National News

A&E patients told: ‘Go home unless you’re dying’

PATIENTS who had been waiting for hours in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit at North Middlesex Hospital last Friday night were advised over a tannoy system that, if they did not have a life-threatening condition, they would be better off going home and coming back the next day.

The department was overwhelmed by 450 cases coming in on one shift, leading to seven- hour delays with people waiting on trolleys to be seen.

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Protest at demolition of Calais Jungle

by New Worker correspondent

AROUND 100 people gathered in Whitehall on Monday evening this week to protest at plans by the French authorities to demolish half of the Calais “Jungle” refugee camp — and also to demand that David Cameron’s government admit these refugees to Britain.

The protest was organised by Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), Help Refugees and other groups as the planned demolition was scheduled to begin the next day.

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Legal aid cuts illegal

THE COURT of Appeal last week ruled that cuts to legal aid that prevent the victims of domestic abuse from getting legal representation in court are “invalid”.

The decision comes after women’s rights campaigners argued large numbers of victims were being unlawfully blocked from legal aid, forcing many who have endured rape and beating at the hands of their partners to face their abusers in court without legal representation.

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Junior doctors to fight on

THE BRITISH Medical Association (BMA) last week announced a new series of three 48-hour strikes by junior doctors after they refused to accept the Government attempt to impose on them a new contract they say is “unfair and unsafe”.

The BMA will also launch a judicial review of the Government’s decision to impose the contract that will cut the pay of junior doctors whilst extending their working hours to cover routine clinics and elective surgery at weekends without enhanced pay rates and without any extra staff or funding.

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Scottish Political News

by our Scottish political affairs correspondent

IN SCOTLAND the forthcoming referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union has got the Scottish National Party (SNP) into something of a tizzy.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, deplored the timing of the Referendum on the grounds that it was too close to the Scottish parliamentary elections taking place a mere seven weeks later. Clearly she has a low opinion of the intellectual capabilities of the Scottish electorate. The Americans manage to elect their president, senator, congressman, mayor and dog-catcher all on the same day. The SNP is essentially a liberal bourgeois party that represents the interests of those elements of the Scottish ruling class which see the Westminster government as a brake on Scotland’s greater integration with the European Union. They have, naturally, become one of the most fanatically pro-Brussels cheer-leaders in Scottish politics, rivalling those of the Liberal-Democrats who now count for little these days with just one Westminster MP north of the border. Scottish Labour and Tories have never lagged far behind the EU band-wagon even though they, like the Lib- Dems, now hold only one seat each in the Westminster parliament. All of them will be supporting the “non-political” Scotland Stronger in Europe campaign, which was formally launched in Edinburgh on 10th February.

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Braving the cold for refugees in Cardiff!

by Wendy Lewis

FREEZING temperatures and rain could not dampen the spirits of Côr Cochion, who were out singing in support of Riverside Refugee Community Kitchen on Saturday, raising money to send food and aid to the desperate refugees in Calais.

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Conwy says no to Trident!

by Ray Jones

DUNCAN Rees, vice chair of CND Cymru, came to Llandudno last Friday at the invitation of the Conwy Peace Group to put the case against the renewal of the Trident nuclear system. About 40 people turned out to hear him lay out the arguments:

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Solidarity with Korea in Dublin

THE KOREAN Friendship Association

(KFA) in Ireland held a successful meeting on Saturday 20th February in Dublin, for the anniversary of the 16th February Day of the Shining Star.

The meeting was opened and introduced by Andreas Engström, Official Delegate of KFA Ireland. Guest speaker Dermot Hudson, Official Delegate of the KFA United Kingdom, talked about his last visit to the DPR Korea back in November 2015, for the 70th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Dermot explained how the DPRK had no traces of capitalism, nor its side effects, such as drug addicts, alcoholics or homeless people living on the streets — sights common in the capitalist world.

