Americas

Leaked “grand bargain” document details Obama's plan for cuts in entitlement programs

By Barry Grey, 15 November 2012

The far-reaching and reactionary substance of Obama's social policy emerges very clearly in secret documents that were leaked last weekend.

Army pre-trial hearing into March 2012 Afghan massacre concludes

By Naomi Spencer, 15 November 2012

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers, could face the death penalty if the Army recommends a court-martial.

Survivors describe bloodbath in Afghan atrocity

By Naomi Spencer, 15 November 2012

In testimony from Afghanistan, witnesses to the March 11 massacre described scenes of terror and grief.

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy: Hoboken, New Jersey residents seek aid

By A. Woodson, 15 November 2012

Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy hit Hoboken, residents of the New Jersey city came to the local high school seeking aid from FEMA and other agencies.

Additional education cuts on horizon after passage of California tax proposition

By Dan Conway, 15 November 2012

Even the most optimistic analysts admit that the proposition’s passage will not in any meaningful way increase public education funding.

US: Hostess to close three plants as strikes continue

By Shannon Jones, 15 November 2012

Snack maker Hostess said it is permanently closing three plants as strikes by members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union continue.

Union leaders meet with Obama, back austerity drive against workers

By Barry Grey, 14 November 2012

The hour-long meeting at the White House was the first act in a carefully orchestrated campaign to convince the public that unprecedented social cuts are the only alternative to economic disaster in the form of the “fiscal cliff.”

What is the “fiscal cliff”?

By Patrick Martin, 14 November 2012

The purpose of propaganda about the “cliff” is to create a sense of financial emergency and override opposition to measures Obama and Congress will put forward to avert it, including cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Top US commander in Afghanistan implicated in Petraeus probe

By Bill Van Auken, 14 November 2012

Gen. John Allen is now under investigation in connection with the woman whose complaint initiated the probe leading to David Petraeus’ resignation as CIA director.

Ohio carries out third execution since lifting of moratorium

By Kate Randall, 14 November 2012

Brett Hartman was the third person put to death in Ohio since the state ended a six-month moratorium on executions.

Concessions imposed on Chicago-area teachers

By Shane Feratu and James Brewer, 14 November 2012

Following the sellout of the Chicago teachers' strike last September, suburban teachers have been hit with concessions contracts.

After the US election, Syria war threats mount

By Bill Van Auken, 13 November 2012

One week after the reelection of President Barack Obama, the drumbeat for war against Syria has escalated sharply.

Obama loan repayment scheme maintains crushing debt burden on students

By Nancy Hanover, 13 November 2012

The Obama administration has continued the overall trend of pricing the working class out of higher education.

Urban Shield exercises in Boston test police-state tactics

By John Marion, 13 November 2012

Police S.W.A.T. teams, public transit police, the Coast Guard, “intelligence” personnel, and bomb disposal units conducted Urban Shield exercises in subway stations, abandoned movie theaters, and other public locations in Boston.

Israel launches missile strike against Syria

By Niall Green, 12 November 2012

With the US elections out of the way, Washington and its allies have stepped up their campaign for regime-change against Syria.

The Petraeus affair

By Barry Grey, 12 November 2012

The claim promoted by both the media and the political establishment that Petraeus’ resignation has no political dimension is not credible.

US Supreme Court to consider challenge to 1965 Voting Rights Act

By Tom Carter, 12 November 2012

The 1965 Voting Rights Act ranks among the most significant reforms that emerged from the upheavals of the civil rights period.

Anger erupts over continuing power outages two weeks after Hurricane Sandy

By Philip Guelpa, 12 November 2012

Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy’s landfall, hundreds of thousands are still suffering from the lack of response to the storm.

Thousands line up at Chicago job fair for less than 60 positions

By Kristina Betinis, 12 November 2012

The city of Chicago’s first job fair was quickly revealed to be a media stunt, with more than 3,000 workers lining up to apply online for 55 positions.

Obama’s post-election pivot to austerity and war

By Joseph Kishore, 12 November 2012

With the US elections out of the way, the American ruling class is moving with remarkable speed to implement a deeply unpopular agenda.

