World News

German media, politicians praise Obama for military-police lockdown of Boston

By Johannes Stern, 23 April 2013

Commentaries in the media and by leading political figures on the events in Boston throw a spotlight on the undemocratic character of the German ruling elite.

Detroit emergency manager proclaims power to end collective bargaining

By James Brewer, 23 April 2013

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr claims he is under no legal obligation to participate in bargaining with public safety employees, including police, firefighters and emergency medical responders.

UK: 50,000 march to save Stafford Hospital

By Ben York and Paul Mitchell, 23 April 2013

The massive turnout to protest plans to close Stafford Hospital testifies to the determination of local residents and hospital staff to protect services.

Mass evictions continue in Spain

By Franci Vier and Paul Mitchell, 23 April 2013

None of the main demands of the anti-evictions petition launched by the Mortgage Victims Platform have been included in a new law by the Popular Party.

Supreme Court bars US lawsuits against overseas human rights abuses

By John Burton, 23 April 2013

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that foreign citizens subjected to human rights abuses outside the US cannot sue corporations or individuals in US courts.

Interview with Paul Hoffman, lawyer for the plaintiffs

By John Burton, 23 April 2013

Paul Hoffman, a partner in the Venice, California law firm of Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, Hoffman & Harrison, has been representing plaintiffs in cases under the Alien Tort Statute for the last 30 years.

German Left Party supports imperialist intervention in Syria

By Johannes Stern, 23 April 2013

The Left Party has responded to the intensification of imperialist intervention in Syria by working more openly with right-wing Islamist forces and US imperialism.

Ontario Liberals to keep raising post-secondary tuition fees

By Dylan Lubao, 19 April 2013

Ontario’s NDP-backed minority Liberal government has announced plans to raise university tuition fees to $8,000 by 2016.

Child poverty in US among the highest in developed world

By Nick Barrickman, 18 April 2013

A new report by the United Nations details the growing levels of poverty facing children in the major capitalist countries, with the US ranking near the bottom on all metrics.

Media hysteria grows over Boston bombing

By Barry Grey, 18 April 2013

While the nation, including the people of Boston, have remained calm, deeply saddened and shocked by the bombings as they are, the media and their leading personnel present a picture of disorientation and panic.

IMF slashes world growth outlook

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2013

The International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2013 outlook for the world economy Tuesday amid mounting signs that the global slump is intensifying.

Sequestration cuts hit Michigan

By Lawrence Porter, 18 April 2013

As a result of the sequester cuts signed by President Obama, $150 million will be cut from programs that particularly affect the poor in Michigan.

German SPD conference approves election program

By Christoph Dreier, 18 April 2013

The Social Democratic Party Augsburg conference sent a clear message that the party agrees with the Merkel government’s austerity policy.

Britain’s involvement in assassination of Congo’s Lumumba confirmed

By Jean Shaoul, 18 April 2013

A senior British politician has revealed Britain’s involvement in the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s first prime minister.

Floods devastate Argentina

By Rafael Azul, 18 April 2013

Torrential storms and floods affected 450,000 people and killed 58 in Argentina.

New York stop-and-frisk trial bares massive police abuse

By Sandy English, 18 April 2013

Plaintiffs in an ongoing federal trial have alleged that New York’s Police Department has violated the constitutional rights of millions of people in its decade-long stop-and-frisk program.

Homeless in San Diego, California

Life on the street in “America’s Finest City”

By Jake Dean and Toby Reese, 18 April 2013

San Diego, California ranks third in the nation for the number of homeless, with estimates of 10,000.

Mass layoffs in Illinois

By Shane Feratu and Jeff Lusanne, 18 April 2013

A large number of companies in Illinois have announced closures and job cuts.

The US Justice Department brief for the assassination of US citizens

Part one

By Tom Carter and Eric London, 18 April 2013

Since the publication of the white paper, leading figures in the US political establishment have declared that the asserted power to assassinate includes the power to kill US citizens on US soil.

Locked-out American Crystal workers narrowly pass concessions contract

By Michael Stapleton, 18 April 2013

The ratification ended the 20-month lockout by American Crystal Sugar Company.

Media rush to judgment in Boston Marathon bombing

By Barry Grey, 16 April 2013

At least three people were killed and 144 wounded, including 15 with critical injuries, by two bomb explosions in downtown Boston.

