National News

British troops accused of murder and torture in Iraq

THE MUTILATED bodies of Iraqi resistance fighters against the American-British invasion of their country showed signs of torture and cold-blooded murder according to Iraqi medical records that have sparked a new inquiry into incidents following a heated gun battle near Majar al-Kabir in 2004, known as the battle of Danny Boy.

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UAF conference No Platform! Non pasaran!

by New Worker Correspondent

ANTI-FASCISTS and anti- racists in Britain are doing a good job and this is shown by the poor state of the main fascist and racist organisations in Britain — the British National Party and the English Defence League, which have both seen major setbacks in the last two or three years and struggle to mobilise more than a handful of supporters at public events.

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Frack and Go in Knutsford

GREENPEACE activists last Monday set up a fracking rig on the green in the Cheshire village of Knutsford, in the constituency of Chancellor George Osborne, to show locals how national energy policy might affect their future.

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British Gas profits from big freeze

BRITISH Gas last week reported a significant rise in profits for 2012 after unusually cold weather led to people using more gas.

Profits from its residential energy supply arm rose 11 per cent from a year earlier to £606 million. It said gas consumption had risen by 12 per cent.

This has led to criticism that the company raised gas prices in November when its profits were rising. Centrica, which owns British Gas, reported an adjusted operating profit of £2.7 billion for 2012, up 14 per cent from 2011.

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Tories plan assault on human rights

THE CONSERVATIVE Party is planning to go into the next general election with plans to change human rights laws in Britain, according to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling.

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Manchester united against the EDL

M A N C H E S T E R anti-fascists gathered last Saturday in sunshine at Piccadilly Gardens for a united rally to stop the fascist English Defence League from demonstrating in the city.

An eclectic mix of about 700 people assembled in the Gardens, despite earlier calls from 18 city leaders telling local people to show solidarity by staying at home and ignoring the far right and what they were doing to their community.

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Childcare changes

GOVERNMENT plans in England to increase the ration of children to nursery workers could lead to a two-tier system, with a drop in quality in poor areas, a charity warns.

The Daycare Trust says nurseries in disadvantaged areas, where lower fees are charged, are more likely to raise childcare ratios.

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Millwall FC bans racist fan

A MAN claiming to be a Millwall supporter who shouted racist abuse at Leeds United striker El-Hadji Diouf has been fined £425 and banned for life by Millwall Football Club.

Gerrard Scanlon, 53, from Enfield, North London, pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence at Bromley Magistrates’ Court.

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Government retreat on NHS privatisation

by New Worker correspondent

A CROWD of NHS campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament last Tuesday cheered at the news of a small Government retreat on new NHS regulations that would have compelled the new NHS commissioning bodies to put virtually all treatments they want done up for competitive bidding.

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International News

American basketball ace praises DPRK leader as ‘awesome guy’

Xinhua news agency

FORMER American basketball star Dennis Rodman praised the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as “an awesome guy” who has the love of his people during his visit to north Korea last week.

“The Korean people are amazing,” he said at Pyongyang airport before ending his four-day trip to the country.

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Wave of strikes in France and Spain

by Ed Newman

FRENCH trade unions went on a national strike on Tuesday to protest against a government draft facilitating workers’ dismissal or demotion.

Social sector, postal and transport workers joined in the walkout announced by the General Confederation of Labour and the Force Ouvrièr (Labour Force) unions.

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US still hides information on ship sabotage in Cuba

by Lena Valverde

THE CUBAN daily, Granma, last Monday accused Washington of keeping classified information that may reveal the truth about the sabotage against the French boat La Coubre, 53 years ago.

The Cuban newspaper explains that Washington hides the information because all evidence indicates that CIA agents were the authors of the sabotage that claimed numerous lives, even among those who tried to help rescue the victims.

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Cardinals begin talks on next Pope

by Ed Newman

ROMAN Catholic cardinals from around the world have gathered in Rome to begin the process of electing the next pope. The College of Cardinals will hold daily talks leading up to a conclave in which a new Pope will be chosen, an election process that follows the stepping down of Pope Benedict XVI after nearly eight years in office.

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Russia’s path to socialism

by our European Affairs Correspondent

SOCIALISM in the 21st century is socialism of genuine people’s will and we seek to replace western-type parliamentary democracy with a Soviet-type democracy.

That’s how Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov put it at the 15th Congress of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) in Moscow last month and more and more Russians are agreeing with him these days.

The CPRF has recruited a new generation to join the veterans who served the Soviet Union before the revisionists and traitors finally destroyed the USSR in 1991. This was clearly seen in the age of the delegates and observers at the congress that met during the last weekend in February.

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Russian fleet returns to Mediterranean

by Andrei Smirnov

RUSSIA is due to provide its permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea by deploying an operational formation of the Russian Navy in the region by 2015.

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New UN song to celebrate International Women’s Day

Musicians across the world are joining forces with the United Nations to highlight women’s rights through a song that will be released on International Women’s Day.

“On International Women’s Day, 8th March 2013 UN Women will launch One Woman: A song for UN Women, a musical celebration of women worldwide, featuring more than 20 artists from across the globe,” said Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, at the daily briefing.

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Features

Women’s Day

by Alexandra Kollantai

Alexandra Kollantai was a leading Russian communist, writer and champion of women’s rights who later became a prominent Soviet diplomat. This article was published in Pravda one week before the first ever celebration in Russia of the Day of International Solidarity among the Female Proletariat on 23rd February (8th March), 1913. In St Petersburg this day was marked by a call for a campaign against women workers’ lack of economic and political rights, for the unity of the working class, and for the awakening of self-consciousness among women workers.

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Two costly fiascos

by Rob Gowland

WE ALL KNOW that there are plenty of intelligent, well-educated young people in the USA. We also know that they are taught, constantly and relentlessly, that they live in the greatest country in the world, that the whole world envies them their way of life, their freedoms, their riches. That when there are outbreaks of anti-US sentiment, anywhere in the world, they are caused by jealousy and communists. For, as lots of bewildered Americans said after 9/11, “Why do they hate us?”

Ronald Reagan’s hideously expensive Star Wars fiasco — a scientifically unworkable planetary “defence” system, captured the imagination of an actor posing as a political leader.

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Zimbabwe sets national elections despite sanctions

by Abayomi Azikiwe

CITIZENS of Zimbabwe are scheduled to vote on 16th March on whether to accept or reject a draft constitution.

The draft is the product of four years of collaboration between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front and the the Movement for Democratic Change parties. Later in July, national presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in order to form a new government.

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