Americas

US steps up military operations in Yemen

By Niall Green, 10 September 2012

The Obama administration is intensifying its bloody campaign in the impoverished Middle Eastern country of Yemen.

Texas: Austin police provocateurs infiltrated, entrapped Houston Occupy protesters

By Charles Abelard, 10 September 2012

Austin police detectives infiltrated a protest at the Port of Houston and advised the young protesters to use illegal equipment, resulting in felony charges after their arrest.

California raids special funds in attempt to fix budget

By Allison Smith and Rafael Azul, 10 September 2012

The administration of Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic Party controlled legislature are intensifying the practice of raiding special funds, including some that provide vital services to Californians.

After the conventions: The political issues in the 2012 elections

By Joseph Kishore, 10 September 2012

With the conclusion of the Democratic and Republican national conventions, the US presidential elections are entering their final phase.

SEP (US) presidential candidate speaks at Berlin Humboldt University

By our correspondents, 10 September 2012

On Saturday, Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White addressed an audience of 170 at the historic Humboldt University in Berlin.

Syria’s “eerie parallel to Afghanistan” and the pro-imperialist pseudo-left

By Johannes Stern, 10 September 2012

David Ignatius of the Washington Post draws a revealing parallel between the CIA operation in Afghanistan in the 1980s and the current war in Syria.

Another dismal US jobs report

By Andre Damon, 8 September 2012

Less than 12 hours after US President Barack Obama gave his speech at the Democratic National Convention, a disastrous jobs report released Friday shattered the administration’s pretenses of an “economic recovery.”

Obama's acceptance speech: A compendium of half-truths and lies

By Barry Grey, 8 September 2012

Barack Obama's speech Thursday night accepting the Democratic Party's nomination provided a fittingly cynical and demagogic conclusion to two weeks of media-scripted conventions staged by the two official parties.

US escalates CIA intervention on Syrian-Turkish border

By Bill Van Auken, 8 September 2012

Washington is rushing a beefed-up contingent of CIA operatives to the border between Turkey and Syria in a bid to escalate the war for regime change.

Canada’s government continues to persecute “child soldier” Omar Khadr

By Ed Patrick, 8 September 2012

Canada’s Conservative government is continuing the decade-long vendetta Canadian and U.S. authorities have mounted against Omar Khadr, the “child soldier” who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay for the past decade.

United Steelworkers union agrees to concessions at US Steel

By Bryan Dyne, 8 September 2012

US Steel and the United Steelworkers union on Sunday announced a tentative concessions agreement affecting 16,000 USW members.

The reactionary essence of California’s Proposition 30

By David Brown, 8 September 2012

Proposition 30 will raise taxes on the working class in California without ending the cuts to education and social services.

US political conventions

Obama speech caps two weeks of demagogy and right-wing policies

By Patrick Martin, 7 September 2012

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans could honestly address the crisis of the profit system and its impact on working people.

Clinton at the Democratic convention: Rhetoric vs. reality

By Joseph Kishore, 7 September 2012

Former President Bill Clinton’s speech, in common with the entire narrative created by the Democrats to reelect Obama, was an exercise in fantasy and myth-making.

Federal court upholds key provision of Arizona law targeting immigrants

By Ed Hightower, 7 September 2012

A federal court has refused to block enforcement of the most draconian section of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law directing police to determine the status of people they stop while enforcing traffic regulations or other laws.

More than 50 million face hunger in the US

By Kate Randall, 7 September 2012

A USDA study shows that one in six people in the US lives in a household that is at risk for hunger.

Michigan governor signs bill attacking school employee pensions

By Shannon Jones, 7 September 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation this week requiring public school employees to contribute more toward their pensions and eliminating paid retiree health care benefits for new-hires.

The Obama administration and the cover-up of CIA torture

By Bill Van Auken, 7 September 2012

The new revelations of CIA waterboarding of Libyan detainees underscore the criminality of US foreign policy and both major political parties.

SEP US presidential candidate addresses London meeting

By our reporter, 7 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party US presidential candidate Jerry White addressed an attentive audience of more than 60 workers, retirees, students and youth in London Thursday evening.

A lost generation and the struggle for socialism

By Andre Damon, 6 September 2012

As students start the new school year across North America and Europe, young people face mass unemployment, renewed attacks on education, and poverty.

