National News

FBU to fight savage cuts

THE FIRE Brigades Union last announced its intention to fight proposals by the Warwickshire fire service to cut a third of all fire appliances and close seven fire stations.

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The ‘Trojan Horse’ NHS privatisation

THE GIANT union Unite last week warned that Government-backed privatisation initiatives are a “Trojan horse” that could severely undermine the NHS.

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Fascists target pro-Palestinian marchers

MEMBERS of the English Defence League — a loose structured group of former squaddies and racist football hooligans — last weekend tried to attack a London protest march in support of Gaza.

Police made no arrests and succeeded in keeping the fascists and the marchers apart. But there were several brief confrontations as EDL activists chanted “We hate Muslims” and “Muslim bombers off our streets”.

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CWU ballots for national post strike

AFTER more than a month of local strikes the Communication Workers’ Union has sent out ballot papers for a national postal strike in its dispute with the Royal Mail over new working conditions, pay and jobs

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BAe to close factory and cut 1,116 jobs

THE GIANT defence engineering company BAe last week announced plans to close an aircraft factory in Cheshire and make other cuts with a total loss of 1,116 jobs.BAe said it planned to close the Woodford factory by the end of 2012, shedding 630 jobs, after the completion of the contract on building the new version of the RAF’s Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft.

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High heels: women must have choice

TUC conference in Liverpool this week emphatically endorsed a motion calling for employers to carry out risk assessments on women wearing high heels throughout the working day and to outlaw dress codes that make wearing high heels compulsory.

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Fathers to share parental leave

BUSINESS Secretary Lord Mandelson last week announced Government plans to allow fathers to share their partner’s entitlement to maternity leave.

This would allow mothers to return to work after six months and fathers to stay at home with the baby.

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More gangmasters lose licences

THE GANGMATERS’ Licensing Authority (GLA) last week withdrew licences from three gangmasters who used Polish and Lithuanian workers to pick flowers in Cornwall.

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70 per cent back rail renationalisation

MORE THAN two thirds of the general public are in favour of bringing Britain’s railways back into public ownership according to a survey conducted for the RMT transport union. Only 23 per cent still supported privatisation.

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Millions owed to sick miners

LABOUR MP for Bassetlaw John Mann last week called on the Government to take steps to ensure that miners and their families who are still owed around £100 million in total by solicitors get their money back.

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Debt stress costs NHS millions

THE LONDON Health Forum last week reported that treating stress-related ill health in the capital costs the NHS £450 million a year.

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Council Workers Reluctantly Accept Pay Offer

LOCAL government unions representing 1.6 million council workers have voted to accept this year’s pay offer.

This amounts to 1.25 per cent for those earning between £6.22 and £7.10 an hour, one per cent for those earning more. There is also an increase to the minimum annual leave entitlement of some staff; and the employers and unions have committed to produce joint guidance on best practice in handling redundancies.

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Tax burden of fat cat pensions

TAXPAYERS are spending twice as much on private sector fat cat pensions than on public sector pensions says the TUC.

Taxpayers are paying £2.50 for subsidising the pensions of the richest one per cent of the population for every pound spent on paying pensions to retired public servants such as nurses, teachers and civil servants, according to new research published the TUC last Wednesday.

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Features and International News

Torture for the shoe thrower

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THE IRAQI television reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush walked free on Tuesday after serving nine-months of a one year sentence. Muntadar al Zeidi received a hero’s welcome from relatives and supporters who greeted him with songs and drum-beats when he emerged from the Baghdad jail.

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Libya and Britain: who was sponsoring state terrorism?

SINN FÉIN President Gerry Adams has accused the British Government of hypocrisy following reports that it is to seek compensation from the Libyan state for victims of IRA actions during the recent conflict in Ireland.

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Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya: a heroine to remember

IMAGES of Soviet pioneers and Young Communists who sacrificed their lives in their struggle against fascism, were pure and full of heroism 20 years ago. When the USSR collapsed, some analysts shed new light on “true events” of those days.

Soviet heroes were presented to the general public from a considerably different point of view. Their images were marred with shameful details; some researchers said that they were not filled with patriotism at the moment when they were committing their legendary deeds. They attempted to blacken the image and story of Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya too.

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Greek election centres on economy

A PLAN for the country’s struggling economy will be key to the outcome of Greece’s election on 4th October and the social-democratic PASOK party seems to have the advantage over the ruling conservative bloc.

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UN congratulates China on 60th anniversary

UNITED NATIONS Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday voiced his sincere congratulations to the Chinese government and people on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, speaking highly of China’s great achievement in political, economic and social fields, including poverty eradication, peace development and great contributions to the world peace and security.

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Comandante Juan Almeida Bosque 1927-2009

Juan Almeida Bosque passed away in Havana at 11:30pm on 11th September due to cardio-respiratory complications.

MILLIONS paid tribute last Sunday to Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida Bosque, one of the historic leaders of the Cuban Revolution. Almeida took part in the Moncada attack on 26th July 1953, and was always present during the decisive moments of the struggle for the definitive independence of our country.

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Against the distortion of history!

by Rob Gowland

FROM THE first moment that Red revolution swept imperial Russia, the propagandists of capitalism sought to mislead the world’s people as to the nature of that revolution. They represented Lenin and the Bolsheviks as a gang of German agents (the First World War was still raging at the time, remember), as spies and assassins.

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Mass slaughter of Afghans makes headlines

by John Catalinotto

AS THE DECISION day for escalating the US-led occupation of Afghanistan grows closer, a mass slaughter of Afghans in northern Kunduz province has put the war on centre stage worldwide and sharpened popular opposition within the Nato countries, including inside the US itself.

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