World News

US airstrikes in Afghanistan hit ten-year high in 2019

By Niles Niemuth, 29 January 2020

The Trump administration has ramped up the air war in Afghanistan as it seeks to pressure the Taliban into a settlement, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.

In impeachment crisis, Trump continues fascistic appeals, Democrats promote warmonger John Bolton

By Barry Grey, 29 January 2020

An architect of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bolton has advocated wars for regime change in Iran, Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen and North Korea.

Trump unveils farcical Mideast “peace plan” as Netanyahu is indicted

By Bill Van Auken, 29 January 2020

Timed to meet the immediate needs of both Trump and Netanyahu, the plan sanctions all of the policies of the Israeli right and is guaranteed to be rejected by the Palestinians.

US Supreme Court approves public charge rule directed against legal immigrants

By Jill Lux and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 29 January 2020

The highly contested rule, which was announced last August, altered existing immigration law to allow the administration to deny visas to legal immigrants who it claims would rely on the government’s assistance.

Wuhan coronavirus accelerates while concerns over limited resources may prove catastrophic

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 January 2020

The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic is accelerating while Chinese officials attempt to mitigate the rising social tensions.

Coronavirus provokes turbulence on global stock markets

By Nick Beams, 29 January 2020

With China contributing about one third of total growth, the world economy as a whole will feel the effects.

Italian ruling parties defeat far-right Lega in Emilia-Romagna elections

By Peter Schwarz, 29 January 2020

While the candidate of the extreme right-wing Lega was clearly defeated in the Emilia-Romagna elections by the candidate of the Democrats, the rise of the right-wing extremists has by no means been stopped.

Trump ramps up tensions with UK after Huawei 5G decision

By Thomas Scripps, 29 January 2020

The fudge decision is a desperate attempt to placate the Trump administration and avoid a collision over basic issues of economy and security.

US refuses to extradite spy’s wife to UK over death of Harry Dunn

By Barry Mason, 29 January 2020

The UK government have gone into full damage-limitation mode over the explosive conflict, but US Secretary of State Pompeo will not be fooled by such theatrics and will dismiss any appeals regarding Sacoolas, knowing they are made purely for the record.

Opposition builds to pro-company union at GM’s Silao, Mexico complex

By Andrea Lobo and Jerry White, 29 January 2020

The Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) is holding a vote next month to seek legal recognition under the Obrador government’s new labor reform laws, which promote so-called “independent” unions.

The sudden death of basketball great Kobe Bryant produces shock and tributes worldwide

By Alan Gilman, 29 January 2020

The retired basketball star and his teenage daughter were among nine victims of a helicopter crash near Los Angeles.

Residents, families of dead workers left to fend for themselves after chemical explosion at Houston, Texas manufacturing facility

By Jessica Goldstein, 29 January 2020

Those who had their lives torn apart by the devastating chemical explosion at Watson Grinding and Manufacturing last week have been left without any idea of how they will pick up the pieces.

Australia: Worker presumed dead in Tasmanian mine collapse

By Terry Cook, 29 January 2020

If the miners’ death is confirmed, it will be the fifth mining fatality in western Tasmania in just six years.

Sri Lankan president declares wartime missing persons dead

By S. Jayanth, 29 January 2020

As the former defense secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse presided over the military and was responsible for the death squads that abducted and killed Tamil youth, journalists and critics during the war.

Oppose French unions’ attempts to strangle the struggle against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 29 January 2020

Opposing union sabotage of strikes against Macron requires building committees of action, independent of the unions, and a revolutionary leadership in the working class.

“The time is now to fight for genuine socialism and an end to capitalist exploitation”

SEP presidential candidate Joseph Kishore opens 2020 campaign with address to students and supporters in Michigan

By our reporters, 29 January 2020

There is a clear alternative facing the American and international working class, Kishore said at the meeting, capitalist barbarism or international socialism.

#MeToo accusations and identity politics circulate around 2020 Grammy Awards

By Matthew Brennan, 29 January 2020

The event, hosted by the Recording Academy, is the most prominent such ceremony in the music business in the US. Grammys are handed out to musicians, singers, producers, engineers and songwriters.

Democrats embrace war hawk Bolton in Trump impeachment trial

By Patrick Martin, 28 January 2020

The carefully timed leak of Bolton’s White House revelations has overshadowed the defense mounted by Trump’s attorneys in the Senate impeachment trial.