Obama spells out austerity agenda for second term

By Andre Damon, 10 November 2012

In his first public statement since election night, Barack Obama said Friday that his main priority in the coming months will be to slash the federal budget deficit.

Obama intensifies “pivot” to Asia

By Peter Symonds, 10 November 2012

President Obama’s first international trip since being re-elected will be to South East Asia, including Burma, Thailand and Cambodia.

US elections leave House and Senate balance nearly unchanged

By Patrick Martin, 10 November 2012

The results demonstrate political crisis and dwindling popular support for both parties.

US Army hearing begins into March 2012 Afghan atrocity

By Naomi Spencer, 10 November 2012

Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of carrying out a massacre of Afghan civilians, faces 16 counts of murder.

Massachusetts official fired for ignoring complaints against meningitis-linked pharmacy

By Kate Randall, 10 November 2012

A top Massachusetts official has been fired after ignoring previous complaints against the compounding pharmacy linked to the current fungal meningitis outbreak.

Obama champions “grand bargain” to slash entitlement programs

By Jerry White, 9 November 2012

With the US elections out of the way, business leaders are declaring their support for Obama in the campaign to lower corporate taxes and slash federally guaranteed health care and retiree benefits.

Spokane Symphony Orchestra musicians on strike

By Christine Schofelt, 9 November 2012

The musicians of the Spokane (Washington) Symphony Orchestra, faced with a demand for a 13.3 percent wage cut, walked out on strike November 3. The current pay of core players is $17,460 a year.

The Nation magazine and Obama’s reelection

By Barry Grey, 9 November 2012

The full depth of reaction emerges when the Nation turns its fixation on race and gender to the subject of white people.

The disillusioned and dissatisfied electorate

By Joseph Kishore, 8 November 2012

While the complete details of Tuesday’s vote have yet to be tallied, an initial analysis reveals an electorate that is increasingly alienated from the entire two-party political system.

After election, Obama moves to slash social spending

By Andre Damon, 8 November 2012

In the wake of Barack Obama's victory in the 2012 US presidential election, the Democrats have proclaimed their intent to collaborate with Republicans to slash billions of dollars in social spending.

New storm hits US Northeast as misery from Sandy deepens

By a WSWS reporting team, 8 November 2012

With tens of thousands homeless and hundreds of thousands still without power from Hurricane Sandy, the Northeast of the United States was struck by another major storm Wednesday night.

Ontario teachers’ unions seek concessions deal

By Carl Bronski, 8 November 2012

The union of Ontario public teachers has postponed limited job action in protest of legislation that imposes wage cuts and other concessions.

Obama wins reelection

By Patrick Martin, 7 November 2012

Obama will repay those who voted for him by carrying out measures that will devastate their jobs, living standards and social conditions.

SEP campaigns on US Election Day

By our reporting team, 7 November 2012

The Socialist Equality Party campaigned during Election Day, speaking to workers across the country about the need for an independent political party of the working class.

Arguments in Supreme Court warrantless spying case

Obama administration asserts unchecked powers

By Tom Carter, 7 November 2012

The position taken by the Obama administration in last week’s oral arguments is further confirmation that the US political establishment is moving toward authoritarian forms of rule.

Tuition rises in Washington state

By J.W. Stern, 7 November 2012

Tuition at Washington state community colleges is now as expensive as its public universities were a decade ago.

California: Pension fund brings lawsuit against Compton

By Julien Kiemle, 7 November 2012

The California Public Employees' Retirement System filed a lawsuit against the city of Compton after it stopped paying its contributions to the fund.

Hillary Clinton’s “democracy” for Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 7 November 2012

Washington’s decision to handpick a new leadership for the Syrian “revolution” is a textbook example of democracy “made in the USA,” or, more precisely, neocolonialism.

One week after Hurricane Sandy, human crisis and class tensions grow

By Fred Mazelis, 6 November 2012

A week after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast of the United States, large numbers of storm victims remain without power, heat or a roof over their heads as the cold weather sets in.

The class issues in the 2012 elections

By Joseph Kishore, 6 November 2012

The Socialist Equality Party calls on all its supporters in the US to cast a vote for SEP candidates Jerry White for president and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president in today’s election.

