World News

As Greece exits bailout, EU demands further austerity

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

The conclusion of the bailout is a vote of confidence from financial markets that the pseudo-left Syriza government will continue looting the people to pay off the banks.

Seventy-eight years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Eric London and David North, 21 August 2018

On August 21, 1940, Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Fourth International and the co-leader of the Russian Revolution, died from wounds inflicted the day before by an assassin, the Stalinist GPU agent Ramon Mercader.

Prime minister barely survives leadership challenge in Australia

By Mike Head and James Cogan, 21 August 2018

The constant factor in the turmoil of official Australian politics has been political tensions arising from ever more volatile international geo-strategic and economic conflicts.

Studies: US life expectancy drops as mortality rises among younger adults

By Kate Randall, 21 August 2018

While many other countries saw a rebound in life expectancy in 2016, the US and the UK saw declines for two consecutive years.

Pentagon report targets China’s “expanding global influence”

By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2018

While the report focusses on China’s growing military capabilities and international reach, its build-up is dwarfed by the US military and its world-wide system of alliances and bases.

“The whole world is watching us”

Teamsters local meeting erupts in anger as union official calls UPS workers’ poverty wages “subjective”

By Norisa Diaz, 21 August 2018

Teamsters official Andy Marshall told the room of 100 UPS workers that “in a perfect world” workers would get what they wanted, but “when I was a kid, I wanted a pony.”

German federal and regional governments extend refugee camp system nationwide

By Marianne Arens, 21 August 2018

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann claims that the camps are “not detention facilities,” and that “no one is imprisoned,” but that is a lie.

UK: Boris Johnson gathers support for pro-Brexit Tory leadership challenge

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

Johnson’s anti-burqa comments and the leadership ambitions that informed them were spurred on by effusive support from Trump and his former adviser, Steve Bannon.

Virginia’s Democratic governor seeks to whitewash abuse of immigrant youth at state detention facility

By Nick Barrickman, 21 August 2018

A report issued last week by the office of Governor Ralph Northam seeks to whitewash the criminal abuse of unaccompanied immigrant children detained in the state from 2014 through 2017.

West Virginia lower House impeaches entire state Supreme Court

By Clement Daly, 21 August 2018

The Republican Party is using corruption charges as a pretext to remove all the justices and pack the court, previously under Democratic Party control.

Texas firefighters denied workers compensation for cancer

By Todd Denton, 21 August 2018

More than 90 percent of firefighters in Texas are being refused medical coverage and paid sick leave for cancer caused by on-the-job toxic exposures.

Leaked tapes confirm collusion of Peruvian justice system with drug cartels and state corruption

By Bill Van Auken, 21 August 2018

The new scandal is yet another blow to a political and state establishment already massively discredited after the revelations of the Lava Jato scandal.

Japan: Tens of thousands on Okinawa denounce US base relocation plan

By Ben McGrath, 21 August 2018

Given that Okinawa is a major staging pointing for US military action in Asia, opposition to the base is intimately bound up with the struggle against militarism.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind: “It’s too late to be sane. Too late.”

By Joanne Laurier, 21 August 2018

Robin Williams (1951–2014) was an exceptional comic whose ability to create personalities and move among them seemed at times almost supernatural. He contained within himself an apparently infinite number of human types.

Judge orders top Michigan health official to stand trial for Flint deaths

By Sheila Brehm and Michael Anders, 21 August 2018

Nick Lyon will face two counts of involuntary manslaughter for deaths due to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in Flint related to the city’s polluted water crisis.

Inequality and the crisis of American democracy

By Andre Damon, 20 August 2018

Ever-increasing social inequality in the United States is incompatible with democratic forms of rule.

Political warfare deepens as Democrats, ex-spies circle the wagons around Brennan

By Tom Hall, 20 August 2018

The intervention by Brennan and other ex-intelligence officials on the Sunday talk shows demonstrates the degree to which the spy agencies have become a dominant political force.

China-US talks but trade war set to escalate

By Nick Beams, 20 August 2018

The basic conflict centres on the US demand that China not only lessen the trade deficit but also significantly pull back on its plan to boost its industrial and technological base.

Unprecedented monsoonal floods kill over 370 in southwest India

By Sathish Simon, 20 August 2018

While heavy monsoonal rain is normal at this time of the year, the disastrous levels of flooding in Kerala are unprecedented and not a “natural” event.

Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) to hold online forum: Lessons of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s sellout

20 August 2018

The SEG urges health workers to attend this online forum on September 1 to discuss the NZNO’s betrayal and the way forward in the fight against the Labour Party government’s austerity measures.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman takes his place alongside anti-Corbyn witch-hunters

By Julie Hyland, 20 August 2018

Whatever the progressive sentiments of those who signed up to the project, the Momentum network was from the very start aimed at controlling and ultimately sabotaging any genuine challenge to the right.

Arbitration panel cuts real wages and health care benefits for Washington DC Metro workers

By Nick Barrickman, 20 August 2018

The amount awarded to the public employees averages to a yearly pay increase of little more than half the annual rate of inflation.

Australian thunderstorm asthma deaths inquest reveals health system breakdown

By Margaret Rees, 20 August 2018

Triple 0 callers were told an ambulance was on the way when it had not been dispatched.

“A new organization would be able to unite us all”

UPS workers oppose isolation by Teamsters, call for united struggle with Amazon workers

By Evan Blake, 20 August 2018

The Teamsters union is opposed to any effort to connect the struggles of workers at UPS, Amazon and other logistics companies.

CEO pay up 17 percent while US workers’ wages stagnate

By Matthew Taylor and Barry Grey, 18 August 2018

The typical CEO of a large firm in the US makes in a single day almost as much as the typical worker earns in an entire year.

Google employees protest plans to build censored search engine in China

By Andre Damon, 18 August 2018

Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed Thursday that the company has worked to develop a censored version of its search engine in collaboration with the Chinese state.

The brutality of borders

Mass grave revealed at Arizona Air Force bombing range

By Norisa Diaz, 18 August 2018

The treacherous deserts along the Southwest have taken the lives of tens of thousands of migrants coming to the US.

London: Ecuador embassy vigil marks six years since Julian Assange granted asylum

By Paul Mitchell, 18 August 2018

If forced out, Assange faces arrest by British police and imprisonment on bail infringement charges relating to a case dropped by Sweden over a year ago.

Taliban attack on Afghan city deepens crisis of US puppet regime in Kabul

By Jordan Shilton, 18 August 2018

Driven by the mounting instability of the Afghan regime and the threat that regional rivals Russia and China could expand their involvement in the country, Washington has quietly reopened direct talks with the Taliban.

UK: Westminster “terror incident” remains unclear

By Paul Bond, 18 August 2018

While the authorities are not yet able to confirm that the incident was a terrorist attack, it will be used to intensify policing powers and surveillance across the capital.

Amidst Turkish crisis Indian rupee falls to all-time low

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 August 2018

The decline of Indian rupee is a part of a global rush by investors away from so-called emerging markets.

Lessons of the New Zealand Nurses Organisation’s sellout: Build rank-and-file committees! Unite the working class against the Labour government!

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 18 August 2018

The sellout of the nurses’ struggle by the union bureaucracy raises the need for rank-and-file committees and a fight to unite the working class against austerity and for socialism.

Pentagon chief promotes anti-China agenda in Latin America

By Bill Van Auken, 18 August 2018

Mattis’ four-nation tour was aimed at countering China’s influence and building up ties between the US and Latin American military commands.

Presidential slates chosen for Brazil’s general elections: a warning to the working class

By Miguel Andrade, 18 August 2018

Whatever the result of the elections, the Brazilian political system will swing violently to the right, deepening the class war austerity measures initiated by the Workers Party’s (PT).

On eve of strike deadline for 9,000 VW workers

Mexican farmers blame Volkswagen for drought near assembly plant

By Alex González, 18 August 2018

To guarantee their demands for high wages and fully funded social services, autoworkers and farmers are each other’s most natural allies.

Sixty-one-year-old worker dies in horrific fall into vat of oil near Disney World

By Jessica Goldstein, 18 August 2018

John Korody was killed shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning when he slipped on a grate and fell into a vat of oil.

Australian police killed mentally ill young woman seconds after arriving at scene

By Martin Scott, 18 August 2018

The Coroner’s Court was told that 42 percent of those shot by police in Australia between 1989 and 2011 were suffering from a mental illness.

Alcoa workers strike in Western Australia

By Terry Cook, 18 August 2018

The stoppage expresses growing opposition to the corporate giant’s global cost-cutting operation.

Former CIA Director John Brennan’s brief for dismantling democracy

By Joseph Kishore, 18 August 2018

The view advanced by Brennan, the intelligence agencies and their allies in the Democratic Party can be summed up as: “It is necessary to destroy democracy in order to save it.”

