United States

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.

Obama budget cuts target high school counselors

By Nancy Hanover, 21 February 2015

The Obama administration is promoting a low-paid untrained corps of “near-peers” while continuing to propose cuts in federal funding.

Oil refinery workers denounce USW treachery, call for national strike

By Gabriel Black, 21 February 2015

On social media, striking oil refinery workers have expressed overwhelming support for a national strike and anger towards the divisive policy of the United Steelworkers union.

Obama’s terror summit: An exercise in hypocrisy, falsification and self-delusion

By Bill Van Auken, 20 February 2015

With all the talk about confronting the “root causes” of terrorism, not a word was spoken about the chain of catastrophes unleashed by US imperialism over the past decade.

Illinois budget to cut $6.7 billion from pensions, health care, social services

By Kristina Betinis and Alexander Fangmann, 20 February 2015

The budget proposed by Governor Bruce Rauner, a hedge-fund multi-millionaire, demonstrates the savagery of Wall Street’s attack on the working class.

US court overturns “terrorism” charge against Australian Guantanamo prisoner

By Richard Phillips, 20 February 2015

The Australian government’s defence of the illegal incarceration and torture of David Hicks is a warning that it is preparing to ramp up the “war on terror” and its attacks on democratic rights.

Obama, port owners line up against West Coast dockworkers

By Rafael Azul, 20 February 2015

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has gone to California to press the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to impose another sellout agreement on West Coast dockworkers.

Freezing temperatures spell misery and danger to America’s poor

By Jeff Lusanne and Evan Blake, 20 February 2015

A record cold spell across the Eastern half of the United States has caused dozens of deaths among the most vulnerable sections of society: the homeless, the poor, and the elderly.

Up to six million face Obamacare penalties for 2014

By Toby Reese, 20 February 2015

Tax penalties imposed on the uninsured who fail to sign up for health coverage by the February 15 deadline will be higher than last year.

ACLU report documents horror of solitary confinement in US prisons

By Kevin Martinez, 20 February 2015

Over 80,000 people languish in solitary confinement in the country’s penitentiaries, sometimes for years or decades at a time.

USW forced to reject another contract offer as oil workers press for national strike

By Thomas Gaist, 20 February 2015

The growing determination of oil workers has made it impossible for the United Steelworkers union, up to this point, to bring back another sellout deal.

Mounting violence against Muslims in America

By Tom Carter, 19 February 2015

The American political and media establishment bears a significant portion of the responsibility for the spurt of racist attacks on Muslims.

Sri Lankan foreign minister visits US to strengthen ties

By Sanjaya Jayasekera, 19 February 2015

Samaraweera’s trip underscores the rapid transformation of relations between the two countries since the Sirisena government was installed in Colombo.

White House delays immigration order after court ruling

By Andre Damon, 18 February 2015

The Obama administration, no less than the Republicans, accepts the premise that undocumented immigrants are “criminals” who must face harsh and punitive sanctions.

Oil trains derail and burst into flames in Canada, US

By Jeff Lusanne, 18 February 2015

Major railroads are pursuing attacks on railroad workers at the expense of working conditions and safety.

Hazel Park, Michigan retiree dies of hypothermia after gas shutoff

By Shannon Jones, 18 February 2015

The 69-year-old Vietnam veteran was found huddled under blankets next to a space heater.

Lawsuits allege Missouri cities run “debtors’ prisons”

By Ed Hightower, 17 February 2015

Poor residents are routinely jailed for inability to pay traffic tickets, court costs and other debts in Ferguson and Jennings, Missouri.

US military looks to expand use of Australian bases and ports

By James Cogan, 16 February 2015

The expansion of US-Australia military relations is bound up with the US “pivot to Asia.”

US historians criticize Tokyo’s efforts to whitewash war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 16 February 2015

American historians have signed a statement condemning the Japanese government’s attempts to whitewash the military’s abuse of “comfort women” in the 1930s and 1940s.

The drive to dismantle pensions in the United States

By Andre Damon, 14 February 2015

The attack on pensions is proceeding with complete disregard for the law, riding roughshod over state constitutional provisions protecting benefits that employees have earned over decades of toil.

Notes on police violence in America

Indian grandfather partially paralyzed by Alabama police beating

By Tom Hall, 14 February 2015

57-year-old Indian national Sureshbhai Patel required spinal surgery after he was slammed into the ground by Madison police.