Iraqi government cracks down on anti-US protests

By Jean Shaoul, 28 January 2020

Protests were sparked by unemployment, particularly among young people, the lack of electricity and water, poor services and rampant corruption.

Auschwitz liberation commemorated in Poland amid state-led campaign for historical revisionism and war

By Clara Weiss, 28 January 2020

Duda’s and Steinmeier’s condemnations of fascism and anti-Semitism stands in stark contrast to the political record of their own governments.

India's Supreme Court greenlights Modi government’s internet shutdown in Kashmir

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 January 2020

While declaring internet access “constitutionally protected,” India’s highest court did not order the Modi government to end its nearly six-month long suspension of internet service in Kashmir.

Mexican President López Obrador breaks up migrant caravan

By Andrea Lobo, 28 January 2020

While claiming to “protect” migrants, López Obrador is protecting the political and financial ties of the Mexican oligarchy to US imperialism.

German government bans neo-Nazi group “Combat 18 Deutschland”

By Peter Schwarz, 28 January 2020

It was above all the fact that the close links between the militant neo-Nazi scene, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) and the secret service could not be so easily covered up after the murder of leading Christian Democrat Walter Lübcke that persuaded Seehofer to take action.

Kremlin appoints new cabinet

By Andrea Peters, 28 January 2020

The turnover in the Russian government was concentrated in ministries responsible for domestic affairs

Royal Family deal over Harry and Meghan only exacerbates crisis of rule

By Robert Stevens, 28 January 2020

For all the talk about the response of an “astute” Queen, what is taking place is a desperate rescue operation that is doomed to failure.

US Supreme Court considers ending ban on public funding for religious schools

By Nancy Hanover, 28 January 2020

On January 22, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, a deeply reactionary case which takes aim at both the democratic principle of separation of church and state and the right to free, universal public education.

FCA announces temporary shutdown of Belvidere Assembly plant near Chicago

By Jacob Crosse, 28 January 2020

The decision to idle the plant for the third time in six months raises questions about the future of the facility, including the possibility of its closure

Trump rolls back clean water protections

By Daniel de Vries, 28 January 2020

The move will exempt more than half of the nation's wetlands from federal regulations.

Union-backed arbitrator imposes pay freezes on Alberta teachers and nurses

By Janet Browning and Roger Jordan, 28 January 2020

The decision means Alberta public school teachers will have been subject to wage freezes for seven of the last eight years.

The mass protests in Iraq and the US drive to recolonize the Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 25 January 2020

Among the hundreds of thousands who filled the streets of Baghdad were workers and youth whose entire lives have been shaped by the crimes of US imperialism.

“We hope this protest will inspire others”

French “yellow vests” protest for Assange outside Belmarsh prison in London

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

The protests point to the deeply-rooted opposition among workers internationally to US and European governments’ relentless campaign to destroy Assange.

Strikers march across France as Macron moves to impose pension cuts

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2020

A poll this week found 61 percent opposition to the cuts, and that 82 percent of Frenchmen believe they are worse off since Macron took office in 2017.

As Democrats promote anti-Russia hysteria

Trump steps up attacks on immigrants, democratic rights in midst of impeachment trial

By Barry Grey, 25 January 2020

Trump railed against the “far left” in the first speech by a president at the annual anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington DC.

Second case of coronavirus confirmed in the US

By Benjamin Mateus, 25 January 2020

Since the virus was first identified, more than 1,000 people have now been infected worldwide, and in the latest report the death toll has climbed to 41, all having died in mainland China.

“People are going to die because of this”

Trump administration to deny visas to pregnant women

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 25 January 2020

The Trump administration has launched yet another salvo in its ongoing war against immigrants.

Iranian student deported from Boston by Customs and Border Protection despite court order

By Julian James, 25 January 2020

At the time of his deportation, Abadi held a valid F1 student visa recently issued by the United States Customs and Immigration Services to continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Northeastern University in Boston.

As strike struggles surge, US unions record lowest ever membership rate

By Shannon Jones, 25 January 2020

The highest unionization rate is in “protective services” (33.8 percent), including police, prison guards and border patrol agents, whose function is to suppress the working class.

Volkswagen boss Diess commits management to mass layoffs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 25 January 2020

2020 began with a fiery speech by the CEO of the world’s largest auto company, Volkswagen, in which he announced a “radical restructuring of the group” and the “slaughter of sacred cows.”

