National News

Did BA breach data protection law?

THE GIANT union Unite, embroiled in a long and bitter dispute with British Airways over the jobs, pay and conditions of cabin crews, has asked the regulator to investigate the “serious misuse” of BA employees’ private information.

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Pub strikes on the road

THE GENERAL union GMB last week announced a series of 16 dates for its roadshows to gain support for a national ballot on industrial action by tied pub tenants.

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A million voices for change UK

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last week launched a new campaign in Scotland against cuts to public sector services.

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Terror case a miscarriage of justice

MOHAMMED Atif Siddique, a student from Alva, Clackmannanshire was freed from prison last week after appeal Court judges in Edinburgh ruled that he had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

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Kraft to close Cadbury’s Bristol factory

THE AMERICAN cheese company Kraft, which recently bought the British Cadbury chocolate company, has said it plans to close Cadbury’s Somerdale factory in Keynsham near Bristol, with a loss of 400 jobs.

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Yarlswood women hunger strikers locked down and out

THE NOTORIOUS Yarls-wood detention centre, which houses immigrants and asylum seekers whose cases have been turned down prior to their deportation, has been in lockdown as at least twenty women inmates entered a fourth day of hunger strike on Monday in protest at their detention and conditions.

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Rise in prison racism

COMPLAINTS of prison racism are rising among officers and inmates according to official figures released last week.

New Government figures on alleged racist incidents across prisons throughout the country show that prison officers are more than twice as likely to be reported for racism than prisoners.

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GMB demands living wage for women workers

MORE THAN 13,500 women workers would be the chief beneficiaries of the introduction of a “Living Wage” in North Lanarkshire, a Conference in Coatbridge heard last Friday.

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Soldiers to patrol the streets?

MEMBERS of the armed forces could be used to patrol Britain’s streets to confront the threat of terrorism under measures being considered under the terms of the strategic defence review (SDR).

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LRD predicts pay freezes

THE LABOUR Research Department last week predicted a second year of pay freezes, despite rising inflation, as Britain struggles to emerge from recession.

The proportion of wage freezes is increasing, according to the LRD; a third of all pay deals now included a pay freeze — the largest proportion since the recession began.

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Rescue helicopters to be privatised

THE GOVERNMENT last Tuesday announced that Britain’s 24-hour search and rescue helicopter service is to be privatised.

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Rights of trafficking victims ignored

THE EQUALITIES and Human Rights Commission last week accused the police and immigration services of illegally ignoring the human rights of foreign women who have been forced into prostitution.

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International News

Ireland: time for decisive leadership in the DUP

REPUBLICANS have been locked in negotiations with the Democratic Unionist Party and the Irish and British governments in Hillsborough Castle for the past week. These negotiations have now concluded.

Sinn Féin went into these negotiations with clear objectives. On one hand an early date for the transfer of powers on policing and justice was a priority. On the other hand was the fundamental issue of ensuring that the DUP operate into the future the all-Ireland political institutions on the basis of partnership and equality.

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Tension rises in Middle East

by Mohamad Ali Harissi and Ren Ke in Beirut

THE ACCUSATIONS come almost every day from Israeli officials: Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon; Hezbollah is smuggling weapons into the south of Lebanon with the help of Syria. These claims have turned during the last few days into a verbal battle mainly between Syria and Israel.

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Cyprus continues reunification efforts despite coalition break-up

by Petros Petrides in Nicosia

CYPRUS President Demetris Christofias, who also acts as the Greek Cypriot leader, vowed on Tuesday to continue reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriot community after a junior partner quit the coalition government.

The social-democratic EDEK [Socialist Democracy Movement] walked out of his three-party coalition on Monday, accusing Christofias of making dangerous and unacceptable concessions to the Turkish Cypriot side on the issues of governance and power sharing.

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Confronting Dispossession

by Karen AbuZayd

The Commissioner General United Nations Relief and Works Agency who wrote this on the eve of her retirement in December 2009.

SIXTY years ago today the United Nations General Assembly voted into existence a temporary body known as UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. UNRWA’s task was to deal with the humanitarian consequences of the dispossession of some three quarters of a million Palestine refugees forced by the 1948 Middle East War to abandon their homes and flee their ancestral lands.

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Sinn Féin attends Progressive London conference

An Phoblacht

ENCOURAGING signs that progressive left politics are alive and well in London and beyond were on show on 30th January, when over 700 activists and observers alike crowded into the annual “Progressive London” conference.

Progressive London is headed by Ken Livingstone, a long-time friend of Ireland and someone who made a vast improvement to the lives of Londoners during his term as mayor of that city. Since his unfortunate replacement by Tory toff Boris Johnson, Progressive London has developed as a broad, cross-party political alliance for change across many sectors.

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Cuba’s International Book Fair: Where Families Come Together

Radio Havana Cuba

THERE ARE 46 bookstores in the city of Havana, where Cubans can purchase some of the novelties that will be presented at the International Book Fair which opens this week and will be the biggest literary event in Cuba and the most anticipated for books lovers.

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African culture and resistance in Haiti

The following is based on a talk given by G Dunkel at a NYC Workers World forum on 29th January

IT IS useful in understanding the current situation in Haiti to examine its roots — in particular why Haiti should be regarded as a country with an African culture and how United States and other imperialist interventions in Haiti met a stubborn and tenacious resistance.

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The Georgian conflict through Russian eyes

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

WE ALL know what the West thought about the five-day Georgian War in the Summer of 2008 because reputable media outlets suddenly transformed themselves into peddlers of cheap propaganda without an iota of truth. But what really happened in the Caucasus?

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Trailer trash, aliens and paranoia

by Rob Gowland

Trailer trash

IF YOU look through any of those glossy, over-priced magazines devoted to house and garden, to home furnishings and decorating, to the latest and “best” in modern taste and style for your domicile, one thing you will probably not see is a clothesline.

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