World News

Germany’s IG Metall trade union preparing to enforce jobs massacre and deep wage cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 August 2020

Big business and the trade unions are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to secure the upper hand in the global trade war by imposing savage attacks on workers.

Stonehaven rail disaster due to UK’s neglected railway earthworks

By Steve James, 19 August 2020

Last week’s train crash in Scotland exposes the dangerous condition of Britain’s aging and profit-oriented rail network

Multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins brands UK workers “lazy” and “selfish”

By Julia Callaghan, 19 August 2020

The Pimlico Plumbers founder gives voice to opinions that the Johnson government feels incapable of making public.

Colin Powell at the Democratic National Convention: Democrats prepare administration of militarism and war

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 19 August 2020

The second day of the convention featured remarks by Powell, a leading architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and a video highlighting Biden’s “unlikely friendship” with arch warmonger John McCain.

Support grows for SEP (Sri Lanka) defence campaign

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2020

The petition opposing military harassment of Socialist Equality Party candidates in Jaffna continues to gather support, nationally and internationally.

Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow: Two men in the wilderness face something more dangerous—big business

By Joanne Laurier, 19 August 2020

US filmmaker Kelly Reichardt’s new film, First Cow, set in the 1820s in the Pacific Northwest, deals with the origins of North American business—and the value of and the need for solidarity.

Amid mass strikes in Belarus, Lukashenko regime teeters on brink

By Andrea Peters, 18 August 2020

The critical question facing workers in Belarus is to struggle independently of and against all the factions of the post-Soviet capitalist kleptocracy.

Democratic convention opens with appeal to right-wing Republican support

By Patrick Martin, 18 August 2020

Bernie Sanders led the way in preaching political unity from “left” to right against Trump and for Biden.

Teacher sickout closes Arizona school district as support grows for national strike

By Jerry White, 17 August 2020

Phoenix area teachers forced the closure of the first day of school today as protests against the unsafe opening of schools spread across the country.

South Dakota governor first to reject unemployment aid from Trump executive order

By Jacob Crosse, 17 August 2020

While four states have already been approved by FEMA to begin authorizing payments, Kristie Noem cited cherry-picked statistics to justify her rejection of federal benefits.

With pandemic raging, Florida governor deepens drive to reopen schools

By Alex Johnson, 17 August 2020

School districts and teachers in Florida have been forced to resume in-person learning while COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to surge throughout the state.

Protests, strikes against Lukashenko regime mount in Belarus

By Clara Weiss, 17 August 2020

The involvement of growing sections of workers has panicked the Lukashenko regime, and the NATO-backed opposition is calling for “dialogue” with the regime.

Texas A&M faculty decry plans to reopen campuses in midst of pandemic

By Chase Lawrence, 17 August 2020

Faculty, professors and students at multiple Texas A&M University campuses recently penned an open letter that has garnered roughly 900 signatures.

A risky game with health and lives as schools reopen throughout Germany

By Gregor Link, 17 August 2020

With the beginning of mandatory school attendance, the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing.

Scotland’s schools reopen as COVID-19 infects students

By Steve James, 17 August 2020

The Scottish National Party’s school reopening exposes it as the accomplice of the Johnson government’s herd immunity strategy.

Half of UK Early Years learning workers paid less than minimum wage for 25-year-olds

By Charlotte Salthill, 17 August 2020

Low pay is one of the main reasons given for leaving the profession, alongside increasing work demands and a lack of training and professional development.

Judge blocks GM’s bid to reopen racketeering case against Fiat Chrysler

By Marcus Day, 17 August 2020

The judge made the ruling despite credible and explosive new allegations about the scale and scope of FCA's bribery of the United Auto Workers union.

Indiana Rank-and-File Safety Committee demands reinstatement of whistleblower at Faurecia Gladstone plant

By Tim Rivers, 17 August 2020

The newly-formed Faurecia Gladstone Rank and File Safety Committee is also demanding an immediate halt on the part of the company and the local union to all forms of intimidation and harassment.

Heat wave, rolling blackouts affect thousands across California

By Peter Ross, 17 August 2020

A major heat wave affecting much of the southwestern US caused rolling blackouts Friday and Saturday throughout California.

Canadian provinces and cities confront huge deficits as economic crisis deepens

By Omar Ali, 17 August 2020

Huge debts, which have been accumulated chiefly through measures to bail out the banks and financial oligarchy, are being seized upon to demand intensified austerity for the working class.

India: Motherson’s “inquiry” rubber stamps sacking of strikers

By Arun Kumar, 17 August 2020

The ongoing persecution of Motherson autoparts strikers was facilitated by the Maoist Left Trade Union Centre’s betrayal of the 140-day walkout.

