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Brandenburg teachers protest state education policies

By Ernst Wolff, 30 November 2012

Teachers in Brandenburg staged a protest against the education policies of the state’s administration—a coalition of the Social Democratic Party and Left Party.

Egypt’s proposed constitution enshrines dictatorial powers and military rule

By Chris Marsden, 30 November 2012

The rushing through yesterday of Egypt’s new constitution by the Constituent Assembly is an aggressive move by the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohammed Mursi.

New Japanese party formed to capitalise on anti-nuclear sentiment

By Peter Symonds, 30 November 2012

The establishment of the Japan Future Party is another sign of deepening political crisis in the lead up to the December 16 election.

Bradley Manning testifies on his detention

By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012

Bradley Manning took the stand to speak on his pre-trial detention Thursday. It was the first public statement from the accused whistleblower in over two years.

Workers Struggles: Europe & Africa

By , 30 November 2012

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

Australian opposition leader under pressure after accusing PM of criminality

By Patrick O’Connor, 30 November 2012

Abbott failed in his attempt to use a union scandal to force the prime minister to resign and hold an early election.

Comet failure highlights UK retail jobs crisis

By Julie Hyland, 30 November 2012

Comet’s 6,600 workers could all be laid off by Christmas and the entire business closed. The UK electrical retailer had 236 stores when it went into administration at the start of the month. Some 1,000 workers have been laid off so far, with 41 stores closed and redundancies at its Hertfordshire HQ and its Somerset call centre.

Detroit bankruptcy threats escalate as bonds are downgraded

By Shannon Jones, 30 November 2012

A major credit rating agency further downgraded Detroit’s debt as city officials advance new proposals for cuts.

UAW sanctions “alternative” work schedule at Chrysler

By Jerry White, 30 November 2012

In an effort to pump ever-greater productivity and profits out of auto workers, Chrysler is implementing a so-called Alternative Work Schedule (AWS) at its stamping, assembly and parts plants throughout the country.

Washington, D.C. parents and teachers oppose school closings, charter schools

By Ed Hightower and Nikolai Barrickman, 30 November 2012

Parents, students and teachers have reacted in anger to a plan to close 20 public schools in Washington, D.C.

After the elections: Obama escalates war drive in the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 30 November 2012

The Obama administration is escalating its intervention in Syria as part of a broader strategy of neocolonial conquest.

Psychiatrists testify on military mistreatment of Bradley Manning

By Naomi Spencer, 30 November 2012

Psychiatrists testified Wednesday that recommendations to end Manning’s solitary confinement were ignored.

Judge orders dismissal of Toronto's right-wing populist mayor

By Keith Jones, 29 November 2012

An Ontario Superior Court judge has ordered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to vacate the office on December 10 after finding him guilty on conflict of interest charges.

Silver Linings Playbook: It’s the little things in life …

By Joanne Laurier, 29 November 2012

In this comedy-drama, former substitute history teacher Pat has just been released from a psychiatric facility when he meets Tiffany, the widow of a policeman. Together they struggle to overcome their difficulties.

National Union of Students organises token London protest

By Zach Reed, 29 November 2012

Students marched through London on November 21 in protest against the trebling of tuition fees to £9,000 and cuts to education.

Australia: Victorian teachers’ union abandons wage claim

By Susan Allan, 29 November 2012

Even though the AEU has dropped its demand for a 30 percent wage rise, the state government is insisting on further major concessions.

US fiscal cliff talks target the working class

By Barry Grey, 29 November 2012

As the deadline for the so-called “fiscal cliff” grows nearer, indications mount that the artificial fiscal emergency is the starting point for deep structural cuts in social programs.

Illinois graduate assistants’ union attempts to force through sellout contract

By Marcus Day, 29 November 2012

Leaders of the Graduate Employees Union (GEO) at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign signed a tentative agreement Tuesday containing major wage and health care concessions.

German Pirate Party sets sail to the right

By Christoph Dreier, 29 November 2012

The program of the Pirate Party includes not only a clear commitment to the market economy, but also the ideological justification for austerity policies.

Letters from our readers

By , 29 November 2012

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

Germany: Fire at workshop for the disabled kills 14

By Marianne Arens, 29 November 2012

One of the worst such disasters to take place in Germany in years, the fire killed 14 workers.

Now available from Mehring Books: Russian Revolutionary Posters by David King

By David Walsh, 29 November 2012

Mehring Books is proud to offer for sale a new book, Russian Revolutionary Posters: From Civil War to Socialist Realism, From Bolshevism to the End of Stalinism by David King (Tate Publishing).

OECD warns of lower growth, increased unemployment

By Bryan Dyne, 29 November 2012

In its most recent report, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development revised its forecast for the world economy, sharply cutting projections and warning of the possibility of a “deep recession and deflation.”

