National News

Government puts half of Britain up for shale

THE CON-DEM Coalition last week gave the all-clear for a new wave of fracking for oil and gas that will allow the dangerous but lucrative practice to happen even in some national parks and other “protected areas” in “exceptional circumstances”.

The Government is now inviting companies to bid in a 14th round for licences for onshore fracking for oil and gas after a six-year pause. Around half of Britain will be made available for fracking prospectors.

Ministers are also clarifying the rules on when drilling can take place in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and world heritage sites, following calls by environmental campaigners for an outright ban on drilling in them. In a tightening of the guidance, the Government will ask energy firms to submit an environmental statement that is “particularly comprehensive and detailed” if they want to frack on or near protected countryside, forcing them to demonstrate their understanding of local sensitivities.

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Protests for Palestine multiply

by New Worker correspondent AN ESTIMATED 60,000 protesters filled London streets last Saturday — for the third week in a row — to show their anger at the continuing slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli war machine.

And around Britain and the world scores of similar protests took place. Saturday 26th July also saw demonstrations in hundreds of cities and towns in every continent all calling for an end to the attack on Gaza and a lifting of the siege.

And notably, 5,000 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv, the capital of Israel, under the banner, “No more deaths — Israeli-Palestinian peace, now.” Demonstrators chanting “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”, called for an end to the occupation and the siege on Gaza, and lit candles to commemorate the victims.

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250 strangers turn up to prevent eviction

MORE than 250 strangers from across the country gathered in Nottingham to help save a cancer patient from being evicted from his home.

Tom Crawford, of Fearn Chase in Carlton, has been embroiled in a lengthy battle with former building society Bradford and Bingley over issues with his mortgage.

The 63-year-old, who has lived in the house for 25 years, says he has been told he owes more than £43,000 — but Tom claims he doesn’t owe a penny.

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Anti-fascists picket Ukrainian embassy

A GROUP of London anti- fascists, including communists and trade unionists picketed the Ukrainian embassy in west London on the evening of Tuesday 22nd July to protest at repression in Ukraine.

The picket was organised by Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine (SARU) to express outrage at ongoing military operations in eastern Ukraine and the recent vote by the Kiev regime parliament to dissolve the communist faction last week.

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Rising pound threatens economy

COMPANIES based in Britain are expecting to face a fall in profits as the value of the pound rises in international markets, making British goods and services more expensive to foreign buyers, according to a report by Sally Davies in the Financial Times.

At the same time markets in Britain remain stagnant because of the steady fall in the real value of wages. Only those retailers selling essentials at low cost are doing well. Research from EY, a professional services group, showed that companies lowered investors’ expectations on 137 occasions in the first six months of 2014, up nine per cent from the same period the year before.

More than 20 per cent cited currency fluctuations as a cause of their troubles, up from three per cent in 2013.

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Mosque invaders lose their patron

BRITAIN First, the tiny neo-Nazi paramilitary outfit who have recently been making a name for themselves invading mosques brandishing bibles and alcoholic drinks in an attempt to intimidate Muslims, last week lost their wealthy northern Irish patron Jim Dowson.

Dowson, a hard-line, right-wing Ulster protestant, who once funded the British National Party, and helped to set up Britain First, has withdrawn from the group because of the mosque invasions.

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Housing associations join profit race

HOUSING associations, which were originally created to supply low-rent accommodation to replace the growing shortage of council homes, are now revealing that they really are private enterprise organisations and are joining the race for maximum profits.

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Scottish News

from our Scottish Political and Sports Correspondent

THE POST of Scottish Political Correspondent has been temporarily rendered somewhat obsolete by the Commonwealth Games currently underway in Glasgow.

It is easy to tell that there is a major sporting event in Glasgow. There has been a significant increase in the number of people wearing tracksuits in Glasgow. The incomers generally sport a slimmer fit than is customary for the locals.

