World News

Beirut port fire: A crime against Lebanese workers

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

The blast is a damning indictment of Lebanon’s political elite, which allowed vast quantities of highly explosive ammonium nitrate to be stored in a wharfside warehouse for years without proper safety controls.

Mounting opposition by teachers against drive to reopen schools

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 August 2020

Evidence is growing that the reopening of schools will lead to a massive resurgence of the pandemic, with deadly consequences for teachers and students.

Altered CDC guidelines provide unscientific basis for reopening schools

By Mitch Marcus, 6 August 2020

The CDC guidelines were adjusted in mid-July to suit the demands of the Trump administration that schools reopen, as part the broader campaign to reopen the economy.

Two Florida teenagers die from COVID-19 as schools push to reopen

By Alex Johnson, 6 August 2020

These harrowing deaths come a month after a 9-year-old, Kimora Lynum, from Putman County, became the youngest child added to Florida’s COVID-19 death toll.

COVID-19 outbreaks at four workplaces in Swindon, UK

By Tony Robson, 6 August 2020

Local officials in Wales and England have sought to minimise any disruption to the operations of the corporations as outbreaks of the virus have flared up.

As negotiations stall on federal coronavirus relief bill

Florida governor admits state unemployment system purposefully designed to pay out “least number of claims”

By Jacob Crosse, 6 August 2020

Republican governor Ron DeSantis had previously claimed nearly all applicants had been paid and blamed jobless workers for incorrectly filling out forms.

Gold price surges to record high

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2020

A major gold trading fund now holds gold equal to a quarter of that held at Fort Knox in the US and has more than the gold reserves of the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of India.

Far-right protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin: A put-up job

By Peter Schwarz, 6 August 2020

The protest in Berlin was a predictable, put-up job, which closely resembled the scenario of the Pegida demonstrations held five years ago.

Germany: Right-wing terror in Erfurt

By Marianne Arens, 6 August 2020

On August 1, three Guineans were brutally attacked by neo-Nazis in Erfurt and had to be taken to hospital.

War crimes in Afghanistan covered up by UK Ministry of Defence

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

Documents, written by SAS officers and military personnel, provide evidence of war crimes.

Transport for London coronavirus bailout prepares tube privatisation

By Paul Bond, 6 August 2020

The bailout, only half the sum requested, spearheads an assault on TfL’s workforce, in stark contrast to the generous packages offered to the privatised passenger rail franchises.

Two incumbent House members defeated in primary voting

By Patrick Martin, 6 August 2020

A total of seven representatives, three Democrats and four Republicans, have been denied renomination so far this year.

Resuming college football driven by financial interests

By Andy Thompson, 6 August 2020

In order to protect billions in revenue, US universities are resorting to threats and cover-ups to keep their plans to play football in the fall on track.

Australia: Victorian hospital admissions soar amid warnings COVID-19 surge will continue for weeks

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2020

It is clear that the Victorian government only introduced sharper lockdown measures, after the state was already on the precipice of a healthcare catastrophe.

NTEU enforces deep pay and job cuts at Australian universities

By Mike Head, 6 August 2020

In the latest outrage, the union is urging Adelaide University staff members to take wage cuts of up to 15 percent and still accept the elimination of 200 jobs.

75 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By Bill Van Auken, 6 August 2020

The anniversary’s significance has never been greater. Behind the backs of the people of the United States and the world, US imperialism is steadily building up a massive nuclear arsenal and pursuing a doctrine of aggressive nuclear war.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to hear Socialist Equality Party candidates’ appeal in California ballot access case until after ballots are printed

By Shuvu Batta, 6 August 2020

The decision effectively deprives Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz of the right to have their appeal heard on the merits before the 2020 election.

Quebec to appeal acquittal of fascist, but only on lesser charges

By Hugo Maltais, 6 August 2020

In a brazen attempt to intimidate the media, neo-Nazi Raphaël Lévesque led an invasion of the editorial offices of Vice Quebec .

Sri Lankan Trotskyists hold final online election meeting

By our correspondents, 6 August 2020

The Socialist Equality Party held its last meeting on August 2, after a determined election campaign that reached key sections of the Sri Lankan working class and youth.

Drive to reopen US schools continues despite mounting evidence of deadly consequences

By Evan Blake, 3 August 2020

More scientific research shows the immense dangers to the health and lives of teachers, students and parents by reopening schools while the pandemic continues out of control.