Syrian opposition militia declares allegiance to Al Qaeda

By Niall Green, 16 April 2013

The leading fighting group in the US-backed war against the Syrian government has announced its loyalty to Al Qaeda.

German Defence Minister prevented from speaking at Berlin’s Humboldt University

By Ernst Wolff, 16 April 2013

Protesting students in Berlin prevented Germany’s Defence Minister Thomas from delivering a lecture.

US Head Start preschool program hit with sequester cuts

By Danielle DeSaxe, 16 April 2013

The Obama administration has announced that Head Start, a federally funded program that provides preschool for low-income families, will face cuts.

British banks engulfed in new scandals

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2013

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking declared that HBOS crashed after a lack of risk controls, rapid and aggressive expansion and poor management amounting to a “colossal failure” on the part of bank executives

Narrow victory for Maduro in Venezuelan elections

By Rafael Azul, 16 April 2013

Nicolás Maduro won Sunday’s presidential election in Venezuela by a razor-thin margin that reflected mounting social discontent.

Health workers in southern England forced to sign new low-pay contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 16 April 2013

TQtwentyone, a large National Health Service provider operating in southern England, is seeking to cut workers’ pay, terms and conditions.

Cahuzac affair exposes bankruptcy of French petty-bourgeois “left”

By Anthony Torres, 16 April 2013

The scandal over tax evasion by former Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac, which has destabilised the government of President François Hollande, exposes the entire French political establishment.

Obama budget slashes Social Security, Medicare

By Andre Damon, 11 April 2013

US President Barack Obama unveiled his budget proposal Wednesday, calling for a historic attack on Medicare and Social Security.

Newark, New Jersey students protest education cuts

By Dan Brennan, 11 April 2013

Hundreds of high school students in Newark, New Jersey walked out of class Tuesday to protest millions of dollars in education cuts.

British parliament unites in praise of Margaret Thatcher

By Julie Hyland, 11 April 2013

The recall of Britain’s parliament was the occasion for the government and opposition Labour Party to applaud Margaret Thatcher’s right-wing nostrums and assault on the working class.

US inflames North Korean missile scare

By Joseph Santolan, 11 April 2013

Washington has set in motion a regional game of geopolitical brinkmanship in which the stakes are the possibility of nuclear war.

Brazil’s economy beset by inflation, lagging production

By Bill Van Auken, 11 April 2013

The inflation spike has been driven by a sharp rise in the price of food and other consumer items, with the impact felt acutely by Brazil’s working class and poor.

The attack on UK health care and the case of Leeds General Infirmary

By Liz Smith, 11 April 2013

The ongoing crisis of Leeds General Infirmary, in which child heart surgery provision was suspended, reveals the grave consequences of the deliberate running down of National Health Service resources.

Germany: Bundestag allows police access to private PINs and passwords

By Johann Müller, 11 April 2013

Revisions to the German Telecommunication Act legalise the monitoring of private data stored on mobile phones and in the Internet.

What is the Common Core US education initiative?

By Allison Smith and Phyllis Scherrer, 11 April 2013

Common Core standards are being implemented in K-12 classrooms across the US this year. They have been promoted by the Obama administration, corporations and teachers’ unions.

Common Core: A California kindergarten teacher’s experience

By our reporter, 11 April 2013

A kindergarten teacher in the Long Beach Unified School District in Southern California spoke with the WSWS about the impact of the Common Core curriculum.

US states de-fund public education through expanded voucher schemes

By Zac Corrigan, 11 April 2013

Various state programs divert an ever-increasing amount of funding from the public education system to private schools.

Detroit area gas explosion reveals deadly state of pipeline infrastructure

By James Brewer, 11 April 2013

Utility company Consumers Energy released an interim report that covers up its responsibility in a recent lethal explosion.

Stalinist daily l’Humanité defends French government in Cahuzac scandal

By Olivier Laurent, 11 April 2013

The Stalinist daily’s April 3 editorial on ex-budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac’s confession to tax evasion defends the Socialist Party government.

General Motors in drive to cut skilled trades jobs in US plants

By Shannon Jones, 11 April 2013

GM is seeking to eliminate skilled and high seniority workers in order to slash costs.

