National News

Tanker drivers warn bosses

THE GREED of an industry worth billions has led to mounting frustration amongst Britain’s oil and petrol tanker drivers, whose union representatives have agreed to ballot their members for industrial action. The ballots are likely to take place next month.

Representatives of the union Unite have warned the oil industry that employers must take their heads out of the sand and realise that the constant attack on tanker drivers’ terms and conditions must stop.

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National Grid workers to take action

THE GIANT union Unite last week notified energy giant National Grid that it will imminently serve notice for industrial action in a dispute over a three-year below-inflation pay offer.

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Massive support for campaign against cuts

MEMBERS of the civil service union PCS last week voted by a massive majority to back the union’s campaign against cuts to public services, jobs, pay and pensions.

In a national ballot 90 per cent rejected changes to the civil service redundancy scheme — and 96 per cent supported the union’s national campaign, “There is an alternative”.

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Unions join students’ fight to save EMA

SEVEN major unions last week joined with the National Union of Students in a campaign to save the Education Maintenance Allowance, which is paid to students aged between 16 and 18 to enable them to continue to study full time.

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Chilcot gagged

THE HEAD of the civil service has refused to allow the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war to publish notes sent by Tony Blair to former US president George Bush.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell denied requests for exchanges between the former Prime Minister and Bush about Iraq to be declassified and released.

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Parents oppose bankers’ school

PARENTS in the London Borough of Wandsworth have launched a campaign against plans to create a “bankers’ free school” that will exclude children from poor families and deprive other local schools of funding.

They are fighting a group of wealthy parents who work in the City of London and want to create the Bolingbroke Academy, using £13.5 million supplied by Wandsworth Council to buy a building for it.

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Rising inflation

THE CONSUMER Price Index rose to 3.7 per cent in December and, according to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, this will cut the disposal income of about seven million of Britain’s poorest people by 10 per cent. And that is not taking into account other measures such as job cuts and benefit cuts.

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Police violence at student protest

A PROTEST and occupation by students at Birmingham University ended last week as police and security guards stormed the building at 6.30 am.

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Working conditions ‘harm families’

INFLEXIBE and stressful jobs are leaving parents racked with guilt and increasingly remote from their children, according to a report from the think-tank Demos.

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Freedom for Bahrain!

by New Worker correspondent

HUMAN RIGHTS campaigners and Bahraini exiles held a picket in London last week to call for democratic rights in the oil-rich Arab kingdom that is Anglo-American imperialism’s close ally in the Gulf.

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International News

Tunisians continue protests on the street

by Huang Yinjiazi and Wang Chu in Tunis

THOUSANDS of Tunisians flooded the streets of their capital on Tuesday, demanding that the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally party (RCD) give up power. The announcement of an interim government the day before has failed to quell unrest that has ravaged the country for weeks.

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Haiti: the return of Baby Doc

THE SECOND round of presidential elections in Haiti should have been carried out this weekend, but the event was indefinitely postponed due to the confusing results of the first round, thus creating a complicated political maze when current President Rene Preval’s term is about to end.

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Western-style democracy no cure-all

by Yu Zhixiao

THE NEARLY two-month head-to-head contest for presidency between former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Outtara is not likely to come to an end soon.

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China: a reference model for a different world

Radio Havana Cuba

THE PRESIDENT of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, began an official visit to the United States this week and he will meet with US President Barack Obama as part of a new global reorganisation strategy marked by the colossal growth of China, an already indispensable reference model in international relations.

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Promoting Latin American and Caribbean literature

THE CASA de las Americas Prize, which is considered one of the most prestigious awards from the continent, has gained a well-deserved space in the world literary contest over the years for its recognition of Latin American and Caribbean literature.

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Features

Sudan: post-referendum tensions

by Fayez el-Zaki Hassan

AS THE POLLING process of the south Sudan referendum ended on Saturday, north and south Sudan entered a new transition period, which observers describe as “era of political dispute” between the two sides.

“The transition period could see waves of political disputes between the two sides as for sensitivity of the outstanding issues, said” Khalid Dirar, a political scientist at the al-Rasid Centre for Studies and Researches.

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International Year of African Descendants

Twelve months to solve a problem with centuries of history?

by Aida Calviac Mora

WITH the slave trade, European civilisation revealed all of its barbarity. Since then, the sons and daughters and grandchildren of those who were torn by force from the African continent have had to fight against the logic of difference perceived as threat and demonstrate which shore was home to the real barbarians.

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Floods, floods, floods

by Timofey Belov

ONE MILLION people severely affected in Sri Lanka, 370 dead in Brazil and large swathes of Queensland, Australia, looking more like a sea. What is responsible for these most extreme of extreme conditions? Is it mankind’s activity or is it Mother Nature?

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