World News

Venezuela’s Maduro sworn in for second term amid rising social unrest and threats of intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 11 January 2019

Washington, the EU and the so-called Lima Group of right-wing Latin American governments have called Maduro’s second term “illegitimate,” inviting regime change.

After attempted coup in Gabon, government imposes internet and media broadcast blackout

By Eddie Haywood, 11 January 2019

The imposition of a complete blackout of internet and broadcast services has long been utilized as a tool of repression by the Bongo government.

Amazon hires public relations firm to counter popular hostility to headquarters project in New York City

By Clare Hurley, 11 January 2019

Amazon’s desperate public relations campaign represents an inverse reflection of mounting opposition to the conglomerate’s practices.

“The Teamsters won’t fight for us. It’s not a good contract”

Chicago UPS workers speak out against sellout contract

By George Marlowe and Jessica Goldstein, 11 January 2019

UPS workers in the Chicago area spoke out against the local contract, which mirrors the contract proposal rejected by tens of thousands of UPS workers nationwide.

Landlords reap profits from dilapidated US military housing tainted with lead, mold, brown tapwater

By Zaida Green, 11 January 2019

Property developers are left free to pocket federal housing stipends under fifty-year leases whilst hazardous homes cripple soldiers’ children and send entire families to the hospital.

Germany deports more refugees to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 11 January 2019

On Monday night, a further 36 refugees were deported to Kabul, including a number who had lived and worked for years in Germany and had no idea they were at risk.

Nearly 600 homeless died on UK streets in 2017

“We’re living in the Dark Ages—how can there be so much wealth and so much misery?”

By our reporters, 11 January 2019

Over the holiday period, WSWS reporters spoke to homeless people, charities and volunteers dealing with the escalating homeless crisis in the UK.

Unite Canadian, US and Mexican autoworkers!

Build rank-and-file committees to fight GM’s plant shutdowns in Oshawa and the US

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 January 2019

Unifor cannot be pressured or reformed. Workers must take the struggle to stop the plant closures into their own hands.

Actors and stage managers strike against developmental work with Broadway League

By Katy Kinner, 11 January 2019

The National Council of the Actors’ Equity union announced a strike on Monday, calling for a new contract.

Mounting social anger seen in two-day strike against Indian government

By our correspondents, 10 January 2019

While the capitalist media tried to black out the strike, it was supported by broad sections of the working class.

Worker killed as Bangladesh police attack striking garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 10 January 2019

The re-elected Hasina government is mobilising heavily-armed police to suppress protests by garment workers over wages.

India’s “rise” and the savage exploitation of the working class

By Kranti Kumara, 10 January 2019

India’s rapidly expanding working class is condemned to poverty wages, Dickensian working conditions and precarious employment, and this in a country in which public services, if they exist at all, are dilapidated.

“All the teachers across the nation should come out”

California, Michigan educators call for joint action with LA teachers

By our reporters, 10 January 2019

The WSWS Teacher Newsletter spoke to teachers eager to join with LA teachers and expand the fight to defend public education nationally and internationally.

Socialist Equality Party takes legal action against surveillance by German secret service

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 January 2019

Dr. Peer Stolle, the lawyer for the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, has submitted formal notice in writing to the German Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, which is published here.

No deal reached in US-China trade talks

By Peter Symonds, 10 January 2019

The negotiations consisted of US officials insisting that Beijing meet a long list of demands, but offering nothing in return other than not proceeding with higher tariffs.

Report: Police gave neo-Nazi rioters free rein in Chemnitz, Germany

By Martin Nowak, 10 January 2019

An internal police report makes clear that although the police were well informed about the activities of the far right in Chemnitz, they did nothing to stop them.

Los Angeles teachers prepare to strike

By Jerry White, 9 January 2019

Teachers in the nation’s second-largest school district are engaged in a critical battle to defend the right to public education.

Sears liquidation temporarily averted, thousands more jobs to be slashed

By Jessica Goldstein, 9 January 2019

Sears Holding Corp. has put liquidation on hold as hedge fund manager and asset stripper Eddie Lampert, its primary shareholder, revised a bid to purchase the company’s assets.

US-Turkish tensions rise over Syria withdrawal plan

By Bill Van Auken, 9 January 2019

Turkey’s president denounced statements by national security adviser John Bolton on the Syrian Kurds after refusing to meet with a US delegation.

