National News

BBC accused of stealing activists’ film footage

Journalists (NUJ) is investigating claims the BBC ran stolen film footage from a trade union demonstration to smear Unite activists at Grangemouth.

On 31st October the corporation ran a news item accusing Unite activists of, during the dispute with Ineos, using bullying tactics by demonstrating outside the homes of refinery managers. To illustrate the story they screened footage, taken without permission from activist video collective Reel News, of two different Unite protests about blacklisting six months previously.

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JSA sanctions leave more jobseekers destitute

A FORTY-FIVE per cent rise in the number of sanction referrals handed out by jobcentres and other advisors means more jobseekers have moved into destitution.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last Wednesday released figures for sanctions — the act of removing benefits for a perceived offence — showing more have had money removed than ever before.

In 2011 — itself a record year — 1.34 million sanctions were handed out.

But the latest figures show that, in the year to June 2013, this had grown to over 1.9 million, a rise of an incredible 45 per cent.

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Remembrance of Soviet heroes

SECOND World War veterans, representatives of the embassies of Russia and the former Soviet states, local dignitaries and communists gathered at the Soviet War Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park last Sunday for an act of remembrance for the estimated 27 million Soviet citizens who died in the war against Nazism.

There were speeches from the Soviet Memorial Trust Fund, the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Abdul Mohammed and the Russian Ambassador, Alexander Yakonenko. This was followed by wreath laying — including flowers from the New Communist Party.

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Sick prisoners dying in chains

RESEARCH published last week by the Guardian newspaper revealed that the prison service continues to keep terminally ill prisoners handcuffed or chained when taken outside prisons to NHS hospitals.

These prisoners are too weak and ill to pose any security threat or to attempt to escape. And the chains add to their distress and discomfort and that of their families.

Nevertheless the prison service insists the chains remain until the very last moments of life.

A prisoner who was clinically brain dead remained in handcuffs in an ambulance taking him to another hospital. Another severely disabled prisoner was also chained. Glenda Jackson, his MP, said the practice was “disgusting and horrific.”

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Liberty in privacy claim against spooks

THE CIVIL rights pressure group, Liberty, last Monday announced it will represent an international coalition of partner human rights organisations in a new legal claim against the British Intelligence Services over their role in the ongoing privacy scandal.

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Independent Living Funds victory

CLAIMANTS who were fighting the Government decision to abolish the Independent Living Fund (ILF) celebrated last week on hearing the news that the Government does not intend to appeal to the Supreme Court against an Appeal Court ruling that the closure of the fund was illegal.

The ILF currently provides support enabling nearly 20,000 severely disabled people in Britain to live independent lives in the community.

Five claimants appealed against a High Court ruling by Mr Justice Blake in April that the closure decision was lawful.

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New Worker calendars and seasonal greetings cards for sale

The calendars include high quality A4 colour pictures of movement events throughout last year taken by New Worker photographers plus A4 grids with space for marking coming events. £6.50 each + £1 p&p.

The A5 cards come in packs of 12: six movement events and six beautiful snow scenes, printed on high quality ivory card with matching envelopes. The message inside is simply “Season’s greetings”. £6.50 per pack + £1 p&p.

Discount offer, buy a calendar and a pack of greetings cards for £12 plus £1 p&p. Send to the New Worker, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ.

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Down with the south Korea puppet regime!

by New Worker correspondent

SUPPORTERS of the Korean revolution returned to the picket the south Korean embassy to protest against the oppressive regime, whose leader was greeted at Buckingham Palace last week. New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks joined the demonstration called by the UK Korean Friendship Association outside the embassy in London on 7th November to protest against the state visit of fascist puppet Park Geun Hye last week.

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Cameron blocks Chilcot Inquiry

THE STOP The War campaign last week revealed that Prime Minister David Cameron is refusing to release records of conversations between Tony Blair and George Bush in the run up to the Iraq War, which have repeatedly demanded by the Chilcot Inquiry.

The Chilcot Inquiry was set up when Gordon Brown was prime minister, back in 2009. Chilcot said then that his inquiry would take a year-and-a-half, or maybe a bit longer.

That would have seen it report over two years ago. But now its publication date has been pushed back into 2014 at least.

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In Lenin’s name!

by New Worker correspondent

COMRADES and friends recalled the legacy of the Russian Revolution at a reception at the New Communist Party’s London centre on Saturday. Every year the Party holds celebration to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution and remember the outstanding achievements of the Bolsheviks that overthrew of the old order in 1917 to establish the first workers and peasants republic of the 20th century.

