National News

Police racism scandal grows

POLICE racism has not gone away at grass roots level and the higher ranks and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) are still dragging their heels and failing to deal with the problem, even when hard evidence is put in front of them.

Last weekend the case of a Metropolitan police officer, PC Alex MacFarlane, racially abusing and threatening a young black man arrested during last August’s riots was published by the Guardian newspaper.

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Mind chief quits Government panel

PAUL Farmer, the chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, last week resigned from the Government’s review panel for the Work Capability Assessment, responsible for the programme of assessing claimants of long-term sickness and disability benefits to see if they are fit enough for work and should have their benefits cut and be told to look for a job.

He explained why he quit on the Mind website:

“At Mind, we follow a simple model of how we work — we listen to what people with mental health problems are telling us, and then we seek to influence change so that people’s lives can be improved.

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‘A nation of suspects’

LIBERAL Democrat leaders are in deep discussion over plans announced by the Home Office last week to introduce new laws that would allow police and security services wholesale access to all personal electronic communications in Britain.

The Home Office says new laws to allow the monitoring of all emails, texts and web use in Britain will be brought in “as soon as parliamentary time allows”. The measure is expected to be introduced in the next Queen’s Speech due on 9th May.

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Cuts hit learning disabled

THE LEARNING Disability Coalition (LDC), a group of 14 charities, last week warned that people with learning disabilities are facing increasing isolation because of local authority cuts to support services.

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Low paid council workers cheated of pay rise

UNION leaders have accused ministers of reneging on a promise to give low-paid council workers a pay rise of £250.

Public service union Unison said the staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had not received the money.

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Selling off more council houses

PRIME Minister David Cameron last week announced a revival of Thatcher’s “right-to-buy” policy for council tenants by quadrupling the discount that tenants would get on the market price of their homes to £75,000.

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Forced labour

JOBSEEKERS who declined to take part in a “voluntary” work experience programme last month have been compelled to do up to four week unpaid work, according to documents release under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Kim Il Sung: A life to remember

by New Worker Correspondent

FRIENDS of Korea met at London’s historic Marx House last Saturday to celebrate the centenary of the birth of great leader Kim Il Sung with a panel of speakers who have all visited Democratic Korea over the years.

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Challenging hate and intolerance

by Andy Brooks

EVERYONE on the anti-fascist front knows about the regrettable split, late last year, between Searchlight and the Hope not Hate movement it founded in 2005 to mobilise opinion on the street against the British National Party (BNP). The row that led to the walk-out by the editor, Nick Lowles, and some other contributors, clearly revolved around the direction as well as the day-to-day running of the veteran anti-fascist magazine.

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International News

Spanish cuts mean war against the people

CAYO LARA, the leader of the United Left (IU), a communist-led parliamentary bloc, has denounced Spanish premier Mariono Rojoy and his 2012 Fiscal Budget, which he called a declaration of war against the people.

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Venezuelans urged to confront violence

VENEZUELA’S Communist Party (PCV) has called on the people to get ready to confront the opposition in all fields in view of their anticipated defeat in the presidential elections in October.

“We are thoroughly examining the ongoing plans of the pro-imperialist right for the elections of 7th October,” said Pedro Eusse, a member of the PCV Political Bureau, during the customary Monday press conference.

The candidates are President Hugo Chavez, seeking re-election to continue the process of reforms started in 1999, and opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski, who is backed by the country’s major economic, industrial groups and the United States.

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Timbuktu falls to Tuareg rebels

THE TUAREG rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) have captured Mali’s historic city of Timbuktu after taking two other important towns of Kidal and Gao in the north.

The rebels launched their offensive taking advantage of the chaos that followed the army coup on 22nd March. On 22nd March an army junta toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure claiming that he had failed to supply them with adequate weapons and equipment to fight the rebels.

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Russia will lose when air academy closes

by Sergei Balmasov

THE ZHUKHOV Air Defence Academy in Tver is closing its doors for the last time on 1st July. But the closure of the famous air defence training school may result in the loss of billions of dollars for the Russian government.

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Street dance festival in Havana

by Damian Donestevez

Old Havana will become a grand stage for the International Encounter of Dance in Urban Landscapes, packing museums and public spaces this week.

The large street dance party will gather hundreds of dancers, artists and choreographers, who are scheduled to interact with Havana’s

inhabitants, passers-by and visitors. Architecture and movement unite in an event that also encourages the exchange of ideas and artistic experiences through master classes, lectures, workshops and performances.

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The people’s truth in Colombia — 55 years of La Voz

Carlos Lozano is the editor of the Colombian Communist Party’s weekly newspaper La Voz. It has a wide readership and, in one of the many contradictions in that beautiful but politically oppressed country, it can be seen on sale by street corner merchants all over the capital of Bogotá and elsewhere. Bob Briton from the Australian communist weekly, the Guardian, met Carlos during a recent visit to Colombia and recorded this interview about its 55th anniversary and political developments in the country.

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Malvinas / Falklands: the Islands with two names

by Silvio González

OSCAR WILDE, the great novelist, poet and one of the most famous playwrights of the Victorian era, talking about the Falklands said: “its the land of tin roofs, sheep, and not much else”.

The truth is that most people in the world don’t even know where or what is going on with this archipelago since it was first explored by the mastermind of the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin.

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