US-backed opposition in Solomon Islands opposes ties to Beijing

By Patrick O’Connor, 17 August 2020

A provincial administration in Malaita insists that it has the right to maintain its own relations with Taiwan and refuses to recognise Beijing.

The Biden/Harris campaign and the dead-end of “lesser evil” politics

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 17 August 2020

As the US election enters its final stage, enormous pressure is being brought to bear to convince workers and youth that the only way to oppose Trump is to support Biden and Harris.

Prominent lawyers and legal associations demand Assange’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2020

The 152 legal experts are unambiguous: the campaign against Assange has been based on gross violations of law and he must be immediately released from prison.

Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen in The Good Liar: The consequences of light-mindedness

By David Walsh, 17 August 2020

Essential conformism on important matters seems an apt summing up of Bill Condon’s film career to date. At any rate, The Good Liar will not do much to change one’s attitude.

US child care in existential crisis as schools and businesses reopen

By Nick Barrickman, 17 August 2020

As plummeting enrollment at day cares during the spring forced many to close, the beginning of grade school classes in the fall will compound the crisis.

Fauci warns against herd immunity: “the death toll would be enormous”

By Bryan Dyne, 15 August 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of world’s leading experts on infectious disease, warned against the relaxation of efforts to combat COVID-19, declaring, “The death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable.”

Hawaii schools to reopen August 17 as opposition grows

By Renae Cassimeda, 15 August 2020

In a fight for their lives and those of thousands of students, educators and parents oppose the new reopening plan that has students and teachers reporting to school sites for in-person instruction for one week prior to full distance learning.

Brazilian teachers report 36 COVID-infected schools after one week of classes in Manaus

By Tomas Castanheira, 15 August 2020

Virtually all Brazilian states and capitals have ongoing plans to reproduce the homicidal model of school reopenings in Manaus.

Lebanon’s oligarchs and imperialist backers seek to exploit outrage over Beirut port blast

By Jean Shaoul, 15 August 2020

Amid mass anger over the port explosion, a campaign against Hezbollah is bound up with the US aggression against Iran.

Amid mounting political crisis, Colombia faces world’s highest COVID-19 death rate

By Julian James, 15 August 2020

Over the past weeks, the country has registered the highest per capita COVID-19 death rate in the world, 43.1 deaths per million people, compared to 32.9 per million for Brazil and 24.4 for the US.

Government watchdog concludes acting heads of Homeland Security were illegally appointed by Trump

By Jacob Crosse, 15 August 2020

The Government Accountability Office report is a soft rebuke to Donald Trump, who has frequently circumvented congressional approval in order to install acting department heads loyal to him.

Workers denounce cover-up and intimidation around COVID-19 infections at Fiat Chrysler Belvidere plant

By Kristina Betinis, 15 August 2020

Belvidere workers continue to speak out against management and UAW concealing information and shaming workers for stating concerns as Boone and Winnebago counties launch investigation into the spread of disease at the plant.

UAW announces COVID outbreak at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville with 32 new cases

By Steve Filips, 15 August 2020

There were 32 new COVID-19 cases reported last week at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville.

Powerful windstorm leaves 4 dead, 1.5 million without power across US Midwest

By Jessica Goldstein, 15 August 2020

Workers, who have lost everything in the storm, will be crowded into shelters and aid centers where social distancing will prove to be very difficult, putting thousands more at needless risk of contracting COVID-19.

The Democrats and Republicans: Two wolves hunting the United States Postal Service

By Shuvu Batta, 15 August 2020

While they posture as defenders of postal workers, the Democrats have played a critical role in the privatization of the USPS and the decay of American democracy.

Chicago Mayor Lightfoot announces police crackdown

By Michael Walters, 15 August 2020

One thousand police officers are being deployed into downtown Friday evening after a press conference in which the Democratic mayor announced a plan to tighten police control of the city, involve more police agencies, increase social media surveillance and further limit access to the wealthy downtown.

Infiltration of US protests against police brutality used to delegitimize demonstrations, undermine democratic rights

By Adam Mclean, 15 August 2020

Police infiltration of protests has a renewed significance at a time when democratic rights have been stretched to the point of breaking.

Journalists in Malaysia persecuted for exposing treatment of migrant workers

By Owen Howell, 15 August 2020

The government’s investigation into seven Al Jazeera journalists, including a police raid of their offices, is part of a broader crackdown on press freedom.