To spare foreign tourists the painful sight of homeless people the Glasgow police have “moved on” beggars leaving the homeless charities the task of looking for them in the housing schemes where tourists rarely tread.

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Glasgow Games workers protest

MEMBERS of Unison employed in Glasgow sports centres and museums last week took part in a protest over payments for staff working during the Commonwealth Games.

It comes after the city council failed in a bid to secure a legal ban on the protest at Scotland’s highest court. The union says staff at sports centres and museums are only receiving their basic pay rates for any additional hours they work.

In contrast, other council staff and those employed by council- run companies and transport workers are receiving enhanced payments or bonuses for working extra hours during the 2014 Games.

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Unemployed diabetic starves after benefits cut

DAVID Clapson, a former soldier and diabetic died alone and hungry after his benefits were sanctioned for failing to attend an appointment. He had run out of credit for electricity meaning his fridge where he stored his insulin no longer worked.

He died in Stevenage, Herts, with just £3.44 left in his account and a tin of soup and an old tin of sardines in his cupboard. Clapson served in the army in the north of Ireland in the 1970s and then worked for BT for many years.

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Passport workers strike

THOUSANDS of passport workers walked out on Monday 28th July in a bid to end staffing shortages that have caused the ongoing backlog crisis.

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Street art tells story of Liverpool Chinatown

STUNNING street art created in Liverpool’s Chinatown has captured major events in the life of what is one of Europe’s oldest Chinese communities.

A line of terraced houses forms the backdrop to a unique piece of public art reflecting what is an important part of the city’s history.

The project, called Opera for Chinatown, shows how British born missionary Gladys Aylward, who once lived in Chinatown’s “main street” — Nelson Street -- worked in China and saved hundreds of Chinese children from Japanese invaders.

The daring escape story was captured in the 1958 film The Inn of Sixth Happiness, starring screen legend Ingrid Bergman.

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Korea: A Glorious Victory

by New Worker correspondent

IN 1950 US imperialism launched a criminal attack on Democratic Korea. The Americans, backed by their Nato allies and their craven south Korean puppets spread death and destruction across the Korean peninsula but they were forced to sign a humiliating armistice on 27th July 1953.

Every year the Korean people mark the anniversary of the defeat of US imperialism and its lackeys with solemn ceremonies, meetings and a great parade through Pyongyang. And last Saturday friends and comrades gathered in central London for their own commemoration of the Day of Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War and the Day of Songun.

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International News

Fascist regime bans Ukrainian communists

by our European Affairs correspondent

THE UKRAINIAN communist party bloc in the Kiev parliament was dissolved last week amid new regime moves to ban the communist party outright on the grounds that it is supporting “separatism” and “terrorism”.

The dissolution of the communist parliamentary bloc on the grounds that it no longer met the necessary parliamentary threshold followed a law passed in the puppet regime’s parliament designed specifically to exclude the communists and anyone else who dares to oppose the neo-nazi regime.

On 1st July six MPs left the Communist Party faction in parliament, reducing it to 23 members. A vote on 22nd July, supported by 232 MPs gave the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament the power to dissolve a faction that has lost some of its members. But Communist leader Petro Symonenko, said this ban has “trampled on the will” of his party members. In the 2012 parliament election, they received 13 per cent of the vote.

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CPC captures “big tiger”

by Yamei Wang

THE CENTRAL Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has ordered an investigation of a member of the Politburo suspected of “serious disciplinary violations.”

The Communist Party of China (CPC) announced on Tuesday an investigation into Zhou Yongkang, the latest and highest ranking “tiger” in the anti-corruption campaign’s crosshairs.

The investigation of Zhou, a former Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China, for suspected “serious disciplinary violations” will be conducted by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

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A milestone in shaping a better world order

by Deng Yushan

CHINESE President Xi Jinping returned home last Friday after wrapping up his second visit to Latin America since taking office in March 2013.