The significance of Italy’s Sardines movement

By Marc Wells, 25 January 2020

In less than two months, the Sardines movement, a social media initiative, has mobilized thousands of protesters against the right-wing former deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.

Sri Lankan graphite mine workers strike over pay and conditions

By our correspondents, 25 January 2020

This week’s walkout is the first workers’ strike this year against the new Rajapakse government.

Two and a half years after Grenfell fire:

Tens of thousands of UK households live in buildings covered in flammable cladding

By Charles Hixson, 25 January 2020

Next to nothing has been done by the Conservative government to remove dangerous cladding from hundreds of mainly residential buildings that are enveloped in deadly flammable material.

Fascistic New Zealand soldier charged with disclosing military information

By Tom Peters, 25 January 2020

The soldier was a leading member of the Dominion Movement, which espoused the same fascist ideology as the Christchurch terrorist who killed 51 people in March 2019.

As public support builds for Ontario teachers’ struggle, government denounces walkouts

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 25 January 2020

A recent opinion poll has underscored that most Ontarians support teachers in striking against the Ford government’s class-size increases and gutting of education support services.

SEIU reaches tentative agreement at Cleveland Public Library in attempt to avert strike

By Isaac Finn, 25 January 2020

The agreement was reached two days after the SEIU issued a 10-day strike notice announcing that they planned a walkout at noon on February 4.

While workers confront police violence and pro-company court injunctions,

Unifor prepares betrayal in Saskatchewan refinery lockout

By Carl Bronski, 25 January 2020

Using a phony, largely scripted “blockade” of the Co-op Refinery Complex as a diversionary backdrop, Unifor has moved to end the bitter, seven-week-long lockout of 750 oil refinery workers by ceding to management’s concession demands.

Australian Labor Party demands faster development of attack submarines

By Patrick O’Connor, 25 January 2020

While the opposition has closed ranks behind the government over the nation-wide bushfire crisis, on this issue of “national security” the Labor Party is keen to burnish its militarist credentials.

Australians suffer violent hailstorms, flash floods and ongoing fires

By Martin Scott, 25 January 2020

As bushfires continue to burn, Australian communities have been ravaged by other extreme climatic events.

Indian midday-meal workers strike for higher wages; Australian rail workers strike again

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 January 2020

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

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warns of “civilization-ending nuclear war”

By Andre Damon, 24 January 2020

Amid a global nuclear arms race, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists warned that human civilization is closer to destruction than at any other period in history.

Democrats begin Senate trial of Trump with anti-Russia diatribe

By Patrick Martin, 23 January 2020

A casual viewer might have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin, not Trump, was on trial.

US troops confront Russian convoy near Syrian oil fields

By Bill Van Auken, 23 January 2020

Washington is occupying Syrian oil fields to deny resources to Damascus and continue its drive for regime change.

Trump puts Europe in his sights for trade war

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2020

The stepped-up offensive was foreshadowed in Trump’s keynote address to the Davos annual meeting in which he said the US had pioneered “a new model for trade in the 21st century.”

Canadian judge begins hearing Washington’s geopolitically explosive demand for extradition of top Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 23 January 2020

Canadian authorities seized Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at the behest of Washington, which is seeking her extradition on the basis of bogus fraud charges.

Corbyn nominates arch Blairite Tom Watson for British House of Lords

By Robert Stevens, 23 January 2020

Corbyn’s final outreach to Watson is a fitting end to his fraudulent claim to represent an alternative to the Blairites.

Banks to give $10 billion bailout to Boeing, nothing to the families of the dead

By Bryan Dyne, 23 January 2020

A pittance has been provided to the 346 families who lost loved ones in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes, even as major financial institutions are moving to provide billions of dollars to prop up the aerospace giant.

Ford planning temporary layoffs at Chicago Stamping Plant

By Marcus Day, 23 January 2020

The layoffs further discredit the UAW’s hollow promises of a “pathway” to full-time employment for temporary workers.

Bangladesh prepares to send 100,000 Rohingya refugees to isolated island

By Rohantha De Silva, 23 January 2020

More than 610,000 refugees currently live in overcrowded, prison-like camps surrounded by barbed-wire fences on Cox’s Bazar.

New Zealand Greens support military build-up

By Tom Peters, 23 January 2020

The Green Party, part of the Labour-led government, is backing $20 billion in military upgrades and increased army recruitment, purportedly because it will help address the impact of climate change.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro government charges journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes”

By Bill Van Auken, 22 January 2020

The trumped-up charges against Greenwald by Bolsonaro’s fascistic government are of a piece with the global assault on free speech and democratic rights and the jailing of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Witnesses testify that CIA spied on Assange and his lawyers

By Mike Head, 22 January 2020

This evidence alone requires the US extradition case to be thrown out of court on the grounds of illegality.

