World News

Indian government seizes on Kashmir attack to ratchet up tensions with Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2019

New Delhi’s denunciations and blood-curdling threats are all but an announcement of an impending Indian military strike on Pakistan.

Spanish government falls amid Catalan crisis

By Alejandro López, 16 February 2019

The major parties are set to run the most right-wing election campaign in Spain since the 1978 Transition to parliamentary rule, under cover of opposing Catalan separatism.

Germany: Public transport strike paralyzes Berlin

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

For much of Friday, all subways and trams in the capital stood still and most buses remained in their depots.

Nationwide public sector strike hits Portugal

By Will Morrow, 16 February 2019

Leading union officials have issued warnings to the government that its actions could trigger “uncontrollable” struggles by workers that they cannot prevent.

Union thugs assault striking Matamoros workers

By Andrea Lobo, 16 February 2019

Threats by management, police and the unions are increasingly frequent across the city.

Former FBI deputy director confirms FBI, Justice officials discussed removing Trump

By Barry Grey, 16 February 2019

In his “60 Minutes” interview, McCabe confirms the existence of a plot within the FBI and Justice Department to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election.

No agreement on US-China trade with talks to continue

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2019

The next round will be virtually the last chance to reach a formal agreement before March 1, after which the US will increase tariffs—from 10 to 25 percent—on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Munich Security Conference

German defence minister advocates German-European war policy

By Johannes Stern, 16 February 2019

Almost 75 years after the end of World War II, the imperialist powers are openly preparing for a new round of military conflicts.

No More Deaths volunteers prosecuted for providing humanitarian aid to migrants

By Anthony del Olmo, 16 February 2019

The targeting of humanitarian aid groups is a warning that no one will be spared in the administration’s fascistic attack on immigrants.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

Australian university sacks academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 February 2019

The University of Sydney has carried out a serious attack on academic freedom, aimed at intimidating growing opposition to militarism and war.

Trump’s state of emergency

A step towards presidential dictatorship

By Patrick Martin, 16 February 2019

No American president has so flagrantly usurped the constitutional prerogative of Congress to decide how public funds are to be spent.

A reply to Britain’s Community Security Trust

By Chris Marsden, 16 February 2019

The following is a reply by Socialist Equality Party (UK) national secretary Chris Marsden to Mark Gardner, deputy chief executive & communications director at the pro-Zionist Community Security Trust.

SEP national secretary James Cogan participates in Unity4J discussion on the defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

Cogan explained why the SEP has called demonstrations demanding the freedom of Julian Assange, as well as the broader campaign by the WSWS against internet censorship.

The State, Business and Education: How rapacious corporations are dismantling public education globally

By Erika Zimmer, 16 February 2019

Billionaires, global tech companies and national governments are imposing a profit-driven, user-pays system.

Bangladesh steel workers demand wage rise; Australian coal haulage workers continue strike action; New Zealand bus drivers hold wildcat strikes

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

16 February 2019

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

Wealth concentration increases in US and globally

By Nick Beams, 15 February 2019

The top 1 percent in the US now owns about 40 percent of household wealth, increasing its share by at least 10 percentage points since 1989.

SEP (Australia) national secretary James Cogan to speak tomorrow on Unity4J online vigil

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

Cogan will be interviewed about the demonstrations called by the Socialist Equality Party to demand the freedom of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, and the broader campaign being waged by the WSWS against internet censorship.

Sri Lankan president denounces opponents of the death penalty

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 February 2019

Sirisena not only wants reinstatement of executions but the endorsement of all human rights organisations.

New Zealand housing crisis intensifies under Labour government

By John Braddock, 15 February 2019

The Labour government’s KiwiBuild scheme to address the deepening housing crisis has seen just 47 of 1,000 new homes promised by July completed.

Sydney meeting opposes persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 February 2019

The event was addressed by Consortium News editor Joe Lauria, SEP national secretary James Cogan and other prominent WikiLeaks defenders.

Human rights advocate Professor Stuart Rees supports rallies for the freedom of Julian Assange

15 February 2019

“Julian Assange follows in the footsteps of a long tradition of journalists and whistleblowers who have made significant contributions to civil societies.”

