National News

Suicide guidance for DWP staff

THE DEPARTMENT of Work and Pensions is giving “suicide guidance” to staff in its Glasgow call centre on how to deal with claimants who become suicidal when told their benefits have been stopped following changes to the system as the new round of austerity cuts is implemented. The plan is expected to be rolled out throughout the country soon.

The staff have been told to wave the guidance, printed on a laminated pink card, above their head, to attract the attention of a manager, who will come over and “make some assessment on the degree of risk ” by asking a series of questions.

The guidance is meant to help staff dealing with unsuccessful applicants for Universal Credit who are threatening to self-harm or take their own life.

The call-centre workers, who earn between £15,000 and £17,000 a year, must “find out specifically what is planned, when it is planned for, and whether the customer has the means-to-hand”, according to the guidance seen by the Sunday Herald.

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DPAC opposes assisted dying Bill

THE CAMPAIGN group Disabled People Against the Cuts is strongly opposing the two Assisted Dying Bills that are before through Parliament.

DPAC says: “It is really important that Deaf and Disabled people and our organisations speak out loudly against the legalisation of assisted suicide and raise awareness of the threat this poses to disability equality.

“Our message is that we want support to live not die. At a time when essential support is being taken away from us, when the challenges we face are exponentially growing as a direct result of adverse government policy, it is more dangerous than ever to introduce legislation which encourages suicide as a solution to the barriers Disabled people face.

“We say: give Disabled people a right to independent living before a right to suicide.” DPAC is asking supporters to sign up to the Reclaiming Our Futures statement. It’s quick and easy to do: just email your name to ellen. clifford@inclusionlondon. org.uk with AS statement in the subject line.

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‘Illegal’ workers may face jail

THE NEW Immigration Bill will criminalise illegal immigrants who find work in England and Wales and those found guilty could face up to six months in prison.

The Bill, to be introduced in the autumn, will also contain measures against takeaway restaurants and off-licences which employ illegal migrants. Penalties will also include an unlimited fine and wages being seized.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

THE GAIETY of the Scottish nation has been greatly enhanced by recent internal wranglings within the Scottish National Party. The cause of the discord is the battle for parliamentary nominations where the prize is a £59,089 per year three-day-week job in the Scottish Parliament. One example occurred at a meeting of the Uddingston and Bellshill Branch where a meeting was abandoned after the branch convener, Richard Lyle, already a Central Scotland list MSP, won the constituency nomination.

Things got lively when the branch narrowly voted to make a donation, illegal under SNP rules, to “Hope Over Fear”, the nationalist vanity project run by disgraced MSP Tommy Sheridan.

At least one complaint of threatening behaviour has been made to the police. One member present told the Bellshill Speaker: “It got out of hand to the extent that Mr Lyle had to abandon the meeting.

“For years he and others worked to keep the SNP alive in this area, but now there seems to be a complete lack of respect for him in some quarters.

“This level of antagonism and intimidating behaviour cannot go on. If it does we’ll have party HQ disbanding the branch or we’ll need stewards to keep order at meetings.” So much for civic nationalism.

Because the SNP is riding high in the polls List MSPs are seeking constituency seats as they would lose out in the top up vote which benefits less popular parties. The imposition of women-only shortlists has also set male MSPs at each other throats.

Even the Minister for Public Health is having to fight off a challenge in her Aberdeen constituency from a fellow MSP who is being displaced by the all-women rule.

One anonymous SNP MSP informed the Times: “When we had a relatively small branch, everyone knew who the troublemakers were and they could be side-lined. But now, with hundreds of new members, the troublemakers have a new outlet for their vitriol and they can stir things up against sitting MSPs.” So clearly he is not impressed by the new recruits the SNP boasts about.

The prize for back stabbing goes to Tony Giugliano who was a former parliamentary aide to Colin Keir, MSP for Edinburgh Western, but has now won the nomination to replace him.

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International News

Greece heads for the polls again

by our European Affairs correspondent

GREECE is preparing for another snap poll following a split in the ruling Syriza party’s parliamentary bloc that brought down the government of Alexis Tsipras last week. Tsipras has resigned and called for fresh elections, which could take place on 20th September.

Tsipras is a charlatan who has repeatedly deceived the Greek people with fine fighting talk of resistance while carrying on where the discredited old social-democratic and conservative coalition left off in maintaining the draconian austerity regime imposed on the Greek people by the European banks and the International Monetary Fund.

Twenty-five Syriza MPs pulled out of Tsipras’ Syriza (Radical Left) party last week in protest at the social-democratic poser’s decision to renew the European Union’s crippling bail-out programme. Their leader, Panagiotis Lafazanis, has formed a new party called Popular Unity to contest the next election. Lafazanis, a former minister in Tsipras’ cabinet, was an outspoken critic of Tsipras’ sell-out to the EU and the IMF in June.

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Ukraine filmmaker jailed for plotting terrorism in Crimea

UKRAINIAN filmmaker Oleh Sentsov was on Tuesday sentenced to 20 years in jail by Russia’s North Caucasus District Military Court for plotting terrorist attacks in Crimea. A second defendant, Alexander Kolchenko, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.

