supreme Court endorses extradition of Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2012

At the UK Supreme Court in London, Wednesday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost his appeal against extradition to Sweden. The judges ruled by a majority of five to two that the extradition request had been “lawfully made”.

Spanish banking crisis roils global financial markets

By Andre Damon, 31 May 2012

Fears that the euro zone is nearing breakup sent panicked investors to safe haven assets Wednesday, driving the yields on US government debt to their lowest levels since 1946.

Germany: Günter Grass criticizes EU’s treatment of Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 31 May 2012

The German author Günter Grass has published a withering critique of the policy of Germany and the European Union towards Greece.

Talks continue between Quebec government, student groups over tuition protests

By Richard Dufour and Keith Jones, 31 May 2012

Quebec’s Liberal government and associations representing the province’s university and CEGEP students failed to produce an agreement Wednesday.

Canadian government rams through anti-strike law against railway workers

By Carl Bronski, 31 May 2012

The Conservative government has rammed through back-to-work legislation to outlaw an eight day strike by 4,800 locomotive engineers and conductors at Canadian Pacific Railway.

Ypsilanti, Michigan to make “dramatic” cuts to services

By Naomi Spencer, 31 May 2012

Ypsilanti, Michigan, like countless other industrial cities across the Midwest, is preparing to decimate basic services.

Federal cuts to strip 70,000 more US workers of jobless benefits in June

By David Brown and Barry Grey, 31 May 2012

The early loss of benefits in June will come on top of early cutoffs for more than 200,000 workers two weeks ago as a result of a bill brokered by the White House in February reducing the duration of extended jobless pay.

Hands off Syria!

By Chris Marsden, 31 May 2012

The media’s whipping up of public outrage over the Houla massacre and the coordinated expulsion of Syrian diplomats by the major powers are acts of brazen cynicism.

NDP abets suppression of Quebec student strike

By Eamon Patrick and Graham Beverley, 31 May 2012

The NDP’s attitude to the Quebec student strike exposes it as a supporter of the ruling class’ austerity measures.

California workers speak against budget cuts, unemployment

By a WSWS reporting team, 30 May 2012

Socialist Equality Party members spoke to workers and young people in Los Angeles and San Francisco over Memorial Day weekend about Brown’s budget cuts, social conditions, unemployment and the SEP presidential campaign.

Reject the concessions contract at Caterpillar!

By Socialist Equality Party, 30 May 2012

This leaflet is being distributed at a meeting Wednesday to vote on a tentative agreement in the strike by machinists at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, Illinois.

Murdoch’s acolyte Tony Blair testifies before Leveson inquiry

By Julie Hyland, 30 May 2012

Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair’s appearance before the Leveson inquiry highlights the fraudulent character of the official investigation into press ethics.

Protests erupt against presidential elections in Egypt

By Johannes Stern, 30 May 2012

Protests in various cities broke out in Egypt after the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) announced the official results of the initial round of the presidential elections.

Kazakhstan: Eleven workers, one officer sentenced following police massacre

By Clara Weiss, 30 May 2012

Following a ferocious police intervention ending in the deaths of 16 striking oil workers in the city of Zhanaozen on December 16, a court has sentenced 11 workers in Kazakhstan.

SEP meetings oppose US-Australia war preparations against China

By our reporters, 30 May 2012

Well-attended public meetings in Australia and New Zealand discussed the US military build-up against China and the necessity for a socialist program to oppose militarism and war.

Germany’s six-point plan for sweatshop Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2012

The German government has drawn up a plan to establish cheap-labor “special economic zones” in Greece and other highly indebted European countries.

Youth and workers discuss US-Australia confrontation with China

By our reporters, 30 May 2012

Public meeting participants comment on the SEP’s perspective and the dangers of war.

Twixt and Trishna: Weak films from Coppola and Winterbottom

By Kevin Kearney, 30 May 2012

New films by veteran directors Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Winterbottom were screened at the recent San Francisco film festival.

Vote “No” in Ireland’s referendum on EU fiscal treaty

By Socialist Equality Parties (UK and Germany), 30 May 2012

The Socialist Equality parties of Britain and Germany call for a “No” vote in the Irish Republic’s May 31 referendum on the European Union’s fiscal treaty.

New charges filed against Malaysian opposition leader

By John Roberts, 30 May 2012

The politically-motivated charges are aimed at undermining the opposition coalition as the government prepares for a possible early election.

