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Monthly Archives: August 2010

International aid agency Oxfam yesterday warned that Pakistan will face devastating problems unless reconstruction begins immediately. The charity said Pakistan will face severe food shortages for at least a year because of the widespread devastation to farmland caused by four weeks of flooding Oxfam added that long-term relief work should be...
THE Bank of Japan (BoJ) took emergency measures yesterday in a desperate attempt to rescue the country’s stagnant economy (growth rate 0.4%) and boost exports, which have been hit by the high exchange rate of the yen. The BoJ said its decision to boost its low interest bank loan...
THE South African 300,000-strong National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has called a one-day solidarity strike with the 1.3m public sector trade unionists who have been on strike since August 19. The mineworkers’ union declared: ‘The NUM fully supports the public sector strike and would next week Thursday ensure that every...
‘No negotiator who would give up Jerusalem has a national mandate,’ Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniya has warned. Addressing guests at an iftar, a fast-breaking dinner on Thursday evening, he condemned the direct negotiations between Palestine Authority President Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Washington. The meal was organised...
French trade unions met yesterday to finalise arrangements for ‘a day of strikes and demonstrations’ across France on September 7th. There is enormous anger over government plans to extend the retirement age from 60 to 62 or even 67 years and increase the contribution period to 41.2 years. A joint statement...
‘The entire economy of South Africa will be shut down’, warns the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), if the government fails to settle its dispute with striking public service workers. The warning came on Tuesday from COSATU general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, who called on all Cosatu-affiliated unions...
WORKING class families and pensioners are being hit hardest by Chancellor George Osborne’s Emergency Budget. This is the key finding from a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), the country’s leading business research group specialising in tax policies. The report, published earlier this week, was commissioned by the...
Over 500 London Region Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members and officials rallied at the TUC on Tuesday evening as they gear up to fight threatened mass sackings. London FBU is balloting its members for industrial action short of a strike over the threat to dismiss the entire London firefighting workforce...
The news this week that Unison, the largest public sector union, has launched a legal challenge to the coalition government’s white paper on the NHS begs the question, what will Unison do when this legal action either fails or at best merely provides a slight delay in plans that...
‘The TUC-Tory talks must stop’, Dave Wiltshire the All Trades Union Alliance Secretary told News Line yesterday. Wiltshire said: ‘Brendan Barner is discussing with Cameron how the TUC can help him impose cuts on the working class and the middle class. This is absolutely disgraceful. ‘The forthcoming TUC Congress must make...
THERE was a lively picket of at least 40 workers and youth, including sacked Visteon workers, organised by the North-East London Council of Action yesterday, against the closure of Chase Farm Hospital. Roy Smith, a patient at Chase Farm and a regular attender at the monthly pickets outside the hospital,...
Teachers and lecturers yesterday congratulated teenagers over the best ever GCSE results, but warned youth faced a tough future in the face of education cuts and few jobs. Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT teachers’ union, said: ‘Congratulations to all those students collecting their results in what is another year...
GAZA Premier Ismail Haniya said Sunday that the Palestinian Authority’s decision to resume direct negotiations reflects a failed policy, and will not succeed. Speaking at Al-Khulafa Ar-Rashidin mosque in Jabaliya, Haniya said that negotiations would not restore rights or religious sites, and said the Palestinian people ‘should trust God, who...
EVERY day the number of people affected by the torrential rain and flooding in Pakistan is mounting. More than 20 million have been hit. Over 1,600 people have already died and thousands more are expected. There are also fears of epidemics like cholera. A report in the latest Lancet medical...
The Canadian Autoworkers union (CAW) announced last Saturday it will be donating $40,000 to the Pakistan relief effort and is urging local unions across the country to ‘give generously to this important cause’. The CAW Social Justice Fund will donate $25,000 and CAW Local 222 will donate $15,000 to Oxfam...
US combat troops have been out of Iraq for only a week and already US generals are questioning President Obama’s judgement about whether the war is over, while the general in command in Afghanistan, Petraeus, has promised some straight talking about the Afghan withdrawal when he next meets his...
SEVENTY-ONE investment staff at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) shared bonus payments of £2.89m in the year to the end of March 2010. The USS board recently voted to remove a final-salary pension scheme for new entrants and to raise the retirement age because of apparent financial problems. The University...