Death penalty and three-strikes law on California ballot

By Alan Gilman, 6 November 2012

Ballot initiatives to abolish the death penalty and to modify the three-strikes law will appear on the California ballot this November.

SEP Midwest regional conference advances socialist alternative in 2012 elections

By our reporter, 6 November 2012

The Socialist Equality Party held its Midwest Regional Conference, Socialism and the 2012 Elections, on November 4 at Wayne State University in Detroit

US presidential campaign comes to an end

By Patrick Martin, 5 November 2012

Both Obama and Romney are concealing the reactionary policies they will put into effect in the post-election period.

Millions still without power as temperature nears freezing in Eastern US

By Bill Van Auken, 5 November 2012

The death toll has passed 100 as nearly two million remain without power, as working-class areas are abandoned in the face of the destruction of Hurricane Sandy.

New York’s Staten Island hit with death and destruction

By a reporting team, 5 November 2012

New York City’s borough of Staten Island suffered some of the worst destruction and the highest death toll from Hurricane Sandy

Rochester, N.Y.: Kodak cutting health benefits for 56,000 retirees

By Steve Filips, 5 November 2012

Kodak, which has already cut the pensions for its retired workers, is now seeking to eliminate their health benefits as well.

Resolution of the SEP Conferences

Build the Socialist Equality Party!

5 November 2012

This is an edited version of a resolution passed at the Socialist Equality Party regional conferences in California and Michigan.

Anger boils over at lack of US storm relief

By Fred Mazelis, 3 November 2012

With the death toll from Hurricane Sandy climbing towards 100, anger and frustration have boiled over at the failure of the federal, state and local governments to provide adequate relief.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy: Aid for Coney Island too little and too late

By Sandy English, 3 November 2012

New York City’s Coney Island was badly hit by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night and has received minimal aid from government agencies.

Hurricane Sandy reveals deepening health, political crises in Caribbean countries

By John Marion, 3 November 2012

Long before devastating the eastern seaboard of the United States, Hurricane Sandy wreaked death and destruction on Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Report shows tepid jobs growth, falling wages in US

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2012

The US economy added 171,000 jobs in October, only slightly more than the amount needed to keep up with population growth, according to the last official monthly jobs report before the US election.

Greek journalist acquitted for leaking list of wealthy potential tax dodgers

By Robert Stevens, 3 November 2012

Kostas Vaxevanis has been found innocent of breaching data privacy laws by a three-judge panel in Athens.

Clinton visit to Algeria prepares war in Mali

By Kumaran Ira, 3 November 2012

Hillary Clinton visited Algiers Monday to secure Algerian support for an imperialist intervention in Mali, as a conference to plan for war opened in Bamako.

SEP candidate Jerry White speaks to Chrysler workers in Detroit

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 November 2012

SEP presidential candidate Jerry White and a team of supporters spoke to Chrysler workers at a campaign rally Friday afternoon.

Washington seeks new Syrian puppets in war for regime-change

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Wednesday that Washington is reorganizing the front representing the so-called “rebels” in Syria.

Growing popular anger as Hurricane Sandy death toll rises to 90

By Kate Randall, 2 November 2012

More than 4.5 million remain without power in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, while the threat of a fuel crisis grows and transit remains crippled in the Northeast.

Food shortages in Brooklyn public housing in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

By a WSWS reporting team, 2 November 2012

Residents of Red Hook Brooklyn lined up for food and water Thursday, three days after Hurricane Sandy flooded the New York City neighborhood

Hurricane Sandy and capitalist “free enterprise”

By Barry Grey, 1 November 2012

The flood surge from Sandy has once again placed in sharp relief the complex and interconnected character of modern society and the need for rational and socially-driven planning.

New York City public housing without lights, heat or water after storm

By a WSWS reporting team, 1 November 2012

Three days after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City, thousands of residents of public housing remain without electricity, heat or running water and, in many cases, are living in flood-like conditions, particularly in lower Manhattan.

How to vote for SEP candidates Jerry White and Phyllis Scherrer

1 November 2012

Voters in states and counties with a combined population of 85 million can vote for the Socialist Equality Party candidates for president and vice president or cast a write-in vote that will be counted.