Guantanamo military tribunals proceed despite evidence of torture

By Tom Carter, 30 May 2012

At Guantanamo Bay, the Obama administration continues to prosecute five alleged September 11 conspirators before a military commission over objections from defense attorneys regarding torture and challenges to the legitimacy of the proceedings.

India: Nationwide protests against fuel price hikes

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 May 2012

Like its counterparts internationally, the Indian government is seeking to impose the burden of the worsening global crisis of capitalism onto the backs of working people.

Student associations in talks with Quebec government

By Keith Jones, 30 May 2012

Quebec’s province-wide student associations held talks Monday and Tuesday with the provincial Liberal government, even as it continued its drive to break the 16 week-long student strike.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

By Jack Hood, 30 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the second installment in a four-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914.

Steelworkers union undermines Northern California refinery workers strike

By David Brown, 30 May 2012

For the second time in three months, workers at Tesoro’s Golden Eagle Refinery have authorized a strike.

The ouster of Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona

By Joseph Santolan, 30 May 2012

The removal of Renato Corona was the culmination of a concerted campaign by President Aquino to undermine the judiciary and extend executive power.

Obama uses Memorial Day speech to rehabilitate Vietnam War

By Bill Van Auken, 30 May 2012

President Obama delivered a Memorial Day speech in which he feigned sympathy for veterans as a means of rehabilitating the Vietnam War.

Workers and youth speak on Chicago, Quebec and the attack on democratic rights

By our reporters, 29 May 2012

Over the weekend, supporters of the Socialist Equality Party distributed a statement from SEP presidential candidate Jerry White and talked to workers about the recent crackdown on dissent in Chicago and Quebec.

Indian Communist Party (Marxist) continues to defend Stalin’s crimes

By Deepal Jayasekera, 29 May 2012

Far from being unimportant “archival matters”, the ideological differences between Stalinism and Trotskyism are of fundamental importance for workers today.

Seventy-five years since the Memorial Day Massacre

By Tom Eley, 29 May 2012

Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the Memorial Day Massacre, when Chicago police opened fire on unarmed striking steelworkers, killing 10 and wounding 30.

Tensions with Iran rise after failed Baghdad talks

By Peter Symonds, 29 May 2012

The Baghdad meeting last week broke up without any agreement other than a decision to hold a further round of talks next month in Moscow.

Massachusetts legislation promotes health care rationing

By John Marion, 29 May 2012

A Massachusetts bill would increase the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs) in the state, leading to caps on health care cost increases and additional aid to financially “distressed” hospitals.

Germany: Drugstore chain Schlecker threatened with destruction

By Ernst Wolff, 29 May 2012

Creditors—in collaboration with the union Verdi—are threatening Schlecker workers with the final destruction of the group and the sacking of 10,000 staff.

Australia: ASIO assessments condemn refugees to indefinite detention

By Robert Morgan, 29 May 2012

The adverse intelligence assessments mean that more than 50 detained asylum seekers are trapped in a legal black hole with no means of challenging their imprisonment.

Australian PM under pressure over mining “guest workers”

By Patrick O’Connor, 29 May 2012

The affair has raised further speculation about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ability to cling to office, amid sharp divisions in the Labor caucus over the issue.

US student loan debt: Where did it come from and who benefits?

By Nancy Hanover, 29 May 2012

Student loan debt threatens an entire generation with lifelong peonage, and the Obama administration is directly involved in its growth.

An interview with photographer Robert Leslie

By Lee Parsons, 29 May 2012

Raised in Canada, now living and working in Europe, Robert Leslie is an artist of genuinely humane sensibilities, as his recent photographic work illustrates.

Canadian government moves to outlaw railway strike

By Carl Bronski, 29 May 2012

The Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced back-to-work legislation Monday afternoon to illegalize a nation-wide strike by Canadian Pacific (CP) railway engineers and conductors.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 29 May 2012

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

US threatens military intervention in Syria following Houla massacre

By Chris Marsden, 29 May 2012

The massacre of over 100 people in Houla is being utilized by the United States, other Western powers and the Gulf States to step up their drive for regime-change in Syria.

Double suicide underscores Greece’s deepening health crisis

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2012

The appalling suicide of a mother and son in Athens again underscores the social nightmare being visited on Greece.

Remembering the Ludlow Massacre

By Jack Hood, 29 May 2012

The World Socialist Web Site publishes the first installment in a five-part series on the Colorado miners’ strike of 1913-1914, which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre and the Ten Days war.

Germany: Lafontaine and the Left Party move to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 28 May 2012

A bitter dispute has broken out in the leadership of the German Left Party.