Scottish government prepares to reopen schools as new COVID-19 spikes emerge

By Steve James, 3 August 2020

The government intends to re-open all primary and secondary schools by August 18, despite COVID-19 outbreaks in call centres, distribution centres, pubs and care homes.

The July days of the COVID-19 pandemic wreak havoc on the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 August 2020

The month of July saw over 2 million cases of COVID-19 and rising fatality rates in the Sun Belt states, and the pandemic is shifting to the Midwest.

European economy collapses as EU bails out the super-rich

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 3 August 2020

Eurostat economic figures for the second quarter of 2020 show that Europe saw its deepest and most sudden economic collapse in history.

International Olympic Committee promotes Olympics with Nazi propaganda

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 August 2020

The inclusion of clips from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia film makes clear that attempts to sanitise the crimes of the National Socialists is not limited to the spheres of politics and academia.

White House engineering a takeover of TikTok by Microsoft

By Kevin Reed, 3 August 2020

Under the White House’s direction, Microsoft is preparing to acquire the video-sharing app TikTok in a forced-divestiture from its China-based company ByteDance.

US credit outlook rated “negative” as concerns mount over dollar’s global role

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2020

The Fitch credit rating agency said high fiscal deficits, already present before the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, have started to “erode the traditional credit strength of the US.”

Hong Kong delays legislative elections amid crackdown on democratic rights

By Ben McGrath, 3 August 2020

Beijing is driven above all by fears that renewed protests in Hong Kong could spread to the mainland.

Families fight for justice for five workers killed by wall collapse at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By Tony Robson, 3 August 2020

Tonnes of scrap metal had been stored in the adjacent bay, piled at double the recommended height against a wall of interlocking concrete blocks with no foundation.

“This tragedy was avoidable” at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By our reporter, 3 August 2020

The wall collapsed on the five workers. Another worker was trapped and received a serious leg injury. One survivor suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Vietnam struggles to contain rapid resurgence of COVID-19

By Owen Howell, 3 August 2020

After three months of no confirmed cases, Vietnam is witnessing a nationwide spread of the virus due to a new outbreak in the city of Da Nang.

COVID-19 “state of disaster” imposed across Australian state of Victoria

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 August 2020

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton characterised the sweeping measures as “shock and awe.”

Major League Baseball season on brink of collapse as COVID-19 continues to spread

By Alan Gilman, 3 August 2020

New positive cases have continued to emerge since the first outbreak in the Miami Marlins, causing postponement of 20 percent of last weekend’s games.

US Border Patrol raids “No More Deaths” humanitarian aid camp in southern Arizona

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 3 August 2020

Last week’s operation is presumed to be in retaliation for the organization’s recent exposure of the involvement of the paramilitary BORTAC force in a 2017 raid.

Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center intensive care unit head physician dies of COVID-19

By Dominic Gustavo, 3 August 2020

Health care workers have been placed on the front lines of the pandemic as safety precautions such as social distancing have been lifted.

Honda orders office workers at Marysville, Ohio plant to man assembly lines as COVID-19 spreads

By Jessica Goldstein, 3 August 2020

As the pandemic ravages the workforce, management has pressed some office staff to work inside the plant.

At least 20 percent of US meatpackers may have contracted coronavirus

By Cordell Gascoigne, 3 August 2020

Over 50,000 food and agricultural workers have contracted COVID-19 in the United States, according to numbers compiled by the Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN).

Congress of millionaires robs the unemployed

By Patrick Martin, 3 August 2020

Allowing federal supplemental benefits to expire for 30 million jobless workers shows the class character of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Vote for SEP candidates in the Sri Lankan national elections! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government and socialist internationalism!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 3 August 2020

The SEP is the only party in the elections advancing an international socialist program to fight the crisis created by COVID-19, defend democratic rights and oppose imperialist war.

As stock indexes continue their climb

US unemployment supplement expires, setting the stage for mass hunger and homelessness

By Barry Grey, 1 August 2020

The congressional stalemate over an extension of the unemployment pay supplement, which is certain to result in the total elimination or a major cut in the benefit, is a declaration of war against the entire working population.

Department of Homeland Security assembles intelligence reports on US journalists covering Portland protests

By Jacob Crosse, 1 August 2020

Such reports have been traditionally used to share information regarding wanted criminals or terrorists across federal and local law enforcement agencies.

Six months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global public health emergency

By Benjamin Mateus, 1 August 2020

Nearly 700,000 people have succumbed to the pandemic over the past six months.

