National News

PCS calls for ban on EDL action

THE CIVIL service union PCS last week lodged its objections to a planned demonstration by members and supporters of the far-right Islamophobic English Defence League outside the Home Office on Tuesday 17th April.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May to ask her to honour a commitment given by one of her predecessors to ensure that “such demonstrations are not allowed to take place near Home Office property”.

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Met officer faces racism charge

POLICE Constable Alex McFarlane, whose words of racist abuse were recorded by his victim and later published by the Guardian newspaper and on the internet, is to be charged with racially abusing the young black man.

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Fracking gets Government approval

FRACKING — a controversial method of extracting natural gas from the earth — has been given official permission to go ahead, monitored by a panel of experts, even though it is liable to cause minor earthquakes.

The fracking — or fracturing — process involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to cause a fracture in the rock and release the gas. It is a cheap method of extraction but has already led to two earth tremors near Blackpool last year.

In the United States this method has also led to ground water supplies being contaminated with gas and liable to burst into flames or explode as it emerges from household taps. Test fracking (short for “fracturing”) by the Cuadrilla company near Blackpool stopped in 2011 when two earthquakes were felt at the surface.

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‘We are all Hana Shalabi’

HUNDREDS of members and supporters of Palestine Solidarity last Tuesday marched on BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow for the second time within a month to protest at the continued media silence over the mass Palestinian hunger strikes ongoing in Israel jails. This time they occupied the BBC building.

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Greenwash Gold

HUMAN rights and environmental campaigns joined forces last Tuesday to launch Greenwash Gold 2012 — a campaign against three major corporate sponsors of the 2012 Olympics. Gold 2012.

And one of the leading campaigners is Meredith Alexander, appointed as “Ethics Csar” for the Olympics, who resigned that position after the official approval of controversial sponsors.

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International News

WFTU supports Palestine protests

TODAY in Israeli prisons there are 4,600 Palestinians imprisoned militants. Of these:

Among the prisoners there are great Palestinians and Arab militants who have dedicated their lives to the struggle of the Palestinian People to get their own independent homeland.

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) from the first day of its establishment is firmly on the side of the Palestinian People.

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Castro on Cartagena

Prensa Latina

CUBAN REVOLUTION leader Fidel Castro described as courageous the speeches of some of the speakers attending the Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia last week.

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China-India consensus

Xinhua news agency

THE FOREIGN ministers of China and India reached consensus here last Friday on bilateral relations and several international and regional issues.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi recalled the meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa group of countries) summit in March, when the two leaders reached consensus on relations between the countries.

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Iran continues to supply oil to Greece and Spain

Xinhua news agency

THE MANAGER of International Affairs of Iran’s National Oil Company said Iran has not stopped oil exports to Greece and Spain, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Wednesday.

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One law for all in China

Xinhua news agency

THE CHINESE central authorities’ decision to investigate Bo Xilai’s serious discipline violations has won wide support for safeguarding the rule of law as well as the purity of the Party.

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US drones for the Cocos Islands

by Bob Briton

IT WAS LEFT to the United States media to tell Australians about the war preparations being made above their heads by the Gillard Government.

The Washington Post broke the story last week that US and Australian officials have been discussing the rapid expansion of the US military presence in South-East Asia and the Indian Ocean including the stationing of pilotless drones on the Cocos Islands.

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The dangers of drilling for oil in the Arctic

THE ENVIRONMENTALIST group Greenpeace has for the last two years been ringing alarm bells over the dangers of drilling for oil in Arctic waters.

Two of Greenpeace’s activists, Steve Morgan and Leiv Eriksson have been monitoring the situation and sent a report from their rig off the coast of Greenland:

“The Arctic is the last great wilderness on Earth and one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. Drilling there will almost certainly lead to oils spills, and would be devastating for the people, polar bears, walrus, seals, caribou or any of the other amazing creatures who lives depend on the arctic environment.

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The Ruling Class, Fascism and the State

Part two of two

by Neil Harris

IT IS a commonly held view that fascism appeared because of the imminent threat of revolution, this is also not the case. Certainly, the Italy of 1919 gave every appearance of a country on the brink of revolution; on August 30th 1919 some 500,000 workers were occupying their factories and demanding workers control. During this wave of unrest over a million would become involved, including peasants demanding land reform, some of whom would actually seize the land they had worked for generations, but did not own.

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