National News

Challenging the church over money changers

FOUR WOMEN chained themselves to the base of the pulpit in St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London last Saturday, interrupting an evensong service to mark the anniversary of the start of the Occupy encampment outside the cathedral last year.

Tanya Paton of Occupy Faith had been invited to read a prayer at the service. When she finished the four women — Siobhan Grimes, Josie Reid, Tammy Semede and Alison Playford — got up and chained themselves to the base of the pulpit.

They announced a list of grievances against the cathedral and its relations with the neighbouring London Stock Exchange, accusing the cathedral authorities of colluding with banks and failing to help the poor.

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The corporate tax dodgers

THE HIGH street coffee chain Starbucks, part of an international giant making billions, is accused of paying only £8.6 million in taxes in Britain over the last 14 years, and none at all in the last three years.

The accusation came after a four-month investigation by the news agency Reuters. According to this investigation, Starbucks generated £398 million in sales in Britain last year but paid no corporation tax.

It found Starbucks had made over £3 billion in sales in Britain since 1998 but had paid less than one per cent in corporation tax.

Starbucks reported losses on its activity in Britain so did not have to pay corporation tax, but told investors that it was “profitable”.

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Families of disabled ‘at breaking point’

THE CHARITY Scope last Monday published a report revealing that sixty-two per cent of the families of disabled children are not getting the support and services they need.

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Unqualified home care workers

MORE THAN 200 companies contracted to provide care for the elderly and disabled in their own homes are using staff who have no qualifications according to research by the BBC’s Inside Out programme.

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Disabled Scots spared Atos

THOUSANDS of disabled Scots are to be spared Atos assessments regarding their personal independent payments after a “humiliating climbdown” by the firm and a campaign by the Scottish newspaper, the Record.

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Ex-military officers join arms companies

AROUND 3,500 senior military officers have left the services to find second careers working for arms companies within the last 16 years, according to a report in Tuesday’s Guardian.

The report comes after the exposure of a “jobs for generals” scandal on Sunday that led to the resignation of the president of the Royal British Legion, Lieutenant- General Sit John Kiszely, who was trapped by a newspaper lobbying sting.

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Cop in court

POLICE Constable Alex MacFarlane appeared in Southwark Crown Court last week on charges of racially aggravated intentional harassment in an incident shortly after the August 2011 riots, in which the victim recorded police remarks on his mobile phone.

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Poverty wages for Londoners

LONDON has always been a city where great wealth and opulence has lived side by side with great poverty and deprivation and this divide is widening according to the charity Trust for London, which reports that one in five London workers get poverty wages.

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International News

Situation in Spain worsens by the day

Radio Havana Cuba

TRAPPED in the perverse cycle of a so called austerity programme for two years, the Spanish people have turned the streets of their country into a real hotbed of social protest.

Cuts in social budgets and worker’s wages that began in May 2010 under the social-democrat government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero have given way to even tougher measures implemented by conservative Mariano Rajoy, after he took power in December 2011.

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Norodom Sihanouk

1922 — 2012

Xinhua news agency

NORODOM Sihanouk was born in Phnom Penh on 31st October 1922. He was the son of King Norodom Suramarit.

He held many positions in his life and he was a key figure in Cambodian politics for over six decades. He was also an old friend of China and strove to develop and strengthen Cambodia-China relations.

One month after China and Cambodia established diplomatic relations in July 1958, Sihanouk led a delegation to visit China. He visited several provinces across the country, accompanied by Premier Zhou Enlai. At the same time China launched an aid project to Cambodia.

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Turkey steps up anti-Syrian campaign

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SYRIAN troops continued their drive against imperialist-backed rebel gangs in Aleppo and the Damascus countryside, destroying anti-aircraft guns and other weapons supplied to the rebels by the Nato powers and their feudal Arab lackeys.

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Solidarity with Romani people across Europe

by G Dunkel

RESPONDING to a call from the European Grassroots Anti-racist Movement to reject the racism, discrimination and prejudice against the Romani people, protest marches expressing Roma Pride took place on 7th October in France, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Poland, Ukraine, England, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

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When the US gave shelter to USSR's first air terrorists

by Andrey Mikhailov

On 15th October 1970 two Lithuanians, Pranas Brazinskas and his son Algirdas, hijacked an Aeroflot An-24 passenger plane over the Soviet Caucasus. They killed a flight attendant and injured three crew members. It was the first case of so-called air terrorism in the history of the Soviet Union. The criminals avoided the punishment that they deserved. The father and son found shelter in Turkey and then in the United States. The story did not have a happy ending, though.

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Features

Spain: finding work in times of crisis

Xinhua news agency

YOLANDA de Pedro, a former employee at an employment agency in Spain, knows the downturn in the job market after, ironically, losing her job too three months ago.

"More or less, I have sent out 40 CV’s, from which I got three interviews," she said adding that for the moment she was still focusing in what had been her previous area of employment.

"I also leave CV's in other companies, I write to them, or look at places where there are signs on the window, advertising a position, but above all, I use the internet," she said.

Last week saw the publication of the latest unemployment figures for Spain and they made unpleasant reading for the government of Mariano Rajoy and for anyone trying to find a job in the country.

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12,000 South African miners fired as strikes spread

by Abayomi Azikiwe

FOR TWO MONTHS wildcat and official strikes have taken place in South Africa. There have been industrial actions in the platinum, gold, iron ore and transportation sectors of the economy, Africa’s largest industrial sectors.

On 5th October in response to the escalating labour unrest, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s largest platinum producer, sacked 12,000 of the 28,000 workers who had been off the job for several weeks. Management said the workers were terminated when they refused to appear at a disciplinary hearing. However the mine workers said they are determined to continue the struggle to regain their jobs with wage increases.

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Arsenio Rodríguez maestro of the Cuban tres

by Rafael Lam

THE WORLD is celebrating the centennial of Cuban tres player Arsenio Rodríguez, a master of music in the Americas, a pioneer who created a new form of Afro-Cuban son, and a founder of the ensembles known as conjuntos in the 1940s that modernised this musical genre.

Rodríguez did not have an easy life, it was one marked by tragedy. Blinded in childhood, he struggled with diabetes and battled loneliness in the cold of New York. Motivated by very complicated financial and family problems, he began living in that US city in 1950.

But life is about more than problems. Rodríguez found satisfaction in music. He knew that he was one of the “fathers” of Cuban son, and was admired and followed by musicians and dancers alike.

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