National News

Police visits criminalise children in care

THE HOWARD League for Penal Reform last week published a report calling for a reduction in the number of time police are called to children’s homes in England and Wales over minor incidents because it leads to children in care being wrongly criminalised.

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Lambeth Carnegie Library occupied

LOCAL residents have occupied Lambeth Carnegie Library in south London for nearly a week now to prevent it being closed.

The local council had planned to close the library at 6pm on Thursday 31st March and lock the doors. But around 40 local people refused to leave. They have taken over the library in Loughborough Junction and have been living there since Thursday. Local supporters are keeping them supplied with food, bedding and other essentials.

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Comrades mark Kim Il Sung anniversary

by New Worker correspondent

AT THE HEIGHT of the Cold War NATO forces staged an intimidating war exercise along the length of the border between eastern and western Europe involving 120,000 troops from assorted NATO countries.

This year NATO forces, along with Japanese and south Korean troops, staged an aggressive war exercise, including practising the use of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, in the much smaller space of the south of the Korean peninsula involving 300,000 troops.

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Small turn-out for racists’ Dover march

ONLY around 60 assorted racists turned up in Dover last Saturday for their march against refugees whilst the anti-fascists’ counter protest, with their message of welcome to refugees, was several hundred strong.

But both sides were outnumbered by a large police presence — including reinforcements from Essex, Sussex and the Metropolitan Police — following serious violence by fascists at a similar event in January this year, including a murderous targeted attack on a photo journalist who was severely injured.

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Crabb to sack DWP contractors

THE NEW Secretary for Work and Pensions, Stephen Crabb, last week said he intends to tear up Government contracts with companies operating the DWP’s “welfare to work” programme.

This will be part of a radical overhaul of his predecessor’s (Iain Duncan Smith) “benefits revolution”.

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Savage cuts to Manchester mental health services

THE MANCHESTER Mental Health and Social Care Trus t (MMHSCT) last week at a board meeting agreed to cut £1.5 million of frontline services — in spite of mounting public opposition and anger.

The cuts will directly affect more than 500 patients. They include arts- and gardening-based therapies and specific treatment for people with chronic fatigue, psychosexual and affective disorders.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

WITH THE campaign for the Scottish parliamentary elections a month away the First Minister has embarked upon a Royal Progress of Scotland to allow her to be seen by her subjects.

Arriving in Shetland early this week she was somewhat disappointed to see that not all the natives were delighted by her gracious presence to open the Scottish National Party (SNP) election office.

Local campaign group Wir Shetland boycotted the visit, vocally condemning her treatment of the islands. Wir Shetland denounced the SNP government for cutting ferry subsidies and for cutting £5 million pounds from Shetland Island’s Council budget at a time Holyrood received a cash increase from the Treasury.

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The US has lost the battle in Syria

by New Worker correspondent

MEMBERS of various parties met last Thursday in central London at a New Worker discussion meeting on the wars in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, introduced by Professor Kamal Majid, an Iraqi communist in exile, and Theo Russell from the New Worker.

Kamal Majid said: “The situation is changing very fast and the war in Syria won’t be going on for much longer. Even former Liberal-Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and former US Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz admit that the US has lost the battle in Syria. The US has now decided to take over Iraq, with the aim of separating Iraq and Syria, and disrupting Syria’s friendship treaties with Iraq and Iran.”

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The Establishment and all that

The Establishment and how they get away with it by Owen Jones. Penguin Books, 2015, paperback 360 pages. £8.99. ISBN-10: 0141974990; ISBN-13: 978- 0141974996

reviewed by Ray Jones

THIS CAN be a useful book. Although much of its content will be recognised by regular New Worker readers it is an excellent quick reference source for information about many of the major struggles of the recent past. It would also be an ideal book to put in the way of political people who still have a soft spot for the status quo.

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International News

Armenia and Azerbaijan ceasefire


ARMENIA and Azerbaijan last Tuesday agreed on a ceasefire after deadly clashes between forces of both sides in the disputed Nagorno- Karabakh region erupted overnight Saturday, and military operations on their contact line reportedly have been suspended.

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Chinese ambassador in Pyongyang visits martyrs’ tomb


THE CHINESE ambassador to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) last Monday visited the cemetery of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, to remember those who died in the 1950—1953 war to defend Korea from invading imperialist forces.

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Ford to open massive Mexico plant


FORD, joining at least six other companies in the auto industry expanding existing sites or building new manufacturing plants in Mexico, has announced that they are investing some $1.6 billion on a new plant in San Luis Potosí, as the company’s corporate home in Detroit , Michigan, struggles with deep unemployment.

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The Original Black Panther Party

by Minnie Bruce Pratt

IN RURAL Lowndes County, Alabama, on 5th March a dozen people gathered in the yard of a small, white frame house here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of “the original Black Panther Party”.

Most have heard of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defence (BPP), the Black nationalist and socialist organisation anchored in California. From 1966 to 1982 the BPP sponsored armed citizen defence against police violence as well as uplifting social programmes for its community.

Before the surveillance, harassment and assassination carried out by the FBI’s infamous counter-intelligence programme (Cointelpro), the BPP had offices in 68 cities and thousands of members.

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17 years after war — again protesting against NATO

by Heather Cottin

ON 24TH MARCH 1999 the United States led its European NATO allies in a 78-day bombing campaign targeting Serbia in order to destroy Yugoslavia, the last socialist country holding out in Europe.

NATO planes bombed hospitals, factories, schools, trains, television stations, bridges and homes, killing thousands of Yugoslavs. In 2000 the same NATO forces destabilised what remained of Yugoslavia — the republics of Serbia and Montenegro — then overthrew its political leader, Slobodan Milosevic.

Later they imprisoned and tried him in a pro-NATO court in The Hague, Netherlands, for alleged war crimes. Failing in its attempt to convict him, the court case ended when Milosevic died there on 11th March 2006.

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Kim Il Sung: fighter for communist unity

by Dermot Hudson

THE GREAT leader President Kim Il Sung was born 104 years ago on the 15th of April, his lifetime spanned most of the 20th century and saw many great events and upheavals such as two world wars, the October Socialist revolution, the expansion of the international communist movement and socialist camp and sadly the frustration of socialism in some lands

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