Metal workers' strike shakes South Africa
The Numsa metal workers’ union began an all- out national strike on Tuesday of last week, with 200,000 members marching in cities and towns across South Africa.
Workers demand a raise of 12 percent or at least a “double digit” pay rise.
The strike is having a major impact. US car manufacturing giant General Motors was forced to close its main plant as it has run out of parts.
Maliki hangs on but Iraq may split
Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki was clinging on to power as Socialist Worker went to press.
His government does not have the minimum number of seats needed to automatically stay in government.
Fears remain that his Western-backed sectarian regime and the success of Islamist group Isis, renamed the Islamic State, in taking Iraqi territory will split Iraq.
Massive march in Hong Kong
Hundreds of thousands of pro democracy protesters marched through Hong Kong on Tuesday of last week.
They are angry at the Chinese government’s plans to appoint Hong Kong’s next chief executive.
Protest organisers estimated that around 500,000 joined the march. The police claimed just under 100,000—the biggest official figures since 2004.
Hundreds of students occupied a part of Hong Kong’s financial district at the end of the march.
Police cracked down on protesters in the early hours of Wednesday morning. But it took hours to end the sit-in. They arrested 500 people.
Former French president Sarkozy arrested
French police arrested former president Nicolas Sarkozy last week and placed him under a formal investigation.
Sarkozy already faced two investigations into his election campaign funding.
Now he is accused of trying to bribe a judge with the offer of a job in exchange for information on the investigations.
It could lead to a trial and even jail.
But it hasn’t dented Sarkozy’s comeback. Leading figures in his UMP Tory party continue to express hopes that he would be president again in 2017.