The Democratic convention: A scripted and empty spectacle

By Patrick Martin, 6 September 2012

Paid scriptwriters have produced nearly every word spoken in the course of the three-day convention.

Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win

By Keith Jones, 6 September 2012

The Parti Québécois has won enough seats to form a minority government, ending nine years’ of Liberal rule.

Clinton pressures Beijing over South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2012

The blunt reactions of Chinese officials and the media point to deepening resentment at the Obama administration’s aggressive intervention into the region.

Gulf region remains devastated one week after Hurricane Isaac

By Ed Hightower, 6 September 2012

Thousands of residents in communities outside of New Orleans remain in shelters, unable to return to homes that remain submerged in up to ten feet of water.

Portland, Oregon increases transit fees

By Tony Colton and Hector Cordon, 6 September 2012

Beginning September 1, the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet) implemented fare increases and cuts in services in order to overcome a $12 million budget shortfall.

California launches attack on public sector pensions

By Julien Kiemle, 6 September 2012

California’s Democratic-controlled legislature overwhelmingly passed a drastic pension reform bill and sent it to Governor Jerry Brown last Friday.

First night of Democratic convention

Phony populism from a party of corporate America

By Patrick Martin, 5 September 2012

Speaker after speaker praised the auto bailout, which resulted in the slashing of wages and benefits and the destruction of tens of thousands of jobs.

Frankfurt protest against Western intervention in Syria

By our correspondents, 5 September 2012

Around one thousand people took part in a demonstration through the center of Frankfurt September 1 under the slogan: “Stop the war! Hands off Syria.”

US letter carrier dies after delivering mail in heat wave

By Hector Cordon, 5 September 2012

A Missouri letter carrier’s death in July was due to extreme heat exposure, a medical examiner has determined.

Democrats slash California workers’ compensation

By Don Knowland, 5 September 2012

California’s Democratic governor and legislators, with the collusion of major unions, have gutted the compensation and medical benefits of injured workers.

Police shootings raise questions over CIA role in Mexico

By Rafael Azul, 5 September 2012

On August 24, Mexican police shot and wounded two American CIA agents.

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White begins England tour

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2012

Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate in November’s US presidential elections has arrived in England on the second leg of his international tour.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 September 2012

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

Clinton intervenes at Pacific Islands Forum

By Tom Peters, 4 September 2012

Washington is asserting itself throughout the Pacific region and stoking tensions with China.

Former Obama advisers float proposals for cutting health care costs

By Kate Randall, 4 September 2012

In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, former Obama advisers advocate “bundling” care, “tiered” health care plans, and other rationing measures to cut health care costs.

California Assembly passes resolution defining criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism

By Tom Carter, 4 September 2012

Last month, the California State Assembly passed a resolution urging state educational institutions to limit criticism of the state of Israel on campuses.

The Democratic convention opens

By Patrick Martin, 4 September 2012

There is a division of labor between the Democratic and Republican parties, but both serve the interests of the corporate ruling elite.

SEP supporters campaign for ballot access in Louisiana

By E.P. Bannon, 4 September 2012

A campaign team visited cities across the state in order to solicit the support needed to place SEP candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer on the ballot in November.

Videos capture extreme police brutality in Los Angeles

By John Andrews, 3 September 2012

More than 20 years after the videotaped assault on Rodney King supposedly spurred reform in the Los Angeles Police Department, three videos surface depicting beatings and death at the hands of the police.

Jackson Hole discussion points to deepening economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 3 September 2012

The gathering demonstrated that the central bankers do not even understand the workings of the system over which they are supposed to preside.

Opposition to sellout contract by Chrysler workers wins support

By Shannon Jones, 3 September 2012

The stand taken by Chrysler Dundee Engine Plant workers, who overwhelmingly rejected a local contract last month, is winning broad support.

Tens of thousands lose cash welfare assistance in Michigan

By Debra Watson, 3 September 2012

Sixty thousand individual welfare recipients have been removed from Michigan welfare rolls since last fall.

Cortland, New York residents and youth discuss poor working conditions

By Bryan Dyne, 3 September 2012

Supporters of the SEP presidential campaign spoke to residents and youth in Cortland, New York about their working conditions and future prospects.

