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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

by New Worker correspondent

ANOTHER group of London’s transport workers will also embark on a 24-strike the week before Christmas. They are 56 employees on the Woolwich Ferry (established 1308) who are employed by Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd to take an estimated 2.6 million passengers per year across the Thames.

This dispute is about getting the London Living Wage (£10.75 per hour) on basic pay, the imposition of changes to overtime and shift working, failure to adhere to the agreed job evaluation scheme, and a failure to deal with equality issues. Additionally, new ships introduced in January have had continual technical problems.

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Miserable Christmas

by New Worker correspondent

TO MARK the start of the Festive season when the people eat and drink too much, the Trussell Trust has reported that the need for foodbanks is greater than ever. The Godly charity’s figures for April to September of this year showed a 23 per cent rise in people making use of food banks compared with the same period last year. Last December’s figures recorded that 186,185 three-day emergency food parcels were provided by foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network alone. This was 44 per cent higher than the monthly average, so no doubt things will be much worse this month.

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Health strikes

by New Worker correspondent

HEALTH and social service workers in Northern Ireland Health have been taking strike action. Unison and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are the two main unions involved in the dispute, which is about unsafe staffing levels and the lack of pay parity with NHS workers in Scotland, England and Wales.

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Hillsborough: Police chief cleared of manslaughter

Sputnik

Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium 95 Liverpool fans died from crush injuries. Thirty years later a jury has finally decided who was to blame.

A jury at Preston Crown Court has found David Duckenfield - who was the match commander for South Yorkshire Police - not guilty of the manslaughter by negligence of 95 Liverpool football fans.

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Skule Newz

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

On Tuesday a report comparing educational standards across the globe was published that provoked a response from Education Secretary John Sweeny that parts of it were quite excellent. This was the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report that contrasts the performance of 600,000 15-year-old pupils in 79 OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries across the globe.

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National health

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

On another page we report that in Northern Ireland the health service is suffering from serious staff shortages that have driven staff to strike action. NHS staff shortages in Scotland are also reaching crisis point at all levels.

Recent figures show that almost 500 consultant posts are vacant, with around 4,000 nurse and midwife posts also unfilled. This represents respective increases of 20 and 25 per cent since last year.

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Gold Digging

TV REVIEW

by Ben Soton

Gold Digger; BBC mini-series. Weekly from Tuesday 12th November 2019 on BBC1. All episodes also available on BBC iPlayer. Creator: Marnie Dickens. Stars: Karla-Simone Spence, Julia Ormond, Ben Barnes.

A WOMAN views exhibits in a museum and strikes up a conversation with a man. After some passionate sex scenes, they fall in love and he proposes. There is a 30-year age gap however, Ben Barnes (played by Benjamin Greene) is in his early 30s whilst Julia Day (played by Julia Ormond) has just turned 60. We are continually asking is this for real or is Ben simply a gold-digger?

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International News

China leads the way in fighting climate change

by Yurou

PEOPLE’S CHINA has become a role model in the area of combating climate change with science and technology says Edgar Gutierrez, special envoy of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and a former Costa Rican environment minister.

China’s efforts to fight environmental deterioration and improve sustainability make it the “number one example” for other countries, Gutierrez said, as representatives of some 200 countries and organisations gather in the Spanish capital of Madrid for the United Nations (UN) Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25).

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Buy one get one free…

Sputnik FORMER Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has reproached the authors of an article in the US Foreign Policy magazine that allegedly shed light on the politician’s motives behind his appearance in a Pizza Hut TV commercial, which, according to them, was mainly financially driven.

The bi-monthly journal recently brought a 22-year-old TV commercial featuring the Soviet leader back into the spotlight, claiming that the former president of the USSR took part in the venture because he needed money to fund the Gorbachev Foundation, a think-tank researching the ‘perestroika’ era.

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Imperialist subversion forges full speed ahead

by Raúl Antonio Capote

THE USA is losing ground. Its projected dream of a US century in the 21st, is fading away, and the Yankee battleship is sinking. For its experts, it is no secret that the People’s Republic of China, with its booming economy, is on its way to becoming the world’s number one power by 2030, and Russia is not far behind.

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From Glasgow to Havana

by Damian Donestevez

THE 7th British Culture Festival is underway in Havana with a strong Scottish accent. The event will run until 8th December with a wide gamut of activities, whose main purpose is to continue strengthening cultural ties between the Caribbean island and UK. The programme includes film screenings, concerts, artistic exchanges, dance, literature and theatre.

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Features

Thanksgiving: A national day of mourning for US Indigenous

by Albert Bender

AMERICAN history books discuss the “Thanksgiving” that took place between the Pilgrims and the Indigenous people in the now north-east USA. It can seem consoling, particularly in these times of apparent rising racial conflict, to read stories of Native people and settlers breaking bread, feasting on turkey, cranberry sauce and other foods from the bounty of the Native homeland.

There were some kernels of truth in this vista of harmony. The Native people of the area, members of the Wampanoag Nation, which still exists, did indeed welcome these forlorn European wayfarers in 1620.

But the Wampanoag were familiar with Europeans, who first appeared as traders as early as 1616. These first encounters were disastrous for the Indigenous peoples, to whom European traders and fishermen unwittingly brought devastating pandemic plagues.

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