House fires kill 71 people in the US during the first week of February

By Samuel Davidson, 14 February 2015

The death toll is rising steadily as utility costs and cold temperatures force many people to use dangerous space heaters to keep warm.

Oil workers on strike denounce poor safety and work conditions at US refineries

By our reporters, 14 February 2015

As the strike of US oil workers enters its second week, the WSWS spoke to picketers at the Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez, California.

As US oil strike nears end of second week

Port owners lock out West Coast dock workers

By Jerry White, 13 February 2015

Coinciding with punitive actions against striking oil workers, the lockout of dock workers is part of an offensive against workers’ demands for improved wages and conditions.

Senate approves Ashton Carter as new Pentagon chief

By Patrick Martin, 13 February 2015

The near-unanimous vote shows the lockstep support of both Republicans and Democrats for a policy of militarism and worldwide aggression.

Interpreter for 9/11 defendants at Guantanamo Bay was a CIA agent

By Ed Hightower, 13 February 2015

The presence of a CIA spy on the defense team fits the show trial character of the proceedings as a whole, which make a mockery of due process.

Study says US jails have become “massive warehouses” for the poor

By Tom Hall, 13 February 2015

A report by the Vera Institute of Justice compares American jails to debtors’ prisons and “de facto mental hospitals” housing prisoners unable to pay onerous fees.

Widespread anger over killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina

By Evan Blake, 13 February 2015

The killings have sparked protests internationally, as the victims’ families demand a hate crime investigation.

Boston, Massachusetts storm-related crisis deepens at MBTA

By John Marion, 13 February 2015

The breakdown of the Greater Boston public transportation system, caused by years of grossly inadequate maintenance funding, has deepened in the wake of another storm.

Illinois governor prepares attack on state workers

By Kristina Betinis, 13 February 2015

The new governor has halted payment of agency fees to public employee unions as part of a broader policy of budget cuts and austerity.

Two brothers die in Detroit house fire

By Lawrence Porter, 13 February 2015

The fire station nearest to the house was shuttered due to budget cuts.

Judge in Stockton bankruptcy upholds retiree benefit cuts

By Adam Mclean, 12 February 2015

The ruling paves the way for cities throughout California and nationwide to use bankruptcy courts to slash pensions.

Brooklyn grand jury indicts cop who shot Akai Gurley

By Sandy English, 12 February 2015

Peter Liang, the New York City police officer who shot Brooklyn resident Akai Gurley last November, will face charges of manslaughter.

Obama refuses to rule out arming Kiev following talks with Merkel

By Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, 10 February 2015

The White House meeting focused on the intensifying crisis in Ukraine, as the US considers massive arms shipments.

The political significance of the US oil workers’ strike

By Jerry White, 10 February 2015

The strike is a harbinger of a renewal of open class struggle in the United States with far-reaching implications in the US and internationally.

Urgent care center replaces shuttered hospital in impoverished Pennsylvania town

By Evan Winters and Phyllis Scherrer, 10 February 2015

This dramatic downgrade graphically illustrates the reality of health care rationing for the poor and working class in the United States, supported by the entire political establishment.

Norfolk police chief apologizes for K9 attack as brutality cases mount

By Ed Hightower, 10 February 2015

Police in Norfolk follow the national trend of attack first, ask questions later.

National Security Strategy document affirms US drive for world domination

By Patrick Martin, 7 February 2015

The document elaborates the American ruling class’ view that the US is “the world’s leading global power with interests in every part of an increasingly interconnected world.”

As walkout spreads to Indiana, Ohio BP refineries

White House urges USW to strangle oil workers’ strike

By Jerry White and E.P. Bannon, 7 February 2015

The Obama administration is concerned that the USW could lose control and the struggle could inspire other sections of workers into action against deteriorating wages and working conditions.

Official enthusiasm over January jobs report belied by economic reality

By Nick Barrickman, 7 February 2015

Media figures and politicians hailed the latest US jobs report as evidence of an economic turnaround, ignoring the thousands of store closings and layoffs announced in recent days.

US electronics retailer RadioShack files for bankruptcy

By Evan Blake, 6 February 2015

The company has been squeezed by competition from Walmart and Amazon, as well as Best Buy and other traditional electronics retailers.

Office supply giants Staples and Office Depot announce $6.3 billion merger

By Nick Barrickman, 6 February 2015

The deal, which will lead to job losses for thousands of workers, is part of the growing monopolization in all parts of the American economy.

