World News

The 2018 Munich Security Conference and the emerging conflict between the US and Europe

By Alex Lantier, 22 February 2018

This weekend's conference was dominated by rising, potentially violent conflict between the major powers, notably the United States and Europe.

Syrian government offensive prompts calls for intensified US military intervention

By Jordan Shilton, 22 February 2018

US media outlets have seized on the escalation of violence to call for the expansion of Washington’s illegal military intervention.

Brazilian army general tapped to take over law enforcement in Rio de Janeiro

By Gabriel Lemos, 22 February 2018

Under the pretext of fighting gang violence, nothing less than a path to dictatorship is being opened up in Brazil.

UNICEF: Social inequality costs the lives of 7,000 newborns daily

By Shelley Connor, 22 February 2018

According to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday, 2.6 million newborns die annually. Most of these deaths are preventable and most of them are due to social inequality.

The fraud of the “left turn” in Canada’s NDP

By Roger Jordan, 22 February 2018

The claims of the pseudo-left that Canada’s social democrats are moving “left” are aimed at masking the NDP’s pro-war, pro-big business character.

Bangladesh opposition leader jailed for five years on corruption charges

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 February 2018

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina’s Awami League government is trying to bar Khaleda Zia from contesting the December elections.

Australian government to deport Tamil refugee despite torture warnings

By Max Newman, 22 February 2018

Thangalingam is a victim of anti-refugee and geo-strategic policies pursued by successive Australian governments.

Tory-media witch-hunt claims Labour’s Corbyn was a spy

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2018

This latest offensive by the Tory Party and media follows threats by senior military figures that Corbyn must not be allowed to form a government.

Australia’s “Barnaby Joyce crisis”: What is not being discussed

By Mike Head, 21 February 2018

The turmoil surrounding the deputy prime minister is a symptom of more fundamental frictions engulfing the government and the parliamentary establishment.

Tonga faces deepening crisis after Cyclone Gita

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2018

Thousands of people remain homeless and the small Pacific island nation could take years to recover.

New Zealand: Breakdowns and lack of safety in Wellington’s rail network

By our correspondents, 21 February 2018

Wellington’s passenger rail service has been repeatedly crippled by infrastructure failures this year.

Washington delivers new ultimatum on Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 20 February 2018

The Trump administration is threatening to abrogate the Iran nuclear agreement in order to force the European powers to adopt a hard line against Tehran.

The Russian meddling fraud: Weapons of mass destruction revisited

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 20 February 2018

As with the Bush administration’s lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” the claim that Russia “attacked” the US by “meddling” in the 2016 elections is aimed at creating a justification for war.

US admiral advocates war footing against China

By James Cogan, 20 February 2018

Admiral Harris’s statement left no doubt that he believes military spending must be ramped up by hundreds of billions of dollars.

Macron launches campaign to privatise French railways

By Kumaran Ira, 20 February 2018

The report calls for the privatisation of the French National Railways, aiming to eliminate basic social rights of the working class to finance Macron’s militarist policies.

Iowa state government preparing mid-year budget cuts

By Joseph Holden and Marcus Day, 20 February 2018

For the second year in a row, Iowa’s legislature is preparing to enact budget cuts slashing funding for public education and social services.

Canadian big business presses Trudeau to push through Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

By Roger Jordan, 20 February 2018

Notwithstanding Trudeau’s attempts to pose as a “progressive,” his government is just as determined as its Conservative predecessor to push through socially and environmentally destructive resource projects.

New round of attacks across Spain’s auto industry

By Alejandro López and Gabriel Labarthe, 20 February 2018

The auto industry in Spain is utilising the full conversion of plants to produce electric cars, claims of lower expectations of profits last year—combined with threats to move production offshore—to impose attacks on wages and work conditions.

Amazon set to open new depot in Sheffield—“low pay capital of the UK”

By Danny Richardson, 20 February 2018

Sheffield and its surrounding area was previously a major steel producing region with Amazon building its “Fulfilment Centres” in the South Yorkshire area on shuttered steel plants.