Federal judge unseals documents from 2015 case against Jeffrey Epstein confidante Ghislaine Maxwell

By Kevin Reed, 1 August 2020

US District Judge Loretta Preska ruled late Thursday to release documents from a defamation lawsuit brought by one of Epstein’s sexual abuse victims against Maxwell in 2015.

Ford Dearborn Truck Plant workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to save lives amid COVID-19 pandemic

By the Ford Dearborn Truck Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 1 August 2020

The committee has appealed to its 5,000 co-workers, who build F-150 pickup trucks, to prepare joint action to fight the coronavirus and save lives.

New prosecutor refuses to press charges against cop that killed Michael Brown

By Isaac Finn, 1 August 2020

St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell has announced that no charges would be filed against Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot Brown in 2014.

UK government forced to enact new restrictions after pandemic let loose

By Thomas Scripps, 1 August 2020

Around 4,200 people are catching COVID-19 each day in England, up 68 percent on the estimated 2,500 daily infections two weeks ago.

As COVID-19 ravages Brazil, governments promote homicidal reopening of schools

By Tomas Castanheira, 1 August 2020

The attempt by big business politicians to reopen schools in the country faces massive opposition from educators and working-class families.

Reopening of schools in Germany puts the lives of children and educators at stake

By Andrea Reissner, 1 August 2020

The situation is highly dangerous. Since the easing of the coronavirus restrictions, the number of cases in Europe, and in Germany, is once again on the rise.

Grenfell Tower inquiry reveals more criminality by corporations involved in refurbishment

By Charles Hixson, 1 August 2020

An entire culture within corporations, built up over decades, which viewed regulations as impediments to reaping greater profits was evident in Rydon’s testimony.

The coronavirus pandemic and the growing mental health crisis

By Ben Oliver, 1 August 2020

Dealing with the insidious uncertainty of COVID-19's spread is more like living with a domestic abuser or being deployed to a war zone.

Doctors at Michigan’s Beaumont Health submit no-confidence petition on eve of merger

By Stephen Fuller, 1 August 2020

A group of doctors at Michigan’s Beaumont Health system are submitting a no-confidence petition on the eve of a possible merger with Chicago-Milwaukee-based Advocate Aurora Health system.

Lawsuit exposes massive COVID-19 outbreak at privately-run immigrant detention center in Virginia

By Joe Williams, 1 August 2020

The Farmville Detention Center has the largest COVID-19 outbreak of all immigrant detainment facilities in the United States.

COVID-19 infections rapidly spread across Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 1 August 2020

The worsening coronavirus crisis in Bangladesh is a direct result of inadequate public health spending by successive governments.

Royal commission into Australia’s bushfires promotes greater use of the military

By Margaret Rees, 1 August 2020

The inquiry will ignore the underfunding of fire and emergency services while justifying rapid and expanded military interventions in domestic “emergencies.”

Socialist Equality Party (US) National Congress adopts resolution on the coronavirus pandemic and the fight for socialism

The Political Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 1 August 2020

The Congress resolution provides an unequaled analysis of the crisis triggered by the pandemic, directed toward the development of socialist class consciousness and the independent action of the working class.

SEP (US) Congress resolution

The global pandemic, the class struggle, and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party

1 August 2020

This resolution was adopted unanimously by the Sixth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in the US, held July 19–24, 2020.

Universities prepare to blame students for COVID-19 outbreaks

By Trévon Austin, 1 August 2020

Universities are hoping the personal responsibility of students will be sufficient enough to contain outbreaks on campuses.

India: Punjab health workers strike for permanent jobs; Asahi auto glass-making workers strike in Chennai; Woolworths Distribution Centre workers locked out in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 August 2020

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

Trump floats delaying election, both parties appeal to military as umpire

By Eric London, 31 July 2020

Trump baselessly claimed the election would be tainted by voter fraud as his poll numbers sank to all-time lows.

US COVID-19 death toll soars past 155,000, with one death every minute

By Kate Randall, 31 July 2020

Deaths have risen in the US for three weeks in a row, with the biggest hotspots in Florida, Arizona, California and Texas.

Hundreds of thousands mobilize on social media to oppose US school reopenings

By Evan Blake, 31 July 2020

An explosion of opposition to the unsafe reopening of schools has developed on social media, primarily through dozens of Facebook groups with a combined global membership of over 300,000.

“Capitalism is being exposed for what it is”

The school transportation crisis in the age of coronavirus

By Nancy Hanover, 31 July 2020

School bus drivers in Pennsylvania and New York spoke with the WSWS about the conditions they face amid the escalating campaign to reopen schools.

