United States

The midterm elections and the political crisis in the US

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2014

The American population is overwhelmingly indifferent to the November 4 US elections, which will decide 34 US Senate seats, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and the governorships of most states.

US ramps up war in Syria

By Peter Symonds, 30 September 2014

The Obama administration is marshalling support for a war that is primarily aimed against the Syrian government, rather than ISIS.

Voter ID laws to keep millions from voting in November elections

By Ed Hightower, 30 September 2014

In four US states alone, 1.7 million voters would be denied the right to vote.

Los Angeles police kill about one person per week

By Kevin Martinez, 30 September 2014

Police in Los Angeles County have killed at least 589 people since 2000.

US elite rolls out red carpet for Indian PM Modi

By Keith Jones, 30 September 2014

Washington has made no secret it wants to “reset” Indo-US relations, so as to harness New Delhi to its anti-China “pivot.”

Black lung disease hits highest levels in four decades

By Clement Daly, 29 September 2014

The most severe form of black lung, a preventable disease resulting from insufficient ventilation in coalmines, has increased tenfold over fifteen years.

Mississippi prison inmates indefinitely detained and subject to “barbaric” conditions

By Matthew MacEgan, 29 September 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union filed two lawsuits this week claiming that Mississippi prison inmates were being indefinitely detained and others were kept in conditions “tantamount to torture.”

The legacy of US Attorney General Eric Holder

By Tom Carter, 29 September 2014

During his six-year term, Holder has presided over the most comprehensive and aggressive trampling of democratic rights in US history.

Washington Post slashes retirement benefits

By a reporter, 29 September 2014

The newspaper is cutting benefits immediately for non-union employees and demanding the same cuts in contract talks with the Newspaper Guild.

Detroit political establishment reaches deal to extend financial dictatorship

By Thomas Gaist, 27 September 2014

The agreement is aimed at cementing in political form the conspiracy against the working class to restructure the city of Detroit using the bankruptcy courts.

“Why I Hope to Die at 75”: Ezekiel Emanuel’s sinister argument against prolonging life

By Kate Randall, 27 September 2014

Emanuel’s prescription is to do away with America’s “manic desperation to endlessly extend life,” forego advanced medical treatment and allow death to take its course.

Notes on police violence in America

Police kill at least 20 people in the past week

By Tom Hall, 26 September 2014

Police throughout the country continued their campaign of violence this week, tackling a pregnant woman, shooting a handcuffed man and killing a 14-year-old boy.

Killings at UPS Alabama facility the latest workplace shooting in US

By Jerry White, 26 September 2014

A just-released FBI study of so-called Active Shooter Incidents in 2000-13 reveals a staggering toll of 1,043 casualties, with 486 killed and 557 wounded, excluding the shooters.

Immigrant detainees in New Mexico denied release on bond

By Jake Dean, 26 September 2014

Central and South American immigrants are being held at a detention center in the US with no hope of being released.

Massive police manhunt in Pennsylvania

By Douglas Lyons, 26 September 2014

The police manhunt for Eric Frein, charged with fatally shooting a state trooper on September 13, has seen the imposition of a “shelter-in-place” order.

Testimony reveals public health danger and suffering caused by Detroit water shutoffs

By Lawrence Porter, 26 September 2014

Victims of water shutoffs and public health experts gave evidence about the impact the city’s water shutoff policy.

UN Security Council resolution on “foreign terrorist fighters” targets democratic rights

By Joseph Kishore, 25 September 2014

The resolution, proposed by the Obama administration, comes as the major powers are implementing a raft of antidemocratic measures under the guise of a renewed “war on terror.”

Deceit and delusion at the United Nations

By Barry Grey, 25 September 2014

What above all distinguished Obama's speech was the complete disconnect between its assertions and political reality.

Atlanta Symphony lockout enters third week

By Fred Mazelis, 25 September 2014

The Atlanta Symphony’s music director has come out in support of the orchestra musicians.

Colorado high school students protest “patriotism” indoctrination

By Thomas Gaist, 25 September 2014

Hundreds of Jefferson County students walked out of classes this week in opposition to a school board proposal that US history courses promote "patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, and respect for authority."

