National News

Pressure on Amazon drivers

DRIVERS delivering parcels for the online retail giant Amazon often work more hours than is legally allowed and earn below the national minimum wage, according to an undercover BBC reporter.

Workers told the journalist that they were expected to deliver up to 200 parcels per day, completing a fixed route.

In order to meet the company’s expectations, some van drivers said they felt compelled to break speed limits, and urinate and defecate in their vehicles.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Veterans for Peace march on Remembrance Sunday

THE ORGANISATION Veterans for Peace staged its biggest ever Remembrance Sunday march and ceremony at the cenotaph in Whitehall last Sunday — after the main remembrance event in the morning.

Dozens of veteran members of the armed forces marched from Trafalgar Square three-abreast along Whitehall. They marched in silence behind a single banner at the front saying: “Never Again” and another at the back saying: “Veterans for Peace”.

They wore the light-blue hoodie uniform of their organisation, inscribed with a quote from Harry Patch, a First World War One veteran who died a couple of years ago. The quote said: “War is organised murder”.

After a brief, very dignified ceremony, one of them laid a heart-shaped wreath of white poppies.

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Lego renounces Daily Mail

THE DANISH toy manufacturer Lego last week announced that it will no longer advertise its products in the Daily Mail after a sustained campaign to persuade companies to withdraw advertising from newspapers that peddle messages of hate.

The campaign was sparked after a lot of negative campaigning about child refugees.

Other companies that have been targeted by the “Stop Funding Hate” campaign include John Lewis and Waitrose, who are being asked to withdraw advertising from the Sun, and Daily Express.

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Supreme Court’s mixed ruling on bedroom tax

SUPREME Court judges last week, hearing cases referred from lower courts concerning the bedroom tax — a cut in housing benefit for low income tenants who are deemed to have more bedrooms than they supposedly need — upheld the cases of two families but rejected five others.

The two cases who won their appeals both involved families coping with disabilities that needed extra room because of those disabilities.

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BA cabin crews ballot for strike

THOUSANDS of cabin crew working for British Airways’ “Mixed Fleet” began voting on Wednesday (16th November) on strike action in a dispute over poverty pay levels, which are leading to crew sleeping in their cars between shifts.

The ballot of members of Britain’s largest union Unite, working on a combination of long and short haul flights from London Heathrow airport, closes on Wednesday 14th December.

It comes after crew rejected a two per cent pay offer by the airline; on-board customer service managers are fighting for the right to collectively bargain after six years of no pay rises.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Isle of Lewis Woman’s Son

THE SCOTTISH National Party (SNP) likes to glorify the careers of people who claim Scottish ancestry, however distant. A leading example of this is the son of the late Mary Ann Macleod from the village of Tong on the Isle of Lewis, who has recently been elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. However Donald John Trump has had a fluctuating reputation in the eyes of the Scottish elite, which started with brown-nosing before a period of denunciation that is now officially ended. Originally hailed for bringing money to Scotland, he made a few enemies when he did not get everything he wanted.

When in 2006 Trump planned to build an “exclusive” (ie for the very rich only) golf course for £300 million at Menie on the Aberdeenshire coast he was supported by the Labour First Minister Jack McConnell. At the same time Trump was appointed an honorary “Business Ambassador” for Scotland as reward for his promised investment.

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We Will Remember Them

by New Worker correspondent

NEW Communist Party (NCP) leader Andy Brooks joined diplomats, trade unionists and local dignitaries at the Soviet War Memorial in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park in Southwark on Sunday 13th November to honour the 27 million Soviet citizens who died in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.

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We remember 1917!

by New Worker correspondent

FRIENDS and comrades gathered in London to celebrate the Great October Russian Revolution at the Party Centre last weekend. Millions of communists all over the world celebrate the epic days of 1917, and last Saturday comrades and friends joined them at the NCP’s annual tribute to the greatest event of the 20th century.

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British —China nuclear centre launched

People’s Daily (Beijing)

AT 12.20pm on 9th November, Ma Kai, China’s Vice Premier and Baroness Neville Rolfe, UK’s Minister of State for energy and intellectual property, unveiled the board for the UK—China Nuclear Joint Research and Innovation Centre (JRIC) in London.

