National News

85 per cent of benefit snitches are false

MORE THAN 85 per cent of information given by the public alleging benefit fraud over the last five years has turned out to be false after they were investigated according to figures given to the Observer under a freedom of information request made to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) by the Sunday newspaper.

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Police ‘groped’ fracking protesters

CAMPAIGNERS against fracking at Barton Moss in Salford have told investigators that they were groped and threatened by officers of the Greater Manchester police at the anti- fracking protest camp there.

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Fascists turn violent in Liverpool

A SMALL group of Islamophobic thugs calling themselves the North West Infidels last Saturday attempted to stage a march through Liverpool. But when they found their way blocked by anti-fascists they turned violent and started hurling missiles, including cobblestones prised from the pavement. One of these missiles struck a passing young woman, a student, and left her with serious facial injuries that may scar her for life. And they cheered as she was carried away from the scene bleeding profusely.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

SCOTTISH Government budget cuts are forcing councils to make drastic cuts to services and jobs. Unions have estimated that £15,000 jobs will go as a result of the recent SNP budget. About £50 million of cuts have been finalised by various councils recently.

In Fife £30.9 million is being saved by cutting road and council buildings maintenance and abolishing discounted taxi journeys for the disabled. The Labour leader of the council said they had considered raising council tax to raise an extra £7 million but the response of the SNP Holyrood government would have been to impose £25 million worth of penalties for refusing the government’s funding package. In North Lanarkshire 300 jobs are to go as a result of voluntary redundancies as part of a £19.5 million savings package. The Council leader said that settling the budget had been “horrendously difficult” but was relieved that there were to be no compulsory redundancies. Stirling is making £6.2 million of cuts that will cost 450 to 550 jobs over the next five years. Scotland’s smallest council, Clackmannanshire, is making between 300 and 350 job cuts and 2,000 are to go in Edinburgh.

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Momentum in Camden

by Theo Russell

AROUND 150 people gathered at a community centre near London’s King’s Cross for a lively meeting of Camden Momentum last Wednesday under the banner “Anti-Racism & the New Politics”, with speakers including a junior doctor, a local councillor, and members of the black, Latin American and Afghan communities.

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Bicycles against Trident

by Ray Jones

PEACE campaigners converged on “Bog island” (as it’s called locally) in central Llandudno in north Wales on Saturday to leaflet and collect signatures for a petition against Trident renewal.

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Chinese opera wows British audiences

by Mu Xuequan

THE SICHUAN Opera troupe from south-western China’s Chongqing Municipality gave the final show of their British tour at a theatre in Glasgow last week.

After two splendid performances in the Shetland islands, the troupe arrived at the Platform, Glasgow on Wednesday 24th February, rehearsed, prepared and waited for their final show in Britain.

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International News

European refugee crisis escalates

by Tian Shaohui

EUROPE’S refugee crisis keeps simmering as clashes erupted in the northern Greek town of Idomeni on Monday between the police and hundreds of migrants trying to break through the fence into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The FYROM security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd that was pelting them with rocks. No serious injury was reported from the clashes.

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Cuba: Looking toward to the 7th Party Congress

by Yudy Castro Morales

APPROXIMATELY 1,000 delegates will attend the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in April. Guaranteeing greater representation of all Communist Party members around the country, and ensuring that participants increasingly reflect the areas from which they come, were key considerations during the election of delegates to the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, to be held from 16th to 18th April.

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Rebels surrender during Syria truce


A TOTAL of 80 Syrian opposition fighters have lain down their arms in the Qadam neighbourhood on the outskirts of the capital of Damascus within the framework of a local reconciliation programme.

Syria’s local reconciliation programme began in 2013. The programme stipulates that former opposition fighters have the opportunity to resume peaceful life after surrendering their arms to the Syrian army and undergoing rehabilitation treatment. The programme proved successful when, in 2013, some 1,500 opposition fighters laid down arms in Homs, thus enabling the Syrian army to regain control of the city centre.

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International Women’s Day Huda Shaarawi legendary Egyptian feminist

by Daphne Liddle

HUDA SHAARAWI, 1879—1947, was a pioneer of women’s rights in Egypt who campaigned for women’s rights and education, against the social seclusion of the Harem system and against the wearing of the veil. Huda was born Nur al-Huda Sultan in Minya, a town on the upper Nile, into a wealthy landowning and political family; her father was Muhammad Sultan Pasha, a government official. Her mother was a concubine subordinate wife.

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Cuba: Granma International’s 50th anniversary

by Gabriel Molina Franchossi

FIFTY years ago Granma International was born in February 1966, one month after the meeting of rebels from three continents — delegates and guests at the Tricontinental Conference which created the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America Solidarity Organisation (OSPAAAL.)

During preparations for the conference, on the eve of its opening, organisers requested that Granma daily organise a group of journalists and translators to produce a supplement for the event, in the three languages to be used during the sessions: English, French, and Portuguese, in addition to Spanish.

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Syria: hysteria, Russophobia, propaganda and pig-faced lies

by Timothy Bancroft- Hinchey

THE MEDIA campaign trying to incriminate Russia in war crimes committed in Syria is a tissue of lies, false propaganda on a Goebbelesque scale, a mass brainwashing campaign using the new whizzy buzz words “civilians”, “children” and “second strikes” while omitting the term “terrorists”.

For a start, let us apply the Truth Test to western media outlets. The way it works is like this: take any story, turn it on its head, turn it upside down and inside out and then you are probably getting somewhere near to the truth. So let us examine the history of those pointing fingers at Russia and accusing Russian military commanders of war crimes.

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US bombs Libya — again

by Abayomi Azikiwe

MORE THAN 40 people were killed by Pentagon F-15E fighter jets in a bombing operation on 19th February in Sabratha, Libya, which was said to have targeted an Islamic State group (ISIS) training camp. The air strike, 50 miles west of Tripoli, was aimed at ISIS operative and Tunisian national Noureddine Chouchane, who had been linked to an attack on the Bardo Museum in neighbouring Tunisia in March 2015. He was accused of arranging the arrival of ISIS operatives in Libya.

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