American democracy and the “disposition matrix”

By Joseph Kishore, 31 October 2012

The media and political establishment have responded with near total silence to the Washington Post’s revelation last week that the Obama administration has transformed extra-judicial assassination into a permanent practice of the US government.

US employs former child soldiers as mercenaries

By Sybille Fuchs, 31 October 2012

The US is increasingly using private security forces to wage its wars and maintain its occupation of countries after the withdrawal of regular troops.

$100 million contribution to New York’s Central Park

Hedge fund billionaire Paulson spruces up the front lawn

By Clare Hurley, 31 October 2012

Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson has given $100 million to the private non-profit conservancy that maintains Central Park in New York City last week.

SEP conferences in California outline the socialist perspective in the 2012 elections

By our reporters, 31 October 2012

This past weekend, the SEP held regional conferences in Los Angeles and Berkeley, California. This coming weekend, conferences will be held in New York City and Detroit.

One week to Election Day in America: The real choice for workers

By Andre Damon, 30 October 2012

As the 2012 presidential election campaign heads toward its ignominious conclusion, the right-wing and anti-democratic character of the entire process is becoming ever more clear.

US third party debate presents no alternative for working class

By Eric London, 30 October 2012

Four candidates met in Chicago last Tuesday for what was billed as the first Third Party Presidential Debate.

Massive hurricane hits Northeastern US

By Fred Mazelis, 30 October 2012

Hurricane Sandy brought deadly winds, rain and storm surges to an area of 60 million people.

The World Series and militarism

By James Brewer, 30 October 2012

Major League Baseball has taken every opportunity to infuse the World Series with patriotism and the glorification of war.

US health officials find mold at facility at center of meningitis outbreak

By Kate Randall, 29 October 2012

FDA investigators found foreign “greenish-black” material in vials of an injectable steroid during a recent inspection of the New England Compounding Center, among other problems.

The New York Times and Washington Post endorsements of Obama

By Patrick Martin, 29 October 2012

The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune have all endorsed Obama as the best candidate to impose major cuts in social spending.

SEP campaign teams win support for Detroit regional conference

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 October 2012

SEP campaign teams have visited schools, workplaces and markets in the Detroit area over the past week, winning support for the November 4 Midwest regional conference, Socialism and the 2012 Elections.

US sought use of British bases for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 October 2012

US access to military bases on Cyprus, Ascension Island and Diego Garcia would significantly boost the Pentagon’s ability to wage round-the-clock air strikes against Iran.

Dow Chemical to cut 2,400 jobs, close 20 plants

By Kate Randall, 27 October 2012

A steady stream of job cut announcements continued this week led by Dow Chemical Co., which will be eliminating about 5 percent of its global workforce.

US suit vs. Bank of America: No criminal charges despite “spectacularly brazen” fraud

By Barry Grey, 27 October 2012

Not a single high-level banker has been prosecuted, let alone jailed, since the Wall Street crash of September 2008.

Texas police helicopter fires on immigrants, killing two

By Bill Van Auken, 27 October 2012

The killing of two fleeing immigrants by airborne Texas Rangers is only the latest in a growing list of deadly incidents on the US-Mexico border.

80 top CEOs tell Obama, Romney to slash social spending

By David Walsh, 26 October 2012

The chief executives of 80 large American corporations have issued a “Deficit Manifesto,” calling on the next president to make far-reaching “changes in the federal budget.”

US seeks to bar testimony on torture in military trial of alleged 9/11 plotters

By Don Knowland, 26 October 2012

Government motions to preclude the alleged 9/11 plotters from testifying about their detention and torture have been submitted to the military commission that is trying the defendants for war crimes.

EU and the US prepare military intervention in Mali

By Ernst Wolff, 26 October 2012

European and US diplomats and military experts are preparing for a military intervention in Mali.

Institutionalized state assassinations and the November 6 election

By Bill Van Auken, 26 October 2012

With barely a week and a half to go until the November 6 presidential elections, the entire spectrum of the American pseudo-left is exerting maximum efforts to turn out votes for Obama with the claim that the reelection of the incumbent Democrat would represent the “lesser of two evils.”

George McGovern: Liberal standard-bearer at a turning point in US politics

By Patrick Martin, 26 October 2012

The McGovern campaign marked the rise of identity politics as the principal platform of the Democratic Party.

