World News

Nationalism or socialism in Latin America

A reply to a supporter of Chavez

By Bill Van Auken, 14 March 2013

The kind of “alternative” that is envisioned here is one that is imposed from above, not arising from the politically independent movement of the working class itself, striving to establish its own organs of power.

Kurdish nationalists pursue US-backed talks with Turkey

By Isaac Finn, 14 March 2013

Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is discussing a US-backed peace plan with the Turkish government.

France: PSA car workers’ strike at an impasse

By Pierre Mabut, 14 March 2013

Some 100 PSA Citroën car workers from the Aulnay plant near Paris occupied the Engineering Employers Federation’s Paris offices to protest plans to close their plant.

US defense secretary’s Afghanistan trip a debacle

By Bill Van Auken, 12 March 2013

Obama’s newly confirmed defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, confronted suicide bombings, an “insider” attack and vitriolic criticism from the US-backed puppet, Hamid Karzai.

Guardian/BBC report lays out US policy of torture, murder in Iraq

By Naomi Spencer, 12 March 2013

David Petraeus and other top US officials were involved in developing “El Salvador-style” death squads that tortured and murdered thousands in US-occupied Iraq.

Former Detroit mayor convicted of racketeering and extortion

By Jerry White, 12 March 2013

After a five-month trial a jury on Monday found Detroit’s former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, guilty of 22 corruption charges.

Maryland moves to repeal state death penalty

By Trent Novak, 12 March 2013

Last Wednesday, the Maryland State Senate voted in favor of repealing the state death penalty.

Corruption scandals engulf Spain’s monarchy

By Vicky Short, 12 March 2013

The Urdangarin scandal has raised questions over the future of the monarchy in Spain.

Berlin: Mass layoffs at energy firm Vattenfall

By Ernst Wolff and Johannes Stern, 12 March 2013

Workers protested in Berlin after the Swedish energy firm Vattenfall announced plans to cut 2,500 jobs by the end of 2014.

Hospital unions attempt sellout of British strike

By Barry Mason, 12 March 2013

The Unison and Unite unions are working to wind down a strike by National Health Service workers at the Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust, with the aid of the pseudo-left.

Building, food service workers strike University of Illinois

By Marcus Day, 11 March 2013

Building and food service workers at University of Illinois voted down a proposed contract over the weekend and walked off the job Monday morning.

Obama administration claims right to assassinate citizens within the US

By Joseph Kishore, 7 March 2013

The administration claims the power to order extrajudicial assassination of citizens within the US under undefined “extraordinary circumstances.”

Operation Condor trial begins in Argentina

By Bill Van Auken, 7 March 2013

The trial is the first to deal with the coordinated state terror campaign launched by Latin America’s US-backed dictatorships.

New York City homeless population reaches Great Depression levels

By Fred Mazelis, 7 March 2013

The Coalition for the Homeless reports an average nightly total of more than 50,000 in New York’s shelters, a record “since modern homelessness emerged three decades ago.”

Eastleigh by-election used to shift UK politics rightwards

By Dave Hyland, 7 March 2013

The results of last week's by-election in Eastleigh, England confirm the deep unpopularity of Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat coalition partners

German trade unions march in step with German army

By Sven Heymanns and Johannes Stern, 7 March 2013

The German Trade Union Federation is publicly backing the increasingly aggressive role of the German army.

Struggle against closure of Goodyear plant in Amiens, France at a crossroads

By Antoine Lerougetel, 7 March 2013

The six-year struggle of workers at Goodyear’s Amiens-Nord tyre plant against company threats of a plant closure and mass sackings is at a crossroads.

French government promotes pseudo-left opposition parties in Tunisia

By Kumaran Ira, 7 March 2013

After Chokri Belaïd’s assassination, Paris is seeking to advance the petty-bourgeois Popular Front to advance its imperialist interests in Tunisia.

California governor prepares implementation of Obama health care bill

By Thomas Gaist, 7 March 2013

Deceptive claims of expanded coverage for poor and working class families are an attempt to cover over the real impact of the ACA.