US Justice Department closes CIA probe with no charges in torture, murder of detainees

By Bill Van Auken, 1 September 2012

US Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday shut down a three-year investigation into CIA torture and murder of detainees, with no charges being brought against anyone.

US Federal Reserve set to provide further boost to banks

By Nick Beams, 1 September 2012

US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke left the way open for the Fed to deliver a further boost to financial markets in the near future.

Parti Quebecois promotes chauvinist, anti-immigrant agenda

By Keith Jones, 1 September 2012

In the name of defending Quebec values and the French language, the Parti Québécois has vowed to enact a series of anti-democratic measures should it win next Tuesday’s provincial election.

Dental care in America: A study in austerity, neglect and profiteering

By Gary Joad, 1 September 2012

A public television production documented the painful and ill experiences of millions of working class families as they seek dental care in the US.

Romney outlines right-wing agenda in acceptance speech

By Joseph Kishore, 31 August 2012

Romney’s speech closed a three-day convention, in which the Republican Party put on display the extreme right-wing program upon which it is campaigning.

France, Turkey push for Syrian no-fly zone at UN

By Chris Marsden, 31 August 2012

Turkey’s appeal to the United Nations Security Council for the creation of a no-fly zone in Syria is laying the ground for military intervention.

New York’s Woolworth building to be turned into luxury apartments

By Philip Guelpa, 31 August 2012

The $150 million deal to create new apartments in one of New York’s first skyscrapers is an index of inequality, which continues to widen in the midst of the growing economic crisis.

US Justice Department cites abuse of students’ constitutional rights in Mississippi schools

By Nick Barrickman, 31 August 2012

According to the US Department of Justice, school officials in Meridian, Mississippi have been running a “school-to-prison pipeline” for youth in the public school system.

Hurricane Isaac … and the seven years since Hurricane Katrina

By David Walsh, 31 August 2012

Whatever the ultimate damage caused by Hurricane Isaac, it has underscored once again the social crisis in America and the failure of its political system.

SEP campaigners in Detroit discuss attacks on jobs, public education

By our reporters, 31 August 2012

Supporters of SEP candidates Jerry White for president and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president recently won support for the socialist campaign at Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Seven years after the Katrina disaster

Hurricane Isaac pounds Gulf Coast

By Andre Damon, 30 August 2012

Hurricane Isaac made landfall in eastern Louisiana Wednesday morning, forcing thousands of people to flee, leaving hundreds of thousands without power, and causing untold millions in property damage.

The tripling of US arms sales

By Bill Van Auken, 30 August 2012

The massive rise in US arms sales is driven by the accelerating turn toward aggressive war as a means of achieving the strategic objectives of US imperialism.

Republican National Convention: A celebration of reaction

By Patrick Martin, 30 August 2012

The convention adopted an ultra-right platform and rubber-stamped the nomination of Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential candidate.

US appeals court upholds Texas ban on Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood

By Ed Hightower, 30 August 2012

In a ruling handed down August 21, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a Texas regulation that effectively cuts off funding to clinics operated by Planned Parenthood.

Homelessness, social misery on the rise in US capital

By Nick Barrickman, 30 August 2012

As the impact of the economic crisis on working class families deepens, millions across the country are confronting the threats of foreclosure, bankruptcy, and homelessness. Those who fall through the cracks of society are being met with attacks on safety net programs at every level of government. The budgetary assault is accompanied by legislation aimed at criminalizing the poor, such as drug testing for welfare and food aid, laws against panhandling and homeless encampments, and aggressive use of child protective services against families who fall on hard times.

No prosecution of US troops for defiling Afghan corpses, burning Korans

By Bill Van Auken, 29 August 2012

Three US Marines and six soldiers escaped criminal charges in connection with the videotaped urination on the corpses of slain Afghans and the burning of copies of the Koran, incidents that provoked bloody unrest earlier this year.

Hurricane Isaac takes aim at US Gulf Coast

By Kate Randall, 29 August 2012

Hurricane Isaac was expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast early this morning, exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the region on August 29, 2005.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 29 August 2012

This week we report a police killing in the nation’s capital, the untenable cost of child care, Florida’s effort to purge unemployment insurance rolls of hundreds of thousands, the doubling of the Georgia high school dropout rate, and the crisis in home energy assistance funding.

