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Monthly Archives: March 2013

AN emergency manager, in fact a financial dictator with powers over jobs, wages and conditions, has been appointed for the bankrupt US city of Detroit. Kevyn Orr, a lawyer, has a track record. He received $1million in fees for restructuring Chrysler after the US motor car industry and its...
FRANCE and Britain are preparing to arm anti-Syria rebels even without unanimous EU support, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday. Paris and London will call for moving up the date of the next European Union meeting on the Syria arms embargo, and will decide to arm the rebels...
WITH less than three weeks to go before the start of the Tory-led coalition government’s plan to open up the entire NHS to the private health company vultures, it has been confirmed that there is a ‘potential’ conflict of interest between those GPs jumping on the privatisation bandwagon, and...
MORE than a third of GPs on the boards of the new clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in England have a conflict of interest resulting from directorships or shares held in private companies, a new analysis by the BMJ shows. An examination of the registered interests of almost 2,500 board members...
‘MICHAEL Gove has got to go!’ chanted over 600 teachers, parents and pupils as they marched along Victoria Street to the Department for Education (DfE) at Westminster on Wednesday evening. Angry teachers and their supporters braved a snow shower to the lobby of the DfE organised by the National Union...
Members of the Communication Workers Union representing 160,000 employees in Royal Mail Group yesterday morning voted unanimously in favour of a mail boycott if postal regulator Ofcom fails to protect the UK’s mail service. Hundreds of reps voted to agree a policy to boycott private mail companies’ post which...
AT the same time as Foreign Secretary Hague has been insisting publicly that the UK will not supply arms and ammunition to their Syrian surrogates, the UK has been seeking to end the EU veto over direct arms supplies to the Syrian jihadists. Now PM Cameron has spoken up to...
IN OCCUPIED Ramallah the Palestinian youth group ‘Palestinians For Dignity’ has called to reject US President Obama’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territory expected between 20-22 March, and to demonstrate against the possible return to negotiations. ‘President Obama’s visit to the occupied Palestinian territory comes at a time when our...
Over 50 disabled people demonstrated outside the High Court in London yesterday demanding the government maintain the Independent Living Fund (ILF). Mary Laver from Newcastle told News Line: ‘If they take away the ILF I won’t be part of the community any more. ‘I will lose 46 hours of supported care,...
CONCERNS about human rights in Saudi Arabia were raised in a briefing by Amnesty International and released ahead of Monday’s visit to the feudal state by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of execution in the world. It applies...
THE Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on Monday officially inaugurated the final construction phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, despite the all-out US pressure to stop Pakistan taking part in the project. The US State Department has in fact threatened Islamabad with sanctions if...
ONE hundred Sussex students, UCU members and students from other universities marched through the campus of a snow-bound University of Sussex yesterday lunchtime. The ‘Fight Privatisation – Take Control of Campus’ demonstration was called in support of the struggle against privatisation of the services at the university and in support...
UK manufacturing output fell by 1.5% in January indicating that the UK is heading for a ‘triple-dip recession’. Yesterday’s announcement led to an immediate fall of the pound to $1.4832. The Index of Production from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that manufacturing fell by a massive 3.0%...
RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gave an interview to the BBC on 7 March, ahead of his visit to London to take part in the first Russia-UK strategic dialogue meeting on 13 March. Lavrov spoke about Russian-British relations, the upcoming inquest into the death of Aleksandr Litvinenko (the former...
SPEAKING on BBC radio yesterday morning the LibDem business secretary, Vince Cable, described proposals being put forward by senior Tory MP Liam Fox as amounting to a ‘jihad’ against public spending. What prompted Cable into the use of such an emotive term was the content of a speech delivered by...
FURIOUS tenants remaining at Connaught House in Muswell Hill vented their anger at bailiffs yesterday at 12 noon as evictions took place of families, driving them out of their homes and smashing up their community. The tenants confronted Nick Wood of Crown Properties and his supervising agent, Julie Beech, who...
LEADING Tory MP, Liam Fox, has called for Osborne to announce a freeze on all public spending, which would cut spending by 2.5% a year, as against the coalition’s current plan which is for a 1% annual cut. Fox calculated that his scheme would cut £345 billion from public spending,...
THE Cosatu trade union federation has issued a special statement on the attack being launched in South Africa on free collective bargaining. ‘THE Congress of South African Trade Unions will strenuously oppose the constitutional challenge, launched on 5th March 2013 by the Free Market Foundation (FMF), to the extension of...
ISRAEL’S armed forces commander, Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, speaking to Israeli High School pupils last week, asked and answered a question rooted in the current Middle East crisis, where the imperialist powers are attempting to overthrow Syria’s regime, led by Bashar al Assad, and where Israel has already conducted one...
SYRIA’S Foreign and Expatriates Ministry yesterday demanded that the UN unequivocally condemns the attacks by the armed terrorist groups on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) observers and the civilians in the disengagement area in the Syrian Golan Heights. In two identical letters addressed to the president of the...
