National News

Borrowing to buy food

AROUND 20 per cent of households in Britain have had to borrow money or raid savings in order to buy food, according to a survey published last week by the consumer group Which?

The survey found that equivalent of five million households used credit cards, overdrafts or savings to buy food.

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Mau Mau veterans win compensation

AROUND 10,000 Kenyans who were detained and mistreated during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s have succeeded in bringing the British government to the negotiation table to work out compensation for the extreme cruelty they suffered.

After a long and arduous campaign to win redress through the courts in London, the Government has agreed to negotiate a settlement out of court rather than have the full details of the claims aired in public in court.

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NHS 111 helpline failings

THE NATIONAL Health Service last week reported that it has experienced seven “potentially serious” incidents as the new 111 urgent care helpline came into operation a few weeks ago in England — replacing the NHS Direct line that was staffed by qualified senior nurses.

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Paramedic raises alarm

A WHISTLEBLOWER paramedic last week warned that patients are suffering serious harm and even dying because of cuts to the ambulance service leading to longer response time.

He was particularly critical of “lone response” paramedics being sent to emergencies in the East of England and then having to wait a long time — sometimes several hours — before a fully crewed ambulance could arrive.

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Post office workers strike

MEMBERS of the Communication Workers’ Union employed by the Post Office took strike action again last Tuesday after a £6 million pay gap within the Post Office was exposed.

Thousands of staff working in Crown Post Offices are today taking a fourth round of strike action in opposition to closure and franchise plans, as the Post Office’s pay claims are exposed as wrong.

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Missing radioactive materials

HEALTH and safety officials last week admitted that companies and hospitals have mislaid potentially dangerous radioactive materials in more than 30 incidents over the past decade in response to a freedom of information request.

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Disabled Olympic torch carrier considers hunger strike

MARY LAVER, who last year was a “games maker” volunteer and carried the Olympic torch along Newcastle’s New Bridge Street while in her wheelchair, is now contemplating a hunger strike because of the effects of multiple benefit cuts on her life.

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Protest against austerity

CAMPAIGNERS against austerity assembled in Trafalgar Square in front of the National Gallery last Saturday for a protest against the whole range of the Con-Dem Coalition’s austerity measures.

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Public sector group strike

MORE THAN 12,000 members of the civil service union PCS who work outside mainstream civil service groups are on strike this week.

Those members who work for parliamentary bodies, public bodies (NDPBs), government commissions, regulatory bodies, and non-ministerial departments, have been staging short walkouts on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

They are protesting against attacks on jobs and the services they provide to the public, as part of the PCS national campaign.

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May Day in London

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends joined communists from Britain and overseas for London’s traditional May Day march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square with a cavalcade of union banners as well as those from the Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian community groups.

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Bristol May Day March and Rally

by Alex Kempshall

HUNDREDS of trade unionists and other activists marched through the streets of Bristol last Saturday to a May Day rally organised by Bristol Trades Union Council.

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May Day in Cardiff

by Ray Davies

THE TRADITIONAL May Day march in Cardiff highlighted some of the issues affecting working class lives in Wales and beyond; the present coalition government’s death by strangulation of the welfare benefits system, the Bedroom Tax, deep cuts in disability benefits, and high unemployment.

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International News

Israeli bombing of Syria threatens wider war

by David Sole

ON THE 3rd May and again on 5th May the Israeli air force bombed Syria’s capital of Damascus. The targets hit on 5th May included the military research centre at Jamraya, an airport at al-Dimas and a site at Maysalom, all to the northwest of the capital. Other reports claim that Syrian army bases were also hit.

On 30th January Israel bombed the Jamraya research facility. There are different accounts of the targets hit on 3rd May. Some sources say weapons supplies were bombed at the border with Lebanon, while others claim that an area at the Damascus International Airport was attacked.

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Democratic Korea warns against provocation

by Ed Newman

THE DEMOCRATIC People’s Republic of Korea has warned against any provocation during the upcoming South Korea- US military drills, saying it is ready to counter-strike if a “single shell” drops across the disputed Yellow Sea maritime border.

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Miami Five prisoner back in Cuba for good

by Lena Valverde

CUBAN anti-terrorist fighter Rene Gonzalez said in Havana that that his priority is the struggle for the release of his four compatriots still imprisoned in the United States.

Gonzalez, who was on parole in the United States after having served a 13-year prison term, was allowed to meet the rest of his parole in Cuba after reiterating his willingness to renounce his US citizenship, a process he began on Monday.

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May Day in Moscow

by New Worker correspondent

INTERNATIONAL Labour Day is still a public holiday in Russia and it was marked with fetes, festivals and traditional political rallies throughout the country. The Day of Spring and Labour as it is now called was celebrated by millions of working people in over a thousand towns and cities across the Russian Federation.

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Scottish cultural secretary hails exchanges with China

SCOTTISH Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop has hailed cultural exchanges between Scotland and the Chinese side to promote friendship and people-to-people exchanges.

Hyslop made the remarks before a panel discussion about plays from China at the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh last week, noting that “cultural exchange is one of the top priorities of the Scottish government’s international engagement with China, including science and education exchanges”.

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Cuban music icon Cesar Portillo de la Luz dies at 90

by Leandro

Renowned Cuban musician and composer César Portillo de la Luz died in Havana Saturday at the age of 90.

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Travelling through the horrors of war

by Rita Bolotskaya

THE PRESENTATION of a new telling about the Holocaust tragedy took place in Moscow shortly before V Day [9th May] that marks the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The short film entitled Shoes, was made by a Russian film maker, Konstantin Fam.

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Detroit: emergency dictator appointed to kill jobs

by Martha Grevatt

SINCE 25th March the US city of Detroit has been run by an unelected, one per cent-beholden supreme dictator. On that day the elected mayor and city council, all African Americans, became a paper administration with no decision-making power. The only concession the new governor—appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr made to city officials was to allow them to continue collecting their salaries, for the time being.

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Cuba and Venezuela further strengthen friendship

by Ed Newman

DURING the presidency of late Bolivarian leader Hugo Chavez, an indissoluble friendship relation was forged between Venezuela and Cuba, based on mutual respect and solidarity. It is not then by chance that President Nicolás Maduro has visited the Caribbean island on his first trip abroad after assuming office as Venezuela’s leader.

The aim of the visit was to further consolidate the friendship ties between two nations, which are determined to continue working together toward a better future for both our peoples and for all Latin American and Caribbean peoples

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Turkey: What is behind the “peace initiative” of AKP?

Analysis of the Turkish Communist Party:

THE JUSTICE and Development Party (AKP) government has launched its second “peace initiative” for the Kurdish issue. The first one was in 2009 but ended up with complete fiasco as it was followed by the detention of thousands of Kurdish politicians for being members of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) city organisation.

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