United States

Obama’s “reform” and the criminalization of immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 22 November 2014

The executive action issued by the White House treats undocumented immigrants as criminals and maintains their status as super-exploited workers without elementary democratic rights.

Ahead of grand jury decision in Ferguson

Obama administration dispatches 100 FBI agents to St. Louis

By Andre Damon, 22 November 2014

FBI agents arrested two men in the Ferguson, Missouri area Friday evening, allegedly for seeking to buy explosives.

US manufacturing wages plummet

By Gabriel Black, 22 November 2014

Six years after Obama’s ascendancy, a report by the National Employment Law Project summarizes the sharp decline in manufacturing wages amidst the supposed “economic recovery.”

North Korea releases two jailed Americans

By Ben McGrath, 22 November 2014

The dispatch of US intelligence chief James Clapper to Pyongyang indicates that more was discussed than the release of the Americans prisoners.

Obama announces right-wing immigration “reform” in national address

By Patrick Martin, 21 November 2014

In a contemptible speech, the chief representative of the corporate and financial aristocracy carried forth on the need for immigrants to “play by the rules” and be held “accountable.”

Wall Street banks and commodities fraud

By Joseph Kishore, 21 November 2014

A new US Senate report documents yet another aspect of the criminality that pervades the American and global financial system.

Police arrest Ferguson protesters ahead of ruling in Michael Brown case

By Andre Damon, 21 November 2014

The arrests came as an official for the St. Louis Police Officer's Association said that Darren Wilson and his lawyers do not expect an indictment for the killing of the unarmed teenager.

Massive snowstorm cripples Buffalo, kills ten

By Michelle Ryan, 21 November 2014

A massive lake-effect snowstorm has left ten people dead, thousands without power, and many stranded in the Buffalo, New York region.

Missouri carries out ninth execution of the year

By Kate Randall, 21 November 2014

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon refused to grant the condemned inmate clemency, and the US Supreme Court turned down his appeal for a stay.

Los Angeles schools superintendent backs “parent trigger” privatization scheme

By Adam Mclean and Marc Wells, 21 November 2014

Under the guise of empowering parents, the “parent trigger” law is part of a drive, funded by multibillionaires and backed by the unions, to privatize public education.

Obama’s speech in Australia: A threat of war against China

By James Cogan, 17 November 2014

Every word Obama spoke about the economic and political agenda of American imperialism was a lie.

Cost of Obamacare coverage to rise in 2015

By Kate Randall, 17 November 2014

People who bought Affordable Care Act plans last year could face premium increases of as much as 20 percent unless they switch plans.

Toxic gas leak at Texas Dupont plant kills four

By James Brewer, 17 November 2014

The deadly chemical methyl mercaptan is regulated by a host of federal and state agencies.

100,000 fewer US families receive housing aid due to budget cuts

By Tom Hall, 17 November 2014

The reduction in aid has taken place even as the need for assistance has increased.

Decision imminent on whether to indict Ferguson cop in killing of Michael Brown

By Andre Damon, 15 November 2014

A coordinated campaign by the media and state and local officials to justify the killing of Michael Brown has been combined with threats to call in the National Guard.

Volkswagen opens backdoor entry for UAW at Tennessee plant

By Tom Eley, 15 November 2014

Assured that the organization will do its bidding, VW is preparing to defy a vote by workers and install the UAW at its Chattanooga plant.

Port truck drivers strike in southern California

By Marc Wells, 15 November 2014

Truck drivers went on strike last Thursday at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach over poverty pay and wage theft.

City workers denounce Detroit bankruptcy ruling

By Shannon Jones, 15 November 2014

In contrast to the official celebration by the political and corporate establishment, workers are reacting to the ruling with bitterness and anger

Florida governor presides over 20th execution in first term

By Kate Randall, 14 November 2014

Chadwick Banks was the eighth prisoner in Florida, and the thirty-second in the United States, to be put to death this year.

Notes on police violence in America

Fatal police shooting in Ann Arbor, Michigan

By E.P. Bannon, 14 November 2014

A 54-year-old Ann Arbor man asked police to escort his girlfriend out of his home. Instead, they shot her multiple times.

