National News

Bosses cash in on free labour

AS UNEMPLOYMENT rises unscrupulous bosses are taking advantage of young people’s desperation to find a chance of a job by offering unpaid internships as a kind of work experience, according to the Low Pay Commission.

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Criminal record check errors double

FIGURES released by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) last week show that the number of people wrongly identified as criminals or mistakenly given clean records has doubled in the past year.

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Points plan for British citizenship

IMMIGRATION Minister Phil Woolas last week proposed making it more difficult for immigrants to obtain British citizenship by establishing a points system.

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Vestas workers defy bailiffs

by Caroline Colebrook

WORKERS occupying the threatened Vestas wind turbine factory in Newport on the Isle of Wight earlier this week vowed to continue their occupation in spite of the company being granted a possession order for the building by a judge on Tuesday.

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Alarm at scab firefighters

THE FIRE BRIGADES Union last week expressed alarm that tens of millions of taxpayers’ money is being given to the private sector to train non-firefighters to put out fires if the brigades are overstretched or the union goes on strike.

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PCS anger at “bargain basement” job cuts

THE CIVIL service union PCS last week expressed outrage at plans announced by the Government to radically reduce the compensation paid to civil servants being made redundant, saying they are an outrageous attempt to cut jobs on the cheap.

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MPs demand torture inquiry

THE HOUSE of Commons Joint Human Rights Committee last week called for an independent inquiry into reports that Britain’s secret services were complicit in the torture of terror suspects - or “outsourcing torture” as one put it.

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National Express strike

RAIL UNION RMT confirmed that last week’s strike action on National Express East Anglia was been solidly supported across the franchise with the vast majority of services at a complete standstill and with managers running only a few token, ghost trains as a publicity stunt.

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Liverpool remembers Jim Larkin

SEVERAL HUNDRED marchers took to the streets of Liverpool on 25th July to commemorate the memory of Jim Larkin, trade unionist and socialist, who was born in Liverpool in 1876.

Organised by the James Larkin Society, the march included the Liverpool Irish Patriots Republican Flute Band and the Volunteer Seán McIlvenna RFB from Glasgow, and featured banners from local trade union branches and the Liverpool-based Cairde na hÉireann group.

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Features and International News

Palestine: Fatah seeks a way forward

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

AL FATAH, the Palestinian national liberation movement founded by Yasser Arafat, held its first congress for 20 years in the historic town of Bethlehem this week under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

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Legacy of Cuba-Africa solidarity continues

Workers World (US)

IN A VISIT to four African states, Cuban President Raul Castro continued the decades-long legacy of international solidarity with the peoples of the continent. Castro, who recently stepped down as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement at its summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, was hailed at the gathering in July for Cuba’s contributions to the liberation and development of Africa.

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Ireland 1919: The IRA target British intelligence

by Michael Mac Donncha

AS THE MONTHS passed in 1919, it became clear that the British Government had no intention of recognising the Declaration of Independence adopted by the First Dáil Éireann in January. Armed conflict between the Irish people and the British Government had become inevitable and in that war intelligence would be vital.

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Labour and public property

by Rob Gowland

THE DEFICIENCES of social democracy are well known: the lack of principle, the willingness to compromise on fundamental questions, the blatant opportunism, the pandering to sectional interests, and so forth.

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Colombia raises tension in Latin America

Radio Havana Cuba

THE LATEST reckless actions and comments by Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and other officials from his Administration against two of its neighbours, Venezuela and Ecuador, have raised tensions in Latin America.

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Voices for Scottish independence

by Robert Laurie

Communist Party of Scotland Independent Scotland - A Left Perspective, pp. 38. Available from CPS/Alert Scotland, PO Box 7311, Glasgow G46 9B2.

£2.00 plus 50p postage and packing.

ON THE 9th November last year the Communist Party of Scotland held a conference aimed at “uniting the left in Scotland around a number of shared political positions on Scottish independence”. This pamphlet is the result of that conference. Well produced and reasonably priced it provides an account of the views of various groups, mostly on the left, seeking Scottish independence.

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Cuban leader calls for talks

Radio Havana Cuba

“I WASN’T elected as President to restore capitalism in Cuba or to surrender the Revolution. I was elected to defend, maintain and continue to improve socialism, not to destroy it,” said Cuban President Raul Castro last Saturday.

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Kim Jong Il pardons American spies

by our Asian Affairs correspondent DEMOCRATIC Korean leader Kim Jong Il pardoned two convicted American spies after meeting former US President Bill Clinton in Pyongyang on Tuesday. Clinton apologised for the actions of the two women, who were serving 12-year sentences for illegally entering the DPRK and other hostile acts.

The two spies, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, had entered the DPR Korea illegally with a camera crew in March and claimed they were covering a story on alleged people trafficking across the Chinese border. They were working for the San Francisco-based Current TV co-founded by Clinton’s vice president Al Gore,

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Employment situation still grave in China

THE EMPLOYMENT situation in China is still grave despite signs of recovery in the first half this year, said Wang Yadong, an official of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security told the media in Beijing on Tuesday.

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Russia strengthens military

by our European Affairs correspondent

THE RUSSIAN contingent in Kyrgyzstan will be strengthened and a new force deployed in Belarus following agreement with leaders of the two former Soviet republics at an informal summit at the Kyrgyz lakeside resort of Choplon Ata this week. Russian President Dimitri Medvedev signed an agreement with Kyrgyz leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev for a second Russian base in the central Asian republic within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) during the talks.

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