US federal court hearing highlights widespread misconduct by prosecutors

By Ed Hightower, 6 February 2015

US prosecutors routinely use false testimony to obtain criminal convictions. They are rarely, if ever, punished for it.

USW rejects new offer by Shell as oil strike enters sixth day

By E.P. Bannon and Jerry White, 6 February 2015

With largely symbolic picketing doing little to hurt production, the companies can afford to wait for the union to wear down workers who have lost pay and health care.

Testimony of Moussaoui in civil suit implicates Saudi monarchy as principal sponsor of Al Qaeda

By Niles Williamson, 5 February 2015

Moussaoui’s account conforms to what is known about the open secret of the 9/11 attacks: that they were largely financed by one of the US’s chief allies in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia.

Deadliest commuter rail crash in New York history kills six

By Fred Mazelis, 5 February 2015

The latest accident comes only 14 months after a derailment that killed four and involved the same Metro-North commuter line.

Falling oil prices trigger new layoffs, budget cuts in Louisiana and Texas

By E.P. Bannon, 5 February 2015

Low oil prices have sparked layoffs and pay cuts throughout all sectors of industry.

US spy bases in Australia central to war plans against China

By Will Morrow, 5 February 2015

A recent Australian Financial Review article highlights the far-reaching implications of Canberra’s alignment with the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.”

Alternative for Germany attempts to establish equivalent of French National Front

By Dietmar Henning, 4 February 2015

The Alternative for Germany is seeking to mobilize extreme right-wing forces and appeal to anti-Islamic sentiment.

US oil industry strike enters fourth day as companies resist wage and safety demands

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 February 2015

While workers are looking for a serious struggle, the United Steelworkers has limited the job action to largely symbolic picketing at nine out of 65 unionized refineries.

Obama’s “pro-middle class” budget: Cut corporate taxes, raise military spending, slash Medicare

By Andre Damon, 3 February 2015

Obama’s 2016 budget, cynically packaged as a populist boon to the middle class at the expense of the rich, in reality continues the reactionary policies of austerity, war and repression.

Oil giants take hard line against US workers on strike

By Jerry White, 3 February 2015

Shell and other international oil firms are opposing workers’ demands for improved wages and safety conditions.

Wisconsin governor proposes largest ever cuts to public university system

By Eric London and Matt Rigel, 3 February 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a possible Republican candidate for president in 2016, plans to slash $300 million from the state’s public universities.

Federal panel calls for slashing tens of billions from veteran benefits

By Tom Hall, 3 February 2015

The appointed commission’s report released last Thursday calls for slashing pension payouts for new veterans by twenty percent and opening the VA hospital system up to for-profit insurance companies.

Police murders and the criminalization of protest in America

By Andre Damon, 31 January 2015

The official response to protests across the US against police murders has been repression, the whitewashing of killer cops, and the linking of political opposition to terrorism.

New England blizzard blamed for numerous deaths

By Mike Ingram, 31 January 2015

A number of deaths have been attributed to the storm that dumped record levels of snow across much of New England this week.

US Senator McCain calls police on anti-Kissinger protesters

By Patrick Martin, 31 January 2015

Official Washington can defend the crimes of US imperialism only with repression.

Obama administration moves to open US coastlines to offshore drilling

By Nick Barrickman, 31 January 2015

In a major giveaway to US energy corporations, the Department of the Interior announced that it would open a large section of the Atlantic coast to oil and gas drilling for the first time.

Drug Enforcement Administration tracks movements of millions of Americans

By E.P. Bannon, 31 January 2015

Under the guise of the “war on drugs,” the federal government is moving to create a centralized database of all drivers’ movements throughout the country.

Maryland’s new Republican governor unveils austerity budget

By Trent Novak, 31 January 2015

In his first move since taking office last week, Maryland’s newly inaugurated governor, Republican Larry Hogan, unveiled an austerity budget aimed at eliminating a $750 million shortfall.

Income inequality soars in every US state

By Andre Damon, 30 January 2015

In the period between 1979 and 2007, every state in the US saw the income share of the top 1 percent grow by at least 25 percent.

Notes on police violence in America

Police shoot and kill teenage girl in Longview, Texas police station

By Evan Blake, 30 January 2015

The incident follows the police shooting of 16-year-old Jessica Hernandez in Denver, Colorado this week.

No further prosecution for policeman who killed Detroit seven-year-old

By James Brewer, 30 January 2015

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced they would not pursue a third trial against Officer Joseph Weekley for the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Texas, Georgia execute intellectually disabled death row inmates

By Kate Randall, 30 January 2015

The US Supreme Court decided not to grant reprieves to two death row inmates executed this week who demonstrated clear mental disabilities.

