United States

US House passes sweeping new bipartisan assault on Medicare

By Kate Randall, 27 March 2015

The coming together of the Republican and Democratic parties behind the overhaul underscores the unanimity within the ruling class on the need for massive cuts in health care spending.

Merger between Heinz and Kraft likely to destroy thousands of jobs

By Gabriel Black, 27 March 2015

H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods announced Wednesday that they would merge to form the world’s fifth-largest food company.

White House announces pro-corporate fracking rules

By Philip Guelpa, 27 March 2015

The Obama administration’s newly announced rules on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands will allow oil companies to continue endangering human health and the environment.

The firing squad returns to America

By Barry Grey, 26 March 2015

The revival of execution methods most people had long considered relics of a more barbaric past exposes the real state of class relations in America.

Bowe Bergdahl, former POW critical of war in Afghanistan, charged with desertion

By Zaida Green, 26 March 2015

Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network for nearly five years, could face life in prison if convicted.

Ultra-right Texas senator is first official US presidential candidate

By Patrick Martin, 26 March 2015

Senator Ted Cruz announced his presidential campaign at Liberty University in Virginia, a Christian fundamentalist college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

At bargaining convention in Detroit

UAW president insists auto workers must “face the facts” of global competition

By Jerry White, 26 March 2015

Facing demands from workers for a significant improvement of wages, the UAW reasserted its commitment to maintaining the competitiveness and profitability of the US automakers.

BP workers in Indiana denounce USW isolation of oil workers strike

By George Marlowe, 26 March 2015

Workers at BP’s Whiting, Indiana plant and a handful of other refineries remain on strike, as the USW works to quickly end the walkout at Shell, Tesoro and other companies.

The California drought: Water-rationing plan leaves corporate interests untouched

By Evan Blake, 26 March 2015

Last week, the state passed emergency legislation targeting residential “water wasters,” while giving free rein to the agricultural giants to continue their overuse of groundwater.

New York State budget proposals intensify attack on public education

By Philip Guelpa, 26 March 2015

The plan from Governor Cuomo and the state legislature continues the drive to dismantle public education through the expansion of charter schools and attacks on teachers.

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship pleads not guilty to updated charges

By Clement Daly, 26 March 2015

It is nearly five years since the April 2010 explosion at Upper Big Branch killed 29 West Virginia miners in the worst US mine disaster in nearly four decades.

Israel spied on US-Iran talks in effort to block deal

By Patrick Martin, 25 March 2015

Israeli intelligence services spied on the Iran nuclear talks and leaked details to congressional Republicans and Democrats in an effort to block a prospective deal.

United Auto Workers union meets in Detroit to prepare 2015 contract betrayal

By Jerry White, 25 March 2015

The first day of the UAW bargaining convention underscored the organization’s role as a tool of the auto companies and the Obama administration.

Washington, DC homelessness rises to record levels

By Trent Novak, 25 March 2015

With the winter “hypothermia season” not set to officially end until April, the number of families requiring shelter has already exceeded official expectations.

Official endorsements reveal Kshama Sawant’s close ties with Democratic Party

By Eric London, 25 March 2015

As Sawant racks up endorsements from prominent Democrats and Wall Street speculators, an internal Socialist Alternative memo exposes Sawant’s close ties to the two-party system.

Behind the tensions between Obama and Netanyahu

By Bill Van Auken, 24 March 2015

With his explicit rejection of the so-called “two-state solution,” the Israeli prime minister exposed the fraud of US policy, cutting across Washington’s interests in the region.

USW imposes sellout, seeks to wind down remaining oil strikes

By Jerry White, 24 March 2015

Strikes continue at BP, Marathon, LyondellBasell and Tesoro, as the United Steelworkers seeks to impose its pro-company deal on oil workers throughout the country.

As United Auto Workers bargaining convention opens

Media worries whether UAW can contain auto workers’ expectations

By Shannon Jones, 24 March 2015

With GM, Ford and Chrysler raking in an estimated $76 billion since 2009, auto workers are determined to win improvements in the upcoming auto contract talks.

Obama administration seeks to conceal records of discredited airport screening program

By Tom Carter, 24 March 2015

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Obama administration improperly withheld records related to "behavior detection" airport screening programs.