Austerity without end

By Peter Schwarz, 29 November 2012

The main message from Monday’s meeting of euro zone finance ministers is that the Greek people confront years, if not decades, of austerity.

Australia: High-rise crane collapses on building site

By Terry Cook, 29 November 2012

A boom from a burning tower crane fell onto an inner city Sydney building site this week, narrowly missing construction workers.

Report highlights UN “failure” in Sri Lanka

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 29 November 2012

The lessons drawn from the report are aimed at fashioning the UN into a more effective tool of imperialist intervention.

Rotherham by-election in Britain

By Dave Hyland, 29 November 2012

Today’s by-election for the parliamentary seat of Rotherham Central in South Yorkshire is being used to shift official politics further to the right.

Hostess unions line up with Wall Street asset strippers

By Jerry White, 29 November 2012

A week after a US bankruptcy court approved the liquidation of Hostess Brands, a slew of private equity firms and buyout specialists are seeking to cash in on the carve-up of the baked goods producer.

Portland, Oregon port union accepts concessions contract

By Hector Cordon, 28 November 2012

Port of Portland security workers get new concessions contract while longshoremen face a Wednesday deadline on a “best and final offer.”

Union corruption scandal plagues Australian PM

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 November 2012

The issue has been promoted by the Murdoch press as a means of placing pressure on Gillard to implement further austerity measures.

No debt reduction for Greece

By Peter Schwarz, 28 November 2012

Euro zone finance ministers rejected calls by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), among others, for debt relief for the highly indebted country.

Australian prime minister defeated on UN vote

By Nick Beams, 28 November 2012

Gillard was forced to back down on the UN Palestine vote after opposition in the cabinet and on the Labor Party backbench.

Bradley Manning hearing focuses on unlawful pre-trial punishment

By Naomi Spencer, 28 November 2012

The Army’s pre-trial hearing resumed Tuesday against Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The brutal face of global capitalism

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2012

The conditions at the Tazreen Fashions factory where 112 workers died were not the exception, but the rule.

Mass protests against Egyptian President Mursi

By Johannes Stern, 28 November 2012

Hundreds of thousands protested in Cairo'’s Tahrir Square and throughout Egypt against Islamist president Mohamed Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

Britain: Soup kitchens become part of mainstream welfare provision

By Mark Blackwood, 28 November 2012

Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, there has been a huge expansion in the UK of soup kitchens, known euphemistically as food banks, as a result of growing poverty.

Chinese journalist arrested for reporting homeless children’s deaths

By Oliver Campbell, 28 November 2012

Li Yuanlong’s arrest is a warning that the new Communist Party leadership will be ruthless in suppressing political dissent.

Irish unions make show of opposition to new austerity measures

By Jordan Shilton and Dermot Quinn, 28 November 2012

The president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Eugene McGlone, was booed as he started to speak at last Saturday’s anti-austerity march in Dublin.

The growing impact and dangers of global warming

By Bryan Dyne, 27 November 2012

The impact of climate change on all aspects of life has been more concretely analyzed in reports issued over the past decade.

Hurricane Sandy and the criminal failure of the utility companies

By Philip Guelpa, 27 November 2012

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, popular outrage has grown over the failure of the government and corporations to adequately prepare for and respond to the storm’s devastating impact.

China’s leadership announces new anti-corruption campaign

By John Chan, 27 November 2012

The regime is not only fearful that corruption will fuel a working class rebellion, but is exploiting the issue to push through its pro-market agenda.

Garment workers protest after Bangladeshi fire

By Peter Symonds, 27 November 2012

The protesters demanded the punishment of those responsible for the Tazreen Fashions factory fire that claimed at least 112 lives on Saturday night.

Separatist parties dominate Catalan election results

By Paul Mitchell, 27 November 2012

The Catalan parliamentary election held November 25 resulted in a significant vote for parties calling for independence from Spain.

Australia: Safety experts discuss Bankstown apartment fire

By our reporters, 27 November 2012

Experts voice concerns about fire safety in multi-storey apartments and inadequate building codes.

The “fiscal cliff” fraud

By Andre Damon, 27 November 2012

Using the pretext of the “fiscal cliff,” the American ruling class is preparing an unprecedented attack on entitlement programs.

Under threat of bankruptcy, Detroit escalates assault on working class

By Bryan Dyne, 27 November 2012

Detroit Mayor David Bing and the city council are using the threat of potential bankruptcy to escalate the assault on city workers.

Protest against austerity measures in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2012

On November 17, 30,000 people protested in the Slovenian capital against austerity policies.

ISO paves way for Chicago school closures

By Kristina Betinis and Jerry White, 27 November 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools district (CPS) are moving ahead with plans to close as many as 120 public schools, and open up 60 new charter schools over the next few years. About 140 schools have been identified by the district as half-empty, and are expected to be the first targeted for closure. The closings would eliminate the jobs of thousands of teachers and school support staff.

