World News

Coronavirus surges across US Midwest

By Bryan Dyne, 30 September 2020

The sharpest rise in new cases is in Wisconsin, where nearly one in five of those tested for the coronavirus tests positive.

Judge orders release of recordings in Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings

By Kevin Reed, 30 September 2020

The Kentucky Attorney General's exoneration of the police officers who shot Taylor is being exposed as part of a cover-up that began when she was killed in her apartment on March 13.

Desperation swells among millions of unemployed in the US as layoffs mount and aid dries up

By Jacob Crosse, 30 September 2020

Audits conducted within the last month in California, Wisconsin, Florida and Nevada reveal that millions of calls to unemployment agencies have gone unanswered.

Union shuts down Brazilian postal workers’ strike after court paves way for privatization

By Gabriel Lemos, 30 September 2020

The postal union federations kept the 35-day strike isolated, subordinating the workers’ struggle to the capitalist courts.

“They view soldiers as expendable”: Mother speaks out on son’s suicide at Fort Hood Army base

By Chase Lawrence, 30 September 2020

Patrician Troyan explained that her son, Pfc. Logan Castello, was isolated and neglected by the Army before his tragic death at the Texas military base in late 2019.

A wave of teacher protests spark staffing shortages and school closures across the US

By Emma Arceneaux, 30 September 2020

In addition to protests and work actions, states across the US are facing severe teacher and substitute shortages.

Zambia seeks suspension of debt service payments in Africa’s first pandemic-related default

By Stephan McCoy, 30 September 2020

The threat of the continent’s first COVID-related default testifies to the scale of the economic disaster affecting much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Indian and Chinese militaries dig in for prolonged border standoff, as “de-escalation” efforts flounder

By Rohantha De Silva and Keith Jones, 30 September 2020

Encouraged by Washington, India has taken an increasingly belligerent and provocative stance in its tense five-month-long border confrontation with China.

Australian police not charged over death of Aboriginal woman

By Karen Maxwell, 30 September 2020

The case demonstrates the increasing impunity with which the forces of the state treat the poorest and most oppressed sections of the working class.

With one million dead, governments abandon efforts to contain COVID-19 pandemic

By Andre Damon, 30 September 2020

The fall and winter months in America and Europe are expected to bring a major resurgence of the disease.

Historian Joseph Scalice responds to Stalinist Sison’s foul imagery

By Joseph Scalice, 30 September 2020

The bestial depiction of Leon Trotsky has its origins in the anti-semitism of the far right—a vicious heritage that Stalin embraced.

Former US prison warden testifies Assange will be treated like a “terrorist”: The “war on terror” comes home

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 30 September 2020

Baird’s testimony made clear that Assange is now the victim of the CIA-backed torture and rendition which he courageously exposed as WikiLeaks publisher and journalist.

Duterte extends Philippines “state of calamity” as pandemic worsens

By Owen Howell, 30 September 2020

The government is ramping up state repression as the country suffers its worst economic contraction in decades.

Armenian-Azeri fighting escalates as war danger surges across Middle East

By Alex Lantier, 29 September 2020

News that Washington may withdraw its diplomats and troops from Iraq point to the rising danger of global war before the November US presidential elections.

Sri Lankan government lies exposed as new COVID-19 infections emerge

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 29 September 2020

Despite the Rajapakse government’s boasting that it has curbed the pandemic, the working class is confronted with the threat that the virus could rapidly spread at any moment.

Federal district judge blocks President Trump’s TikTok download ban

By Kevin Reed, 29 September 2020

A US district court judge blocked Trump’s emergency ban of the video sharing app on Sunday, saying it violates the exchange of “information and informational materials” protected by the constitution.

Armenian-Azeri conflict erupts in Caucasus, threatening wider war

By Ulaş Ateşçi and Alex Lantier, 28 September 2020

A war could spiral out of control and escalate into a broader conflict between Russia, Turkey and other NATO states, potentially involving nuclear weapons.

The world has reached the grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2020

With some 33 million infected out of nearly eight billion people, “herd immunity” remains a distant prospect and winter could bring conditions for a rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

US governors told in February that pandemic would get “much worse,” but did not alert public

By Kevin Reed, 28 September 2020

In a secret meeting, 25 US governors were told: “The coronavirus outbreak is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.”

US political warfare escalates with New York Times release of Trump tax returns

By Patrick Martin, 28 September 2020

While it is not clear whether Trump is even nominally a billionaire, he is certainly one of the great tax cheats of the 21st century.