“Workers must stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough’”

Toledo Jeep Rank-and-File Safety Committee calls for emergency measures as COVID-19 surges in the plant

By Shannon Jones, 31 July 2020

As reports of COVID-19 cases at the Toledo Assembly Complex escalate, workers are demanding the closure of the facility for deep cleaning and disinfection.

Brook Park, Ohio autoworker describes conditions leading to rising COVID-19 infections at Ford Engine plant

By Katy Kinner, 31 July 2020

While Ford has told employees that they are following cleaning and safety protocols, rank-and-file workers have exposed the real dangers.

Japan raising tensions with Beijing in the East China Sea

By Ben McGrath, 31 July 2020

The US and Japan bear primary responsibility for upending the status quo in the East China Sea and fueling the dangerous stand-off over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.

Record heatwave in Siberia and the burning danger of climate change

By Daniel Jakob, 31 July 2020

This year is the hottest in Siberia since measurements began 130 years ago. The record heatwave is an extreme consequence of global climate change.

Report backing Johnson’s ending UK lockdown concludes: More “deaths and misery” are inevitable

By Robert Stevens, 31 July 2020

England endured the longest continuous period of excess deaths out of 29 European countries.

Talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union will end in job losses

By a socialist postal worker, 31 July 2020

To take forward the struggle in defence of postal workers’ health and to oppose the onslaught on jobs and pay demands the formation of rank-and-file committees.

At least 735 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in US prison system

By Sam Dalton, 31 July 2020

Now exceeding April and May peaks, increases in prison deaths and infections are most acute in states that pursued reckless reopenings.

In latest attack on immigrants

Trump administration suspends DACA applications and renewals

By Sam Dalton, 31 July 2020

A recent Supreme Court ruling has allowed the White House to make a new attack on the program.

Louisiana restaurant worker dies of COVID-19 after collapsing on the job

By Aaron Murch, 31 July 2020

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens millions workers are faced with an impossible situation, go to work and possibly die on the job, or stay home and face eviction.

Consol cuts 233 jobs as US coal production falls to 1973 levels

By Samuel Davidson, 31 July 2020

A wave of layoffs swept the industry even before the pandemic, but the economic collapse over the last several months has spurred mining companies to accelerate their attacks on jobs.

Quebec Solidaire joins with the hard-right in promoting economic nationalism

By Louis Girard and Richard Dufour, 31 July 2020

Quebec Solidaire’s exhortations to "buy local" and its promotion of a “Quebec vaccine" are part of a pronounced shift by ruling elites in Canada, the US and globally toward the promotion of national protectionism and chauvinism.

Australian COVID-19 surge continues as epidemiologists urge stricter lockdown

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 July 2020

In refusing to implement the measures demanded by medical experts, the ruling elite has chosen to protect profits over lives.

New Zealand suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong

By John Braddock, 31 July 2020

The diplomatic rift, underpinned by a domestic anti-China propaganda campaign, echoes Washington’s increasingly aggressive operations against Beijing.

Millions face economic and social disaster as Wall Street celebrates

By Jerry White, 31 July 2020

Even as the US economy suffers its sharpest contraction in history and the death toll from the pandemic surpasses 155,000, the private fortunes of America’s billionaires continue to rise.

Open Letter from WSWS Chairman David North to Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai

31 July 2020

This letter from David North was written in response to Pichai’s testimony on Wednesday before the House Committee on the Judiciary, in which he acknowledged complaints from the WSWS of censorship by Google.

Ten years since WikiLeaks published the Afghan war logs

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 July 2020

The documents provided the world’s population with an unprecedented insight into the first war crimes of the 21st century.

Corporate profits before lives: Europe’s reopening policies endanger millions of lives

By Johannes Stern, 31 July 2020

Six months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency, the situation in Europe is out of control for a second time.

Three missions to Mars are now under way

By Don Barrett, 31 July 2020

Spacecraft from China, the United Arab Emirates and the United States have been successfully launched on trajectories that will take them to Mars by next February.

Olivia de Havilland, star of Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” dead at 104

By Hiram Lee, 31 July 2020

From the middle of the 1930s until the early 1950s in particular, De Havilland distinguished herself as an intelligent and even elegant performer in a number of valuable films.

In congressional testimony

Attorney General Barr aggressively defends violent attacks on protesters in Portland

By Barry Grey, 29 July 2020

The White House remains the cockpit of a conspiracy to destroy democratic rights and establish authoritarian rule in the United States.