Growing fears of global debt crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 January 2020

As the global oligarchy assembles at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, there are mounting warning signs that global debt, fueled by cheap money from central banks, is a ticking time bomb.

Senate adopts rules for quick impeachment trial of President Trump

By Barry Grey, 22 January 2020

The statements on the Senate floor by both the lawyers for Trump and the House impeachment managers made clear the right-wing, antidemocratic politics of both warring factions.

Clearview AI facial recognition tool being used by more than 600 US police agencies

By Kevin Reed, 22 January 2020

The facial recognition technology company claims that its app can identify anyone within seconds by submitting a photo of them into their database of 3 billion facial photos.

Brazil’s minister of culture fired after fascist speech plagiarizing Joseph Goebbels

By Tomas Castanheira, 22 January 2020

Alvim delivered his speech flanked by a Brazilian flag and a cross and with a Wagner opera that was reportedly Hitler’s favorite playing in the background.

Europe dispatches naval flotilla to threaten Iran, Syria

By Anthony Torres, 22 January 2020

A French aircraft carrier and European naval flotillas will patrol strategic Middle East waters that are critical to the global oil trade.

Shots fired at SPD constituency office in Halle, Germany

By Marianne Arens, 22 January 2020

On the morning of January 15, five bullet holes were discovered in the window of Social Democratic Party (SPD) member of parliament Karamba Diaby’s constituency office in Halle.

Tasmanian premier’s resignation highlights political discontent across Australia

By Mike Head, 22 January 2020

Under successive governments, both Liberal and Labor, the island state has become a microcosm of the financial and social devastation being inflicted on millions of people throughout the country.

Australia: Thousands protest government inaction on bushfires and climate change

By our reporters, 22 January 2020

The organisers of the Melbourne demonstration provided no way forward beyond the confines of the capitalist system that has led to environmental destruction.

Kentucky miners blockading coal shipments win backpay

By Douglas Lyons, 22 January 2020

The miners had not been paid since December 27 and were owed between $2,000 and $3,000 each.

PFAS contamination found at Detroit-area plating company site leaking cancer causing chemicals

By Kevin Reed, 22 January 2020

A public information briefing by state regulators has been scheduled to contain growing public anger over the industrial chemical contamination of the ground and surface water in the Detroit suburb.

Scottish National Party clashes with Johnson government over second independence referendum

By Chris Marsden and Steve James, 22 January 2020

The invocations of democracy by both sides seek to conceal a row between rival bourgeois factions whose interests, aims and nationalist agendas are hostile to the working class on both sides of the border.

UK: Johnson government plans draconian new anti-terror laws

By Thomas Scripps, 22 January 2020

Patel’s announcement comes after it was revealed that dozens of left-wing and environmental protest groups are included in a counter-terrorism “guidance document.”

Democratic Party establishment wages war on Sanders

By Patrick Martin, 22 January 2020

The public and vicious campaign by Democratic Party leaders against Sanders only underscores the political bankruptcy of his perspective of reforming this organization.

The New York Times gloats over Harvey Weinstein’s misfortune

By David Walsh, 22 January 2020

The trial of film producer Harvey Weinstein, on five charges of sexual assault involving two women, is currently underway in New York City.

SEP to hold public meeting in Canada to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 22 January 2020

The Socialist Equality Party (Canada) is holding a public meeting in Montreal on Sunday, February 2 to fight for the freedom of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, oppose war, and defend democratic rights.

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit: A child’s-eye view of the Nazis’ crimes

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 January 2020

The film is an adaptation of the book by Judith Kerr, the German-born British writer, published in 1971 and the first part of her Out of the Hitler Time trilogy.

As neo-Nazis head to Richmond, Trump boosts gun-rights rally

By Patrick Martin, 20 January 2020

The president’s tweet is a declaration of solidarity with ultra-right forces on the eve of his impeachment trial.

Paris transport workers vote to end unlimited strike against Macron

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

President Emmanuel Macron has been able to rely on his close collaboration with the trade unions, which helped him formulate and negotiate his pension cuts.

