World News

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.

The ruling-class conspiracy to reopen schools: Profit versus science

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 August 2020

The science is clear: the reopening of schools under the current conditions will lead to countless deaths among students, parents, teachers, and more broadly in the working class.

Who is Democratic Senator Kamala Harris?

By Dan Conway, 12 August 2020

In this political profile of Harris, published in July 2019, the World Socialist Web Site summed up her career as a representative of the US criminal justice system and a reliable defender of corporate and intelligence state interests.

Now available

The Fourth International and the Perspective of World Socialist Revolution: 1986–1995

12 August 2020

The paperback edition of this critical book on the history of the Fourth International is now available.

“They spout in the news ‘thank you to health care heroes’ but what thanks do we get?”

US nurses’ poll shows appalling working conditions in the pandemic

By Julian James, 11 August 2020

The NNU study shows that only 24 percent of nurses think their employer is providing a safe workplace.

US hits five million COVID-19 cases as testing declines and schools reopen

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 August 2020

The number of daily COVID-19 tests in the US has dropped significantly in recent weeks in line with the increasingly feverish drive to reopen the schools.

Georgia teachers and students force temporary closure of North Paulding High School over COVID-19 outbreak

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 August 2020

The cluster of COVID-19 cases at the school emerged as a direct consequence of the decision to reopen schools for in-person instruction amid a surge in infections.

“A game of Russian Roulette with the lives of children”

As statewide cases hit half a million, opposition mounts in Florida to school reopening

By Nancy Hanover, 10 August 2020

Teachers from across Florida marched on Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ mansion Saturday to protest his statewide mandate for fully in-person instruction.

Rising popular anger over Nepali government’s response to COVID-19

By Rohantha De Silva, 10 August 2020

The Kathmandu government has reacted to youth protests over its failure to contain the coronavirus pandemic by arresting demonstrators.

Fiat Chrysler workers speak out on COVID-19 outbreak at Belvidere Assembly Plant

By Jessica Goldstein, 10 August 2020

The company's so-called "safety measures," implemented with the support of the UAW, have been completely ineffective at halting the spread of the virus.

Trump executive orders set stage for tens of millions of evictions

By Jacob Crosse, 10 August 2020

An analysis released Friday by the Aspen Institute estimates that between 28,900,000 and 39,900,000 tenants in the US are at risk of eviction by the end of the year.

US Supreme Court defends deadly jail conditions in California

By Marc Wells, 10 August 2020

The high court decision denies inmates their right to safety during a deadly pandemic and at the same time shows contempt for the lives of the poor.

Caleb Reed, a youth activist in Chicago, falls victim to gun violence

By Brian Green, 10 August 2020

Most recently Reed opposed Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget that starves schools of resources while flooding the Police Department with billions of dollars.

COVID-19: A blessing for Bezos and a nightmare for workers

By Shuvu Batta, 10 August 2020

While workers fight for safe working conditions and adequate pay, Amazon has taken advantage of the business opportunities opened up by COVID-19.

German government continues to boost military spending and cover for fascists

By Johannes Stern, 10 August 2020

The billion-euro armament projects are aimed at expanding Germany’s ability to make war, including the upgrading of the elite KSK force, which is riddled with fascists.

Iranian oil workers mount wave of strikes as COVID-19 rages across the country

By Ulaş Ateşci, 10 August 2020

According to reports, at least 10,000 workers have participated in walkouts at nearly 30 oil and petrochemical facilities, including the Abadan, Parsian and Qeshm refineries.

Australian parliamentary staffer initiates legal challenge to “foreign interference” laws

By Mike Head, 10 August 2020

The High Court case will shed light on the profoundly anti-democratic implications of the legislation.

Twenty percent of Australian health workers lack PPE as infections in the sector soar

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2020

Some 400 more health workers in Victoria have contracted COVID-19 over the past two weeks, prompting warnings of a looming staffing crisis in the hospital system.

Australian Kmart warehouse workers in Melbourne strike over COVID-19 safety

By Paul Bartizan, 10 August 2020

Warehouses, like meatworks and nursing homes, have become dangerous places for workers in this pandemic.

Unions’ big lie to Quebec health care workers battling the pandemic: “The government will protect you”

By Richard Dufour, 10 August 2020

With the unions unable and unwilling to defend them, health care workers must take matters into their own hands, to protect their own health and lives and those of the public.

Trump’s illegal power grab and the specter of American Bonapartism

By Andre Damon, 10 August 2020

Trump’s usurpation of the congressional prerogative to tax and spend is the latest act in his years-long effort to destroy all Constitutional guardrails on the power of the presidency.

Biden’s blueprint for a right-wing presidency: Part one

By Patrick Martin, 10 August 2020

Despite media claims that the Democratic Party has “moved to the left,” Joe Biden is running on a thoroughly right-wing program based on the defense of Wall Street and the global interests of American imperialism.

Workers have a right to know about COVID-19 in their plants!

Statement of the Autoworker Rank-and-File Safety Committee Network, 10 August 2020

Autoworkers are being deprived of the most basic information about the spread of infections in their workplaces.