Report highlights super-exploited conditions of Australia’s casual university staff

By John Harris, 15 August 2020

Agreements imposed by the trade unions have led to soaring casualisation, underpayment and unpaid work, now worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show trial of Julian Assange: A cruel and pseudolegal farce

By Thomas Scripps and Kevin Reed, 15 August 2020

Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death.

Prepare a nationwide general strike to stop the deadly reopening of schools!

Form independent rank-and-file safety committees of educators, parents and students!

By the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 15 August 2020

We are launching the Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee to unite all those opposed to the unsafe reopening of schools and provide the necessary leadership to prepare for a nationwide general strike to halt the reopening of schools.

For a general strike against the reopening of German schools!

By Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 15 August 2020

By demanding a return to face-to-face teaching amid rising coronavirus infection rates, German state governments of all stripes are putting the health and lives of countless teachers, students and parents at risk.

Jacobin Magazine on the selection of Kamala Harris: Stick with the Democrats!

By Genevieve Leigh, 15 August 2020

There is truly nothing too foul the Democratic Party could do that would lead Jacobin and the DSA to conclude that the party cannot be reformed.

Modi government intensifies repression one year after its constitutional coup against Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 15 August 2020

The Modi government’s illegal abrogation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and imposition of a state-of-siege in the Muslim-majority region have been conspicuously ignored by the US and other major imperialist powers.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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

First two weeks of US school reopenings lead to massive spread of COVID-19

By Zac Corrigan, 14 August 2020

Schools across the US continued to reopen for in-person classes this week, leading to the exposure of thousands of teachers and students to the deadly virus.

Mounting opposition against school openings in Germany

By Carola Kleinert and Gregor Link, 14 August 2020

While many teachers, parents and students are opposed to opening schools under unsafe conditions, administrators and politicians are arrogantly ignoring their concerns.

Congress adjourns for month-long vacation without action on US unemployment crisis

By Patrick Martin, 14 August 2020

The capitalist politicians will be holding their presidential nominating conventions while millions of workers have been cut off from federal benefits.

Beached Japanese cargo ship causes ecological disaster for Mauritius

By Tom Casey, 14 August 2020

The MV Wakashio began leaking thousands of metric tons of fuel after it collided with a coral reef barrier near the southern coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

German court and state prosecutor ignore evidence of far-right terrorist network in Lübcke trial

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 14 August 2020

The long preparation time for the murder of Lübcke and the close connections of the defendants to the violent neo-Nazi scene strongly suggest that there were other confidants or accomplices.

France holds joint military exercises with Greece, threatening Turkey

By Ulaş Ateşçi and Alex Lantier, 14 August 2020

Mounting tensions between NATO powers threaten to blow up the alliance as the pandemic intensifies pre-existing conflicts over oil and strategic advantage.

Hundreds of thousands of A-Level results downgraded by UK government

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2020

The A-levels scandal has exposed the dirty secret of the British education system: that it is social class, not merit, that is really being graded.

Australia: Residents left to die as COVID-19 sweeps through Victorian aged care facilities

By Clare Bruderlin, 14 August 2020

Aged care workers are being denied admission to hospitals, in a policy that amounts to social murder.

Oregon residents block unmarked ICE buses carrying detained immigrants

By Julio Patron, 14 August 2020

The standoff lasted around 12 hours in Bend, Oregon, until dozens of federal agents were deployed to disperse the protesters using pepper spray.

Big tech firms meet with US national security agencies in advance of November elections

By Kevin Reed, 14 August 2020

Nine of the largest tech firms in the US met with multiple government police and intelligence agencies on Wednesday to discuss “election security” in the campaign prior to and on election day in November.

Fascistic candidate wins Republican congressional nomination in Georgia

By Trévon Austin, 14 August 2020

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a multi-millionaire businesswoman and supporter of the QAnon conspiracy, will likely enter Congress from the heavily Republican 14th District of Georgia.

US health insurance companies reap billions as COVID-19 pandemic inflicts death and destitution

By Alex Johnson, 14 August 2020

The largest healthcare chains, including Anthem, Humana, and UnitedHealth Group, have reported second-quarter earnings at double the rate from the same period last year.

Wisconsin immigrant meat packing workers fired in retaliation for protesting over unsafe working conditions

By Rafael Azul, 14 August 2020

After employing the workers for years, management suddenly informed the targeted workers that they were not authorized to work in the US.

Strikes spread in Belarus as EU, Washington step up pressure

By Andrea Peters, 14 August 2020

Belarusian workers across key industries have walked off the job in defiance of the government’s brutal crackdown.

Two Utah protesters face life in prison

By Chase Lawrence, 14 August 2020

Madalena McNeil and Marvin Oliveros are charged with daubing the Salt Lake City district attorney’s office with red paint.