SEP campaigns for election meeting in Quad Cities

By our reporters, 28 May 2012

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality have been campaigning in the Quad Cities (Iowa and Illinois) in preparation for an upcoming public meeting with presidential candidate Jerry White on Tuesday, May 29.

NATO air strike kills Afghan family of eight

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2012

Six children are among those killed in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktia.

US CEO pay continues to climb

By David Brown, 28 May 2012

Two recent studies on executive compensation show a marked increase in the pay of America’s top business figures.

This week in history: May 28-June 3

By , 28 May 2012

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

IMF chief: It’s “payback time” for Greek workers

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 May 2012

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde vented her class hatred for the workers of Greece, denouncing them as tax scofflaws and ruling out any respite from the austerity measures that have devastated the country.

Israel’s ruling Likud party incites racist attacks on migrants

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2012

Racist attacks injured dozens of asylum seekers, following a rally where leading members of the ruling Likud party made inflammatory remarks against African migrants.

Mass repression in Quebec: A warning to the working class

By Keith Jones, 28 May 2012

The mass arrests are testimony both to the depth of popular opposition to Bill 78 and the determination of Canada’s ruling class to stamp out the student strike and run roughshod over all opposition to its class-war agenda.

Detroit workers speak out against budget cuts

By Shannon Jones, 28 May 2012

Socialist Equality Party campaign teams spoke to workers and young people in Detroit over the weekend about the campaign of its candidates, Jerry White for president and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president.

French bourgeois “left” manipulates fight against Fralib factory closure

By Anthony Torres, 28 May 2012

The Hollande government is preparing to impose austerity after the parliamentary elections in June, planning for mass layoffs.

Canadian government attacks wages and unemployment benefits

By Vic Neufeld, 28 May 2012

The Harper government released details of changes to Employment Insurance eligibility rules and temporary worker provisions that constitute a major attack on workers in favour of low-wage employers.

Dissecting class relations: The film collaborations of Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter

By Robert Maras, 28 May 2012

Three of US director Joseph Losey’s best films were made in collaboration with British playwright Harold Pinter.

Sri Lankan president’s salute to militarism

By Wije Dias, 28 May 2012

This year’s “victory” parade only underscored the degree to which his government rests on the country’s huge military apparatus.

Ten years on, the myths of East Timor independence stand exposed

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 May 2012

The tiny island state remains subject to the diktats of the IMF and World Bank and the intrigues of rival powers vying for regional influence.

The Avengers: Not at all the way truths can be explored

By Joanne Laurier, 26 May 2012

The Avengers is one of Hollywood’s biggest spectacles to date. It has already brought in more than one billion dollars at the box office worldwide. But what does it have to offer?

US bank profits soar while lending drops

By Patrick Martin, 26 May 2012

US bank profits rose sharply during the first quarter of 2012, according to figures compiled by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Letters from our readers

By , 26 May 2012

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

Mounting signs of deepening global slump

By Andre Damon, 26 May 2012

New economic figures point to a renewed downturn of the world economy amid a growing debt crisis in Europe and the threatened breakup of the euro zone.

Chinese leadership turmoil continues

By John Chan, 26 May 2012

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the CCP’s top Politburo Standing Committee and the man in charge of state security, is reportedly being sidelined.

SEP candidate speaks with Detroit Chrysler workers

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 May 2012

Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president Jerry White campaigned at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly Plant on the east side of Detroit.

Donald “Duck” Dunn, legendary bass player, dead at 70

By James Brewer, 26 May 2012

Booker T. and the M.G.’s bass player Donald “Duck” Dunn, died suddenly while on tour in Tokyo on May 13.

Detroit city council approves brutal cuts

By Shannon Jones, 26 May 2012

The Detroit city council has approved a new budget slashing 2,566 jobs and shredding much of what remains of city services.

Greek ruling elite prepares for showdown with working class

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 26 May 2012

As Greece prepares for elections on June 17 amid an overwhelming popular rejection of austerity, the ruling class is making secret preparations for a military crackdown against the workers.

Reports cite killings, disappearances and torture by Mexico’s security forces

By Bill Van Auken, 26 May 2012

Reports issued this week by the US State Department and Amnesty International charge Mexico’s army and police with crimes against the Mexican people, even as Washington continues to funnel aid and arms to these forces.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 26 May 2012

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

Sri Lankan president releases jailed rival

By Sampath Perera, 26 May 2012

Rajapakse announced Fonseka’s release in a bid to ease tensions with the US, just days after Sri Lanka’s foreign minister visited Washington.

