National News

Torture victim to sue Home Secretary

by Daphne Liddle

JAMIL RAHMAN, a British former civil servant, is planning to sue the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, alleging that MI5 agents colluded while he was tortured by Bangladeshi intelligence officers.

Rahman's lawyers have written to the Home Secretary claiming that she colluded in assault, unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and breaches of human rights legislation................

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Victoria line safety strike

MEMBERS of the RMT transport union working for London Underground on the Victoria line last week staged a 100 per cent solid strike over door safety and bullying.

RMT said last Thursday that train operators working out of the Seven Sisters depot, covering the Victoria Line, were rock solid in their support for a 24-hour strike which started at 9pm the night before...........

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Racist vandals arrested on march

POLICE arrested nine men last Sunday at a march in Luton. The march had been intended as a counter demonstration to an anti-war protest staged there in March during an Armed Forces homecoming parade...........

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Bleak future for pensioners

by Caroline Colebrook

A RECENT survey commissioned by the BBC found that half of all adults in Britain of working age have no pension plans other that the basic state pension.

The survey of 1,358 people by Gfk NOP indicated the situation was worst among under-30s, with only about one in had been able to put anything into a scheme.

Cost is the main barrier for young people, who are overburdened paying off debts and unable to save.

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Unions unite against cuts

by Robert Laurie

SEVERAL hundred demonstrators took part in a march in bright sunshine last Saturday across north London in defence of jobs in higher education and the Civil Service.

Organised by PCS and with the support of the University and Colleges Union, it marched along Holloway Road where it passed London Metropolitan University, the first main focus of the march.................

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Milford Haven strike over

WORKERS at the Milford Haven gas terminal in South Wales last week returned to work after a deal was negotiated concerning the employment of Polish workers on the site.

This follows a series of unofficial strikes around the country after the employers was found to have breached an existing agreement by allowing a sub-contractor to import foreign workers without giving locals any opportunity to apply for the jobs...................

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Return of loan sharking

THE CURRENT recession is forcing increasing number of people, now denied access to normal banking, to turn to loan sharks, according to a report published last week.

The New Local Government Network estimates that 35,000 more people could turn to illegal money lenders because of the squeeze by traditional lenders.

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Young people hit hardest by recession

YOUNG people on low incomes are bearing the brunt of the recession according to a report published last week from the Prince’s Trust and Cass Business School.

The report suggests young people – especially those in deprived areas - are the hardest hit with 425,000 people under the age of 25 now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance...............

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Demand serious action on pensions!

by Renee Sams

THE BROWN government has at last increased the basic pension, which has now crept up to the grand sum of £95.25 a week. This means that at least one in four pensioners still lives below the official poverty line.

Millions of pensioners will have to rely on the means-tested benefits, an unpopular, demeaning and costly way of keeping retired people in the poverty trap

They will have a chance to express their anger again at the Pensioners’ Parliament organised by the National Pensioners' Convention

The National Pensioners' Parliament will be held on 2nd-4th June in Blackpool.

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Features and International News

Personal or political?
US soldier kills five troops in Iraq

by Larry Hales - Workers World (US)

UNITED STATES Army sergeant John Russell shot dead five American troops on 11th May at Camp Liberty, one of the largest US installations in Iraq. This act put into focus the relationship of the personal to the political in a war zone.

Russell, a 44-year-old electronics technician with the 54th Engineer Battalion, had been at the so-called Combat Stress Control Centre. According to news reports, he argued with staff there and was then taken outside by an armed escort...............

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CUBA: the law that handed over land

by Yenia Silva Correa - Granma

A FEW months after the revolutionary triumph, the new Cuban government decreed the first radical transformation of the agricultural sector. The coming to power of a new and genuinely revolutionary government in Cuba in 1959 was accompanied by the approval and implementation of measures that would close the wounds of a bleeding nation. An integral part of this process was the 17th May signing of the First Agrarian Reform Act by Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. …........

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Ireland: when a brave Volunteer prevented mass murder

by Mícheál Mac Donncha - An Phoblacht

IN MAY 1994 the Irish Peace Process was in its most delicate early stages with the Irish Government, Sinn Féin and the SDLP moving towards political progress which would lead, later that year, to the first IRA cessation. But set against the process were powerful forces, not least British military intelligence and their loyalist surrogates.

On 21st May those forces came to Dublin city, intent on death and destruction on a large scale. That Saturday night the Sinn Féin Prisoner of War Department was holding a fund-raising function at the Widow Scallan's pub on Pearse Street. The upstairs venue was packed with around 300 people. Having earlier collected admittance fees at the door, Martin Doherty went downstairs to the public bar. There he noticed two men acting suspiciously and followed them out onto the street.

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CIA linked to plot against Morales

by Jean-Guy Allard - Granma

THE Bolivian district attorney’s office has identified Hugo Achá Melgar who is Bolivia's representative to the US Human Rights Foundation (HRF), as providing the bulk of the funds for the terrorist gang foiled in Santa Cruz while plotting to assassinate President Evo Morales.

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New Prime Minister sworn in Nepal

Xinhua news agency

VETERAN Nepalese communist leader Madhav Kumar Nepal has been sworn in as the country's new prime minister. The 56-year-old was last week named the candidate of an alliance of 22 parties, which have 350 members in the 601-seat assembly.

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Huge Georgian rally calls for Saakashvili’s ousting

Xinhua news agency

TENS of thousands of Georgian protesters rallied on Tuesday in Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Independence Day to demand President Mikhail Saakashvili’s resignation.

France opens first base in Emirates

Xinhua news agency

FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy opened France’s first permanent military base in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), giving France an important strategic role in the Arab Gulf region and a key supply route for oil.

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Sinn Féin challenge on expenses row

Sinn Féin News

SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams MP last week called on all political parties to publish full accounts of monies they receive in salaries and allowances.

Adams said "the electorate has the right to expect the highest standards from those holding public office and to be confident that taxpayer’s money is being used properly"

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Lebanese colonel arrested on spying charges

Xinhua news agency

A SENIOR Lebanese army officer has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel. The Lebanese army intelligence agency detained Colonel Mansour Diab, an active service army officer, as part of a crackdown on Israel-linked spying networks which led to the arrest of over 40 suspects since April.

Colonel Diab was a member of the Christian Lebanese Forces (LF) Party before he joined the Lebanese army in 1983, and was sent abroad by the army for several military training. He headed the Lebanese army military academy in 2008.

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