National News

Neo-Nazi riot in Dover

AROUND 250 hard-line neo-Nazis, from the National Front and the South East Alliance, descended on Dover last Saturday to demand that Britain closes its borders and refuses to admit any more refugees.

The racist thugs hoped that most anti-fascists would be in London taking part in the big “Refugees Welcome” march and celebrating the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

Nevertheless there was still a good turn-out of young anti-fascists from the Anti- Fascist Network came out to oppose them and tried to block their path, surrounding the pub that was supposed to be the starting point of the fascists’ march.

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Workers should be paid for time travelling

THE UNION GMB last week welcomed a ruling by a European Union court last week that workers who start and finish their work at home and have to travel from client to client should have their time travelling counted as part of their working hours.

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Vivienne Westwood leads fracking attack

THE RENOWNED punk fashion designer Vivienne Westwood led a protest of grandmothers with their grandchildren against fracking to David Cameron’s home in Chadlington, Oxfordshire, last Friday, riding on top of a white-painted tank.

The protesters, wearing gas masks, were angry at Cameron for granting 27 new licences to explore onshore oil and gas, opening up 270 square km of the country to fracking. The areas in question are in Yorkshire, the northwest and the east Midlands. Ms Westwood said: “It’s just so irresponsible. The people are not only criminal, they’re actually idiots.”

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UN inquiry into violation of disabled rights confirmed

DISABILITY News Service (DNS) last week confirmed that Britain seems to have become the first country to face a high-level inquiry by the United Nation’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).

The committee said last summer, when approached by DNS that it was not allowed to say whether the inquiry was underway. But DNS is now able to state definitively that the inquiry is taking place, and has been underway since January 2014.

The inquiry was triggered by the grassroots campaigning organisation Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), which had grown increasingly concerned by the disproportionate impact of the coalition’s cuts on disabled people.

DPAC first contacted CRPD in 2012 and began to submit evidence about the coalition’s cuts and reforms in early 2013, with its request for an inquiry considered by the committee behind closed doors in April 2013.

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Veteran, 91, collapses after eviction threat

RICHARD Lawson, a 91-year-old veteran of the Second World War, living in Addington, South Croydon, was taken to hospital after collapsing “because of the stress” of receiving a letter from the council threatening eviction for rent arrears.

A local newspaper, The Advertiser, told last week how Lawson was having to live off Tesco sandwiches after the kitchen of his council flat flooded at the end of August.

But no sooner had engineers returned Lawson’s flat to working order than he received a letter from Croydon Council on Friday last week stating he would be evicted if he did not pay money owed on his rent.

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Increase in families with problem debt

THE NUMBER of families with problem debt rose by more than a quarter since 2012 according to a new report commissioned by the TUC and the union Unison.

The report, Britain in the Red, shows that in 2014 one in eight households (3.2 million) were over-indebted compared to one in 10 (2.5 million) in 2012.

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GMB wins damages for working mum

THE GENERAL union GMB last week won substantial damages for a young working mother who had been dismissed for gross misconduct for absenteeism while her daughter was in hospital.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish Political correspondent

THE FIRST anniversary of the “Once in a Generation” Scottish Referendum is upon us. The SNP seem to have decided to commemorate the event by proclaiming it is time for another one.

In this they resemble their beloved European Union which insists on a new referendum whenever it does not go the right way. Perhaps they think that the generation in question is that of the midge rather than humans.

Talking about a new referendum is a good way of distracting attention from questions concerning the police imposing random drug tests, declining educational standards, wanting to take control of the universities and a host of other failings in those areas where the nationalists are in charge.

Last week’s spectacle of the First Minister singing God Save the Queen in her presence at the reopening of the Borders railway has got many of her supporters ranting about her having sold out.

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International News

Washington wants another Afghanistan in Syria

by Lyuba Lulko

THE RUSSIAN president’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, was recently asked whether Putin was considering sending Russian troops to Syria. Obviously the West is not going to be satisfied with the negative answer to the question. The media campaign to discredit Russia over Syria has quite a few objectives and it shows is that Washington is not ready for a dialogue on dealing with the Islamic State.