Australia: Union enforces another massive pay cut at Griffin Coal

By Terry Cook, 20 February 2018

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union isolated a protracted strike of maintenance workers before striking a sell-out enterprise agreement.

Australia: The 2014 union sell-out of NSW rail workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 February 2018

The last enterprise agreement imposed by the rail union created the conditions for mass sackings and continuous pro-business restructuring.

Film director Michael Haneke criticizes #MeToo movement on eve of Berlinale film festival

By Katerina Selin, 20 February 2018

The reactionary #MeToo campaign is playing a central role at the 68th Berlinale International Film Festival.

The media and the Mueller indictment: A conspiracy theory to end all conspiracy theories

By Patrick Martin, 19 February 2018

Nothing in the indictment comes close to supporting the wild claims from the media being used to justify a campaign for war and domestic repression.

Thousands rally to defend teachers in Charleston, West Virginia

By Niles Niemuth, 19 February 2018

This weekend’s protest is the latest expression of working-class anger over social inequality throughout the US and internationally.

“It’s time for a general strike or protest, nationwide”

West Virginia teachers denounce education cuts, social crisis

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 February 2018

Teachers and other workers described the impact of decades of attacks on wages and conditions and the need for a broad fight by the entire working class.

Munich Security Conference threatens war on all fronts

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2018

Washington led the pack in bellicosity towards Syria and North Korea, tied to allegations of Russian and Chinese culpability.

German defence minister delivers war-mongering speech at Munich Security Conference

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2018

A rearmament offensive is being prepared, comparable only to that of Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

Another US step toward trade war

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2018

“If we ever have a conflict, we don’t want to be buying steel [from] a country we are fighting,” Trump declared, referring particularly to China.

Records show neglect of Florida school gunman’s mental health

By Trévon Austin, 19 February 2018

Cruz’s counselor told the Florida Department of Children and Families that he was reported to have “an emotional behavioral disability” and was diagnosed with autism.

ICE arrests 212 immigrants, raids 122 businesses in Los Angeles area

By Evan Blake, 19 February 2018

The raids across seven counties are meant to instill fear within immigrant communities and stifle opposition to the fascistic policies of the Trump administration.

The coal slurry disaster of 2000

The story behind the water crisis in Martin County, Kentucky

By Carlos Delgado, 19 February 2018

The water crisis in eastern Kentucky can be traced back to the bursting of a coal slurry dam owned by Massey Energy in 2000.

Puerto Rican Investment Summit discusses how to profit from human tragedy

By Rafael Azul, 19 February 2018

Oblivious to the humanitarian crisis, participants discussed how to profit from the hurricane destruction and protect their speculative assets from US taxes.

The US signals tougher stance against Burma on Rohingya crisis

By John Roberts, 19 February 2018

Washington’s attitude to the humanitarian disaster is not determined by concern for the suffering of the Rohingya, but by its efforts to isolate China in the Indo-Pacific region.

New Zealand government makes false promises to address Maori poverty

By Tom Peters, 19 February 2018

The Labour Party-led government has handed millions of dollars to Maori tribal capitalists, while offering empty promises to tackle inequality.

A tool of imperialism: Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France calls for military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2018

As Paris threatens to bomb Syria, and Washington threatens Russia and China, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is stampeding behind calls to build a European war machine.

Australian transport workers forum discusses the necessity for a new political perspective

SEP holds online meeting on the New South Wales rail dispute

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

The meeting created the conditions for public transport and other workers in Australia and New Zealand to grapple with the political issues raised by the fight to defend jobs, wages and conditions.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Failed by the State co-director discusses smear campaign against his documentary

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

After a lively discussion on issues raised by the film, the Grenfell Fire Forum passed a resolution opposing the attack on it by the corporate media.

Indictment of Russian nationals used to campaign for censorship and war

By Andre Damon, 17 February 2018

The indictments are primarily aimed at providing US media outlets with fodder for their claim that social opposition within the United States is the work of foreign agitators.