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International News

Italy stokes Brussels—Berlin tensions


Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has launched another attack on the European Union’s economic policy, calling for increased spending as part of an anti-austerity agenda. The proposals, which present a challenge to the current status quo, are set to further strain tensions between Rome, Brussels and Berlin.

Amid fears from analysts that a “new storm on financial markets” could send Italy, Spain and Portugal into a fresh crisis, Renzi unveiled a new policy paper, calling on EU states to change tack in order to kick-start the sluggish EU economy.

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Gaddafi’s cousin denounces the West


FIVE years after the “democratic” revolution of 2011 in Libya the country has turned into a hotbed of terrorism on the African continent. Muammar Gaddafi’s cousin, Ahmed Gaddafi al-Dam, shared his thoughts with the Russian media last week on Libya and the “reforms” that a formerly prosperous country had to go through.

“Libya is a country that used to stand at the forefront of the whole continent and had its authority in the world. Today, this is a humiliated vassal state, the fate of which is now determined by other countries. We have come to this day through pain, tears and sacrifice, material and moral losses. What we see today after five difficult years is the aftermath of Nato’s actions. They came to destroy our country and left to decide the fate of our country and appoint our government from afar,” he said.

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Moldovan political prisoners transferred to house arrest

Red Star over Donbass

THE POLITICAL prisoners led by former parliamentary deputy Grigory Petrenko have been released from prison after more than five months in the penitentiary. The decision was made on Monday 22nd February at the Riscani sector court in Chisinau, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Moldova.

According to the judges’ decision, made as a result of a request submitted by the parliamentary faction of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (MDBGS), the political prisoners were placed under house arrest.

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Obama plans unprecedented visit to Cuba

by Cheryl LaBash

PRESIDENT Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Cuba on 21—22nd March. He is the first sitting US president to do so since Calvin Coolidge, 88 years ago in 1928.

Two years after the 1959 Cuban revolution Washington first prevented US residents from seeing Cuba for themselves by imposing restrictions, in force except from 1977—1982, on those who wanted to traverse the fabled 90 miles from Key West, Florida, by ferry or the short plane ride on a charter flight from Miami.

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On the US president’s visit to Cuba

blockby Pedro Martinez Pírez I RECENTLY learned of the request by Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, of Argentina, to US President Barack Obama, a Nobel Peace laureate himself, asking him not allow his Argentina visit to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the military coup that claimed so many victims in the South American nation. So I decided to check the date on which the US president will be arriving in Havana for his official visit here, a moment that will certainly go down in history.

Obama will be welcome in Cuba, and on March 21st and 22nd he will enjoy the hospitality traditional of the Cuban people and government, according to an announcement by Josefina Vidal, a senior official of the Cuban Foreign Ministry and a key figure throughout the on-going process of normalisation of relations between our two countries.

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The lucky country

by Rob Gowland

THE RULING class in Australia used to try to persuade the working people that this was “the lucky country”. To a very limited extent — and only to that extent — it was true. It was a harsh and unforgiving land, prone to drought and fire. A few of the early settlers were certainly lucky enough to be able to appropriate all the land they could see. They quickly became members of the ruling class, if they were not already part of it. They were the squatters, and they became notorious for their arrogance, their ruthless dispossession of the Aborigines and their attempts to establish an aristocracy in Australia.

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Communist Youth of Syria: ‘We will never give up!’

International Communist Press interview with Wessam Kahel, member of the International Relations Committee of the Communist Youth Union of Syria- Bakdash.

ICP: How would you consider the internal dynamics and the positions of the protagonists in Syria today?

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West slams Russia’s UN resolution aiming at peace


WHILE Russia has presented a draft resolution to the United Nations asking all parties to respect Syria’s right to sovereignty, the United States and France have criticised the move as a mere distraction. This is unsurprising given that the US and France are both currently violating Syria’s sovereignty.

The West has been backing Syrian opposition factions since the 2011 beginning of the civil war. By first supplying arms to rebel groups and then by launching a bombing campaign, the United States and its allies have acted militarily in Syria without permission from the legitimate government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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