Police respond to demonstrations across the US with vicious assaults on protesters and journalists

By Jacob Crosse, 28 September 2020

Abetted by the police, far-right Trump supporters, Proud Boys and neo-Nazis assaulted and provoked anti-police violence protesters throughout the weekend.

Michigan State University pushes forward with football amid a mass spike in COVID-19 cases

By Luke Galvin, 28 September 2020

Since August 24, there have been 1,250 cases of COVID-19 linked to the reopening of the university.

Youth protests over COVID-19 mount in working-class districts of Madrid

By Alejandro López, 28 September 2020

Madrid is the epicentre of the resurgence of COVID-19 in Spain, now the worst-hit country in Western Europe, with 51 dying last Friday alone.

Johnson government rolls out Kickstart youth cheap labour scheme

By Harvey Thompson and Robert Stevens, 28 September 2020

The collapse in the number of jobs and apprenticeships meant that by July one in 13 of the seven million UK workers aged between 16 and 24 years was claiming Universal Credit.

Australia: Victorian government accelerates lifting of COVID-19 restrictions to satisfy big business

By Mike Head, 28 September 2020

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has fallen further into line with the “return to work” campaign of the corporate elite and the federal government.

Trump’s Operation Legend prepares local police forces to suppress opposition

By Alex Findijs, 28 September 2020

Tens of millions of dollars have been provided to local police forces to hire more officers, upgrade crowd control equipment and develop surveillance operations.

Nearly 40,000 US airline workers could lose jobs on October 1

By Jerry White, 28 September 2020

The new job cuts come on top of the 100,000 temporary furloughs and forced retirements and buyouts implemented by United, American, Delta and other major US carriers.

US hits leading Chinese chip maker

By Nick Beams, 28 September 2020

The latest decision instigated by the Pentagon is aimed at crippling China’s ability to make high-tech advances.

More evidence of management spying on Amazon workers’ political activities

By Tom Carter, 28 September 2020

A whistleblower inside Amazon sent a message last week to a number of internal company listservs, warning fellow workers that the company is monitoring opposition on those forums.

PG&E shuts off power to tens of thousands as West Coast wildfires continue to rage

By Kevin Martinez, 28 September 2020

The shutoff of power on Sunday came in advance of an expected heat wave which will heighten the danger of more fires.

Warning strikes in German public sector: Growing anger over low wages and insecure working conditions

By Gregor Link, 28 September 2020

Some 2.3 million public sector workers face a sellout by the Verdi union, including educators, local government workers and daycare workers who are at the forefront of the pandemic.

Cheaper flammable cladding was ordered for Grenfell tower to save time

By Charles Hixson, 28 September 2020

The project manager at one of the main firms involved in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment admitted he lacked qualifications and training.

Australia’s Queensland Labor government suspends public hearings of Grosvenor Mine disaster inquiry

By Terry Cook, 28 September 2020

Like other government-initiated inquiries into industrial disasters, the inquiry was called to hose down widespread public outrage in the wake of the mine explosion.

Is Trump preparing an “October Surprise”?

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2020

With the US presidential election barely five weeks away, Washington is stoking conflicts across the globe, first and foremost with China.

Free Julian Assange! The political issues confronting educators in the fight for freedom of information

By the Committee for Public Education (Australia), 28 September 2020

“Teachers and educators are among those owing a debt to Assange and to the whistleblowers who courageously decided to leak classified information in the public interest.”

Public meeting: New Zealand’s COVID election, the breakdown of capitalism and the fight for socialism

By Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 28 September 2020

The Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand) will hold a public online meeting, via Zoom, on Saturday October 3 at 4:00p.m. NZ time.

Washington D.C. proposes to remove the names of Jefferson, Franklin and others from public places

By Dominic Gustavo, 28 September 2020

While the mayor of the US capital prepares to delete the names of revolutionaries and abolitionists, she recently renamed a building after disgraced former mayor Marion Barry.

“A history that the working class has a right to know and must learn”

Statements from the Philippines, Australia, Japan and South Korea defend Dr. Joseph Scalice against Stalinist slanders

By Our reporters, 28 September 2020

“Scalice, by exposing the Communist Party of the Philippines, has done a service to the whole anti-capitalist movement and we stand in complete solidarity with him.”

Seventy-five years since the Stalinist murder of Vietnamese Trotskyist leader Ta Thu Thau

By Patrick Martin, 28 September 2020

The leader of a Trotskyist group in Saigon, which had a sizeable following in the working class, was executed on the orders of the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party.

As Trump nominates ultra-right jurist

Biden downplays danger of election coup

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2020

In an interview with MSNBC, the Democratic presidential nominee sought to spread complacency about Trump’s threat of dictatorship.