The inauguration of Ramaphosa and the degeneration of the ANC

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2018

Two things recommend Ramaphosa to the world’s bourgeoisie—his fabulous wealth and the fact that he earned it through a readiness to deal ruthlessly with the working class.

Tillerson declares US-Turkey relations in “crisis”

By Jordan Shilton and Halil Celik, 17 February 2018

The announcement of a joint initiative to manage conflicting interests in Syria could not conceal the deep rift between the two NATO allies.

Funerals begin in Florida as details emerge of prior warnings about school shooter

By Patrick Martin, 17 February 2018

The FBI admitted that it had received two separate warnings about the Nikolas Cruz, the second, only six weeks ago, suggesting he was likely to target a school.

County-wide walkouts spread, as West Virginia teachers demand statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 17 February 2018

Teachers confront not just the intransigence of the Republican governor and lawmakers, but also the determination of the unions to channel anger behind the Democratic Party.

“This is a national health emergency”

WSWS interviews Fulbright scholar Chris Fradkin on impact of mass deportations

By our reporters, 17 February 2018

Fradkin authored an article in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics titled “Fear of massive deportations in the United States: Social implications on deprived pediatric communities.”

Trump budget proposes massive cuts in food stamps and other social programs

By Shelley Connor, 17 February 2018

The proposed cuts would mean starvation for large numbers of poor Americans.

US and India intervene to avert Sri Lankan government collapse

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 February 2018

The US and Indian ambassadors met the president and prime minister to reverse a publicly-announced termination of the coalition agreement that underpins the Unity government.

“The union is certainly not on our side”

Indian autoworker speaks about life in the “Detroit of South Asia”

By Ram Ramiah and Parwini Zora, 17 February 2018

An auto parts worker in South India describes the slave-like conditions he confronts daily enforced by management with the support of the union.

General strike in French Polynesia against undermining of pensions

By Tom Peters, 17 February 2018

Thousands of people took part in the strike and rallied in Tahiti against the government’s attack on pensions.

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Ramaphosa installed as South African president

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2018

The Johannesburg stock market welcomed the new regime with a surge of more than 3 percent, as the rand hit a three-year high against the US dollar.

Honduras turns to online censorship and spyware to clamp down on protests

By Andrea Lobo, 16 February 2018

Since a brutal crackdown has not deterred protests against the regime, it has resorted to an assault on free speech online.

Venezuela warns against US military intervention as domestic crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 16 February 2018

Both Colombia and Brazil have increased military deployments on Venezuela’s borders as US officials continue to signal support for a coup against the Maduro government.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

Public brawl erupts between Australian prime minister and his deputy

By Mike Head, 16 February 2018

An affair involving Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has become a vehicle for seeking to oust him and possibly the government itself.

Ex-general delivers first speech in parliament: Australia must “consider the next war”

By James Cogan, 16 February 2018

Molan and the wing of the political and military establishment for which he speaks want military spending dramatically ramped up.

Australia: NSW government privatises Sydney’s inner-west bus services

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 February 2018

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union directly facilitated the sell-off by suppressing widespread opposition among bus drivers over the past 12 months.

As AFSCME drags out contract negotiations

Brutal police assault on UC Berkeley worker evokes anger

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Evelyn Rios, 16 February 2018

AFSCME has portrayed the attack on 51-year-old housing and dining services employee David Cole during a campus protest over stalled contract talks in exclusively racial terms.

#MeToo campaign turns on French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot

By Francis Dubois, 15 February 2018

The media hysteria that the French government initially helped stir up around #MeToo is now turning against the government itself.

Seventeen killed in mass shooting at Florida high school

By Barry Grey, 15 February 2018

The mass shooting in Parkland is the latest in an endless series of violent incidents at schools in America.

