Americas

US in talks on extending Afghanistan occupation past 2014 deadline

By Bill Van Auken, 18 October 2012

The talks are aimed at cementing an open-ended US military presence in Afghanistan.

Morgan Stanley fine upheld in electricity price-fixing scam

By A. Woodson, 18 October 2012

A Federal District Court judge in Manhattan has upheld a $4.8 million fine against Morgan Stanley for creating a derivatives deal.

The Obama-Romney debate: Questions unasked and unanswered

By Joseph Kishore, 18 October 2012

The second presidential debate exemplified the scripted and ritualized character of the entire election, in which no serious questions can be asked, let alone answered.

Jerry White speaks at University of Michigan on post-election war threats

By our reporter, 18 October 2012

White presented an overview of the social, economic, and military context of the presidential elections and fielded wide-ranging questions from the audience.

Phyllis Scherrer discusses social crisis with students and workers in upstate New York

By Steve Filips, 18 October 2012

SEP Vice Presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer speaks to workers and students in Syracuse and Ithaca.

Obama-Romney debate number two: Another stage-managed charade

By Barry Grey, 17 October 2012

The second nationally televised debate between President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney served only to underscore the hypocrisy and deceit that pervade the entire election.

US prepares military strikes as Libya crisis deepens

By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2012

The White House is considering drone strikes and Special Forces raids in retaliation for the fatal September 11 attack on US facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

More contaminated drugs linked to US meningitis outbreak

By Kate Randall, 17 October 2012

The fungal meningitis outbreak continues to widen, as a new report from the FDA warns against other drugs produced by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

New evidence that US invasion has produced epidemic of birth defects in Iraq

By Fred Mazelis, 17 October 2012

An extraordinary epidemic of congenital birth defects has affected Iraqi cities over the past decade, particularly in Fallujah and Basra.

Jerry White interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio

17 October 2012

Jerry White, the SEP candidate for president, spoke about the purpose of the campaign and the lessons of the Wisconsin protests.

US debate night number two

By Barry Grey, 16 October 2012

It is extraordinary that four years after the greatest economic crash in nearly a century, not a single genuine social reform has been enacted.

Workers Struggles, the Americas

16 October 2012

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

US stokes China-Japan dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyu islands

By Alex Lantier, 16 October 2012

Washington is deepening its support for Japan in its standoff with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Poverty rises sharply in Illinois

By Marcus Day, 16 October 2012

New data released by the Census Bureau reveals that greater numbers of Illinois workers and unemployed are falling into poverty.

US meningitis outbreak: A deadly product of deregulation

Statement by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US president

By Jerry White, 16 October 2012

The fungal meningitis outbreak can be traced directly to the profit-motive of the corporate entity implicated and the lack of government oversight of drug manufacturing.

Three weeks to the US elections: The issues facing working people

By Patrick Martin, 15 October 2012

Even commentators in the corporate-controlled media have acknowledged the shallow and cynical character of the 2012 campaign.

Friction at IMF meeting as global economic outlook worsens

By Nick Beams, 15 October 2012

The tensions were evident when Germany objected to IMF head Christine Lagarde’s call for Greece to be given more time to pay, and Brazil branded US monetary policy “selfish”.

US Defense Secretary warns of “Pearl Harbor” cyber attack by Iran

By Niall Green, 15 October 2012

In a speech in New York Thursday, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta warned that the US faced a threat from Iran equivalent to September 11 or the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Chicago mayor threatens to cut pensions of teachers and city workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 October 2012

In a speech to the city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to lead an assault on teacher and public worker pensions by spearheading statewide pension “reform.”

Family protests after officials call off search for trapped worker in Florida garage collapse

By Eric London, 15 October 2012

Just 13 hours after three workers were killed and ten others were injured in a garage collapse in Miami, Florida, officials called off a search for the missing.

