National News

CWU announces national post office strike

Workers Union (CWU) last Thursday served notice to the Post Office for a 24-hour strike on Thursday 15th September.

The CWU members voted overwhelmingly for industrial action in August following a series of announcements from the Post Office this year that will see yet more massive cuts to jobs, services and pensions. Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU, said: “The Post Office is relentlessly pursuing a programme of cuts that will mean a further 2,000 job losses, staff being left tens of thousands of pounds worse off in retirement and the privatisation of its flagship branches. The Post Office is at crisis point and the Government has to step in.

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South London journalists vote for action

JOURNALISTS working at Newsquest titles in South London have voted in favour of strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot result came on Monday 12th September — just days after the company announced plans to put nearly the entire newsroom at risk of redundancy.

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Orgreave campaign demands inquiry into police riot

by New Worker correspondent

CAMPAIGNERS from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign (OTJC) came to Westminster on Tuesday to lobby the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, for a full public inquiry into the police riot at Orgreave coking plant in 1884, during the great miners’ strike.

The campaigners included Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a broad spectrum of Labour MPs including John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner, Diane Abbott, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Peter Hain and Hilary Benn.

The National Union of Miners (NUM) had assembled around 5,000 pickets outside Orgreave coking plant to block lorries taking coke from the plant to a British Steel plant. But police had deployed around 6,000 officers, including mounted police.

Police held the pickets in a field opposite the plant, completely surrounded with no exit. As the lorries approached the plant the unarmed pickets surged forward to block the gates by sheer weight of numbers.

South Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Clement ordered a mounted charge against them. The miners responded by throwing stones and other missiles at the police lines.

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Hospitals face winter crisis

NHS PROVIDERS, a body that represents hospital trust chairs and executives in England, last week warned that the hospitals are on the brink of collapse.

They have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to either boost funding or ration care to avert an escalating cash crisis.

They say that years of underfunding have left the service facing such “impossible” demands that without urgent extra investment in November’s autumn statement it will have to cut staff, bring in charges or introduce “draconian rationing” of treatment — all options which will provoke public disquiet, it says.

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Tax credit cuts leave families hungry

A UNITED States-based company, Concentrix, which has been contracted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to check people’s entitlement to tax credits, is under investigation for cutting peoples benefits on a massive scale and making thousands of errors.

One young single mother was reported as being married to a 74-year-old pensioner who had died. He was a previous tenant in the flat she lived in; but she had her £64-per-week child tax credits stopped.

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Cameron was wrong to invade Libya say MPs

THE HOUSE of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee last week attacked David Cameron for his role in the collapse of Libya.

They said he lacked a coherent strategy for the air campaign. It said the intervention had not been “informed by accurate intelligence”, and that it led to the rise of so-called Islamic State in North Africa.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish Political correspondent

Outdoor Relief for Capitalism

LAST WEEK, in our report of Nicola Sturgeon’s version of the Scottish Queen’s speech, we warned that the announced £500 million “Scottish Growth Scheme” was likely to be simply a means to repay Scottish National party (SNP) donors. Even before the new scheme has been set up we can already see how existing Scottish institutions that offer outdoor relief to profitable companies operate.

A £7.3 million grant has just been made by Scottish Enterprise to Alexander Dennis Ltd, a firm owned indirectly by the SNP’s main donor Sir Brian Souter through two companies he owns with his sister.

The grant was given for “Research and Development”, which sounds deserving, but most R&D grants have nothing to do with serious research. A company can claim it is “Research and Development” even if it does nothing more than simply making small alterations to the design of an existing product, such as a car company altering the shape of its headlights.

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Fighting for disabled rights!

by New Worker correspondent

DISABLED people’s rights campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) picketed the Jobcentre in Kentish Town, London as part of last week’s national Week of Action to raise awareness of the plight of the disabled under the austerity regime.

The protests were timed to coincide with the start of the Paralympics in Brazil, which gave a false impression that the disabled in Britain are well supported. The reality is that at the end of last year Britain became the first country in the world to be investigated by the United Nations for grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights.

