National News

‘Not in the same library’

THE NATIONAL Union of Teachers and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers — the two biggest teaching unions in Britain, at their annual conferences last weekend voted to continue the battle to defend their pensions.

And they voted to continue coordinating their industrial action with other public sector unions in the joint union battle that last 30th November saw more than two million public sector workers on strike together.

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Tax credit changes hit families

AROUND 200,000 families face losing a large chunk of their incomes as Government changes to eligibility for working tax credits, leaving many in a situation where they would be better off if they lost their jobs and lived entirely on benefits.

The changes, which came into force on Friday 6th April, will hit in particular parents who are working part-time as they will have to work a minimum of 24 hours-a-week now instead of 16 to qualify for working tax credits.

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Met faces growing race abuse crisis

THE METROPOLITAN Police force is facing increasing criticism after the number of police suspended in connection with instances of racist language and abuse rose to eight last week.

Now a secret Met report has emerged that called for senior police chiefs to take a much tougher stance to stop officers discriminating against black people and warning that failure to do so would lead to a loss of confidence in the police by the black community.

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Pot luck on pensions

THE GOVERNMENT last week announced that it was looking into new types of pension schemes for all workers as a way of doing away with final-salary pensions, which the Government claims are too expensive because workers are living too long.

Most private sector pension schemes have long abandoned final-salary schemes — after companies habitually raided their pension funds to finance other things and boost profits.

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The meanest minds

THE CENTRE for Economics and Business Research, a think-tank, last week called for bank holidays in Britain to be scrapped — or seriously reduced — claiming that each bank holiday costs Britain’s economy £2.3 billion and scrapping them all would increase annual output by £19 billion.

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International News

BRICS to end dollar rule


THE BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in late March held a summit in New Delhi, which can be considered the beginning of a new global financial and political order.

In five years this world will be unrecognisable. The Anglo-Saxon model of governance of the world that flourished in the 1990s is losing its way and is being replaced by the Sino-Russian one.

The Yuan came close to international recognition, and with the adoption of Brazil and India into the UN Security Council the West will lose its political hegemony.

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DPRK prepares satellite launch

Korea News Service Agency

ROUND-table talks between officials of the Korean Committee for Space Technology (KCST) and foreign experts in the field of space science and technology and reporters from various countries were held at Yanggakdo International Hotel on Tuesday as regards the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s planned first application satellite launch.

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Spain cuts health and education

FOCUS information Agency

SPANISH Minister for the Economy and Competition Luis de Guindos on Tuesday defended the government’s plans to make cutbacks of around 10 billion euros in the country’s education and health services, Xinhua reports.

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Nato moves to encircle China

PRIME Minister David Cameron last week travelled to Japan to seal an unprecedented arms deal as part of a programme of increasing western imperialist expansion in south-east Asia and the Pacific rim.

Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda agreed the deal to develop a new weapons programme that would “contribute to both our countries’ security and peaceful intent”. This is the first time Japan has agreed such a deal with any country except the United States.

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The wonderful world of capitalism

by Fidel Castro

THE search for political truth will always be a difficult task, even in our times when science has placed a large body of knowledge in our hands. One of the most significant aspects of this scientific knowledge has been learning of and studying the fabulous power of energy contained in matter.

The discoverer of this energy and its potential use was a peaceful and good-natured man who, in spite of his repudiation of violence and war, sought its development in the United States, during the Presidency of Franklin D Roosevelt, who was known to have an anti-fascist position, and the leader of a capitalist country in deep crisis, which he had contributed to saving with strong measures which earned him the hatred of the extreme right wing of his own class.

Read the full story here >> The wonderful world of capitalism

The mercenaries who war in Syria

by Altamiro Borges

THE SYRIAN National Council, an institution that brings together groups opposed to President Bashar Al-Assad, announced this weekend that the rebel soldiers in the country will be paid with financial assistance from “Western nations”.

The decision, taken at a conference in Turkey, proves what everyone already knew: there is foreign interference in an internal conflict.

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Tibet to spend 1.5 billion yuan building roads to monasteries

Xinhua news agency

SOUTHWEST China’s Tibet autonomous region will earmark 1.5 billion yuan (238 million US dollars) on road construction for easier access to the region’s monasteries, traffic authorities said Sunday.

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Grand opening ceremony kicks off Hue Festival 2012

THOUSANDS of domestic and foreign visitors attended a grand opening ceremony of Hue Festival 2012 at the Imperial City of Dai Noi, Vietnam, inside Hue Citadel on 7th April.

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The Ruling Class, Fascism and the State

Part one

by Neil Harris

IT IS nearly a century since fascism first appeared in Italy, and yet it is as misunderstood now as it was then. That the story of Hitler and the Nazis’ rise to power are such a major part of the history taught in our schools makes this a concern, because the confusion is no accident. It is a version of history that is acceptable to the ruling class and follows a simple but flawed narrative of the 20th century, namely that the great depression of the 1930’s produced two challenges to bourgeois democracy and capitalism: from the left, communism and from the right, fascism.

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