US-China trade talks extended, amid continuing obstacles

By Peter Symonds, 9 January 2019

Washington’s aggressive stance was underscored by the provocative dispatch of a US destroyer to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea on day one of the trade talks.

Further protests against Orbán government in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 9 January 2019

On Saturday, in freezing temperatures, about 10,000 people demonstrated again in Budapest against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán.

Actor Kevin Spacey arraigned on indecent assault charge in Massachusetts

By David Walsh, 9 January 2019

Spacey’s brief courtroom appearance on Monday, during which he hardly spoke, was the occasion for another media frenzy.

Guatemalan establishment indifferent to deaths of US incarcerated migrant children

By Andrea Lobo, 9 January 2019

The reaction in ruling circles not only reflects their disdain for the country’s impoverished masses, but also their efforts to demonstrate loyal submission to the Trump administration.

Insurgent Gabon soldiers shot dead in foiled coup attempt

By Eddie Haywood, 9 January 2019

The coup attempt occurred days after the US deployed 80 troops to Gabon to protect “US assets in the event of violent demonstrations” in nearby Congo.

New Zealand’s public healthcare crisis worsens

By Tom Peters, 9 January 2019

Reports that thousands of people are being denied hospital treatment expose the fraud of the Labour-led government’s promises to improve the public health system.

US and Canadian elites demand Trudeau government toughen its anti-China stance

By Roger Jordan, 8 January 2019

Although Ottawa has been a key partner in Washington’s confrontation with Beijing, ruling circles want Trudeau to go even further and ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G network.

Sri Lankan plantation workers oppose company-union attempts to impose sell-out

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

There is widespread hostility to the plans for a new collective agreement that would reject workers’ demand for a 100 percent wage rise.

Bolivian doctors strike ends amid turmoil over Morales’ bid for fourth term

By Cesar Uco, 8 January 2019

The doctors strike is an expression of the larger problem of pervasive poverty in Bolivia and the continuing turn by the MAS government to the right.

US Senate confirms top-level political “fixer” as ambassador to Australia

By Mike Head, 8 January 2019

Culvahouse’s appointment underscores Washington’s determination to ensure there is not the slightest deviation in Australia’s front line role in any conflict with China.

Evacuated Opal Tower residents in Australia express anger and dismay

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

Residents of Opal Tower in Sydney have been living in temporary accommodation since the discovery of large broken concrete panels in the building.

Austin Beutner—Wall Street’s Superintendent of Education in Los Angeles

By Alan Gilman, 7 January 2019

Beutner is renowned as a financier who has had a lucrative career extracting huge profits by privatizing public assets and slashing the wages and benefits of workers.

US shutdown could leave millions without food stamps

By Kate Randall, 7 January 2019

More than 19 million households face the cutoff of SNAP benefits—partially in February and completely in March—if the government shutdown drags on.

China’s moon landing to exacerbate tensions with US

By Peter Symonds, 7 January 2019

Like the Soviet Union’s launch of the Sputnik satellite in 1957 and the first manned space flight in 1961, China’s landing of a probe on the moon’s far side has provoked consternation in Washington.

Trump deploys troops to central Africa following disputed Congo election

By Eddie Haywood, 7 January 2019

Washington is making it clear that it intends to install a pliant government in Kinshasa that will ensure that America’s economic interests are secured.

Growing “yellow vest” protests defy French police repression

By Anthony Torres, 7 January 2019

The protest Saturday, the first day of action of French “yellow vest” protesters in 2019, mobilized substantially larger forces than the last protests of 2018.

German media demand accelerated rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 7 January 2019

Editorials in leading German publications are marked by a mixture of fear and aggression as the new year begins.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Sri Lankan Central Bank governor calls for extended IMF program

By Saman Gunadasa, 7 January 2019

The IMF suspended the final $500 million installment of its $1.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka last November after bitter infighting erupted within Colombo’s political elite.

Opal Tower structural flaws expose rot in Australian construction industry

By John Wilson, 7 January 2019

Residents have been told they must wait at least another week before they can reoccupy the building because the specific cause of the cracking has yet to be identified.

As government shutdown enters third week

Trump threatens to declare national emergency to build border wall

By Niles Niemuth, 5 January 2019

Legal options are reportedly being seriously considered within the Trump administration for circumventing Congress, including redirecting funds already appropriated to the Department of Defense.

Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

The Moreno government’s investigation into the granting of the WikiLeaks founder’s asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship is clearly designed to repudiate both.

Scuffles in German city of Amberg exploited to incite right-wing campaign

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 5 January 2019

Politicians from Bavaria and Berlin have been lining up to outdo each other with proposals for more restrictive asylum laws.

NBC journalist resigns, blasting media as “defender of Washington and the system”

By Bill Van Auken, 5 January 2019

William Arkin, a veteran reporter and security consultant for NBC, delivered a scathing critique of the corporate media as stenographer and apologist for the military-intelligence apparatus.

UAW lawsuit against GM pits temporary part-time workers against laid-off Lordstown workers over jobs

By Shannon Jones, 5 January 2019

In an effort to divert anger over its refusal to fight impending GM plant closures, the UAW has filed a lawsuit to force the dismissal of hundreds of temporary part-time workers in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Report: 452 child workers died in the US from 2003 to 2016

By Jessica Goldstein, 5 January 2019

The number of children working and killed at work in the US reveals the stark reality that in one of the most advanced capitalist economies in the world, child labor is not eradicated.

Mumia Abu-Jamal wins right to reargue appeal of his 1982 conviction

By Fred Mazelis, 5 January 2019

The internationally known prisoner has steadfastly maintained his innocence of the murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

India’s unions to hold two-day “general strike” next week

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2019

While millions of workers will join the protest strike to oppose Modi and his class-war policies, the Stalinists and their union allies are intent on channelling social opposition behind the Congress and other rightwing parties.

Fifteen Indian coal miners trapped, likely killed, in mine disaster

By W. A. Sunil, 5 January 2019

Rescue efforts after the “rat-hole” mine flooded have been hampered by inadequate equipment and the indifference of the government authorities.

Protests against poverty, housing evictions and repossessions spread across Ireland

By Steve James, 5 January 2019

Figures released by the Department of Housing last July showed that nearly 10,000 people in Ireland are living in emergency accommodation. Housing campaigners suggest the real figure is double that.

Growing signs of Australian economic fragility

By Oscar Grenfell, 5 January 2019

A marked slump in the property market is one expression of broader recessionary tendencies.

Australian stripped of citizenship despite being made stateless

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

Prakash’s case has set a far-reaching precedent because the government has proceeded even though Fijian authorities rejected Canberra’s declaration that he is a citizen of that country.

Wall Street rules

By Andre Damon, 5 January 2019

The Federal Reserve, responding to Thursday’s stock market selloff, declared it was “listening” to the markets and ready to scrap its plans to raise interest rates.

The New York Times’ #MeToo smear against Bernie Sanders

By Barry Grey, 5 January 2019

The Times wants the next Democratic campaign, like the last, to be dominated by the politics of gender, race and sex—not class.

Netflix’s The Innocent Man: The American injustice system

By Joanne Laurier, 5 January 2019

The six-episode documentary released in December is based on bestselling novelist John Grisham’s only non-fiction effort. The miniseries chronicles the wrongful incarceration of four men in the 1980s in Ada, Oklahoma.

The global slowdown: US trade war comes home

By Andre Damon, 4 January 2019

The economic warfare pursued by the Trump administration with the support of broad sections of the US political establishment is coming home to roost in the form of a global slowdown spreading to the United States.

US House Democrats reaffirm right-wing program of austerity, bipartisanship

By Niles Niemuth, 4 January 2019

Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as Speaker was welcomed by President Donald Trump, who expressed his hope that they would work together on infrastructure and “so much more.”

Democrat Elizabeth Warren enters US presidential race

By Patrick Martin, 4 January 2019

The Massachusetts senator, a former longtime Republican, is seeking to capture the “left” lane in the nomination contest with populist demagogy directed against big business.

French police arrest “yellow vest” spokesman Eric Drouet

By Anthony Torres, 4 January 2019

The ruling elite is sending a signal that it aims to criminalize and persecute all expressions of genuine political opposition.

Trump says there is no set date for Syria troop withdrawal

By Bill Van Auken, 4 January 2019

While Trump bemoaned Washington’s “never-ending war,” his acting Defense Secretary told the Pentagon to focus on “China, China, China.”

