National News

Not much has changed

PEOPLE gathered at Kensal Green Cemetery last Saturday 16th May one day before the 17th May anniversary of one of the first of many racist murders that took place on the streets of Britain.

Kelso Cochrane was a young Antiguan immigrant to Britain whose murder sparked tensions in London.

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Thousands march for jobs

THOUSANDS of trade unionists marched through the centre of Birmingham last Saturday to launch the "Unite for jobs" campaign.

The new initiative by Unite, the 2 million-strong trade union, is focussed on bringing the union together with senior business, academic and political figures to make a case to protect jobs by calling for:

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End the siege of Gaza, remember the Nakba

THOUSANDS of protesters took to the streets' of London last Saturday in a march and rally organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, to call for Israel to end its siege of Gaza, and to remember the Nakba (massacre) of 1948, when Palestinians were thrown off their land to make way for the new state of Israel.

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Postal workers ballot over new working practices

POSTAL workers from 160 workplaces in the Greater London area are being balloted for strike action over Royal Mail's cuts to services to the public and to their jobs, terms and conditions.

Royal Mail is imposing 10 per cent in arbitrary cost savings on all offices, regardless of their workload and without the introduction of machinery or delivery improvements. These cuts are not linked to the modernisation agenda and could cost 1,600 jobs.

Martin Walsh, CWU spokesperson for London, said: "It is clear that Royal Mail is deliberately running down the Royal Mail service ahead of partial privatisation.

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G20 protestors may sue police

A GROUP of climate camp protesters who claim they suffered from violent police tactics during the G2O protests near the Bank of England are considering taking legal action against Scotland Yard

Lawyers acting for the group have put the Metropolitan police on notice that they may launch a Judicial Review of the tactics used to contain demonstrations.

Activists who staged the Bishopsgate climate camp want an explanation of how the Metropolitan Police handled the controversial City of London protests last month.

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Legal aid staff face redundancy

THE LEGAL Services Commission (LSC), which employs legal aid staff, has been told by the Ministry of Justice that it must make further substantial cuts to its administrative budget and staff.

Legal Aid staff in Cambridge are writing to local MP David Howarth and other MPs in the region, asking them to intervene with Carolyn Regan, the LSC's chief executive, about the impact of the redundancies, and to urge them to..

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Unions mark International Day Against Homophobia

THE TUC last week urged people to remember lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who have been killed around the world on International Day Against Homophobia on Sunday (17th May).

There are 77 countries in the world today where it is a criminal offence to be gay. In seven countries women, men and children are punished for their sexuality with death sentences.

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Post workers refuse to deliver BNP leaflets

AROUND 100 postal workers in Bristol and Somerset are refusing to deliver election material for the fascist British National Party in the run-up to the coming local and European Parliament elections.

They have accused Royal Mail chiefs in the region of "bullying", with one office allegedly threatening workers with dismissal if they do not comply.

The Communication Workers Union says that Royal Mail is breaking a "conscience clause" agreed four years ago that allows staff to refuse to deliver literature they find offensive.

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Bosses use drug tests to dodge redundacy pay

THE CHARITY Release, which focuses on drugs, the law and human rights, last week reported a four-fold increase in calls to its drugs team about workplace drugs testing.

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BT and Lloyds swing the axe again

BRITISH Telecom last week announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs, mostly in Britain, after the company reported an annual loss off £134 million. These cut will be in addition to 15,000 jobs already lost this year.

BT's problems centre on its global services unit, which handles the network systems of large firms. BT said it had taken a near £l .6 billion charge in this department.

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Unions' penny protest over pay

NEGOTIATORS from the local government trade unions last week carried three giant pennies to their latest meeting with employers over pay.

The unions, GMB, Unison and Unite, say the pennies represent what the latest offer means per hour to 150,000 of the lowest paid staff working in local government.

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Features and International News

Left parties shocked by Indian election results

"THE Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPl-M) and the Left parties have suffered a major setback in these elections. This necessitates a serious examination of the reasons for the Party's poor performance," Prakash Karat, general secretary Communist Party of India-Marxist has said following the worst results for India's left parties for many years in the Indian elections.

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The only US ex-president I have known

by Fidel Castro

CARTER is the only ex-president of the United States that I have had the honour of knowing, apart from Nixon, who had not as yet become president.

I had visited Washington to take part in a press conference that represented a difficult challenge for me, given the questions that the expert reporters would ask. The president advised Nixon to invite me for talks in his office. He was deceitful and hypocritical. He emerged from his office with the idea of recommending the destruction of the Revolution in Cuba.

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South Africa: Democratic elections, strke actions and economic crisis

By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire

THE 22ND APRIL national elections in South Africa showed widespread continued political support for the ruling African National Congress. The ANC won close to a two-thirds majority in the elections, securing victories in all the provinces with the exception of the Cape, where the opposition Democratic Alliance won out over the ruling party.

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Buy Palestinian not Israeli!

South East London Friendship Link with Beit Fourik (SELFBF) has established links with a Palestinian agricultural village in the West Bank and facilitated exchange visits. The group has also been involved in researching the fresh produce supply chain between Israel and the UK, examining particularly trade with illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. They have campaigned with supermarkets and have seen an improved response, with the Cooperative supermarket showing willingness to buy Palestinian produce in future. The Group is hoping to make a visit to Beit Fourik in the autumn to discuss a new trade initiative, and advise on labelling, packaging, and food preservation in order to increase the Village's product portfolio. Last week Daphne Liddle spoke to Sue Phasey, a researcher and consultant in postharvest science and Technical Advisor to SELFBF about the campaign.

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New Palestinian government sworn in amidst controversy

THE Western_backed Palestinian economist Salam Fayyad took the oath as a prime minister in front of President Mahmoud Abbas late on Tuesday afternoon in the West Bank city of Ramallah amid opposition from the Islamist Hamas movement and Abbas's own Fatah party.

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Hamas and Fatah agree on joint security body in Gaza

HAMAS and Al-Fatah announced on Monday that they intend to create a joint security body in the Gaza Strip, following intensive negotiations in Cairo. The Fatah delegation was led by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian National Authority, which controls the West Bank

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US army tempts kids into the military

by Kermit Leibensperger

SEVEN demonstrators were arrested at a recent protest at a new "Army Experience Centre” at the Franklin Mills Mall in a north Philadelphia shopping mall. The centre represents the United States' latest crime against humanity - the recruiting of 13 year olds.

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China's position on climate talks

China will remain firm in its call for developed nations to cut emissions, and for other nations to receive funding, as the world attempts to formulate a post-Kyoto deal on climate change

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Nato's Georgia excercises increasing tensions

RUSSIAN President Dmitry Medvedev has strongly criticized NATO ongoing war games in Georgia, saying they are aggravating tensions instead of improving European security.

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