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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

National News

Cuddly cats face cuts

by New Worker correspondent

THE ROYAL Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has not loomed large in the annals of trade union history. With nearly 300 redundancies looming however, in an attempt to close an expected £47 million funding gap, a battle can be expected. Many of these workers live in houses that go with the job, so redundancy could equal homelessness.

The 196-year-old charity has £60 million worth of reserves that Unite the Union says could easily be used to avoid redundancies and maintain services without endangering the organisation nor breaching charity law. It presently employs 1,600 people.

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Covid-19 testing – another fiasco

by Lilia Dergacheva

THE CORONAVIRUS testing programme is at breaking point as labs prove unable to meet rising demand, Hospital directors have repeatedly argued that the current lack in testing availability has led to more frequent absences among staff, which hinders the efforts of the crisis-hit NHS to recover.

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Lawyers Raking It In

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

AT PRESENT the legal profession are doing well out of the battles between the two main factions of the Scottish National Party. The parliamentary committee investigating how the SNP government mishandled the handling of sexual harassment allegations against the former First Minister Alex Salmond has been stymied by ministers refusing to hand over the relevant documents. As a result of the mishandling Salmond was awarded £512,500 towards his legal fees.

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It’s Shetland’s Oil

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

In recent years local government’s share of the Edinburgh budget has dropped considerably, at the same time as councils are expected to do more with less and get more instructions about what they most do.

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Rebels Raise White Flag

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

It was a case of the most significant thing about the Hound of the Baskervilles that it did not bark.

Labour’s Scottish leader Richard Leonard remains in post to lead the party into the Holyrood elections. A motion of no-confidence in his leadership openly supported by four of his MSPs, due to be tabled at the party’s Scottish Executive Committee, was withdrawn at the last minute, thus leaving him in post This suggests that the rebels knew which way the wind was blowing or that they were not very good at plotting. It is also possible they got cold feet at the prospect of a leadership contest so close to elections or could not agree on whom should take over.

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Assange faces long stretch if convicted

by Mohamed Elmaazi

EVEN IF Julian Assange’s trial in the USA “goes brilliantly” he can still expect get a minimum of 20 years in prison following a conviction and it could still go as high as 175 years, expert witness Eric Lewis told the Old Bailey on Monday.

The decision by the Trump administration to charge the WikiLeaks publisher with 18 criminal offences (including 17 under the Espionage Act 1917) is “an abuse of the criminal law enforcement power”, Attorney Eric Lewis told the Old Bailey on Monday.

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Striking the middle road

Review by Ben Soton

Strike: Lethal White by JK Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith). Adapted for TV by Tom Edge. Director: Susan Tully. Stars: Tom Burke, Holliday Grainger, Kerr Logan, Natasha O’Keeffe and others. Recently shown on BBC1 and still available on BBC iPlayer.

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, recently stated the bleeding obvious, namely that there is a link between biological sex and gender. A number of Trans-activist blew their gaskets over this issue, accusing her of being the devil incarnate. Rowling, who is often wrong on key issues such as the European Union, is also the author of the Cormoran Strike novels, writing under the name of Robert Galbraith. Lethal White, the recent BBC Sunday night drama, features Tom Burke as the private detective Cormoran Strike and Holly Grainger as his assistant Robin Ellacott.

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International News

Captured US spy planned to sabotage Venezuela power grid

by Ed Newman

VENEZUELA’S chief prosecutor has accused a recently arrested US citizen of spying and planning to sabotage oil refineries and electrical service in order to stir unrest and kill innocent people.

The man, said to have CIA ties, had help from three Venezuelan conspirators who were arrested last week near oil refineries on the north Caribbean coast, Venezuela’s Chief Prosecutor Tarek William Saab said on state television on Monday. He said that the US spy’s name is Matthew John Heath.