The nearly two-weeklong tour not only remarkably consolidated China’s relations with Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba, but also opened a new chapter in the winwin cooperation between the Asian giant and the booming region across the Pacific with the establishment of a China-Latin America forum.

Yet that is not all there is to it. The trip, which also took Xi to the Brazilian port city of Fortaleza for the sixth summit of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS, yielded fruit that bears far-reaching global import.

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Foreigners advised to leave Libya

by Lena Valverde Jordi

SEVERAL countries have advised their nationals in Libya to leave the country immediately amid a raging battle in the capital, Tripoli. On Sunday, Egypt called on its citizens in Tripoli and Benghazi to seek “safer areas in Libya or head to the Libya-Tunisia border”. The violence also prompted Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands to follow suit.

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UN condemns Israel — US continues to support terrorism

by Adrian Chan-Wyles

AMERICA and her Western European allies have unconditionally supported a terrorist inspired, neo-Nazi government that has come to power in Western Ukraine, confronted only by the democratic military forces of Russia, and anti-Nazi partisans in Eastern Ukraine.

In the meantime, extreme anti-Russian racism and false propaganda has continued to emanate from the White House, trumpeted throughout Europe and the world via the rightwing BBC. It is an intense disinformation campaign designed to demonise Russia to such an extent that the fact that the Ukrainian usurpers adhere to the strictures of National Socialism — a ruthless fascist ideology — is hidden and obscured by the mind-boggling array of pretence and nonsense.

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Microsoft announces massive layoffs

by Chris Fry

MICROSOFT founder Bill Gates established the Gates Foundation, a supposedly “non-profit” enterprise that describes its mission this way: “We live in a globally connected, information saturated world. To thrive, our students need to learn in and out of school, in person and online, together and independently. Students need learning experiences that meet them where they are, engage them deeply, let them progress at a pace that meets their individual needs, and helps them master the skills for today and tomorrow.”

Not mentioned is that many companies linked to this enterprise reap huge profits selling exams, textbooks and other educational materials to schools. Also not mentioned is that jobs in high technology are increasingly hard to find.

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Viet Pride kicks off in Hanoi


WHILE the campaign to legalise same sex marriage in Vietnam may have stalled for the time being, enthusiasm remains high as the nation prepares for this year’s Viet Pride festival.

Under the theme Together, the third annual celebration of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) groups will take place from 1st to 3rd August in Hanoi.

The festival will start at the Hanoi Goethe Institute with films, discussions and presentations on the topic of gay partnerships.

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The ANZACs were sacrificed for profit

by Rob Gowland

THE CENTENARY of the outbreak of the First World War has provided rightwing media and politicians with the opportunity to promote a whole grab-bag of reactionary concepts, including militarism, mycountry- right-or-wrong style patriotism, jingoism, and notions of national superiority.

The democratic ideals represented by the rebellious miners in the Eureka Stockade, and the similar progressive ideas that drove the growth of militant trade unionism among urban and especially rural workers in Australia in the half-century before the War, are all swept aside as unimportant in this propaganda onslaught.

Instead the participation of Australians in the predatory wars of British imperialism is hailed as an example of national “glory”. I heard someone on radio the other day waxing enthusiastic about Australia’s involvement in the Boer War, when the Dutch farmers of the Orange Free State in South Africa tried (with some initial success) to resist conquest by British empire- builders intent on seizing territory in Africa “from the Cape to Cairo”.

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Communists in Britain and the fight against fascism in 2014

part two of two

by Daphne Liddle

AS COMMUNISTS, working with other anti-fascists of all kinds also gives opportunities for friendly dialogue as we stand shoulder to shoulder against fascism and it in no way implies our support for the political views on other matters of the people we are standing next to. Those are matters for peaceful argument during the lulls in fighting the fascists.

This is the only way to achieve the mass turnouts necessary to stop the fascists. And it happens naturally on the streets. Anti-fascists of all shades will defend one another regardless where there is a threat of attack by fascists or by police.

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