Detroit officials defend water shutoffs

By Jerry White, 25 September 2014

US bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes will issue a ruling Monday on a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the shutoff of water for thousands of low-income households.

Police crack down on renewed protests in Ferguson, Missouri

By Eric London, 25 September 2014

Police arrested demonstrators Tuesday night as the Department of Justice invoked a little-known Civil Rights Act statute to curb freedom of the press at public meetings in the tense St. Louis suburb.

UAW creates new class of low-paid workers in deal at Indiana Lear plant

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 September 2014

Although UAW leaders said the deal would end the hated two-tier wage system, 40 percent of the workforce will be reclassified as “subassembly” workers making poverty-level wages.

Once again, UN climate meeting comes up empty

By Daniel de Vries, 25 September 2014

The leaders of major capitalist countries, including the US, Britain and France, offered nothing more than platitudes and empty pledges about action on global warming.

US plans to invest $1 trillion in nuclear weapons arsenal

By Niles Williamson, 23 September 2014

A front-page article in the New York Times on Monday is intended as a warning to Russia, China and any other country that may stand in its way that the American ruling class is preparing for nuclear war.

The witch-hunting of Steven Salaita and the new McCarthyism

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2014

The political victimization of Salaita in the name of “democracy” is another chilling warning that core democratic rights, including academic freedom, are incompatible with a society dominated by social inequality and the drive to war.

One in five US workers laid off during the recession still unemployed

By Andre Damon, 23 September 2014

A Rutgers University study released Monday shows that the overwhelming majority of the three million long-term unemployed receive no government assistance.

US prison population increases for first time since 2009

By Kate Randall, 23 September 2014

While the US accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s population, it incarcerates about one-quarter of all prisoners on the planet.

Explosion kills worker at US Steel mill in Alabama

By Jerry White, 23 September 2014

A 53-year-old worker was killed and two others injured Sunday in the latest fatal accident in the US steel industry.

Teachers strike in Reynoldsburg, Ohio

By Clement Daly and Naomi Spencer, 23 September 2014

Last Friday, teachers in the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Reynoldsburg voted overwhelmingly to take strike action, rejecting a binding arbitration offer by the Reynoldsburg City School Board.

More than 3,000 flee King fire in California

By Evan Blake, 23 September 2014

The state’s worst drought in 500 years has created the conditions for more frequent wildfires.

Detroit bankruptcy judge holds hearing on water shutoffs

By Thomas Gaist, 23 September 2014

The present proceedings are in the main political theatre aimed at boosting the credibility of the judge as a supposedly “neutral arbiter.”

Obama marshals allies for war on Syria and Iraq

By Peter Symonds, 22 September 2014

Washington’s claims to have “universal support” cannot obscure the fact that it is waging another war of aggression based on lies.

Climate change marches draw large crowds

By Daniel de Vries, 22 September 2014

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in New York City to demand action on climate change.

Pentagon supplies grenade launchers and armored vehicles to schools

By Nick Barrickman, 22 September 2014

Twenty-six US school districts have received military hardware under the Defense Department’s 1033 program.

The impact of climate change—“This is a great injustice”

By our reporters, 22 September 2014

Scientists and students were among those participants at the climate march who spoke with the WSWS.

The “Detroit Homecoming”: City planning by and for the billionaires

By Thomas Gaist, 22 September 2014

A select group of billionaires and wealthy private foundations gathered at an invitation-only event this week to plan Detroit’s future.

University of Illinois victimizes professor critical of Israel’s policies

By Kristina Betinis, 22 September 2014

University leaders voted 8-1 to rescind a job offer made to Steven Salaita, provoking protests and an academic boycott of the university.

Detroit Chrysler workers speak out against war

By a WSWS reporting team, 20 September 2014

Workers at the Chrysler Warren Truck assembly plant in suburban Detroit expressed opposition to the Obama administration’s new war against Iraq and Syria.

“Dying in America” report: Latest volley in campaign to slash heath care costs

By Kate Randall, 19 September 2014

A new report from the Institute of Medicine argues that because people are living longer into old age, money spent to keep them alive should be slashed.

US Federal Reserve reaffirms commitment to near-zero interest rates

By Andre Damon, 18 September 2014

US stocks hit record highs after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would continue to keep interest rates near zero “for a considerable time.”