Alive! Rescue By Xmas

‘ALL 33 of us are fine in the shelter’. This was the message read out by the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, on Sunday, outside the San Jose gold and copper mine, to crowds of relatives of the 33 miners whom the They had waited there for 17 days. The...
The Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) has claimed 150 hotels will be forced to close after the announcement that Bank of Scotland (Ireland) is to close. The bank provides 20 per cent of all loans to the hotel sector in the Irish Republic. In a weekend statement, the IHF expressed ‘serious concern...
‘Over the past ten years, the Israeli military has gradually expanded restrictions on access to farmland on the Gaza side of the “Green Line”, and to fishing areas along the Gaza Strip coast’, says a UN report published on Friday. The report is based upon a study commissioned to Al-Sahel...
PRESIDENT Obama has summoned the Palestinian Authority leader, Abbas, and Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to Washington for talks beginning on September 2, to resolve the Palestinian ‘problem’ within a year, a vital part of the US plan to stabilise the Middle East, and prepare for action against Iran. Netanyahu said...
Leaders of the British Medical Association (BMA) are pressing ahead with assisting GP commissioning, as outlined in the government’s White Paper to privatise the NHS. The BMA’s GPs Committee (GPC) yesterday outlined what it believes ‘should be the fundamental principles underlying the development of GP commissioning’. In the GPC’s first position...
THE US, EU and Asian stockmarkets have taken yet another hit as the decline and fall of the US capitalist economy continues. On Thursday, the slump in US manufacturing and a rise in unemployment, combined to drive Wall Street down. First there was the finding of the Philadelphia Federal...
BY JOHN COULTER, Irish political journalist Irish republicans need to build a mass movement capable of attracting a wide range of people, one of Sinn Fein’s leading politicians has urged. The call came from Stormont deputy First Minister and Mid Ulster Westminster MP Martin McGuinness, who was addressing a major commemoration...
THE CAPITALIST CRISIS is beyond control and moving according to its own laws, with the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) admitting that it is flying blind and has been astonished by the continuing rise in inflation. The minutes of the August 8th MPC meeting admit that the...
THE last US army combat brigade pulled out of Iraq on Thursday morning, allegedly bringing to an end all US combat operations. These have been taking place daily for the past seven years and claimed the lives of up to a 100,000 Iraqi men, women and children, and...
Israel’s Civil Administration on Tuesday demolished a Bedouin village for the fourth time. The Al-Araqib village was razed two weeks ago for the third time, after residents rebuilt dwellings demolished to make way for a ‘Jewish National Fund park’. The Higher Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel decided that they...
The Coalition is to hit out at millions of pensioners. Currently anyone over 60 is eligible for the winter fuel allowance, with households getting £250, and pensioners aged over 80 able to claim £400 per household. As part of a £14bn cuts package, the October spending review will raise the...
trade unions and charities yesterday slammed as a death sentence for millions of pensioners, government plans to slash the annual Winter Fuel Payment by as much as £100 and delay it by six years or more. Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, the UK’s largest public service union, said: ‘We...
BANK of England Governor Mervyn King was rattled yesterday after the latest UK inflation figures showed that prices are still soaring. Although the figures for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) showed a slight fall in the inflation rate, from 3.2 per cent in June to 3.1 per cent in July,...
The leaders of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) have refused to condemn Labour right-winger Alan Milburn for accepting a position with the Tory-led coalition government. Milburn was an ally of Tony Blair and a key member of his government as health secretary, who was forced out because of the massive...
OFQUAL, the exams regulator, has given an ‘unprecedented glimpse’ into this year’s A-level results. In a letter, Ofqual’s chief executive Isabel Nisbet took the unprecedented step of revealing that in 10 per cent of syllabuses the actual achievement of the top grade is different from expectations. Some 260,000 candidates sat this...
The price of staple foods has shot up by between 18 and 59 per cent over the past three years, as world supply problems push up costs. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations has reported that food prices have risen by an average of 83 per cent...
An official visit of a three-member top level delegation of the Government of Sri Lanka to India is scheduled to leave Colombo on August 25 for high level talks and not on August 15 (Sunday) as earlier fixed, Tamilnet reports. Basil Rajapakse, Economic Development Minister and a brother of Sri...

Youth for revolution!

THE massive growth in unemployment sparked by the worldwide financial collapse in the capitalist system in 2008 is hitting youth so hard that the United Nations has warned the numbers of jobless youth will reach an all-time high this year. The ILO Global Employment Trends for Youth says that by...
THE leading Blairite and Labour party member, Alan Milburn, who was forced to resign as Labour’s Health Secretary for his over-enthusiasm for complete NHS privatisation, is ready to join the Cameron-Clegg reactionary coalition as its ‘social mobility tsar’. This post, as the name suggests, is designed to impose the separation...
THE ITUC international trade union has described the high and rising levels of youth unemployment globally as a ‘social time-bomb’, which risks damaging the social, economic and political fabric of countries around the world. New figures released by the International Labour Organisation today, the United Nations Youth Day, underline...
Former Labour deputy prime minister John Prescott yesterday furiously lashed out at the queue of Blairite former ministers who are joining the Tory coalition. He was responding to news of the latest collaborator, former health secretary Alan Milburn’s appointment as ‘social mobility tsar’ due to be formerly announced by current...
The University and College Union (UCU) yesterday warned against further increases to the cost of a university degree after a new survey revealed that student debt is already approaching £25,000. The annual student survey from Push says that students who started university last year will graduate with debts of...
THE PFI Private Finance Initiative was brought in by the Major Tory government, and while it was opposed by Labour in opposition, it was adopted by Blair and Brown with immense enthusiasm as their big policy for building schools and hospitals, and paying for them later, over 30 or...
Ian Leahair, FBU Executive Council Member for London, on Thursday issued the following statement on London fire commissioner Ron Dobson’s threat to sack the entire London workforce and re-employ them on new contracts, in a bid to impose shift changes. The statement said: ‘The Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade...
YESTERDAY the Prime Minister, Cameron, was warning the BAA Unite workers that they must not strike. This was at least six hours before the result of their strike ballot was to be announced by the union. It seems that the PM did not have any illusions that the workers had not...
Youth unemployment is increasing in two thirds of local authorities across UK, warned the TUC on Wednesday. Office for National Statistics figures show that a total of 724,000 18-24 year olds are unemployed as are 196,000 16 and 17 year olds. The number of 18-24 year olds on the dole for...
Unite union members working for British Airports Authority (BAA) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, the union announced at a press conference yesterday afternoon. The union balloted 6,185 staff including security staff, engineers, fire-fighters and support staff at BAA’s six airports: Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Unite national ...
Israeli police on Tuesday stormed a Bedouin village that was completely razed in July, levelling efforts to rebuild homes for the third time in two weeks, rights groups said. A huge convoy of around 30 police vehicles stormed the village of Al-Araqib in Israel’s southern Negev desert shortly after dawn,...