Tens of thousands strike in Berlin against poor working conditions

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

Tens of thousands of public sector workers took part in a one-day strike in Berlin on Wednesday. More than 10,000 people marched to the Brandenburg Gate.

One-day national strike paralyzes Belgium

By Will Morrow, 14 February 2019

Large parts of Belgium were brought to a standstill yesterday, as tens of thousands of workers took part in a national 24-hour strike to demand wage increases.

Uncertainty hangs over US border deal as shutdown deadline nears

By Patrick Martin, 14 February 2019

President Trump has not yet guaranteed that he will sign the deal to provide $1.375 billion to fund his planned border wall.

Mexican President López Obrador cracks down on Central American migrants

By Don Knowland, 14 February 2019

Central American immigrants detained in Piedras Negras, Coahuila on the Texas border are rebelling against detention at the hands of López Obrador.

Union federation stages national strike in South Africa

By Eddie Haywood, 14 February 2019

Tens of thousands of workers participated in the walkout, bringing economic activity to a near standstill across the country.

Union rushing to end Denver teachers strike

By Nancy Hanover, 14 February 2019

Denver teachers should take a warning from the experience of Los Angeles teachers and resist any attempt to rush through a deal that abandons critical demands for substantial increases in pay and school funding and a reduction in class sizes.

Heavy snow storm exposes depth of social crisis in US Pacific Northwest

By Kayla Costa, 14 February 2019

Winter Storm Nadia brought record snowfall and low temperatures to Washington and Oregon, imposing harsh burdens on the homeless, poor and working class.

Australian students endorse rallies to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

“I’m going, because I believe Assange should be set free and he should be defended. All people should go to the rallies if they believe in democratic rights.”

Flight attendant paralyzed after Delta ordered flight through tropical storm

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part three

By Tom Hall, 14 February 2019

Jane’s condition has been made significantly worse by lengthy delays in treatment caused by Delta’s workers’ compensation administrator, Sedgwick.

Washington escalates military threats as Venezuela regime change falters

By Bill Van Auken, 14 February 2019

The focus of the attempt to oust the Venezuelan government is a cynical charade over the delivery of USAID relief supplies across the country’s borders.

Italy: Mass demonstration in Rome against right-wing government

By Marianne Arens, 14 February 2019

The march was supported by workers, retirees and school students who want to fight the government’s right-wing policies. But the union leaders, Democratic Party representatives and pseudo-left politicians lent the rally a pro-business orientation.

“Turning Point UK:” A far-right offensive on British campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2019

A check of its leading personnel exposes TPUK as a top-down operation of the Tory right, with the substantial backing of Turning Point’s US-based parent organisation and its fascistic supporters.

New study reveals more details on deadly flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower

By Alice Summers, 14 February 2019

The study showed that ACM cladding is 55 times more flammable than the least flammable panels, with the PIR insulation used behind it at Grenfell Tower giving off smoke that was 15 times more toxic than the less flammable alternatives.

Mass protests shut down Haiti

By John Marion, 14 February 2019

The protests, now called Pays Lock (Country Lock), have taken on the character of a general strike with the aim of shutting down the country until President Moïse resigns.

Sri Lanka: SEP and Abbotsleigh workers’ committee organise picket to oppose witch hunt in plantations

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

The fight against the witch hunt in the plantations is bound up with the defence of the democratic rights of the working class from the onslaught of the capitalist class.

Australian government loses vote on refugee medical evacuation legislation

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 February 2019

The bill entrenches the power of the minister to prevent detained refugees from travelling to Australia and receiving desperately needed medical care.

New Zealand government expands police training in schools

By Tom Peters, 14 February 2019

The Police Studies course is being increased as part of the Labour-led government’s policy of boosting police recruitment, instilling discipline, and controlling the increasingly restive working class.

The show trial of the Catalan nationalists and the far-right danger in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2019

In line with official politics across Europe, the ruling class in Spain is moving to build a police state and defending the legacy of 20th century fascism.

Autoworkers must prepare fight as UAW plans new givebacks in 2019 contracts

By Shannon Jones, 14 February 2019

An op-ed piece in the Detroit Free Press by United Auto Workers President Gary Jones makes it clear that the union plans to use the threat to jobs to blackmail workers into accepting a new round of concessions in the 2019 contracts.

