National News

RSPB fights fracking

THE ROYAL Society for the Protection of Birds last week issued a warning that almost 300 of England’s most important wildlife sites at risk from fracking.

This warning follows the completion of a full analysis of the areas of land that Government have offered to energy companies to explore for oil and gas.

The analysis showed that 293 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) have been included in the 159 oil and gas licences that the Government have offered to energy companies to date.

An SSSI is a conservation designation given to a protected area in Britain, often protecting a certain species or habitats. Nine RSPB nature reserves are also included within the licensed areas including Bempton Cliffs — which is home to one of Europe’s largest seabird colony, Nagshead and Fairburn Ings.

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Edinburgh University to honour seven brave women

SEVEN brave Scots women who fought for their right to become the first in the UK to study at university in 1869 have been commemorated.

Known as the Edinburgh Seven for their determination to attend university and study medicine, their names will always be remembered after being engraved on a special plaque celebrating their achievements.

They are one of eight historical groups or figures to be recognised by the Historic Scotland commemorative plaques scheme, now in its fourth year, at Edinburgh University yesterday.

The Edinburgh Seven were Sophia Jex-Blake, Isabel Thorne, Edith Pechey, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Mary Anderson, and Emily Bovell. In one incident, they were barred from attending an anatomy class by a large crowd and pelted with rubbish in what became known as the Surgeons’ Hall Riot.

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Junior doctors consider strike action

JUNIOR doctors are considering strike action in protest as the Department of Health is pushing through a new contract for all junior doctors (essentially any doctor who isn’t a consultant) which will make them work much longer hours and take a huge 40 per cent pay cut.

Andrew Collier, co-chair of the UK Junior Doctors Committee, said: “We will resist a contract that is bad for patients, bad for junior doctors and bad for the NHS.”

When medics went on strike in 1975 over increased working hours and massive pay cuts, thousands of operations had to be cancelled. The London Ambulance Service declared an emergency and was only able to attend the most serious cases.

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Veteran for peace blasts mutiny threat

BEN GRIFFIN, a former SAS soldier has lambasted the anonymous British Army general who predicted a military mutiny if Jeremy Corbyn is elected prime minister.

He said the comments threaten democracy and that the military has no excuses for declining to investigate. Griffin, who served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now a member of anti-war group Veterans for Peace UK.

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Benefit cuts still killing

A CORONER last week ruled that a depressed man’s suicide was a direct result of the Department of Work and Pensions “fit to work” benefit cuts.

The DWP found Michael O’Sullivan, a 60-year-old father from north London was found “fit to work” based on an assessment by the department’s outsourced agents.

Sullivan hanged himself after his disability benefits were removed despite the opinion of three doctors that he was suffering from recur- rent depression and certified as unable to work by his GP.

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Britain’s deficit balloons

BRITAIN’S economic deficit with the rest of the world has risen to a 24- year record, according to official figures released on Friday.

The current account deficit, which includes the trade balance, earnings on foreign investments and cash transfers in and out of the country, widened to £20.7 billion between July and September from £6.2 billion in the second quarter.

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Osborne plans to cut infant free dinners

THE CHILDREN’S Society last week warned that Chancellor George Osborne, in his November spending review, is planning to abolish the scheme that provide free school dinners to all infant school children

The Universal Free School Meal policy provides lunchtime meals for all pupils in Key Stage One, and is thought to save families around £400 per child per year.

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War criminal Netanyahu Greeted by Anti-Israel Protests

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week arrived in Britain to barrage of protests and a 100,000-signature petition for him to be arrested and tried as a war criminal.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Whitehall opposite Downing Street to demonstrate against the visit to London.

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Cameron boycotts crucial UN human rights debate

ALLEGATIONS that the Conservative government is turning its back on all pretence at supporting global justice and human rights were strengthened last week when Prime Minister David Cameron decided not to attend a crucial United Nations debate on human rights.

Those attending included Russian president Vladimir Putin, US president Barak Obama and Iranian president Hassan Rouhani.

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Hard times for former Kids Company children

AN INVESTIGATION into how the clients — mostly children and young adults — of the now defunct Kids Company are coping with the disappearance of the charity last week found that “a lot of people are suffering”.

The vulnerable people it supported remain afraid of their future without Kids Company staff.

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Anti-fascist solidarity in Colchester

by New Worker correspondent

THEO RUSSELL, a member of Solidarity with the Anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine’s steering committee, addressed a meeting of Colchester Trades Council last week on the recent history of Ukraine, focusing on the inclusion of many active far-right and openly Nazi elements into the government and administration.