The occupation of Friern Barnet Library and the future of public services in Britain

By Peter Reydt, 7 March 2013

The establishment of a “community” library in Friern Barnet demonstrates how the politics of Occupy play into the hands of the ruling elite.

Sequester cuts boost corporate assault on American workers

By Kate Randall, 5 March 2013

The media presentation of the sequester as a symptom of “gridlock” and bitter policy differences between the Democrats and Republicans is a cynical fraud.

Washington steps up Africa intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 5 March 2013

The Obama administration is “markedly widening its role” in the French-led neo-colonial war in Mali.

Brutal budget cutting, privatization planned for Detroit

By Lawrence Porter, 5 March 2013

Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s declaration of a “financial emergency” in Detroit is paving the way for the gutting of city services and a fire sale of public assets.

South African police murder Mozambican taxi driver

By Mike Jones, 5 March 2013

Opposition grows to the killing of 27-year-old taxi driver, Mido Macia, by South African police on February 27.

UK: A quarter of Greater Manchester’s population living in “extreme poverty”

By Trevor Johnson, 5 March 2013

Six of the local wards in Greater Manchester are among the 60 most deprived wards in the UK.

Social and political tensions mount in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 5 March 2013

Russian president Putin is using an anti-corruption campaign to reorganise the Russian ruling elite and channel the anger of the middle class.

Homeless crisis grows in San Diego

By Jake Dean and Justin Jones, 5 March 2013

San Diego ranks third in the nation after New York and Los Angeles in the size of its homeless population.

Gas explosion kills Michigan man

By James Brewer, 5 March 2013

As a utility company maintenance crew worked on a “civic improvement project,” an apparent gas leak caused an explosion that was felt for miles.

Illinois public employees’ union agrees to concessions contract

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 March 2013

AFSCME has agreed to a pay freeze in the first year of the contract.

US moves towards open arming of Syrian opposition

By Chris Marsden, 28 February 2013

In advance of today’s Friends of Syria meeting in Rome, US and Europe could begin openly providing arms to opposition forces in pursuit of regime-change.

US Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit challenging secret wiretaps

By John Burton, 28 February 2013

In dismissing the suit, the Supreme Court majority adopted the positions urged by Obama administration lawyers in their briefs and at oral argument last October.

Pope ends reign amid rising scandals

By Bill Van Auken, 28 February 2013

Joseph Ratzinger made his last appearance as Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday, delivering a farewell oration.

Fed chairman reassures markets on dollar-printing “quantitative easing” program

By Barry Grey, 28 February 2013

The real beneficiaries of the policy Bernanke reaffirmed was reflected in the surge of share values on global stock markets.

France-Qatar tensions rise over Mali war, Tunisia

By Jean Shaoul, 28 February 2013

Tensions between France and its Qatari ally are rising amid accusations that Qatar is funding Al Qaeda-linked militants fighting France in Mali.

Quebec: PQ imposes annual hikes in university tuition fees

By Keith Jones, 28 February 2013

Using a phony “national” Education Summit as a backdrop, Quebec’s Parti Québecois government announced Tuesday that henceforth university tuition fees will rise annually by at least 3 percent.

Four perish in Maryland house fire

By Adam Sagitov, 28 February 2013

A house fire claimed the lives of three children and one adult Thursday in a Washington, DC suburb.

Pakistan transfers strategic Gwadar port to China

By Sampath Perera, 26 February 2013

Indian opposition to the transfer of the Pakistani port to China points to the explosive geo-political tensions triggered by the US “pivot to Asia.”

Cyprus poses danger for euro zone stability

By Jordan Shilton, 26 February 2013

As the new Cypriot government of Nikos Anastasiades pledges further austerity, the financial crisis gripping the island threatens the stability of the euro zone.

American NGOs pull out of Russia

By David Levine, 26 February 2013

A series of events over the past two months point to a marked deterioration in US-Russian relations.

New York City homelessness continues to set new records

By Fred Mazelis, 26 February 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed complaints that the city had turned away homeless families from municipal shelters.

