National News

Commuters ‘squeezed until the pips squeak’

THE GOVERNMENT should cut public subsidies to the railways by £1 billion, remove the five-per-cent-above-inflation cap on annual fare rises and do away with saver fare on popular long-distance routes according to a report on the future of the railways in Britain by Sir Roy McNulty, former chief of the Civil Aviation Authority.

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Build for 30th June!

Unions unite against pension cuts

TWO GIANT public sector unions — Unite and PCS — last week joined forces to plan coordinated strike action, involving up to two million workers, in defence against Government plans to cut public sector pensions.

And they hope to involve other unions in plans for a massive strike against Government cuts set for 30th June.

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A People’s Assembly

by Anton Johnson

AROUND 100 people last Saturday attended the Lambeth People’s Assembly, organised by Lambeth Save Our Services (SOS) and supported by Lambeth Trades Union Council. The purpose was to build the resistance against the Tory cuts locally.

John McDonnell MP, leader of the left-wing Labour Representation Committee, addressed the meeting, saying that each week the Tories are carrying out their plan to systematically dismantle the welfare state, which was created in the 1940s and 1950s, and which they have never liked, under the guise of “necessary” cuts.

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Ray Davies’ court win against the Met

by Wendy Lewis

ON TENTH January 2009, Ray Davies, councillor for Caerphilly County Borough and lifelong peace activist, joined a national demonstration in London to protest at Israel’s violent assault on Gaza, in the course of which he was attacked and knocked unconscious by the Metropolitan Police.

He brought a complaint against the police, and has now won damages for the injuries he sustained.

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Tata to cut 15,000 steel jobs

TRADE unions reacted angrily last week to news that the Tata transnational steel giant plans to cut 1,500 job losses in steel mills in Scunthorpe, Teeside and Hartlepool, formerly owned by Corus.

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12,000 Londoners face homelessness

AROUND 12,000 young Londoners living in privately rented accommodation face losing their homes next year when cuts to their housing benefit come into force.

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International News

An uncertain future for Tunisia

by Yuri Sosinsky-Semikhat

DESPITE the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, unrest continues and Tunisia’s political future remains uncertain. Democratic elections are scheduled for July. But until a permanent government is formed, the people of Tunisia and neighbouring countries will be closely monitoring the actions of Acting President Fouad Mebazaa and his interim administration.

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Libya: the ‘Kosovo model’

by Wu Liming

THE LATEST moves by the western powers against Libya have shown marked similarities to “strategies” they adopted in Kosovo in the 1990s. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, opened the bloc’s office on Sunday in Benghazi, the Libyan opposition’s base camp, when she visited the city on Sunday. Earlier, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah Al-Sannussi, who is Libya’s head of intelligence.

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Cuba searches for black gold and stays green

by Julio Pérez

NORWEGIAN cooperation supports Cuba in its efforts to explore for oil and, at the same time, is committed to improve the quality and safety of the works.

Cuba and Norway recently signed four cooperation agreements on fishery and energy — the latter features the exploration and exploitation of oil.

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Russian veterans only remembered on Victory Day

by Ksenia Obraztsova

THE CLASHES provoked by Ukrainian nationalists in Lviv on 9th May have caused a wave of indignation over the attitude towards the veterans. But the situation in Russia is not much better. In Russia the veterans are offended not so much by words but the attitude. Once a year they are honoured as Second World War participants, and the rest of the time they are forced to languish in poverty.

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A chapter on Caribbean integration yet to be written

by Pedro de la Hoz

“IT’S HARD to define what you know best. I feel and think the Caribbean, but don’t ask me for a definition in a few lines. I only know that the first chapter is about the genocide which exterminated the majority of original peoples. Next came an episode unique in human history: the capitalist accumulation process based on African and Asian slave labour, carried out by Europeans in a territory which did not belong to Africa, Asia or Europe. This is the common starting point; the rest is very diverse. I don’t know what the Caribbean will be like in 50 years but I am sure that the chapter on real integration has yet to be written.”

These were George Lamming’s words in May 2011, in Havana, the city he first visited in 1963, invited by the Casa de las Americas, and which, he said, he will continue visiting as long as he is alive. He has just committed himself to participating in preparations for Cuba’s 2012 International Book Fair, which is dedicated to Caribbean cultures.

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Africa Day: imperialist wars threaten continent

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Editor, Pan-African News Wire

ON 25th MAY people all over the world will recognise the 48th anniversary of Africa Day ? also known as Africa Liberation Day. On that date in 1963 the Organisation of African Unity was formed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with more than 30 member states.

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Rebates and Royals

by Rob Gowland

IN HER recent speech to the very-right-wing Sydney Institute, Prime Minister Julia Gillard once again demonstrated exactly how committed she is to the rights and welfare of ordinary working Australians by launching a determined attack on the most defenceless of them: the unemployed and invalid pensioners.

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