Quebec student strike: Government excludes fee hikes, Bill 78 from proposed talks

By Keith Jones, 26 May 2012

One week after criminalizing Quebec’s 15-week-long student strike, the provincial Liberal government is apparently about to summon leaders of the province-wide student associations for talks.

Serbian presidential vote indicates growing disaffection from the EU

By Ognjen Markovic and Stefan Steinberg, 26 May 2012

The Serbian presidential vote reflects increasing disillusionment with all of the official parties and growing disaffection with the pro-European Union policies of both candidates.

Russian government cracks down on opposition

By Andrea Peters and Clara Weiss, 26 May 2012

President Vladimir Putin has responded with force to anti-Kremlin protests in recent weeks, as the new government prepares to implement a right-wing agenda.

UK student Richard O’Dwyer’s extradition appeal scheduled for July 30

By Liz Smith, 26 May 2012

An appeal by Richard O’Dwyer, the 23-year old Sheffield Hallam University student facing extradition to the US on charges of copyright infringement, is slated for July 30.

The Egyptian junta’s fraudulent elections and the tasks of the working class

By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2012

Egypt’s elections have exposed the sham character of the so-called “transition to democracy” organized by the Egyptian ruling class in conjunction with Washington after the overthrow of longtime US-stooge Hosni Mubarak.

Filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow offered access to US military death squad

By David Walsh, 25 May 2012

Kathryn Bigelow, who won an Academy Award for directing The Hurt Locker, met with Pentagon and CIA officials in 2011 and was offered access to the Navy Seal team that executed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Greece: French Left Front backs SYRIZA’s appeal to the banks

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 May 2012

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front (FG) candidate in last month's French presidential elections hosted a meeting in Paris on Monday with Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

US steps up drone war on Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken, 25 May 2012

US drone attacks in northwest Pakistan killed at least 14 people in little more than 24 hours, including 10 dying in a Thursday morning missile strike on a mosque.

Australia: New South Wales teachers stop-work against devolution agenda

By our reporters, 25 May 2012

Devolving powers to school principals is part of Labor’s misnamed “education revolution”, which has imposed student performance testing and the publication of ranking tables.

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White demands release of jailed Quebec students

By , 25 May 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White denounces Wednesday's mass arrests of students in Quebec and calls for the building of a socialist movement to defend the social and democratic rights of all working people.

Harry Belafonte provides an historical insight into the civil rights movement’s decay

By Fred Mazelis, 25 May 2012

Belafonte’s memoir describes in some detail his last meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. in March 1968, exactly a week before the civil rights leader was assassinated.

US prepares multi-front proxy war against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2012

Since the Washington Post’s May 16 report on an influx of arms to Syrian opposition forces, the Obama administration’s plans for a proxy war against Syria have become clearer still.

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, one of the great vocal artists of the 20th century, dies at 86

By Dorian Griscom, 25 May 2012

The German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was renowned for his interpretations of Schubert, Schumann and Brahms songs, but his repertoire included opera and oratorio as well.

Iranian nuclear talks on brink of collapse

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2012

Two days of negotiations in Baghdad between Iran and the major powers were only salvaged through a last minute proposal for another meeting in Moscow next month.

Sri Lanka: SEP holds plantation workers’ congress

By W.A.Sunil, 25 May 2012

The SEP plantation workers congress in Hatton last Saturday reflected important political shifts in the Sri Lankan working class

A revealing look at Murdoch’s influence on British politics

By A review by Dave Hyland, 25 May 2012

Labour MP Tom Watson and Independent journalist Martin Hickman throw some light on the way in which politicians in the UK have bowed down before Rupert Murdoch’s wealth and power, as well detailing the incestuous relationship between his newspapers and a corrupt police force.

Quebec police mount mass arrests in bid to break student strike

By Keith Jones, 25 May 2012

Following this week’s mass protests backing Quebec’s striking students, the state has intensified its repression.

Papua New Guinean government arrests chief justice

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 May 2012

The attempted prosecution of the chief justice on sedition charges is in retaliation for the Supreme Court’s recent confirmation that the O’Neill government remains in power illegally.

The Democrats and the Bain Capital affair

By Patrick Martin, 25 May 2012

The Obama campaign’s criticism of Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital is a cynical fraud, since the Democrats no less than the Republicans serve Wall Street interests.

Low turnout in Egyptian presidential elections

By Johannes Stern, 25 May 2012

The initial round of the first presidential elections in Egypt after the revolutionary ouster of long-time US-stooge Hosni Mubarak, on May 23-24, was marked by low turnout and numerous electoral violations.