World News

The socialist answer to the paltry $600 million Flint settlement

By Joseph Kishore—SEP Presidential Candidate, 24 August 2020

Only through the development of the class struggle can the working class make right the years of bipartisan social crimes against the working class of Flint, Michigan.

Fund appeal for Assange’s legal defence wins significant public support

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 August 2020

The response underscores the international support for Assange among workers and young people which finds no expression in the official political parties or the corporate press.

Online panel examines what would happen if Assange is extradited to the US

By Kevin Reed, 24 August 2020

The expert panelists made clear that Assange would be held in the most draconian conditions, treated as a terrorist and denied due process.

The origins and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

By Frank Gaglioti, 24 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is a once in a century event, a trigger event, that has exposed the deep contradictions and terminal decay in the capitalist organization of world resources.

999 Report on Educators R&F meeting

24 August 2020

Lukashenko regime, Belarusian opposition seek to stifle mass strike movement

By Clara Weiss, 22 August 2020

Whatever the tactical differences between the opposition and the government, they share a common goal: ending the strike movement as quickly as possible.

“They are killing people to save money”

Fiat Chrysler, UAW conspire to keep workers on the job after exposure to coronavirus

By Shannon Jones, 22 August 2020

In order to cut costs and boost profits, management and the UAW are seeking to eliminate the limited and inadequate safety protocols put in place in May.

Coronavirus testing remains at reduced levels in the US

By Bryan Dyne, 22 August 2020

To fully map spread of the pandemic, and contain the disease, the US should be doing 6–10 million tests per day. It currently does about 700,000.

European countries force children back to school amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alejandro López, 22 August 2020

The drive to reopen schools after the summer break continues unabated throughout Europe as the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates across the continent.

Facebook censors anti-fascist and anarchist groups, falsely linking them with extreme-right violence

By Kevin Reed, 22 August 2020

Facebook has adopted positions put forward by the Trump administration and US Justice Department targeting left-wing opposition in the latest expansion of its political censorship regime.

Seven protest leaders in Thailand arrested by police

By Owen Howell, 22 August 2020

This week’s state crackdown on the student leadership of mass protests that have swept across the country reveals the Thai ruling elite’s fear of a broader movement.

Johnson government extends ban on evictions as UK faces “avalanche” of homelessness

By Laura Tiernan, 22 August 2020

The delay follows an outpouring of public opposition to eviction proceedings due to begin Monday, with 290,000 renters at immediate risk of homelessness.

Nearly 300 workers infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Northampton sandwich factory

By Paul Bond, 22 August 2020

Northampton, already on a coronavirus watchlist, has the highest rate of new cases in England and could be subjected to a local lockdown.

Spanish unions agree to shut down Barcelona Nissan plants

By Alice Summers, 22 August 2020

The deal adds a further year to the ticking time-bomb of mass firings, postponing the approximately 25,000 job losses from the end of 2020 to the end of 2021.

Cornell residential advisors hold one-day strike over coronavirus safety as school reopens

By James Mullan, 22 August 2020

The strike action was spontaneously organized in response to the university’s reckless reopening plans that left RAs with larger workloads than in pre-pandemic semesters.

Wayne State University administration announces pay freezes and layoffs

By Valery Tsekov, 22 August 2020

The Wayne State University administration is using the crisis to push through long sought after “cost-cutting” attacks on workers and students.

Special prosecutor appointed in the case of Hannah Fizer, unarmed Missouri woman slain by police

By Jacob Crosse, 22 August 2020

Fizer’s family has been stonewalled at every turn by investigators and police for more than two months.

Australian national cabinet exploits pandemic for economic restructuring

By Mike Head, 22 August 2020

Despite paying lip service to the aged care catastrophe, the federal, state and territory government leaders adopted “economic recovery” as their top priority.

Australian union cancels Sydney bus drivers’ strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 22 August 2020

The calling off of the stoppage is in line with the role played by the unions throughout the pandemic, in seeking to suppress all working-class opposition.

The Biden campaign and the attempt to “rescue” American hegemony

By Andre Damon, 22 August 2020

The factions of the state backing the Biden campaign have set out to “reclaim America’s place in the world” by “getting tough” with Russia and China.

German Socialist Equality Party campaign against reopening schools finds significant response

By our reporters, 22 August 2020

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei’s call to build action committees to prepare a general strike in Germany against the reopening of schools has been shared hundreds of times on social media and found thousands of readers.

