National News

‘Ludicrous plans’ for London buses

THE GIANT union Unite last Thursday welcomed the findings of an independent report, produced by the Royal Automobile Club Foundation (RAC) which states that mayor Boris Johnson is “pre-occupied with minority-focused transport schemes and high-cost initiatives”.

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Pilots protest over long-hours danger

AIRLINE pilots staged protests throughout Europe last Monday to draw attention to the dangers posed by long flying hours. The unions representing them say current regulations on maximum hours are “putting lives at risk” and that in 15 per cent of accidents fatigue has been a factor.

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British capitalism not out of the woods yet

by Caroline Colebrook

BRITAIN’S capitalist economy pundits were taken by surprise by a shock fall in industrial production in August that confounded their predictions.

They had expected a rise and instead got a 2.5 per cent drop on the July figures, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) — the biggest fall since January. Manufacturing output, which excludes energy production, fell 1.9 per cent.

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Power construction workers reject pay offer

AROUND 30,000 construction workers have voted to reject a pay and conditions offer from the employers’ group, the Engineering Construction Industry Association (ECIA), in a ballot organised by the GMB general union.

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Defending the peace process in Ireland

SINN FEIN Deputy First Minster Martin McGuiness last week addressed a fringe event at the British Labour Party Conference in Brighton.

As part of a wide ranging speech McGuinness challenged the rejectionists on all sides and warned that progress on transferring powers on policing and justice was crucial in the time ahead.

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Manchester bus workers set to strike

TWO-AND-A-HALF thousand bus workers at First Group are set to take strike action in some of the country’s biggest transport regions in mounting disputes over an imposed zero per cent pay deal.

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Safety hotline for worried rail workers

RAIL UNION RMT last week launched a confidential email hotline for members amid growing concerns over planned maintenance cuts by Network Rail which have put over 2500 — nearly 20 per cent of the total workforce — at risk.

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Vigil: Free the Miami Five!

NEW COMMUNIST Party comrades and supporters joined protesters outside the US embassy in London last week to demand the release of five Cubans arrested in 1998 on trumped-up charges of espionage.

Some 400 demonstrators took part in an evening candlelight picket of the American embassy in Grosvenor Square on 1st October called by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign in support of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González who are currently serving sentences of between 15 years and life.

The vigil was supported by their families and Jeremy Corbyn, the London Labour MP who is also a prominent member of the Labour Representation Committee along with a number of union leaders.

Features and International News

Arab plans to dump dollar?

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SAUDI ARABIA’S top banker has denied reports that the oil-rich Arab kingdom, along with a number of other Arab Gulf states, intends to phase out the US dollar as the exchange currency for the international oil trade.

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Ireland: Lisbon Treaty passes second time around

THE LISBON Treaty was passed by voters in the 26 Counties of Ireland yesterday with the Yes side getting 67 per cent of the vote and the No side 33 per cent. The announcement came on Saturday at the vote count centre in Dublin Castle.

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The founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea

OVER 60 years have passed since the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) on 10th October 1945. Since then the WPK has always followed correct policies in its guidance of the country and the people, developing into a seasoned and experienced party enjoying unreserved support and trust from the masses.

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Honduran resistance members killed

THE HONDURAN resistance and human rights organisations have condemned the murder of teacher Mario Contreras, vice principal of the Abelardo Fortín Institute, and Lenca leader Antonio Leiva, both members of the resistance allegedly killed by hired assassins.

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People’s China marks 60 years of achievement

CHINESE President Hu Jintao called for patriotism, national spirit, to serve socialist construction during the great celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China last week.

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Socialists win Greek elections

by our European Affairs correspondent

GREECE’S opposition socialists have won the country’s national election, ending five years of conservative rule. The social-democratic Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement party (PASOK) won a landslide victory. PASOK’s 43.93 per cent of the vote was well ahead of the incumbent New Democracy (ND) party, which garnered just 34 per cent.

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Lada slashes jobs

LADA may be a well-known car — especially here in Cuba — but sales have dropped 40 per cent so far this year throughout the world. Russia’s largest carmaker, Avtovaz, will cut up to 27,600 jobs as it tries to cope with the global slump in demand.

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Africa’s gifts to civilisation

by Pat Chin

THE FIRST Africans in the Western Hemisphere were not slaves. In fact, mounting scientific evidence strongly supports the view that Africans crossed the Atlantic Ocean more than 100 years before Christopher Columbus reached the Americas.