Neo-McCarthyite hysteria at US Senate Intelligence Committee hearing

By Andre Damon, 15 February 2018

Tuesday’s hearing was an exercise in right-wing hysteria aimed at promoting the claim that all social opposition in the United States is the product of foreign subversion.

Democrats back punitive immigration plan as Senate vote looms

By Eric London, 15 February 2018

The framework of the immigration debate is far to the right of any public discussion on the subject since Congress imposed racial quotas in the 1920s.

Thousands to be sacked at GM factory in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2018

General Motors is demanding additional cuts to auto workers’ wages and conditions as it threatens to pull out of South Korea entirely.

China boosts censorship of social media

By Robert Campion, 15 February 2018

The Chinese regime justifies censoring the Internet in terms that are indistinguishable from those of the US government and corporate giants such as Google and Facebook.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Twenty thousand demonstrate against fascist rampage in Macerata, Italy

By Marianne Arens, 15 February 2018

Some 20,000 protesters, many of them young people, participated in an anti-fascist march through the town of Macerata Saturday.

As profits soar, US construction workers see increase in death and injury on the job

By Jessica Goldstein and Tim Rivers, 15 February 2018

In spite of revolutionary advances in the technology for tracking and preventing accidents on job sites, deaths and disabling injuries among construction workers are on the rise.

Scientists warn of health costs of Australian heatwaves

By Frank Gaglioti, 15 February 2018

The extreme heat conditions have intensified and become more frequent due to the effects of global warming, resulting in a rising death toll.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

Multiple reports confirm US killed Russians in Syrian oilfield airstrikes

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2018

The deaths of Russian military contractors under the rain of bombs and missiles unleashed by the Pentagon has sharply escalated war tensions.

Top US intelligence official declares “decision time” on North Korea coming closer

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2018

Amid speculation about talks between North and South Korea, the US Director of National Intelligence was skeptical that Pyongyang would negotiate away its nuclear weapons.

Trump nominates anti-China hawk as US ambassador to Australia

By James Cogan, 14 February 2018

The nomination of Admiral Harry Harris, head of Pacific Command, is a gauge of how vital the US views its alliance with Australia at this historical juncture.

German grand coalition planning major military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 14 February 2018

An article in IP magazine, published by the German Council for Foreign Relations, gives a glimpse of the foreign policy debates going on behind the scenes.

South Africa’s ANC votes to remove President Jacob Zuma

By Eddie Haywood, 14 February 2018

The Zuma government has been characterized by corruption and nepotism while presiding over a deteriorating economy, conditions which have made foreign investors nervous.

Japan’s ruling party pushing to end constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2018

While the constitution has not prevented Japan from building a military, Prime Minister Abe is working to remove all legal barriers to the aggressive pursuit of Japanese interests.

Cyclone Gita leaves thousands homeless in Tonga

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2018

Australia and New Zealand have announced grossly inadequate aid after the storm destroyed crops and damaged about 40 percent of houses on Tonga’s main island.

German government plans massive military expansion in Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 13 February 2018

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced the build-up in the course of her trip to the Middle East last weekend.

Britain warned Sweden not to drop Assange extradition proceedings

By Paul Mitchell, 13 February 2018

The UK remains determined to arrest journalist Julian Assange, who is trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in relation to trumped-up “sexual assault” charges.

Kentucky residents face water shutoffs as UK study exposes health dangers from leaking pipes

By Warren Duzak, 13 February 2018

After losing service due to collapsing infrastructure, Martin County residents now face shutoffs and a 50 percent rate hike for contaminated water.

Puerto Rico blackout exposes the precarious state of the island’s electrical grid

By Matthew Taylor, 13 February 2018

An explosion ripped through the Monacillo power plant outside of San Juan Sunday night, leaving 175,000 residents without power for several hours.

Kimberly-Clark to lay off over 600 workers and close two plants in Wisconsin

By Christopher Davion, 13 February 2018

The announcement of the plan to close two plants in northeastern Wisconsin is part of an international restructuring which involves laying off as many as 5,500.