The Truth: Catherine Deneuve as an actress with her feet on the ground

By David Walsh, 22 August 2020

A French actress in her 70s, Fabienne Dangeville, receives a visit at her elegant Paris home from her daughter Lumir, son-in-law Hank and grand-daughter Charlotte, who live in New York.

CUPE union shuts down 12-day strike at Port of Montreal

By Laurent Lafrance, 22 August 2020

Yesterday’s truce agreement marks the final stage in the union’s efforts to end the strike as quickly as possible and betray the legitimate demands of the rank and file.

Pakistani university workers oppose job cuts; Offshore gas platform workers strike in Western Australia; New Zealand health workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2020

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

Trump administration brands educators “critical infrastructure workers” to force schools to open

By Evan Blake, 21 August 2020

The move comes in response to the growing opposition of educators, parents and students to the catastrophic reopening of schools, which has already infected over 2,500 students and staff across the country.

Weekly jobless claims again top one million as mass evictions loom

By Shannon Jones, 21 August 2020

The number of new unemployment claims rose unexpectedly last week as workers facing mounting economic pressures due to the ending of federal supplemental jobless benefits and the end of eviction bans.

Flint’s $600 million water settlement—a pittance to whitewash a massive social crime

By Sheila Brehm, 21 August 2020

The ruling class is eager to finally put the Flint water poisoning behind them and hope the multi-million-dollar payout will appease workers, at least temporarily.

Steve Bannon arrested on fraud charges involving border wall fundraising scheme

By Kevin Reed, 21 August 2020

The former top adviser to President Trump was arrested on Thursday along with three others on fraud charges in connection with a scheme to defraud donors who gave money to a right-wing “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign.

Architect of Sweden’s coronavirus policy advocated keeping schools open to reach “herd immunity” more quickly

By Jordan Shilton, 21 August 2020

Chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell’s callous disregard for human life is not an individual phenomenon, rather his chilling email correspondence reflects the thinking of the ruling elites in every country.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny hospitalized as crisis in Belarus deepens

By Clara Weiss, 21 August 2020

Navalny’s hospitalization comes amid an escalating crisis around the protests and mass strikes in Belarus which have heightened tensions in Europe and Russia.

Israel launches airstrikes against Gaza and threatens war

By Jean Shaoul, 21 August 2020

Israel is preparing for war on the besieged Palestinian enclave, even as it ups the ante against Hezbollah in Lebanon and its primary target, Iran.

Sudanese refugee drowns attempting to cross English Channel

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2020

Family members say the victim had his claim for asylum in France refused, and risked the dangerous sea crossing seeking a better life.

US Attorney General Barr boasts of nearly 1,500 arrests through Operation Legend

By Jacob Crosse, 21 August 2020

The operation has been used as a screen to further integrate local police departments with federal agencies, while funneling millions of dollars and deploying over 1,000 federal agents into US cities.

Federal judge orders second investigation into Virginia immigrant detention center hit by mass outbreak of COVID-19

By Joe Williams, 21 August 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found prison staff were refusing to use safety equipment or provide inmates with protection from COVID-19.

Millions of Indian workers strike to protest attacks by Modi government amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 August 2020

Millions of workers have joined strikes and protests opposing the government’s attacks on their wages and working conditions.

Thirty years since the capitalist reunification of Germany

Berlin leads when it comes to child poverty, precarious jobs and mass unemployment

By Wolfgang Weber, 21 August 2020

Berlin is being hit with full force by the economic and social consequences of the Corona policy of the city’s government, a coalition of the SPD, Left Party and Greens.

Germany’s Left Party hails the SPD’s chancellor candidate, pledges support for militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 21 August 2020

The Left Party embraces Olaf Scholz not despite, but rather because of his reactionary policies.

German authorities cover up COVID-19 infections in Hamburg schools

By Gregor Link, 21 August 2020

Events in Hamburg show how recklessly the ruling class is putting the lives of teachers, pupils and parents at risk and covering up the true extent of the pandemic.

Australia: Sharp increase in COVID-19 among Victorian healthcare workers

By Margaret Rees, 21 August 2020

The Victorian Labor government is attempting to downplay the growing number of infected healthcare workers in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city.

Australian inquiry says serious errors led to Ruby Princess COVID-19 debacle

By Martin Scott, 21 August 2020

Thousands of possibly coronavirus-infected passengers were allowed to leave the cruise ship without being tested, leading to the spread of the virus and fatalities across the country.

Australian government prepares expanded emergency and military call-out laws

By Mike Head, 21 August 2020

The political establishment is exploiting the COVID-19 catastrophe—for which its own policies are directly responsible—to introduce police-state powers.