The issues facing teachers in the 2012 elections

Statement by Phyllis Scherrer, SEP US vice presidential candidate

Phyllis Scherrer (SEP US vice presidential candidate), 26 October 2012

The following statement was issued by Phyllis Scherrer, the Socialist Equality Party vice presidential candidate in the 2012 elections. Scherrer is a teacher in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Obama institutionalizes state assassinations

By Bill Van Auken, 25 October 2012

The Obama administration has created a new extra-legal system known as the “disposition matrix” to institutionalize the selection and targeting of enemies of the US state for assassination.

US-Israeli preparations for war against Iran

By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2012

The US and Israel are currently conducting their largest-ever joint military exercise to ready Israel’s anti-missile systems for a conflict with Iran.

Deepening social inequality and poverty in New Zealand

By John Braddock, 25 October 2012

Two recent reports detail the falling incomes of working people and rising levels of poverty, especially among children.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 25 October 2012

A Massachusetts woman committed robbery to pay her landlord, apartment building collapses highlight shoddy construction practices and more Americans say they won’t be able to afford retirement.

The International Socialist Organization and the 2012 US elections

By David Walsh, 25 October 2012

The ISO operates as an advocacy group in and around the Democratic Party, seeking to improve opportunities for the middle class social layers for which it speaks.

Auto workers and the 2012 elections

Statement by Jerry White, SEP candidate for US president

25 October 2012

The following statement addressed to auto workers was issued by Jerry White, the Socialist Equality Party candidate for US president.

Four Afghan children killed in US raid

By Bill Van Auken, 24 October 2012

The killing of Afghan children in a US raid and the disappearance and murder of civilians at the hands of occupation troops have provoked growing anger and protests.

DuPont cutting 1,500 jobs

By Kate Randall, 24 October 2012

DuPont announced 1,500 job cuts on Tuesday, as the chemical company slashed its annual forecast and reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit. The news signaled that demand for the company’s paint and solar products is slipping around the world.

Indian tire maker Apollo set to buy Cooper Tire

By Shannon Jones, 24 October 2012

The India tire maker Apollo Tyres is set to buy Cooper Tire, raising a new threat to the jobs and pensions of workers involved earlier this year in a three-month lockout

Federal judge bans strike by Seattle airport refueling workers

By Hector Cordon, 24 October 2012

A federal injunction has blocked a strike by workers who fuel 75 percent of the planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Largest tainted meat recall in Canadian history

By Vic Neufeld, 24 October 2012

E. coli bacterial contamination originating at an XL Foods’ meat processing plant in Brooks, Alberta has seriously sickened sixteen people and prompted the largest meat product recall in Canadian history.

UAW skulduggery in Michigan Proposal 2

By Barry Grey, 24 October 2012

In the name of defending collective bargaining rights, the United Auto Workers is promoting a ballot initiative in Michigan that acknowledges the right of the state to ban strikes by public employees.

Workers and students discuss upcoming SEP conference in Los Angeles

By our reporters, 24 October 2012

The WSWS spoke to workers and students in Los Angeles about the regional conference of the Socialist Equality Party on October 27.

Obama and Romney concur on war, assassination and reaction

By Bill Van Auken, 23 October 2012

In their third and final presidential debate, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney voiced nearly identical positions in support of war, illegal killings and imperialist intervention across the globe.

New York City housing crisis reflects record inequality

By Fred Mazelis, 23 October 2012

The city’s homeless shelter population hits new records every month, while the billionaire mayor reports a net worth of $25 billion.

Poverty, budget cuts hit Syracuse, New York

By Bryan Dyne, 23 October 2012

More than one in three residents in Syracuse, New York live in poverty, according to recent data released from the Census Bureau.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 October 2012

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

Amidst austerity drive, Ontario Premier resigns

By our correspondent, 22 October 2012

Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario since 2003, stunned the corporate media and his Liberal Party colleagues when he announced last week that he will step down just as soon as the Liberals choose his successor.

Obama-Romney foreign policy debate

Two defenders of American imperialism

By Patrick Martin, 22 October 2012

Behind the backs of the American people, and the with the support of both Obama and Romney, the United States is preparing new military interventions and wars of aggression.