The Detroit bankruptcy ruling: Suspending democracy to impose the dictates of Wall Street

By Tom Carter, 14 November 2014

The decision by federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes is a landmark ruling, establishing a pseudo-legal framework for suspending democracy and the rule of law.

The Death of Klinghoffer dramatizes 1985 hijacking of Achille Lauro

By Fred Mazelis, 14 November 2014

John Adams’s opera is a worthy addition to the contemporary operatic repertory.

After flight attendants reject contract, American Airlines makes offer to pilots

By Shannon Jones, 14 November 2014

Initial reports indicate pilots are overwhelmingly opposed to the proposal, which removes profit-sharing.

Obama-Xi talks underscore US war threat in Asia

By Patrick Kelly, 13 November 2014

New military “confidence-building mechanisms” resolve none of the issues underlying Washington’s confrontation of China.

The illegitimate US election

By Joseph Kishore, 13 November 2014

The low voter turnout in last week’s US election reflects popular hostility toward the Obama administration, the political establishment and both big-business parties.

Two years after the Libor scandal

Banks get token fines for rigging global foreign exchange rates

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 13 November 2014

Major international financial institutions, with the knowledge of at least one central bank, conspired to rig the multitrillion-dollar foreign exchange market.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, rights groups sue over Pennsylvania’s “Mumia Law”

By Ed Hightower, 13 November 2014

A lawsuit was filed Monday challenging Pennsylvania’s recently enacted Revictimization Relief Act.

Atlanta Symphony musicians agree to concessions after nine-week lockout

By Fred Mazelis, 13 November 2014

The latest contract follows a pattern across the US, but there is also growing anger at the corporate stranglehold on culture.

The Detroit bankruptcy ruling: A new chapter in the class war against workers

By Jerry White, 12 November 2014

The federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling sets a precedent to use the pretext of a “financial emergency” to suspend democratic rights and impose unpopular measures on the working class.

US Medicare “open enrollment” period highlights attacks on health care

By Fred Mazelis, 12 November 2014

Profit interests continue to undermine one of the last remaining Great Society reforms of the 1960s.

Obama calls for more Australian, allied troops for Middle East war

By James Cogan, 11 November 2014

Planning is undoubtedly underway for bloody attacks to retake major Iraqi cities currently controlled by ISIS.

After the US elections: An intensification of war and social counterrevolution

By Joseph Kishore, 10 November 2014

The Republican victory last Tuesday was not the result of a surge in popular support for the Republican Party or its right-wing policies. It was the result of the collapse of the Democrats.

US Supreme Court to hear challenge to Obamacare subsidies

By Kate Randall, 10 November 2014

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear King v. Burwell comes just days before the beginning of open enrollment for the second year of the Affordable Care Act.

AIG lawsuit reveals global economy on the brink

By Gabriel Black, 10 November 2014

The US government’s bailout of insurance giant AIG in September 2008 channeled tens of billions of dollars to the largest Wall Street banks.

Judge approves Detroit bankruptcy plan

By Jerry White, 8 November 2014

In a thoroughly undemocratic ruling, Judge Steven Rhodes sanctioned the city’s restructuring plan, setting a precedent for attacking the rights of public sector workers throughout the country.

After elections, Washington plans escalation of Middle East war

By Bill Van Auken, 7 November 2014

The push for a new Authorization of the Use of Military Force is aimed at preparing a war that will be far wider and even more protracted than those launched over a decade ago.

New York Governor Cuomo wins reelection in record low turnout

By Fred Mazelis, 7 November 2014

The election reflected workers’ growing disgust with the Democrats, as well as the increasingly depraved character of big business politics.

Justice Department imposes wrist-slap “reforms” on Albuquerque police after series of shootings

By Stuart Winter and D. Lencho, 7 November 2014

The settlement does not hold any of the officers who participated in the string of police murders criminally accountable.

Bloomberg report names Atlanta and New Orleans as the most unequal cities in the US

By E.P. Bannon, 6 November 2014

A recent report released by Bloomberg listed the 50 most unequal cities in the United States.

Republicans win control of Senate in US congressional elections

By Patrick Martin, 5 November 2014

The result is a debacle for the Democratic Party and the Obama administration and presages a further shift to the right in official Washington.

