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Monthly Archives: February 2008

‘UNISON warned from the beginning that ISTC (Independent Sector Treatment Centre) contracts were too rigid and expensive and would destabilise local NHS hospitals’, said Karen Jennings, UNISON Head of Health, yesterday. She was responding to Department of Health figures which show that all but four of the 25 private centres...
COLOMBO – TamilNet reports that 20 Sri Lanka Army soldiers were killed in an intensive counter-attack launched by the Tigers on SLA units that attempted to move through Paalaikkuzhi targeting Adampan on Tuesday. The direct clash intensified after LTTE mounted an artillery attack on Tha’l’laadi garrison and...
A HAMAS official on Tuesday renewed calls for a ceasefire amid mounting Israeli demands for a broad military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Writing in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Ahmed Yussef, a Hamas foreign policy advisor, called for a long-term ceasefire between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. ‘If the people of...
Palestinian resistance fighters took on Israeli tanks invading eastern Gaza City early yesterday morning and forced their withdrawal after hours of fierce clashes. Palestinians said an undercover Israeli force attempted to enter Gaza City through the Zaytoun neighbourhood after midnight, but Palestinian activists clashed with the invading force. Muawiya Hassanain, the...
Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, which includes mortgage interest payments, rose to 4.1 per cent last month, from 4 per cent in December. However even the capitalist press yesterday was treating the official 4.1 per cent figure with scorn, estimating that the average family was facing a rise in the...
RAPIDLY rising food, gas, electricity and petrol prices pushed up the cost of living in January, even according to the government’s rigged inflation rate figures. Last month’s Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation figure rose to 2.2 per cent, up from 2.1 per cent in December. The Retail Price...
TAMILNET reports that ‘Normalcy has been disturbed in Mannaar city Tuesday from 8:10 am as the Sri Lanka Army mounted an artillery barrage simultaneously from all its camps in Mannaar towards Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam territories.’ This was reportedly after an artillery box barrage carried out by the Tigers...
COLOMBO – TamilNet reports that last weekend more than sixteen Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops lost their legs after being caught in booby traps at the Front Defence Line (FDL) positions in Pa’ndivirichchaan, Mu’l’likku’lam and Vi’laaththikku’lam in Mannaar district. Mannaar LTTE Operations Command confirmed that the...
CONSTRUCTION union UCATT, has reacted with fury after their memorial to construction workers killed in the building of London was criticised on The Today Programme. Tim Knox, director of the little known Sir John Soames Museum, made the criticism. He described the statue as looking like a ‘navvy’ and describing...
Former Prime Minister Blair and his war cabinet should be put on trial for war crimes, said the parents of soldiers killed in the Iraq war yesterday. Nine Law Lords yesterday began hearing the case of the families of two soldiers, Trooper David Clarke and Fusilier Gordon Gentle, killed in...
FIREFIGHTERS risk their lives every time they are called out. They never know what they are going to have to tackle, and often do not know whether very dangerous materials are present at the site they are being called out to. However, since 1997 the Labour governments have been taking...
OVER 800 people attended the latest fortnightly picket outside Downing Street on Saturday to demand: ‘End the siege on Gaza!’ Thousands have taken part in the pickets to demand British government action against Israel and its siege of the Gaza Strip, which has created a humanitarian crisis in the tiny...
THE Brown government has bullied NHS GPs in the most brutal and cowardly fashion, and has given them an offer that they could not refuse as far as extending their hours is concerned, unless they took industrial action that would see millions of people go without GP care. The BMA’s...
The British Medical Association has condemned the government for putting GPs into an impossible position and forcing them to choose between ‘two bad alternatives’ on GPs’ hours. The BMA’s GPs Committee (GPC) met on Friday to discuss the two ‘options’ the government has given GPs regarding changes to their...
GMB and LabourSource Ltd have reached agreement over the pay, conditions and treatment of the company's migrant workforce that resolves all misunderstandings and issues regarding accusations made in October of last year. GMB after being invited to conduct a full audit of the current practices relating to employment issues can...
The number of people in the UK whose homes were repossessed last year rose by 21 per cent, to 27,100, compared to 22,400 in 2006, figures released yesterday revealed. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said 27,100 was the highest figure since 1999 for homes taken over by lenders after...
JORDAN has announced huge 76 per cent fuel price increases. In a statement the Jordanian government said that domestic fuel and kerosene prices had been raised by 76.1 per cent from Friday with petrol prices climbing three per cent, nine per cent and 33 per cent depending on quality. As...
TAMILNET reports that ‘several hundred activists of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) marched towards the Indian Parliament on Wednesday morning demanding the Indian government immediately stop military aid and assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL).’ As a part of the protest, the activists, including 100...
THE parliamentary Human Rights Committee report on the government’s latest Counter-Terrorism Bill, before its second reading in the House of Commons, records just how, this time by an attempted sleight of hand, Britain, under a Labour government is being pushed towards a police state dictatorship. Hansard...
Seven Palestinians were killed in Israeli air raids in several parts of the Gaza Strip yesterday and on Wednesday. Five of the victims were activists affiliated to Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, one was affiliated to the military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades. All of these were killed on Wednesday...
Yet another energy supplier, E.On, yesterday announced huge increases in gas and electricity prices to domestic consumers. It is hiking gas prices by 15 per cent and electricity prices by 9.7 per cent, with effect from today, 8 February. The German-owned company, formerly Powergen, is the latest of the big...

