National News

Anti TTIP demo

HUNDREDS of protesters took to the streets in towns across Britain last Saturday to protest at the opening on Monday of a new stage in the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations in New York.

Saturday’s demonstration in West London started at Shepherds Bush Common. It was organised by campaign groups War on Want, Global Justice Now, Keep Our NHS Public, Brick Lane Debates and Students Against TTIP.

It began with an outdoor assembly with a few speakers followed by march to target corporate backers of TTIP.

Meanwhile in East London campaigners from 38 Degrees unfurled a banner outside Hackney Town Hall for a rally against TTIP.

Hackney resident and 38 Degrees member Cyril Couve urged Hackney Council to follow other local authorities and “declare its opposition to TTIP”. He said: “TTIP will prevent Councils from giving preference to local suppliers of goods and services over large multinational corporations, who openly avoid paying taxes and take the money out of the local community.”

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NF Undead leader haunts Clapton

by New Worker correspondent

MORE than 100 local residents and anti-fascists turned out at short notice to bar the progress of a short march by a tiny but toxic group of hard core Nazis in Clapton, East London, last Saturday. Former National Front leader Martin Webster was among them.

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Tax cuts for the rich

A NEW TUC-commissioned analysis published last Thursday of tax policies in the Conservative Party election manifesto shows that the party has chosen to prioritise unfunded tax giveaways to the wealthy over support for the low-paid and middle earners.

It shows that the big winners from unfunded tax cut proposals would be higher earners, with the lowest paid getting much smaller gains.

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Homeless protest in Manchester

AROUND 30 homeless people in Manchester have been camping in Albert Square front of the Town Hall for several days to raise awareness of the crisis in temporary housing.

Mostly the long-term homeless hide themselves away in shop doorways. The group, called Homeless Rights of Justice, have a court appearance on Monday to be evicted, after which they will have 48 hours to leave.

Until then, organisers of the protest say they will “pitch’ firm”. They say homeless people often feel ignored or invisible and hope this is a way of getting people’s attention about the cuts to shelters and emergency housing.

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Scottish News

from our Scottish Political Correspondent

“MORE SNP seats means more influence and power for the people of Scotland,” reads the Scottish National Party’s main election leaflet. This is of course utter nonsense, but it is nonsense that is proving dangerously popular among gullible sections of the voting public.

The “People of Scotland” have no common interests whatsoever simply by having a common place of residence. As in other countries, different sections of the population have conflicting interests.

Working class Scots have far more in common with workers in Liverpool or London while the kith and kin of Edinburgh bankers are bankers in London.

New Worker readers do not of course need to be reminded of this truism, but all too many have chosen to abandon it. In recent days divisions in the Conservative Party have come to light about the wisdom of David Cameron’s promotion of the SNP.

At one level the Tories stand to gain from an upsurge in SNP support which can only come at the expense of Labour and to a lesser extent the Liberal Democrats who can no longer pose as a party of protest.

There are signs that soon after the Referendum Tory Cabinet Ministers saw there could be some common interests between them and the SNP. If the Tories agreed on complete devolution of income tax to Holyrood that would allow for a realignment in Scotland that would see the Tories become the main centre-right party against the SNP as the main centre- left party.

Damaging Labour is in the interests of both parties as it would keep both the SNP and the Tories in power in their respective fiefdoms of Holyrood and Westminster.

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Solidarity with Greek anti-fascists

by New Worker correspondent AROUND 100 anti-fascists assembled in Front of the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square last Sunday to send a message of solidarity to anti-fascists in Greece fighting the Nazi Golden Dawn movement.

The event was on the day before up to 70 members of Golden Dawn were to be tried in a Greek court on charges relating to their criminal activities. Golden Dawn, like other fascist parties, has an electoral wing trying to win votes and a street fighting wing attacking and trying to intimidate communists, socialists, trade unionists and immigrants.

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International News

Polish General withdraws support for Ukraine

Novorossiya Today

POLISH General Waldemar Skrzypczak backed Ukraine’s aggression in Donbas. But when the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a law glorifying the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which had murdered his uncle as well as 100,000 Poles during the Second World War, Waldemar Skrzypczak repudiated his previous support.

General Skrzypczak, the former commander of the Polish Army (2006-09) and former Deputy Minister of Defence (2012-13), told the newspaper Gazeta Prawna (GP): “I repudiate everything that I said earlier about supporting Ukraine.”

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Bandung Spirit still relevant

by Tai Beiping and Lu Juan

SIXTY years ago delegates from 29 Asian and African countries gathered in Bandung, Indonesia for a conference to decide their own future and destiny. That conference gave birth to the Bandung Spirit, calling for solidarity, friendship and cooperation, seeking common ground while shelving differences, and pursuing common development.