FBI helped infiltrate Minnesota protest against police murders

By Zaida Green, 24 March 2015

Mall of America security created a fake Facebook account to spy on demonstrators in order to arrest and prosecute “ringleaders.”

Star US professional football player retires over fears of brain trauma

By Alan Gilman, 24 March 2015

National Football League linebacker Chris Borland, after a starring rookie season, announced last week that he is retiring in order to avoid crippling brain injuries.

Democrats, pseudo-left groups maneuver in lead-up to Chicago mayoral runoff

By Marcus Day, 24 March 2015

The April 7 runoff pits Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel against Jesus “Chuy” García, a long-time Democratic Party operative who has the backing of the International Socialist Organization.

Detroit’s water shutoffs and the aristocratic principle

By Andre Damon, 23 March 2015

In few places anywhere on the globe is the systematized, ruthless cruelty of the ruling class—facilitated by all factions of the political establishment—so flagrantly on display as in Detroit.

Reign of police violence continues with killing of unarmed teen in Cleveland

By Gabriel Black, 23 March 2015

Brandon Jones had allegedly broken into a grocery store and was carrying out a few boxes of cigarettes and some coins when police cornered and shot him.

Seven children die in New York house fire

By Daniel de Vries, 23 March 2015

The fire, which was apparently sparked by a hot plate, is the deadliest in New York City since 2007, when 10 West African immigrants died in their sub-standard Bronx home.

Striking Houston-area oil workers denounce USW betrayal

By E.P. Bannon and Tom Hall, 23 March 2015

Workers at the LyondellBasell refinery expressed frustration and anger at the United Steelworkers for deliberately isolating their struggle.

Unemployment benefits availability in US at lowest level in history

By E.P. Bannon, 23 March 2015

Only 23.1 percent of unemployed workers were receiving benefits in December 2014, the lowest level since unemployment insurance benefits were first established.

The fraud of Obama’s “Student Aid Bill of Rights”

By Nancy Hanover, 23 March 2015

Obama’s proposal for student loan aid is both a publicity stunt to appease popular concern over ever-rising student loan debt and a plan to tighten enforcement on repayment.

Tucson, Arizona, officials considering banning homeless from downtown park

By Kevin Martinez, 23 March 2015

After removing tents and shelters from the park, authorities also want to ban sleeping in boxes, tents and pods on city streets.

Detroit to resume mass water shutoffs

By Andre Damon, 21 March 2015

As many as 28,000 households in America’s poorest large city face having their water service shut off.

Bellum Americanum: US imperialism’s delusions of world conquest

By Joseph Kishore, 21 March 2015

There is near-universal agreement among Democrats and Republicans in Washington to substantially increase funding for the already gargantuan Pentagon war machine.

Philadelphia cops cleared in killing of 26-year-old

By Gabriel Black, 21 March 2015

The Philadelphia District Attorney announced Thursday that no charges will be brought against two police officers who stopped and killed Brandon Tate-Brown in December.

Capital punishment and the brutality of class rule in America

By Kate Randall, 20 March 2015

The political establishment’s continued support for state-sanctioned killing reflects the barbaric and exploitative character of social relations in the United States.

Obama administration sets record for denying access to government documents

By Niles Williamson, 20 March 2015

The backlog of unanswered Freedom of Information Act requests grew by 55 percent last year—part of a broader expansion of government secrecy.

Mass protests at University of Virginia after honors student beaten by state police

By Tom Hall, 20 March 2015

Thousands of students gathered Wednesday night to protest the beating of Martese Johnson, a student at the University of Virginia, by state police outside an off-campus bar.

Obama set to veto any cuts to Pentagon war machine

By Bill Van Auken, 19 March 2015

The president has made no threat to veto budget proposals imposing spending caps on vital social services.

ACLU sues White House over drone “kill list”

By Eric London, 17 March 2015

A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenges the secrecy of the Obama administration’s “targeted killing” drone assassination program.

Man held for 900 days in US prison without charge

By Tom Eley, 17 March 2015

Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, detained as a “material witness,” has been in jail since March 16, 2012.

Alabama food stamp use doubles since 2007

By Shelley Connor, 17 March 2015

The surge in food stamp use coincides with a sharp decline in the percentage of people working full-time.

