World News

Alberta’s NDP government imposes wage and hiring freezes on public sector

By Janet Browning and Roger Jordan, 30 December 2017

The NDP’s anti-working class austerity measures are aimed at wooing big business, which has rallied behind the newly-established United Conservative Party.

US and India pressure Sri Lanka over port deal with China

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 December 2017

Mounting government debt has forced the Colombo government to turn to China for financial help.

Australian police handed more military weaponry

By John Roberts, 30 December 2017

The provision of assault rifles to the New South Wales riot squad is part of an international process of police militarisation to deal with growing social tensions.

New Zealand government offers false promises to reduce poverty

By Tom Peters, 30 December 2017

The Labour-led government’s meagre welfare increases and social spending are subordinate to keeping corporate taxes low and upgrading the military.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Hyundai autoworkers rejected pay deal; Taiwan workers protest industrial laws

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 December 2017

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

Cold wave, house fires prove lethal for US homeless, poor

By Patrick Martin, 29 December 2017

The current bout of severe weather has created conditions for an upsurge in fatal house fires, accidents and deaths due to exposure.

Macron turns France’s labor decrees on auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2017

The announcement of mass layoffs by Europe’s second-largest automaker is part of a relentless international assault on workers' jobs, working conditions and social rights.

Over 700 Yemeni civilians killed and wounded by US-backed Saudi airstrikes in December

By Bill Van Auken, 29 December 2017

The savage intensification of the Saudi bombing campaign is a function of both Riyadh’s frustration over the stalemate in its war and the unstinting support of Washington.

Australian dramatic arts workers defend Geoffrey Rush, denounce #MeToo witch-hunt

By our reporters, 29 December 2017

“There’s nothing progressive about the #MeToo campaign. Its methods attack long established legal rights.”

Australian car attack highlights mental healthcare crisis

By Will Morrow, 29 December 2017

The political and media establishment has sought to channel the natural humanitarian response toward the victims in a reactionary direction.

Russia charges Pentagon with training ex-ISIS fighters

By Bill Van Auken, 28 December 2017

The report that the US is training former ISIS militants is one more indication that Washington is preparing a new phase of the war in Syria.

“The government has done nothing”

Months after hurricane, Puerto Rican workers face worsening jobs crisis

By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 28 December 2017

The economic devastation of Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria continues to escalate three months after the storm made landfall in late September.

No decline in Michigan poverty since the Great Recession

By Debra Watson, 28 December 2017

Despite a drastic fall in the official unemployment rate since the Great Recession, the same percentage of households in Michigan are living below the poverty line.

Typhoon ravages southern Philippines

By John Roberts, 28 December 2017

A significant factor in the deaths and injuries was the failure of the authorities to evacuate people from the most vulnerable areas.

Amazon begins operations in Australia

By Patrick Kelly, 28 December 2017

Amazon is notorious internationally for its appalling treatment of warehouse workers.

Anti-Chinese witch-hunt against New Zealand MP intensifies

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2017

Deputy Prime Minister Peters denounced Yang as a “Manchurian candidate.”

UK steps up provocations against Russia

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 27 December 2017

The effort to play up the passage of a Russian warship through the North Sea on Christmas Day is only the latest example of the UK’s escalating propaganda campaign against Russia.

European Union threatens to impose sanctions on Poland

By Clara Weiss, 27 December 2017

The conflict between Brussels and Warsaw is an expression of the ongoing breakup of the European Union.

UK Conservatives seek closer economic ties with China

By Jean Shaoul, 27 December 2017

The announcement points to the divergence between Britain’s commercial interests and those of its foremost ally, the United States.

Toxic contamination zone expanded around Australia’s Williamtown air force base

By Patrick Davies, 27 December 2017

The suddenly re-drawn “red zone” encompasses another 250 households who were previously told that their properties were not affected and no health precautions were necessary.