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Fires in Greece and storms in the Aegean

by our Balkan affairs correspondent

ON THE NIGHT of 9th September a devastating fire destroyed Greece’s largest detention camp in Moria, on the Aegean island of Lesbos. Moria was home to more than 13,000 refugees and migrants, which was nearly four times the number the camp could hold. The cause of the fire is unknown but far-right locals are suspected.

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Palestinians condemn Bahrain’s treachery

Radio Havana Cuba

PALESTINIAN officials have condemned the Israel–Bahrain normalisation deal announced by US President Donald Trump as another “stab in the back” by an Arab state.

The accord normalising diplomatic ties between Israel and Bahrain comes one month after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel under a US-brokered deal.

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Who started the Korean War?


SEVENTY years have passed since the Korean war – but the USA is still struggling to distort the truth of its outbreak. So who started the Korean war?

In August 1945, the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, in co-operation with the Soviet troops, launched the general offensive to liberate Korea and brought Japan to its knees. The defeat of Japan upset American dreams of placing the whole Korean peninsula under US control and using it as a springboard for its strategy of world domination. Unable to realise its wild ambition, the USA put forward a so-called “practical solution” for occupying half of the Korean peninsula.

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The man who made boxing a science

by Oscar Sánchez Serra

HE WAS obliged to sell a lot of peanuts and newspapers, shine a lot of shoes in his native Santiago de Cuba to pay for his studies and put food on the table at home. Despite the effort, he was not able to finish primary school, but he never gave up.

Yes, he was poor, but he had a thirst for knowledge. Paradoxically, it was his asthma that led him to boxing because a trainer told him the exercise would be good for him, and it was the gloves he chose.

Once revolution reigned in Cuba, he began working as a mechanic for the Ministry of Public Health and in the evenings would go to the gym on Agua Dulce Street, in the Havana municipality of Cerro.

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Eric Bentley, critic, playwright and Brecht translator

ERIC Russell Bentley was born in Bolton on 14th September 1916. He died in New York on 5th August 2020, at the age of 103. The British-born American critic, playwright, singer, editor and translator attended Oxford University, receiving his degree in 1938. He subsequently went to Yale and became a US citizen in 1948.

People’s World

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The end of this road

by Eileen Whitehead

I’M SURE that, like many people, I’ve been trying to consciously unpick my reaction to this pandemic’s complete upheaval of the society in which I live. How can anyone come out of this shock to the entire economic and value system of their world believing that nothing should change?

I’ve begun to question the way I have always protested about the things I believe wrong in our society: the marches to Aldermaston in the fifties, the burning of bras (not literally) in the sixties, along with my fury at the Vietnam war; Thatcher’s bedroom tax; the endless May Day rallies; the Iraq lies: over seventy years, what has my protesting achieved?

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The Marxist guide to chocolate

by Tara Brady

FIRST, the good news: we’re not going to ruin chocolate for you. Except for maybe Creme Eggs. And Toffee Crisps. And Maltesers.

Secondly, more good news. Lidl has just unveiled their own brand, reasonably priced Fairtrade, luxury range of chocolate bars. ‘Way to Go!’ bars come in three flavours – dark, caramelised almonds and sea salt. More importantly, they guarantee cocoa farmers in Ghana the Fairtrade Minimum Price for cocoa and the Fairtrade Premium, an extra sum of money for farmers to invest in their farms and communities.

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Reading Dickens during the pandemic

by Richard Berg

I HAVE LIVED into my sixties without giving really serious thought to 19th century English literature. My Catholic school teachers like Sister Irene and Sister Bridget continuously tried, but 45 years ago I was living the life of Eric Forman from That 70s Show the American sit-com.

Younger and hipper lay teachers successfully introduced me to African American authors like Claude Brown, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. As a result, at the time I consumed Charles Dickens’ literature largely through a series of second-rate movies, cartoons and uneven theatrical performances that typically undermined the author’s work.

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The United States of Arms

by Ed Newman

IF THE COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the enormous inequalities in the United States, the social and political crisis due to racism and police brutality shows a divided society, where armed security forces entail a potential danger.

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