US-China tensions to rise over Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 4 January 2019

New US legislation calls for regular arms sales to Taiwan and urges top US officials to engage in exchanges with their Taiwanese counterparts.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

British government dispatches Royal Navy to stop cross-Channel refugee boats

By Paul Mitchell, 4 January 2019

A right-wing anti-immigration campaign is being manufactured around the minuscule number of desperate souls—539 in total—who tried to cross the Channel in 2018.

Los Angeles school officials hire strikebreakers as teachers prepare for walkout

By Dan Conway and Jerry White, 4 January 2019

Teachers in Los Angeles should reach out to educators in Oakland and across California to prepare a statewide walkout to defend the right to high quality public education.

As one-year anniversary of lockout approaches

Alcoa intensifies attack on Quebec ABI workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 4 January 2019

The United Steelworkers’ systematic isolation of the ABI workers’ anti-concessions struggle has encouraged management to escalate its takeaway demands.

Federal government threatens takeover of NYC Housing Authority

By Philip Guelpa, 4 January 2019

There is no “excess capacity” in the available housing inventory that could absorb tens of thousands of additional low-income people looking for a place to live due to the loss of NYCHA housing.

As transit crisis continues

Fare evasion increases on New York City subways and buses

By Josh Varlin, 4 January 2019

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials and New York politicians are using the increase in fare evasion to blame commuters for the transit crisis.

Sri Lankan JVP postures as a saviour of “democracy”

By Sakuna Jayawardana and K. Ratnayake, 4 January 2019

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s response to the country’s political crisis is to promote illusions in parliamentary democracy.

“Life is forbidden to us … do you want to comply with that?”: The rediscovery of Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz’s The Traveler in Germany

By Clara Weiss, 4 January 2019

Though written 80 years ago, The Traveler is not just a remarkable literary document of the Nazi period, but speaks immediately to the major political and historical questions of our time.

New Horizons completes flyby of Ultima Thule

By Bryan Dyne, 4 January 2019

Ultima Thule is 6.4 billion kilometers from Earth, the most distant astronomical body ever explored by a spacecraft.

The Strategy of International Class Struggle and the Political Fight Against Capitalist Reaction in 2019

By James Cogan, Joseph Kishore and David North, 3 January 2019

The year 2019 begins amidst the explosive interaction of geopolitical, economic and social crises. All over the world the ruling class is turning to ultra-right and neo-fascist politicians and organizations to defend the capitalist system. The threat of dictatorship and war can be defeated only through the political mobilization of the working class on the basis of an international socialist strategy.

Slowdown in China’s manufacturing growth sets tone for New Year

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2019

A key Chinese economic index has indicated lower growth as talks on US-China trade tensions are set to begin.

Scotland: 300 laid off at Kaiam plant on Christmas Eve

By Steve James, 3 January 2019

Workers at optical electronics firm Kaiam in Livingston, Scotland, were laid off following the company’s collapse.

Sri Lankan plantation union discussing sellout deal with companies

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 January 2019

The back-room negotiations between the unions and employers are part of a broader attack on the living conditions of all workers.

Australia: Structural faults in 36-storey building cause mass evacuation

By our reporters, 3 January 2019

Self-regulation and self-certification have been introduced in every area of the construction industry over the past 25 years, to speed up approval processes and maximise profits.

Trump orders freeze in federal salaries as shutdown reaches ten days

By Patrick Martin, 31 December 2018

The purported “showdown” over Trump’s demand for a border wall is a stage-managed conflict in which both sides support repressive anti-immigrant measures.

Opioid overdose deaths triple among US teens and young children

By Kate Randall, 31 December 2018

The depth of the opioid crisis facing young people points to the woefully inadequate response of the government to this social catastrophe as it spirals out of control.

Strike looms in Los Angeles as struggles by educators set to continue in 2019

By Nancy Hanover, 31 December 2018

The new year promises to inaugurate growing struggles in defense of public education, as teachers around the world prepare strikes and protests.

Teacher unions in Washington state back Democrats’ regressive school taxes

By Kayla Costa, 31 December 2018

Months after the statewide teachers’ struggle, the Democratic Party, unions and pseudo-left groups are uniting to implement regressive taxes in the name of funding public education.

“That place is a death trap”

Faurecia workers respond to exposure of conditions at US auto parts plant

By our reporters, 31 December 2018

Workers describe being treated like slaves and compare their factories to plantations.

