National News

Judge saves London fire engines — for now

A HIGH Court judge last week granted an adjournment, delaying applications to wind up AssetCo, the private company that owns the fire engines used by the London and Lincoln fire brigades.

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Met drops demand for Guardian’s sources

THE METROPOLITAN Police last Tuesday “decided not to pursue” its ill-judged attempt to use the Official Secrets Act to force the Guardian newspaper to divulge its sources on the phone hacking scandal.

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EMA cut deters students

THERE has been a fall in the number of enrolments at colleges this year following the abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), according to the Association of Colleges.

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PFI contracts block

THE GOVERNMENT’S flagship policy of urging schools to declare themselves academies, independent of local education authorities is being blocked by banks refusing where it is unclear if the local authorities will still be responsible for paying existing and new private finance initiative deals.

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Basildon council laid the concrete at Dale Farm

RAY BOCKING, the retired scrap metal dealer who sold his land at Dale Farm 10 years ago to the traveller community who now face eviction under planning laws, last week revealed that the concrete flooring at the site was originally laid by Basildon council.

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Fujitsu workers pay victory

MEMBERS of the PCS civil service union employed by the IT firm Fujitsu on Government projects last week won a major pay deal after threatening strike action.

An 11 per cent increase for the lowest paid has been agreed for private sector IT staff on Government contracts.

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Construction workers’ pay cut protest

CONSTRUCTION workers facing a 30 per cent pay cut because rogue employers are tearing up long held national agreements, staged a demonstration Farringdon station early on Wednesday morning.

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Child obesity programme cut

OVERWEIGHT children in many parts of London will no longer be helped by the Mend weight-loss programme because trusts can no longer afford to keep the scheme going.

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Keep religion out of government!

by New Worker correspondent

MILITANT atheists took to the streets of London last Saturday for a march and rally in the capital calling for an end to religious privileges and for European institutions to remain secular.

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The Hidden Hand at work

Reviewed by Andy Brooks

The Poisoned Well: Sean Kelly; NCP pamphlet £2.00

COLD WAR propaganda and Trotskyist dogma would have us believe that everyone arrested during the Soviet purges of the 1930s was innocent.

Western pundits would regularly portray the Soviet secret service as an incompetent and brutal instrument of terror and in the same breath charge it with organising legions of dupes in the western world for espionage purposes or to ferment civil unrest.

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International News

A President for all Ireland

A MILESTONE has been marked this month with Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis held in Belfast for the very first time since the party was founded in 1905.

Sinn Féin is the only truly all-Ireland party and delegates from all of the 32 counties at the party’s annual conference continue the drive for a united Ireland and a New Republic.

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Afghan president condemns Rabbani killing

by Abdul Haleem in Kabul

FORMER Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani has been killed in a suicide bombing. The former Mujahidin leader, who was president from 1992 until he was ousted by the Taliban movement in 1996, was head of the High Peace Council set up last year by the Karzai government to try to broker a settlement with the Taliban militia.

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Teachers walk out in Madrid

Xinhua news agency

OVER 21,000 secondary school teachers from state schools in Madrid began a two-day strike on Tuesday.

The teachers are angry at spending cuts imposed by the regional authority, which the labour unions have described as “a brutal attack on public education”. This attack includes the “decision to not contract 3,200 classroom helpers, the suppression of tutorial hours and compensation classes, a reduction in English, Maths and Spanish classes and the failure to impart classes in laboratories in physics, chemistry and biology”.

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Italian debt rating cut

by Ed Newman

ITALY has had its sovereign debt rating cut by Standard & Poor’s, the latest move in a deepening European debt crisis. S&P cut its rating one level to A/A-1 from A+/A-1+, adding that the outlook for the country was “negative”.

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Operation Peter Pan: a monstrous CIA campaign

by Lino Luben Pérez

OVER 14,000 families were deceived by a monstrous US propaganda campaign called Operation Peter Pan, which was strongly denounced at the time by the leader of the Revolution. “It is the most outrageous lie organised by the extreme right wing”, said Fidel Castro on 19th September 1961.

The campaign, which wanted people to believe that Cuban authorities were going to strip the rights of the parents over their children, dates back to 26th October when Radio Swan began to broadcast a series of alarming reports on the issue.

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Cuba and Venezuela are not the Middle East

by Javier Salado

RECENT events in the Middle East, characterised by popular revolts that occurred in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, and the participation of the special services of the Western world in Libya and Syria infiltrating provocateurs, weapons, means and money, much money, in each country, have encouraged the hopes of the planners of US policy towards Venezuela and Cuba.

The fall of the governments of Yemen and Egypt, the relentless attacks of Nato against Libya authorised by a Security Council resolution, which the United Nations did not take long in breaking, have cost tens of thousands of innocent lives. These methods — which peaked with the consequent collapse of the Lebanese government — have aroused the greed to employ similar tactics in warm Caribbean waters.

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US moves to blunt support for Palestine

by Deirdre Griswold

UNITED STATES imperialism is once again manoeuvring to counter growing world support for the Palestinian struggle. Its primary motive is to protect the interests of US capital in the Middle East, which centre around, but are not restricted to, exploitation of the fabulous oil wealth in the area.

Its main military ally in the region is the small but highly armed state of Israel. The Tel Aviv regime has fought many wars against surrounding Arab countries since it seized control of most of Palestine in 1948 with the blessings of US and European imperialism.

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