Over four billion people worldwide lack adequate sanitation

By Bryan Dyne, 26 February 2013

Lack of sewerage treatment contributes to contamination problems for the majority of the world’s population.

UK: Rotherham Hospital workers face further attacks on jobs and conditions

By Dave Hyland, 26 February 2013

Attacks on workers being prepared by the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust in South Yorkshire, England also threaten medical care in this working class area.

Obama calls for more spending cuts to prevent “sequestration”

By Andre Damon, 21 February 2013

US President Barack Obama called on Congress Tuesday to implement billions in spending cuts to head off the so-called “sequestration” scheduled to take effect at the end of the month.

Workers mount 24-hour national strike against social attacks in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 21 February 2013

Tens of thousands of Greek workers went on strike on Wednesday to protest government austerity measures and attacks on the right to strike.

SYRIZA censures deputy for questioning Greek claims of disputed islands

By Christoph Dreier, 21 February 2013

The Greek Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) has expelled one of its members from a parliamentary committee after he distanced himself from anti-Turkish chauvinism and the Greek army.

Another West Virginia coal miner killed

By Naomi Spencer, 21 February 2013

A second miner has been killed in the same mine where a fatal accident occurred just two weeks ago.

Review panel paves way for emergency manager in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 21 February 2013

A state review panel declared a financial emergency in Detroit, setting the stage for new attacks on workers throughout the city.

Huge police operation to evict Berlin tenants

By Emma Bode, 21 February 2013

On February 14, a squad of police forcibly evicted a family of five from their home in Berlin.

Mayor of London pushes ahead with fire station closures

By Marc Milton, 21 February 2013

Twelve London stations are slated to close beginning in October, eliminating 520 jobs.

Fresh arrests in UK’s News International phone-hacking scandal

By Dave Hyland, 21 February 2013

Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to distance himself from the illegal phone-hacking scandal engulfing his media empire has suffered a serious setback.

Mass strikes and protests shut down Port Said in Egypt

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2013

Renewed strikes and protests have swept Egypt since January 25, the second anniversary of the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution that toppled long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Draconian White House immigration reform leaked to press

By Kate Randall, 19 February 2013

Undocumented immigrants would have to wait an estimated eight years for the chance to receive a “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa.

German Socialist Alternative group aids union sellout at Opel

By Christoph Dreier, 19 February 2013

The Socialist Alternative group is aiding IG Metall by attempting to sow illusions that the union can be transformed into a fighting organisation.

Deteriorating conditions in Illinois prisons lead to hunger strike

By Marcus Day, 19 February 2013

In response to overcrowding and deteriorating prison conditions, inmates at Pontiac Correctional Center have launched a hunger strike.

Billionaire views Scottish independence as a “management buy-out”

The anti-working class agenda promoted by the Scottish Socialist Party

By Steve James, 19 February 2013

The pseudo-left tendencies are committed to fraudulently promoting Scottish independence as a supposed means to alleviate the crisis caused by the bourgeoisie’s austerity policies.

SEIU union leader convicted on federal charges

By Allison Smith and Marc Wells, 19 February 2013

A federal court convicted the former president of an SEIU affiliate on 14 criminal counts, including embezzlement of thousands of dollars of union funds.

Two more US coal miners killed

By Clement Daly, 19 February 2013

Two more US coal miners were killed last week, bringing the nation’s coal mining fatalities to five this year.

As Obama touts end of Afghan war, US strike kills 10 civilians

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2013

A US airstrike in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday killed 10 civilians, including five children.

New charges in Spain’s Popular Party corruption scandal

By Alejandro López, 14 February 2013

The scandal has outraged a population already suffering from mass unemployment, low wages and the destruction of social services.

French Goodyear workers protest against closure of Amiens Nord plant

By Antoine Lerougetel and Pierre Mabut, 14 February 2013

Some 800 workers from the Goodyear Tire plant in Amiens Nord, supported by more than 1,000 workers from other parts of France, protested outside the company’s French headquarters in Paris.