South Korea’s deadliest fire in a decade leaves 29 dead

By Ben McGrath, 27 December 2017

The tragedy highlights the ruling elite’s utter disregard for safety and public planning in the quest for profits.

Left Alliance wins Nepal’s elections

By W. A. Sunil, 27 December 2017

In response to the alliance’s victory, the US and India will intensify their interventions to combat China’s growing influence in the country.

Pentagon admits presence of US troops in Yemen as cholera cases top one million

By Bill Van Auken, 23 December 2017

Washington is deepening the catastrophe in Yemen as part of its war preparations against Iran, threatening the lives of millions.

Democratic Party witch-hunters target Green Party candidate Jill Stein

By Statement of the Political Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 23 December 2017

The Socialist Equality Party condemns the targeting of Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate in the 2016 election, by Democrats in the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Notes on police violence

Bexar County, Texas police shoot and kill six-year-old boy

By Trévon Austin, 23 December 2017

Sheriff’s deputies, firing at a fleeing woman, shot and killed six-year-old Kameron Prescott when at least one round pierced through the wall of his San Antonio-area mobile home.

UN imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 23 December 2017

The latest measures, drawn up by Washington, represent a last-ditch attempt to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Japan’s cabinet approves draft budget that boosts the military

By Ben McGrath, 23 December 2017

Tokyo’s buildup of weaponry further aligns it with the US in preparation for war with North Korea and China.

Amazon worker dies after vomiting blood at Sacramento, California fulfillment center

By Kristina Betinis, 23 December 2017

This is at least the third death in recent months for the world’s largest online retailer, and the company has nearly doubled its workforce for holiday sales.

First “foreign fighter” arrest in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 December 2017

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton seized upon Betka’s arrest to justify the creation of the government’s “security” super-ministry.

Wildcat strike stops production as workers eject union leaders at Ford Romania

By Eric London, 23 December 2017

The spontaneous walkout took place the day after Ford and the union agreed to a sellout contract with similar terms as those imposed on workers in the US and Canada.

Social inequality and Germany’s government crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2017

Social inequality has reached a scale that is no longer compatible with democratic forms of rule.

The contradictions of the bitcoin-blockchain frenzy

By Nick Beams, 23 December 2017

In seeking to grasp the significance of the present frenzy, it is worth recalling the analysis made by Marx of previous financial bubbles, in particular those associated with the expansion of the credit system, which began in the mid-nineteenth century.

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) stands for local government elections

By our correspondents, 23 December 2017

The SEP is the only party contesting the elections on an internationalist and socialist program against the looming threat of a world war, social counter-revolution and dictatorial rule.

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

German police publicly name and shame G20 protesters

By Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2017

In an unlawful act, the police and state prosecutor have published online the photos of hundreds of demonstrators five months after the G20 protests.

Court ruling allows Canadian spies to conduct mass surveillance of cellphones

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 December 2017

Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton ruled that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service can make use of cellphone surveillance technology to carry out warrantless spying.

Maldives and China sign free trade agreement

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 December 2017

Maldives has become a focal point of geo-political rivalry between the US and India on one side and China on the other.

Mentally ill man drives vehicle into crowd in Melbourne, Australia

By James Cogan, 22 December 2017

Police initially said they had no evidence of any connection to terrorism but the authorities may still be seeking to link the incident to Islamic-inspired terrorism.

Australian university overturns student union election result

By Will Morrow, 22 December 2017

The University of Wollongong administration’s intervention is part of a broader crackdown on students’ democratic rights across the country.

Continuing attacks on New Zealand public transport workers’ jobs and wages

By our reporters, 22 December 2017

The Labour Party-aligned Auckland and Wellington councils are moving to axe jobs and working conditions.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

US will “compel” North Korea to denuclearise

By Peter Symonds, 21 December 2017

Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster said the president had ordered him to “to continue to refine a military option should we have to use it.”