Detroit bankruptcy conspiracy enters its final stage

By Jerry White, 17 September 2014

After reaching settlements with key players over the past week, the federal bankruptcy court is moving quickly to approve the anti-working class restructuring plan.

Forty five million in poverty in the US

By Andre Damon, 17 September 2014

Figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday showed that the number of people in poverty remained at the highest level on record, while household incomes stagnated last year.

The social counterrevolution in New Orleans schools

Recovery School District fires 84 percent of staff

By Tom Hall, 17 September 2014

After it became the nation’s first all-charter school district over the summer, the state-run Recovery School District in New Orleans slashed its operating budget and fired 84 percent of its staff.

Gas billionaire purchases Buffalo NFL Franchise for record $1.2 billion

By Jason Melanovski, 17 September 2014

Terry Pegula has been awarded the rights to the Buffalo Bills National Football League franchise in a bidding war that lasted for several months.

Detroit charged $126 million by law firms and consultants in bankruptcy case

By Thomas Gaist, 17 September 2014

Jones Day, the former law firm of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, has charged the city nearly $50 million.

NSA developing real time map of all Internet-connected devices

By Thomas Gaist, 16 September 2014

The NSA penetrated the systems of leading German companies as part of a global Internet mapping operation codenamed Treasure Map.

California residents speak out against militarization of Davis police department

By Evan Blake and Juan Verala Luz, 16 September 2014

Residents of the California town turned out in large numbers to demand the local police department’s return of a newly-acquired Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicle.

Common’s Nobody’s Smiling: A murky offering by the Chicago rapper

By Nick Barrickman, 16 September 2014

The tenth studio album from Grammy award-winning rapper Common attempts to grapple with gang violence and social misery in his hometown of Chicago

Malaysia offers its military facilities for US spy planes

By Peter Symonds, 16 September 2014

If US military aircraft do begin to operate from Malaysia, the move would mark a significant shift by Kuala Lumpur toward Washington.

San Diego school district acquires a military assault vehicle

By Jake Dean, 16 September 2014

Militarization of the police is now being fully integrated within public schools.

UAW holds one-day strike at Indiana auto parts plant

By Kristina Betinis, 16 September 2014

Nearly 800 auto workers struck to demand an end to low wages, which they compare to the pay in the fast-food industry.

White House threatens to cut off Obamacare subsidies to 360,000

By Kate Randall, 16 September 2014

The Obama administration says it will cut off government subsidies to about 360,000 people if they do not offer proof of their income within the next two weeks.

Rhode Island pension-cutter wins Democratic primary

By John Marion, 15 September 2014

State Treasurer Gina Raimondo, a former hedge fund manger with ties to the ultra-right Manhattan Institute, has made a national reputation as an enemy of public employees.

San Jose, California police acquire a drone

By Henry Allen, 15 September 2014

The drone, purchased with federal grant money, will be made available to 13 other bomb squads in the Bay Area.

California Governor Brown signs sick leave bill

By Henry Allen, 15 September 2014

AB 1522, with its three paid sick days, is a political maneuver on the part of California Democrats, Governor Brown, and the unions in the lead-up to the elections in November.

Honolulu city officials vote to transfer homeless to former WWII internment camp

By Kevin Martinez, 15 September 2014

The City Council has moved to criminalize the homeless in order to maintain its beaches as a tourist attraction.

Sand mining in Wisconsin and Minnesota threatens access to safe water and clean air

By Gary Joad, 15 September 2014

The last decade has seen a rapid rise in sand mining in the US in line with the dramatic surge of hydro-fracturing.

New documents detail NSA surveillance of Yahoo

By Thomas Gaist, 13 September 2014

The documents cover rulings in 2008 upholding the NSA’s warrantless data mining programs.

Torture victim Jose Padilla sentenced to 21 years

By Ed Hightower, 13 September 2014

A central aim of the prosecution was to cover up the details of one of the more extreme cases of US government torture.

Potential RadioShack bankruptcy threatens 27,000 employees

By Gabriel Black, 13 September 2014

Electronics retailer RadioShack said Thursday that it is likely to file for bankruptcy unless it can secure a funding lifeline.