California Democrat plans ballot proposal to cut public employee pensions

By Kevin Martinez, 17 March 2015

Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will lead a ballot initiative in May to eliminate constitutional protections for CalPERS and other state pension funds.

Divisions emerge between Britain and US over China bank

By Nick Beams, 16 March 2015

The British decision to participate in the Chinese-backed Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank was taken largely behind the back of the United States.

Sri Lanka-China tensions rise over suspended port project

By Manusha Fernando, 16 March 2015

Suspension of the Chinese investment project is bound up with the shift of Sri Lankan foreign policy under the new government away from Beijing and towards Washington.

Police arrest man in shooting of Ferguson police officers

By Nick Barrickman and Andre Damon, 16 March 2015

Despite a lack of evidence, St. Louis County authorities sought to associate Wednesday’s shooting with ongoing demonstrations against police violence.

1,600 people attend funeral for 19-year-old killed by police in Madison, Wisconsin

By Eric London, 16 March 2015

The funeral followed days of protests against police violence in which thousands of people participated.

US ramps up anti-China “pivot to Asia”

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2015

The US maritime strategic document released yesterday is a recipe for intensifying tensions in Asia and compounding the danger of war with China.

Media, politicians seize on Ferguson shooting to blackguard protests against police violence

By Andre Damon, 14 March 2015

The wounding of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri is being used to delegitimize mass anger over the unending wave of police killings in America.

Steelworkers union pushes local contracts following national deal to end US oil strike

By our reporters, 14 March 2015

Picketing by oil workers will continue until agreements are passed at each separate refinery, with workers who do not accept the terms left completely isolated.

US retail sales fall for third consecutive month

By Gabriel Black, 14 March 2015

The sustained decline in retail sales underscores the emergence of a new economic slump threatening workers’ livelihoods.

Why the media silence on Lindsey Graham’s vow to use the military to force vote in Congress?

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2015

With the media poised to jump on candidates’ slightest “gaffes,” there are virtually no reports on Graham’s vow to “use the military” to push through a Pentagon budget.

USW reaches sellout deal, moves to shut down oil workers’ strike

By Jerry White, 13 March 2015

Any deal reached on the basis of blocking the full mobilization of oil workers against the intransigence of the energy giants can be nothing but a miserable betrayal.

US presidential election season begins

By Patrick Martin, 13 March 2015

The United States is entering a 2016 presidential election campaign that demonstrates the narrow basis of the two-party system and the oligarchical character of American society.

Police launch manhunt in Ferguson, Missouri after officers wounded

By Andre Damon, 13 March 2015

The Obama administration used Wednesday’s shooting to restate its support for the police in the face of ongoing demonstrations against police killings.

UN torture investigator barred from US prisons

By Matthew MacEgan, 13 March 2015

A UN official lashed out at the US government for barring him from investigating federal prisons, as well as for being the only nation that sentences children to life in prison without parole.

Obama’s criticism of right-to-work law: A defense of the corporatist bureaucracy

By Shannon Jones, 13 March 2015

Obama’s criticism of the recently enacted right-to-work law in Wisconsin reflects divisions in the ruling establishment over the best way to pursue attacks on the working class.

Pennsylvania budget underfunds education, cuts taxes for the wealthy

By Samuel Davidson, 13 March 2015

Tax increases for the working class, including sales and income taxes, underwrite much of what is new in Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s budget.

Fraternity banned, students expelled from University of Oklahoma after racist video appears online

By Nick Barrickman, 11 March 2015

Sigma Alpha Epsilon, which has historical ties to the antebellum South, has been involved in a rash of incidents of a reactionary character.

Students protest Madison, Wisconsin police killing

By Niles Williamson, 10 March 2015

As many as 3,000 high school and college students converged inside the state capitol Monday afternoon to protest the police murder of unarmed teenager Anthony Robinson.

West Virginia mine roof collapse kills one worker, injures two

By Evan Blake, 10 March 2015

The McElroy Mine, owned by the Murray Energy Corporation, has already received 189 citations from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration so far this year.

Report shows massive reductions in US workers’ compensation pay

By Nick Barrickman, 10 March 2015

Over the past 15 there has been a concerted, bipartisan drive to slash employer assistance to workers injured on the job.

National Transportation Safety Board expanding investigation of DC Metro

By Joe Williams, 10 March 2015

The decision to expand the recommendation for a safety overhaul to the national level indicates that January’s accident was likely the result of budget cuts.