One year since the Parkland high school massacre: A political balance sheet

By Genevieve Leigh, 14 February 2019

One year has passed since the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and sparked nationwide protests by students and youth against gun violence.

The 2019 Grammy Awards: The music industry’s love affair with itself

By Matthew Brennan, 14 February 2019

The now ubiquitous and mandatory theme of every awards show—identity politics—was on heavy display Sunday.

The Iranian Revolution—Forty Years On

By Keith Jones, 13 February 2019

It is the Stalinist Tudeh Party and the politics of Stalinism that were principally responsible for the tragic derailing of the Iranian Revolution.

Denver teachers battle merit-pay system that is backed by unions, Democratic Party

By Andrea Peters, 13 February 2019

Teachers in Colorado’s largest city are continuing their decisive fight against low pay, performance-based compensation and underfunding of the schools.

National 24-hour strike goes forward in Belgium

By Will Morrow, 13 February 2019

As strikes and protests grow across Europe, anger is mounting among Belgian workers at low wages enforced by state-run talks between business and the unions.

Following Democrats' capitulation on border wall

Trump pushes for more anti-immigrant concessions from the Democrats

By Barry Grey, 13 February 2019

The government funding agreement represents a capitulation by the Democrats to Trump’s demand for a border wall and his mass detention of undocumented immigrants.

Five killed, 22 feared trapped in South African mine explosion

By Samuel Davidson, 13 February 2019

The explosion was at a mine owned by the Gupta brothers, who have close ties to former ANC leader and South African President Zuma.

Germany: Social Democrats modernise austerity

By Peter Schwarz, 13 February 2019

The SPD passed the “Hartz IV” laws 14 years ago, implementing welfare “reforms” and laying the foundations for a huge low-pay sector and widespread poverty.

British government’s “Project After” plan for post-Brexit economic crisis

By Steve James, 13 February 2019

The Financial Times reported on a secret economic planning group in the British government, tasked with planning for a deep post Brexit economic crisis.

British troops given free hand to shoot civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Jean Shaoul, 13 February 2019

One soldier stationed in southern Iraq claimed he and fellow troops were told they were allowed to shoot anyone who acted suspiciously.

New Zealand doctors, midwives strike

By our reporters, 13 February 2019

All health workers face the same political struggle against the Labour-led government, which is imposing the austerity agenda demanded by big business.

Week-long military exercises in Los Angeles raise serious questions

By Dan Conway, 13 February 2019

Six days of military exercises concluded in Los Angeles on Saturday with action in the latter half of the week centered on the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Delta planted GPS tracker in car of disabled flight attendant

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part two

By Tom Hall, 13 February 2019

In order to “prove” their case against injured flight attendant Ashley, Delta hired private investigators to spy on her, a common practice in workers’ comp cases.

Trump to hold second summit with North Korean leader

By Peter Symonds, 13 February 2019

By holding out the prospect that North Korea could become an “economic powerhouse,” Trump is seeking to entice Pyongyang out of China’s orbit and into closer ties with the US.

Sri Lankan plantation companies rule out further wage increases after union sellout

By W.A. Sunil, 13 February 2019

The unions’ betrayal of protracted industrial and political action has cleared the way for further attacks on workers by the plantation companies.

Australia: Expert warns of poor construction after Opal Tower evacuation and Melbourne cladding fire

By John Wilson, 13 February 2019

Governments at every level have been warned about dangerous construction standards.

Daniel Freeman, a founding member of the Workers League, dies at the age of 84

By Fred Mazelis, 13 February 2019

Danny Freeman joined the socialist movement in the mid-1950s and made a significant contribution to the fight for Trotskyism in the United States.

At St. Ann’s Warehouse Theater in Brooklyn

The Jungle: A makeshift society within the global refugee crisis

By Owen Mullan, 13 February 2019

Playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson have created a thoughtful treatment of one of humanity’s most acute social crises.

Denver teachers strike backed by student walkouts

By Tom Eley, 12 February 2019

Thousands of high school students walked out of class in solidarity with their nearly 3,000 striking teachers.

Chicago charter teachers strike enters second week

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2019

Charter school teachers are fighting for decent wages and smaller class sizes, but the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is looking to expands its franchise into the charter business.