Public education under attack in Buffalo, New York

By Isabelle Belanger, 13 September 2014

Just two weeks before the start of the school year, 63 public school teachers received layoff notices—the latest in a series of attacks against Buffalo public school students and teachers.

Senate hearing whitewashes militarization of American police

By Tom Hall and E. P. Bannon, 12 September 2014

Tuesday’s hearing was aimed at reinforcing and intensifying the federal government’s arming of police forces under the guise of a “review.”

New witnesses describe police murder of Michael Brown

By Thomas Gaist, 12 September 2014

Accounts from two construction workers further substantiate already existing evidence that officer Darren Wilson fired numerous rounds into the unarmed Brown, even as the youth sought to surrender.

Executions in Missouri and Texas

Courts reject condemned inmates’ appeals on lethal injection drugs

By Paul Michaels and Kate Randall, 12 September 2014

The two prisoners’ appeals challenging the secrecy surrounding the source and quality of lethal injection drugs and state protocols failed to halt their executions.

Railroad workers in US reject concessions contract

By Jeff Lusanne, 12 September 2014

The proposed contract centered on a reduction in crew size that threatened the safety of both employees and passengers, and was rejected by members despite the unions efforts to pass it.

Regional authority a prelude for privatization of Detroit water system

By Jerry White, 12 September 2014

The Detroit bankruptcy and moves toward the privatization of the water department are fully backed by the Obama administration, which has encouraged cities to enter “public-private partnerships” to fill the gap from reduced federal and state funding.

Obama announces open-ended war in Iraq and Syria

By Patrick Martin, 11 September 2014

The nationally televised speech from the White House set no limits on the escalation of US military violence in the Middle East.

Ferguson residents denounce police violence at City Council meeting

By Andre Damon, 11 September 2014

Residents demanded the prosecution of the officer who killed Michael Brown and the dropping of all charges against demonstrators.

Obama’s war in Iraq and Syria

By Barry Grey, 10 September 2014

The war on ISIS is camouflage for an unstated agenda, at the center of which is the overthrow of the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

American Airlines contract worker killed at Detroit Metro Airport

By Shannon Jones, 10 September 2014

VonDre Gordon’s death was the second fatal industrial accident in the Detroit area in less than a week.

Food and water deprivation, abuse and overcrowding in Michigan’s women’s prison

By Naomi Spencer, 10 September 2014

Statements by the ACLU and prisoners at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility describe widespread human rights abuses in Michigan’s only women’s prison.

Former governor of Virginia found guilty on corruption charges

By Nick Barrickman, 10 September 2014

Former Republican governor of Virginia Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen were found guilty of 20 felony counts of corruption, conspiracy and fraud.

LAPD suppresses autopsy reports in police killings

By Kevin Martinez, 10 September 2014

Los Angeles Police Department detectives shot unarmed 24-year-old Ezell Ford six times in the back on August 11, less than two weeks after the August 2 killing of Omar Abrego.

New Jersey, New York part of a national trend

Northeastern US states seek to cut public worker pensions

By Philip Guelpa, 10 September 2014

Governments in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York are mounting efforts to severely reduce public worker pension benefits.

2004 Bush administration memos advocate unlimited presidential powers

By Tom Carter, 9 September 2014

Recently declassified documents detail the early stages of the ongoing effort to create the pseudo-legal framework for a police state in America.

Atlanta Symphony locks out its musicians

By Fred Mazelis, 9 September 2014

The ongoing attacks on symphony musicians raise fundamental political issues.

New school year starts with educational funding crisis in US

By Nancy Hanover, 9 September 2014

As 50 million students begin school, federal and state budgets for public education have never been restored to pre-recession levels.

Bowing to Senate Democrats

Obama reneges on pledge to ease deportations

By Patrick Martin, 9 September 2014

Both conservative and liberal Democrats opposed any relaxation of anti-immigrant policies before the November election.

The human cost of deportations

What happens to Obama’s deported children and youth?

By Norisa Diaz and Marc Wells, 9 September 2014

Immigrants deported back to Central America face extreme violence and poverty. These are some of their stories.

Obama commits US to war against Russia in defense of Baltic states

By Barry Grey, 8 September 2014

In a series of speeches and press conferences in Europe last week, President Obama publicly committed the United States to go to war against Moscow to defend the Baltic states that border Russia.

