National News

NUJ condemns savage cuts

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists last week condemned plans to axe 200 jobs at the Daily and Sunday Mirror, and The People and will discussed a plan of action with NUJ reps from across the three titles on Friday 11th June.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Pay women workers what they are owed !

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last week called on Birmingham City Council to stop wasting council taxpayer’s money and drop its appeal against the recent equal pay judgement that it lost at the Birmingham Employment Tribunals.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

PCS leads protest over job centre closure

THE CIVIL Service union PCS is leading a protest campaign in Deptford, south-east London, over Government plans to close the local job centre in November.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

London Citizens told to build ‘powerful alliances’

MATTHEW BOLTON of the public sector union Unison last weekend addressed a rally of the London Citizens’ group — of which he is the lead organiser.

London Citizens is the community organising group which has successfully brought together faith groups, schools, community groups and unions to fight for a living wage for some of London’s lowest paid workers. It is part of Citizens UK, which aims to be the national home of community organising.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Don’t cut workers’ Health and Safety

THE TUC last week attacked the new Con-Dem government’s plans to cut back on health and safety regulations.

The Government said its review of health and safety legislation announced on Monday will “investigate concerns over the application and perception of health and safety legislation, together with the rise of the compensation culture over the last decade”.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “This will not be an open and frank review aimed at achieving better regulation. Instead it is an attempt to undermine the already limited protection that workers have by focusing on the needs of business.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Peace walk from London to Colchester

PEACE campaigners are planning to mark Armed Forces Day on 26th June with a Day of Action in London and the next day begin a five-day peace walk from London to Colchester as an act of solidarity with Joe Glenton, the British soldier who is currently in military prison for refusing to return to Afghanistan, which he describes as “an unjust war”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

More job seekers than jobs

THE NUMBER of people claiming unemployment benefit is five times greater than the number of job vacancies — with London, North-East England and Scotland the worst hit, according to a TUC analysis of the latest employment data published last Tuesday.

The TUC analysis of Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA) claimants and vacancies advertised in Jobcentre Plus shows that despite the recent economic recovery, the jobs market remains bleak with the number of JSA claimants increasing in half of all local authority areas between April 2009 and April 2010.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Reject the myths: defend public sector pensions

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last Monday attacked Government doublespeak and myths about public sector pensions, accusing them of scaremongering, peddling myths and of breathtaking double-speak.

The union’s general secretary, David Prentis, said: “Only a few months ago, Clegg was warning that cutting public spending now would threaten the economic recovery. Now he is saying that public sector workers should pay the price for the banker’s recession, with cuts to their pensions.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tory cuts to hit social housing plans

THE NATIONAL Housing Federation last week warned the new coalition government that house-building in Britain will “fall off a cliff” due to a combination of financial cutbacks and changes to the planning system.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Coventry rally to fight public sector cuts

THE GIANT union Unite is to stage a public rally in Coventry on Saturday 19th June to defend public services in the West Midlands.

The rally will be held at Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Road, Coventry between 12-4pm.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Irish expel Israeli envoy

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THE IRISH government has expelled an Israeli diplomat following the use of forged Irish passports in the assassination of a senior member of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, the day he landed in the United Arab Emirates from Damascus.

Hamas’ Mahmoud al Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel room in Dubai in January by Israeli agents using fake European and Australian passports. Eight Irish passports were used by the Mossad agents, which Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin said was “clearly unacceptable”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Afghanistan: a Gordian knot

Radio Havana Cuba

VIOLENCE in Afghanistan is growing by the minute, despite the reinforcement of troops and the occupying forces after the US-led invasion in 2001 on the pretext of “fighting” against regional terrorism.

In nine years of occupation, the Taliban resistance has not diminished but has gained ground and intensity while increasing casualties among foreign forces, who have encountered a fiercely strong opposition.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Kyrgyzstan’s unrest — will Russia intervene?

Xinhua news agency

WIDESPREAD riots have shaken southern Kyrgyzstan, leaving at least 124 dead and 1,685 injured. The unrest has caused grave concern in the international community. Amid calls for an early restoration of stability in the Central Asian state questions remain over why violence has again erupted in past two months; how the Kyrgyz government will respond and whether Russia will send troops to intervene.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Accident, not north Korean sub, sank Chenoan

by Deirdre Griswold

THE HAWKISH regime of south Korean President Lee Myung Bak, with Washington’s backing, has moved to take the case of the Cheonan warship disaster to the UN Security Council, charging that the ship was sunk by a submarine from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The fighting origins of the Korean revolutionary movement

PRESIDENT Kim Il Sung began the work to found a new party totally different from the former Korean Communist Party (KCP) after signalling the fresh start of the Korean revolution with the formation of the Down-with-Imperialism Union (DIU), the first genuine revolutionary organisation of a new generation in Korea, in 1926.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

McGuinness goes to Westminster

by Theo Russell

MARTIN McGUINNESS, deputy First Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive, told friends and supporters of Sinn Féin at the House of Commons last week that “the political process and the peace process in my opinion are steadier now than at any time in the past”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Features

The antidote to Soccermania

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

AS THE WORLD gears up for the World Cup in South Africa, the continent’s first, and as a global pandemic of Soccermania promises once again to engulf the international community, the United Nations Organisation is aiming to channel public enthusiasm for sport into awareness about other more pressing social issues.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Mega sport and mega pain

by Rob Gowland

OUR BOURGEOIS media are doing a sterling job promoting the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. There can be few people in this country at least who haven’t grasped the fact that it is the latest BIG THING, to be celebrated with awe and joy.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]