“State of Emergency” declared in three states as protests continue over cover-up of Breonna Taylor slaying

By Jacob Crosse, 26 September 2020

Courageous multiracial demonstrators continue to defy curfews, police rampages and vehicle assaults in cities across the US to protest the state-sanctioned murder.

Killing by Colombian military escalates protests against state violence

By Andrea Lobo, 26 September 2020

The wave of unrest is merging with opposition to the devastation caused by the state’s counter-insurrectionary war, which has killed more than 200,000 civilians.

Brazilian educators call strikes against homicidal reopening of schools

By Tomas Castanheira, 26 September 2020

The efforts of Brazil’s ruling elite to reopen schools amid the catastrophic spread of COVID-19 are being met with a growing wave of resistance.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government assaults protests vs. herd immunity policy

By Alejandro López, 26 September 2020

As 7,500 army troops deploy to Madrid amid a Europe-wide resurgence of COVID-19, this crackdown is a threat aimed at the entire working class.

New bailout for UK corporations as COVID-19 infections rocket

By Robert Stevens, 26 September 2020

Chancellor Sunak’s announcement was unveiled outside his office in Downing Street, flanked by Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O'Grady and Confederation of British Industry Director General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn.

Thousands at UK universities infected with coronavirus as new term opens

By Simon Whelan and Barry Mason, 26 September 2020

The former regional director for public health in northwest England, Professor John Ashton, said it was “almost inevitable” that the return of students would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Record growth of COVID-19 infections in Eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 26 September 2020

The numbers of new COVID-19 infections in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary are breaking previous records.

A murderous pact: The European Union to deport refugees

By Peter Schwarz, 26 September 2020

Wrapped up in sugary phrases about “values,” “responsibility” and “solidarity,” the EU Commission president has presented a plan that spells deportation, misery and certain death for hundreds of thousands.

Renewed mass arrests target Kurdish-nationalist HDP in Turkey

By Ulaş Ateşçi, 26 September 2020

There is growing speculation that the Turkish government is preparing a renewed military offensive against US-backed Kurdish-nationalist forces in Syria.

Washington continues to ramp up tensions with Beijing over Taiwan

By Ben McGrath, 26 September 2020

The US has sent another high-ranking government official to Taiwan—a thinly-veiled challenge to the “One China” policy—while also planning a $7 billion military package to Taipei.

Detroit students stage sickout in opposition to the district’s back-to-school plan

By Genevieve Leigh, 26 September 2020

While the demands laid out by the students are limited to immediate measures, there is no doubt that they are motivated by much broader issues.

“Everyone I work with thinks that it is absurd to put us all in harm’s way”

Tennessee parents and educators speak out against unsafe school openings

By the World Socialist Web Site Educators Newsletter, 26 September 2020

The teachers and parents often shared similar complaints about the unsafe conditions in schools and pressure to accept the reopening policies.

Pennsylvania nursing students demand refunds, financial support due to COVID policies

By Alex Johnson, 26 September 2020

Students say their calls for adequate support and transparency, quality education, reduced costs and licensing accommodations have been met with indifference and hostility from university administrators.

White House nears antitrust lawsuit against Google while advancing new censorship rules for social media

By Kevin Reed, 26 September 2020

Any antitrust action against Google by the US government, whether focused on the search or advertising aspects of the tech firm’s business, has nothing to do with stopping anti-competitive practices or protecting the rights of consumers.

US college football season set to begin early November

By Andy Thompson, 26 September 2020

After an earlier decision to postpone the season, the Pac-12 football conference has announced games will begin November 6th.

Western US wildfires point to worsening trends of global warming

By Alexa Castro, 26 September 2020

Since the beginning of 2020, California has seen approximately 3.6 million acres burn—a testament to the growing climate crisis.

Canadian PM Trudeau provides political cover for criminal back-to-work drive

By Roger Jordan, 26 September 2020

The Liberal government is determined to “reopen” the economy, even as it concedes that Canada is in the midst of a “second wave” of the pandemic that threatens to be worse than last spring.

Australian government boosts bank profits as social misery deepens

By Mike Head, 26 September 2020

The lending law changes would see a return to the predatory policies that saw the impoverishment of thousands of households, small businesses and family farmers.

Former Australian PM Paul Keating lashes central bank

By Nick Beams, 26 September 2020

Keating’s overriding concern is the explosive social and political consequences of rising unemployment resulting from the deepening crisis of the capitalist economy.

After the exoneration of Breonna Taylor’s killers: The way forward in the fight against police violence

By Niles Niemuth, 26 September 2020

The ubiquity of police violence in the US, with approximately 1,000 people killed every year, is bound up with the extreme growth of social inequality and class tensions.

