National News

Fracking Day of Action

CAMPAIGNERS against fracking occupied Government buildings and drilling sites all around the country last Monday as part of a national — and international Day of Action against fracking — extracting gas from underground layers of rock by using drills and water pressure to fracture the rock. It can lead to minor earthquakes and it can cause contamination of water supplies.

Yet the Government is promoting this dangerous quest for profit by the private fuel companies and offering them access to drilling under about half the land surface of Britain and to remove the right of property owners to refuse permission to drilling under their land.

In London three activists superglued themselves to the doors of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in London at 8am on Monday, while another climbed the building to unfurl a banner reading “What’s to hide Defra? — Don’t frack with our future”, in reference to the department’s release last week of a report on fracking impacts which was heavily edited.

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RMT leads fight against driverless trains

MEMBERS and supporters of the RMT transport union’s campaign against plans by Rail North to introduce driverless trains last Monday handed 10,000 postcards opposing the consultation plans to the Department of Transport in London.

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Welcome home for Talha Ahsan

FAMILY and friends of Talha Ahsan organised a rally to celebrate his return home to Britain after years of detention in Britain and the United States.

Syed Talha Ahsan is an award winning British poet and translator. He was arrested at his family home in London, on 19th July 2006 in response to a request from the USA under the US-UK Extradition Act 2003.

Talha Ahsan was detained without charge for over six years before his extradition to the United States on 5th October 2012. Ahsan was accused of helping to set up an Islamic fundamentalist website based in Connecticut that raised funds for the Taliban and other Islamic terror groups in Bosnia and Chechnya. The Americans also claimed that Ahsan had provided support to Al Qaida and that he had fought in Afghanistan. Ahsan, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, denies all charges.

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NHS private provider botches eye ops

A PRIVATE health company contracted to provide eye care at an NHS hospital damaged the eyes of 31 out of 62 patients in routine cataract operations.

Patients were left with partial loss of sight, blurred vision, pain and swelling after undergoing routine cataract operations provided by Vanguard Healthcare, a private firm brought into Musgrove Park Hospital, Somerset, to clear the waiting list backlog.

Cataract operations usually have a very low complication rate, with around one in 400 resulting in harm. The firm is now facing multiple legal claims for the 31 out of 62 operations that caused damage.

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Claimants face rent crisis

HOUSING associations and councils are warning tenants who are claimants to put money aside or make extra rent payments in advance now to help them through the transfer to the Government’s much delayed universal credit scheme.

Currently housing benefit is usually paid direct to landlords but under the new scheme it will be included in their universal credit and they will have to pay it to the landlords from this. Furthermore it will have to be paid a month in advance.

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Britain facing UN inquiry into disability rights?

BRITAIN and its government appear to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by a United Nations committee into “grave or systemic violations” of the rights of disabled people.

The committee has the power to launch an inquiry if it receives “reliable information” that such violations have been committed by a country signed up to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its optional protocol.

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People’s March for the NHS

HUNDREDS of NHS supporters gathered in Jarrow last Saturday to protest against NHS privatisation and to launch a 999 Call for the NHS People’s March to follow in the footsteps of the historic Jarrow March for Jobs of 1936.

The People’s March for the NHS, covering 300 miles from Jarrow to Westminster, has been organised by a group of working mothers from Darlington, who using the name #darlomums on social networking sites.

They say: “We are asking the public to join us for a mile or two or join us for ten or the full 300 miles, or come to our rallies just be part of the fight back.”

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Shocking working conditions of Tube cleaners

TRANSPORT Union RMT last week exposed the dire working conditions of cleaners on London’s Underground, who are instructed to book on for shifts by fingerprint in filthy, rat-infested cupboards used to store the stinking waste collected across the Tube network.

The cleaners, working for ISS have been in a long-running dispute over the attempt to enforce the fingerprint sign-in system which has led to staff being intimidated, bullied and locked out of the workplace as they refuse to comply with a move that is threatening, degrading and carries all the overtones of a Police State.

The pictures and video obtained by RMT show that the only facilities available to staff, doing some of the dirtiest jobs on the underground, are filthy and disgusting cupboards overflowing with waste with a fingerprinting machine fixed to the wall.

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London highlights Ming Dynasty exhibition

Xinhua LONDON’S most well known cultural institutions gathered together last week to promote the metropolis’ autumn cultural season, which will highlight an exhibition about China’s Ming Dynasty.

The exhibition — [Ming: 50 years that changed China] — focuses on 1400- 1450, a key period in the dynasty’s early years and will be held from 18th September 2014 to 5th January 2015 at the British Museum in London.

Between 1400 and 1450 China was a global superpower run by one family — the Ming dynasty, which established Beijing as the capital and built the Forbidden City.

During this period, Ming China was thoroughly connected with the outside world. Chinese artists absorbed many fascinating influences and created some of the most beautiful objects and paintings ever made.

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International News

Ukrainian fascists attack as peace talks stall

by our European Affairs correspondent

UKRAINIAN puppet regime forces and fascist militias launched a new offensive to crush the anti-fascist revolt in the east, tightening the siege of the rebel-held cities of Lugansk and Donetsk. Battles are raging on the outskirts of Lugansk as partisans fight to stave off a fascist advance into the heart of the breakaway republics of Novorossiya in eastern Ukraine.

The people’s militias have, so far, stalled off the fascist advance inflicting heavy casualties on the fascist forces and downing another Ukrainian warplane on Sunday.

The plight of the civilians trapped in the cities and short of medicine, water and food is worsening. Hundreds of Russian lorries packed with humanitarian aid are still waiting for clearance to cross the frontier as the Kiev government Ukrainians continue to stall in talks with the Russians.