European Union demands cuts after Portuguese court rules bailout unconstitutional

By Paul Mitchell, 9 April 2013

The Portuguese Constitutional Court’s ruling against EU budget cuts reveals the politically criminal and illegal basis of the pan-European onslaught on the working class.

Obama defends plan to cut Medicare and Social Security

By Andre Damon, 9 April 2013

After media reports that the Obama administration plans to slash Medicare and Social Security in its latest budget proposal due to be released Wednesday, government officials have been seeking to diffuse popular opposition to the cuts.

Communities across US feel impact of sequestration cuts

By Kate Randall, 9 April 2013

The effects of the sequestration order signed by President Obama on March 1 began to be felt in earnest beginning April 1.

South Korea prepares for war amid US-China stand-off

By Ben McGrath, 9 April 2013

As the US escalates tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South Korean bourgeoisie has moved to aggressively implement its own militaristic agenda.

European Union imposes austerity bailout on Cyprus

By Robert Stevens, 9 April 2013

The terms dictated to Cyprus by the European Union in exchange for a bailout are predicated on the destruction of the pay and conditions of the working class.

Britain: South West NHS Pay Cartel publishes plans to cut wages and conditions

By Ajanta Silva, 9 April 2013

The final business plan of the National Health Service management in the south west of England serves as a blueprint for reducing the pay and conditions for workers throughout the NHS.

Thousands of scientists protest US cuts to medical research

By Nick Barrickman, 9 April 2013

Up to 15,000 scientists from around the country attended Monday’s rally, which was called by the American Association for Cancer Research.

AT&T workers reject contract, face déjà vu betrayal by union

By Juan Verala Luz and Marc Wells, 9 April 2013

AT&T West workers resoundingly rejected a proposed contract that would have capped wages at $22 an hour and offered paltry health care plans.

California union supports Democratic-sponsored attack on teachers

By Juan Verala Luz and Marc Wells, 9 April 2013

Proposed California Assembly Bill 375, sponsored by Democrats and supported by the union, expedites the firing of teachers.

Washington escalates Syria intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 4 April 2013

The US and Jordanian militaries have stepped up a program to train thousands of armed fighters to send into Syria with the aim of carving out a buffer zone in the south of the country.

China appeals for calm amid fears of war over US escalation in Korea

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2013

Chinese officials appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula yesterday, as the United States deployed missiles and further military forces to East Asia.

Largest ever welfare cuts come into force in Britain

By Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2013

This month, historic cuts in welfare provision come into force, driving millions further into destitution.

California governor seeks end to federal prison oversight

By Norisa Diaz, 4 April 2013

California is seeking to regain oversight of its vast prison system, arguing that it has made adequate improvements in mental health care and overcrowding.

Canada’s government suppresses scientific reporting

By Carl Bronski, 4 April 2013

Canada’s Conservative government has muzzled government scientists as part of a systematic campaign to manipulate and suppress scientific information.

European unemployment rises for 22nd consecutive month

By Stefan Steinberg, 4 April 2013

The latest figures from the Eurostat statistics office confirm that the continent’s economic recession is taking a rising toll on jobs and living standards.

French Budget Minister Cahuzac resigns over hidden bank account

By Olivier Laurent and Alex Lantier, 4 April 2013

France’s Socialist Party government in crisis after its former budget minister admitted to lying about a Swiss bank account hidden from tax authorities.

As government crisis drags on

Italian president appoints expert commissions

By Marianne Arens, 4 April 2013

The ruling class in Italy is desperately seeking to override the election result of February 25 and develop a political mechanism to continue the austerity policies that were decisively rejected by the electorate.

SYRIZA makes political pact with the nationalist right

By Christoph Dreier, 4 April 2013

The alliance with right-wing nationalists clearly shows SYRIZA’s class character.

Atlanta testing scandal exposes fraud of anti-public school “reform”

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 3 April 2013

The types of practices exposed in Atlanta are the inevitable outcome of the reactionary drive to dismantle public education in the name of “reform.”

Costs of Iraq, Afghanistan wars could rise to $6 trillion

By Bill Van Auken, 2 April 2013

The costs of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will total $4 trillion to $6 trillion, according to a new research paper published by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Greek parliament overturns right to free, universal education

By Robert Stevens, 2 April 2013

The cynically-named Athena Plan, calling for mass closures of universities and technical institutions, was passed in flagrant violation of the Greek constitution.