India: Stalinist unions suppress Tamil Nadu auto strikes, promise “industrial peace”

By Arun Kumar and Yuan Darwin, 31 December 2018

The strikes’ outcome is further proof that the Stalinist-led CITU serves as an industrial police force for big business, containing and suppressing working-class opposition.

US intelligence think tank conducted “false flag” operation impersonating Russian election interference

By Will Morrow, 31 December 2018

New Knowledge sought to influence the 2017 Alabama election and make it appear that Russia was intervening to back the Republican candidate.

One year since Trump’s tax cuts: a balance sheet

Stock buybacks reach $1 trillion

By E.P. Milligan, 31 December 2018

It is now clear the vast majority of the corporate spending of the tax windfall has gone to the further enrichment of a tiny parasitic layer of investors and CEOs.

5,147 workers died at work in the United States in 2017

By Jessica Goldstein, 31 December 2018

The findings of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and a report on the underreporting of workplace fatalities are a glaring indictment of the capitalist system.

Facing possible liquidation, Sears to close 80 more stores in March

By Kevin Martinez, 31 December 2018

Hours after the announcement, Sears Holding chairman and hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert offered to buy the company, valued at $4.4 billion.

FCC to launch investigation of CenturyLink following US-wide 911 outage

By Jacob Crosse, 31 December 2018

Phone and internet services were disrupted across the United States last week, in some cases for as long as 48 hours.

UK: Cross-party moves escalate to prevent Brexit and secure second referendum

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2018

Amid an unprecedented crisis of rule, Corbyn’s major concern is to preserve the unity of the Labour Party on the basis that only a Labour government can rescue British imperialism.

German AfD parliamentarian joins weapons drill of far-right group in South Africa

By Johannes Stern, 31 December 2018

Petr Bystron, an AfD member of the Bundestag, took part in shooting exercises of the far-right paramilitary “Suidlanders” during an official parliamentary trip to South Africa.

Amid widespread violence, Bangladesh’s ruling party re-elected

By Vimal Perera, 31 December 2018

The opposition parties have condemned the election as “farcical” and demanded a “fresh election under non-partisan administration.”

South Australian university partners with US defense contractor Lockheed Martin

By Eric Ludlow, 31 December 2018

The decision by the University of Adelaide, behind the backs of students and staff, marks the further integration of Australian universities into the US-led war drive against China and Russia.

Amid global crackdown on refugees

One sixth of world’s people want to flee their home countries

By Eric London, 31 December 2018

Some 750 million people, not including children, want to escape war, poverty, conflict and disease caused by capitalism.

Der Spiegel’s counterfeit journalism and the campaign against “fake news”

By Peter Schwarz, 31 December 2018

The unmasking of a counterfeiter in the editorial offices of the German newsweekly Der Spiegel has exposed the manipulation of public opinion by the so-called authoritative media.

French “yellow vest” protests expose anti-worker role of New Anticapitalist Party

By Alex Lantier, 31 December 2018

The NPA reacted to the protests by first denouncing them as fascist and then demanding that the trade union bureaucracy assert control over the movement and restore order.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2018

This is the second and concluding part of a series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

Ten years since Canada’s constitutional coup

By Keith Jones, 31 December 2018

Just weeks after the 2008 financial crash, Canada’s Conservative government used the arbitrary powers of the unelected governor-general to shut down parliament and prevent its defeat in a no-confidence vote.

Impact on workers, services spreads as US shutdown enters second week

By Patrick Martin, 29 December 2018

More than 800,000 federal workers are going into the New Year without paychecks.

Dozens killed in protests against austerity and repression in Sudan

By Jean Shaoul, 29 December 2018

That Sudan’s ruling elite has responded with such ferocity to these demonstrations testifies to the depth of the economic and political crisis.

Syrian government troops deployed to flashpoint city of Manbij

By Bill Van Auken, 29 December 2018

Turkey and Russia are staging high-level talks on the future of Syria’s northeast following the US troop withdrawal.

Japan plans for massive military build-up aimed at China

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2018

In clear violation of Japan’s constitution, the Abe administration is proceeding with a pro-war agenda which will only further exacerbate tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

A wild week on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 29 December 2018

This week registered the first gain for the financial markets in three weeks, but they remain on course to record the worst December since 1931.

Thousands face loss of mental health coverage in the US

By Matthew Taylor, 29 December 2018

Congress has eliminated the Medicaid-sponsored program in line with the larger push by the ruling class to dismantle social programs.