National News

Unions warn of Tory nightmare

by Caroline Colebrook

MAJOR trade unions have been issuing warnings of the likely impact of a Tory election victory for their members and the working class in general.

They range from the train drivers’ union Aslef pointing out that the Tories are refusing to commit on their promises to improve the rail infrastructure, to a warning from Unite that the Tories are planning to do away with the Agricultural Wages Board, PCS warning of prison privatisations, the CWU warning of Tory plans to scrap a major project to deliver broadband services to the whole population and Unite again warning that charities are likely to be conscripted into doing work now done by public sector employees.

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Workers’ Memorial Day

TRADE UNIONS throughout Britain are set to mark Workers’ Memorial Day next Wednesday, 28th April.

The purpose behind Workers’ Memorial Day has always been to “remember the dead: fight for the living” and unions are asked to focus on both areas, by considering events or memorial to remember all those killed through work but at the same time ensuring that such tragedies are not repeated.

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Nurses sign up with Unison to fight cuts

NURSES last week signed up to Unison’s health manifesto, which will say “no” to job cuts that put patients lives at risk.

“Safety before shortcuts” is the message in Unison’s nursing manifesto, which highlights the challenge of future patient demand and the need for proper staff training.

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BNP demo targets Home Office building

ANTI-FASCIST protesters clashed with supporters of the fascist British National Party last Thursday outside Lunar House in Croydon — the Home Office building where immigrants and asylum seekers are compelled to queue for hours and hours to obtain visas and other documents to legalise their presence in this country.

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California miners lobby Rio Tinto AGM in London

MINERS employed by the giant mining company Rio Tinto in the Boron mines of Death Valley in California have been locked out of their jobs since January after refusing to accept reduced terms and conditions.

Rio Tinto has used a firm with a notorious reputation for union busting, JR Gettier of Delaware, to bus replacement workers across picket lines to mine and process borates.

Last week, supported by the union, the US International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), some of the miners came to London to lobby the Rio Tinto annual shareholders’ meeting at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster.

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International News

Hardliner wins Turkish Cypriot vote

DERVIS EROGLU, a right-wing politician won the ?presidential election? on Sunday in the Turkish Cypriot enclave, a development analysts fear will deal a blow to the ongoing reunification talks with the Greek Cypriots.

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The Hong Kong worker who died saving quake victims

by Xu Lingui in Xining

ALL HIS friends knew Wong Fuk-wing was a charitable person. But when he said it would be a blessing to die for charity, few believed it would actually be his destiny.

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Who Strikes Gagarin’s Name out of Russia’s History?

by Yelena Nikolskaya

THE DAY of Aviation and Cosmonautics celebrated on 12th April has long become an international holiday and a day to remember for everyone who works in the space industry. For the Russians, it is another reason to be proud.

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Israel rocked by Olmert graft charges

by Gur Salomon and Geng Xuepeng in Jerusalem

FORMER Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has hit the headlines again on corruption charges which have struck at the heart of Israeli society.

The 64-year-old former leader was forced to resign in 2008 in the midst of a series of corruption and fraud probes. This time he is suspected of receiving 3.5 million shekels ($930,000) in bribes during his tenure as mayor of Jerusalem in exchange for helping to promote “Holyland,” an upmarket residential housing project in the city.

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Still in pursuit of Bolivar’s ideals

by Luan Xiang in Caracas

AT ZERO hour on Monday, colourful, crackling fireworks brightened the night sky of the capital city, as Venezuela kicked off celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence movement.

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Is Marxism relevant to environmentalism?

by Anna Pha

HOW OFTEN have you heard it said that Marxism has no relevance to the environmental crisis or that the environment is not a class question? After all, Marx and Engels were writing 150 years ago, long before the current environmental crisis.

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UDR - gone but not yet forgotten

by Laura Friel

ALMOST without exception, the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) passed without notice this month.

An article in the Belfast Newsletter and a parade in Ballymena were not insignificant but neither could disguise the fact that the commemoration of an organisation, once integral to the Orange State, could no longer command its former place within civic society.

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Earth Day, nukes and dirty wars

THE UNITED STATES presided over the Nuclear Security Summit held April 12th -13th in Washington. US spokespeople keep repeating that its purpose is to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. But US imperialism is the one that has wielded its nuclear arsenal as a terror threat, both against the Soviet Union in the days it existed and against all sorts of states that had no nuclear weapons.

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