Approval of Stockton, California bankruptcy paves way for new assault on workers’ pensions

By Gabriel Black, 2 April 2013

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled on Monday that the city of Stockton, California could proceed with the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

In Qatar, US-backed Afghan President Karzai makes overtures to Taliban

By Thomas Gaist, 2 April 2013

US-backed Afghan President Hamid Karzai travelled to Doha to make political overtures to the Taliban, as Taliban officials open an office in the Qatari capital.

Reports reveal rapid pauperisation of the Spanish working class

By Alejandro López, 2 April 2013

Recent statistical surveys attest to the massive drop in working class living standards in Spain since the onset of the global financial crisis.

Venezuela’s Maduro runs right-wing campaign in preparation for austerity

By Alexander Fangmann, 2 April 2013

Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, has run a right-wing campaign with overtures to the military and Catholic Church in preparation for cutbacks and austerity.

Russia presses ahead with the rebuilding of its military forces

By Clara Weiss, 2 April 2013

President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials have repeatedly stressed that the upgrading of Russia’s military capacity is a top priority of Kremlin policy.

Tenants angry over New York Housing Authority’s plans to sell to developers

By Alan Whyte, 2 April 2013

Tenants in New York City public housing voiced opposition to plans to lease public land to private developers.

Obama, Republicans plot sweeping attack on Medicare

By Fred Mazelis, 30 March 2013

The plan that is being discussed would restructure Medicare to impose major increases in deductible payments on millions of beneficiaries.

US deployment of stealth bombers escalates military standoff in Korea

By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2013

On Thursday, US officials announced that B-2 stealth bombers had flown from Whiteman Air Force Base in the United States to South Korea.

After Cyprus, more austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2013

Fresh from its financial looting of Cyprus, the European bourgeoisie is threatening to withhold funds from Greece unless it complies with mass sackings in the public sector.

US Supreme Court hears arguments on gay marriage

By Barry Grey, 30 March 2013

There is a clear issue of democratic rights in the same-sex marriage question. Having said that, claims that recognition of same-sex marriage signifies a new flowering of democratic rights lack any credibility.

Convicted Ponzi schemer Madoff accuses US government of stonewalling on bank prosecutions

By Andre Damon, 30 March 2013

Bernard Madoff, who admitted in 2009 to running a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, has charged that the government-appointed trustee for his firm’s investors is ignoring evidence of major banks’ complicity in his activities.

Detroit’s emergency manager keeps mayor, city council on payroll

By Bryan Dyne and Shannon Jones, 30 March 2013

Kevyn Orr’s first act as Detroit’s emergency financial manager was to restore the wages of the mayor and the city council.

UK health regulator reports on poor care of the elderly

By Ajanta Silva, 30 March 2013

The UK’s Care Quality Commission has produced a report documenting the severe deterioration in the quality of care for elderly people.

Quebec’s Option Nationale: An aspiring party of big business

By Richard Dufour, 30 March 2013

At its first full convention, Option Nationale—a party courted by the ostensibly leftwing Québec Solidaire— paraded its support for capitalism and indifference to poverty.

Illinois House approves pension cuts

By Alexander Fangmann, 30 March 2013

The Illinois House of Representatives has approved a bill all but eliminating cost-of-living increases and raising the retirement age for state workers.

Residents face bitter winter in New Zealand’s quake-hit city

By John Braddock, 30 March 2013

Two years after earthquakes devastated the country’s second biggest city, agencies in Christchurch are bracing themselves for worsening health problems and social distress.

New Jersey governor announces state takeover of Camden schools

By Elliott Vernon, 30 March 2013

Camden, among the poorest cities in the US, became the fourth city in New Jersey to see its public schools fall under state control.

Attempts to form Italian government collapse

By Marianne Arens, 28 March 2013

A month after Italian elections produced a hung parliament, the latest attempts to form a government have collapsed amid mass opposition to austerity.

Plans to vastly expand drones in US

By Fred Mazelis, 28 March 2013

After a decade of the use of drones as part of its “war on terror” abroad, the US government is preparing the American people for the routine use of drones inside the US.