Another shakeup hits US nuclear missile command

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2014

The firing of two commanders and the administrative punishment of a third follow a long string of crises and scandals in a command whose job is nuclear annihilation.

New warnings of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 5 November 2014

A report released this week draws details scenarios that could trigger a conflict in the East China Sea.

Portland, Maine: Five young workers die in apartment fire

By John Marion, 5 November 2014

Maine’s deadliest fire in 30 years could have been avoided.

The political issues posed by the US midterm elections

By Patrick Martin, 4 November 2014

By agreement between the Democrats and Republicans, there has been no discussion in the election campaign of the stepped-up program of war, austerity and attacks on democratic rights that will unfold after November 4.

US state prison population soars as education spending plummets

By Kate Randall, 4 November 2014

If state corrections spending had been held at mid-1980s levels, US states would have $28 billion more each year to allocate to education and other social spending.

Warner Brothers to slash over 10 percent of its workforce

By Kevin Martinez, 4 November 2014

The studio is expected to lay off over 1,000 workers as part of a $200 million cost-cutting plan.

US blocks Australian participation in China-backed bank

By Nick Beams, 4 November 2014

Washington’s intervention, objecting to the bank on strategic grounds, points to the escalating military drive against China.

Mass water shutoffs continue in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 4 November 2014

Nearly 30,000 households in the city have had their water service disconnected so far this year.

Justice Department seeks massive expansion of FBI hacking powers

By Thomas Gaist, 3 November 2014

Proposed changes to legal restrictions on government surveillance would authorize the FBI to infect computers worldwide with ultrasophisticated surveillance malware.

Report to UN condemns US government’s “international criminal program of torture”

By Thomas Gaist, 1 November 2014

The report to the UN Committee Against Torture calls for criminal prosecutions of all top US military and civilian officials implicated in the post-9/11 torture regime.

US election campaign staggers to the finish line

By Patrick Martin, 1 November 2014

Only one thing about the election is certain: whatever the division of power in the US Senate, House of Representatives, state governorships and state legislatures, the official two-party system will continue its inexorable shift to the right.

Republican-led purge of voter rolls targets seven million people

By our reporter, 1 November 2014

An investigative report by Al Jazeera America reveals that 27 state governments, most of them Republican-led, have joined in an effort to disqualify seven million registered voters.

Deadly SpaceShipTwo crash follows explosion of unmanned Antares rocket

By Bryan Dyne, 1 November 2014

The two space disasters in the span of one week highlight the growing prominence of private companies in space missions.

Detroit Medical Center to outsource housekeeping in cost-cutting drive

By Shannon Jones, 1 November 2014

The DMC has a long history of aggressive downsizing and cost-cutting going back to the tenure of now-Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan as CEO

Top officials at New York City’s Rikers Island prison resign amid brutality scandal

By Sandy English, 31 October 2014

The resignations follow revelations of widespread violence, neglect and torture at the prison.

Judge backs Stockton, California bankruptcy plan ending retiree health care payments

By Jerry White, 31 October 2014

A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved a restructuring plan that will eliminate health care benefits for 2,400 retired city workers and their families.

NSA chief calls for more “permeable” barrier between state and tech corporations

By Thomas Gaist, 31 October 2014

The distinction between government surveillance agencies and “private sector” technology corporations increasingly exists in name only.

St. Louis police stock up on riot gear ahead of grand jury decision on Brown killing

By Ed Hightower, 31 October 2014

Police in St. Louis County spent $172,669 since August on tear gas, rubber bullets and other riot equipment.

Notes on police violence

Video shows “firing squad” police killing of Michigan man

By EP Bannon and Tom Hall, 31 October 2014

A recently-released video shows a group of Saginaw, Michigan police officers firing dozens of rounds at a 49-year-old homeless man.

The CIA torture cover-up continues

By Eric London, 31 October 2014

The highest echelons of the state are engaged in an unconstitutional plot to hide from the public the harrowing torture methods employed by the CIA.

The trade unions and the Detroit bankruptcy

By Jerry White, 30 October 2014

The Detroit bankruptcy has provided yet another demonstration of the anti-working class character of the unions, which function as instruments of the ruling class and the state.