US heroin overdose death rates nearly quadrupled since 2000

By Evan Blake, 10 March 2015

The findings of a new report serve as a barometer of the current conditions of life in America, and expose one of the many symptoms of the decay of capitalist society.

As impasse continues, USW blocks wider strike by oil workers

By Jerry White and Alan Gilman, 10 March 2015

At the massive Tesoro refinery in Carson, California, near Los Angeles, strikers said they were fighting for all workers and against years of eroding wages and work conditions.

The phony internationalism of the United Steelworkers

A warning to US oil workers on South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers

By Thabo Seseane Jr., 10 March 2015

Last month’s tour of Houston picket lines by officials from South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers underscored the anti-working class character of the United Steelworkers.

The Justice Department report on Ferguson police: An indictment of American capitalism

By Andre Damon, 7 March 2015

The report documents systematic and wanton brutality, violence and outright criminality on the part of police in Ferguson, Missouri.

US orders 7,700 children deported without court hearings

By Patrick Martin, 7 March 2015

While Obama pretends to sympathize with undocumented children, his administration is carrying out the most brutal crackdown on immigrants in US history.

Refining sector in US producing windfall profits for oil companies

By E.P. Bannon, 7 March 2015

While the oil giants have pointed to the fall in crude prices to justify their hard line against striking oil workers, they continue to make vast profits through their refining operations.

Behind the US jobs report: Low wages and persistent mass unemployment

By Gabriel Black, 7 March 2015

The nominal fall in the unemployment rate ignores the millions of workers who have given up looking for a job, while those jobs that have been created are primarily low-wage.

Notes on police violence in America

Report finds FBI undercounts police killings by half

By Tom Hall, 7 March 2015

The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that an average of 928 people a year were killed by police from 2003 to 2011, more than twice the level reported in the FBI’s official reporting.

Polish court delays decision in Polanski extradition case

By Dorota Niemitz, 7 March 2015

The 81-year-old filmmaker testified February 25 for nine hours in Krakow in the extradition case filed against him by US authorities.

Justice Department report documents criminal abuse by Ferguson police

By Evan Blake, 6 March 2015

The report states that police in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb unlawfully arrest, beat, and taser residents.

Mayoral candidates silent on secret Chicago police prison

By Kristina Betinis, 6 March 2015

While more victims of police torture at Homan Square have come forward, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his liberal Democratic challenger, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, have said nothing.

US Supreme Court hears challenge to Obamacare subsidies

By Kate Randall, 6 March 2015

A ruling for the plaintiffs could invalidate subsidies for up to 7.5 million people purchasing coverage on the federal Obamacare exchange.

The United Steelworkers’ intimate ties to Wall Street

By Shannon Jones, 6 March 2015

The USW boasts of close relations with the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm that profits off the restructuring and downsizing of distressed companies.

Obama Justice Department: No charges against Ferguson killer cop

By Andre Damon, 5 March 2015

The decision not to bring charges against Darren Wilson exposes the fraud of the Obama administration’s supposed sympathy for the victims of police violence.

Defend the US oil workers!

By Jerry White, 5 March 2015

Encouraged by the treachery of the United Steelworkers union, global oil giant Shell has announced that it will train strikebreakers to resume full production at its Texas and Louisiana plants.

As federal trial opens

Judge limits evidence on role of main perpetrator of Boston Marathon bombings

By Barry Grey, 5 March 2015

The ruling indicates the government’s intention to exclude questions relating to contacts between the FBI and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Petraeus gets slap on the wrist in state secrets case

By Thomas Gaist, 5 March 2015

The former top military commander and CIA chief gave notebooks containing an array of closely guarded state secrets to his mistress and lied to investigators about doing so.

New York State prison guards take plea deal to avoid jail for brutal beating

By Fred Mazelis, 5 March 2015

The news from Attica reveals the reality of prisons in America and shows how little has changed since the prison rebellion of 1971.

Target announces layoff of several thousand workers in US

By Matthew MacEgan, 5 March 2015

The retail giant Target announced this week that it is cutting jobs in order to save $2 billion, which will be invested in its online business.

New York City mayor bids out final school bus routes without job protections

By Sandy English, 5 March 2015

More than 4,000 additional school bus workers will either lose their jobs or see their pay cut in half under the bids now being organized under Democratic Party Mayor de Blasio.