Democrats nominate Biden in inane display of political reaction

By Patrick Martin, 21 August 2020

The sheer contempt for the intelligence of the population and the viewing audience was summed up in Biden’s acceptance speech, which sought to cram every possible trite phrase into a single 20-minute address.

The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections

Part Two

By Patrick Martin, 21 August 2020

Following the example of the 2018 elections, the Democratic Party is putting forward a large new group of military-intelligence candidates for Congress in 2020.

August 26 online lecture: “First as tragedy, second as farce: Marcos, Duterte, and the Communist Parties of the Philippines.”

Philippine Stalinists slander academic Joseph Scalice ahead of August 26 lecture

21 August 2020

Scalice, a postdoctoral researcher at Nanyang Technological University, will deliver his online lecture at 3 p.m. Singapore time (same time in Philippines, 3 a.m. New York, 9 a.m. Berlin, 12:30 p.m. Colombo, 5 p.m. Sydney)

Desert One: Barbara Kopple returns to the fold with her Iran hostage crisis film

By David Walsh, 21 August 2020

Released in theaters or available to stream today, Desert One is a documentary film about the US military’s effort in April 1980 to free American embassy staff captured during the 1979 Iranian revolution.

New excess death counts reveal more complete toll of coronavirus pandemic

By Bryan Dyne, 20 August 2020

As of mid-July, there were 178,500 excess deaths in just fifteen urban areas internationally, including New York City, Mexico City, Lima, Jakarta, Istanbul and Madrid.

Disastrous US school openings lead to 2,500 infections across 44 states

By Evan Blake, 19 August 2020

Barring the independent mobilization of educators, parents and the broader working class to halt the reopening of schools, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate.

COVID-19 overtakes accidents as third leading cause of death in the US as testing continues to decline

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 August 2020

Despite the deadly nature of the virus, which has already killed more than 175,000 in the US, testing capacity is declining as states move to resume in-school learning.

Greece sees resurgence of coronavirus since end of lockdown

By John Vassilopoulos, 19 August 2020

The government’s response has been a series of token measures targeting areas with a high number of cases, including Attica and Thessaloniki. Set to run until August 24, the measures subordinate public health to commercial interests.

Trump’s suggestion of a pardon for Edward Snowden meets US intelligence community backlash

By Kevin Reed, 19 August 2020

Democrats and Republicans with close ties to the intelligence agencies have launched a campaign of opposition after the president said he would look into the case of the former NSA contractor who exposed illegal mass surveillance.

UNC Chapel Hill, Notre Dame and Michigan State University forced to revert to online learning after COVID-19 outbreaks

By Matthew MacEgan, 19 August 2020

UNC Chapel Hill reported 130 new student cases of COVID-19 during its first week, far more than the ten it reported on campus during the week prior to reopening.

070 Maryland governor overturns order keeping private schools closed

19 August 2020

Family suing Verizon over death of worker sent into high-risk locations without protective equipment

By Samuel Davidson, 19 August 2020

The family of a Philadelphia-area Verizon employee is suing the company for negligence, saying he was forced to work without proper protective gear in locations such as nursing homes.

Australia: Sydney bus drivers threaten strike over COVID-19 dangers

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2020

Sydney drivers and other transport staff have been forced to work in dangerous conditions as part of the ruling elite’s “reopening of the economy.”

Mass student protests in Thailand continue to grow

By Owen Howell, 19 August 2020

After a month of continuous protests, a demonstration in Bangkok on Sunday was the largest since the 2014 military coup.

In act of high seas piracy, US hijacks Iranian oil bound for Venezuela

By Bill Van Auken, 19 August 2020

The oil seizure came as Washington failed to secure support at the United Nations Security Council for a resolution extending an arms embargo against Tehran.

Rank-and-file safety committees at Fiat Chrysler and Ford support campaign to defend victimized parts worker

By the Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 19 August 2020

Newly-formed committees at Fiat Chrysler, Ford and Faurecia plants issued statements supporting James Grady, who was set up by the IBEW union and management and fired in mid-May from the Faurecia Gladstone plant in Columbus, Indiana.

SAG-AFTRA’s Health Plan restructuring faces massive opposition

By Marc Wells, 19 August 2020

The restructuring of the US union’s health plan will reduce coverage for thousands of current and retired performers and media professionals, along with their families.

Chinese prime minister: 600 million people earn less than $145 a month

By Lily Zhao, 19 August 2020

While almost half of its population earns less than $145 a month, China recorded 373 billionaires in 2020, the second highest figure in the world.

