National News

Tories plan to ban ethical boycotts

THE PALESTINE Solidarity Campaign (PSC) last Sunday condemned moves by the Tory government to ban all publicly funded bodies from boycotting companies and services that are operating unethically.

This has been prompted by the increasing number of local authorities and other bodies opting to boycott goods and services from Palestinian land that is occupied by Israel.

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Lambeth council blocks Brixton Splash

THE ORGANISERS of Brixton Splash — a colourful local festival that has been held in Brixton in early August for the past 10 years, are accusing Lambeth council of railroading a ban on this year’s event because the festival would undermine their efforts to gentrify the area.

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Work until you drop

A FORMER chief of the Benefits Agency, Lord Bichard, has proposed that the elderly should be denied their state pensions unless they engage in some sort of community work.

He argued that the Government should take the same tough attitude towards them as to “benefit scroungers”.

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Mafia haven

LONDON is now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert Roberto Saviano. He says: “The British treat it as not their problem.”

UK banks and financial services have ignored so-called “know your customer” rules designed to curb criminals’ abilities to launder the proceeds of crime, Roberto Saviano warned.

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Met ditches TSG

THE METROPOLITAN Police force is to decommission its riot squad — the Territorial Support Group (TSG) — as part of a massive cost-cutting restructuring — but also after a disciplinary investigation.

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Social service cuts lethal

GOVERNMENT cuts to social services could be the “largest factor” in the biggest annual rise in deaths in England and Wales for nearly half a century, according to an adviser to Public Health England.

The new preliminary figures, from the Office for National Statistics, claim that mortality rates last year rose by 5.4 per cent compared with 2014 — equivalent to almost 27,000 extra deaths.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

ACROSS Scotland the Scottish Nationalists have been busy alienating their own supporters over a wide range of issues.

The first illustration of the SNP at work took place at Holyrood recently. A Transplantation Bill to increase the supply of organs was defeated by the SNP. It aimed to increase the number of organs for transplant by introducing the principle of having to opt out of donating rather than the present system of opting in by carrying a card. Although the SNP supported the principle with a few reservations about some technical details, they finally voted against it simply because it was put forward by the Labour Party.

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The Shining Star of Korea

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS of the Korean revolution celebrated the 74th anniversary of the birth of dear leader Kim Jong Il at a number of events in London last week, including a meeting at the John Buckle Centre over the week and a reception and ceremony at the London embassy of the DPR Korea in London. In Democratic Korea Kim Jong Il’s birthday has long been known as the Day of the Shining Star and comrades paid tribute to the Korean leader’s immense contribution to the theory and practice of the world communist movement at a Friends of Korea meeting at the headquarters of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (ML) in south London last Saturday.

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Don’t panic!

Dad’s Army


reviewed by Dermot Hudson

Director: Oliver Hudson; DJ Films; 1 hour 40 mins; PG; General release

THERE has been a big fanfare over the remake of the famous comedy Dad’s Army with an all-star cast including Catherine Zeta Jones and Bill Nighy, as well cameo roles from surviving members of the original cast, namely Ian Lavender and Frank Williams as the Vicar.

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International News

Moldova: Protests mount against US-backed oligarchy

by Greg Butterfield

Seven anti-fascist political prisoners in Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova, were brutalized in court by armed riot police on Monday while a three-judge panel looked on.

One of the prisoners, Grigory Petrenko, leader of the leftist Red Bloc party, had his wrists “cut to the bone” as he was dragged from the courthouse by his handcuffs, according to his spouse Lilia Petrenko.

Another prisoner, Pavel Grigorchuk, youth leader and editor of communist news site, was dragged headfirst down a flight of stairs. Others were dragged by their feet. Omega News Agency reports that the prisoners appealed for medical help after their return to Penitentiary No 13.

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China’s African base will help fleet


CHINA’S first overseas naval logistics support outpost is going to be built in Djibouti and it is reported that it would be used to take care of problems faced by China’s peacekeeping fleet, the Foreign Ministry told the media last week.

China and Djibouti have recently “reached consensus” regarding the construction of logistical facilities in the African republic and the much anticipated deal has finally been confirmed.

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Obama will not let the world learn the truth about the MH17 Boeing crash


THE truth about the crash of the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine on 17th July 2014 will not be unveiled to the world as long as the Obama administration stays in power says Vladimir Yevseyev, the head of the Eurasian Integration and Development of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation. Vladimir Yevseyev believes that the tweets which Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt made from the courtroom during the hearings on the case of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine were obviously interesting, although they can hardly serve as a serious argument. The MP wrote that it was only Ukraine that had been operating Buk systems in Eastern Ukraine at the time of the tragedy.

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‘Big Mama’ Thornton and reparations

by Minnie Bruce Pratt

YOU HAVE probably heard of Elvis Presley and perhaps even heard him sing I ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog. This was “the signature song” that propelled him to fame and estimated lifetime earnings of $4.3 billion.

It is less likely you have heard of Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. She first recorded Hound Dog in 1952 and received $500 in payment, her only earnings from the song.

The discrepancy between their fates has been described as “perhaps the most notorious example of the inequity that often existed when a black original was covered by a white artist,” says the Encyclopedia of Alabama. But the difference between Thornton and Presley is more than “inequity”.

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US elections

by Rob Gowland

NO DOUBT you saw, amidst the plethora of fatuous or superficial TV “news items” last week about the US presidential primary elections, the item about the Evangelical pastor advocating a vote in the Iowa primaries for Trump to be the Republican candidate for President.

A scene from The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon’s “Born Again Christian” mother — the prospect of a fundamentalist Christian president is not so amusing.

It was on PBS’ Newshour that I saw it. This Pastor called on “all Born Again Christians” to vote for Trump — and then to pray for God to guide him to come up with good policies! What kind of mediaeval mind-set must these people be afflicted with? A very strange one if the ignorance that most American fundamentalists wallow in is anything to go by.

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Syria So who is the new Hitler?

by Lyuba Lulko SYRIA peace talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva started with new accusations against Russia. Accusers said that Russia strengthens the Islamic State (ISIS) and nurtures a new Hitler with the face of Bashar al-Assad. The psycho-emotional war is designed to force Russia to make concessions and Russia must explain its position clearly once again.

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Swept under the carpet: British Middle East crimes brought to light


THE BRITISH political elite are making every effort to prevent an investigation into their criminal policies in the Middle East, Czech-based journalist and political analyst Martin Berger says.

The Cameron government is going to cut its social spending to be able to contribute more to overseas military operations, most notably those taking place in the Middle East, Berger notes. Needless to say the British Army still enjoys substantial budgets, to the benefit of the UK’s major military contractors and their lobbyists in the British Parliament.

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