Unions suppress opposition to closure of Belgian Ford plant

By Dietmar Henning, 14 February 2013

In response to spontaneous walkouts by the workers, the unions intensified their cooperation with Ford.

Roma in Germany forced into abject poverty

By Sybille Fuchs, 14 February 2013

A recent report provides a shocking exposure of the contempt shown by local authorities and church institutions in Dortmund for workers from southeast Europe.

600 children living in Washington, DC homeless shelter

By Naomi Spencer, 14 February 2013

A single homeless shelter in the nation’s capital is crowded with nearly 1,000 residents.

California governor’s budget foreshadows new assaults on health care

By Thomas Gaist, 14 February 2013

Governor Brown’s agenda includes a restructuring of health care programs to shave hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget.

Britain’s Socialist Workers Party descends into factional warfare

By Chris Marsden, 14 February 2013

The politics of the anti-leadership faction has been incubated by the SWP. These forces draw on positions advocated for years by the party.

Socialism and the defense of public education in Chicago

By the Socialist Equality Party, 14 February 2013

The SEP calls for the independent mobilization of the entire working class to oppose all school closings.

On eve of State of the Union speech

Obama pushes austerity in the guise of defending the “middle class”

By Patrick Martin, 12 February 2013

Obama is calling for further deficit-reduction measures, including cuts in core social programs.

Pentagon chiefs reveal divisions over Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 12 February 2013

Tactical differences have emerged within the Obama administration over how best to prosecute its strategy for regime-change in Syria.

In the Italian elections, Rifondazione Comunista emerges as a bourgeois party

By Marc Wells, 12 February 2013

Rifondazione is joining the Citizens’ Revolution alliance of prosecutor Antonio Ingroia, completing its transformation into a bourgeois party.

Tunisian government begins to unravel

By Antoine Lerougetel, 12 February 2013

The murder last Wednesday of anti-Islamist politician Chokri Belaïd has undermined the government coalition, whose main component is the Islamist Ennahda Party.

The role of Germany in the war in Mali

By Wolfgang Weber, 12 February 2013

Germany is expanding its participation in the French colonial war in Mali from week to week.

UK horsemeat scandal spreads to Europe

By Barry Mason, 12 February 2013

A European Union-wide health alert has been issued after Findus France recalled products.

The New York City school bus strike and the for-profit student transportation industry

By Dan Brennan, 12 February 2013

Mayor Bloomberg’s attack on school bus workers’ job security is not merely a matter of individual cold-bloodedness, but rather the product of a decades-long process of deregulation and privatization.

US food assistance benefits face cut in November

By Shannon Jones, 12 February 2013

A family of three could lose up to $300 a year in food benefits this coming November.

UK government implements cuts in South East London Healthcare Trust

By Rick Wilson, 12 February 2013

The coalition government is to press ahead with serious cuts to heath services in south east London.

Cuts in fire protection leading to deaths in Detroit

By Lawrence Porter, 12 February 2013

A series of brutal budget cuts to the Detroit Fire Department and other social services is producing the foreseeable outcome: the death of Detroit residents.

Greek government imposes martial law on ferry strikers

By Christoph Dreier, 7 February 2013

The criminalization of striking workers harks back to the police state conditions that prevailed under the fascist regime of the Greek colonels some 40 years ago.

US Postal Service announces plan to end Saturday mail delivery

By James Brewer, 7 February 2013

The postmaster general announced a $2 billion cost-cutting measure that would end Saturday mail service by August.

Ireland’s United Left Alliance collapses

By Dermot Quinn, 7 February 2013

The attempt to bring Ireland’s main “left” groups together has come to a swift end.

Dead children used to provide identification for UK undercover police

By Dave Hyland, 7 February 2013

British undercover police used the identities of dead children.

Kremlin responds to slowdown in economic growth with deeper social cuts

By Clara Weiss, 7 February 2013

The budget for 2013-2015 provides for massive cuts in the spheres of culture, education and health, while the share going to military spending will rise to 6.1 percent of GDP.