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)—A tribute to the Queen of Soul

By Hiram Lee, 18 August 2018

Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died August 16 at the age of 76. She was a major figure, one of the great performers of the second half of the twentieth century.

Thousands of beedi cigarette workers strike in India, Sri Lankan tea plantation workers demand higher pay, South Korea finance workers plan national walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 August 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne lied to federal investigators about gift to UAW official

By Marcus Day, 17 August 2018

The latest revelation of bribery in the UAW corruption scandal follows Monday’s statement by lawyers for an indicted Chrysler executive that the conspiracy “started long before” 2009.

Facebook censors Telesur and Venezuela Analysis

By Andrea Lobo, 17 August 2018

As the Trump administration escalates its onslaught against Venezuela, technology corporations are stepping up censorship of sites critical of US policy.

Seoul and Pyongyang prepare for September summit while US intensifies campaign against North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 17 August 2018

Washington will only accept the complete subjugation of the North as it continues to raise tensions in the region with China.

Private prison corporation CoreCivic facing multiple lawsuits for endangering Tennessee inmates

By Keisha Gibbs, 17 August 2018

Nashville-based private prison company CoreCivic continues to reap profits despite numerous lawsuits.

Australian government facing defeat over energy policy and company tax cuts

By Mike Head, 17 August 2018

It is clear from the events of this week that the government’s two signature policies are in tatters.

Australia: Transport union cancels Victorian bus drivers strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2018

The TWU’s suppression of the stoppage was the outcome of a sordid back-room conspiracy, involving the union, the companies and the Victorian state Labor government.

Australian Daily Telegraph lawyers plead “truth defence” in Geoffrey Rush defamation case

By Richard Phillips, 16 August 2018

The Murdoch media empire is prepared to spend vast sums to defeat Rush’s defamation suit.

New Zealand primary teachers hold nationwide strike

By our reporters, 16 August 2018

Tens of thousands joined rallies across the country to demand better pay and conditions, while the teachers’ trade union used the strike to promote illusions in the Labour Party-led government.

Right-wing senator calls for a “White Australia” immigration policy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 August 2018

Fraser Anning’s diatribe is the logical outcome of the nationalist policies supported by the entire political establishment.

New Zealand government launches sham inquiry into Afghan war crimes

By Sam Price, 16 August 2018

The inquiry into allegations that civilians were killed in a NZSAS raid in Afghanistan in 2010 is destined to be a whitewash.

The global implications of the Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2018

Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, the growing intensity of economic warfare threatens to collapse the financial house of cards created by the multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the global banking system.

UAW bribery predated 2009, lawyer for former Fiat Chrysler executive tells court

By Shannon Jones, 15 August 2018

In a sentencing memorandum, the lawyer for Alphons Iacobelli asserted that the bribery of UAW officials dates back “many years” earlier than has so far been charged by federal prosecutors, and involves many more officials.

Mueller investigation seeks to implicate WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in “Russian interference”

By James Cogan, 15 August 2018

The purported evidence of ties between Russian intelligence, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks is threadbare to the point of being ludicrous.

At least 35 killed in Italy bridge collapse

By Allison Smith, 15 August 2018

The death toll has reached 35, with at least seven seriously injured and 440 forced to evacuate their homes following a gas leak.

Knives out in the White House as fired aide releases tapes of Trump, Kelly

By Tom Hall, 15 August 2018

More significant than the content of the tapes recorded by Omarosa Manigault-Newman is the atmosphere of mutual suspicion and intrigue within the White Housethat they reveal.

Cables document CIA Director Haspel’s direct role in torture at black site in Thailand

By E.P. Milligan, 15 August 2018

The 16 cables from Haspel published by the National Security Archive document scenes fit for a medieval dungeon.

UK: Police take no action over far-right attack on Bookmarks bookstore

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2018

Despite London being the CCTV capital of the world and the fascist perpetrators gleefully posting videos of their activities on social media, there have been no reports to date of the police detaining, arresting or charging anyone.

UK: Three police officers acquitted of misconduct in restraint death

By Paul Bond, 15 August 2018

The victim was suffering an epileptic seizure when he was seized and forcibly restrained by seven policemen, who held him face down.

Nebraska carries out first execution in US using the opioid fentanyl

By Kate Randall, 15 August 2018

Nebraska authorities now have the dubious distinction of pioneering the use of the powerful synthetic drug at the center of the US opioid crisis that claimed more than 70,000 lives in 2017 for state-sanctioned murder.