Oleh Sentsov was accused of setting up a terrorist group in Crimea, believed to be a sub-division of Ukraine’s Right Sector nationalist party.

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Long overdue UN exhibit on World Anti-Fascist War opens

by Hou Qiang

“THIS IS long overdue,” said Donald Thurin, an affiliate to the United Nations (UN), after viewing an exhibition on the World Anti-Fascist War here Monday evening.

“The history of (the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression) should have been more often talked about, considering its contribution to the defeat of fascist Japan,” Thurin said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

Titled Remembering for Peace the five-day exhibition to commemorate the victory, displayed many historical photos showcasing the efforts made by Chinese during the anti-Japanese war.

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Donbas rallies as Kiev regime prepares offensive

by Greg Butterfield

THOUSANDS of people in Donetsk city rallied on 24th August, despite overnight shelling in the city, and faced with the imminent threat of a new military offensive by Ukrainian troops, to demand that the Kiev regime, headed by President Peter Poroshenko, stop the war against the independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics of the Donbas region.

The anti-war protest, entitled “Ukraine’s Dependence Day,” was a rejoinder to the jingoist Independence Day celebrations organised in Ukraine by the junta of oligarchs, neo-liberal politicians and fascists that took power with US-European Union backing in February 2014. The far-right regime has been dependent on western economic and military support ever since. The 24th August 1991 was the day pro-capitalist and nationalist forces in Ukraine declared “independence” from the Soviet Union. The breakup of the first socialist state took place under Washington stooges Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Ma’loula shakes off the dust of terrorism

by Basma Qaddour

ON 20TH APRIL 2014 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad went to the town of Ma’loula, some 56 km north-east of the capital, Damascus, that had recently been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army. Looking at the destruction carried by the terror gangs during their occupation the Syrian leader vowed that no one could erase Syria’s humanitarian history and civilisation.

This statement reflects the determination of Syrian people and government to rebuild all the historical sites damaged by the barbaric terrorists who came to Syria from more than 100 countries with the support of some world powers and regional states.

Among these historic sites is Ma’loula, which is the only place in the world where Aramaic — the language spoken by Jesus Christ — is still used as a living language.

This town was occupied by the sectarian terrorists from September 2013 to April 2014. The Maloulans were driven out and their homes were damaged during this period.

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Features

Ireland 44 Parnell Square — Home of An Phoblacht and Sinn Féin

by a Special Correspondent

DUBLIN’S Parnell Square is one of Ireland’s most historic squares. It was here, in the Round Room of the Rotunda, site of the present Ambassador Theatre that the Volunteers met in armed convention in 1783.

At the beginning of the 20th century both Sinn Féin, in 1905, and the Irish Volunteers, in 1913, were founded in the same room.

On one side of the square Tom Clarke, first signatory of the Proclamation, had his tobacco shop while, on the other side, Pádraig Mac Piarais, First President of the Irish Republic, presented his sword to Britain’s General Lowe, with the surrender of the Easter Rising.

The Square contains many notable houses. Number 29 was Vaughan’s Hotel, from where Michael Collins directed the “12 Disciples” who eliminated 14 British Intelligence officers during the Tan War.

Number 31 was the headquarters of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, whose Hibernian Rifles fought in 1916 armed with blunderbusses and dressed in bright green uniforms with large pheasant feathers protruding from their hats.

Number 25 was the headquarters of Conradh na Gaeilge and the place where the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood planned the Rising.

Number 44 Parnell Square was the headquarters of the Irish Volunteers after their foundation.

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United States 50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion

by Abayomi Azikiwe

JUST FIVE days after the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Watts Rebellion erupted. It lasted several days.

Coming out of the Selma campaign, US Democratic President Lyndon B Johnson was forced to introduce legislation designed to ensure the right to vote for African Americans.

Nonetheless the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the voting rights legislation the following year were not nearly enough to assuage the African-American people in their quest for full equality and self-determination. Unemployment, poverty, racist violence and substandard education fuelled the anger of working-class and poor youth throughout the US.

As early as 11th May 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, an often forgotten rebellion occurred in the midst of the largely non-violent struggle to break down legalised segregation. In 1964, a series of violent outbreaks occurred in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Harlem, New York, and several cities in New Jersey.

Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, broke with the Nation of Islam in March 1964 and later formed the Organisation of Afro-American Unity, calling for a revolutionary organisation urging self-defence against racist violence and international solidarity with the African and Middle Eastern independence movements and progressive governments.

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Chinese veteran hopes young generation remembers horrors of WWII

Sputnik

DAI HONG is an 87-year-old Chinese veteran of the Second Sino-Japanese War; she told [Sputnik] of Chinese soldiers’ bravery and hopes that deeds of heroism by soldiers will never be forgotten. On 3rd September China will mark 70 years since the surrender of Japan in the Second World War. The war began in 1937 and finished with Japan’s 15th August verbal surrender and documents signed on 2nd September 1945, ending World War II.

A Young Guerrilla

Dai joined the Eighth Route Army under command of the Chinese Communist Party when she was a 10-year-old girl leaving for China’s mountains.

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