Quebec’s major parties advance rival right-wing agendas

By Keith Jones, 29 August 2012

In the run-up to next week’s election, Quebec’s major parties are trading accusations of corruption, promoting right-wing policy planks, and engaging in mutual finger-pointing as to who is responsible for the perilous state of the province’s public health care system.

US, UK and France threaten military intervention against Syria

By Chris Marsden, 29 August 2012

The Obama administration is treading a well-worn path by citing “weapons of mass destruction” as a pretext for waging war against Syria.

Wisconsin board approves ballot access for SEP candidates

By our reporter, 29 August 2012

Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board has approved placing Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer on the state’s ballot in November, reversing an earlier recommendation from the board’s staff.

Fed minutes point to a bankrupt economic order

By Nick Beams, 28 August 2012

The latest FOMC meeting amounted to an acknowledgement that while the financial system continues to operate on a day-to-day basis, in a longer-term, historical sense it has completely broken down.

Corporate bribery and political corruption on display at Republican, Democratic conventions

By Barry Grey, 28 August 2012

There is in this year's quadrennial conventions an unabashed flaunting of the role of corporate money in what passes for American democracy that goes beyond even the debased levels of previous presidential campaigns.

Amidst cutbacks in mental health, California hospital faces closure

By Thomas Gaist, 28 August 2012

As part of the attack on social services, the Sonoma Developmental Center in northern California is threatened with permanent closure.

SEP candidate campaigns among Chicago teachers

By a campaign team, 28 August 2012

SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer and a campaign team spoke to Chicago teachers at an informational picket outside of a middle school.

Standardized testing for five-year-olds

US moves toward two-track education system

By Isabelle Belanger, 28 August 2012

Test developer ACT, Inc., in partnership with Pearson, is creating a new series of tests to measure the aptitude of students as young as five years old for college or a career.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

28 August 2012

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

Wage cuts hit millions of US workers

By Patrick Martin, 27 August 2012

Millions of American workers who lost their jobs after the 2008 Wall Street crash have failed to find work, while millions more have taken jobs at much lower wages.

US “Fifty Wealthiest Lawmakers” list: A Congress of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich

By Eric London, 27 August 2012

Last week’s report by Washington D.C. political blog The Hill details the vast wealth of House and Senate members.

New York police kill gunman, wound nine bystanders in midtown Manhattan

By Philip Guelpa and Fred Mazelis, 27 August 2012

The second police shooting within two weeks on the busy streets of midtown Manhattan underscored the readiness of the authorities to use police-state tactics to maintain “law and order.”

US West Nile virus cases double in one week

By Naomi Spencer, 27 August 2012

Over the past week, documented cases of West Nile virus have doubled across the US, with most cases in the South and Southwest.

Legal Aid forced to lay off 750 workers in US

By Alan Gilman, 27 August 2012

Eight percent of the lawyers and support staff will be laid off from the federal legal services nonprofit due to congressional budget cuts.

Survey shows continuing hunger across US as Congress prepares to cut food stamps

By Peter Daniels, 25 August 2012

A Gallup poll shows many parts of the country with more than 20 percent of families facing hunger, while drought conditions push food costs further beyond the reach of millions.

Layoff announcements, employment data point to worsening US jobs crisis

By Barry Grey, 25 August 2012

Major layoff announcements in the US and internationally point to deepening slump and intensifying attacks on workers’ wages and living standards.

The US Medicare debate

By Kate Randall, 25 August 2012

The election campaign debate on Medicare is a façade behind which the two big business parties are preparing an unprecedented attack on not only Medicare, but Social Security and all that remains of the social welfare programs enacted since the New Deal.

SEP wins support in Wisconsin ballot status fight

By Niles Williamson, 25 August 2012

A team of SEP supporters campaigned with the vice-presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer at the Milwaukee Area Technical College in West Allis, Wisconsin. This was the first day of classes and the students were eager to discuss the campaign.

An exchange on the Chicago Teachers Union

By Alexander Fangmann, 24 August 2012

The following is a letter the WSWS received on our article, “Chicago Teachers Union agrees to lengthening of the school day,” and a reply by the author, Alexander Fangmann.

US war threats against Syria as fighting intensifies across Near East

By Alex Lantier, 24 August 2012

Fighting is intensifying in Syria and throughout the Near East, as US and NATO officials escalate war threats against Syria.

