National News

March for Anglesey Aluminium

HUNDREDS of members of the giant union Unite, with friends and supporters, last Saturday marched through Holyhead on the island of Anglesey, North Wales, to protest against the proposed closure of the Anglesey Aluminium smelting plant by Rio Tinto.

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Merseyside football clubs fight homophobia

LIVERPOOL and Everton football clubs joined with unions in Liverpool on Wednesday (16th September) to step up the fight against homophobia in sport.

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Vauxhall jobs ‘stitch-up’

by Caroline Colebrook

TONY WOODLEY the general secretary of the giant union Unite last week accused the German government of entering a deal with Magna — the company that will take over what is left of General Motors car plants in Europe — to safeguard German jobs at the expense of other European workers.

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Anger at Ed Balls’ cuts

ED BALLS, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families last week announced plans to cut 3,000 senior jobs — mainly by natural wastage — in an effort to save £2 billion. Most of those threatened are deputy heads and heads of departments though some senior administrators are included.

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Eurostar cleaners’ strike is ‘rock solid’

RMT CLEANERS working on the Eurostar contract for the Carlisle Group at St Pancras International were rock solid last Friday in their support for a 48-hour strike which started at 21.59 hours the previous night.

The cleaners — who are fighting a pay freeze, a threat of redundancies, the introduction of Orwellian finger-printing machines and the victimisation of a union rep — mounted a noisy mass picket at St Pancras International on Friday morning.

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Shielding fat cat bankers

EUROPEAN finance ministers have accused Britain and the United States of blocking the introduction of tough new rules governing global banks ahead of the G20 summit.

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Tanker drivers’ warning

THE GIANT union Unite last week issued a warning that retailers and oil companies will unleash industrial conflict on the petroleum sector this winter if they press forward with destructive plans to break up their commercial contracts.

The warning comes amid the recent announcement from BP that it intends to put all its in-house contracts out to the market for tendering.

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Features and International News

Honduran leader returns to defy junta

OUSTED Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who returned to his country clandestinely on Monday, remains inside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa as supporters rally to protest against the military regime. Special police units and masked troops have completely surrounded the embassy where President Zelaya is a guest of the Brazilian government.

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Missile thaw in Europe?

by Vadim Trukhachev

THE MEETING of the heads of the European Union took place in Brussels last week. European leaders originally intended to discuss the issues related to developing the EU’s stance regarding the anti-crisis struggle on the threshold of the G-20 summit in the United States next week. But the agenda had to be changed because of Barack Obama’s decision to shelve missile defence plans in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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Central America celebrates independence from Spain

ON 15th SEPTEMBER 1821 lands under the yoke of Spanish colonial rule gathered in the General Captaincy of Guatemala, today called Central America, and agreed to become independent from Madrid and to form a sovereign state, without firing a shot or brandishing a sword.

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Workers praise Adams for trying to save pensions

WORKERS in England previously employed by car parts manufacturer Visteon have praised Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams for demanding a full investigation into the firm’s pension crisis.

Visteon went into administration in April, leaving more than 600 people out of work when its factories closed in Basildon and Enfield, in England, and Belfast.

The British Government-run Pension Protection Fund is set to take over Visteon’s retirement scheme but this could mean up to a 50 per cent drop in the former car workers’ monthly pension payments.

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Iran denies US nuclear claims

IRAN’S supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has denied Washington’s claims that Teheran intends to develop nuclear arms. Speaking in Teheran, the Islamic leader said that the US remains anti-Iranian and that Washington knew it was wrong when it asserted that Teheran was pursuing a covert nuclear weapons programme.

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Havana rocks for peace

MORE THAN a million Cubans attended the Peace without Borders Concert held at Revolution Square in Havana last Sunday. Despite high temperatures, the crowd actively enjoyed the five-hour concert, while the rest of the world watched it via satellite.

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Palestinians, Israelis still far apart

by David Harris

WHEN ISRAELI and Palestinian negotiators meet US special envoy George Mitchell for more talks next week, it is by no means clear what they will be discussing. Tuesday’s tripartite meeting between US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York left many questions unanswered.

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Tesco and Diageo attacked for supporting extremist programme

GLEN BECK, one of the presenters employed by the notoriously right-wing Fox News in the United States, has made such a name for himself as an extremist and barely disguised racist that giant American companies have been withdrawing their advertising from the slots during his programme.

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US: health care & racism

by David Hoskins

PRESIDENT Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on 9th September in a forceful attempt to revive the Democratic health bill. Obama’s speech came after weeks of racist attacks at town hall forums around the country, combined with demagoguery and distortions from right-wing politicians and commentators, that threatened to entirely sink any reform and forced Democrats to retreat from a “public option”.

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To engage in the world of ideas

by Rob Gowland

I DON’T often agree with the editorials in Murdoch’s flagship Australian tabloid, The Daily Telegraph. But I have to agree with the editorial in the issue of 12th September.

That was the day it was announced that a number of primary schools in New South Wales (mainly private religious schools) had placed restrictions on students accessing the Stephanie Meyer Twilight books, stripping them from school libraries and even asking parents not to let their children bring their own copies of the books to school.

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