TEACHERS, parents and pupils have won a victory at the Alec Reed Academy in Northolt. ‘Management at Alec Reed Academy has agreed our terms for suspending our planned three-day strike next week to go to ACAS talks on Monday or Tuesday along with the NASUWT,’ said Ealing NUT rep Nick...
THE US trade gap widened in January to $44.45bn (£29.53bn) from December’s figure of $38.14bn, the US Commerce Department has reported. Much of the rise in imports came from a 12% increase in imports of oil. This bad news came in advance of today’s release of the non-farm payroll figures for...
FORMER Surrey Police officer Alan Tierney, 40, yesterday admitted selling information to the Sun newspaper. Tierney pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to two offences of misconduct in a public office. Another former police officer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and ex-prison worker Richard Trunkfield, 31, also pleaded guilty...
SQUADS of the Greek anti-terrorist units and riot police armed with automatic weapons, early on Thursday morning occupied the small coastal town of Ierissos in northern Greece, about 100km east of Salonica. The armed police raided houses in the town of those accused of attacking the installations of the gold...
US SECRETARY of State John Kerry expressed confidence on Tuesday that weapons being supplied by Gulf countries to the Syrian rebels were reaching the ‘right people’, as he visited key rebel ally Qatar. ‘We had discussions about the type of weapons that are being transferred. We are aware of...
THE Coalition’s ‘blueprint’ for the privatisation of the NHS has suffered a set-back when it became clear last week that even supporters of privatisation are scared that, in its present form, it is provoking a backlash amongst doctors who threatened to ‘walk away from them’ and derail the entire...
PRIVATEER Serco failed to provide enough staff for the out-of-hours GP services it is contracted to run in Cornwall, the National Audit Office has found. Following a request from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, the NAO looked into what had happened. The NAO press statement said: ‘Among the...
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep child heart surgery in Leeds yesterday won a legal challenge to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts’ (JCPCT) consultation over changes to children’s heart surgery in England and Wales. The High Court ruled that this consultation was flawed. The JCPCT has decided child heart surgery should...
CHILDREN are routinely strip-searched in child prisons and secure children’s homes in England and Wales despite the government’s pledge to stop, says Carolyne Willow, a child’s rights advocate. Based on information released to her under the Freedom of Information Act, Willow reports: 'Despite the promise to move to risk-based...
YESTERDAY saw the spectacle of Foreign Secretary Hague complaining that every Jihadist on the planet was heading for Syria, after both he and his Saudi, Qatari and Bahraini allies have been financing, arming and supporting these very same forces to destroy Syria as an anti-imperialist bastion through overthrowing its...
UP to a dozen travel safe officers yesterday lobbied a board meeting of Transport for London (TFL) at 197, Blackfriars Road, London. They told News Line: ‘Since February 2012 we have been in dispute with STM, our employers, who are a contractor for the London Overground because we are being...
TEACHERS were on strike at Alec Reed Academy in Northolt, west London for the third day yesterday, with three more days of strike action planned for next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Parent Trudy Bees told News Line: ‘I definitely support the teachers. Since it became an academy, this school has...
THE anti-imperialist President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez has died aged 58, after 14 years in power. Chavez had been seriously ill with throat cancer for over a year, and had several operations in Cuba. Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told state television: ‘We have a mandate that Comandante President Hugo Chavez gave...
CHANTING ‘People’s oil for the people not for the thieves!’ hundreds of workers protested against the South Oil Company in Iraq on 19 February 2013, demanding housing, permanent work and payment of delayed benefits. The protest was organised by the Committee for the Defence of Oil Workers, including IndustriALL Global...
TEACHERS on a second day of strike action at the Alec Reed Academy in Northolt, west London yesterday, were joined in support outside the school gates by parents and students. The joint strike action by NUT and NASUWT members is against ‘a climate of fear that is being set here,...
THE Coalition’s ‘Justice Secretary’ Chris Grayling plans to make further savage cuts in the £2bn legal aid bill in England and Wales, to make sure that what ‘justice’ is available under capitalism is only for those with money. A consultation on more cost-cutting in criminal cases will start...
NHS Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson, who presided over the Mid Stafford Hospital disaster where there were more than 1,000 unnecessary deaths, yesterday refused to resign as NHS chief executive. Nicholson, who has been promoted by prime minister Cameron to his present position, was grilled by MPs who considered...
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CIVIL Servants have voted by a massive 61% majority in favour of strike action in their fight for a pay rise of £1,200, or 5%, this year. The ballot result could lead to a strike on Budget Day, March 20th, the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) Union said ahead of...
THE Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation and the Civil, Public and Services Union have decided they will urge members to reject the Croke Park agreement. There are now five unions recommending a ‘No’ vote. The others are the Teachers' Union of Ireland, the Irish Federation of University Teachers...
Nothing typifies the vicious war against the poorest and most vulnerable sections of the working class more than the introduction next month of the coalition government’s bedroom tax. This tax, a part of the overall campaign to smash the benefit system that underpins the welfare state, comes into effect...