National News

Too many women locked up

HUNDREDS of women are being wrongly imprisoned, according a report published last week by the campaign group Women in Prison, in contradiction of international standards laid down by the United Nations.

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Fighting for a bigger slice

FIVE HUNDRED workers at the Greencore cake factory in Hull took strike action this Wednesday in protest at wage cuts of up to £2,000 a year made at the end of last year and which have not been reversed, in defiance of an industrial tribunal ruling.

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Final salary pensions disappearing

THE CLOSURE of final salary private sector occupational pensions is accelerating, according to figures released last week by the National Association of Pension Funds.

Its annual survey found that only 13 per cent of final- salary schemes were open to new joiners, down from 19 per cent in 2011.

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Six charged after attack on Liverpool anti-fascists

SIX MEN were charged with violent disorder last weekend after they attacked an anti-fascist fund-raising event in Liverpool city centre in July last year.

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UKIP backs BNP bid for Euro cash

THE EUROPHOBIC United Kingdom Independence Party has given its support to the British National Party in its efforts to secure hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash, branding moves to block funding for Nick Griffin’s fascists “dangerous and undemocratic”.

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Jobs saved for low-paid jobcentre

THE THREAT of compulsory redundancy for 43 low-paid jobcentre and benefits staff has been lifted after the civil service union PCS reached an agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions.

PCS members in DWP had voted for industrial action but, after what officials described as “very constructive discussions”, the compulsory redundancy notices have been withdrawn.

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G4S policing deal collapses

PLANS to outsource policing services, involving the Lincolnshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces, collapsed last week as Police and Crime Commissioners rejected it.

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Nursery staffing cuts endorsed

THE GOVERNMENT last week changed the mandatory ratios between staff and children in childcare nurseries to allow fewer staff to look after more children.

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Tower Hamlets bans blacklisters

A LABOUR motion to ban the London Borough of Tower Hamlets giving contracts to companies that have been engaged in illegal blacklisting of workers, and have so far failed to pay compensation to the workers victimised by this, was passed with all-party support.

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Wage-cut housing association faces strike

STAFF working for One Housing, one of London’s largest housing associations, are balloting for strike action after having their wages cut arbitrarily.

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Honouring those who stood up to the Nazis

by New Worker correspondent

BARONESS Julia Neuberger, the senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue, last Sunday called people to remember the Holocaust and all its victims by refusing to allow any section of human society to be defined as “different”, or “other” — the precursor to discrimination, prejudice and oppression that paved the way for the Holocaust to happen.

She was speaking to the packed Amigo Hall, part of the complex of buildings that is St George’s Roman Catholic Church in Southwark, which is just across the road from the Imperial War Museum.

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Les Miserables — not so glum after all!

reviewed by Carole Barclay

This month saw the opening of the film based on the stage version, which was adapted to the big screen by Director Tom Hooper of The King’s Speech fame. Hooper’s vision made £8.1 million in Britain in its first weekend, beating the previous record for a musical held by Mama Mia (£6.62 million).

Being a huge fan of “Les Mis” and lucky enough to catch some of the filming at Greenwich Naval College, I was hugely anticipating this and it has certainly lived up to my expectations.

Tom Hooper’s adaptation is simply stunning from the cinematography to the beautiful close ups of the actors singing live on screen, the first time this approach has been used in a film musical to this extent and which certainly adds to the raw emotion of the piece. It is a visual masterpiece.

Les Miserables (PG-13) is on general release at a cinema near you.

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International News

Our lives are worth more that Mittal’s profits

ArcelorMittal steelworkers in Belgium clashed with police during a protest against some 1,300 planned job losses in the company’s plants in the province of Liege this week. Riot police used tear gas and water cannon to break up the demonstration. The Workers Party of Belgium (PTB) has issued the following statement.

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Egypt explodes in new wave of violence

by Xelcis Presno

CLASHES between anti- government protesters and security forces in nationwide demonstrations marking the second anniversary of Egypt’s political upheaval have left seven people killed and 456 injured. Six protesters were killed during clashes in Suez, while another one was killed in Ismailia.

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Islamic conference calls for peace in Syria

SANA THE TWENTY-SIXTH International Conference on Islamic Unity has stressed the necessity of finding a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.

Wrapping up its activities on Monday in Tehran, the conference asserted, in a final statement, that scholars and intellectuals should play an efficient role in finding solutions to the crises in their societies.

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Time to turn over a new leaf

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE 27th JANUARY is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorating the date when Soviet troops liberated the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, in 1945 and remembering the Holocaust, in which millions of prisoners of war, homosexuals, disabled persons, Roma and Sinti gypsies and Jews were murdered.

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The Malvinas: an aggravated usurpation

by Moisés Perez

ONE-HUNDRED-and-eighty years after British forces interrupted Argentina’s clear and peaceful sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands [also known as the Falklands], the UK’s usurpation of that territory continues.

On 3rd January 1833, the islands, located 14,000 km away from the UK, were snatched away from Argentina by force in a belligerent, colonial act. Recently the usurping government has aggravated the situation with illegal unilateral acts. In a letter sent recently to British Prime Minister David Cameron, on the anniversary of these events, Argentine President Cristina Fernández noted that since 1965, the United Nations General Assembly has recognised the Malvinas issue as a case of colonialism.

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Peacekeepers in “death masks”

by Oleg Serergin

THE ITALIAN daily L ‘Espresso has published a photo of a French soldier in Mali wearing a so-called death mask, an image of a human skull. Such a mask, according to the daily, is a part of fighting gear of special forces sent to the front in Afghanistan.

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The Murder of Patrick Finucane

by Neil Harris

THE FINUCANE Independent Review, published in December 2012, found only some evidence of “collusion” between the British State and Ulster “loyalist” death squads, limiting those involved to a few “rotten apples”. This has satisfied no one, least of all those hoping for the truth and because of this, the likelihood of further successful prosecutions after all these years is slim.

Written at the insistence of the Irish and American Governments, the review was a concession forced on the British government as part of the deal behind the “peace process” in Ireland and by the 2003 European Court of Human Rights finding that Britain had failed to carry out an adequate investigation into the murder of Patrick Finucane, in breach of Article Two of the charter.

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The future of Africa and the struggle for socialism

by Abayomi Azikiwe

DESPITE claims by the capitalist governments internationally and their apologists in the corporate media, the world economic crisis is worsening.

The financial institutions and other corporate entities are at the root of the current economic malaise. This is true not only for the US but for the entire globe where billions still live on less than $2 per day.

Recent unrest in South Africa derives from the global crisis in the capitalist and imperialist system.

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