Last week US Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Russia’s direct military presence in Syria could escalate the conflict, lead to more deaths among civilians, intensify the flow of refugees and prevent the actions of the coalition of western countries against the ISIS extremists.

The Americans then increased the pressure on Russia by getting Bulgaria to deny air-space to Russian planes carrying humanitarian aid to Syria. Athens sighed with relief because Greece was second in the air corridor.

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Colombia and Venezuela Crisis Continue

by Ivan Martínez

THE COLOMBIAN Venezuelan relationship has developed since the early 16th century, when Spanish empire colonisers created the province of Santa Marta, now in Colombia, and the province of New Andalucia now in Venezuela. Both countries share a history for achieving their independence under Simón Bolívar and becoming one nation — Gran Colombia — which dissolved in the 19th century. Since then the overall relationship between the two countries has vacillated.

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World’s strongest girl arrives in Syria


RUSSIA’S young powerlifting champion Maryana Naumova arrived in Syria last week following an invitation from the country’s first lady, Asma Akhras al-Assad.

The 16-year-old athlete had earlier expressed her strong desire to visit Syria so that she can see for herself what is going on in the country through first-hand experience, and was officially invited by the Syrian first lady.

On her social network account Naumova wrote about her plans to see local schools, sports facilities and the training base of a female special task force during her visit.

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Cuban women also play football

Havana Reporter

THE SOARING interest in football in Cuba does not discriminate sexually, women here enjoy and play “the beautiful game” and dare to dream of Olympic or World Cup glory...or at the very least of a crowd turning up to watch them play.

In fact a Cuban ladies football game very rarely attracts even 100 fans, something taken by the national team — of a game practised by women in Cuba for more than six decades — to be just another obstacle to overcome.

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Joss Stone to rock Monsoon Music Festival


BRITISH Grammy-winning soul singer Joss Stone tops a long list of artists from 10 different countries performing at the second Monsoon Music Festival (MMF) in Hanoi next month. In a video sent to the festival’s organisation board, Stone, who is also a songwriter and actress, expressed her excitement about visiting Hanoi and said she “can’t wait to perform here”.

The singer, who became one of the youngest artists to ever win a Grammy, will thrill Hanoi’s audience with her passionate and powerful voice during a one-and-a-half-hour performance at Thang Long Imperial Citadel on 10th October.

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Sun Jihai becomes Premier League club’s ambassador

by Liu

FORMER China international football player Sun Jihai will become the club ambassador in China for Premier League club Manchester City.

Last week the club announced on its website that the Chinese Sun will “make a return to the Club” after he spent six years with the Blues between 2002 to 2008, making 130 appearances and scoring on four occasions.

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Nicaraguan Canal: A route for peace and unity

by Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenst

A DISTANCE of 2,610 kilometres separates the isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico from the Atrato River in Colombia, which forms a natural eastern border with Central America.

There are various areas — between seven and 19 according to different experts — in this region with the potential to construct a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Although the 64 kilometre Darién stretch represents the narrowest course, numerous other studies to find a feasible route between the two largest bodies of water on the planet have been carried out over the years.

But it wasn’t until the mid- 19th century that the possibility of building a canal became a viable prospect.

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Will China save the global economy?

by Zoltan Zigedy

UNDERSTANDING the People’s Republic of China (PRC) constitutes a formidable challenge to every Marxist. Of course it’s not a challenge based on some racist notion of “oriental inscrutability” or even the task of unravelling the obstacles presented by size, diversity, and complexity.

Instead it is the perplexing doctrine of “socialism with Chinese characteristics” that confounds many of us. While no one can contest that the Chinese Communist Party is the leading force in Chinese society, some see the Party as leading the PRC in the wrong direction — along the path of capitalist restoration.

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