Jerry White addresses Toronto meeting

By our reporter, 15 October 2012

The Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, addressed a lively meeting attended by some thirty workers and youth in Toronto, Ontario.

Spread of meningitis outbreak exposes lack of drug oversight in US

By Kate Randall, 13 October 2012

The tragic unfolding of the fungal meningitis outbreak is the latest consequence of the shoddy oversight of the drug industry, encouraged by the for-profit health care system.

Five deaths in Baltimore row house fire

By Nick Barrickman, 13 October 2012

Not until later reports of the tragedy were made public was it revealed that four of the five deaths were young children.

Spate of police shootings coincides with deepening social crisis in New York

By Ali Ismail, 13 October 2012

Recent shooting incidents have taken place amid a worsening social crisis in the city, provoking widespread anger towards the NYPD.

Detroit man killed in attempted copper theft

By Naomi Spencer, 13 October 2012

The electrocution of a Detroit man during an attempted copper theft gives an indication of the desperate social conditions in the city.

Attend the SEP regional conferences!

Jerry White and SEP candidate for US president, 13 October 2012

Whatever the campaign rhetoric about “fundamental philosophical differences,” both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney speak on behalf of the financial and corporate elite that rules America.

IMF report points to growing financial instability

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2012

According to the latest Global Financial Stability Report, “confidence in the global financial system has become very fragile.”

US vice-presidential debate: Demagogy and reaction

By Patrick Martin, 12 October 2012

The exchanges between Biden and Ryan had a predictable and banal character.

Bipartisan Senate deficit deal to cut Medicare, slash taxes for the wealthy

By Bryan Dyne and Barry Grey, 12 October 2012

The discussions by the so-called “Gang of Eight” senators underscore the undemocratic character of the elections.

Federal home heating cuts spell hardship for US families this winter

By Shannon Jones, 12 October 2012

The return of seasonably cold weather this winter means higher home heating costs at a time when assistance programs are being cut.

The diversionary debate over the Benghazi attack

By Bill Van Auken, 12 October 2012

Last month’s fatal attack on the US consulate in Benghazi has emerged as an issue in the US elections, with both parties avoiding the essential political questions raised by the incident.

In preparation for wider war, Pentagon deploys task force in Jordan

By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2012

In preparation for a wider war in the Middle East, the Pentagon has deployed a 150-strong task force in Jordan.

The class issues in the 2012 US elections

By Jerry White, 11 October 2012

With less than four weeks to the US elections, the Democratic Party is hoping to recover from the impact of President Obama’s dismal performance last week in the first debate.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 October 2012

This week: the psychological impact of solitary confinement on young prisoners, the swelling homeless population in New York, the epidemic of suicides among American Indian youth

Boeing professional workers overwhelmingly reject proposed contract

By Angelo Bosworth, 11 October 2012

Boeing engineers and technicians vote overwhelmingly against the company’s proposals.

Wall Street vs. workers—the class gap widens

Jerry White and SEP candidate for president, 11 October 2012

Wall Street pay and profits have hit record levels since the 2008 crash.

US, Israel plan joint strikes on Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 10 October 2012

The US and Israel are planning joint strikes against Iran, according to reports in the Israeli media and Foreign Policy magazine.

US student loan lawsuits increase

By Bryan Dyne, 10 October 2012

The federal government is expanding its lawsuit campaign to recover the $76 billion of the $1 trillion of student debt that is in default.

Campbell’s Soup to close California plant

By Karl Eisner, 10 October 2012

Campbell’s Soup will close its Sacramento plant by July 2013, laying off 700 workers.

Socialist Equality Party gains ballot status in Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 10 October 2012

The Socialist Equality Party successfully completed its bid for ballot status in the state of Louisiana.

In bellicose speech, Romney outlines bipartisan drive to war

By Joseph Kishore, 9 October 2012

Romney outlined an aggressive expansion of US militarism in the Middle East and Asia.

