National News

Homes unaffordable in one third of Britain

PRIVATE sector rents are unaffordable for families on low incomes in one third of Britain, according to a report published last week by the Resolution Foundation, which campaigns on behalf of low to middle-income families.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Stupid sanctions against the poorest

BIRMINGHAM Against the cuts last week published a list of instances of benefit sanctions being applied — cutting off claimants’ only source of income — for ridiculous reasons, often for failing to be in two places at once in order to conform to the regulations placed on them.

Two and a quarter million JSA claimants have had their money stopped and since October 2012 sanctions are for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three years.

ESA claimants can have 70 per cent of their benefits stopped indefinitely. Imagine being without any income for a month, when your annual income is less than £4,000 a year — no chance of savings to fall back onto. The sanctions are supposed to incentivise people into getting jobs. But reasons for sanctions include:

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

EDL threats to journalist

THE NATIONAL Union of Journalists has strongly condemned members the English Defence League for harassment and threats of violence targeted at a young reporter.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Accidents no longer reportable

THE CONSTRUCTION workers’ union Ucatt last week warned that proposed changes to work regulations will lead to a further downgrading in safety reporting.

Under the changes due to be introduced in October 2013, the number of major injuries which require an automatic Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) report has been significantly reduced.

Injuries which will no longer require an automatic RIDDOR report include:

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tagging contractors on the fiddle

THE PRIVATE contractors G4S and Serco, who are supposed to operate the tagging system for offenders, are themselves guilty of serious fraud according to a statement by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling in the House of Commons.

He accused them of overcharging for tagging services by tens of millions of pounds and said that some charges were made for tagging people who were in jail or abroad, and a few who had died.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Pathologists on strike

HOSPITAL pathologists in Leeds and Bradford Monday were on strike over staffing levels and a pay cut of up to £20,000.

The Unite members, who test blood samples and monitor blood transfusions at St James’s Hospital in Leeds, Leeds General Infirmary and Bradford Royal Infirmary, say the dispute centres on the lack of staff necessary to provide a safe service for the public in the Leeds and Bradford region.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

36 Fighting Years!

by New Worker correspondent

IT WAS a hot summer evening but that didn’t deter comrades and friends from joining New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks and Party Chair Alex Kempshall in celebrating the 36th anniversary of the foundation of the NCP last Saturday at the Party Centre in London.

Honoured guests included Hyong Hak Bong, the London ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Dermot Hudson from the UK Korean Friend ship Association who both paid tribute to the NCP’s consistent solidarity with Democratic Korea and its principled support for the communist ideal during the formal part of the proceedings.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

Snowden applies for asylum in Russia

Voice of Russia

EDWARD Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia but he will not engage in anti-US activities if his application is accepted, according to high-profile Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena. The fugitive US intelligence leaker applied for temporary asylum on Tuesday.

Kucherena said the papers had been filed and Snowden had written that he is afraid of torture and the death penalty in the US.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Racism, an evil that corrodes America

by María Josefina Arce

INDIGNANT Americans are demonstrating against the Sanford, Florida court decision that acquitted George Zimmerman of the murder of Afro American adolescent Trayvor Martin. The vigilante-style crime, which reminds of the days of the infamous Ku Klux Klan racist organisation, has once again unleashed the deeply rooted racism and hatred against the Afro Americans and other non-white groups that is corroding today’s USA.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Greek public employees hit the bricks

by Ed Newman

WORKERS in Greece staged a 24-hour nationwide strike on Tuesday as unions called for protests against the latest round of austerity measures. Trains ground to a halt and hospitals worked with emergency staff as strikers took action against plans to fire thousands of public sector employees.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

War and peace absolutely incompatible

by Kim Il Bong

THE UNITED States ignited the fuse of the Korean War 63 years ago to fulfil its ambition of defeating the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and dominating the whole of Korea. The war of aggression caused by foreign forces inflicted immeasurable sufferings and misfortune on the Korean nation and threw a grave obstacle in the way of its independent development.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Picked out by Ulster Unionist MP — shot dead soon after

by Peadar Whelan

THE SHOCK TV admission by former Ulster Unionist MP and Ulster Defence Regiment major Ken Maginnis that he identified three IRA Volunteers in 1988 to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who were soon afterwards shot dead by the SAS raises the question of how many more “suspects” were killed by the British state this way.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]


A brief history of ‘marriage’

part 4

by Bob McCubbin

Promiscuous primates

DID BRONISLAV Malinowski’s conception of “a primeval and unchanging one-man, one-woman” marriage emerge five, six, seven or eight million years ago along with the emergence of our hominin ancestors?

We don’t think so. Our nearest relatives in the present day, our fellow great apes, show no such organisational form for purposes of sexual release, reproduction or otherwise.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

War crimes by the Syrian ‘Opposition’

by Timothy Bancroft- Hinchey

OF COURSE, the forced starvation of some two million people, the decree that distributing food and medicines to areas supporting the Syrian Government is punishable with a death sentence means nothing to the pro-terrorist West and its bought media lackeys. Surprise, surprise, in a world in which morals and ethics are meaningless.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Of drones and whistleblowers

by Rob Gowland

WHILE courageous whistle-blower Bradley Manning continues to languish in a US military prison for daring to tell the world about the deliberate US policy of assassinating civilians and other unarmed opponents of its policies, the US leadership continues to pursue those same policies.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Prensa Latina: A voice from this side of the world

by Luisa María González

IN THE mid-20th century, before the existence of the Internet, Blackberries or social networks, channels of communication were narrower and less accessible, and the media was largely controlled by hegemonic minorities, making it easy to silence any voice that was different.

As a result, the Revolution of dreams and defiance that triumphed in Cuba in 1959 had to create its own channels for telling its truth to the world.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Tools of imperialism

by Neil Harris

AFTER the overthrow of the Egyptian government, Robert Fisk writing in the Independent asked; “When is a military coup not a military coup?” His answer was “When America says it isn’t.”

That hypocrisy is normal these days; Bradley Manning is in jail, awaiting a long prison sentence for whistle-blowing American atrocities in Iraq while John Kiriakou, a whistle- blower and former CIA officer is the only person to be jailed as a result of the US torture programme. He has just started two and a half years in prison for revealing that a CIA officer destroyed the video evidence of the torture. She has since been promoted to head of “operations”.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]