Clashes in Beirut as ruling elite exploits anger over blast

By Jean Shaoul, 10 August 2020

The latest demonstrations over Tuesday’s deadly port explosion were marked by the presence of the Christian and Sunni parties and ex-generals.

New York Governor Cuomo sanctions statewide reopening of schools

By Evan Blake, 8 August 2020

Cuomo’s mandate provides crucial political support for the Trump administration’s drive to reopen schools irrespective of the cost to human life.

No masks, crowded hallways

Georgia highschoolers use social media to expose disastrous conditions as schools reopen

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 August 2020

Two students from Georgia’s North Paulding High School were suspended after photos of hallways packed with crowds of unmasked students went viral on social media.

Texas attorney general orders in-person education as state cases top 500,000

By Tony Jackson, 8 August 2020

The attorney general and governor of Texas are endangering the lives of teachers and students with a patently unscientific back-to-school pandemic plan.

“It’s a recipe for disaster”

Autoworkers denounce bipartisan drive to reopen schools

By Tim Rivers, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among autoworkers and other workers to the back-to-school campaign, which is threatening the health of teachers, students and their families.

German schools reopen despite increase in coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 8 August 2020

In order to ensure the capitalists can turn a profit, all established parties, from the Christian Social Union to the Left Party, are pushing for a return to regular in-person teaching.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

As July report shows no let-up in mass joblessness

White House, Congress combine to cut off supplemental unemployment benefits

By Jacob Crosse, 8 August 2020

Driven by social interests irreconcilably opposed to those of the working class, congressional leaders from both parties adjourned Friday without restoring jobless pay.

US coronavirus death toll predicted to reach 295,000 by December

By Bryan Dyne, 8 August 2020

The IHME projection of nearly 300,000 deaths by December exposes the lie that it is safe to reopen the schools.

Columbia University pressures faculty into teaching in-person classes, triggering backlash

By Elliott Murtagh, 8 August 2020

Faculty and graduate instructors have denounced university demands they teach in-person classes during the planned fall campus reopening.

Massive anger erupts following Beirut port explosion

By Jean Shaoul, 8 August 2020

Security forces used tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters near parliament on Thursday.

President Trump signs executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat

By Kevin Reed, 8 August 2020

On Thursday, the US president signed two executive orders that will ban the operation of TikTok and WeChat in the US unless they are acquired by US-based companies within 45 days.

US moves to delist Chinese companies from stock exchanges

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2020

The move has been couched in terms of protecting “investor safety,” but it is another component of the economic warfare being carried out by Washington.

GM Spring Hill workers speak out against unsafe conditions amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Zac Thorton, 8 August 2020

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter has received comments from a number of workers at the Tennessee plant.

Ex-UAW regional director forced to resign amid harassment investigation

By Jessica Goldstein, 8 August 2020

Region 2-B Director Richard Rankin presided over major attacks on workers, including the closure of the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant in 2019.

New York University withholds completed dental degree, student facing deportation

By Sam Dalton, 8 August 2020

Despite their completion of coursework, an international student faces deportation because they are unable to pay exorbitant tuition costs and fees.

“This is war, and we have to fight”

USPS workers speak out against privatization drive

By our reporters, 8 August 2020

Opposition is growing among postal workers to the increasingly unbearable work regime and the ongoing efforts to privatize the postal service.

Africa’s one million coronavirus cases “the tip of the iceberg”

By Stephan McCoy, 8 August 2020

Between June and July, the number of cases grew by 500 percent indicating that COVID-19 is more widespread than the official figures suggest.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Over a third of indigenous Canadians struggling to pay for essentials during pandemic

By Alexandra Greene, 8 August 2020

If anything, the figures presented by Statistics Canada understate the horrific social conditions facing most indigenous people.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Union prepares sellout of Renault strike in Brazil

By Tomas Castanheira, 8 August 2020

The movement that involved thousands of workers and their families is under threat of being shutdown with an agreement that validates the destruction of 747 jobs.

Australia: Woolworths lifts lockout as union pushes through sell-out deal

By Terry Cook, 8 August 2020

The United Workers Union has brokered a sell-out deal that maintains the exploitative conditions and low-pay regime at Woolworths’ Wyong distribution centre.

The politics of oligarchy: Federal appeals court blocks SEP challenge to anti-democratic ballot access laws in California

By Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 8 August 2020

The response of the ruling class and its state to the SEP's legal challenge has been determined by one political motive: Keep socialists off the ballot!

Former Australian PM: Beware the Guns of August in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 8 August 2020

Kevin Rudd argues that the danger of war between the US and China is greater than at any time since the 1950s and warns the risk “will be especially high” in the lead-up to the US presidential election.

Indian railway and Sri Lankan port workers oppose privatisation; Australian supermarket warehouse employees stop work over COVID-19 infection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

8 August 2020

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

As Senate adjourns for weekend

New US unemployment claims top 1 million for 20th straight week

By Jacob Crosse, 7 August 2020

Indifferent to the plight of millions of jobless workers and their families, senators from both parties adjourned Thursday with no agreement on extending expired unemployment benefits.