US Federal Reserve ends “quantitative easing” program after funneling trillions to financial markets

By Joseph Kishore, 30 October 2014

The expected move by the Fed was accompanied by the pledge to keep interest rates at their current near-zero rates for a “considerable time.”

Obama uses Ebola doctors as campaign prop

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2014

The media event at the White House, five days before the congressional election, was aimed at giving US imperialism a “humanitarian” face.

Federal jury convicts friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect of lying to the FBI

By John Marion, 30 October 2014

Robel Phillipos, an acquaintance of Dzhokar Tsarnaev, faces up to 16 years in federal prison despite not being involved in the bombings.

US-Japan conflicts stall Obama’s Trans-Pacific economic pact

By Mike Head, 28 October 2014

The impasse points to the underlying conflicts between the interests of the US and those of its current allies such as Japan.

US child poverty remains at highest rate in 20 years

By Andre Damon, 27 October 2014

A report published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics found that nearly one in four US children lives in poverty, and a similar proportion do not get enough to eat.

The US elections and the American plutocracy

By Patrick Martin and Barry Grey, 27 October 2014

Popular alienation from the political system coincides with the ever more naked domination of both parties and manipulation of elections by a handful of multi-millionaires and billionaires.

Judge orders Philadelphia officials to negotiate school cuts with teachers union

By Nick Barrickman, 27 October 2014

A judge barred the School Reform Commission from unilaterally revoking a contract covering 15,000 Philadelphia teachers.

Two killed, four wounded in Washington school shooting

By Christine Schofelt, 27 October 2014

The shooting in Marysville, Washington is at least the eighth school shooting in the US this semester.

Albuquerque authorities seek to dampen public outrage over police violence

By D. Lencho, 27 October 2014

Since 2010, Albuquerque police officers have shot more than 40 people, with most of the victims being unarmed and mentally ill.

The California drought: A tale of two cities

By Evan Blake and Gabriel Black, 27 October 2014

The California drought has left thousands of people without access to drinking water while the super-rich are trucking in water to maintain their private lakes and gardens.

Pennsylvania’s “Mumia Law”: New attack on political prisoners and new threat to freedom of speech

By Ed Hightower, 25 October 2014

The “Revictimization Relief Act” is a thoroughly reactionary piece of legislation that will allow crime victims and their families to sue prison inmates for engaging in constitutionally protected speech.

No cause yet determined in Pennsylvania house fire

Hundreds mourn victims in a candlelight vigil

By Samuel Davidson, 25 October 2014

Fire officials have yet to release the cause of the tragic fire that swept through an old wood-frame house in McKeesport, killing four children and two adults.

Democratic Senate candidates sound right-wing themes in pre-election debates

By Patrick Martin, 24 October 2014

In a series of campaign debates last week, Democratic candidates for the US Senate vied with their Republican opponents in their support for militarism and budget-cutting.

Democrat Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race

By Douglas Lyons, 24 October 2014

Pennsylvania voters are faced with no real choice for governor in the November 4 elections.

The carve-up of Detroit

By Jerry White, 23 October 2014

As the bankruptcy of Detroit enters its final chapter, the plunder of city assets by Wall Street speculators grows ever more shameless.

Blackwater mercenaries convicted for role in 2007 Iraq massacre

By Thomas Gaist, 23 October 2014

The crimes of the Blackwater mercenaries were a product of the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US government, for which the entire political and military establishment is guilty.

US media campaign to exonerate cop who killed Michael Brown

By Andre Damon, 23 October 2014

The Washington Post and St. Louis Post-Dispatch published coordinated leaks from grand jury proceedings, claiming they substantiate the story of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.

Lawsuits allege Alabama prison inmates left to die of treatable diseases

By Tom Hall, 23 October 2014

Jailers in Madison County, Alabama deliberately denied health care to inmates with treatable illnesses in order to cut costs, according to three recently filed lawsuits.

Census report: Half of Americans poor or near poor

By Andre Damon, 22 October 2014

A related study found that “nearly two-thirds of New York City residents struggled to make ends meet.”