US sequester cuts force NASA to halt outreach programs

By Bryan Dyne, 28 March 2013

NASA is halting all public outreach programs as a result of $900 million in budget cuts forced by the sequester.

Tensions high at Chrysler Warren Stamping in wake of victimization

By Shannon Jones, 28 March 2013

Skilled trades worker Alex Wassell was fired for opposing the Alternative Work Schedule, recently implemented at the plant.

Agreement reached between Turkish government and Kurdish nationalist PKK

By Justus Leicht, 28 March 2013

Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed Kurdish nationalist leader, called for a ceasefire on March 21, the traditional Kurdish Newroz festival.

More evidence emerges of torture by Spanish troops in Iraq

By Alejandro López, 28 March 2013

A video posted by the daily El País provides more evidence of the involvement of Spanish soldiers in mistreatment of detainees during the Iraq war.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland not exempt from threat of National Health Service destruction

By Steve James, 28 March 2013

All the regional devolved administrations in the UK are pushing ahead the assault on health care underway in England.

Europe in crisis as Cyprus faces national bankruptcy

By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden, 21 March 2013

The collapse of Cyprus’s financial system is being avoided only by the continued closure of the banks, which may be kept shut until next Tuesday.

On eve of emergency manager take-over

Unions move to ram through concessions against Detroit workers

By Jerry White and Bryan Dyne, 21 March 2013

The sweeping concessions demanded from teachers and the city’s municipal employees give a picture of the draconian measures planned for the entire working class.

US Senate budget bill makes sequester cuts permanent

By Andre Damon, 21 March 2013

The US Senate passed a “continuing resolution” bill to fund the US government through September, while paving the way for the implementation of furloughs for about 1 million federal government employees.

Osborne’s “Aspiration Nation” budget signals more UK austerity

By Paul Bond, 21 March 2013

Chancellor George Osborne’s budget speech has set out more money for British banks, speculators and major corporations, while workers face a continued wage freeze and greater cuts in social provision.

Unions approve closure of PSA’s Aulnay plant in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 21 March 2013

On Monday, the unions voted to accept the closure the PSA Peugeot-Citroën factory at Aulnay, cutting 3,000 jobs directly and 11,214 jobs throughout France.

D.C. Fire Department investigation highlights underfunding

By Adam Sagitov and Nick Barrickman, 21 March 2013

An audit by the emergency worker’s union exposed yet another attempt by the city government to undercut safety funding.

Los Angeles election results in May runoff between pro-business candidates

By Dan Conway and Thomas Gaist, 21 March 2013

Regardless of which candidate wins the May election, they will play an instrumental role in crafting the next austerity budget, as they have been in implementing brutal cost-cutting measures in the past.

Germany’s Left Party closes ranks with German intelligence

By Johannes Stern, 21 March 2013

The German Left Party is holding public meetings with top German intelligence officials in the wake of the NSU neo-Nazi scandal.

US funding bill to make sequester cuts permanent

Hundreds of thousands face unpaid furloughs

By Andre Damon, 19 March 2013

As the US government prepares to furlough hundreds of thousands of federal employees, Congress is moving to make $1.2 trillion in spending cuts implemented under the sequester process permanent.

Cyprus banks close as bailout terms spark Europe-wide crisis

By Jordan Shilton and Chris Marsden, 19 March 2013

Terms attached to the European Union bailout for Cypriot banks triggered heavy losses on financial markets.

The managed bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler: A model for the assault on Detroit

By Jerry White, 19 March 2013

Detroit’s new Emergency Financial Manager is considering a “managed bankruptcy” to slash jobs, wages and pensions.

Italy: Bridgestone wants to close plant in Bari

By Marianne Arens, 19 March 2013

Tyre manufacturer Bridgestone is responding to the declining European tyre market by cutting jobs in southern Italy.

Head of Canada’s NDP auditions before US elite

By Graham Beverley, 19 March 2013

Official Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair made a trip to Washington and New York last week to assure US business and political leaders that an NDP government would be a dependable ally of American imperialism.

Germany: Inquiry committee posts interim report on neo-Nazi terrorist group

By Sven Heymann, 19 March 2013

The report exposes how the police and secret service directly aided the extreme right in Thuringia.