Police assault “yellow vests” after Macron forced to flee crowd in Paris theater

By Alex Lantier, 20 January 2020

Macron’s ignominious flight from the Bouffes du nord theater underscores that he cannot show his face in public anywhere without provoking serious protests.

Climate change “spin” as Davos gathering confronts mounting environmental and economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 20 January 2020

The picture presented by the WEF’s own analysis is of a socio-economic system heading for catastrophe on every front, for which the ruling elites have no answer.

Bushfire scientist warns that Australia’s disaster is “a wake-up call”

By Frank Gaglioti, 20 January 2020

“If nothing is done to address climate change this wildfire season will be a preview into our future.”

Russian Duma approves new prime minister

By Clara Weiss, 20 January 2020

Putin and sections of the Russian oligarchy regard Mishustin as better equipped than former Prime Minister Medvedev to carry out major attacks on the working class and to facilitate a closing of ranks in the ruling class.

Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour leadership campaign marks end of “project Corbyn”

By Robert Stevens, 20 January 2020

Unity with the Blairite right was the leitmotif of Long-Bailey’s campaign rally.

Ontario teachers to stage regional walkouts, as Ford government escalates threats

By Roger Jordan, 20 January 2020

While the unions are confining teachers to ineffectual one-day regional strikes, Ford and his ministers are plotting to ram through class-size increases and other cuts by outlawing all job action.

Tesla under investigation by US government for defect that caused over 100 crashes

By Jessica Goldstein, 20 January 2020

The serious allegations of safety problems with Tesla’s vehicles and the suffering of the workers who build them are bound up with the subordination of the means of production to the capitalist system.

“What the automakers looked for was flexibility, and they maintained a lot of flexibility”

Detroit Three automakers see gains in 2019 UAW contracts, industry think tank gloats

By Marcus Day, 20 January 2020

The presentations made clear that the United Auto Workers’ betrayal of the 40-day national strike by General Motors workers paved the way for massive concessions.

Chicago police to be deputized as federal immigration agents

By Kylie Rose and Andy Thompson, 20 January 2020

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says it will use the Chicago Police Department to enforce federal immigration laws.

Drastic cuts to Rochester, New York schools

By Steve Filips, 20 January 2020

Ninety-five teachers have been laid off and 150 displaced in the Rochester City School District, due to massive over-spending, provoking immense anger among students, parents and staff.

US official delivers Trump’s threatening message to Sri Lankan president

By K. Ratnayake, 20 January 2020

Sri Lanka is a key focus of intensifying rivalry between US and India, on one hand, and China and Russia, on the other.

#MeToo provocation against Bernie Sanders organized by CNN and Elizabeth Warren

By David Walsh, 20 January 2020

This is a political stink bomb, borrowed from the #MeToo playbook, typical of American politics in its putrefaction.

Amid poverty wages and tax cuts for the rich

JPMorgan Chase records the biggest profit of any bank in US history

By Gabriel Black, 18 January 2020

The profit bonanza on Wall Street is the outcome of a bipartisan drive to enrich the financial elite at the expense of the working class.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

Australian Labor Party closes ranks with Morrison government in bushfire crisis

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 January 2020

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has largely refrained from criticising the inadequate government response on the grounds of ensuring “national unity.”

Smoke haze from Australian bushfires pose serious public health threat

By John Mackay, 18 January 2020

The fine particulates in smoke from fires has been known to contain a toxic mix of chemicals that are a concern to public health.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

German government to continue military operations in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2020

All of the parliamentary parties agree with the government’s policy of escalating Germany military intervention in the region.

Detroit, Michigan man declared innocent and released after nearly 30 years of wrongful imprisonment

By Dan Conway, 18 January 2020

Gerry Thomas, exonerated after spending close to three decades in prison, is one of thousands who have and are currently spending time in US prisons for crimes they did not commit.

New UAW Ford director part of union’s narrow inner circle

By Shannon Jones, 18 January 2020

The appointment of UAW Region 1D director Gerald Kariem to head the union’s Ford department elevates another long-time bureaucrat into the top leadership.

Snowplow operators in northeastern Minnesota begin strike over benefits

By Anthony Bertolt, 18 January 2020

The county government’s proposal would slash sick leave by nearly half for new hires and create a two-tiered benefit system dividing young and old workers.

Saskatchewan NDP silent on oil refinery lockout

By Carl Bronski, 18 January 2020

With the explicit support of the right-wing Saskatchewan Party government, the courts and the police, CRC is mounting a massive scabbing operation.