Court rules BP acted with “gross negligence” in 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

By Tom Hall, 8 September 2014

The oil giant’s potential fine of $18 billion is less than its more-than $23 billion in profits last year.

Support grows for SEP meeting Tuesday against Detroit water shutoffs

By a WSWS reporting team, 8 September 2014

Campaign teams visited schools, neighborhoods and work locations over the past week in preparation for the public meeting being held Tuesday at Wayne State University.

Teachers strike in three Pennsylvania school districts

By Phyllis Scherrer, 8 September 2014

Teachers in three Pennsylvania school districts, who have worked years without contracts and are facing new wage and health care cuts, have walked out on strike.

Wall Street firm hires former Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for $3.4 million

By Gabriel Black, 8 September 2014

Cantor’s multi-million-dollar payout represents compensation for his service to Wall Street during his time in Congress and illustrates the incestuous relationship between the US political establishment and big business.

New Federal Reserve report

US median income has plunged, inequality has grown in Obama “recovery”

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2014

The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, released Thursday, shows that the income of a typical US household has fallen by 12 percent in just six years.

Year-low US job growth in August

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2014

The latest US jobs report shows that the US labor force participation rate fell to the lowest level in three and a half decades.

Day four of the confirmation hearings

Financial advisor details social cuts, increased policing in Detroit bankruptcy plan

By Thomas Gaist, 6 September 2014

Conway MacKenzie consultant Charles Moore detailed plans to slash city services and tear down buildings.

Hundreds arrested at union-organized fast-food protests across the US

By Fred Mazelis, 6 September 2014

The unions are seeking to latch onto the legitimate grievances of workers to bolster the Democratic Party, which has presided over a wholesale assault on the working class.

The police-military crackdown in Ferguson, the assault on democratic rights, and the record of the World Socialist Web Site

By Tom Carter, 6 September 2014

The World Socialist Web Site, employing the method of Marxist analysis, has traced the various stages of the assault on democratic rights and sought to explain its relationship to fundamental historical and social processes related to the deepening crisis of American and world capitalism.

Obama and the financial aristocracy

By Andre Damon, 5 September 2014

The wave of reckless speculation in the US financial system and the drive to war have a common root: the domination of the financial oligarchy over society.

Detroit chief financial officer outlines program of permanent austerity

By Jerry White, 5 September 2014

Behind the dry, antiseptic testimony of the city’s chief financial officer in the federal bankruptcy courtroom Thursday was a restructuring plan that will produce untold suffering in Detroit.

NATO summit begins as anti-Russian measures heighten war danger

By Chris Marsden, 4 September 2014

At a press conference in Estonia, US President Barack Obama could scarcely conceal his hostility to anything that cut across preparations for the NATO summit to adopt a series of anti-Russian measures.

Detroit bond insurers press for sale of art and other city assets

By Thomas Gaist, 4 September 2014

Behind legal proceedings before a bankruptcy judge, a vicious struggle is being waged between the city’s creditors and their insurers.

US insurers discourage the sick from enrolling in health plans

By Kate Randall, 4 September 2014

Health plans with narrow hospital networks and high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs discriminate against patients with chronic health conditions.

Bankruptcy judge lets Detroit water shutoffs continue

By Lawrence Porter, 4 September 2014

US federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes decided to delay any ruling on water shutoffs at least until September 17.

Obama administration approves Pennsylvania plan to privatize and eliminate Medicaid as an entitlement

By Douglas Lyons, 4 September 2014

The federal government has approved an alternative to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion called Healthy PA Private Coverage Option.

Contractor electrocuted at Detroit area auto parts facility

By Shannon Jones, 4 September 2014

The worker died when the boom of the truck he was driving brushed an overhead power line

New York mayor reneges on pledge to school bus drivers

By Daniel de Vries, 4 September 2014

Mayor de Blasio last week signed into law a school bus workers bill that failed to restore job protections.

After police killing in Ferguson, ISO calls for a “Black agenda”

By Tom Eley, 4 September 2014

In response to growing working class disillusionment with the Democratic Party, the ISO is calling for a more stridently racialist brand of politics.