“Our lives don't matter to Ford”: Tragic COVID-19 death of young contract worker covered up by management and the UAW

By Shannon Jones, 14 August 2020

The death of a young worker at the Ford Van Dyke transmission plant from COVID-19 is the inevitable outcome of the brutal profit drive of the car companies, aided by the United Auto Workers.

Indiana Faurecia auto parts workers launch Rank-and-File Safety Committee

By the Faurecia Gladstone Plant Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 14 August 2020

Workers at the Faurecia Gladstone Plant in Columbus, Indiana, roughly 40 miles south of the state capital Indianapolis, have formed a rank-and-file committee in order to fight for safe and humane working conditions.

Unifor and Detroit Three open Canadian contract negotiations as more layoffs and plant closures loom

By Carl Bronski, 14 August 2020

The current concessions contracts, which were grudgingly ratified by workers in 2016, expire on September 21.

Sri Lankan prime minister admits US is behind Colombo Port deal with India

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 August 2020

The Colombo Port workers’ struggle has demonstrated that the US and India want Sri Lanka tied to their strategic and military moves against nuclear-armed China.

Former Malaysian prime minister’s conviction deepens political crisis

By John Roberts, 14 August 2020

The Najib conviction is a clear sign that the entire edifice centred on UMNO on which the ruling class has relied for decades is falling apart, opening up the prospect of further political upheavals.

How the American oligarchy profited on death

By Andre Damon, 14 August 2020

The United States set two milestones on Wednesday: 1,503 people died from COVID-19 and the S&P 500 stock index reached a new high.

British filmmaker Alan Parker (1944-2020): An establishment rebel

By Paul Bond, 14 August 2020

A genuinely popular director of no small talent, he subordinated his critical instincts to a popularist slickness.

Growing wave of protests across the US against school openings

By Evan Blake, 13 August 2020

Across the US, thousands of teachers, education workers, parents and students are mobilizing to oppose the unsafe reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wall Street continues to feed on death and economic devastation

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2020

Since the crisis of mid-March when the market plunged and the financial system froze, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index has risen by 50 percent on the back of government corporate bailouts and the pumping out of trillions of dollars by the Fed.

Diversions, posturing as school board votes to reopen school in small-town Massachusetts

By Joseph Mario, 13 August 2020

Scituate, a small coastal town south of Boston, is one example of broader situation in the state, where Governor Baker has pushed for schools to fully reopen in the fall.

US Supreme Court rules ballot access petitioning must proceed during coronavirus pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 13 August 2020

In a one paragraph order with no legal explanation provided, the US Supreme Court overturned a decision by a trial judge in Oregon relaxing ballot access requirements in consideration of the restrictions imposed on public interaction during the pandemic.

Report charges US-Saudi arms sale ignored civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 13 August 2020

The report on the $8.1 billion arms deal came amid fresh reports from Yemen of atrocities caused by US-supplied Saudi warplanes and munitions.

UK in record recession as social catastrophe looms

By Thomas Scripps, 13 August 2020

The working class must reject all demands for sacrifice to save the economy.

Germany: SPD nominates Finance Minister Scholz as its candidate for chancellor

By Peter Schwarz, 13 August 2020

Scholz’s nomination is a signal to the financial oligarchy and the right-wing elements in the state apparatus that they can rely on the SPD without reservation.

“This is a modern-day sweatshop”

Amazon workers speak out against inadequate safety measures

By our reporters, 13 August 2020

As the company makes money hand over fist from the pandemic's boost to online retail sales, hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers labor for long hours in unsafe conditions at Amazon's fulfillment centers.

Washington, DC transit system faces massive budget shortfall as it resumes near pre-pandemic service levels

By Harvey Simpkins, 13 August 2020

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is currently losing $2.5 million in revenue each weekday because of a 90 percent drop in ridership on its bus and rail lines.

Canada and the United States resume aluminum tariff war

By Carl Bronski, 13 August 2020

An unholy alliance of Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the federal Liberal government, and the United Steelworkers and Unifor trade unions is whipping up Canadian nationalism to justify retaliatory tariffs in answer to Trump’s “America First” protectionism.

New outbreak of COVID-19 in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 13 August 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government failed to undertake mass testing and left the country unprepared for a second outbreak of COVID-19.

Beirut disaster highlights dangerous ammonium nitrate stockpiles in regional Australian city

By Patrick Davies, 13 August 2020

Orica stores between 6,000 and 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate at its Kooragang facility just three kilometres from Newcastle’s central business district.

