National News

Inflation plus pay freeze equals hardship

by Daphne Liddle

WORKERS in Britain today are facing a bleak prospect as wages are being frozen throughout the country in both public and private sectors while inflation has soared to 3.5 per cent.

Meanwhile Barclays Bank has notched up record profits of £11.6 billion (an annual rise of 92 per cent); the Bank of England basic lending rate stays at just 0.5 per cent and the banks are charging an average of 18.8 per cent on credit card borrowing.

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Peace campaigners return to Aldermaston

by Ray Davies

THE 2010 blockade of the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston in Berkshire on Monday was a tremendous success. Over 800 peace activists converged on the nuclear facility from all corners of Europe. Our Welsh contingent spent the night in the church hall in Reading discussing our tactics for the blockade. The adrenalin was running high as people tested out their lock-on tubes and equipment, and very little sleep was had by anyone.

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Call Kraft and Cadbury to account!

THE GIANT union Unite last Sunday welcomed the news that an influential committee of MPs is to demand Kraft and Cadbury executives come before them to explain their part in the most unpopular corporate takeover in recent times, the sale of Cadbury to Kraft.

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MI5 guilty of torture collusion

FOREIGN Secretary David Miliband, Home Secretary Alan Johnson, Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis, the director general of MI5, Jonathan Evans, and the Parliamentary Intelligence Security Committee (ISC) spent last year strenuously and publicly denying that British intelligence services would ever torture people, collude in torture or solicit other to torture on behalf of the British government.

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Police spy drone ‘illegal’

THE CIVIL Aviation Authority (CAA) last week forced the Merseyside Police to abandon their latest gadget — a £40,000 remote-controlled miniature helicopter fitted with a CCTV camera for use in surveillance. The drone had no licence.

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BNP forced to change racist membership rules

THE FASCIST British National Party last weekend at an extraordinary general meeting in Essex reluctantly voted to change its membership rules, which previously excluded black and Asian people.

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Construction workers walkout over safety scare

CONSTRUCTION workers at the Staythorpe power station in Nottinghamshire walked out spontaneously last week after an incident in which scaffolding was “interfered with”, sparking health and safety concerns.

The general union GMB the workers had staged an unofficial walkout after an alleged health and safety breach.

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Senior head teacher slams ‘mechanised’ teaching

A LEADING headmaster, Anthony Seldon, last week called for a complete review of current teaching methods, describing them as “formulaic and mechanised”. He wants to revive the ‘Great Debate’ on teaching begun by former Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan over 30 years ago.

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Essex FBU fights new cuts

ESSEX fire crews last week hit back at plans to cut the number of frontline firefighters while recruiting even more office staff.

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Unions oppose shipyard job cuts

SHIPBUILDING unions last week condemned the announcement that BAE systems is to cut 230 jobs at its submarine division in Barrow.

Hugh Scullion, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions (CSEU) said: “The CSEU believes that with a positive attitude to negotiations there will be no need for compulsory job losses.

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Poverty delays children’s language skills

CHILDREN from very low income homes are on average about a year behind other children in developing language skills by the time they start school, according to research published last week by the Sutton Trust.

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Defending Democratic Korea

by a New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of Korea met at London’s historic Marx House last Saturday to celebrate the 68th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Kim Jong Il and take part in discussion on the current situation in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, led by a panel of speakers who have all visited north Korea many times.

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International News

Train crash triggers rail strike in Belgium

Xinhua news agency

BELGIAN railway workers walked out on Tuesday morning, a day after two commuter trains crashed head-on near Brussels, killing at least 18 people, including a driver, and injured 162 others.

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Behind the Toyota recall

by Sasaki Shozo

TOYOTA is recalling more than 10 million units of 21 models, including the Prius, across the world including the United States, Europe, Canada, and China.

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Hunt on for killers of Hamas leader

Xinhua news agency

DUBAI’S public prosecutor has issued an international arrest warrant against suspects involved in the killing of Mahmoud Al Mabhouh, a top official of the military wing of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, on charges of premeditated murder.

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Young Cubans prepare to vote

Radio Havana Cuba

THIS YEAR a total of 320,000 Cubans will have the opportunity this year to exercise their citizen right to vote for the first time. These are the ones who are now 16-years-old, the minimum age required by the Constitution and by the electoral laws to cast the vote.

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Heritage, Loot or Booty?

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

WESTERN Museums are brimming with cultural heritage...from other countries. The Elgin Marbles are just one set of tens of thousands of artefacts looted from distant lands during colonial or imperialist times. However, the same desecration of cultural heritage continues. How many of the 13,000 artefacts stolen from Baghdad National Museum are today in the United States of America?

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China first at Winter Olympics!

Xinhua news agency

COMEBACK figure skating stars Shen Xue/Zhao Hongbo made history for China in the Pacific Coliseum with victory in pair skating, while Didier Defago fulfilled Swiss’ expectations to win the men’s downhill event at Whistler Creekside on Monday.

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Seánd — A case study in political frame-ups

This is a summary of a booklet produced by the Stop the Extradition of Seánd Campaign. The booklet is available from the campaign office, 12 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1. Telephone (01) 856 1879.

Chronicle of events

ON 19TH MAY 2005, a US District Court in Washington DC filed a warrant for the arrest of Seánd after a Federal Grand Jury indicted him in for allegedly trading in forged $100 bills. The hearing took place in camera without the knowledge of the accused and the warrant was obtained just before the statute of limitation for the alleged crimes, which dated back from 1998 to 2000, would have run out.

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