Hundreds of prison deaths in Florida under investigation

By Matthew MacEgan, 21 October 2014

Whistleblowers have revealed a wave of torture and murder by guards in Florida prisons.

US boosts support for Kurdish militia in Syria

By Peter Symonds, 21 October 2014

While the PYD and its armed wing are still on the US list of terrorist organisations, Secretary of State Kerry is rebadging them as Washington’s latest “valiant” freedom fighters.

Detroit hearing on water shutoffs promotes UN, Democrats

By Jerry White, 21 October 2014

The event on Sunday was sponsored by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the Detroit Peoples Water Board.

UAW imposes concessions on Pennsylvania Boeing workers

By Angelo Bosworth, 21 October 2014

The deal follows similar concessions pacts worked out by the UAW, the International Association of Machinists and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace at Boeing facilities in Seattle and other cities.

US midterm elections dominated by corporate cash

By Patrick Martin, 21 October 2014

Billionaires and big corporate interests account for the vast bulk of campaign spending for both parties in the 2014 US elections, much of it secret.

US Supreme Court allows Texas to implement anti-democratic voter ID law

By Tom Carter, 20 October 2014

The Texas voter ID law, which was previously struck down as unconstitutional, will block hundreds of thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots in the November elections.

Leaked documents expose secret contracts between NSA and tech companies

By Thomas Gaist, 20 October 2014

The NSA’s internal documents indicate that corporations are actively abetting and benefiting from the US government’s illegal mass surveillance programs.

Obama administration signals reluctance to bring civil rights charges against killer cop in Missouri

By Andre Damon, 20 October 2014

The New York Times, citing federal officials, reported that “the evidence so far did not support civil rights charges” against the officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Six killed in Pittsburgh area house fire

By Evan Winters and Samuel Davidson, 20 October 2014

In the worst such tragedy in recent history, four children and two adults were killed in a fire early Saturday morning in the city of McKeesport.

Philadelphia unions use teachers’ rally to promote Democrats

By Nick Barrickman and Jerry White, 20 October 2014

Some 3,000 teachers, parents, students and other city workers participated in a rally to oppose the revoking of the labor agreement covering 15,000 teachers.

Los Angeles City Council proposes minor increase in minimum wage

By Kevin Martinez, 20 October 2014

The proposal, presented as a way of alleviating social inequality in one the poorest cities in the US, is aimed at bolstering the Democratic Party.

Electricity base rates to double in Massachusetts this winter

By John Marion, 20 October 2014

The state’s Department of Public Utilities has caved in to National Grid, the main private supplier of electricity.

Students forced to endure sweltering temperatures in Southern California classrooms

By Kimie Saito and Adam Mclean, 20 October 2014

Children were sent to school nurses with nausea, headaches and bloody noses during a recent heat wave.

Government indifference compounds Ebola disaster

By Kate Randall, 18 October 2014

A UN trust fund for Ebola has only $100,000 on hand, a fraction of the nearly $1 billion the world body says is needed to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The American oligarchy

By Andre Damon, 18 October 2014

Whatever the pretense of “one person, one vote,” the fact is that the top 0.1 percent dictates policy and essentially selects the personnel tasked with carrying it out.

After privatization of custodial services

Reports of garbage, vermin in Chicago public schools

By Christopher Davion, 18 October 2014

In spite of the reports, officials, backed by the SEIU, intend to proceed with the layoff of nearly 300 janitors.

US boosts air war in Syria

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2014

As the US seeks to consolidate its presence in Iraq and further plans for regime change in Syria, the logic of the military situation points to a further escalation of the war.

CIA warned arming Syrian “rebels” unlikely to succeed

By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2014

The intelligence agency concluded on the basis of decades of experience that its arming of US-backed insurgents seldom proved successful.

Lack of training, safety at Texas hospital where nurses contracted Ebola

By Kate Randall, 17 October 2014

Texas Health Presbyterian’s handling of Ebola cases has come under fire from registered nurses at the hospital.

Deal with bond insurer paves way for approval of Detroit bankruptcy plan

By Jerry White, 17 October 2014

A settlement with FGIC announced Thursday will give the bond insurer control of choice riverfront property and other city owned assets.