US to expand anti-missile systems in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 24 August 2012

North Korea is Washington’s stated reason for constructing anti-missile systems in Asia, but the real target is China.

Pew Research: “Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier: The Lost Decade of the Middle Class”

New poll, data point to vast social polarization in US

By David Walsh, 24 August 2012

A survey released by the Pew Research Center adds details to the picture of an American society divided sharply along class lines and dominated by growing social inequality.

Quebec: Thousands protest Liberals’ tuition hikes, user fees and privatization

By Keith Jones, 24 August 2012

The large turnout in Wednesday’s demonstration attests to the fact that youth and workers are as determined as ever in their opposition to the Liberal government’ rightwing agenda, but CLASSE made no effort to draw the political lessons of the past six months of struggle.

Two killed in Maryland train derailment

By Jeff Lusanne, 24 August 2012

Two young women were killed after a train loaded with coal derailed without warning in Ellicott City, Maryland Tuesday night.

Washington and its allies work to destabilise Lebanon

Part two

By Jean Shaoul, 24 August 2012

This is the conclusion of a two-part examination of the background to the current crisis in Lebanon.

Workers should defend teacher tenure!

Phyllis Scherrerr and SEP candidate for vice president, 24 August 2012

Three million teachers return to public schools across the country for the 2012-2013 school year under conditions where the destruction of public education is a top bipartisan priority spearheaded by the Obama administration.

Dundee, Michigan Chrysler workers denounce sellout agreement

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 August 2012

Workers at the Chrysler Dundee Engine plant in Michigan spoke to WSWS reporters about the sellout local contract they recently rejected by a decisive margin.

Akin affair highlights hypocrisy and ignorance in US official politics

By Patrick Martin, 23 August 2012

Top Republicans, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, have demanded that Todd Akin step down as the party’s candidate for US Senate from Missouri.

Washington and its allies work to destabilise Lebanon

Part one

By Jean Shaoul, 23 August 2012

This is the first part of a two-part article examining the background to the current crisis in Lebanon.

Ontario’s Liberal government to slash teachers’ wages

By Carl Bronski, 23 August 2012

Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty is recalling the provincial legislature next week to pass legislation imposing sweeping concessions on the province’s elementary and secondary school teachers.

Obama threatens to invade Syria

By Johannes Stern, 22 August 2012

Yesterday US and NATO officials discussed plans for a US invasion of Syria to bring down Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Obama and Romney’s phony Medicare debate

By Kate Randall, 22 August 2012

The crossover between the Obama heath care overhaul and Romney’s proposals for Medicare exposes the bipartisan attack being prepared against Medicare and other social programs.

New Orleans universities plan huge cuts as state funding shrinks

By Tom Hall, 22 August 2012

The University of New Orleans and Southern University at New Orleans are planning deep cuts to compensate for declining state funding.

SEP launches bid for ballot access in Louisiana

By our reporters, 22 August 2012

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party are campaigning this week in Louisiana to put the party’s candidates, Jerry White for President and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president, on the ballot.

New York Times backs reckless US intervention in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2012

The editorial cynically blames China for the dangerous tensions in the strategic waters that the Obama administration has deliberately stoked in the past two years.

US to drop criminal probe of MF Global

By Barry Grey, 21 August 2012

In the figure of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine, key aspects of the criminalization of the US ruling elite and the thoroughgoing corruption of its political system come together.

The election year controversy over Romney’s taxes: Hypocrisy to spare on both sides

By Ed Hightower, 21 August 2012

Last Thursday, Republican candidate for US president Mitt Romney attempted to quell criticism by the Obama campaign about his personal fortune and proposed tax plan.

Michigan cuts teacher health care, pensions

By Mitch Marcus, 21 August 2012

Last week the Michigan state legislature passed a bill that strips retirement health care from all newly hired teachers and greatly increases the cost of their pensions while setting in motion plans to altogether eliminate them.

Political lessons of the Quebec student strike

By Keith Jones, 21 August 2012

The trade unions, the New Democratic Party, the union- and Parti Quebecois-allied student associations and the entire Quebec pseudo-left politically suffocated the strike, confining it to a student protest aimed at pressuring the Charest government and the Quebec elite.