The selection of Kamala Harris and the degradation of American politics

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 13 August 2020

There is something incredibly degrading and shameful about the whole process, testifying to the intellectual and cultural collapse of American politics.

Bernard Bailyn, historian of American colonial and revolutionary periods, 1922–2020

By Tom Mackaman, 13 August 2020

Bailyn leaves behind a significant body of work that broadened the understanding of the intellectual conceptions that found expression in the American Revolution.

The coronavirus pandemic and capitalism

Russia’s vaccine intensifies global struggle for profits and geopolitical advantage

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2020

Vladimir Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the global conflict between national powers and pharmaceutical giants to be the first to mass produce and market a vaccine for the deadly virus.

The debut of Coriky, a new band featuring members of Fugazi and The Evens

By Matthew Brennan, 13 August 2020

The new self-titled album distributes a considerable amount of opposition and anger across 11 songs. The results are uneven.

Biden picks former law-and-order prosecutor Kamala Harris to be his Democratic running mate

By Patrick Martin, 12 August 2020

Harris satisfies the advocates of identity politics while reassuring big business with her law-and-order record and close ties to the moneyed elite.

After White House, Congress cut aid to unemployed, evictions and food lines spread across the US

By Jacob Crosse, 12 August 2020

As eviction filings increase to pre-pandemic levels, workers and their families are left to fend for themselves.

Analysis shows 54,000 “excess deaths” in US, pointing to coronavirus death toll of 200,700

By Kate Randall, 12 August 2020

A new analysis shows that the number of deaths from the coronavirus has likely been undercounted by 37 percent.

“We need to be the ones making the decision about when and how to reopen”

Oklahoma schools reopen amid growing opposition from teachers

By Mitch Marcus and Phyllis Steele, 12 August 2020

Teachers across the state have reacted with disgust and anger at this week’s re-opening, which threatens to produce an explosion of new infections and deaths.

Johnson government deploys armed forces against refugees making Channel crossings

By Tony Robson, 12 August 2020

These inhumane, illegal, and xenophobic measures must be opposed. What is being legitimised is state repression and a further evisceration of the right to asylum.

Reject Johnson’s lies that UK schools are safe! For a general strike to block the reopening of schools

By Tania Kent, 12 August 2020

Johnson made clear that the reopening of schools was “integral to kick starting the economy.”

Schools make students sign liability waivers acknowledging risk of death

By Sam Wayne and Usman Khan, 12 August 2020

Colleges and K-12 schools across the US have sent letters to parents and students, requiring liability waivers be signed before students can return for in-person classes.

Ford Chicago Assembly workers launch Rank-and-File Safety Committee to save lives

By the Ford Chicago Assembly Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 12 August 2020

Our coworkers are falling ill and even dying, but management and the union refuse to tell us the truth about how many have been exposed to or become infected with COVID-19.

French government ends social distancing requirements in schools as classes set to resume

By Will Morrow, 12 August 2020

An analysis of the back-to-school plans makes clear the fraudulent and essentially homicidal character of the Macron administration’s policy.

Australia: Rising number of COVID-19 infections in Sydney schools

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 August 2020

Experts have warned that the school clusters are likely the “tip of the iceberg,” signalling broader community transmission in New South Wales.

Bringing Afghanistan home:

Canada’s military launched operation to “shape” opinion amid pandemic

By Roger Jordan, 12 August 2020

Sparked by fears of “civil unrest,” the operation included plans for military personnel to broadcast government-approved propaganda over loudspeakers and temporary radio stations.

Hospital fire in southern India kills 10 COVID-19 patients

By Arun Kumar, 12 August 2020

With the pandemic spreading rapidly in the country, the circumstances of the fire point to criminal negligence on the part of governments and hotel and hospital authorities.

Protests, crackdown follow Belarus elections

By Jason Melanovski and Andrea Peters, 12 August 2020

Western imperialism is seeking to exploit the Lukashenko government’s violent suppression of protests to fuel its war drive against Russia.

Over a million jobs lost in Spain amid coronavirus pandemic

By Alice Summers, 12 August 2020

Another 1 million workers are still furloughed in Spain, and will likely be cast onto unemployment rolls when this scheme comes to an end in the autumn.

Armed forces and fascist gangs mobilized against blockades in Bolivia

By Tomas Castanheira, 12 August 2020

The demand for the immediate fall of the Áñez regime, brought to power in last November’s US-backed coup, is gaining increasing popular support.

College football season in doubt after Big Ten and Pac-12 postpone fall sports

By Andy Thompson, 12 August 2020

The sudden reversal by the two conferences came after growing opposition by players, which may have been a decisive factor in their decision to postpone the season.