UN Tribunal finds only one guilty of Hariri assassination and no evidence of Syrian or Hezbollah involvement

By Jean Shaoul, 19 August 2020

The ruling is a setback for the US and its local stooges, who planned on using a damning verdict to further its bid to eliminate Hezbollah as a political force in Lebanon.

Greece resurgence of COVID

19 August 2020

US steps up war against Huawei

By Nick Beams, 19 August 2020

The latest US bans against the Chinese telecom giant have been described by one financial analyst as a “death sentence” for its global operations.

Germany’s IG Metall trade union preparing to enforce jobs massacre and deep wage cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 August 2020

Big business and the trade unions are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to secure the upper hand in the global trade war by imposing savage attacks on workers.

Stonehaven rail disaster due to UK’s neglected railway earthworks

By Steve James, 19 August 2020

Last week’s train crash in Scotland exposes the dangerous condition of Britain’s aging and profit-oriented rail network

Multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins brands UK workers “lazy” and “selfish”

By Julia Callaghan, 19 August 2020

The Pimlico Plumbers founder gives voice to opinions that the Johnson government feels incapable of making public.

Colin Powell at the Democratic National Convention: Democrats prepare administration of militarism and war

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 19 August 2020

The second day of the convention featured remarks by Powell, a leading architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and a video highlighting Biden’s “unlikely friendship” with arch warmonger John McCain.

Support grows for SEP (Sri Lanka) defence campaign

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2020

The petition opposing military harassment of Socialist Equality Party candidates in Jaffna continues to gather support, nationally and internationally.

220 Pseudo-left and the Commitee of Essential workers

19 August 2020

Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow: Two men in the wilderness face something more dangerous—big business

By Joanne Laurier, 19 August 2020

US filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s new film, First Cow, set in the 1820s in the Pacific Northwest, deals with the origins of North American business—and the value of and the need for solidarity.

Amid mass strikes in Belarus, Lukashenko regime teeters on brink

By Andrea Peters, 18 August 2020

The critical question facing workers in Belarus is to struggle independently of and against all the factions of the post-Soviet capitalist kleptocracy.

Democratic convention opens with appeal to right-wing Republican support

By Patrick Martin, 18 August 2020

Bernie Sanders led the way in preaching political unity from “left” to right against Trump and for Biden.

Teacher sickout closes Arizona school district as support grows for national strike

By Jerry White, 17 August 2020

Phoenix area teachers forced the closure of the first day of school today as protests against the unsafe opening of schools spread across the country.

South Dakota governor first to reject unemployment aid from Trump executive order

By Jacob Crosse, 17 August 2020

While four states have already been approved by FEMA to begin authorizing payments, Kristie Noem cited cherry-picked statistics to justify her rejection of federal benefits.

With pandemic raging, Florida governor deepens drive to reopen schools

By Alex Johnson, 17 August 2020

School districts and teachers in Florida have been forced to resume in-person learning while COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to surge throughout the state.

Protests, strikes against Lukashenko regime mount in Belarus

By Clara Weiss, 17 August 2020

The involvement of growing sections of workers has panicked the Lukashenko regime, and the NATO-backed opposition is calling for “dialogue” with the regime.

Texas A&M faculty decry plans to reopen campuses in midst of pandemic

By Chase Lawrence, 17 August 2020

Faculty, professors and students at multiple Texas A&M University campuses recently penned an open letter that has garnered roughly 900 signatures.

A risky game with health and lives as schools reopen throughout Germany

By Gregor Link, 17 August 2020

With the beginning of mandatory school attendance, the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing.

Scotland’s schools reopen as COVID-19 infects students

By Steve James, 17 August 2020

The Scottish National Party’s school reopening exposes it as the accomplice of the Johnson government’s herd immunity strategy.

Half of UK Early Years learning workers paid less than minimum wage for 25-year-olds

By Charlotte Salthill, 17 August 2020

Low pay is one of the main reasons given for leaving the profession, alongside increasing work demands and a lack of training and professional development.

Judge blocks GM’s bid to reopen racketeering case against Fiat Chrysler

By Marcus Day, 17 August 2020

The judge made the ruling despite credible and explosive new allegations about the scale and scope of FCA's bribery of the United Auto Workers union.

Indiana Rank-and-File Safety Committee demands reinstatement of whistleblower at Faurecia Gladstone plant

By Tim Rivers, 17 August 2020

The newly-formed Faurecia Gladstone Rank and File Safety Committee is also demanding an immediate halt on the part of the company and the local union to all forms of intimidation and harassment.