Rice-Brown War Talks

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Prime Minister Brown had war talks with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at Downing Street yesterday afternoon. The pair discussed tensions within NATO over the deployment of forces in Afghanistan where US and UK and Canadian troops are suffering a large number of casualties. Canada has warned that it will...
INITIAL reports say at least six Palestinians have been killed by the latest Israeli air strike on the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday. Several people were also wounded in the missile attack. The Israeli military confirmed the attack, but gave no further details. Gaza is a tiny strip of land on the...
SIR Ronald Flanagan, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary in England and Wales, and the senior police adviser to the Home Secretary, will publish a full report today of his review into policing. Flanagan is no ordinary policeman. He was the last head of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, which after...
A 3,500-strong demonstration organised by the Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) marked the 60th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule in Sri Lanka with protests against repressive state violence meted out by the Sri Lankan government against Tamil communities. The Tamils accuse the Sri Lankan ruling class of...
UNEMPLOYED council and housing association tenants must be made to sign a new tenancy agreement under which they will agree to have their skill levels checked, and to actively seek work, with the penalty for not doing so to be eviction from their council homes. This is Labour terrorism at...

Hands Off Iraq’s Oil!

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‘Hands Off Iraqi Oil’, read the banner of protest outside the Middle East Energy Conference in London yesterday. At the conference was Iraqi puppet Oil Minister, Hussein al Shahristani, plus US/UK government ministers, and Shell and BP oil executives seeking ‘Production Sharing Agreements’ (PSA) for control of Iraqi oil supplies. Shahristani...
COVENTRY postal workers are preparing for strike action to defend their jobs and their mail centre, a leading CWU officer said yesterday. Royal Mail is planning to close the Bishop Street office in the spring, threatening his members’ jobs and the service they provide to the 12th largest city in...
ONE in every fourteen British soldiers, almost 7,000 are sick or injured at a time when every regiment of 600 faces a shortfall of 100 troops, because fewer and fewer people are joining the army, while many veterans are leaving. Desperate at this chronic weakening of the imperialist army, the...
THE Tamil Youth Organisation (TYO) mobilised over 3,500 supporters of the struggle of the Tamils in a lively and colourful demonstration outside Downing Street yesterday, against brutal repression by the racist Sri Lankan state. On the 60th Anniversary of the Independence of Ceylon from British colonial rule in 1948, the...
The British Medical Association (BMA) yesterday rebutted the government’s attack on the BMA leadership over family doctors’ opening hours. Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, warned that the attack on the BMA was a move to push through the takeover of GP practices by private health companies. The...
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) has stepped up the international campaign to get the sanctions and siege of Gaza lifted. In its latest ‘update on Gaza protests’ the PRC said: ‘On 22nd January the Palestinian Return Centre hosted a seminar in the House of Commons to discuss the situation in...
Justice secretary Jack Straw has had to order an inquiry into claims that police bugged Tooting Labour MP Sadiq Khan as he visited a friend and constituent in jail. It was alleged yesterday that Khan and Babar Ahmad, who is fighting extradition to the US to face trumped-up charges,...
INVESTMENT banker David Freud is the adviser behind Prime Minister Brown’s plans to slash the benefits of the sick and the disabled. This is at the same time as there are no limits to the billions that the Brown government is prepared to hand over to the banks, to stave...
FURIOUS parents and staff belonging to Unison public sector union have forced Crawley Borough Council (CBC) to issue letters to parents to deny it plans to close two vital after-school clubs and two play centres in April, but is looking to privatise them instead. Parents only learnt of the Tory-led...
AFTER the disgraceful episode, where not one soldier or officer was found guilty of the murder of Baha Mousa, the attempt to sanitise the operations of the British army in Iraq, by the MoD, has been aborted by the decision of High Court judges to lift the legal order...
LOCAL residents, trade unions and doctors have joined together to fight the privatisation of the National Health Service in Tower Hamlets. Two hundred people staged a demonstration outside St Paul’s Way Medical Centre in Bow on Thursday, to voice their anger at the decision to hand over the GP surgery...
A total of 184 arts organisations have had 100 per cent of their funding withdrawn, Arts Council England announced yesterday. While it said that 17 organisations set for the axe have been reprieved or partially reprieved, the Arts Council made it clear at a press conference that the Bristol Old...
‘PATIENTS before profits, defend the NHS!’ shouted around 200 demonstrators outside St Paul’s Way General Practice yesterday, opposing the take-over of the doctors surgery in Bow, east London, by private company Atos Healthcare. Dr Anna Livingstone told the demonstrators that GP surgeries run by private, profit-making companies would only...
THE Israeli inquiry into its July 2006 attack on the Lebanon has found that it was ‘a large and serious failure’. It also found that the military and political leadership of Israel was guilty of ‘grave failings in decision-making . . . both on the military and political...
MORE than one million Iraqis have died because of the war in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to a study published on Wednesday. A fifth of Iraqi households lost at least one family member between March 2003 and August 2007 due to the conflict,...