South Korean and Chinese leaders meet over North Korea, economic ties

By Ben McGrath, 21 December 2017

The summit between the two presidents will do nothing to alleviate the growing danger of war in Northeast Asia.

South Africa’s ANC taps multi-millionaire ex-union chief Cyril Ramaphosa as leader

By Eddie Haywood, 21 December 2017

Since coming to power in 1994, the ANC has represented a corrupt layer of the black elite, ruling at the expense of the masses of workers.

US law enforcement cracks down on opioid users, lets drug companies off the hook

By Brian Dixon, 21 December 2017

The response of the ruling class to the opioid epidemic has been to pursue overdose victims’ friends, while ignoring the pharmaceutical companies largely responsible for the crisis.

Australian cabinet reshuffle highlights underlying political turmoil

By Mike Head, 21 December 2017

Three new super-ministries point to an agenda of war preparations, social spending cuts and attacks on working conditions.

German Social Democratic Party follows the path of far-right Alternative for Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 December 2017

Ex-SPD leader and acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is calling for his party to adopt the right-wing nationalist policies of Alternative for Germany.

Haitian audit report on PetroCaribe corruption deepens crisis of Moïse goverment

By John Marion, 21 December 2017

Funds from the PetroCaribe agreement, intended for public works projects, were instead used to line the pockets of politically connected corporations.

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship announces run for US Senate

By Clement Daly, 21 December 2017

The former Massey Coal CEO, convicted and jailed in connection with the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, has announced his bid for Democrat Joe Manchin’s Senate seat.

Bitcoin speculation continues to surge

By Nick Beams, 21 December 2017

The appetites of financial speculators continue to be whetted by reports of huge gains made by hedge funds that specialise in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

OSHA dragging its feet investigating death of Pennsylvania Amazon worker Devan Shoemaker

By Douglas Lyons, 20 December 2017

28-year-old Devan Shoemaker was run over by a tractor-trailer while working for Amazon. He leaves behind a young son and wife.

Pentagon faces outrage for declaring Guantanamo art will burn

By E.B. Cohen, 20 December 2017

The Pentagon is directing its military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to confiscate detainees’ finished art and has threatened to destroy it.

Argentina’s Congress passes social security “reform” after violent crackdown on protesters

By Rafael Azul, 20 December 2017

Mass protests have erupted against the vote in the lower house for pension legislation that will slash benefits for more than 40 percent of the Argentine population.

Australian government ends year with more austerity cuts

By James Cogan, 20 December 2017

The “improvement” to the budget is coming from the ongoing assault on the living standards of the working class.

Trump unveils “America First” national security strategy

By Bill Van Auken, 19 December 2017

Behind the hackneyed campaign-style speech delivered by Trump Monday, the US military and intelligence apparatus is preparing for world war.

Far-right party enters Austrian government

By Peter Schwarz, 19 December 2017

Politicians with close ties to the neo-Nazi scene and ultra-right circles now wield power in Austria.

Puerto Rico governor orders review of official hurricane death toll

By Niles Niemuth, 19 December 2017

The review comes amid growing anger on the island and media reports that the true death toll from Hurricane Maria could exceed 1,000.

Political warfare escalates over Mueller investigation into Trump-Russia claims

By Patrick Martin, 19 December 2017

Trump’s right-wing media supporters are warning of an FBI-led “coup” while Democrats suggest that Trump is about to fire the special prosecutor and trigger a constitutional crisis.

Few facts in horrific death of Canton, Ohio meat packing worker Samuel Martinez

By Shannon Jones, 19 December 2017

As is typical, the media has dealt with this tragedy in a perfunctory manner, seeking to conceal the social implications of the industrial carnage taking place in the United States.

MSF survey provides clear evidence of the Burmese military’s mass murder

By John Roberts, 19 December 2017

Médecins Sans Frontières conservatively estimated that 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Burma’s Rakhine state in the month August 25 to September 24.