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Fighting for our safety!

by New Worker correspondent

MEMBERS of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) found time last week, during a very busy Week of Action, to join RMT pickets during the strike action against Southern Rail in the long-running dispute about sustaining the role of fully trained guards on all trains.

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International News

Philippines orders US boots off its ground

by Dr Joseph Chang

A CONSIDERABLE proportion of people in the Philippines do not want United States (US) troops in their country. There are currently several hundred members of US special forces in the Philippines, undertaking training of local forces in an effort to combat Islamic insurgency in the south of the country. The force has been drawn down but many people in the Philippines would prefer the US to stay out of the country altogether.

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US hostility to DPRK bound to fail

by Chae Il Chul

THE successful nuclear warhead test recently staged by the scientists and technicians of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Nuclear Weapons Institute was a solemn declaration that no big power on earth can dare provoke the DPRK.

This represents the tremendous national power and might of Juche Korea that has been consolidated despite trials of history and all the challenges of the enemies, instilling national pride and honour into the hearts of the service personnel and people of the DPRK.

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Angela Davis call to exceed past leaders


THE RENOWNED United States (US) Black activist commemorated the legacy of Steve Biko by urging today’s young leaders to go beyond imitating past leaders.

During a speech at the University of South Africa as part of the 17th annual Steve Biko memorial lecture, Angela Davis called on young social justice leaders not only to follow in the footsteps of past leaders but also to challenge their legacies because times have changed and issues have evolved.

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Brazil’s Rousseff ousted by coup

by John Catalinotto

COMPLETING, without surprises, a parliamentary coup that began last December, the Brazilian Senate, composed of a majority of corrupt officials subservient to the Brazilian oligarchy and to imperialism, voted 61—20 on 31st August to remove Workers Party President Dilma Rousseff from office.

The vote ended 13 years of Workers Party (PT) governments that began with the election of worker-leader President Lula da Silva in 2002. It took place during Brazil’s economic depression, which is part of the worldwide capitalist downturn and not a result of government policies.

Rousseff’s ouster re-enforces the domination of Brazil by the 71,000 multimillionaires who rule Brazil’s 210 million people by controlling the judiciary, the corporate media and most Brazilian politicians.

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Beijing opera to honour Shakespeare

by Tian Shaohui

TO commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) of China staged the opera version of Macbeth in Beijing last week. The opera by the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi ran from 7th to 11th September at the NCPA.

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Chinese Korean war film trailer criticised

People’s Daily (Beijing)

A PROMOTIONAL clip of a film about the history of the Korean War, released earlier this month, has sparked controversy online. Some Chinese netizens insist that it’s inappropriate to make a big deal about something that happened more than 60 years ago and others worry that the film may worsen already tense ties with south Korea.

In the clip, several elderly Chinese tourists played by veteran actors proudly talk about how they triumphantly entered Seoul during the war. The characters claim that they used neither passports nor visas to enter the country.

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Republican prison crafts central to Belfast prison history project

by Peadar Whelan

A UNIQUE project exploring the history of prison crafts and the significance of these crafts for the families of former POWs [prisoners of war] is to be launched in Belfast’s Conway Mill on Monday 26th September.

Giving details of the project, Irish Republican Prison Craft; making memory and legacy, former H-Block POW Paddy O’Dowd, speaking during the annual prisoners’ day during west Belfast’s Féile an Phobail festival, said: “The aim was to explore the stories between a particular handicraft piece, the POW who made it and the family or whoever it was sent out to.”

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Tribal Dakota pipeline resistance the start of something bigger

by Jacqueline Keeler

SOME 188 Tribes, or Native Nations, from across the United States and Canada have united to stop the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline.

This pipeline has sparked a prairie fire of united Native American resistance not seen since Wounded Knee, and a return of the Great Sioux Nation.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe announced that 188 Tribes, or Native Nations, from across the United States and Canada have declared their support for the Lakota/Dakota Tribes’ fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline carrying heavy Bakken crude oil from crossing the Missouri River and threatening the sovereign nations’ main water source.

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