National News

Union wins wage victory for Sports Direct workers

THE GIANT union Unite on Monday announced that thousands of workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire are set to receive back pay totalling an estimated £1 million for non-payment of the minimum wage.

Ninety-six per cent of Unite members directly employed by Sports Direct at Shirebrook backed the deal secured by Unite.

The payments, back dated to May 2012 for direct employees and agency workers, cover unpaid time taken up by searches at the end of shifts and could be worth up to £1,000 for some workers, the union estimates.

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Pro-Palestinian picket at drone factory

ACTIVISTS gathered last Monday (8th August) outside the premises of UAV Engines Ltd in Shenstone, Staffordshire to protest at the company supplying drones and other military technology to Israel for use in assaults on Gaza.

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Deliveroo says sorry to workers

WILLIAM Shu, the co-founder and chief executor of the take-away food delivery company Deliveroo, last week was forced to apologise to his work force following a change in the way they were paid, which had provoked a strike.

Hundreds of couriers employed by the London-based company Deliveroo protested when the company changed the way they were paid from an hourly rate to a fixed payment for each delivery.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stepped in on Sunday to say that workers must be paid the “national living wage” of £7.20-per-hour unless a court or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) rules that they are self-employed.

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Junior doctors call for more industrial action

JUNIOR doctors in England have said that they will take “escalated” industrial action if the Government refuses to address concerns over patient safety and fairness in its proposed new contract.

On Monday the British Medical Association (BMA) junior doctors’ committee (JDC) called for an extraordinary council meeting to approve a rolling programme of industrial action in September.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political correspondent

FOR DECADES the Scottish National Party (SNP) moaned that it was unfair that Scotland lacked a parliament so that elected representatives could hold the government to account.

Now that they have a parliament — thanks to a Labour government — they make every effort to ensure that the Scottish parliament does nothing of the kind.

Their latest ploy to ensure that their notoriously supine MSPs are even tamer is to bribe them with non-jobs.

Many SNP MSPs on the very parliamentary committees that are supposed to hold ministers to account have been appointed aides to those very same ministers, a bit like a local authority licensing board appointing publicans to sit on the board or getting school kids to mark their own homework.

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International News

Russian Air Force to use Iran Airbase


THE RUSSIAN Defence Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that it had deployed Tu-22M3 bombers and Su-34 strike fighters in Iran, and that these aircraft have already been used to carried out air strikes against Daesh in Syria.

Using Iran’s Hamadan airbase will minimise the risks posed to Russian Aerospace Forces carrying out counter-terrorism missions in Syria, a member of Russia’s Federation Council Defence and Security Committee said Tuesday.

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Left debate in Crimea

Red Star over Donbas

YOUNG Communists of Lugansk attended a summer camp of Leftist movements in Crimea in the Russian Federation last week, organised by the Marxist Left Student Action and Red Guard Spartacus movements.

The camp was also attended by guests from Working Platform, Alterra and a number of anarchist groups in Russia and Ukraine.

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Saudi Coalition bombs another hospital in Yemen


JUST DAYS after killing 10 children at a school, the Saudi coalition has killed at least 11 people in an attack on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF)-run hospital.

Just two days after killing 10 children at a Yemeni school, the Saudi-led coalition on Monday attacked an MSF-run hospital in Yemen’s northern Hajja province, killing at least 11 people and wounding 13.

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Feliz Cumpleaños, Camarada Fidel... y noventa veces, Grácias!

by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

HAPPY Birthday Comrade Fidel and ninety times, Thank you! Place one word in any search engine — Fidel — and you will find the biography of Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, a champion of freedom, a champion of democracy, a champion of the fight against tyranny, a champion of Humanity both at home in Cuba and abroad, where his programmes have brought Light to countless millions of lives.

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Cyber attack on RT follows American call


HACKERS bombarded Russia Today (RT) with a well-planned series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks one week after the Atlantic Council wrote an article suggesting pre-emptive cyber terrorism against RT and the Moscow Metro.

Last week the influential Atlantic Council, led by President Obama’s former Ambassador to Singapore and failed 2012 Republican candidate Jon Huntsman, released a paper contemplating pre-emptive cyber attacks against the Russian infrastructure and RT’s offices. This week RT was the target of the exact type of cyber terrorism that was postulated in the article, creating cause for concern.

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Stones concert in Cuba was one of the best in the world

An interview with Adam Wilkes, president of AEG Live Asia, which organised the famous Rolling Stones concert in Cuba.

by Michel Hernández

WHEN Adam Wilkes was born in Woodstock, more than a decade had already passed since that legendary music festival from the hippie era which put that US town on the map. Adam has always been aware, however, of the cultural significance of his birthplace, that has followed him in his creative experiences as President of entertainment company AEG Live Asia, which organised the famous Rolling Stones concert in Cuba.

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Shanghai opera storms London

by Liang Xizhi

THE OPERA Thunderstorm was met with thunderous applause in its début at the London Coliseum last week.

An award-winning modern opera about family, society and corruption in Old Shanghai, Thunderstorm tells the story of a wealthy, successful and seemingly happy Shanghai household, behind which lies a web of intrigue, a dark family secret and a gathering storm. As corruption is exposed and the family disintegrates, Zhou Puyuan, the head of the family, is confronted with a changing society and the emergence of a new China.

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China, global warming and technological innovation

by Deirdre Griswold

ANY meaningful efforts to limit carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of global warming, must deal with the issue of public transportation. According to a recent study by Environmental Defence, US automobiles and light trucks are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gases emitted by automobiles globally. Yet little is being done in this country to upgrade, or even maintain, the mass transit systems that people need if they are to cut back on using cars.

Where is the great spirit of innovation and commitment to overhaul the infrastructure that is so needed to deal with the monumental problem of global warming? It is certainly not in the US, where politicians beholden to the ruling class commit trillions of the public’s money to the empire’s far-flung military and repressive police — and peanuts to mass transit.

But take a look at the other side of the globe and there is hope. In China, a country just a few generations ago mired in poverty, the government has committed vast sums to the development of a modern, energy-efficient infrastructure.

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WSF honours Fidel Castro on his 90th birthday

by Lena Valverde Jordi

A PANEL discussion entitled Tribute to Fidel Castro on His 90th Birthday was held on 12th August at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada, as part of activities of the World Social Forum (WSF) 2016, which is holding sessions there through 14th August.

The WSF is the largest gathering of civil society to try to find solutions to the problems of today’s world. Launched in Brazil in 2001, every year the Forum brings together thousands of individuals from around the world who participate in numerous activities.

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Slobodan Milošević exonerated 10 years after his death

Novorossiya Today

THE International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) exoneration of the late Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its “official enemies” not with a pinch of salt but a huge lorry load.

For the past 20 odd years, neocon commentators and “liberal interventionist” pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity that Milošević (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties operated freely) was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (whilst making robotic arm movements): “Milošević’s genocidal aggression, Milošević’s genocidal aggression.”

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