UK: Anti-Semitism witch-hunt provokes backlash in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2019

The opposition of Corbyn et al. to all attempts to expel the Labour right has once again handed the initiative to the Blairites, despite Labour’s membership in overwhelming numbers hating everything they say and do.

Michigan steelworker dies after falling into vat of sulfuric acid

By Shannon Jones, 12 February 2019

Daniel Hill died over the weekend after falling into a vat of highly dangerous sulfuric acid while being trained for a new job at Michigan Seamless Tube in South Lyon.

As China-US trade deadline nears

Global economic war intensifies

By Nick Beams, 12 February 2019

Prospects for a US-China trade deal took a blow last Thursday when US President Donald Trump ruled out a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping before the expiration of a March 1 deadline.

Chicago Fire Department cites open flame as cause of Little Village fire that killed 10 children

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 February 2019

Nearly five months after the fire, investigators are unable to determine if the cause of the fire was arson or an accident, or even the source of the blaze.

US navy challenges China in the South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 12 February 2019

The intrusion by two US destroyers is designed to send a menacing message to China as trade talks begin in Beijing on a deal to avert escalating US trade war measures.

Steve McDowell, campaigner for Australian paramedic rights, speaks with WSWS

By Cheryl Crisp and John Mackay, 12 February 2019

“The thing is, if NSWA treated their staff the way their staff treat the public, there would be no issue.”—Steve McDowell

Australian government claims credit for release of detained Bahraini footballer, but refuses to assist Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 February 2019

Politicians who have abrogated the right to seek asylum and joined the persecution of Julian Assange have postured as champions of persecuted refugees.

“It is necessary to base our struggle not on one company or on one nation, but by mobilizing the workers of the world”

Maruti Suzuki workers in India send greetings to February 9 protest

12 February 2019

Jitender Dhankar, a member of the provisional committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in India, sent a message of solidarity to the workers and young people who participated in the February 9 demonstration against the factory closures and mass layoffs by General Motors.

The way forward to win wages and social rights

Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka calls plantation workers’ conference

By the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 12 February 2019

The conference will discuss the lessons of the recent plantation workers’ struggle and the political strategy needed to win their demands.

Injured flight attendants speak to the WSWS

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part one

By Tom Hall, 12 February 2019

Several seriously injured Delta Airlines flight attendants recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the hellish ordeal confronting workers who seek assistance through the company’s workers’ compensation system.

In their first strike in 25 years, Denver, Colorado teachers walk out

By Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2019

The Denver strike highlights the growing determination of educators, nationally and internationally, in the face of a concerted assault on public education.

Oakland students walk out as school board prepares major cuts

By Jonathan Burleigh, 11 February 2019

Thousands of Oakland students voiced their support for teachers and hostility to planned budget cuts and school closures.

Acclaimed musician Roger Waters calls on people to demonstrate in Australia to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 February 2019

Roger Waters, the iconic voice of Pink Floyd and renowned solo artist, has called for action to free Julian Assange.

Chinese authorities extract forced confessions from student activists

By Navin Dewage, 11 February 2019

The crackdown reflects the fear in the Chinese ruling circles of a political movement of the working class for social and democratic rights that challenges the government itself.

Workers at ExxonMobil in Billings, Montana reject USW-company sellout contract

By Jessica Goldstein, 11 February 2019

The “no” vote by the Billings refinery workers gives expression to wider opposition of rank-and-file oil and petrochemical workers to the contract being pushed by the union.

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of Sears to former CEO Edward Lampert for $5.2 billion

By Jacob Crosse, 11 February 2019

The beleaguered retail chain lives to die another day as remaining workers are left with an uncertain future

Australia: Northern Queensland flood causes widespread destruction

By Hugh Peters, 11 February 2019

Relief payments from the federal government are capped at a minuscule $1,000 per person, well below what is needed to address the widespread damage caused by the flood.

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

Strike action in the US hits a 32-year high

By Patrick Martin, 9 February 2019

In 2018, the number of workers involved in large strikes, walkouts involving 1,000 or more workers, was the highest since 1986.

Brazil’s Workers Party praises imperialist officials and Brazilian military involved in Venezuela regime change operation

By Miguel Andrade, 9 February 2019

As it feigns opposition to regime change in Venezuela, the PT has sent representatives to meet EU leaders who have been at the forefront of the siege of the country.