Decision on Assange’s extradition set for next year

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 26 September 2020

Accepting the defence’s argument that any dramatic change in the facts surrounding the case before November 13 would have to be taken into account, Baraitser asked, “What impact on your case, say you, will the American elections have?”

Lessons of the University of Michigan graduate student strike

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US), 26 September 2020

Throughout the course of the strike, many students admirably asserted that their fight was not only about the health and safety of themselves, but of the community as a whole.

Metropolitan Opera announces cancellation of entire 2020–2021 season

By Fred Mazelis, 26 September 2020

Management is demanding major concessions from its musicians, who have been furloughed without pay since March.

Educators must defend historian Joseph Scalice from Stalinist attacks

By The Committee for Public Education, 26 September 2020

“The defence of Scalice and academic freedom is inseparably connected to the broader issues facing educators.”

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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

Protests erupt over whitewash of police murder of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky

By Niles Niemuth, 24 September 2020

Neither of the two officers who fired the fusillade of 22 bullets that killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her Louisville, Kentucky home were charged by the grand jury convened by state authorities.

Senate confirmation hearing for Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf reveals bipartisan support

By Jacob Crosse, 24 September 2020

Democratic as well as Republican senators thanked Wolf for his “service,” neglecting to question him on unconstitutional kidnappings, the mass incarceration of immigrants, and the state assassination of a Portland protester.

Homelessness to soar as UK eviction ban ends

By Julia Callaghan, 24 September 2020

On Monday, the Conservative government gave the green light for those suffering the worst financial effects of the pandemic to be forced out of their homes.

Police repression continues during national strike in Colombia

By Andrea Lobo, 24 September 2020

Police violently broke up the mass demonstration in Bogotá, confirming the continued drive of the Ivan Duque administration and the entire Colombian ruling class toward dictatorship.

Germany’s school openings throw fuel onto the pandemic’s fire

By Marianne Arens, 24 September 2020

Only five of the almost 300 German administrative districts currently report no new infections, as the number of people with COVID-19 rises rapidly.

Iran: Reopening of schools fuels resurgence of coronavirus

By Jean Shaoul, 24 September 2020

According to Iran’s health minister, as of August 22, at least 164 medical workers had lost their lives fighting the pandemic.

The Senate holds a COVID-19 hearing as US tops 200,000 COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 September 2020

The number of individuals infected with COVID-19 is now more than 32 million globally, of which almost one million have perished.

Teachers across the US engage in sickout strikes to close schools

By Emma Arceneaux, 24 September 2020

This week, educators in South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, and Wisconsin have responded to the unfolding crisis with sickouts, in some cases compelling entire school districts to suspend in-person instruction.

“We are just numbers on a spreadsheet”

Detroit students organize protest over school reopening plans

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 September 2020

Students are organizing a virtual “sick out,” where students do not log in to online learning for the entire day, to call attention to their demands.

“Lear is hell”: Workers speak out as COVID-19 outbreak at Indiana auto parts plant worsens

By Marcus Day, 24 September 2020

The WSWS recently spoke with two workers from Lear’s Hammond, Indiana, plant who had tested positive for COVID-19.

A twenty-year-old student dies from COVID-19 at California University of Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 24 September 2020

California University of Pennsylvania student Jamain Stephens Jr. died September 9 from a blood clot in his heart after he contracted COVID-19.

Las Vegas health reports detail spread of COVID-19 in casinos

By Adam Mclean, 24 September 2020

The vast majority of exposures in the Las Vegas area, where over 1,350 people have already died, occurred in casinos and resort hotels.

UK: Labour schools spokesperson confirms bi-partisan “malign neglect” policy on COVID-19

By Julie Hyland, 24 September 2020

Remarks by Labour Party education spokesperson Kate Green and the panicked response of her frontbench colleagues have underscored the policy of “malign neglect” shared by Tory and Labour alike on COVID-19.

Canada’s military forced to admit growing number of far-right extremists in armed forces

By Matthew Richter, 24 September 2020

In July, a heavily-armed Canadian Armed Forces’ Ranger crashed through the gates of the temporary residence of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in what had all the hallmarks of an assassination attempt.

As Creek Fire become the largest in California history, farmworkers continue to labor without protection from smoke

By Aditya Veeraiah and Evan Winters, 24 September 2020

Even though plans were announced over a month ago to distribute hundreds of thousands of N95 masks to Fresno area farmworkers, few have received these masks, which provide a high level of protection against both air pollution and COVID-19.