Firms make billions as middlemen in government cover-up of Wall Street crimes

By Andre Damon, 7 February 2013

US financial regulators increasingly rely on “independent investigators” who, in the guise of helping regulators find wrongdoing, help financial firms cover up their fraudulent activities.

Bloomberg presses attack on striking New York City school bus drivers

By Jerry White, 7 February 2013

The strike by nearly 9,000 New York City school bus workers entered its fourth week today with the Bloomberg administration preparing to accept bids from private school bus contractors without long-standing job and wage protections.

Democrats join bid to strangle New York City bus drivers strike

By Bill Van Auken, 7 February 2013

Pretending to support both striking bus workers and parents, New York City’s Democratic politicians have joined the union in calling for a “cooling-off period” and negotiations on cost-cutting givebacks.

Obama administration claims power to authorize pre-emptive cyberwar strikes

By Joseph Kishore, 5 February 2013

Secret legal arguments prepared by the government are part of an effort to expand cyberwar strikes against other countries, particularly Iran and China.

Greek government threatens striking ferry workers with martial law

By Christoph Dreier, 5 February 2013

The Greek government has announced that it intends to ban a strike by ferry workers against wage cuts and sackings and place the workers under martial law.

Alabama standoff ends with death of hostage-taker

By David Walsh, 5 February 2013

The standoff between authorities and Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam War veteran who shot a school bus driver and then abducted a five-year-old boy, ended Monday afternoon.

Britain: Closure plans for Trafford General Hospital’s Accident & Emergency unit approved

By Tony Robson, 5 February 2013

The closure of the Accident & Emergency unit at Trafford General Hospital in Greater Manchester, the hospital where the National Health Service was founded, has been approved.

UK youth face bleak job prospects in 2013

By Joe Mount, 5 February 2013

Youth unemployment continues to rise in the UK, with a new study forecasting that 86,000 more workers under the age of 25 will be without jobs this year.

New England supermarket workers face contract battle

By Mike Ingram, 5 February 2013

Supermarket chain Stop & Shop has set up scab hiring centers in preparation for the February 23 expiration of a contract covering 36,000 workers.

US economy contracted in fourth quarter of 2012

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2013

The Commerce Department report highlights the disconnect between the bleak economic conditions facing working people and the staggering rise in corporate profits and stock and bond prices.

With death toll rising, Egypt’s opposition calls for talks with Mursi

By Bill Van Auken, 31 January 2013

With the death toll in Egypt’s protests having climbed to near 60, the head of the main bourgeois opposition coalition has called for talks with President Mursi.

French Renault and PSA unions try to block fight against plant closures

By Antoine Lerougetel, 31 January 2013

The CGT and other unions are negotiating with PSA and Peugeot-Citroen on arrangements for plant closures and new competitiveness deals.

EMS cuts delayed ambulance in fatal Detroit fire

By Lawrence Porter, 31 January 2013

Anger is growing over the death of a six-year-old boy in a Southwest Detroit house fire.

Desperate US students seek “arrangements”

By Nancy Hanover, 31 January 2013

There has been an explosive growth of a new business model organized by a variety of exploitive American entrepreneurs.

At University of Michigan symposium Angela Davis offers political cover for Obama

By Helen Halyard and Shannon Jones, 31 January 2013

In recent years, Davis has been brought forward as part of an effort to give an oppositional gloss to the Democratic Party.

Burger scandal reveals food adulteration in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 31 January 2013

This latest case of adulterated food products demonstrates how the search for higher profits has compromised public health.

California governor’s State of the State speech celebrates austerity

By Dan Conway, 31 January 2013

Democratic Governor Jerry Brown used the speech to present himself as a reliable proponent of austerity.

An answer to the Washington Teachers’ Union

By Nick Barrickman and Jerry White, 31 January 2013

While parents, teachers and students want to fight the school closures, the WTU declares that its job is to be the advocate for those who “will ultimately be displaced.”

Revolutionary Socialists offer their services to the Egyptian bourgeoisie

By Chris Marsden, 31 January 2013

With the eruption of the mass movements against Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the RS came forward as the chief advocate of a united movement of the Islamists and liberal bourgeois parties to block social revolution.