The CGT’s “national strike”: French unions seek to strangle the “yellow vest” protests

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

For the unions, the day of action was an opportunity for its base of officials and bureaucrats to meet with “yellow vest” protesters and seek to gain control of their movement.

UK rail worker sends solidarity to Detroit auto workers protest

9 February 2019

“I wish you good luck and never give up. You need to be organised and stand up to the oppressing regime in order to succeed.”

Wright State University administration issues call for scabs in bid to intimidate striking faculty

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 February 2019

As the strike by full-time faculty at Wright State heads toward a fourth week, the university administration is attempting to threaten striking faculty with the specter of being replaced by “long-term” adjuncts.

US Supreme Court clears way for execution of Muslim inmate without imam in death chamber

By Kate Randall, 9 February 2019

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling openly violated the separation of church and state enshrined in the US Constitution and the high court’s jurisprudence that government may not discriminate among faiths.

Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 9 February 2019

Sirisena bemoaned the failure of successive governments but offered no solution, amid ongoing infighting in ruling circles and mounting opposition by working people to the worsening social crisis.

“Lawyer X” cover-up starts to unravel

Australian police used multiple lawyers as informants

By Mike Head, 9 February 2019

Two revelations this week point to the systemic police use of defence lawyers as informers to secure the conviction of their own clients.

The working class and socialism

By Andre Damon, 9 February 2019

Trump’s denunciation of socialism in his State of the Union speech reflects the ruling class’s fear over the growth of the class struggle within the United States.

New York Times admission of Afghanistan fiasco provokes “human rights imperialist” backlash

By Bill Van Auken, 9 February 2019

The Times editorial supporting a US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a self-damning indictment of the entire “war on terror,” which the newspaper supported for the better part of two decades.

“People are tired of not being able to pay their bills while the rich eat filet mignon”

As global jobs massacre continues, workers around the world voice support for fight against plant closures

By our reporter, 9 February 2019

Workers and students are continuing to write in to the World Socialist Web Site expressing strong support for the demonstration Saturday at General Motors headquarters in Detroit.

German workers support rally against mass layoffs in Detroit

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

The WSWS received these messages of support for the February 9 demonstration from bus drivers, auto workers, and a tram mechanic.

Committee for Public Education (Australia): Support the fight against GM layoffs!

By the Committee for Public Education (CFPE), 9 February 2019

The February 9 demonstration, organised independently of the unions, provides a lead for all workers internationally, including teachers.

Woody Allen sues Amazon for failing to distribute his latest film and other breaches of contract

By David Walsh, 9 February 2019

Amazon’s refusal to distribute Allen’s film and honor its contract with him is a brazen act of censorship that is the direct product of the #MeToo witch hunt.

IYSSE calls on students in Australia to join the demonstrations in defence of Julian Assange

By the IYSSE (Australia), 9 February 2019

The defence of Assange is at the cutting edge of the fight against growing authoritarianism and an assault on democratic rights around the world.

Over 200,000 Uttar Pradesh government employees strike; Bangladesh garment workers occupy factory; New Caledonia miners still on strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 February 2019

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

US-China trade talks to resume as deadline nears

By Nick Beams, 8 February 2019

While the Trump administration put a degree of positive “spin” on last month’s discussions, little progress has been reported on the key US demands.

Over 7,000 Bangladesh garment workers sacked after wage protests

By Wimal Perera, 8 February 2019

While the garment trade unions publicly bewail the mass sackings and arrests, these organisations have created the political conditions for the crackdown.

Australia: Tigerair pilots locked in dispute over wages and conditions

By John Harris, 8 February 2019

Tigerair is seeking to set a new benchmark in the assault on the wages and conditions of pilots, a highly-skilled cohort of professionals with immense responsibilities.

Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy

By Bill Van Auken, 7 February 2019

Behind the cynical pretense of concern over Venezuela’s social crisis, the Pentagon and CIA are setting the stage for an armed confrontation on the country’s border.

Wave of walkouts in Matamoros, Mexico builds toward general strike

By Alex González, 7 February 2019

An additional 15,000 workers have gone on strike across multiple industries, threatening to bring the city to a standstill.