Despite overwhelming strike vote

Trade union at Escondida copper mine in Chile seeks to shut down 18-month struggle

By Andrea Lobo, 15 August 2018

Against the efforts by the trade unions to isolate miners from a joint struggle across Chile and internationally, workers must form rank-and-file committees to take the fight in their own hands.

China set to become largest aid donor to Pacific

By John Braddock, 15 August 2018

The ruling elites in Australia and New Zealand, the local imperialist powers that act in concert with Washington, view China’s rise as a threat to their interests.

Australia: Victorian bus drivers to strike over pay and conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 August 2018

The strike expresses mounting anger among transport workers across the country over the consequences of a privatisation agenda imposed by Labor and Liberal-National governments.

The Turkish crisis and the threat of world war

By Bill Van Auken, 15 August 2018

Underlying the reckless and punishing attack by Washington on Turkey’s economy are predatory geostrategic aims that are threatening to drag humanity into a new world war.

Notes from the campaign trail

Socialist Equality Party candidate campaigns among UPS workers in Michigan

By Niles Niemuth, 15 August 2018

I spoke with UPS workers who expressed deep anger over their conditions and the sellout contract that the Teamsters union is seeking to impose.

Erdogan charges US “stab in the back” as Turkey crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 14 August 2018

The Turkish president vowed to retaliate against “traitors” undermining the economy as the lira slid again precipitously on Monday.

Puerto Rican teachers’ anger builds against privatization, firings and lack of pay raises

By Shelley Connor, 14 August 2018

Teachers have had no pay raises in the past 10 years, classes are overcrowded and hundreds of teachers are starting the school year with no knowledge of where they will be placed.

Break the UPS-Teamsters conspiracy! Mobilize opposition to the sellout contract!

By the WSWS UPS Workers Newsletter, 14 August 2018

The Teamsters union is keeping workers totally in the dark, five days after its endorsement of the cost-cutting contract.

German Social Democrats launch xenophobic campaign about child benefits

By Christopher Lehmann, 14 August 2018

On the “Tagesthemen” TV news program, the SPD mayor ranted against EU nationals who were allegedly flocking to Germany to fraudulently obtain social welfare payments.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions

By Steve James, 14 August 2018

Serco wrote to Glasgow City Council of its intention to evict “former Asylum Seekers who do not wish to engage in voluntary return, and who the Home Office have determined have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

UK government warned of dangers of flammable cladding three years before Grenfell fire

By Tom Pearce, 14 August 2018

The warnings are further evidence of the vast criminality committed at Grenfell by the political and corporate elite.

Horizon Air worker dead after stealing airplane, crashing near Tacoma, Washington

By Alec Andersen, 14 August 2018

Asked why he stole the plane, Russell told air traffic controllers, “Minimum wage, we'll chalk it up to that. Maybe that will grease some gears a little bit with the higher-ups.”

500 Trane Co. workers strike in La Crosse, Wisconsin

By Michael Walters and George Gallanis, 14 August 2018

The strike at Trane is in danger of being smothered by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Allentown, Pennsylvania credit union employees strike over wages and health care

By Samuel Davidson, 14 August 2018

Employees of People First Federal Credit Union went on strike against the company’s demand to shift health care costs onto the backs of already low paid employees.

New York City Council caps Uber

By Clare Hurley, 14 August 2018

A temporary glitch for the app-based ride hailing service, the legislation will do little to address the underlying crisis of public transportation in the largest US metropolis.

Peru’s President Vizcarra calls for referendum amid corruption scandals

By Cesar Uco, 14 August 2018

In his speech to the nation, Vizcarra admitted that “the judicial system has collapsed” and the country faces “serious corruption of public administrative institutions.”

Former Japanese defense minister announces challenge to Abe

By Ben McGrath, 14 August 2018

Ishiba is challenging current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a move designed to push him even further to the right.

Australia: Socialist Alternative promotes right-wing Labor leader Bill Shorten

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2018

Amid a deepening crisis of the political establishment, the pseudo-left organisations are seeking to channel growing discontent back behind Labor and the unions.

Growing support for socialism in the United States

By Joseph Kishore, 14 August 2018

A Gallup poll released yesterday found that, for the first time, more young people and Democratic-leaning voters have a favorable view of socialism than they do of capitalism.

