National News

EDL hate Rotherham, love Ukip

by New Worker correspondent

ROTHERHAM is a pleasant South Yorkshire town sited on a steep hill beside the River Don and dominated by the massive Gothic perpendicular All Saints Church. Not far away, opposite the town hall, is the large Victorian Methodist Chapel. And nowadays there is also a large local Muslim community.

It is a staunchly Labour town with 57 Labour councillors, four Tory, one independent and one United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip). And when they heard that the Islamophobic English Defence League planned to hold a national rally in their town on 10th May, all of them, including the Ukip member, voted to ban it

Unfortunately they were overruled by higher powers but they did succeed in getting all the local pubs closed for the day. And they, with — the local trades council and Unite Against Fascism and others, organised a strong counter demonstration and rally outside the town hall.

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Direct Action groups target Centrica AGM

MEMBERS and supporters of 20 different action groups campaigning against poverty, privatisation and climate groups last Monday staged a demonstration in Westminster outside the QE Conference Centre where Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, was holding its annual general meeting. The organisations involved included Fuel Poverty Action, Disabled People Against Cuts, Friends of the Earth, Frack Off London, UK Uncut and the Greater London Pensioners.

Acting under the banner of “Bin British Gas: Put Power in Public Hands!” the groups held a loud demonstration to show deep dissatisfaction with Centrica’s profit-led agenda which has left millions of households across Britain in fuel poverty and has led to the company investing in fracking in Lancashire.

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G4S wins workfare scheme contract

THE PRIVATE security company G4S has won the contract to run the Government’s new compulsory workfare scheme for the long-term unemployed.

G4S explain that they will be running “a key part of UK Department of Work and Pension’s (DWP) ‘Help to Work’ scheme”.

They claim that the scheme, in which unemployed people will be forced to work and not receive a legal wage, “is designed to help thousands of long-term unemployed people gain the necessary work experience, skills and confidence to return to work.”

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Success in First Great Western action

TRANSPORT union RMT last week dropped its dispute with First Great Western after the company agreed to end using zero hours contracts.

Three other issues were also resolved after RMT negotiators held talks with managers following last month’s ballot for strike action.

The company has agreed to train managers on how to correctly use the firm’s disciplinary procedures, pay agency workers the Living Wage and make individual offers to two RMT members who were dismissed.

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Hague to probe British war crimes in Iraq

THE INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court at The Hague is to investigate accusations that British troops were responsible for a series of war crimes following the invasion of Iraq.

It will conduct a preliminary examination of around 60 alleged cases of unlawful killing and claims that more than 170 Iraqis were mistreated while in British military custody.

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New judicial review rules deny justice to the disabled

A GROUP of members of the House of Lords have challenged Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, over a new rules for legal aid that make it harder for people with disabilities to challenge the Government over decisions about their level of benefit support.

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Passing Tube trains scrape as tracks move

TWO DISTRICT line trains scraped together as they passed as the track under one of them shifted. Commuters in the affected carriages were shown on CCTV to “jump” with alarm at the horrendous jolt and noise as the train’s external bodywork ripped.

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Saving King George Hospital

NHS CAMPAIGNERS in north-east London are accusing Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) of duplicity over the planned future of King George Hospital.

It is the accident-and-emergency (A&E) and maternity services that are under most risk and campaigners saw a policy operated by the trust of diverting all A&E emergencies involving children away from King George Hospital to Queens Hospital as the beginning of a process of running down A&E services at King George.

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Victory Day in London

by Adrian Chan-Wyles and New Worker correspondent

YOUNG Russians last Friday were queuing to have their photos taken waving the hammer- and-sickle flag in a south London park and claiming that the Soviet Union was not dead after an emotional Victory Day ceremony.

The inscription at the Soviet War Memorial in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum, London reads: “This memorial commemorates the 27 million Soviet citizens and service men and women who died for the Allied Victory in WWII.


And last Friday around 300 assorted veterans, representatives of the embassies of the former Soviet republics, civic dignitaries, communists, members of London’s Russian community and many others assembled at the memorial to do just that — remember and honour the Soviet heroes who delivered the world from the horrors of Nazism at very great cost.

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Standing up to Ukip

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 120 anti-fascists gathered in Marsham Street, Westminster, last Wednesday evening to protest at a public meeting to be broadcast featuring the extreme right-wing xenophobic leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage.

The protest has been organised by Stand Up To Ukip initiated by Unite Against Fascism and other anti-fascist and anti-racist group.

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International News

Syrian army frees Homs

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

LIFE IS slowly returning to normal in Homs, the third largest city in Syria. Thousands of refugees who had been driven out by the Nato-backed terror gangs are now returning to their shattered homes in the Old City, which was finally evacuated by the rebels under a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian Arab Army last week.

Many took part in a massive rally in central Homs to celebrate the removal of the gunmen from the Old City. And as they return to their homes, repair teams are exerting massive efforts to restore life to central Homs, clearing roads, removing rubble and roadblocks, and restoring the power grid.

Army units clearing the area of mines and bombs have already uncovered mass graves as well as three rebel field hospitals, a weapons factory and a network of tunnels that had been used by the terrorists to shuttle among the quarters of the city.

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The sexual traffic of children

by Juan Leandro

TRAFFICKING in other human beings is a worldwide problem. Its best known facet is sexual exploitation, but all too many other victims are subjected to forced labour, domestic servitude, child beggary or they become the victims of the horrific trade in human organs.

Children and adolescents do not escape from the trafficking in people which is an annual source of billions of dollars and ranks along with drug and arms trafficking.

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Babis Angourakis 1951-2014

THE COMMUNIST Party of Greece (KKE) has suffered the great loss of a leading comrade just a few days before the battle of the local and European Union parliamentary elections. Comrade Babis Angourakis, a KKE MEP who was standing for re-election suddenly passed away on the evening of Monday 12th May.

Babis Angourakis 1951-2014

Adventures in European hyper-landscapes

by Steve Hanson

IN ONE sense Eurovision is a strange thing, a glimpse into the exotic cornucopia of European pop. But in another sense, Eurovision actually just highlights the bits of ubiquitous, daily mainstream culture that I usually ignore.

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100 years of Hong Kong cinema

by Yang Yi

FOR DECADES Hong Kong was home to the third largest motion picture industry in the world, after Hollywood and Bollywood. From Hong Kong’s first production Zhuangzi Tests His Wife back in 1913, the city’s film industry has gone through a century of ups and downs. In 1913, the silent film Zhuangzi Tests His Wife marked the beginning of Hong Kong cinema. After the city’s first sound film The White-golden Dragon was released, the industry went through almost two decades of turmoil.

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Ghost planes over Havana

Part 2 of 2

by Neil Harris

THE CASE that Vision Airlines itself is a CIA proprietary company was still open because two of its Boeing 737’s definitely raised suspicions: N732VA, originally N34315 and N731VA. Both were part of the “air bridges” and both had also flashed up as possible rendition flights.

The second plane started life as N368CE, another Boeing identified as a part of the extraordinary rendition programme by the “Contribution of the Rapporteur; Research on the planes use by the CIA”, prepared for the European Parliament. This published the full list of alleged rendition flights made by N368CE from 2002 to 2005 and in particular; Frankfurt to Baghdad and Kabul (both sites of notorious illegal detention centres) as well as another similar “air bridge” that operated between Frankfurt and Ashkhabad in Turkmenistan, which was serving the US Military presence there in support of the Afghan war.

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