Six million hit with Obamacare penalties for being uninsured

By Jerry White, 30 January 2015

The penalty is a minimum of $95 for individuals but can be one percent of family income—potentially hundreds of dollars—if a dependent is not covered.

University of California doctors hold one-day strike

By our reporters, 30 January 2015

In line with its strategy of subordinating workers to the Democratic Party, AFSCME limited the strike by doctors to one day, focused on claims of unfair labor practices.

US stock sell-off in response to Fed policy statement on interest rates

By Barry Grey, 29 January 2015

The Fed has come under increasing pressure from Wall Street to delay any rate hike until the final months of this year or some time in 2016.

Diesel spill in West Virginia leaves 12,000 without water

By Clement Daly, 29 January 2015

Chemical spills and leaks are endemic throughout the US, threatening the health and safety of the population and the quality of the environment.

Politically driven hysteria over the New York City snowstorm that wasn’t

By Jerry White, 29 January 2015

The residents of New York City were subjected to warnings of a “historic snowstorm,” declarations of states of emergency and a virtual lockdown for what turned out to be a few inches of snow.

US announces plan to ration health care under Medicare

By Kate Randall, 28 January 2015

The realignment of Medicare more directly with the profit dictates of the market will become the model for the American health care system as a whole.

Concerns over Fed tightening as deflation fears grow

By Nick Beams, 28 January 2015

William White, former chief economist at the Bank for International Settlements, declared, “We’re seeing true currency wars and everybody is doing it, and I have no idea where this is going to end.”

Snowstorm ‘Juno’ shuts down much of northeastern US

By Sandy English, 28 January 2015

The blizzard knocked out electricity for thousands and prompted a shutdown of transportation in major metropolitan areas.

Top New York state Democrat indicted for corruption

By Philip Guelpa, 26 January 2015

Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assembly, was indicted for accepting bribes and influence peddling.

Rikers Island officers fired for hog-tying and beating prisoner

By Sandy English, 26 January 2015

The horrific beating of Robert Hinton was only one case in a string of violence and murder in New York City’s Rikers Island prison.

Pipeline leak spills thousands of gallons of crude oil into Yellowstone River

By Bryan Dyne, 26 January 2015

Residents of Glendive, Montana were forced to use bottled water for five days after the January 17 spill.

First round of US-Cuba talks end as restrictions eased

By Alexander Fangmann, 26 January 2015

While deep disagreements remain between the regimes in Havana and Washington, the movement towards the resumption of relations continues at great speed.

New Senate Intelligence Committee chair moves to suppress CIA torture report

By Patrick Martin, 24 January 2015

The new Republican chairman of the committee has demanded the Obama administration return all copies of the report on CIA torture.

Notes on police violence in America

Video shows New Jersey police killing man as he attempts to surrender

By Tom Hall, 23 January 2015

Officers shot Jerame Reid nine times as he got out of a car with his hands raised.

Influenza reaches epidemic proportions in US

By E.P. Bannon, 23 January 2015

Roughly 8.5 percent of all deaths across the country for the week ending on January 10 resulted from influenza or pneumonia.

Governor Cuomo pushes casino expansion in Upstate New York

By Jason Melanovski, 23 January 2015

Cuomo said building casinos was "safe, clean economic development."

Obama’s State of Delusion

By Patrick Martin and Joseph Kishore, 22 January 2015

The delusional character of Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday is perhaps matched only by its presentation by the media and supporters of the Democratic Party.

Report: No federal charges against Ferguson, Missouri cop who killed Michael Brown

By Andre Damon, 22 January 2015

The Obama administration’s decision not to pursue civil rights charges against Darren Wilson is only the final act in the drive to shield Darren Wilson from prosecution.

Cincinnati bridge collapse kills one worker, injures another

By Evan Blake, 22 January 2015

Experts said cost-cutting by a construction company may have led to the collapse.

Delusion and deception in Obama’s State of Union

By Patrick Martin, 21 January 2015

The State of the Union speech delivered by President Obama Tuesday night painted a picture of America and the world that is the diametric opposite of the real conditions of social crisis, economic breakdown and imperialist war.

The murder of Akai Gurley and police repression in New York City public housing

By Isaac Finn, 21 January 2015

The cop who killed Gurley last November was conducting a “vertical patrol,” a regular NYPD tactic, with his gun drawn.