National News

US drones to bomb Africa from Lincolnshire base

THE GOVERNMENT has agreed a secret deal with the Unites States for the US Air Force (USAF) to use an RAF base in the Lincolnshire countryside as a base to launch drones to attack targets in Africa and the Middle East, according to a report in the Daily Mail last Monday based on documents seen by the Mail on Sunday.

The revelation immediately sparked claims of British complicity in the USAF assassination programme which is being investigated by the United Nations.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

London vigil for Hugo Chávez

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 300 people gathered in London’s Belgravia Square, Kensington, last Thursday evening around the statue of Simon Bolivar — the 19th-century South American revolutionary who was Hugo Chávez’s inspiration — for a candle-lit vigil to commemorate the death of Chávez three days before.

Many of London’s Latin American community attended along with the ambassadors of Cuba, Bolivia, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and of course Venezuela.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Where have our council houses gone?

A THIRD of the council homes sold under the right-to-buy legislation enacted under the Thatcher government in the 1980s are now owned by wealthy landlords, according to a Daily Mirror investigation published last week.

In one London borough almost half of ex-council properties are now sub-let to tenants. Tycoon Charles Gow and his wife own at least 40 ex-council flats on one South London estate.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Student demo victim demands inquiry

ALFIE MEADOWS, the lightly-built student who suffered a life-threatening head injury from a police baton during a student protest in December 2010, called for the Independent Police Complaints Commission to re-open its investigation into the incident.

He was speaking last week just after being acquitted of violent disorder in a legal process that has taken over two years.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Wage cuts: Britain top of the league

BRITISH workers suffered a bigger fall in real wages than any other workforce in the world’s top ten developed economies, according to the TUC’s latest report on the global economic race published last Thursday.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Anti-fascists oppose Swansea ‘white pride’

HUNDREDS of anti-fascists turned out on the streets of Swansea last Saturday to show their opposition to a “White Pride” march organised by the National Front.

The National Front had shrunk to a minuscule level a couple of years ago but it has seen a small rise in its numbers from racists and fascists who have left the British National Party and the English Defence League recently and from fascist immigrants from Poland and the Baltic states. In spite of this only about 50 turned up for the fascist parade.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

PCS strike action starts on budget day

A SERIES of walkouts and protests by almost a quarter of a million civil and public servants will start with a strike on budget day on 20 March.

This will be followed by other national and sector-specific strikes and industrial action as the union steps up its opposition to cuts to pay, pensions and working conditions.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Bring back wages councils

TUC GENERAL secretary Frances O’Grady last week challenged the Labour Party to introduce policies to reduce growing wage inequality.

She said that this should include a return to wages councils that could set legally enforced minimum wages in different sectors.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Legal aid cuts force closure of almost a third of Shelter offices

LEGAL AID cuts are forcing job cuts in Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, Red Cross family reunion offices and have forced the housing charity Shelter to close a third of its advice centres, according to a report in the Guardian last week.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

House building hits record low

HOUSE building figures released last week show an 11 per cent decrease in the number of new homes started in the last year, to 98,280, according to the housing charity Shelter.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Local authority jobs fall drastically

THE NUMBER of employees in local authorities in Great Britain fell from 2,559,000 in 2010 to 2,178,500 in 2012, according to a report published last week by the GMB union. This is fall of 380,500 or -14.7 per cent.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Schools repair programme delayed

GOVERNTMENT plans to rebuild and repair England’s most crumbling schools has been delayed by problems in finding private cash to fund it.

This means scores of projects at some of the nation’s most dilapidated schools are yet to get off the ground.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

A tribute to Marx by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends gathered at the New Communist Party’s London Centre last Saturday to remember Karl Marx at the annual NCP reception to mark the anniversary of his death on 14th March 1883.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

China will not copy western political systems

Xinhua news agency

THE NEWLY--elected leader of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) pledged on Tuesday that China will not copy western political systems under any circumstances.

“We need to steadfastly uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), adhere to and improve the system of multi-party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the CPC,” said Yu Zhengsheng, chair of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC, the country’s top political advisory body.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Referendum will change nothing in Malvinas dispute

Xinhua news agency

THE ISLANDERS of Malvinas, known as the Falklands in Britain, on Monday voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to keep the disputed territory under British rule.

But analysts said the referendum will resolve nothing and could exacerbate the situation as Britain is likely to use the result as an excuse to dodge sovereignty talks.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Russia’s return to Vietnam

by Olivia Kroth

RUSSIAN Defence Minister, General Sergei Shoigu, has set out to visit Vietnam for talks on military cooperation. He will visit the Cam Ranh naval base in Cam Ranh Bay, a previous maintenance centre for the warships of the Soviet Pacific Fleet. Back in November 2010, the Vietnamese Government invited Russian experts to modernise this base, according to Vietnam’s Defence Minister, Phung Quang Thanh.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Unionist MP fumes over new Kia ‘Provo’ car

by John Hedges

GREGORY CAMPBELL never gets tired of being the Democratic Unionist Party’s Mr Angry and he’s blown a gasket because Korean car-maker Kia has named its new “super mini” the Provo.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Manning proudly admits to exposing US war crimes

by Chris Fry

PRIVATE Bradley Manning read a 35-page statement to a court-martial session at Fort Meade, Maryland, on 28th February, in which the whistle- blower proudly admitted having released documents and videos that exposed the US military’s war crimes and US government support of corrupt regimes around the world.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


NBA great Dennis Rodman punctures US cold war myths

by Kris Hamel

THE VISIT of retired basketball defensive superstar Dennis Rodman to the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from 26th February to 1st March got the White House and the US ruling class steaming mad.

Rodman is reportedly the first person from the United States to meet with Kim Jong Un, who took on leadership of the DPRK in December 2011.

Accompanying him on the trip were members of a VICE documentary film crew as well as Bull Bullard, Buckets Blakes and Moose Weekes of the Harlem Globetrotters.

Rodman told George Stephanopoulos of The Week on 3rd March that: “Kim asked me to give Obama something to say and [to] do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Europe and the vote

by Neil Harris

NIGEL FARAGE of the UK Independence Party last week enjoyed an intimate dinner with Rupert Murdoch. Leaks, which have not been denied, suggest that they discussed an electoral pact between UKIP and the Tories, which Farage made conditional on Cameron’s resignation. While UKIP has the opportunity to split the Tory vote, that is the extent of their influence, unless they can find some more powerful backers.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]