National News

Legal aid changes to hit the vulnerable

CHANGES to the way legal aid is administered have led the Law Society to speak out against the Legal Services Commission after nearly half the firms bidding for family work failed to win new contracts.

The Law Society says this means businesses will close and people may find it difficult to get a lawyer, especially in rural areas.

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Colombian threat to Venezuela

from New Worker correspondent

THE HANDS Off Venezuela campaign held a packed public meeting in London on 3rd August, 2010 to discuss escalating tensions between Venezuela and Colombia.

Speakers from Hands off Venezuela and the Colombia Solidarity Campaign discussed the recent events that led to the diplomatic crisis, the threat of US imperialism, the human rights situation in Colombia, and the “war on drugs”.

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Cameron to privatise benefit fraud investigation

PRIME Minister David Cameron last Tuesday announced that he intends to increase penalties for benefit fraud offenders and that he intends to use private credit rating agencies to detect benefit fraud — and that these firms would be paid by results.

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Court delays harm children

THE CHILDREN’S charity Barnardo’s last week warned that long and complex court cases over child care and custody — sometimes lasting over a year — are damaging children and some are being left in abusive homes longer than is necessary.

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Council homes attack angers Tory rebel

DAVID CAMERON last week prompted an attack from one of his own Tory backbenchers when he proposed ending secure tenancies for council tenants.

When Cameron proposed that tenants should not think they had a home for life and that those whose earnings rose should be forced out to find housing in the private market, Nadine Dorries, MP for Mid-Bedfordshire, said it would not help social housing shortages and would discourage tenants from seeking to increase their income.

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More school renovation plans scrapped

EDUCATION Secretary Michael Gove last week announced yet another raft of 75 school rebuilding and refurbishment plans are to be cancelled or scaled back.

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Tories abandon children’s milk cut

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron performed a spectacular policy change last weekend after Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Anne Milton suggested scrapping the free milk allowance for children under five in nurseries.

Even as Minister David Willetts was being interviewed on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning and justifying the proposed cut, Cameron rejected the proposal that had quickly outraged too many.

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CWU backs Ken for London Mayor

THE COMMUNICATION Workers’ Union is backing Ken Livingstone as Labour candidate for Mayor of London.

CWU is impressed by Ken Livingstone’s pro-jobs campaign and positive outlook for London in the face of government cuts. CWU has a long history of working with Ken and will be recommending all eligible members vote for him in the upcoming election.

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Atom victims remembered at National Eisteddford

by Wendy Lewis

CND CYMRU’S stand at last week’s National Eisteddfod of Wales commemorated the 65th anniversary of the deadly atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing hundreds of thousands of Japanese men, women and children.

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International News

Israel in the dock again

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

THOUGH CALM may have returned to the Lebanese frontier with Israel the war of words with Tel Aviv continues, following the first arrest of a prominent politician on espionage charges.

At the same time the investigation into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri has taken a new turn with the allegation that Israel was behind the killing. On Monday Hezbollah [Party of God] leader Hassan Nasrallah presented proof that Israel was behind the killing, showing intercepted Israeli surveillance footage from an unmanned aerial vehicle of Hariri’s travel routes. Israeli officials denied the claims and are trying to pin the blame instead on Hezbollah.

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The World says no to war

Radio Havana Cuba

THE WORLD has joined calls for peace made by the top leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, in his speech at the special meeting last Saturday of the National Assembly of People’s Power.

For a little over an hour, Fidel Castro analysed the dangers of a nuclear conflagration as a result of US and Israeli war threats against Iran over its peaceful nuclear programme.

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Japan needs to walk its talk about historical remorse

by Deng Yushan and Feng Wuyong

JAPANESE Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday expressed “deep remorse” and gave a “heartfelt apology” for Koreans’ suffering under his country’s 1910-1945 colonial rule. The remarks, delivered ahead of the 29th August centenary of Japan’s annexation of Korea, are basically in line with a landmark statement by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995.

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Forest fires hit Russian economy

EXPERTS have started to calculate the losses that the Russian economy has suffered as a result of the unusually hot summer and immense forest fires.

The damage may total one per cent of the GDP growth in 2010, which is equal to $15 billion, or 450 billion roubles. For the time being the experts are calculating the direct costs and negative short-term consequences for the economy.

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Colombia: new Government, new policies?

Radio Havana Cuba

COLOMBIANS are hoping that the swearing in of a new president on Saturday will mean not only a change in government but also the advent of new policies, different from the last eight years of the Alvaro Uribe administration that left the country in internal and international chaos.

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Rovics condemns PFLP blacklisting


DAVID ROVICS, the well-known progressive American singer-songwriter, has denounced the listing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and other national liberation movements on the US government’s so-called “anti-terrorist” list. He made his announcement in advance of a planned tour of New Zealand in support of Palestine and against the designation of the PFLP on such lists.

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The situation in Greece - ‘The class struggle will certainly intensify’

by Stratos Mavrantonis

TO BE FULLY understood, the current situation in Greece must be seen as directly connected with a now unfolding drive by the world’s finance capital, aimed at savagely attacking the peoples’ living standards, taking back all workers’ gains won in the last 50 years and making labour power as cheap as possible for employers all over the world.

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