US Park Police chief defends unconstitutional June 1 assault on protesters outside the White House

By Jacob Crosse, 29 July 2020

Monahan denied that police used “excessive” force to clear out protesters from Lafayette Square despite testimony, video evidence and eyewitness accounts.

Congress prepares to scrap $600 weekly unemployment payment

By Kevin Reed, 29 July 2020

The expiration of the enhanced federal unemployment benefit this week will drive millions of working class people across the US into desperate financial circumstances.

Trump uses quack science to promote back-to school, back-to-work drive

By Kate Randall, 29 July 2020

The US president continues to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 based on disproven scientific claims.

Johnson government scientific adviser claims UK schools should never have closed

By Tania Kent, 29 July 2020

The hostility among teachers and parents to the unsafe reopening of schools is being met with propaganda to confuse, disorient and dissipate opposition.

Major League Baseball confronted with major COVID-19 outbreak

By Alan Gilman, 29 July 2020

Seventeen members of the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19 since the weekend, exposing a complete disregard for basic safety precautions.

GM keeps third shift at Missouri plant as anger mounts over unsafe conditions

By Kristina Betinis, 29 July 2020

Driven by investor demands, GM is bringing in laid-off and temporary workers to keep production moving while refusing to disclose the number of sick workers in the plant.

Michigan Medicine laying off hundreds of workers despite ongoing pandemic

By George Kirby, 29 July 2020

The medical center owned by the University of Michigan is cutting the jobs of hundreds of nurses, emergency technicians and other hospital workers.

Canada’s Liberal government shaken by WE Charity scandal

By Roger Jordan, 29 July 2020

The scandal has exposed a web of corrupt ties between the Liberal government and WE, and between WE and corporations like the Royal Bank of Canada and Dow Chemical.

British grandmother dies weighing just 42 pounds after her benefits are withdrawn

By Dennis Moore, 29 July 2020

The benefit system has evolved from its post-war ethos as a “safety net” to one based on punishing the sick and disabled and coercing the unemployed into low-paid work.

Six arrested at banned Australian protest against police violence

By Martin Scott, 29 July 2020

COVID-19 public health orders were used to suppress the demonstration in a blatant attack on democratic rights.

Woolworths locks out workers at Australian warehouse

By Terry Cook, 29 July 2020

Strikers at Wyong speak out as the United Workers Union facilitates the attack by isolating them.

New Zealand’s largest retail chain axes 1,080 jobs

By John Braddock, 29 July 2020

Like other corporates, The Warehouse is using the pandemic and resulting economic downturn to accelerate job cuts and destroy working conditions.

US adopts policy of regime-change in Beijing

By Peter Symonds, 29 July 2020

By declaring the defeat of Chinese “tyranny” the aim of American foreign policy, the Trump administration has greatly intensified confrontation with China, with an all-but explicit call for regime-change.

Elon Musk discovers Das Kapital

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president, 29 July 2020

In a tweet Monday afternoon, Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided his summary of Marx’s great work on capitalist political economy: “Das Kapital in a nutshell,” Musk wrote, is “Gib me dat for free.”

McCarthyite witch-hunt over alleged anti-Semitism explodes in British Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 29 July 2020

Political opposition to the criminal suppression of the Palestinians by Israel is being officially recast as a form of anti-Semitism, slandering and virtually outlawing a vast swathe of left-wing opinion.

What led Argentina’s Left Workers Front (FIT) to vote for banning criticism of Israel under the guise of combatting anti-Semitism?

By Andrea Lobo, 29 July 2020

The FIT legislators voted for a bill introduced by the right-wing Macristas to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism aimed at criminalizing opposition to Israel.

French state sues mayor for linking police repression to pro-Nazi Vichy regime

By Alex Lantier, 29 July 2020

The lawsuit against Colombes Mayor Patrick Chaimovitch tramples on historical truth and basic democratic rights.

Russian pseudo-left provides neo-Stalinist justification for vendetta against historian Yuri Dmitriev

By Clara Weiss, 29 July 2020

Boris Kagarlitsky’s website Rabkor has published a commentary justifying the frame-up of Dmitriev, who has done valuable work in exposing Stalin’s crimes.

Australian treasurer hails Reagan and Thatcher as “inspiration” for government’s economic agenda

By Nick Beams, 28 July 2020

Frydenberg lauded the “success” of the offensive against the working class in the 1980s, just as he announced a record budget deficit of $184.5 billion for this financial year.