National News

British Gas to cut 4,000 more jobs

CENTRICA, the energy company that owns British Gas, last Thursday announced it was cutting 4,000 more jobs after losing 1.4million customers and profits fell by 17 per cent.


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Carillion’s pensions ‘abyss’

THE GIANT union Unite is calling on MPs urgently to investigate concerns that more than £1 million in pension contributions from former Carillion workers were not paid into the staff retirement fund.

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Government may weaken construction fire regulations

THE GOVERNMENT is planning to redraft official building regulations guidance to include weaker tests on whether new materials for use in high rise buildings are or are not combustible, according to a report by Peter App just published in Inside Housing.

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DHL does the dirty

THE GENERAL union GMB has accused the delivery company DHL of “doing the dirty” after staff were given the double hammer blow of losing their jobs and their enhanced redundancy payments at the same time.

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The threat from the right

MARK Rowley, a retiring assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, last week announced that London police had foiled four extreme right-wing terror plots last year.

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TWO MAJOR retail chains, Toys R Us and Maplin, are facing financial collapse and have alerted administrators to be on standby after they failed to find a rescue deal. Around 5,500 jobs are at risk.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

Council Cuts

COUNCILS across Scotland have been setting their budgets for the forthcoming year. In some cases this is the time when SNP rhetoric about austerity dries up

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Nursing Woes

The NHS in Scotland recently broke a new record thanks to the guidance of former Health Secretary and present first Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Thanks to her far-sighted strategy it has achieved a record high of nursing and midwifery vacancies


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Looking at the Buena Vista Social Club


THE Buena Vista Social Club was a very popular Havana dance hall in the 1940s and ‘50s, but the name is now known throughout the world as a Cuban musical phenomenon.

Jin Yong’s martial arts novel in English


FOR THE first time, A Hero Born, the first volume of famous Chinese martial arts novelist Jin Yong’s Legends of the Condor Heroes, has been published in English.

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International News

Trump steps up sanctions regime on DPRK

Radio Havana Cuba

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has announced what he called America’s “largest ever” tranche of sanctions against north Korea, in an attempt to increase pressure on the nuclear-armed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

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China marks 170th anniversary of Communist Manifesto


LAST week China marked the 170th anniversary of the publication of the Communist Manifesto, the guiding political document for the communist movement.

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French transport ‘reform’


THE French government’s plans to push through reforms of the SNCF — France’s national state-owned railway

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by John Wight

RECENT events in Syria serve to illustrate the dire consequences of a unipolar world. They also provide further confirmation that international law now belongs to the realm of fiction when it comes to Washington and its allies, for whom exceptionalism is the natural order of things. There is compelling evidence to speculate that what is now being attempted by the USA in Syria, with its occupation of a large swathe of territory in the north west of the country, is a re-run of the Balkanisation of Yugoslavia in the 1990s — a sovereign state broken up and dismembered after the collapse of the Soviet Union in service to the unipolar world that had just come into being as a result.

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A British Defence Secretary:A study in insolence

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

PERHAPS insolence is not the right word — perhaps belligerence, incompetence and self-interest, pandering to the lobbies that pull strings may be more accurate?

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Gangrene: a Marxist political thriller revealing the rotten heart of Britain


by Theo Russell

Gangrene; Aly Renwick (2017). Merlin Press, London. 256pp. £9.99. ISBN: 9781854251183; ISBN-10: 185425118X IF YOU’VE ever asked yourself the question “Is British society really as bad as I think it is? Or are we actually much better off than most countries?”, then this is a book you should read

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The increasing signs of poverty

by Rob Gowland

THE BOURGEOIS mass media, faithful to the capitalists who own it, consistently present an image of the developed world as one in which life is so much better than it used to be: we all have plentiful ‘labour-saving devices’, multi-roomed homes, new or near-new cars, and of course a job that pays for all our needs

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