Heat wave, rolling blackouts affect thousands across California

By Peter Ross, 17 August 2020

A major heat wave affecting much of the southwestern US caused rolling blackouts Friday and Saturday throughout California.

Canadian provinces and cities confront huge deficits as economic crisis deepens

By Omar Ali, 17 August 2020

Huge debts, which have been accumulated chiefly through measures to bail out the banks and financial oligarchy, are being seized upon to demand intensified austerity for the working class.

India: Motherson’s “inquiry” rubber stamps sacking of strikers

By Arun Kumar, 17 August 2020

The ongoing persecution of Motherson autoparts strikers was facilitated by the Maoist Left Trade Union Centre’s betrayal of the 140-day walkout.

US-backed opposition in Solomon Islands opposes ties to Beijing

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 August 2020

A provincial administration in Malaita insists that it has the right to maintain its own relations with Taiwan and refuses to recognise Beijing.

The Biden/Harris campaign and the dead-end of “lesser evil” politics

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 17 August 2020

As the US election enters its final stage, enormous pressure is being brought to bear to convince workers and youth that the only way to oppose Trump is to support Biden and Harris.

Prominent lawyers and legal associations demand Assange’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2020

The 152 legal experts are unambiguous: the campaign against Assange has been based on gross violations of law and he must be immediately released from prison.

Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen in The Good Liar: The consequences of light-mindedness

By David Walsh, 17 August 2020

Essential conformism on important matters seems an apt summing up of Bill Condon’s film career to date. At any rate, The Good Liar will not do much to change one’s attitude.

US child care in existential crisis as schools and businesses reopen

By Nick Barrickman, 17 August 2020

As plummeting enrollment at day cares during the spring forced many to close, the beginning of grade school classes in the fall will compound the crisis.

Fauci warns against herd immunity: “the death toll would be enormous”

By Bryan Dyne, 15 August 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of world’s leading experts on infectious disease, warned against the relaxation of efforts to combat COVID-19, declaring, “The death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable.”

Hawaii schools to reopen August 17 as opposition grows

By Renae Cassimeda, 15 August 2020

In a fight for their lives and those of thousands of students, educators and parents oppose the new reopening plan that has students and teachers reporting to school sites for in-person instruction for one week prior to full distance learning.

Brazilian teachers report 36 COVID-infected schools after one week of classes in Manaus

By Tomas Castanheira, 15 August 2020

Virtually all Brazilian states and capitals have ongoing plans to reproduce the homicidal model of school reopenings in Manaus.

Lebanon’s oligarchs and imperialist backers seek to exploit outrage over Beirut port blast

By Jean Shaoul, 15 August 2020

Amid mass anger over the port explosion, a campaign against Hezbollah is bound up with the US aggression against Iran.

Amid mounting political crisis, Colombia faces world’s highest COVID-19 death rate

By Julian James, 15 August 2020

Over the past weeks, the country has registered the highest per capita COVID-19 death rate in the world, 43.1 deaths per million people, compared to 32.9 per million for Brazil and 24.4 for the US.

Government watchdog concludes acting heads of Homeland Security were illegally appointed by Trump

By Jacob Crosse, 15 August 2020

The Government Accountability Office report is a soft rebuke to Donald Trump, who has frequently circumvented congressional approval in order to install acting department heads loyal to him.

Workers denounce cover-up and intimidation around COVID-19 infections at Fiat Chrysler Belvidere plant

By Kristina Betinis, 15 August 2020

Belvidere workers continue to speak out against management and UAW concealing information and shaming workers for stating concerns as Boone and Winnebago counties launch investigation into the spread of disease at the plant.

UAW announces COVID outbreak at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville with 32 new cases

By Steve Filips, 15 August 2020

There were 32 new COVID-19 cases reported last week at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

Powerful windstorm leaves 4 dead, 1.5 million without power across US Midwest

By Jessica Goldstein, 15 August 2020

Workers, who have lost everything in the storm, will be crowded into shelters and aid centers where social distancing will prove to be very difficult, putting thousands more at needless risk of contracting COVID-19.

The Democrats and Republicans: Two wolves hunting the United States Postal Service

By Shuvu Batta, 15 August 2020

While they posture as defenders of postal workers, the Democrats have played a critical role in the privatization of the USPS and the decay of American democracy.

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announces police crackdown

By Michael Walters, 15 August 2020

One thousand police officers are being deployed into downtown Friday evening after a press conference in which the Democratic mayor announced a plan to tighten police control of the city, involve more police agencies, increase social media surveillance and further limit access to the wealthy downtown.