National News

Blundering daredevilry at Faslane

WORKERS at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) nuclear submarine base at Faslane in Scotland were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation according to an MoD report released last week.

The report covered four incidents aboard nuclear submarines docked at Faslane between 2012 and 2013, which were investigated by the Ferret website. Up to 20 workers were exposed to radiation.

It took the military two years to release the heavily redacted documents following Freedom of Information (FoI) requests. In one incident in August 2012, 20 contractors working for the defence firm Babcock were exposed to radiation whilst repairing a leaking tank on a Trident submarine

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Stop Turkey’s war on the Kurds

by New Worker correspondent

THOUSANDS of members of London’s Kurdish community gathered last Sunday outside the BBC headquarters in Portland Place for a mass march to Trafalgar Square and protest at the one-sided genocidal war now being waged by the Turkish government of Erdogan against the Kurdish people.

Turkey is a member of NATO and is an ally of the British government, and David Cameron has publicly welcomed the Turkish Prime Minister to 10 Downing Street even as Kurdish civilians were being massacred in a basement in Cizre.

Britain and Turkey are working hand-in-glove — along with the United States and Saudi Arabia — in doing their utmost to destabilise the elected Syrian government. Thousands of extreme Islamist terrorists from ISIS, al Nusra and other groups have been infiltrated from Turkey across the border into Syria.

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Racist attacks on the Tube

POLICE are called on average more than four times per week to racist incidents on the London Underground according to a report published last week in the Evening Standard.

These incidents include racist attacks, abuse and graffiti. Figures released to the [Standard] under the Freedom of Information Act show 652 incidents have been logged in the past three years — equivalent to more than four each week.

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Atos contracts under scrutiny

THE GOVERNMENT is reviewing all its major contracts with the giant French company Atos, notorious for conducting the hated work capability assessments (WCA) on the disabled and long-term sick with an agenda — imposed by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) — to reduce people’s benefits.

Atos no longer conducts the WCA tests — that is now done mainly by another company, Maximus, which is at least equally bad.

But Atos still holds Government contracts worth around £500 million, including its deal with Capita to assess disabled people for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

IN THE House of Commons the 56 Scottish National Party MPs make up less than 10 percent of the House.

However they make up more than a third of the MPs whose parliamentary credit cards were blocked by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for running up excessive expenses debts on their official cards. Of the 14 MPs affected, five were from the SNP. Two were the leader and deputy leader, Angus Robertson and Stewart Hosie, who have been there long enough to know better.

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No to Sanctions! No to War!

by New Worker correspondent

LONDON comrades were outside the American embassy on Saturday to protest against US imperialism’s wargames in south Korea and the latest tranche of sanctions imposed on Democratic Korea at the United Nations.

New Communist Party leader Andy Brooks joined comrades and friends protesting outside the US embassy in Grosvenor Square against the “Foal Eagle” and “Key Resolve” drills that have heightened tension on the divided Korean peninsula at a picket called by the UK Korean Friendship Association (KFA).

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The Propaganda Game

Reviewed by Dermot Hudson

Director: Álvaro Longoria, writer: Álvaro Longoria 98 minutes, classification: 15, currently on limited release in the UK at Curzon Bloomsbury and Picturehouse Central

SPANISH director and actor Álvaro Longoria has won critical acclaim for films about Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara over the years. Last year he set out to investigate and explore the theme of the propaganda war against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). This film is a result of his visit to the DPRK arranged by the Korean Friendship Association (KFA) and the DPRK Committee For Cultural Relations.

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International News

Syrian refugees in Lebanon see hope of return

by Salah Takieddine

SYRIAN refugees have endured unimaginable difficulties in Lebanon for nearly five years. Now, with the UN-sponsored truce in place, they hope they can soon return to their homes in peace.

Khaled al-Abdallah, who suffers from cancer, expressed his hope to return to his home city of Homs that he was forced to abandon five years ago, to rebuild his home and practice his favourite hobby of hunting despite his sickness.

“The situation in Syria is improving and we will all go back to Syria and would only have the memories of those five years of agony we lived in Lebanon,” he said.

