The recent FIFA corruption scandal has adorned the front pages over the past few weeks. Beginning with the news on 27th May, just two days prior to the presidential election, that several officials had been subject to FBI raids and leading to the standing down of president Sepp Blatter after 17 years in the position and just a few days after being re-elected, the events have no doubt had a big impact at the top of FIFA.

We live in a time when the whole establishment is not only corrupt and rotten to the core but is seen as such by a large section of the working class, both in Britain and throughout the rest of the world. Bankers and financiers are manipulating the markets for short-term gain; politicians are pocketing whatever they can whilst demanding that the poor accept pay cuts and declining services; rich and powerful individuals are exposed as having carried out acts of extreme depravity right under our eyes with nothing being done about it; bosses carry out illegal blacklisting aided by the state...the list goes on. However, if you were to ask the average person in the street to come up with something that defined, above everything else, corruption, bribery and general fiddling, many would answer with one word: FIFA.

The main outcome of the NATO summit that took place in Newport, Wales on 4th-5th September appears to have been the decision to launch a new ‘spearhead’ rapid response task force. This ‘achievement’ is something that NATO’s political and military leaders seem to be very proud about. In reality this new project is yet another landmark in the weakening of US imperialism, the crisis in world relations and the decline of the global capitalist system as a whole.

In Britain, a handful of super-rich plutocrats control our lives. On a world scale, according to Oxfam, a mere 85 top billionaires, who could all comfortably fit into a double-decker bus, own more wealth than half of the world's population put together.

The farce has ended, but the tragedy continues. In the idyllic surroundings of a secluded lakeside resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland the leaders of the United States and the other major industrialized nations met last week to discuss Syria and the global economy. The leaders, we are told, were casually dressed, presumably to assist friendly and informal conversation.

In the last few months we have seen two “surprise” exercises by the Russian military. This is the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union that such exercises have been carried out. Meanwhile, in the South China Sea a naval arms race is developing with China in the lead. And at the same time American imperialism is withdrawing ground forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and is increasingly reluctant to engage in Bush style invasions.

The Swedish state has requested the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden to be questioned about rape allegations. This is portrayed by the media as an attempt to “seek justice”. But the extreme determination with which they are pursuing the case indicates that there are other interests at play than concern with justice. Contrary to the carefully cultivated image of a neutral country, Sweden, in order to protect its own interest, is deeply involved in the intrigues of US imperialism.

The persecution of Julian Assange represents an all-out assault on democratic rights. For what “crime” is this man being persecuted? The Swedish authorities are trying to get him extradited on a trumped up “rape” case that has long been exposed as fraudulent. No serious person will believe for a single moment that this is the real reason for the witch-hunting of the founder of Wikileaks.

Today we publish reports from May Day celebrations in Quebec, Indonesia, Austria and France. The reports relate how there is a growing anti-Capitalist mood across the world as the Capitalist class is making the workers pay for the crisis.

As Barak Obama took the podium to speak at the annual session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday (of last week), his speech seemed to be coming from another planet, about another planet. His posture and sophistry of oration had waned. He was saying things he didn’t really believe in.

On the tenth anniversary of the attack on the Twin Towers millions of people will relive the horrors of that fateful day. The television screens are filled with shocking images of death and destruction.

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