Deadly meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroids

By Kate Randall, 9 October 2012

Eight people have died from a fungal form of meningitis linked to contaminated steroids produced by a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

Chicago teachers docked pay, CTU still collects dues

By Kristina Betinis, 9 October 2012

Since the Chicago Teachers Union ended their 10-day strike, teachers have been issued short paychecks or no pay at all, but the union has still deducted dues.

Illinois leads US in home foreclosures

By Marcus Day, 9 October 2012

Foreclosure activity in Illinois shot up 42 percent from one year ago, giving the state the highest foreclosure rate in the US.

New report details huge rise in poverty in Detroit suburbs

By Shannon Jones, 9 October 2012

As the poverty rate has risen in Michigan overall, its suburban areas have seen a deepening of poverty.

The New York Times promotes the Syrian contras

By Alex Lantier, 9 October 2012

On October 5 journalist C. J. Chivers published a long article in the New York Times, sympathetically recording the views of the US-backed Syrian opposition .

Turkish, Syrian armies clash along border

By David Brown, 8 October 2012

Yesterday marked the fifth day of artillery clashes along the Syrian-Turkish border, amid rising fears of a war that would spread across the Middle East.

The US elections and the unemployed

By Patrick Martin, 8 October 2012

Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the slightest concern for the plight of 23 million workers who are either unemployed or underemployed.

Revealing study of “revolving door” between US government and big business

By Nick Barrickman, 8 October 2012

A recent study by Swiss economists takes a detailed look at the intimate relations between the US government and big business.

Poverty up, income down in San Diego

By Richard Vargas and Toby Reese, 8 October 2012

A new report reveals increasing poverty and decreasing income in California’s second largest city.

Phyllis Scherrer caps tour with meetings in Chicago and Milwaukee

By our reporters, 8 October 2012

Over the past week, SEP vice presidential candidate Phyllis Scherrer has spoken at meetings in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Wisconsin.

US SEP presidential candidate Jerry White to speak in Toronto

By our reporter, 8 October 2012

Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate in the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, will be the featured speaker at a public meeting in Toronto next Sunday, Oct. 14.

Mass protest against threatened Turkey-Syria war

By Chris Marsden, 6 October 2012

Tens of thousands of anti-war protesters gathered in Istanbul, Thursday evening, opposing military action against Syria.

Obama seizes on flukish jobs report to defend right-wing policies

By Barry Grey, 6 October 2012

The sharp drop in the official jobless rate, coming in the midst of generally negative data on manufacturing, trade and economic growth, confounded economists, who had predicted the rate would climb to 8.2 percent.

Hearings for victimized Detroit sewerage strikers

By Andre Damon, 6 October 2012

The 34 workers who were victimized in the aftermath of the five-day strike at Detroit’s wastewater treatment plant were made to sign agreements to return to work after receiving five-day suspensions and extended probation periods.

New York Public Library backs off 42nd Street reconstruction plans

By Sandy English, 6 October 2012

After vehement opposition, the New York Public Library has altered plans that would have changed the character of the main research library in mid-Manhattan.

Well-attended SEP election meeting at Oberlin College

By our reporters, 6 October 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White spoke to a lively and well attended meeting at Oberlin College on Thursday.

UAW pushes through contract ratification at Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant

By Shannon Jones, 6 October 2012

The United Auto Workers reports that members of Local 723 at the Chrysler Dundee, Michigan Engine Plant have ratified the same local contract agreement they rejected in August.

Union capitulation deals blow to Detroit sewerage workers

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 5 October 2012

On Thursday evening, AFSCME Local 207 formally called off the five-day strike of sewerage workers at the Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant, having engineered a collapse of the walkout without any gains for the workers.

Ratification of Chicago teachers contract sets stage for assault on public education

By Joseph Kishore, 5 October 2012

The contract, backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union, sets the stage for an expanded assault on teachers and public education.