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International News

Greeks give Syriza second chance

> by Huaxia

VOTERS last Sunday gave Greece’s Radical Left Syriza party a second chance in eight months to rule and resolve the debt crisis that brought the country to the brink of collapse.

Despite the turbulence of his first term in office that included an unprecedented introduction of capital controls, which are still in force burdening an already ailing economy, former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proved “too hard to die” as he told his cheering supporters on Sunday night.

The 41-year old Leftist leader won the wager he had placed in late August when he resigned to force the snap polls.

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Greek communists call for a people’s alliance

THE GREEK communist party (KKE) vote held at 5.55 per cent at last week’s general election. After the vote KKE general secretary Dimitris Koutsoumpas said: “The KKE salutes the hundreds of thousands of people who honoured it with their votes. All those men and women who ignored the extortion, the dilemmas, and overcame hesitations and various reservations in order to join forces with the KKE.

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Pope calls for reconciliation supports with Cuba

THE RECONCILIATION between Cuba and the United States shows politicians in the world an example to follow, Pope Francis said on Saturday.

“For several months we have been witnessing events that fill us with hope, the process of normalisation of relations between the two nations after years of estrangement,” Pope Francis said upon arrival in Cuba, adding that: “This should be an example of reconciliation for the whole world.”

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Turkish regime opens fire on Kurds and leftists

by John Catalinotto

THE TURKISH government, in addition to admittedly fascist elements, has opened a broad attack on democratic organisations throughout western Turkey. Meanwhile, the Turkish army has continued its assault on the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK), both guerrillas and civilians, in the majority Kurdish south-east of the country.

The US and other Nato governments support the Turkish regime’s offensive. The Ankara regime recently granted the US Air Force the right to use military bases inside Turkish borders to carry out bombing raids against Syria and Iraq. Turkey’s government has also waged war and subversion against the Syrian government.

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Soviet spy plane still flying high

Sputnik

THE SOVIET-made M-55 Geophysica reconnaissance plane has often been compared to the infamous US Lockheed U-2 spy aircraft in terms of technical characteristics; it has undergone several makeovers and may soon be replaced with a drone, the Russian media reported.

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Features

Migrants face inhumane treatment

by Abayomi Azikiwe

WARS that Washington initiated, aimed at reshaping the political landscape of large regions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia are continuing and creating an enormous refugee crisis. Bombing operations by the Pentagon in Iraq and Syria are displacing hundreds of thousands of people every month and are now spreading the crisis to Europe.

In response to this growing surge of refugees, Hungarian officials have again threatened migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia with imprisonment if they continue to cross Hungary’s borders or resist repressive treatment.

The regime in Budapest says it completed a fence across its border with Serbia to halt the flow of migrants into the country. Hungarian officials also indicated they would prevent migrants from entering on trains.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that Budapest was shipping thousands of migrants and refugees to Hungary’s border with Austria on special trains, making it appear that they will no longer register them.

Refugees herded into makeshift detention areas face overcrowding, a lack of food, constant police harassment and brutality. An 11th September BBC article noted: “Footage has emerged of migrants being thrown bags of food at a Hungarian camp near the border with Serbia. An Austrian woman who shot the video said the migrants were being treated like animals.”

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Mexican Independence Day No big deal for Zapatistas

by Ramor Ryan

ON 16TH SEPTEMBER 1810 the rebellious Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla delivered the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) in the town of Dolores, as a proclamation of Mexican independence from the Spanish crown. Hidalgo urged resistance to the “bad government” and ignited a revolutionary war leading to the “Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire” on 28th September 1821. Mexico celebrates its independence from Spanish colonial rule on the anniversary of El Grito every 16th September with an outburst of patriotism and general revelry.

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Ireland Sinn Féin, the Labour Party and the 1916 Rising

by Mícheál Mac Donncha

ONCE AGAIN an opponent of Sinn Féin — Tánaiste (deputy premier) and Labour Party leader Joan Burton this time — has trotted out the line that Sinn Féin had little or nothing to do with the 1916 Rising. This is supposed to be a deathblow to our credibility; it is, in fact, a pathetic riposte from the historically illiterate.

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British gentleman and communist fighter

by Yuan Quan

WHILE most Chinese know of Norman Bethune few have heard of Michael Lindsay, a young British academic who arrived in China on the same ship as the Canadian surgeon 77 years ago and went on to help in the fight against Japanese aggression.

“He made a special contribution,” says Professor Lyu Tonglin, of Shanghai Jiaotong University, who is researching the International Friend of Communist China and British peer.

In addition to his photos of Chinese forces Lindsay built hundreds of radio stations for Communist guerrillas in north China and broadcast news about Chinese attacks behind enemy lines in English to the rest of the world.

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