National News

Anti-fascist victory — followed by a police sting

AROUND 5,000 anti-fascists from a wide spectrum of community groups, faith groups and trade unions succeeded once again in preventing the Islamophobic English Defence League from bringing their message of hate and violence into London’s East End.

But after the EDL thugs had been marched away police sprang a nasty surprise and kettled and arrested a large number of anti-fascists who had started to make their way home — the numbers given vary from 160 to 180 — and took them away in buses laid on for the purpose.

The arrestees then had their details taken and were bailed after few hours with a caution that included a bar on them taking part in any demonstration near the EDL or the British National Party within the area bounded by the M25.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

MPs seek mandatory Commons vote on arms for Syrian rebels

by Theo Russell

PEACE campaigners and MPs met last week (4th September) at the House of Commons to discuss the historic defeat in Parliament of plans to join air strikes on Syria and to discuss the way forward for peace.

Diane Abbott said: “The long shadow of the Iraq war has hung over the debate. For the first time Parliament was able to vote in time to prevent military action and I hope that will set a precedent.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Love Russia, hate homophobia

AROUND 1,000 campaigners against homophobia protested outside Downing Street on Tuesday 3rd September, just before the G20 meeting in Leningrad to send a message to Russian President Putin that his new law banning “propaganda” about homosexuality is unacceptable.

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Low paid told they are ‘not working enough’

THE DEPART MENT for Work and Pensions is to class low paid employees dependent on benefits to raise their income to survival level as “not working enough”.

They could soon find themselves pushed with the threat of sanctions to find more income — either seeking out a better paid job or working longer hours — under radical changes to benefits and Pensions.

DWP internal documents seen by the [Guardian] reveal that people earning between £330 and around £950 a month — just under the rate of the national minimum wage for a 35-hour week — could be mandated to attend jobcentre meetings where their working habits will be examined as part of the universal credit programme.

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Unions defend Tupe

UNIONS are fighting hard to defend the Tupe regulations, which defend workers’ wages, conditions of employment and pensions if their jobs are transferred from the public to the private sector.

They say that the regulations have helped protect workers in outsourcing deals such as at Telefonica O2 call centres and have condemned the Con-Dem Coalition’s plans to weaken regulations designed to protect workers’ rights in company take-overs and outsourcing deals.

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Social care cuts hit blind people

THE NUMBER of blind people getting help from councils has dropped by over 40 per cent in England in six years, according to an analysis by the Royal National Institute of Blind People and based on official figures.

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Beating the bedroom tax

TWO SCOTTISH women victims of the bedroom tax — the cut in housing benefit suffered by tenants who are deemed to have too many bedrooms — have won a landmark court victory that could set a precedent that will help thousands of other victims.

Annie Harrower-Gray and Louise McLeary faced losing 14 per cent of their housing benefit because they each had spare bedrooms.

But both successfully argued they were exempt because the rooms were being used for other purposes.

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Sixty-Five Fighting Years!

by New Worker correspondent

ON THE 9th SEPTEMBER 1948 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established in the free northern part of the Korean peninsula that had once been part of the Japanese Empire. In the DPRK it is a public holiday and hundreds of thousands of Koreans packed Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang for a spectacular military and civilian parade through the capital.

It’s a special day for Koreans on both sides of the divided country and amongst the overseas Korean community because on that day in 1948 the Korean people expressed their democratic will through popular power and immediately took the first steps towards building a new socialist life for the workers and peasants who had fought to free themselves from the Japanese yoke that had enslaved them for many decades.

It’s also special day for communists all over the world who showed their solidarity with Democratic Korea. London was no exception. Communists and Korean solidarity activists joined diplomats, journalists and business-people at a lunch-time reception at the DPRK embassy that was opened by DPRK ambassador Hyong Hak Bong last week.

The leaders of the NCP and the RCPB (ML), Andy Brooks and Michael Chant, were there along with veteran London communist Monty Goldman from the CPB, who was jailed for two months for protesting against the Korean War, as well as Daphne Liddle, the joint editor of the New Worker, and Dermot Hudson from the Korean Friendship Association.

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A sunny afternoon in Charlton

The summer heat-wave may have finally ended but the sun still shone on the comrades and friends who came to the Metropolitan NCP Cell and Supporters’ Group annual garden party in Charlton last Saturday. The table was groaning with good food, which is not surprising given that it was prepared by one of our stalwart comrades and there were plenty of soft and stronger drinks to wash it down.

