National News

GMB demands Carillion heads must roll

THE GMB general union last week demanded that heads must roll at Carillion, the company involved in a private finance initiative contract at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, and Carillion must agree to proper representation for GMB members to enable issues to be tackled at source to ensure sharp practices do not happen again.

The workers employed by Carillion — cleaners, porters and catering staff — staged 18 days of strikes in February and March in protest at bullying, intimidation and demands for “gifts” to secure workers basic rights such as holidays.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Private profits drain Hinchingbrooke hospital

THE PUBLIC sector union Unison last week warned that some of its worst fears were coming true over NHS privatisation, as it was revealed that Circle, the private company that has taken over the running of Hinchingbrooke hospital, will cream off 44 per cent of the hospital’s surpluses.

This will hit patients and staff as drastic cuts will have to be made to health services and jobs.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Unions join forces for 10th May strike

THE CIVIL service union PCS is leading the a coalition of public sector unions, including Unite, the Universities and College Union in a third one-day general strike against Government plans to raise the pension age of their members and increase pension contributions while cutting the pension that will be paid.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Landlords ‘evicting tenants’ to make Olympic profit

THE HOUSING charity and pressure organisation Shelter last week reported a surge in tenants in east London are being evicted from their homes as landlords attempt to cash in on the Olympics.

Shelter says it has seen more evidence of landlords acting unscrupulously and evicting people illegally.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The May elections: the view across the border

from our Scottish political correspondent

WITH HIS usual hyperbole George Galloway described last week’s local elections in Scotland as Labour’s Stalingrad following their defeat at the hands of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the elections to the Edinburgh Parliament last year. The Scottish exile who now sits in the Westminster parliament as the Respect MP for Bradford West went on to claim that Labour’s success “may be the turning of the tide against separatism in Scotland”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Deportation of gay man halted

ATTEMPTS by the UK Border Agency to deport Ediage Valerie Ekwedde to Cameroon were halted last week after he refused to board a flight from London to Paris.

Homosexuality is criminalised in Cameroon and campaigners say Ekwedde’s life would be in danger there.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

BAA queues prove cuts are not working

FIGURES released last week by the British Airports Authority show passenger waiting targets were regularly missed at Heathrow, proving the cuts are not working.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The issues of the last few days bring to the public’s attention what we have said for a long time, that you can’t cut staff and expect to run the same service.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

EDL humiliated in Luton

THE ISLAMOPHOBIC English Defence League last Saturday could only summon up a poor turnout of around 1,500 for a national rally in what it regards as its home town — Luton, where their leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson lives.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

First strike by dockers at Tilbury since 1989

THE FIRST strike by dockers at Tilbury in Essex since 1989 was held on Monday 7th May, protesting at the arbitrary introduction of new contracts.

The 45 employees of the Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) — members of Unite, the country’s largest union — staged a 24-hour strike from 10.00pm on Monday 7th May until 10.00pm Tuesday 8th May.

The workers were protesting over the company’s decision to introduce a “follow the ship” contract. This means that staff work when the ships are ready for unloading, and not to set shift patterns.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Count begins in Syrian poll

Xinhua news agency

AS SYRIA prepares to announce the results of its first parliamentary elections under the new constitution, the United Nations-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan expressed “profound concern” that Syria might descend into a full civil war.

The count began on Tuesday, a day after Syrians cast their votes for more than 7,000 candidates vying for the 250-seat parliament.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

New ‘Unity Government’ for Israel

by Ed Newman

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a revamped coalition government on Tuesday, forming a broad alliance with the chief opposition party that could mean further intransigence toward the Palestinians.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Putin’s international challenges

Radio Havana Cuba

VLADIMIR Putin, the country’s most popular politician and father of “New Russia”, a national project successfully launched after Boris Yeltsin’s disastrous years, officially returned to the presidential office on Monday.

He’s not the only political figure to possess great support in Russia but perhaps he is the only one who has the clearest insight into how the Russian political and economic elite and the strings of power function, as he was prime minister twice and now president for the third time.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

The Nobel Peace Prize winner

by Fidel Castro

I SHALL barely talk about the Cuban people, who swept away United States domination of their homeland when the imperialist system had reached the peak of its power.

Men and women of all ages could be seen marching through the most emblematic plazas of the country’s provinces on May Day. Our Revolution arose in the place least expected by the Empire, in a hemisphere where it acted as absolute master.

Cuba was the last country to liberate itself from the Spanish colonial yoke and the first to shake off the odious imperialist tutelage.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Pravda turns one hundred!

by a Revolutionary Democracy correspondent

PRAVDA, the paper started by Lenin in 1912 from St Petersburg, played a vital role in the revolutionary struggle of the Bolsheviks, during their fight against not only the Czars but also against the Mensheviks, and all sorts of revisionist and anti-Marxist tendencies. After the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution it played a very important role in Stalin’s fight against the Trotskyists and all other such anti-Marxist revisionists.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


But who will convict the Nato war criminals?

by Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire

CHARLES Taylor, former rebel leader and head of state in the West African country of Liberia, was convicted on 26th April by the Special Tribunal on Sierra Leone. The court, held in the Netherlands, was ostensibly set up by the United Nations in conjunction with the Sierra Leone government.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Dissidents, Guantánamo, hype and hypocrisy

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE KEY words for the United States, its lackeys and the western media it controls are “dissident”, “Chinese”, “blind” and “lawyer”, the latter being an interesting choice for a nation which controls the Guantánamo Bay concentration camp, which provides an example of human rights abuses, breach of every fibre of international law and common decency.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Chinese in Cuba’s struggle for freedom

by RaúlI García

IN THE mid-19th century, as the abolition of the slave trade spread throughout the Atlantic, the Spanish colonial regime in Cuba was faced with a shrinking slave labour supply and turned to Chinese immigrants for the labour power it needed.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

I want Rangers to survive

An Irish Celtic supporter’s shocking confession...

by Paul Hogan

I AM SURE Celtic manager Neil Lennon would prefer to win a league without the lame excuse of a Rangers points deduction more or less handing the trophy to him on a plate.

Celtic supporters (and there are plenty of them on this side of the Irish Sea despite our obsession with English soccer) are fixated by the horror story engulfing Rangers Football Club that has practically gifted Neil Lennon and The Hoops the 2011/12 Scottish Premier League title.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]