It is China’s first joint Research and Innovation Centre with a western developed country in the nuclear energy arena, which ushers in a new era based on the investment in nuclear power. UK and China will have a more comprehensive and deeper cooperation in scientific research, technology and the whole nuclear industrial supply chain.

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International News

Thousands march for climate justice in Morocco

by Pavel Jacomino

THOUSANDS marched for climate justice in Marrakech this week during the second week of the 22nd United Nations climate change conference in Morocco. The UN conference was jolted by last week’s election of Donald Trump in the United States, who has vowed to “cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programmes.”

As fears loom about what a Donald Trump White House will mean for the global fight against climate change, United States Secretary of State John Kerry says that Washington will do as much as possible to set the Paris climate accords in motion before the president-elect takes office.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Gambia blasts the International Criminal Court

by Chris Fry

THE WEST African country of Gambia announced on 25th October that it was withdrawing from the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), calling the ICC the “International Caucasian Court.”

Gambian Information Minister Sheriff Bojang accused the ICC of the “persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans.”

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Russia steps up aid to Syria


RUSSIA delivered about a metric ton of humanitarian aid to the Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Hama last week, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Monday.

“Two humanitarian events have been held, in course of which citizens had received humanitarian aid: in the area of the New Aleppo (al-Rahma Mosque) in Aleppo city — about 700 kg; and in the National Hospital of the Hama province — about 200 kg. Posts, with hot meals and basic needs, continue their work for civilians leaving the districts of the Aleppo city that are under control of terrorist armed groups,” the Defence Ministry said.

Meanwhile the first train carrying aid for the citizens of war-torn Syria has been delivered on the recently restored railway from the port of Tartus to the town of Jableh. Russian experts have helped to restore some 65 km of track.

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Syrian forces set to free Aleppo


DAMASCUS-LED forces and their allies could well free Aleppo, the largest industrial, infrastructural and logistical centre in northern Syria, “in the near future,” Russian political analyst Alexander Khrolenko said, adding that the city’s fate “has been sealed” since both Russia and the US appear to be ready to tackle al-Nusra Front.

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Palestinians promise a fightback if America moves embassy to Jerusalem

PALESTINE’S envoy to the United Nations (UN) has said there will be repercussions should President-elect Donald Trump follow through on promises he made during his campaign to move America’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Riyad Mansour, Palestine’s permanent observer to the UN, said he could make life “miserable” for US diplomats if the move takes place, the Times of Israel reports.

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How the West murdered Gaddafi Twice!


FIVE YEARS ago today, rebels executed Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, his body dragged ignominiously through the streets of Sirte. But the West had murdered Gaddafi’s image long before the 2011 uprising.

Gaddafi was typically portrayed in Western media as a rambling, delusional dictator. But throughout Africa he was widely respected as a major figure in the pan-African movement, looking to focus closer ties between sub-Saharan Africa and the global diaspora.

Seizing power in a 1969 coup d’etat that overthrew King Idris, he immediately went to work installing a regime based on the socialist and nationalist ideology of Egypt’s strongman, Gamel Abdel Nasser. His Green Book was distributed across the country, rejecting capitalist democracy and planting the seeds of his “Green Revolution”.

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Hail Red October!

by Rob Gowland

THE CENTENARY in 2015 of the futile but costly ANZAC landing was made the occasion for an outpouring of almost continuous glorification of war. The First World War was transmuted by the propaganda mills of capitalism into some sort of noble struggle for truth and justice, for the defence of small countries against wicked invaders. Much the way the same propagandists do with the wars imperialism is fighting today, really, whether in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine or elsewhere.

But now, as then, imperialism’s expressed war aims are a travesty of the facts. The First World War was sold to the public in Britain and France — and Australia — and to their various allies, as a war to defend the peace of the world from barbarous German and Turkish invaders. It was far from the truth of course.

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Sun Yat-sen remembered

CHINESE communist leader Xi Jinping said that the best tribute to Sun Yat-sen is to continue the pursuit for a rejuvenated China that he had dreamed of.

At a gathering to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Sun Yat-sen’s birth last week, Xi said: “The best way we can commemorate Sun Yat-sen is to learn and carry forward his invaluable spirit, to unite all that can be united and mobilise all that can be mobilised to carry on the pursuit for a rejuvenated China that he had dreamed of.”

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