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Venezuelan opposition launches campaign to remove Maduro

Telesur VENEZUELA’S right-wing opposition launched a campaign on Tuesday to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro from power this year. The plan includes street protests for his immediate resignation, along with plans to hold a presidential recall referendum and to change the constitution so that there are immediate elections.

“We call on the entire Venezuelan people in order to force Maduro to resign as the President of the country,” the Executive Secretary of the Democratic Unity coalition (MUD) Jesus Torrealba told reporters.

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Why ‘getting tough’ with Russia is a bad idea

Sputnik

THOSE WHO might be tempted to try to force their own foreign policy agenda on Russia are unlikely to receive what they bargained for, as evidenced by the implications of Turkey’s decision to shoot down a Russian bomber over Syrian territory, said analyst Michael Kofman, Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute, Wilson Centre, and an analyst at CNA Corporation.

“Getting tough with Russia, in and of itself, does not get you anything,” the Kofman wrote in the [National Interest]. “Russian leaders are many things, but they are not soft.”

Turkey offers a fine example. On 24 November a Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft out of the Syrian skies. The Russian military plane was on an anti-ISIS mission in northern Latakia. Despite Ankara’s claims to the contrary, it did not cross into Turkey.

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International Women’s Day: To celebrate or take action?

By Timothy Bancroft- Hinchey

Why is International Women’s Day held on 8th March, today a national holiday in the Russian Federation? Scroll down. This year the worldwide theme of this day, set by UN Women, is the empowerment of women as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which aims at gender parity, and an end to gender violence and discrimination.

The key words are equal opportunities and equal participation in all spheres, and this comes with legislation enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda, an extension of the 2000 Millennium Development Goals.

How can women gain equality and achieve empowerment when the playing field is levelled against them from birth, just because they are born with the female gender?

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Features

British government whitewashes the fascist Bandera cult in Ukraine

THE BRITISH government through its Embassy in Kiev is funding a so-called “Peace-building school” in Ukraine. The so-called “peace building” that British tax payers are paying for consists of sanitising and glorifying the historical role of Second World War Nazi- collaborator, Stepan Bandera, whose crimes against humanity — not least Polish, Jewish & Russian peoples — are well documented.

Held in Krasnoarmiysk, 50 kilometres from the contact line with the forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic, an event sponsored by the British Embassy in Kiev entitled Stepan Bandera: Myths and Reality brought teachers from the Ukrainian Peacebuilding School together with leading Ukrainian Army officers, local citizens, teachers and children in an ideological lecture about Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera.

The Donetsk education project of the Ukrainian Peacebuilding School in Krasnoarmiysk is run by the infamous Nataliya Zubar, who chairs the Maidan Monitoring Information Centre, and who has been linked with publishing a hit-list of pro-Russian activists. Both Zubar and her other project — the Peacekeeper website — and the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) Battalion have also been linked to the killing of Ukrainian anti-fascist journalist Oles Buzyna. The guest speaker at the meeting was from “The Committee of State Ideology” an organisation run by the Executive Committee of the Ukraine Rada (national parliament).

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Turkey falls under boot of dictatorship

by Finian Cunningham

WITH THE violent police seizure of Turkey’s biggest independent newspaper last weekend, the country has finally crossed the line to become a fully-fledged dictatorship.

For many months now the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been cracking down on media as part of a wider move towards an increasingly authoritarian regime under his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Brutal, chaotic scenes at the offices of Zaman (Era) newspaper in Istanbul and its related publications this weekend prove beyond doubt that Erdogan’s regime has now openly embraced dictatorship. This in a country which has a long history of military coups and genocidal authoritarianism.

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Children are dying from pneumonia, but greed is the real killer

by Charles Davis

HUNDREDS of thousands of kids are dying every year because pharmaceutical companies are making record profits from a life-saving vaccine.

More than 920,000 children died of pneumonia in 2015, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For 2015 Ian Read, the chair and CEO of Pfizer who earned a salary of US$23.3 million, reported that the pharmaceutical giant turned a US$7.7 billion profit, driven in part by a 53 percent growth in revenue from the Global Vaccines division. These figures are not unrelated.

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