Australian Labor Party president warns of collapsing membership

By Mike Head, 13 February 2018

Mark Butler’s remarks point to a growing fear of the deepening hostility in the working class toward the Labor Party and the trade unions.

Australian pseudo-left promotes Labor Party, Greens at “African gangs” rally

By our reporters, 13 February 2018

The speakers pushed an amalgam of identity politics and Australian nationalism, and encouraged illusions in the parliamentary establishment and police.

Public outcry forces Manchester Art Gallery to restore censored painting

John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs (1896) taken down for a week

By Dennis Moore, 13 February 2018

The removal of Hylas and the Nymphs was never about a “conversation,” as gallery official claimed, it was an open act of censorship. Hundreds of visitors left notes expressing concern. The gallery’s website registered 1,000 comments.

Israeli attack on Syria heightens danger of wider Mideast war

By Chris Marsden, 12 February 2018

Israel attacked 12 of the country’s main air defence sites, which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) described as “Iranian targets.”

US to expand military deployments as war danger builds in Asia

By James Cogan, 12 February 2018

The United Sates is preparing for “great-power conflict” in the Pacific by massively increasing its military presence in the region.

Germany: The resignation of Martin Schulz

By Peter Schwarz, 12 February 2018

The rapid rise and fall of Schulz cannot be explained simply on the basis of personal rivalries. At stake are major political issues.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

French media endorse plan for anti-worker Grand Coalition government in Germany

By Alex Lantier, 12 February 2018

The Grand Coalition deal and the new Berlin-Paris axis are both based on the most right-wing program since fascist parties ruled Europe.

White House aides forced out over domestic abuse allegations

By Patrick Martin, 12 February 2018

The media firestorm over the charges against White House secretary Rob Porter is the latest skirmish in the political warfare in Washington between rival factions of the ruling elite.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

Studies connect Medicaid work requirements to poor health

By Shelley Connor, 12 February 2018

While the Trump administration heralds Medicaid work requirements as a path towards better health and prosperity for America’s poor, recent studies reveal the opposite.

The nightmare reality for immigrants across US in 2018

By Eric London, 12 February 2018

In recent weeks, immigration agents and police have waged war in working class neighborhoods across America, tearing immigrants from their families and friends.

Testimony reveals depth of recklessness in decision to use outmoded Flint water plant

By James Brewer, 12 February 2018

Pretrial hearings last week shed further light on the criminally negligent character of the water scheme imposed on the people of Flint, Michigan.

West Virginia teachers authorize statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2018

Teachers throughout the state voted overwhelmingly to authorize strike action to raise wages and stop plans to increase public employees’ health care costs

West Virginia teacher speaks on social conditions, issues in strike vote

By Naomi Spencer, 12 February 2018

Beyond the derisory 1 percent wage increase, untenable social conditions and health care costs are motivating teachers to take up picket signs for the first time in three decades in West Virginia.

St. Paul, Minnesota teachers face Tuesday strike deadline

By Matt Rigel, 12 February 2018

While the school district has cried broke, federal, state and city officials have showered billions of dollars in tax cuts on the state’s Fortune 500 corporations.

Chicago public school teachers vote to approve merger with charter teachers union

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2018

The merger between the two AFT locals was rejected by nearly one-third of those who voted, based on the Chicago Teachers Union’s complicity with Mayor Emanuel’s school privatization efforts.

Australian government used ASIO to stop refugees obtaining visas

By Max Newman, 12 February 2018

A recently-published secret cabinet submission proves that the Coalition government formally asked the spy agency to stall security clearances for officially-recognised refugees.

Australia: Union confirms sell-out agreement in NSW rail dispute includes job cuts

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 February 2018

The real purpose of the marginal pay rise is to provide the union and the government with a pretext for imposing cuts to jobs and conditions.

Opposition party wins Sri Lankan local council elections

By K. Ratnayake, 12 February 2018

The vote is another indication of the mounting opposition of workers, rural poor and the youth to the country’s coalition government.