Washington and Honduras seek to crush opposition to fraudulent re-election

By Andrea Lobo, 19 December 2017

The Honduran government and the OAS are coordinating with Washington to impose a fraudulent election using virtually the same methods as in the 2009 military coup.

Australian government returns refugees to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2017

Successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have forcibly deported asylum-seekers to Colombo, where they face imprisonment and torture.

Australian by-election underscores ongoing political instability

By our reporter, 19 December 2017

The campaign in the Sydney seat of Bennelong was dominated by mutual political mudslinging and the promotion of anti-Chinese xenophobia.

Why is Canada’s Liberal government endorsing the #MeToo witch-hunt?

By Roger Jordan, 19 December 2017

The Trudeau government’s goal is to use #MeToo to mobilize support for its reactionary militarist foreign policy among a well-heeled section of the middle class on the basis of identity politics.

Horrific death at Ohio meatpacking plant

Industrial carnage continues in US workplaces

By Jerry White, 18 December 2017

A 62-year-old immigrant worker is the latest victim in a wave of industrial fatalities in the US. On-the-job injuries claim nearly 5,000 lives every year.

UPS worker killed at Atlanta hub

By Steve Filips, 18 December 2017

William Stubbs, 51, a 17-year UPS employee was killed while unloading a trailer parked at a dock.

“The poverty is no longer hidden by the trees”

Hurricane Maria exposes the conditions of life for the working class in Caguas, Puerto Rico

By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 18 December 2017

Workers and youth from Caguas, Puerto Rico, spoke to WSWS reporters about life without power, electricity and running water, nearly 100 days after Hurricane Maria.

UN rapporteur “shocked” by deep poverty in US

By Eric London, 18 December 2017

A statement by UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston details the nightmarish conditions faced by tens of millions of impoverished Americans and condemns the US government for human rights abuses.

More sexual harassment allegations hit congressmen, media and entertainment figures

By Patrick Martin, 18 December 2017

Nevada Representative Ruben Kihuen became the seventh congressman to have his career ended by allegations of sexual misconduct.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Trade conflicts deepen at WTO meeting

By Nick Beams, 18 December 2017

In a move directed against China, the US, Japan and the European Union agreed to take joint action on “severe excess capacity” in steel and other commodities.

UN condemns Iraq’s mass hanging of accused ISIS fighters

By Bill Van Auken, 18 December 2017

The mass execution constitutes one more war crime in the bloody US-backed war in Iraq and Syria.

Right-wing extremists enter government in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 18 December 2017

In a country where the ruling class resorted to dictatorship in the early 1930s, and largely backed the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the shadow of the past has returned.

Peru’s President Kuczynski facing impeachment

By Juan Gonzáles, 18 December 2017

Even as bribery and corruption charges threaten to bring down the president, an attempt is being made to strengthen the Peruvian state.

The United States of Inequality

By Andre Damon, 18 December 2017

As Congress rushes to pass a tax bill that will transfer trillions of dollars to the financial oligarchy, it is becoming impossible to overlook the all-pervasive scale of social inequality in the United States.

Oppose media witch-hunt against “the left” over Grenfell fire

By Robert Stevens, 18 December 2017

The aim is to conceal the fact that, half a year on, no one has been questioned about, let alone arrested for, the inferno that killed more than 70 people.

Republicans release final bill to slash taxes for US corporations and the rich

By Barry Grey, 16 December 2017

The $1.5 trillion tax cut will dramatically expand the transfer of wealth and income in America from the bottom to the top.

Opposition mounts to sexual harassment witch-hunt

By Joseph Kishore, 16 December 2017

With the initial shock of the campaign beginning to wane, opposition is emerging from some of those targeted, including PBS personality Tavis Smiley.

US secretary of state issues new ultimatum to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 16 December 2017

If North Korea does not give up its nuclear arsenal, the US is not only demanding an international economic blockade, but preparing to attack Pyongyang.