Letters from our readers

By , 27 November 2012

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

Report to the Second National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party

By David North, 27 November 2012

We are publishing here the opening report to the Socialist Equality Party (US) Second National Congress, given July 8, 2012 by SEP National Chairman David North.

Mass protest against Mursi set for Egypt’s Tahrir Square

By Chris Marsden, 27 November 2012

Rival mass protest will be staged today, provoked by President Mohamed Mursi’s decree granting himself virtually dictatorial powers.

Rebel soldiers advance in Congo

By Ernst Wolff, 27 November 2012

Rebel soldiers attached to the Movement M 23 are continuing to advance in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Twenty years since Deng Xiaoping’s “Southern tour”—Part 2

By John Chan, 27 November 2012

On his 1992 tour, Deng made no secret of his embrace of capitalism.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

By , 27 November 2012

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

Twenty years since Deng Xiaoping’s “Southern tour”—Part 1

By John Chan, 26 November 2012

The tour became a key turning point in the process of capitalist restoration in China.

This week in history: November 26-December 2

By , 26 November 2012

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

Gough Whitlam: A Moment in History by Jenny Hocking

By Nick Beams, 26 November 2012

Whitlam's demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.

Protests hit Walmart stores

By our reporter, 26 November 2012

Protests were held at Walmart stores around the US on November 23 to oppose management abuse, irregular working hours and the poverty wages paid by the giant retailer.

The way forward in Egypt

By Johannes Stern, 26 November 2012

President Mohamed Mursi’s assumption of dictatorial powers raises critical questions of political perspective for the Egyptian revolution.

Worst factory fire in Bangladeshi history

By Peter Symonds, 26 November 2012

A blaze that gutted the Tazreen Fashions building near the capital of Dhaka on Saturday night killed at least 112 workers and injured another 150.

The Man with the Iron Fists: Reactionary Kung-Fu

By Kevin Kearney, 26 November 2012

The film, directed by rapper-music producer RZA, follows a collection of warriors in mythical 19th century China who band together to defeat a common enemy.

South African farmworkers speak on issues in strike

By Joshua Lumet and Iqra Qalam, 26 November 2012

The trade unions and the political establishment are seeking to demobilize the farmworkers’ struggle, which follows and has been motivated by the eruption of strikes in the mining industries.

Massive job losses in UK’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2012

The ongoing offensive against the National Health Service (NHS) has led to 28,500 health workers losing their jobs since the Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition came to power in 2010.

SYRIZA leader visits Barcelona to prop up Greens and Stalinists

By Alejandro López, 26 November 2012

Alexis Tsipras attended a public meeting in Catalonia just three days before the regional elections.

Obama administration pushes ahead with drone killings

By Patrick Martin, 26 November 2012

The New York Times estimates that US drone strikes have killed more than 2,500 people.

German defence minister promotes militarism

By Martin Novak and Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2012

The cynicism of Germany’s ruling class was demonstrated by the German defence minister’s choice of a war memorial church as the venue for delivering militaristic propaganda.

The New York Times continues its campaign: Breast cancer screenings cause more harm than good

By Kate Randall, 26 November 2012

An opinion piece in the New York Times argues that regular mammography screenings to detect breast cancer are “not all they’re cracked up to be.”

Chicago Transit Authority proposes large fare hike

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 November 2012

CTA has announced steep fare hikes for riders who use passes, while the need for service improvements and major infrastructure upgrades continues to go unmet.

US spy agencies edited Benghazi “talking points”

By Patrick Martin, 24 November 2012

Their purpose was to conceal the connections between the US intelligence apparatus and gunmen linked to Al Qaeda.

Ontario high school teachers union accepts concessions

By Carl Bronski, 24 November 2012

The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation has reached agreement with seven provincial school boards on a series of major concessions demanded by the Ontario’s Liberal government.

Israeli forces break Gaza ceasefire as Netanyahu outlines his political calculations

By Jean Shaoul and Chris Marsden, 24 November 2012

The ceasefire that brought to an end Israel’s eight-day blitzkrieg against Gaza is already under strain, after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man on the border.

UK unions and Socialist Party isolate striking Mid Yorkshire NHS workers

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 24 November 2012

The Socialist Party is helping public sector unions Unison and Unite isolate 300 National Health Service clerical and administrative workers employed by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

By , 24 November 2012

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

The social crisis in the US

By Andre Damon, 24 November 2012

As President Barack Obama and Congress prepare to slash social programs that keep millions out of destitution, the prevalence of hunger and poverty in the United States has reached rates unseen in decades.

An exercise in myth-making

By Nick Beams, 24 November 2012

Whitlam’s demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.

Germany’s Green Party backs the European Union

By Michael Regens, 24 November 2012

The German Greens expressly support the European Union and the austerity measures of the Troika, which have led to a social catastrophe in Greece.

