National News

Big leap in NHS waiting lists

THE NUMBER of people waiting more than six weeks for vital NHS tests has nearly quadrupled in one year, according to official figures released last week.

In June, there were 12,521 people waiting more than six weeks for one of 15 key tests, including MRI, CT and heart scans, ultrasound, barium enemas and colonoscopies — tests used to detect cancer among other conditions.

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Asbestos victims betrayed

THE CON-DEM Coalition last week quietly abandoned plans for a compensation fund for asbestos victims, according to the construction union Ucatt.

A proposal for a “fund of last resort” of up to £400m — to help former workers unable to trace the employers who exposed them to asbestos dust has been dropped, Ucatt said.

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Colleges cut services

THE HEADS of several sixth form colleges last week reported that funding cuts are forcing them to cut careers guidance, mentors, sports and even A-level courses.

From September, instead of 114 hours’ teaching per student per year of non-assessed “enrichment” subjects being funded, only 30 hours will be.

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Shell finds second oil leak

THE GIANT oil company Shell on Tuesday announced that it had found a second leak from an oil pipeline in the North Sea, while still trying to close the first revealed last week.

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Work assessment doctors be struck off?

THE GENERAL Medical Council, which licenses doctors to practice in Britain, is investigating 12 doctors employed by the private agency Atos to assess the potential work capability of long-term sickness and invalidity benefits.

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MPs may recall James Murdoch

THE HOUSE of Commons Culture Committee may recall a number of key News of the World executives, including James Murdoch, after evidence given was found to be contradictory.

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Bankruptcies rocket

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last Tuesday revealed a 78 per cent increase in members contacting them for support to declare themselves bankrupt, as a result of the Government’s failing economic policies.

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Rail fares to soar

RAIL commuters face a rise of eight per cent in ticket prices, set by a formula following the release of the July Retail Price Index figure, which was five per cent.

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Police condemn BNP and EDL vigilantes

ACTING Metropolitan Police Commissioner Tim Godwin last week issued a warning that vigilante patrols, following the recent rioting, could be hijacked by right-wing extremists.

And he named the British National Party and English Defence League as two organisations that might exploit the situation.

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International News

New US-South Korea military provocation

by Luis Chirino

SOUTH Korea and Washington kicked off joint annual military exercises aimed at fine-tuning their war strategies against north Korea, which condemned this action and stressed that the Korean Peninsula is facing its “worst risk” of a “large-scale war”.

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Bombings kill at least 76 in Iraq

by Juan Leandro

AT LEAST 76 people have been killed and over 180 others injured in a series of bombing attacks in different Iraqi cities as a wave of violence sweeps across the country.

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Germany’s economy grinds to a halt

GERMAN economic growth slowed to a near standstill in the second quarter of this year, dealing a further, unexpected blow to the crisis-hit eurozone.

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After 40 years: Army victim was innocent


A REPORT into the killing of a Belfast man shot dead by British soldiers 40 years ago has found that he was innocent.

Billy McKavanagh, 21, was shot dead in the Markets area of Belfast on 11th August 1971.

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People’s China Beichuan: a new beginning

by Aida Calviac Mora

BEICHUAN honours its dead with yellow chrysanthemums. Anyone arriving in this district in the north of the Chinese province of Sichuan, is obliged to observe a minute’s silence before the shocking ruins of the 12th May 2008 earthquake, and then turn his or her head to appreciate the people’s amazing capacity for reconstruction and a new beginning.

The people recount how that Monday the earth trembled mercilessly. According to official figures, the quake of 8.00 on the Richter scale left 68,712 dead and 17,291 missing in the province.

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Vietnam: ‘jazz is my language’


MUSICIAN Nguyen Le was born in Paris in 1959 to Vietnamese parents and has become a well-known musician in Europe, releasing a number of albums, including Tales from Viet Nam (1996). He has come to Vietnam to perform jazz combined with traditional melodies. Here he talks about his inspiration.

As a jazz musician, what makes music meaningful for you?

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Libya: the massacre, the cover-up

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE MAINSTREAM western media are curiously silent about Libya. Why could this be? We reveal some shocking facts, telling you where Nato’s money is being spent. While community programmes and being cut back in Europe, did our readers know that up to $100,000 per aircraft per hour is being wasted massacring children in Libya?

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US: Verizon strikers take on corporate giant

by Kathy Durkin

IN THE LARGEST US strike in four years, 45,000 union members took to the picket lines from Massachusetts to Virginia on 7th August after their contract with Verizon Communications expired. The courageous strikers, who belong to the Communication Workers of America union (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), refuse to go back to work until they have a decent contract.

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Australia: coal seam gas — a hot potato?

by Rob Gowland

A MAJOR contributing factor in the New South Wales Labour Party’s debacle at the last state election was the servile way Labour in NSW kow-towed to the interests of the coal industry. That mine owners’ profits took precedence over the concerns of the people was evident to everyone, and — added to the corruption and the pandering to property developers — brought about the rout of Labour at the polls.

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