National News

Asbestos victims denied justice

MANY trade unions last week expressed their disgust at a ruling by the Court of Appeal, which accepted the principle that that injury is caused to a victim of asbestos-related diseases at the onset of physical symptoms, rather than at the time of exposure.

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‘Protect police from the law’

SIR PAUL Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, last week wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May asking her to make it more difficult for people to sue the police and more difficult for police officers to appeal to industrial tribunals.

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Britain worse than US

THE JUDICIAL system in England and Wales is jailing seven times more black people than their proportion of the population — compared to the US which jails just four times as many, according to a study published last week.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) first triennial report, How Fair is Britain? says that ethnic minorities are “substantially over-represented in the custodial system”.

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EDL thugs run riot in Leicester

AROUND 1,000 supporters of the extreme right-wing English Defence League descended on Leicester last Saturday and clashed with 800 anti-fascists from Unite Against Fascism who had gathered to protest against the EDL event. Several hundred more UAF supporters were prevented by police from reaching the demonstration.

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Organising working class resistance

by our Scottish correspondent.

ORGANISING Working Class Resistance was the title of the Scottish Morning Star Autumn Conference held last Sunday at the Scottish Trades Union Congress headquarters in Glasgow.

About 70 delegates assembled to hear opening speaker John McDonnell point out that the international financial situation remains bad. In the USA repossessions of homes whose occupiers are unable to keep up mortgage payments remain as high as during the worst of the banking crisis.

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Probation officers strike

DELEGATES at the 98th annual general meeting of the National Association of Probation Officers — which also represents Family Court staff — last week voted unanimously to ballot for strike action in protest at threatened swingeing cuts.

The conference in Scarborough voted to fight the cuts, defend jobs, promote effective work with offenders and families, to fight privatisation and engage in concerted industrial action with other criminal justice unions.

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Workers’ Party of Korea celebrated

by New Worker correspondent

NCP general secretary Andy Brooks joined other communists at a seminar last week to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). Chaired by Dermot Hudson, the seminar organised by Friends of Korea (FOK) and held at the London HQ of the RCPB(ML) heard contributions from FOK activists and members of the audience on the achievements of the WPK and its leaders over the years.

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Tube to cut even more jobs

THE TUBE’S biggest union last week slammed as “savagery” another huge tranche of up to 800 job cuts announced by London Underground

As LUL revealed that it intends to sack another 400 staff and to leave a “similar number” of vacancies unfilled, on top of the 800 station staff already earmarked for the axe, RMT said its stand for jobs and safety had been completely vindicated.

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International News

Academics denounce Nobel Peace Prize as ‘illegitimate’

by Liu Jiawen and Han Lin

A RENOWNED Norwegian jurist and writer has denounced 2010 Nobel Peace Prize as “an illegitimate prize awarded by an illegitimate committee”.

In an article published last Sunday on the website of the World Association of International Studies, run by Stanford University, Fredrik S Heffermehl said: “It was to support disarmament efforts that Nobel established his prize for ‘the champions of peace’.”

“With all due respect to Liu Xiaobo, this is yet another example that this is no longer Nobel’s prize, it is the peace prize of the Norwegian Parliament,” wrote Heffermehl.

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Ballymurphy Massacre Families’ disappointment after meeting British minister

Sinn Féin news

On 6th October, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams described as ‘very unsatisfactory’ a meeting between the families of those killed in what became known as the Ballymurphy Massacre and the British Secretary of State Owen Paterson on 7th October, together with their MP Gerry Adams.

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Serbia: Gay rights, human rights, tolerance and homophobia

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE REPUBLIC of Serbia is a meeting point of numerous peoples, religions and cultures and over the centuries, by and large, they have coexisted in peace. How sad it is that last Sunday’s Gay Pride Parade ended in an orgy of violence caused by a handful of homophobic bigots that left over 50 people injured.

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Hungary: the worst disaster of its history

Radio Havana Cuba

IT HASN’T been that long since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Now it’s Europe that is undergoing the danger of an environmental catastrophe after the waste spill from the manufacture of aluminium in Hungary that has polluted the river Danube. This has caused four deaths and at least 120 injured.

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France hit by storm of strikes

Radio Havana Cuba

FRANCE is caught in a whirl of industrial action as workers across a number of sectors downed tools again this week to fight plans to raise the retirement age to 62.

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People’s China: Capitalist or Socialist?

by Bob Treasure

EVER SINCE the People’s Republic of China invited foreign capital into the country and behind the “Bamboo Curtain”, China has been dismissed by most Left observers as selling out to capitalism and class society, with all its associated evils. Of course capitalist commentators and “expert” economists gloat over the Chinese renunciation of socialist principles and their craven debt to neo-liberal market economics. “Proof that socialism is dead”, they say.

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