Further revelations about sterilizations and medical malpractice at ICE detention facility in Georgia

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 24 September 2020

The latest revelations, including the naming of the doctor who performed them, strengthens the account given in a recent whistleblower complaint, while giving lie to the US government’s dismissals.

Japan’s Democrats merge to launch new, right-wing opposition party

By Ben McGrath, 24 September 2020

The Democrats have carried out their merger in an attempt to block an explosion of social anger over rising economic inequality and the ruling elite’s drive to war.

Huge tax cuts for the wealthy trigger nervousness in Australian ruling elite

By Mike Head, 24 September 2020

The October 6 budget will give a dual-income household on $400,000 an annual tax cut of $23,280, while millions of people will have their JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments slashed.

Trump’s coup d’état election

By Joseph Kishore and David North, 24 September 2020

Trump has publicly declared that he will not transfer power peacefully if he loses the November 3 election.

Medical evidence shows devastating impact of decade-long state vendetta against Assange

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 24 September 2020

What UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer described in May 2019 as the “public mobbing” and “psychological torture” of Assange has had the desired effect.

Assange’s partner Stella Moris calls for Australian government to intervene in his defence

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 September 2020

“This is not something that the Australian government can just hide its head in the sand and say ‘nothing to do with us.’”

Joseph Scalice responds to Stalinist Sison’s lies that he is a “CIA agent”

By Joseph Scalice, 24 September 2020

“Unable to respond to any of the substantive historical points raised in my scholarship, [Sison] has taken to repeatedly slandering me as a ‘CIA agent,’ a claim for which he has not a shred of evidence.”

Philippine students and academics defend Dr. Joseph Scalice against Communist Party founder Sison’s “lies and obfuscation”

By our reporters, 24 September 2020

“Scalice’s approach has always been scholarly and evidence-based. His conclusions cannot be countered with lies and obfuscation.”

Video footage exposes police shooting of 13-year-old autistic boy in Salt Lake City

By Niles Niemuth, 23 September 2020

While Linden Cameron somehow survived being shot 11 times, police in the US are still on track to kill nearly 1,000 people, a grim toll they have exacted every year since 2015.

The CDC retracts its guidance that stipulated the airborne danger of the coronavirus

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 September 2020

Though the CDC said it had erroneously published the unvetted draft, the political fallout faced by the CDC suggests it was a political maneuver to save face.

Hundreds of Kenosha, Wisconsin teachers call in sick to force schools to close

By Renae Cassimeda and Evan Blake, 23 September 2020

Starting Monday, 276 Kenosha teachers engaged in a sickout strike in opposition to increasing COVID-19 outbreaks and deadly conditions in the school district.

Johnson’s bogus agenda for combating the escalating pandemic will cost tens of thousands of lives in UK

By Chris Marsden, 23 September 2020

After Johnson’s health advisers announced there would be 50,000 cases a day by mid-October and 200 deaths a day by November without government action, his measures read like a cruel joke.

Students occupy schools across Greece to protest unsafe return to classrooms

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2020

Anger is erupting among youth in Greece at being forced back to school amid a raging pandemic of COVID-19.

Trump delivers anti-China tirade to United Nations

By Bill Van Auken, 23 September 2020

The annual opening of the UN General Assembly was held under the shadow of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the growing threat of imperialist war.

Facebook plans political censorship in anticipation of “chaos” and “violence” in the 2020 US elections

By Kevin Reed, 23 September 2020

Facebook is working with “world-class military scenario planners” to prepare for civil unrest in the US and “restrict the circulation of content” during the November elections.

Democrats capitulate as Republicans secure votes to install far-right justice on Supreme Court

By Barry Grey and Jacob Crosse, 23 September 2020

For all their bluster, the Democrats were focused on preventing a plunge in the stock market by reaching a government funding deal with the Republicans before the September 30 deadline.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Committee holds second meeting

By our reporters, 23 September 2020

The aim of meeting was to call on educators, students and parents to join and build rank-and-file committees “in your workplace, college or campus and communities.”

National Education Union letter to Boris Johnson: A total surrender to herd immunity

By Tania Kent, 23 September 2020

From the outset of the pandemic, the NEU has blocked all moves to combat the deadly consequences of the government’s handling of the virus.

Massachusetts education commissioner demands “low-risk” districts resume in-person learning

By Will McCallis, 23 September 2020

The letter warns that non-compliance with the “school reopening guidance" will be met with a potential loss of state funds.

Strike by 4,000 service workers at University of Illinois at Chicago enters its second week

By Andy Thompson and Fabian Salgado, 23 September 2020

To oppose the sellout being prepared, striking hospital workers must follow the examples of auto workers and educators by forming rank-and-file committees.