US-Iran nuclear talks hint at a possible deal

By Peter Symonds, 5 March 2015

As far as Washington is concerned, a deal over Iran’s nuclear programs has always been bound up with broader geo-political considerations.

Video: Contract worker speaks on safety issues in US oil strike

By Jerry White and Seraphine Collins, 5 March 2015

A contractor with extensive experience in oil refineries speaks on the long hours, dangerous conditions and other issues that have led to the largest strike in the oil industry since 1980.

Former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks speaks with the WSWS

By Richard Phillips, 5 March 2015

Hicks discusses the overturn of his 2007 “terrorism” conviction, the response of the Australian government and media and his concerns about escalating attacks on basic democratic rights.

Philip Levine (1928–2015): A poet of working class life and struggle

By Dorota Niemitz and Matthew Brennan, 5 March 2015

The appeal of the Detroit native, who won a Pulitzer Prize and was named Poet Laureate of the US, was due in part to the accessibility and directness of his poems.

Pennsylvania Democrat calls for cuts to pensions for municipal workers

By Douglas Lyons, 4 March 2015

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is threatening a Detroit-style bankruptcy if pension cuts for tens of thousands of municipal workers are not pushed through.

US economy in deflation and slump

By Andre Damon, 28 February 2015

The latest figures belie claims that the US is a counterbalance to the overall slump and deflation that now encompass most of the world.

Governor compares Wisconsin protesters to terrorists

By Patrick Martin, 28 February 2015

The remarks by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker demonstrate the ferocious hostility of the entire US ruling elite, Democrat as well as Republican, towards the working class.

Judge in Detroit bankruptcy calls for dismantling public employee pensions nationwide

By Thomas Gaist, 28 February 2015

Judge Steven Rhodes said he regretted that the Detroit bankruptcy did not eliminate defined benefit pensions altogether for the city’s retirees.

As US oil strike reaches one month, companies sit on billions in profits

By Kevin Martinez, 28 February 2015

The companies are among the most profitable multinational corporations in the world, with deep ties to the Obama administration and the federal government.

Clinton Foundation raked in cash from right-wing regimes, corporations

By Tom Hall, 28 February 2015

Persian Gulf regimes and huge military contractors gave tens of millions of dollars to the foundation, which functions as an auxiliary institution in American imperialist foreign policy.

Missouri Republican candidate, apparent target of anti-Semitic comments, commits suicide

By Nick Barrickman, 28 February 2015

According to a spokesperson for Schweich, he had been preparing to go public with allegations of anti-Semitism against state Republican Party Chairman, John Hancock.

Chicago’s Abu Ghraib

By Andre Damon, 27 February 2015

The Guardian newspaper has revealed the existence of a “black site” on the West Side of Chicago, where police detain, beat and torture prisoners.

Obama Justice Department: No federal charges to be filed in Trayvon Martin slaying

By Thomas Gaist, 27 February 2015

Three years after the killing of the unarmed teen in Florida, the US government announced it would not press civil rights charges against Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman.

Three New York men charged in alleged terror plot

By Bill Van Auken, 27 February 2015

As in so many similar “home-grown terrorism” cases brought by the government, a confidential informant was at the center of the alleged crimes.

Federal prison regulations violate constitutional rights

By Ed Hightower, 27 February 2015

New prison regulations isolate inmates from visitors, including their attorneys.

Notes on police violence in America:

Independent autopsy finds Zambrano-Montes was shot twice from behind

By Evan Blake, 27 February 2015

The ongoing revelations of the killing in Pasco, Washington have renewed protests against police brutality and wanton killings of unarmed people across the US.

White House economic report calls for cutting corporate taxes

By Andre Damon, 24 February 2015

The White House economic report released last week seeks to justify right-wing, pro-business policies in the name of “middle-class economics.”

Governor, legislature move to pass right-to-work legislation in Wisconsin

By Niles Williamson, 24 February 2015

The right-to-work law is reactionary and undemocratic, but opposition from the trade unions is based on defending their role as a mechanism for suppressing working class resistance.

US federal study predicts ten oil derailments per year

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 February 2015

A Department of Transportation report predicts derailments could occur near populated areas and cause fatalities.