More than half a century has passed, drastic and profound changes have taken place in the world. The Bandung Spirit, which upholds principles of solidarity, friendship and cooperation, still holds significant importance for Asian and African nations and the international community as a whole. Following the Asian-African Conference in 1955, the Bandung Spirit served as an important foundation for building a new international political and economic order that is just and equitable, and provided guidance for developing countries to seek strength through unity and cooperation.

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China-Pakistan friendship a blessing

by Liu Shimeng

THE FRIENDSHIP between China and Pakistan has been praised as “higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey”. Generations of leaders and people from both countries have devoted energy to the relationship.

On his first visit to Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping said it was like “visiting the home of my own brother”.

Those who have cast doubt on the relationship because of Xi’s cancelled visit to Pakistan last autumn are too blind to see that the two countries’ bilateral ties are there for many good reasons.

As neighbours, China and Pakistan have always been ready to extend a helping hand. A Chinese rescue team was the first to arrive in 2005 when a 7.8 magnitude quake jolted Pakistan, and the Pakistani government contributed all of its tents, including those in strategic reserves, to China’s quake-stricken areas in Sichuan in 2008.

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Ukraine: Terror campaign targets opposition as US troops arrive

by Greg Butterfield

IN JUST four days in mid-April, three well known critics of the US-backed Ukrainian junta were murdered in the capital, Kiev. The deaths followed a spate of more than a dozen other suspicious deaths and suicides of regime opponents.

Those killed were former parliamentary deputy Oleg Kalashnikov and journalists Sergei Sukhobok and Oles Buzina.

Immediately after Buzina’s death near his home in Kiev on 16th April, Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor and parliamentary deputy Anton Gerashchenko posted on his Facebook page: “Everyone who was involved in the organisation and financing of Antimaidan or other unlawful acts against Maidan and feels a threat to their life, please contact the law enforcement agencies, so as not to follow the path of Kalashnikov and Buzina”. In other words: Turn yourself in or be killed.

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Cuba goes football crazy

Havana Reporter

IN A COUNTRY renowned for baseball par excellence, a love of football, played on improvised pitches with home-made balls of a quality that reveals the dreams and realities of the children and adolescents who kick them about, is growing in parallel.

Balls made of materials at hand, though a far cry from the real McCoy, evoke in the players a sense that the games, played according to the rules and observed by spectators who failed to make the teams and seem unable to suppress their envy, are very real indeed.

The goalie, anchored in fantasy, represents an invisible boundary marked by this keeper selected by his junior contemporaries, lays his very soul on the line in efforts to halt airborne missiles — intended to bathe their masters in glory on impact — of an opposing team.

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Features

Hillary Clinton for President: To be or not to be?

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

THERE can be no doubt that Hillary Rodham Clinton is the natural choice of today’s Democratic Party in the United States of America as front-runner for the 2016 Presidential election, given her heavyweight political pedigree over many decades. The question is, does the Democrat Donkey want to move on?

Let us start the debate by raising the level and let me state categorically that I will refuse to respect or engage with those who mention affairs with interns at the White House (which is as demeaning as it is insulting and has nothing whatsoever to do with Hillary Clinton as a public figure; it is a private matter for the families, who have anyway moved on from there). Let us also not vote for Hillary Clinton just because she is a woman, however appealing the urge because doing so would be as sexist as not voting for Hillary Clinton, just because she is a woman.

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US-led exercises in Korea threaten nuclear catastrophe in East Asia

by George Cockburn

ONE OF the world’s largest military drills, involving almost a quarter of a million personnel, the United States Seventh Fleet’s “battle force” Task Force 70, B-54 and stealth bombers, amphibious beach landings, hundreds of tanks, artillery pieces and “nuclear-powered attack submarines” is coming to an end as this newspaper goes to press.

These exercises are taking place in one of most likely flashpoints on the planet for a major war to break out, in a divided country with one of the largest concentrations of armed forces in the world along the Military Demarcation Line (armistice line) — and yet they are virtually ignored by the western mass media.

In 2013 the Pentagon declared that the exercises included “longrange nuclear-capable B-2 (stealth) bomber flights over the Korean peninsula in a show of force,” in other words dummy nuclear bombing runs, yet in the same breath claimed they were of a “non-provocative nature”!

And this month Washington announced a plans to deploy missile defence forces in Korea, clearly intended to make a pre-emptive first nuclear strike against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) possible.

No wonder the Pyongyang (capital of the DPRK) daily Rodong Sinmun (The Daily Worker) recently declared that inter-Korean relations were “inching close to a catastrophe”. Viewed from Pyongyang such exercises can easily be seen as a cover for an actual invasion.

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