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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


National News

Aerospace woes

by New Worker correspondent

AEROSPACE parts firm SPS Technologies is planning many unnecessary redundancies at its plants across the Midlands.

In Nottinghamshire, SPS is making around a third of the 300-strong workforce at its Annesley site redundant, with 40 jobs going at its Mansfield site where around 100 people are employed. SPS has also announced 200 job losses at its 480-strong site in Leicester, as well as nearly 100 job losses at its operations in Rugby, which constitutes the vast majority of the site’s workforce.

Unite the union is demanding that the company “must not exploit the lockdown” to slash jobs, arguing that it should furlough workers until October so it can gain a clearer picture of the post-lockdown economy and prevent unnecessary job losses and contract changes.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Stale sandwiches

by New Worker correspondent

AT THE Bakkavor food manufacturing plant at Spalding in Lincolnshire, 500 jobs are at risk of being lost. The company make ready-prepared foods and plans to close one of its plants because of reduced demand.

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Bristol action inspires Oxford’s anti-Rhodes Campaign

Sputnik

THE TOPPLING and throwing in a river of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston at a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol on 7th June has reinvigorated an ongoing campaign to remove a statue of controversial Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes at Oxford University.

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How Not to Handle a Crisis

by our Scottish political correspondent

MORE DETAILS are coming out about the Scottish Government’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis. The attacks are increasing coming from the medical and scientific profession and not just from opposition politicians.

Gabriel Scally of the University of Bristol has said that Exercise Iris, a 2018 simulation exercise of a pandemic in Scotland, showed that the NHS was ill-prepared for such an event. The resulting report pointed out that there were no stockpiles of PPE, training for staff or plans for testing. None of these shortcomings were addressed. The results were, he says “a lot more deaths and the prolonging of the presence of the disease across the country”. In particular, he criticised the abandonment of contact testing on 12th March – the very day the World Health Organisation (WHO) described the crisis a pandemic – which caused the spread of the virus to care homes when many elderly people being speedily decanted from hospital without tests.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Election Preparations

by our Scottish political correspondent

With a little less than 11 months to go, preparations are underway for next year’s Holyrood elections.

Last weekend Scottish Labour set out its stall when the party’s Scottish Executive Committee agreed to campaign for a programme “of home rule, devolution and democratic advance within the UK”, whilst at the same time ruling out another independence referendum.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Freish lamps fur auld

by our Scottish political correspondent

As the pubs have been shut a lot of people have nothing better to do with their time than launch cranky campaigns.

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Anger outside the American Embassy

by Siobhan Kelly

IN THE WAKE of the killing of George Floyd there have been protests around the world. London was no exception.

The protest at the US embassy in Nine Elms on Sunday was scheduled to start at 2pm but it was already in progress by 1:30. The crowd was diverse and outraged; all standing (and kneeling) in unity to oppose the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, police killings of people from minority ethnic groups and the violent reaction of police to the mostly peaceful protests that continue across the USA.

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The dark side of Seoul

FILM REVIEW

by Ben Soton

Parasite (original title: Gisaengchung) (2019). Director: Bong Joon Ho. Stars: Kang Ho Song, Sun Kyun Lee, Yeo Jeong Jo. 192mins. BBFC Rated 15.

THIS WAS a film I intended to see before all the cinemas closed. Sadly, this columnist does not get invited to premiers and award ceremonies – although I have always argued that I should and have even purchased a tuxedo just in case. It is now available online and on DVD, however.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

International News

ISIS terrorist recruited by British Intelligence

by Basma Qaddour

AN ISIS terrorist has acknowledged that he was recruited by British Intelligence to collect information about Syrian and Russian military facilities in Syria in order to target them.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Cuban medical brigade returns from Italy!

Radio Havana Cuba

THE FIRST Cuban medical brigade of the Henry Reeve Contingent, which served for two months in northern Italy, has returned victorious to Havana. They arrived on Monday evening at 6:50 pm at the Jose Marti International Airport after a nearly 10-hour flight.

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Venezuela to import more Iranian fuel

Radio Havana Cuba

VENEZUELA says it plans to import more petrol and refinery additives from Iran after receiving five shipments of fuel from the Islamic Republic in the face of US sanctions. The announcement came after Iran said it would continue fuel shipments to Venezuela if more supplies were requested. Venezuelan officials said the government will ask Iran for further supplies in coming weeks to give state-run oil company PDVSA more time to revive part of its refining capacity.

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New protests in Kashmir as Indian troops kill nine rebels

Telesur

VIOLENCE has escalated in Kashmir as India’s far-right government steps up its counter-insurgency operations against rebels who have continued their attacks on Indian forces and alleged informants. Rebels either want Kashmir’s independence or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan.

On Monday security forces fired tear gas and pellet guns at anti-government demonstrators in Indian-administered Kashmir where Indian troops killed at least nine rebels, triggering fierce clashes with villagers.

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Features

‘Power and Influence’ ended Iraq war crimes investigation

Sputnik

A combination of military and media pressure has resulted in the termination of Iraq War-related criminal investigations, reflecting the power of the British military as “the only institution in the UK that is allowed to run their own criminal courts and prosecution service”, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU).

The head of the military’s prosecuting body, the Service Prosecuting Authority, recently announced that they would be ending over 1,000 criminal investigations into alleged war crimes committed by British forces in Iraq. This decision comes only a few months after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) was accused of covering up killings of Afghan and Iraqi civilians by British troops, following a BBC/Sunday Times investigation.

Symon Hill of the PPU, one of Britain’s oldest pacifist movements, explains why the PPU is calling for an end to the military’s ability to choose whether or not to prosecute its members and for “military leaders in particular” to be held accountable for war crimes committed abroad.

Sputnik: The PPU has said that it is “worried but not surprised” by the decision of the Service Prosecuting Authority to drop all but one Iraq War-related criminal investigation against British military personnel. Why exactly are you not surprised and what worries you about this decision?

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Will Trump send the troops in?

by John Catalinotto

ON 1st June the White House called on the US military to deploy in American cities to “dominate” the streets. Over the next three days, two former chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke out against this deployment. So did Trump’s own former and current secretaries of defence, the latter knowing it would likely get him fired.

Reacting to Trump’s threat, at least three anti-war military veterans’ movements called on service members from the US Armed Forces or the National Guard to refuse to deploy against demonstrators opposing racism.

[Read the complete story in the print edition]

Palestine faces its biggest threat yet

by Amal Ben Othmane LAST MONTH marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe in Arabic, which is commemorated every year on 15th May, just a day after Israel celebrates its own founding. For the Palestinians, the Nakba was and remains mostly about despair, helplessness, traumatic uprooting and humiliation.

Seventy-two years ago, the 1948–1949 Israeli–Arab war began and by its end the newly established Jewish state had expanded its control over almost 80 per cent of historical Palestine. Of the 900,000 Palestinians who had been living on their lands for centuries, an estimated 156,000 remained in Israel whilst the rest became refugees.

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The Metro: Moscow’s underground kingdom

Sputnik

THE FIRST Moscow tube train left Sokolniki station on 15th May 1935. Back then, the whole system had only one line, consisting of 13 stations. Eighty-five years later, it has become one of the largest underground systems, with more than nine million people using it daily.

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