China: Homeless children found dead in rubbish bin

By Oliver Campbell, 24 November 2012

The gulf between circumstances of the children and the lavish surroundings of the recent Communist Party congress highlights the deep social divide in China.

Mass protests erupt in Egypt against Mursi’s antidemocratic decrees

By Johannes Stern, 24 November 2012

Mass protests against Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood erupted throughout the country on Friday.

Japan’s election dominated by right-wing nationalism

By Peter Symonds, 24 November 2012

The election campaign is rapidly becoming a contest with each of the parties seeking to outbid each other as proponents of nationalism and militarism.

Sri Lankan SEP public meeting on Historical and International Foundations document

By our correspondents, 24 November 2012

Workers and students discussed the main perspective resolution adopted at the SEP’s founding congress in 2011.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

By , 23 November 2012

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

Sorry at New York’s Public Theater: American liberals on Election Day

By Fred Mazelis, 23 November 2012

The third in a series of plays set in Rhinebeck, New York, Sorry reflects a certain retreat from critical issues.

Holiday savings from Mehring Books

By , 23 November 2012

The Mehring Books holiday sale is an ideal opportunity to build your Marxist library and introduce friends and family to the history, theory and politics of the socialist movement.

Nurses in California go on two-day strike

By Joseph Santolan, 23 November 2012

On November 20, over 3,000 nurses and hospital tech workers in the California Nurses Association (CNA) Union went on a two-day strike at eight Sutter Health facilities. It is seventh such strike since September 2011.

Big business applauds Quebec budget

By Louis Girard and Keith Jones, 23 November 2012

Big business and the corporate media have enthusiastically applauded the austerity budget the Parti Québécois provincial government presented this week.

Egypt’s President Mursi claims vast new executive powers

By Johannes Stern, 23 November 2012

The main target of the declaration is working class opposition to Mursi and the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

IMF steps up pressure on Romanian government prior to election

By Diana Toma and Markus Salzmann, 23 November 2012

In their latest report the International Monetary Fund and European Union call upon the Romanian government to continue its brutal “structural reforms.”

Bombardment of Gaza portends further criminal wars in Middle East

By Chris Marsden, 23 November 2012

For eight days, the Israel Defense Forces rained down devastation on Gaza that has left it in ruins. More than 150 Palestinian lives were lost, including 40 children.

Push for pro-market reform after Chinese Communist Party congress

By John Chan, 23 November 2012

International and local business elites are pressing for a new round of economic restructuring in China, especially targeting state enterprises.

European Union budget talks deadlock

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 November 2012

Sharp conflicts have emerged over the negotiation of the European Union, as British Prime Minister David Cameron demanded deep spending cuts.

A significant report on the global economy

By Nick Beams, 23 November 2012

China and India will not be able to provide the basis for a new period of global growth

Moody’s downgrades French debt rating, presses for austerity in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 23 November 2012

On November 19, the credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded France’s sovereign debt by one notch from Aaa, the top rating, to Aa1.

UK: NHS Trust quits South West Pay Consortium after unions agree cuts

By Eric Gold, 23 November 2012

The withdrawal of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from the South West Pay Consortium is not the victory proclaimed by the unions.

An exercise in myth-making

By Nick Beams, 23 November 2012

Whitlam’s demise is presented as the downfall of a social reformer, almost totally ignoring the global context in which the 1975 Canberra Coup took place.

Australian government pushes for energy privatisation

By Terry Cook, 23 November 2012

The White Paper demands that every avenue for profit in the energy sector must be opened up for the major corporations and finance houses.

Clinton outlines global US economic offensive

By Peter Symonds, 22 November 2012

Obama’s pivot to Asia is part of a comprehensive campaign to maintain US dominance in Asia on every front—diplomatic, economic and strategic.

Nurses in California go on two-day strike

By Joseph Santolan, 22 November 2012

On November 20, over 3,000 nurses and hospital tech workers in the California Nurses Association (CNA) Union went on a two-day strike at eight Sutter Health facilities. It is seventh such strike since September 2011.

Sicily elects new regional president

By Marianne Arens, 22 November 2012

Voters’ illusions about Sicily’s new regional president, Rosario Crocetto, are bound to explode as the economic crisis continues to create fertile ground for the Mafia and other reactionary organizations.

France’s conservative UMP faces split after leadership race

By Alex Lantier, 22 November 2012

The UMP faces a possible split after a contested vote Sunday for the party presidency and rising tensions over its ties to neo-fascist forces.

US and Egypt announce ceasefire in Israeli assault on Gaza

By Jean Shaoul, 22 November 2012

After supporting a ceaseless bombardment for the last eight days of densely populated Gaza neighborhoods, the US was concerned that the conflict could threaten its broader agenda in the Middle East.