National News

Double victory for We Are Waltham Forest

by New Worker correspondent

MORE THAN 1,000 antifascists gathered in the centre of Waltham Forest last Saturday to celebrate the non-appearance of the violent thugs of the Islamophobic English Defence League.

The EDL had been banned from holding a second march in Walthamstow after the first, on 1st September, was blocked from completing its course by thousands of local residents representing all sections of the very diverse local community.

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Inquiry into deaths at Carillion hospital

HERTFORDSHIRE NHS authorities have launched an inquiry into two deaths of NHS patients at the Surgicentre, which is owned by Clinicenta, a subsidiary of the building firm Carillion. It claims to offer “cost effective” care.

Local general practitioners are advising patients against choosing to have their operations there and the local NHS regards the deaths as serious incidents.

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Pensioners rally in Westminster

HUNDREDS of pensioners from all over Britain descended on Westminster on Wednesday to lobby their MPS to defend universal pensioner benefits like the bus pass and the winter fuel allowance.

The lobby was organised by the National Pensioners’ Convention (NPC) to address the suggestions that have been made by the Liberal Democrat deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Tory backbencher Nick Boles and Labour’s Liam Byrne that these benefits should in future be means-tested.

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Teachers fined for doing their job

MEMBERS of the teaching unions NUT and Nasuwt at Stratford Academy in Newham took strike action last Thursday over punitive fines that had been unfairly imposed on them by the school’s governing body.

Following a lawful national ballot, teachers at Stratford Academy, like the overwhelming majority of teachers right across the country, are making a stand against undertaking tasks that distract them from their core role of teaching, and which do not require their skills as qualified teachers.

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Rangers fans to fund Irish Famine memorial

by Mark Moloney

A MEMORIAL in Glasgow to the victims of the Great Irish Famine has received the backing of the Rangers Supporters’ Assembly (RSA) who have pledged to help fund the project.

RSA President Andy Kerr said: “The Irish Famine was a terrible tragedy for the whole of that island and also had an effect in the north of Scotland.

“It did not discriminate on the grounds of gender, age or religion and we think it is absolutely fitting that a memorial remembers those who suffered as a result.”

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DIY activism in practice

by Anton Johnson

TWO WEEKS ago the London Queer Social Centre was opened in a disused building in Kennington, south London by a group of young LGBTQ activists called House of Brag.

These activists recognised that there is no social space where LGBTQ people can now go outside the commercial scene venues, which are orientated to drugs and exclude many LGBTQ people in these days of austerity simply by the high admission charge.

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International News

Hurricane Sandy hits Cuba

by Pedro Otero

PRESIDENT Raul Castro met local communist and regional leaders in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba last Sunday to assess the situation in the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, which hit the eastern part of Cuba last week killing 11 people and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

So far the losses are estimated at $ 2.1 billion, though the figure is likely to increase after the assessment of the damage is concluded in the sectors of tourism, sugar, and construction.

Houses were badly hit. Some 15,000 houses collapsed and 43,000 roofs were totally destroyed.

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The man who wanted Fidel out at any cost

by Paulo Nogueira

WAR HERO, skilled diplomat and master planner.

These were some of the epitaphs to General Lyman Lemnitzer in the New York Times obituary for the four star general who died in 1988 at the age of 89.

But there is another far less admirable side to Lemnitizer. Lemnitzer was Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the United States, the most powerful position in the American military hierarchy. He was in his position when John F Kennedy took office in 1961.

Lemnitizer despised Kennedy. He thought him a weak, easy prey for the Soviets in the Cold War. He likened him to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who failed to deal with Hitler and was eventually replaced by Churchill.

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Veteran Indian general accuses government of corruption

Radio Havana Cuba

FORMER Indian Army chief, General V K Singh, who has joined social activist Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption, launched a scathing attack on the Indian government.

Demanding the immediate dissolution of India's parliament, the retired army general said the government is "anti-people" and that it is "bending" before the corporations. He also demanded immediate elections in the country.

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Ukraine's ruling party wins again

Xinhua news agency

UKRAINE’S ruling Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych clinched victory in the parliamentary elections last weekend. The Party of Regions garnered 30.53 per cent of the votes while the "Fatherland" Party of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko came off second best winning 25.16 per cent of the votes.

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Bonds of friendship between Cuba and Algeria

Radio Havana Cuba

RELATIONS between Cuba and Africa are historical and friendly; the two countries have stood together for over 50 years and are an example of solidarity and mutually beneficial links between southern countries.

It was in Algeria where Cuba opened its pages of internationalism and solidarity, when in May 1963, a group of 50 doctors reached those distant lands to provide health care.

Shortly after, Cuba responded to an Algerian request for military to help its defence against foreign aggression.

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The US State Department in Berkshire!

by Neil Harris

THE JIMMY Savile affair has shown how easy it was for a dishonest and manipulative man to use the BBC as a cover for his sinister activities. Unfortunately for the last 65 years, the corporation has been happy to allow its name to be used as cover by an organisation which operates with the same characteristics as Savile but to far more deadly effect.

This October a series of enigmatic job advertisements appeared in the national press for “An office of the US Embassy London based in Berkshire”; seeking “Current Affairs Officers” specialising in Russian, Middle East or Iranian Current Affairs. Paying from £27,000 to £34,000 a year, these required good languages, including an ability to translate into English combined with writing skills and knowledge of the new media. For the Russian posts fluency in “Central Asian and/ or Caucasus languages” would be desirable, while the Middle East/Iranian posts need a “working fluency in Arabic or Persian”.

Applications were invited to “London”, which are, of course, our old friends in the US State Department, except in this case, the story doesn’t end there. Even though the Middle East, Iran and Russia are high on the State Department’s wish list for regime change, these “Current Affairs Officers” will find that they are working for a different outfit altogether.

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Winners and losers

by Rob Gowland

CHARLIE Brown, in the comic strip Peanuts, was once admonishing his baseball team that they had to win because “no one remembers the runners up”, at which point Linus (ever a thorn in his side) pipes up, saying “I do Charley Brown”. He then goes on to list, going backwards from that year, all the teams that filled the minor placings in the League. Poor Charley Brown, who can never catch a break, just stares at Linus, muttering: “Good Grief” under his breath.

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