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International News

Three million now unemployed in France

by Lena Valverde

OFFICIAL figures show that the number of unemployed in France rose to above three million in the second quarter of 2013. The figures released by the Paris-based national statistics agency, INSEE, indicated on Thursday that unemployment in France jumped for the first time above three million in the second quarter of this year.

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South Korea arrests progressives

by Deirdre Griswold

SOUTH Korea’s secret police — the hated National Intelligence Service (NIS) — launched two days of raids on 28th August against the United Progressive Party (UPP), a left electoral bloc with six representatives in the legislature. Ten UPP offices and homes were raided and three party officials were arrested on treason and sedition charges. Travel bans were imposed on 14 other party members.

The spy agency has levelled sensational charges against the three officials: plotting to storm armouries to secure weapons, destroy oil storage and communication facilities, and assassinate unnamed figures. The NIS also charged them with praising the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, an action which is banned by south Korea’s repressive national security law.

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Colombia police clash with protesters

by Leandro

COLOMBIAN police have clashed with protesters as nationwide strikes by the country’s farmers protesting against free trade agreements with the United States and Europe enter their 19th day.

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New humanitarian crisis in Gaza

by Saud Abu Ramadan

EGYPT’S recent crackdown on the smuggling tunnels has worsened the shortage of fuel and other essential materials in the Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian coastal enclave has already been under tight Israeli blockade for six years.

The Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, is the ruling force on Gaza and some suspect that Egypt’s move is in retaliation for its support of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. But others say should Egypt “differentiate between Hamas and the ordinary people of the Strip”.

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Tibetans benefit from improved medical care

WHEN rural doctor Tsering Paljor makes house calls the journey he has to make to visit patients scattered around the snowy plateaus of Tibet is more dangerous than most.

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Vietnam: an ever more beautiful country

by Claudia Fonseca Sosa

SIXTY-eight years have passed since that 2nd September 1945, when revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the foundation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam — also called North Vietnam — in Hanoi’s Da Dinh Plaza. The Indochinese country was no longer a French colony and became a state with socialist aspirations.

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Ireland Seamus Heaney 1929—2013

The Irish poet and playwright, Seamus Heaney, died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin on 30th August 2013, aged 74, following a short illness

by Gerry Adams

SEAMUS HEANEY is dead. When I heard the news I was cleaning out a shed. Dirty and dusty and lost in that chore, I got the news by text. I was deeply shocked. I stood for a while trying to take it in. I still can’t quite believe it.

Although I have known Seamus personally for many years, like millions of others I first knew him through his words — and what words. As a result I seem to have known him most of my life. And now he’s gone.

[ Seamus Heaney 1929—2013 ]

Pentagon deepens role in Africa

by Abayomi Azikiwe

AS THE corporate media focuses on the current war drive against Syria, Washington’s militarist policies toward Africa continue to go relatively unnoticed by the public. Oil and other strategic resources imported into the United States from the continent are motivating an increase in Pentagon troops in Africa and the latest development: the hiring of private strategy and technology concerns as advisers.

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China follows Marx

by Adrian Chan-Wyles

Buddhist Marxist Association (UK)

IN CHINA currently there are two forces that co-exist — religious conservatism and secular progressiveness. Both are the product of the 1949 Revolution, and the Cultural Revolution (1966/76), but also have roots in Chinese history prior to 1949, beginning with the collapse of imperial rule in 1911/12.

As the Chinese nation develops and advances from feudalism into modernism and post-modernism, the socio-cultural forces of the old and the new are clashing, integrating, repelling and attracting. As a very large landmass China’s economic growth is asymmetric and uneven across the country.

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Chinese doctors graduate in Cuba

by Lianet Arias

A NEW chapter in Cuban- Chinese relations recently opened with the first graduation from Cuban medical schools of Chinese doctors.

These new young doctors first came to Cuba in 2006 and began their studies in Jagüey Grande, in the western province of Matanzas, subsequently transferring to the Julio Trigo Faculty of Medical Sciences in the Cuban capital.

Until a few days ago, the total enrolment of Chinese students in Cuban medical schools was 690: 661 were majoring in medicine and 29 in nursing, according to Diana Vega, dean of the Julio Trigo Faculty. In July a total of 65 doctors and nurses received their degrees, she said.

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