“The rich people are not going to do anything for us”

University of Puerto Rico students speak on inequality and the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria

By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 16 December 2017

Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a WSWS reporting team spoke to students at the island’s only public university about the ongoing crisis and the way forward for workers and youth.

Government report details human rights violations at US immigration detention centers

By Norisa Diaz, 16 December 2017

According to a Department of Homeland Security report, inhumane treatment, lack of health, food, and safety provisions are rampant at both government and for-profit detention centers.

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By Johannes Stern, 16 December 2017

Despite the ongoing government crisis, all the German bourgeois parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

Australia high court ruling imposes greater restrictions on industrial action

By Terry Cook, 16 December 2017

The court decision is another means for banning industrial action and imposing heavy fines and penalties on workers seeking to defend their wages and conditions.

Jens Stoltenberg and Angelina Jolie call for NATO intervention to promote “gender equality”

By Julie Hyland, 16 December 2017

In a modern day-twist to the “white man’s burden”, NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and actress Angelina Jolie advocate the fight for “cultural change” and “gender equality” through the barrel of a gun.

Indian Trotskyists hold meeting for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 16 December 2017

The Sriperumbudur public meeting was held despite the illegal attempt by Indian police to disrupt it.

After ten days, largest of Southern California wildfires continues to rage

By Dan Conway, 15 December 2017

As the massive wildfires that engulf Southern California continue, a fire that consumed portions of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhood is being blamed on the city’s homeless.

The end of net neutrality and the fight to defend the free internet

By Andre Damon, 15 December 2017

Thursday’s move by the US government to end net neutrality seeks to usher in an age when corporations and the government decide what people can and cannot access online.

Construction worker killed in horrific incident at Australian gas project

By John Harris, 15 December 2017

The tragic death at the INPEX gas project was not an aberration but the result of increasing company productivity demands ratified by the unions.

Beijing warns against Australia’s anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 December 2017

The Chinese regime is fearful that the Australian government’s draconian “foreign interference” legislation could be used as a precedent by the US and its allies.

Amid escalating corruption scandal, top UAW operatives step down

By Shannon Jones, 15 December 2017

The ongoing federal corruption investigation and growing worker anger and militancy are fueling an apparent crisis in the top echelons of the United Auto Workers union.

Lessons of the Alabama election

By Patrick Martin, 14 December 2017

Following the Alabama election and the defeat of Roy Moore, the Democrats are intensifying their campaign against Trump based on allegations of sexual misconduct and anti-Russia hysteria.

“Ford and big companies don’t care if you live or not”

Ford workers speak out on Kentucky Truck worker’s death

By Jessica Goldstein and Jerry White, 14 December 2017

A coroner ruled that Ivan Bridgewater, 41, died of blunt force trauma under still unexplained circumstances.

Trump administration scotches suggestion of talks with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 December 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s offer of talks without pre-condition was quickly followed by a White House official declaring that “now is not the time.”

Germany: SPD and Christian Democrats initiate exploratory talks on new government

By Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

The leaderships of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats met yesterday for the first talks on forming a new government.

Italy’s “Black Wave” of neo-fascist attacks

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

Around 10,000 demonstrators protested last Saturday in the northern Italian city of Como against the “Black Wave”, the increase of neo-fascist attacks throughout the country.

Top Peruvian businessmen arrested in Odebrecht bribery scandal

By Cesar Uco, 14 December 2017

The Odebrecht scandal has played an increasing role in deepening Peru’s economic and political crises.

Sri Lankan unions betray railway workers’ strike

By W.A. Sunil, 14 December 2017

Rail unions axed the strike because it represented a direct challenge to the government’s austerity policies and threatened to draw in other sections of workers.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Corporate Democrat Doug Jones defeats far-right evangelical Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

By Barry Grey, 13 December 2017

The Democratic victory was the result of a larger-than expected turnout of more than 40 percent, with voting high, compared to previous elections, especially among African Americans and young people.