Poverty rises dramatically in Michigan

By Debra Watson, 5 October 2012

Poverty in Michigan increased a staggering 66 percent since 2001, the largest such increase of any state in the country.

Obama and the debate

By Patrick Martin, 5 October 2012

The American media is overflowing with commentary on the poor performance of Barack Obama in Wednesday’s presidential debate.

Jerry White talks to firefighters about Detroit water workers struggle

By our correspondent, 5 October 2012

SEP presidential candidate White talked about the significance of the strike at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, and the need to broaden the struggle throughout the working class.

Declining US doctor visits: A product of social decay and the assault on health care

By Joseph Kishore, 4 October 2012

The decline in doctor visits is a product not simply of abstract economic forces, but a deliberate policy carried out by the corporations and both big business parties aimed at reducing health care for the vast majority of Americans.

Obama and Romney: A “debate” without real differences

By Patrick Martin, 4 October 2012

The debate demonstrated the vast gulf between the two-party system and the needs and concerns of working people.

NHL lockout of players continues

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 October 2012

The continued NHL lockout threatens regular season games as owners demand massive salary concessions and contract modifications.

AFSCME regional, local leaders betray Detroit water workers strike

By Jerry White, 4 October 2012

The leadership of AFSCME Local 207 has brought the strike of hundreds of Detroit Water and Sewerage Workers to an ignominious dead end.

Pennsylvania judge postpones enforcement of anti-democratic voter ID law

By Samuel Davidson, 4 October 2012

A Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday ordered a postponement of sections of the state’s new voter ID law, which would have blocked tens of thousands of registered voters from casting ballots in the November elections.

Democratic rights under threat as US Supreme Court opens new term

By Tom Carter, 4 October 2012

In a significant number of cases expected to come before the US Supreme Court this term, democratic rights are in jeopardy.

Minnesota Orchestra musicians locked out

By Ron Jorgenson, 4 October 2012

Minnesota Orchestra management locked out its 81 musicians Sunday after they unanimously voted down 30 to 50 percent pay cuts.

Chicago: Evergreen Park teachers strike

By Shane Feratu, 4 October 2012

Classes were canceled Tuesday after negotiations between the union and Evergreen Park school board fell through on Monday night.

Los Angeles free clinic clients, volunteers discuss crisis of US health care

By our reporters, 4 October 2012

September 30 was the final day of Care Harbor’s annual free clinic at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

Amid mass protests, Mexican deputies approve labor counter-reform

By Rafael Azul, 3 October 2012

The Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved a labor reform law that attacks living standards and working conditions for the working class.

Democrats, Republicans plot post-election assault on Medicare, Social Security

By Kate Randall, 3 October 2012

Discussions are underway in the US Senate to forge a deal on sweeping cuts to social programs in the aftermath of the November 6 election.

City threatens to fire striking Detroit sewerage workers

By Jerry White, 3 October 2012

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has sent notices to 34 workers informing them that they have been suspended without pay and face termination for walking off the job Sunday morning.

New York City transit workers without a contract for over eight months

By Alan Whyte, 3 October 2012

Anger is growing among New York City’s 35,000 bus and subway workers, who have been working without a contract for eight and a half months.

Transit workers voice anger

By a reporting team, 3 October 2012

A WSWS reporting team interviewed transit workers at the Stilwell train station in Brooklyn, the largest one in the New York City system.

A special message from SEP presidential candidate Jerry White

3 October 2012

In this video, Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party's candidate for president in the 2012 election, reviews the campaign so far and asks for your support.

Scherrer wins support in Pittsburgh

By Samuel Davidson, 3 October 2012

Members of the Socialist Equality Party campaigned in Pittsburgh over the weekend and won a strong response from workers and students as they promoted their upcoming meeting.

A comment on Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit

By Nancy Hanover, 3 October 2012

The recently released documentary Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit is a moving and powerful tribute to the impoverished city’s embattled firefighters.