An “Exemplary Comrade”: The Socialist Workers Party’s 40-year-long cover-up of Stalinist spy Sylvia Callen: Part one

By Eric London, 14 August 2018

This is the first part in a four-part series examining the cover-up by the Socialist Workers Party beginning in 1947 of information exposing the role of Sylvia Callen, the personal secretary of long-time party leader James P. Cannon, as a Stalinist agent.

What the neo-Nazi debacle in Washington showed

By Patrick Martin, 14 August 2018

After a huge media buildup, less than two dozen white supremacists showed up for Sunday’s “rally” outside the White House.

Unsubmissive France summer school: Mélenchon invites the right wing

By Anthony Torres, 14 August 2018

Mélenchon’s attempts to ally with the political right must serve as a warning to workers that he plans to carry out a violently anti-worker policy.

Tragic house fire takes three lives in Lincoln Park, Michigan

By Niles Niemuth, 14 August 2018

The victims of the fire that engulfed a house in the early morning hours Saturday include a woman two months pregnant, a family caretaker and a four-year-old boy.

World markets brace for impact of Turkish lira crisis

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2018

The European Central Bank has put on watch major European banks that are heavily exposed to Turkish debt.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

US: The “public charge” rule’s effects on legal immigrant families

By Jill Lux, 13 August 2018

Every legal immigrant using a social program is in danger of being labeled a “public charge,” and therefore ineligible for citizenship.

Fifteen workers hospitalized after explosion at US Steel mill south of Detroit

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 August 2018

According to local news reports, workers initially refused a supervisor’s directive to clean out a dust separator, warning that it posed a safety issue.

A second “summer of hell” for riders of New Jersey Transit

By Mark Ferretti, 13 August 2018

Understaffing, inadequate pay for employees, and underfunding are contributing to a rash of delays and cancellations that leave reliable and safe travel on New Jersey Transit in doubt.

Australian prime minister delivers an anxious speech on relations with China

By Mike Head, 13 August 2018

There is evident alarm that the Trump administration’s protectionism could have flow-on effects for Australian exporters and throw into doubt Washington’s global reliability.

Sri Lankan unions sell out railway workers and call off strike

By W.A. Sunil, 13 August 2018

Railway workers must reject the unions’ betrayal of their longstanding salary demands and build action committees of rank-and-file workers on an alternative socialist program.

Death toll rises to almost 400 after another Indonesian earthquake

By John Harris, 13 August 2018

Residents of Lombok have expressed mounting frustration over the inadequate government response to a series of deadly quakes.

Turkish lira plunges as US trade war measures strangle Turkish economy

By Alex Lantier and Halil Celik, 11 August 2018

President Trump is trying to use trade tariffs to compel Ankara to step up attacks on the working class and totally subordinate its foreign policy to US imperialism’s demands.

More deaths and maiming of Palestinians amid latest “ceasefire”

By Jean Shaoul, 11 August 2018

The latest round of fighting could torpedo a four-year truce between Israel and Hamas.

US-North Korean nuclear deal stalls amid growing recriminations

By Peter Symonds, 11 August 2018

The US is insisting North Korea hand over 60 to 70 percent of its nuclear warheads, without any significant concessions in return.

South Korean government begins phony reform of military intelligence agency

By Ben McGrath, 11 August 2018

The basic framework of a police state will remain in place regardless of the cosmetic changes made by Moon Jae-in’s administration.

“We are underpaid slaves”

Growing opposition among UPS workers as Teamsters conference endorses sellout contracts

By Kayla Costa, 11 August 2018

UPS management responded to the Teamsters executives vote by gloating that the contract will provide “greater flexibility” and help “address challenges from competitors.”

Canada and Saudis in raucous diplomatic spat over Ottawa’s posturing over human rights

By Roger Jordan, 11 August 2018

The events of the past week notwithstanding, Canada—as attested by its $15 billion arms deal with Riyadh—is a staunch ally of the absolutist Saudi regime.

Tennessee carries out first execution in nearly a decade

Inmate “gulped for an extended period of time” and was “choking,” “gasping”

By Kate Randall, 11 August 2018

Irick’s attorneys had argued that their client suffered from severe mental illness and that one of the drugs to be used in his lethal injection could cause severe pain.

Mass exodus of South Carolina teachers continues

By Hiram Lee, 11 August 2018

As the 2018-2019 school year begins, South Carolina will likely face an even greater shortage of teachers than in previous years.