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Sutton attacks disabled parking

by Adrian Chan-Wyles

THE ULTRA-rightwing Council of the London Borough of Sutton, south London, has continued to support and perpetuate the latest national trend of demonising and attacking people with disabilities. Many people with disabilities undergo a vigorous medical test and examination when they apply to be accepted for the Blue Badge Holder Scheme, which allows for the parking of vehicles (carrying, or driven by disabled people), on double and single yellow lines for up to three hours without charge.

On 1st November 2013, the Parking Services department of Sutton Council issued a letter to all Blue Badge Holders within the borough, stating that residents of the exclusive Belmont area of the city have requested that Sutton Council revoke the right of disabled vehicle owners to park in permit parking bays in the area.

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International News

Venezuelans face food sabotage

by Donna Lazarus

THE POLITICAL Bureau of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) has denounced the opposition, who, together with businessmen and phony trade unionists, plans to carry out a new offensive, both economic and using counter-revolutionary violence, against the Venezuelan people. Their objective is to destabilise the country on the eve of the municipal elections of 8th December.

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1913 Irish Lockout martyr remembered

by Michael Nolan

JAMES BYRNE — trade union activist and martyr of the 1913 Lockout — was remembered in a dignified ceremony in Deansgrange Cemetery in County Dublin in November.

Organised by the Loughlinstown, Ballybrack and Shankill Men’s Shed, the event was addressed by the president of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and General Secretary of Mandate, John Douglas. He spoke of the need — 100 years on — to continue the work of activists like James Byrne in fighting for workers’ rights and for a decent living wage.

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Iran will not give in on uranium enrichment

Xinhua news agency

IRANIAN President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that domestic uranium enrichment is Iran’s red line and no concession can be made in this regard.

The remarks came after three days’ of intensive nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany -- in Geneva, which ended on Saturday without producing any deal.

The world should trust Iran and the Iranian people should enjoy their “legal nuclear rights,” said the president, reiterating that his country is only pursuing peaceful nuclear technology.

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Gun violence in US movies doubled since 1950

by Olga Yazhgunovich

THE LEVEL of gun violence in the top-selling Hollywood films of 2012 has been rising, and it now exceeds that in the most popular R-rated films for adults, a study published in the December issue of Paediatrics found on Monday.

According to the study funded by the Annenberg Public Policy Centre and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, gun violence in American films rated PG-13 has more than doubled since 1950. This is a rating by the Motion Picture Association of America indicating that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Thatcher knew but did nothing

by Theo Russell

EXPLOSIVE new evidence on British state collusion with Loyalist paramilitaries during the conflict in the north of Ireland has been revealed in a new book, [Lethal Allies,] based on research by the Pat Finucane Centre (PFC) and the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), a 100-strong unit of the Police Service of Northern Ireland set up in 2005 as a result of the Good Friday Agreement.

The authors, Anne Cadwallader and Alan Brecknell of the PFC, were in London last week for a meeting at the House of Commons, but a meeting with the secretary of state was turned down.

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Truth of Arafat’s death boosts Palestinian position in peace talks

by Saud Abu Ramadan in Ramallah

INTERNATIONAL scientists have confirmed that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of “unnatural” causes and many believe that the truth of his death will boost the Palestinians’ position in their peace talks with the Israelis.

Last week Swiss scientists who examined Arafat’s corpse said that high levels of radioactive polonium-210 were found in Arafat’s remains and the tomb’s soil, but poisoning remains a hypothesis, not a certainty.

Meanwhile, Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee investigating the case accused Israel outright of killing the Palestinian leader, telling reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah: “We say Israel is the first, basic and sole suspect accused in the assassination of Arafat.”

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Forgotten backwaters, Africa, wars and responsibility

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THE MAINSTREAM media are full of stories about conflicts where Nato is involved in savage attacks against civilians, water supplies, electricity grids, schools, healthcare facilities, infra-structures, putting boots on the ground illegally in its imperialist ventures. About Africa, however, silence.

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When Australia really became a nation

Rob Gowland

THE CAPITALIST media in Australia frequently declares that this country “became a nation” when boatloads of Australian and New Zealand soldiers were rowed ashore on the Gallipoli peninsula by British sailors and left to make their way off the beaches under withering fire from the Turkish defenders.

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