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Hong Kong: voice of silent majority showcases value of rule of law

by Yan Hao

NEARLY 120,000 people in Hong Kong joined a Sunday parade in the final stage of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy’s campaign against the Occupy Central movement and in support of a peaceful and legitimate way to determine how the region’s next chief executive should be elected through universal suffrage.

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Maradona sends birthday greetings to Fidel

by Juan Leandro

“HAPPY birthday to the greatest. I love you and I hope you can celebrate another 100 years of life for the joy of people,” Diego Armando Maradona said on his Facebook page, in his message to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

The former Argentinean football star joined the many congratulations Fidel Castro received on the occasion of his 88th birthday on 13th August.

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Justice for Michael Brown!

by Deidre Griswold

THE GRIM news that police have killed yet another unarmed African- American youth comes this time from Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis. Michael Brown, just 18, had expected to enter college in a few weeks. Police have not yet come up with any explanation for why officers riddled Brown’s body with 10 bullets after stopping him as he walked with a friend to his grandmother’s house. Nor has the Ferguson Police Department even released the name of the killer cop, who has been put on “administrative leave”.

Would this even have made national news without the outpouring of rage from the Black community that followed the youth’s killing? An impromptu memorial the next night turned into a protest demonstration, surrounded by hundreds of cops in riot gear and armed with tear gas, shotguns and attack dogs. Youth repeatedly confronted the police with the cry “Don’t shoot me!” as they turned their backs and held their hands up high in the air.

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New TV serial reflects growing political openness in China

by Fu Peng

THE AIRING of the new TV drama about late leader Deng Xiaoping has reflected growing tolerance toward artistic portrayal of sensitive political issues and figures in China, director Wu Ziniu said.

Since its premiere last Friday, the 48-episode prime-time TV series has been drawing plaudits, as it boldly depicted controversial politicians including Hua Guofeng and Hu Yaobang and touched on rarely-touched topics such as the Cultural Revolution.

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Artists decry Zionist offensive in Gaza

by M Wasouf

A COLLECTION of artworks on the Israeli military strikes against Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip created by international cartoonists and artists has been put on show in the occupied West Bank.

Organised by the Mahmoud Darwish Museum, the exhibition in the West Bank city of Ramallah has brought together artists from countries around the world, including the United States, Europe and Latin America.

Some artists have portrayed tragicomic depiction of the events in Gaza, such as an Israeli soldier holding a gun against a Palestinian child playing it as a musical instrument. Others depicted Gaza in a pool of blood.

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Shakespeare’s Globe comes to Cuba

by Mireya Castañeda

THIS YEAR on 23rd April, the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth was celebrated, and the London theatre company which bears his name, Shakespeare’s Globe, began a two-year tour presenting a version of Hamlet around the world.

After travelling 34,345 km and visiting 30 countries, including Norway, Russia, Finland, Ukraine, Croatia, the United States, and the Bahamas, the project entitled Globe-to- Globe Hamlet has now arrived in Cuba, the company’s first stop in a Spanish- speaking nation.

From Havana, the small group of artists will take their rendition of the great tragedy Hamlet, Prince of Denmark to other locations in the region, including Mexico; Belize; Santo Domingo, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Haiti.

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Democratic Korea: eternal exploits in the struggle for national liberation

by Kim Yu Gyong

AUGUST 15th is the historic day when the Korean people achieved national liberation after a ferocious struggle against Japanese imperialism.

The liberation of Korea is the greatest achievement President Kim Il Sung, the founding father of socialist Korea, made on behalf of the country and the people.

In the 1920s, when the imperialists enforced their extremely harsh rule over the colonial countries in the East, the Korean and other oppressed peoples rose up for national liberation and class emancipation.

However, the struggle for national liberation in Korea experienced repeated failures because it was not led by a correct guiding ideology. The revolutionary ranks were not prepared and a right fighting method was not found.

In the circumstances Kim Il Sung shouldered the destiny of the country and people and embarked on the road of revolution in his early years. He made an in-depth analysis of the requirements of the developing revolution in the new era of history and the lesson of the previous anti-Japanese national liberation movement.

Ukrainian Nazis and the ‘Commissar Order’

by Victor Shapinov

Victor Shapinov, of the Marxist organisation Union Borotba (Struggle), makes the connection between the Nazi practice of extermination of communists and commissars in 1941 and the latest news about the “Anti-Terrorist Operation” that is currently targeting communists and leftist activists in Ukraine.

THE “COMMISSAR Order” was issued by the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht on 6th June 1941 — two weeks before Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union. The decree stated that “the commissars are not recognised as soldiers; they are not covered by the international legal protections for... (prisoners of war). After sorting them out, destroy them.”

In Operational Order Number 8 of 17th July 1941, Reinhard Heydrich, chief of the SS and Security Police, set the task of teams operating in the occupied territories: “First of all, they should identify: all major public party workers, ... all former political commissars of the Red Army, ... senior economic officials, Soviet- Russian intellectuals, all Jews, all who are known as instigators or fanatical communists.” Such “dangerous persons,” even if they did not resist, should be shot on the spot or sent to death camps.

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Malaysian plane was downed by Ukrainian jet says expert

By Lyuba Lulko

ROMANIAN military expert, pilot and former deputy commander of Otopeni military airport, Valentin Vasilescu, has presented his version of the tragedy of the Malaysian Boeing in the sky over Ukraine. According to the expert, the plane was shot down by Ukrainian MiG-29, possibly piloted by Polish pilot.

Valentin Vasilescu refutes the theory that the plane was shot down by surface-to-air missiles, which, according to American and Ukrainian versions, the rebel militia launched from Buk-1M mobile unit.

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