Chad Wolf testifies before Senate committee

US Homeland Security chief defends police-state crackdown, announces federal paramilitaries to remain in Portland

By Barry Grey, 7 August 2020

Wolf specifically defended the chilling practice carried out in Portland of seizing protesters blocks away from the federal courthouse, trundling them into unmarked vehicles and taking them to secret locations to be interrogated.

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna wins election setting the stage for an eruption of working-class struggles

By K. Ratnayake, 7 August 2020

While President Rajapakse hopes that an absolute parliamentary majority and new dictatorial measures will allow him to take on the working class, the eruption of militant struggles will assume revolutionary proportions.

“A nationwide strike is what needs to be done”

Angry educators and parents across the US protest the reckless return to classrooms

By Nancy Hanover, 7 August 2020

From Florida to California, teachers and parents are caravanning, protesting and petitioning against a reckless return to school as demanded by Wall Street and the entire political establishment.

Health Commissioner forced out as New York City prepares to reopen schools amid national pandemic surge

By Josh Varlin, 7 August 2020

Dr. Oxiris Barbot’s ouster indicates a more open return to the herd immunity strategy that guided the city’s disastrous early response to the pandemic.

Dangerous conditions in Melbourne quarantine hotels helped cause Australia’s COVID-19 resurgence

By Martin Scott, 7 August 2020

Victoria’s state Labor Party government presided over the hiring of poorly-paid security guards with no infection control training.

Canadian court rules Safe Third Country Agreement with US violates refugee rights

By Laurent Lafrance, 7 August 2020

The Trudeau government took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to eliminate the “loophole” that had allowed some refugees fleeing Trump’s anti-immigrant witchhunt to escape immediate deportation under the STCA.

Belarus arrests 33 Russian military contractors ahead of presidential elections

By Jason Melanovski, 7 August 2020

The arrest of 33 Russian military contractors in Belarus makes clear that the long-standing ally of Moscow has become a new hotspot in the growing conflict between the United States and Russia.

Britain’s National Health Service workers demand pay rise amid COVID-19 crisis

By Rory Woods, 7 August 2020

Hundreds of health workers demonstrated in London last week and dozens of protests are scheduled in cities across the country this Saturday, organised by Facebook groups.

UK government clears the path for “slums of the future”

By Julia Callaghan, 7 August 2020

On August 23, the moratorium on new evictions in England and Wales ends, threatening homelessness for the near quarter of a million people who have fallen behind with their rent since the start of the pandemic.

West Palm Beach, Florida seniors face eviction from low income housing

By Matthew Taylor, 7 August 2020

The St. Andrews Residence has been in disrepair for years leading many residents to believe the owners have deliberately neglected their health and safety in order to facilitate a sale of the million-dollar waterfront property.

Faculty at University of Akron reject sellout contract

By Isaac Finn, 7 August 2020

On August 5, faculty at the University of Akron voted down an offer that included layoffs of 96 full-time professors, pay cuts and increased health care premiums.

Violent, secretive fascistic networks operating inside California police stations

By Tom Carter, 7 August 2020

Alongside rampant brutality, a secretive police culture has emerged featuring tattoos, occult rituals and symbols, codes of silence, and barbecues to celebrate murder.

US retail bankruptcies and closures pile up amid pandemic

By Trévon Austin, 7 August 2020

Two new bankruptcy filings on Sunday—Tailored Brands and Le Tote—bring the total number to 43 this year.

The United Auto Workers: A criminal conspiracy against the working class

By Shannon Jones, 7 August 2020

From top executives to low-level functionaries, the entire UAW stands exposed as a criminal conspiracy directed against autoworkers.

James P. Cannon on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, “An unspeakable atrocity”

7 August 2020

The founder of American Trotskyism warned in August 1945 that the atomic bombs dropped on Japan placed before humanity the alternative of “socialism or annihilation.”

Fascist death squads preparing to carry out mass murder in Germany

By Jordan Shilton, 7 August 2020

Police officers, former military officers and far-right operatives engaged in a vast conspiracy to hoard large quantities of munitions and weaponry, establish safe houses, identify political opponents, and procure the necessary materials to secretly dispose of dead bodies.

Theater on your personal device

The Line movingly conveys health care workers’ struggles during the pandemic

By Erik Schreiber, 7 August 2020

A powerful play based on interviews shows how New York City’s health care workers battled the pandemic as the health care system collapsed around them.

Maltese doctors’ action against spread of COVID-19; Iranian oil workers continue strikes; Zimbabwe doctors’ and nurses’ stoppage spreads.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 August 2020

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

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 voting rights 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 ballots are printed.

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.

Workers’ opposition grows to Netanyahu government over pandemic and social crisis in Israel

By Jean Shaoul, 3 August 2020

The reopening of schools has met with fierce opposition from teachers, while public service workers’ strikes over low pay and COVID-19-related issues have grown.