National News

Union reveals reality of public sector pay

A BBC Panorama programme last Monday claimed that over 9,000 senior public sector employees earn more than the Prime Minister (£142,000 a year); leading to further attacks in the press on public sector pay in general.

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‘Losing morals and humanity’

THE GIANT union Unite last week attacked the decision of Edinburgh City Council — under SNP/Liberal Democrat control — to close Blindcraft, leaving dozens of blind and disabled people unemployed.

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Billingsgate porters fight

BILLINGSGATE FISH PORTERS, fighting to save the historic market, have taken their campaign to the home of the City of London corporation, London’s Guildhall.

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Roma face racism in Scotland

THE HUMAN rights organisation Amnesty International last week condemned the racism that the travelling community suffers on a daily basis throughout Scotland.

The condemnation comes as the “gypsy” community in mainland Europe battles increasing levels of discrimination and after EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding compared France’s expulsion of the Roma people to the Nazis’ deportation of the Jews.

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LRC: Keep the post public!

THE LABOUR Representation Committee has responded to Coalition government plans to privatise the Royal Mail by launching a campaign to keep the post public.

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Defending sacked bus workers

THE RMT transport union last week sprang to the defence of bus workers employed by First Devon and Cornwall buses who were effectively sacked when the company’s sub contract with National Express was transferred to a different company.

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Banks still sitting on the cash

THE BANK of England last week reported that High Street banks are still rebuilding their own capital reserves but not passing the money on as loans to companies or householders.

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Union protest at Stena ‘fat’ remark

THE RMT transport union last Tuesday reacted angrily after Pim de Lange, the director of the Stena Line ferries between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, described British workers as “fat” and “tattooed”.

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International News

Afghan elections: fraud, violence and abstention

Radio Havana Cuba

BLATANT fraud, allegations of violence and other irregularities as well as voter abstention at the polls, were the keynote of the parliamentary elections held over the weekend in Afghanistan, a country occupied by foreign forces for the last nine years.

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Mexico: uncontainable drug-lord violence

Radio Havana Cuba

THE OUTSTANDING Cuban troubadour, Silvio Rodríguez, visited Mexico — with his music — to protest against the violence which has reigned in Juarez City for years caused by drug trafficking in that city bordering the United States.

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Iraqi prisoners escape US custody

by Gene Clancy

ON 15th July, as part of their ballyhooed “withdrawal” from Iraq, US officials under the command of General Ray Odierno handed over an infamous US prison, Camp Cropper, to the Iraqi puppet government. Although they ceremoniously gave a large wooden key to the Iraqi military, about 200 of the 1,500 inmates remained under US control, guarded by American soldiers.

The 200 include former members of Saddam Hussein’s government and senior foreign and Iraqi insurgents.

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Blair Liberty Medal: how sickeningly predictable!

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

IN TODAY’S world, where the precepts of international law can be swept away in a fit of pique, where the United Nations can be derided and disrespected at will and where every norm of diplomacy can be shaped and cajoled by whim and caprice, it comes as no surprise that two war criminals could shake hands on the stage in Philadelphia last week as the Liberty Medal was handed by Bill Clinton to Tony Blair.

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Democratic German Report?

REVIEW by Andy Brooks

Stasi Hell or Workers’ Paradise?

by John Green and Bruni de la Motte.

£3.50; paperback; 50pp; illus; Artery Publications, London 2009

THE GERMAN Democratic Republic, with its trade-mark hammer and dividers logo, has long gone. It went the way of all the other European people’s democracies during the counter-revolutionary wave in 1989 that was inspired by traitor Gorbachov and his minions and finally ended with the destruction of the Soviet Union itself.

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Features

CIA promote horror stories in Afghanistan

by Joyce Chediac

RECENT WikiLeaks disclosures reveal just how low the US government and its media mouthpieces will stoop to revive support for its occupation of Afghanistan.

An 11th March secret memorandum from the CIA’s Red Cell problem-solving group, now made public, suggests “promoting women’s horror stories” to bolster faltering support for the Afghan war, says John Gorenfeld in the 16th August New York Observer.

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Pakistan: ‘Their’ sports corruption and ‘ours’

by Bob Briton

THE WORLDWIDE response to the Pakistan floods has been poor. Part of the reason for the lack of solidarity in countries like Australia is the widespread belief that donations and aid would disappear down a sinkhole of corruption. Why is Pakistan, in particular, associated with the scourge of corruption? President Asif Ali Zadari’s own reputation is marred by transnational kickback allegations.

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