Firefighters speak with the WSWS at Burn premiere

By Lawrence Porter and Bryan Dyne, 3 October 2012

WSWS reporters spoke to firefighters at the premiere of Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit.

US troop deaths in Afghanistan top 2,000

By Bill Van Auken, 2 October 2012

The 2,000th American soldier died in Afghanistan last weekend as the result of a so-called “insider” attack, underscoring the crisis of the 11-year-old US war.

Striking Detroit water workers defy federal judge, union officials

By Jerry White, 2 October 2012

Workers at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s waste treatment plant are continuing their strike despite a temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge Monday. The walkout, which began on Sunday, involves 950 workers at the facility in the southwest side of Detroit.

World economy slides deeper into slump

By Andre Damon, 2 October 2012

A string of negative reports has revealed a significant deterioration in the global economy, with world trade slowing, manufacturing contracting, and the number of unemployed workers in the euro zone hitting a record high.

France, US step up pressure for military intervention in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 2 October 2012

France and the United States are urging UN Security Council to approve a West African-manned military intervention in Northern Mali.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 October 2012

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

US increases support for Syrian opposition as Aleppo burns

By Niall Green, 1 October 2012

The Obama administration has fully resumed its proxy war against Syria, resulting in new disasters for the people of the country.

Detroit water workers go on strike

By Shannon Jones, 1 October 2012

Some 950 workers at the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage struck Sunday morning over massive attacks on jobs, pay and benefits.

SEP candidate speaks with striking Detroit city workers

By a reporting team, 1 October 2012

Jerry White, the SEP candidate for US president, spoke with striking workers at the Detroit water and sewerage treatment plant.

ACLU Report: Obama administration expands domestic spying

By Eric London, 1 October 2012

Under the Obama administration, there has been a 60 percent increase in warrantless electronic surveillance by the Department of Justice, according to a report Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union.

One in five US households has student loan debt

By Bryan Dyne, 1 October 2012

The Pew Research Center reports that 19 percent of all US households in 2010 owed student loans, with average outstanding debt loads of nearly $26,700.

Minneapolis workplace shooting leaves six dead

By Kate Randall, 1 October 2012

A workplace shooting last Thursday afternoon in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota claimed six lives, including that of the shooter.

Quebec’s premier venture-capital fund controlled by Quebec Federation of Labour

By Laurent Lafrance, 1 October 2012

A notice the Quebec Federation of Labour recently published in the province’s leading daily extolling its misnamed Solidarity Fund sheds light on the class interests that lay behind the unions' strangling of the Quebec student strike.

Netanyahu’s war ultimatum at the UN

By Barry Grey, 1 October 2012

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s belligerent and provocative speech last Thursday before the United Nations General Assembly underscored that plans for an unprovoked military attack on Iran are far advanced.

SEP candidate Jerry White to participate in online Q&A forum Tuesday

1 October 2012

On Tuesday, October 2, Jerry White will participate in an online forum on the Internet site Reddit, answering questions about his campaign and the program of the SEP.

Vote “no” on the Chicago teachers contract!

For a political offensive of the working class to defend public education

Socialist Equality Party, 1 October 2012

The SEP calls on teachers to reject the sell-out agreement reached between the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools.

US scuttles Syria negotiations, backs anti-Assad forces at UN

By Niall Green, 29 September 2012

Washington has used the UN General Assembly as a venue to plot with its allies refashioning the Middle East in line with US interests.

Report reveals deteriorating social conditions in Wisconsin

By Niles Williamson, 29 September 2012

A recent report released by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison revealed the conditions faced by working people in the state.

Harlan, Kentucky coal miner killed in roof fall

By Naomi Spencer, 29 September 2012

A roof collapse in a Tennessee mine early Wednesday claimed the life of a Harlan, Kentucky, miner.

Jerry White speaks to workers and students in Virginia

By our correspondents, 29 September 2012

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White addressed a meeting at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Thursday.