National News

Private sector welcomes Con-Dem NHS changes

THE COALITION government has proposed a drastic shake-up of the National Health Service that will do away with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and give general practitioner surgeries complete power over their budgets to commission whatever healthcare they deem appropriate from whatever source.

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Joe Glenton released

JOE GLENTON, the lance corporal who refused to serve a second tour of duty in Afghanistan because he had seen that it was an unjust and illegal war against the Afghan people and was jailed for it, was released from the Colchester Military Corrective Training Centre on Monday 12th July.

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BAA given seven days notice of strike ballot

THE GIANT union Unite last Friday announced that, following months of negotiations the union and British Airports Authority, Unite has no choice but to give the airport operator seven days notice of its intention to hold a strike ballot in a dispute over pay.

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Save our Schools rally

HUNDREDS of teachers, pupils, school workers, parents and governors took to the streets of Westminster on Monday to protest at the Con-Dem coalition government’s drastic cuts to the schools rebuilding programme — cuts that will leave children and teachers trying to work in crumbling, leaking and unsafe school buildings.

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Bailiffs close Parliament peace camp

BALIFFS moved in to demolish the thriving peace camp in Parliament Square in the early hours of Tuesday morning after the campers lost their case at the Court of Appeal against eviction.

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‘Iraq invasion did increase terror threat’

FORMER head of MI5, Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller last week told the Iraq inquiry that she had warned Tony Blair that invading Iraq would raise the likelihood of terrorist attacks in Britain. She said the war had radicalised a whole generation of young Muslims in Britain.

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Tolpuddle festival

HUNDREDS of trade unionists last weekend marched in hot sunshine through the streets of the tiny village of Tolpuddle, carrying their colourful banners to commemorate the Tolpuddle martyrs of 1836.

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A ‘snapshot’ of government’s cuts

MARK SERWOTKA, general secretary of the civil service union PCS responded to a story in the Guardian newspaper last Thursday about the impact of cuts in the Crown Prosecution Service, saying: “We have consistently warned that the cuts proposed by the coalition would cause enormous damage to the services our members provide.

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Lansley abolishes Food Agency

HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley last week announced that he is to abolish the Food Standards Agency — the food industry watchdog.

The FSA had been engaged in a long-running battle with the food manufacturing industry over the introduction of “traffic-light” labelling to warn buyers of high levels of fat, salt and sugar in processed foods.

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Remembering the IB prisoners

by New Worker correspondent

WHEN the Spanish war against fascism ended in 1939, the International Brigaders gathered for a final rally before leaving with their heads held high and the words of Dolores Ibuarri (La Pasionaria) ringing in their ears: “You are history, you are legend”.

But some were left behind; suffering the horrors of incarceration in Franco’s fascist jails and their story is not yet well documented.

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New Communist Party foundation day

COMRADES friends joined New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks and Party Chair Alex Kempshall in celebrating the NCP’s founding day reception on 10th July at the Party Centre in London. Michael Chant from the RCPB (ML) and Dermot Hudson from the UK Korean Friendship Association spoke of the NCP’s international solidarity and consistent work over the past 33 years in upholding the communist banner in Britain, while solidarity messages included greetings the Workers’ Party of Korea and from an old comrade who now lives in one of the former Soviet republics.

No NCP social ends without an appeal for the New Worker and National Treasurer Dolly Shaer’s call raised £652 for the fighting fund!

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International News

Rumours of new Arab-Israeli talks

by our Arab Affairs Correspondent

A FLURRY of top level talks in Cairo has fired rumours that direct Israeli-Palestinian talks could resume, at least in secret, to breath life into the latest US efforts to end the conflict. But Fatah, which dominates the “autonomous” Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, wants a specific American commitment on the borders of a future independent Palestinian state before going any further. And at least one major resistance movement has rejected the initiative altogether.

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Oil tragedy: too soon to celebrate

Radio Havana Cuba

BRITISH Petroleum announced a few days ago that finally, 87 days after the underwater oil jig began pouring millions of gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico, they managed to contain the leak that threatens to turn this rich biodiversity area into a huge second Dead Sea.

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When Nixon thought of nuking Democratic Korea


IN HIS MIND, Richard Nixon was always tempted to press the red button to launch a nuclear attack. The conversation that he had with Henry Kissinger, his National Security advisor during the Vietnam War is known. Concerned over his loss of political support caused by the conflict, Nixon thought that the nuclear weapon would solve his problems.

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Israeli military veteran in Warsaw: ‘Liberate all ghettos’

by Michael Kramer

AN ISRAELI military veteran, with help from Polish activists from the Palestine solidarity organisation Kampania Palestyna, on 27th June tagged a remnant of the wall that surrounded the Jewish ghetto in Warsaw with “Liberate All Ghettos” in Hebrew and “Free Gaza and Palestine” in English. A Palestinian flag was hung from the top of the wall after the tagging was completed.

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Islamophobia sweeps Europe

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE CONTINENT that produced imperialism, slavery and Hitler now produces Geert Wilders. Belgium and France ban the burqah, a British MP has stated he will refuse to speak to constituents who refuse to reveal their face and Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders declares his aim to launch his Stop Islam movement in five countries. It is Europe, not the Moslems, who are seeking a culture clash.

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Congo still struggles for real independence

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Editor, Pan-African News Wire

FIVE DECADES after the independence of the former Belgian Congo, the genuine emancipation of this Central African state is yet to be realised.

Nonetheless the survival of this state — which has been under assault since 1960 when Patrice Lumumba took charge of the country as prime minister, representing the Congolese National Movement (MNC) — is a testament to the resilience and fortitude of the people.

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Funny money, funny system

by Rob Gowland

IN THE JUNE issue of the Australian Financial Review Magazine — modestly subtitled “The Wealth Issue” to better identify its target audience, one assumes — there is an article on four Australian philanthropists by Deirdre Macken.

The safeguarding of our river systems should not be at the mercy of “business cycles” or the share market. Here is an old saw that defines a philanthropist as “someone who gives away what he should be giving back”. This is essentially true, but I wonder if there aren’t some mitigating factors that need to be considered.

Under capitalism, the rich — especially the very rich — tend to begrudge letting any of their wealth find its way into the hands of the great unwashed. They want to keep it for people like themselves, and of course to use it to make even more wealth.

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