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Monthly Archives: April 2013

STUDENTS across Egypt took to the streets on Sunday in protest at the aggressive handling of student movements by security forces and university staff, as well as the gross neglect of students’ needs by universities. Violent clashes were reported from several universities, including Ain Shams and Alexandria. In Ain Shams, the...
‘Nine out of ten people are expected to be worse off under the new Universal Credit system,’ Tim Nichols of the Child Poverty Action Group told News Line yesterday. ‘Disabled children are one of the big losers compared to the current system,’ he added. ‘For most disabled children, under Universal Credit...
YESTERDAY the Tory-led coalition launched its ‘pathfinder’ trial of the new Universal Credit System at a job centre in Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester. From here the government intend to roll-out the scheme nationally to encompass the over six million people who rely on the whole range of benefits from unemployment, income support,...
POST Office staff in the country’s network of 373 Crown Post Offices are taking a third round of strike action today in a dispute over closures, franchising, jobs and pay. Management continue to refuse to negotiate, despite their financial arguments being proved wrong, says the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Strike action...
THE arrest of the owner of the collapsed building in Dakha is just a tiny sop to the massive anger felt by Bangladeshi workers and the working people of the world, at the latest disaster which has cost the lives of over 300 women workers. Those responsible for this disaster...
‘DEFEND Ealing Hospital – Occupy Now!’ rang out in a crescendo as the Ealing leg of the march against four hospital closures stopped outside the West London hospital on Saturday afternoon. More than 10,000 hospital workers, trade unionists, local residents and youth were on two marches against the closures...
JOSHUA OGUNLEYE was found not guilty of the charge ‘obstruct/resist a constable in the execution of duty’ in a trial held at Highbury and Islington Magistrates Court last Tuesday, 23 April. Joshua had been arrested and charged during the occupation of the Clock Tower at Chase Farm Hospital...
IN talks with US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, President Mursi on Wednesday reaffirmed Cairo’s commitment to its peace treaty with Israel and voiced appreciation for Hagel’s promise to continue US military aid with more than a billion dollars in annual payments to Egypt. A statement by the US embassy in...
IN March 2003, the US-UK axis led by warmongers Bush and Blair – after claiming that there was irrefutable evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction that would enable Saddam to attack and destroy the British base in Cyprus and even attack western Europe – launched their invasion...
USING the Bush-Blair WMD tactic, manufactured for use as the cause of war with Iraq, the imperialist powers and Israel were yesterday insisting that Sarin nerve gas was being used by the Syrian government. There is ‘limited but growing’ evidence that Syrian government troops have used chemical weapons, UK Prime...
THOUSAND of angry hospital workers, trade unionists, local residents and youth are marching today determined to defeat the government’s plan to close four West London hospitals – Ealing, Charing Cross, Central Middlesex and Hammersmith. There are two legs of the march, assembling in Southall Park at 11.30 and Acton Park...
UNITE general secretary Len McCluskey has been denounced as ‘reprehensible’ and ‘divisive’ by Labour leader Ed Miliband and his shadow cabinet. McCluskey’s crime was to warn Labour leader Miliband that he would be ‘cast into the dustbin of history’ if he was ‘seduced’ to the right by Blairite members of...
ON Wednesday night the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, launched a scathing attack on the leader of the largest trade union, Unite, denouncing him for a ‘reprehensible’ attempt to divide the Labour Party. The cause for this outburst aimed at Len McCluskey was an earlier interview by the Unite general secretary...
OVER 200 Young Socialists and trade unionists lobbied the General Council of the TUC on Wednesday morning as it assembled to discuss the calling of a General Strike against mass unemployment and the government’s austerity policy. Finance union Aegis general secretary Brian Linn told News Line: ‘There is support for...
MPs on the Public Accounts Committee have been shocked by the £8.3 billion wasted on the expansion of privately-run Academy schools at the expense of state schools. The latest PAC report says: ‘The Department (of Education) has incurred significant costs from the complex and inefficient system it has used for...
YOUNG SOCIALISTS and trade unionists lobbied the TUC General Council yesterday morning to demand it call a general strike. Young Socialists kept up chants of ‘Youth demand jobs, youth demand a future! TUC get off your knees, call a general strike! Defend the NHS, general strike now! Occupy hospitals facing...
GILLES DE KERCHOVE, the EU’s anti-terror chief yesterday told the BBC that hundreds of Europeans are now fighting with the counter-revolutionary forces in Syria against Bashar al-Assad’s government. He said that intelligence services are concerned some could join groups linked to al-Qaeda and later return to Europe to launch terrorist...
OVER 25,000 striking teachers in the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) are taking to the streets today for a national march to the Union headquarters in Pretoria and to Parliament in Cape Town. The march is part of the union’s drive to get Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, and...
TODAY’S meeting of the TUC general council must get off the fence and call for an immediate all-out, indefinite general strike to bring down this coalition government and replace it with a workers government. Nothing short of this action can match the urgency of the situation facing the working class...
TODAY’S meeting of the General Council of the TUC must go beyond considering the practicalities of a general strike and actually call one, Dave Wiltshire, National Secretary of the All Trades Unions Alliance, told News Line yesterday. ‘The TUC have been considering the practicalities of a general strike since Congress...
THE Hamas Movement has appealed to the Palestinian authority and the international groups in the occupied Palestinian lands to investigate news reports saying that Palestinian prisoners are given lethal injections in jails. ‘The frequent news and reports about prisoners in Israeli jails being injected with long-term lethal substances or...
making nurses work as Health Care Assistants for a year before they can start to train as a nurse is ‘a stupid idea’, Royal College of Nursing president Andrea Spyropoulos declared yesterday. As the RCN nurses’ union opened its annual conference in Liverpool it came under attack from the Coalition...
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) started its annual conference this week in the midst of a brutal attack on the nursing profession spearheaded by the Tory health minister Jeremy Hunt. This attack is being carried out by the coalition as part and parcel of its drive to smash up...
MOTIONS censuring the union’s leadership are being discussed at the Unison Health Care Service Group Annual Conference being held in Glasgow on 22 – 24 April 2013. Members are upset over the Unison leadership’s acceptance of detrimental changes to Agenda for Change national pay and terms and conditions, while Unite...
OVER 30,000 workers, trade unionists and local residents marched through Stafford on Saturday against Coalition plans to ‘downgrade’ Stafford District General Hospital and close its essential services. They marched against plans by ‘Monitor’, the hospital closure and NHS privatisation body created under the Health and Social Care Act which came...
LAST Friday, Fitch ratings agency became the second of the world’s three big credit agencies to strip Britain of its top notch triple-A credit rating; Moody’s agency downgraded the UK economy last February and the third, Standard & Poor’s, is set to follow suit in the near future. The importance...
PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad warned on Wednesday that the West will pay a heavy price for its support of Al-Qaeda in Syria. Assad, whose regime has been battling a foreign-backed and supported uprising since March 2011, reiterated in an interview with official television Al-Ikhbariya his long-held claim that the roots of...
VERY heavy clashes between masses of anti-government protesters and the Bahraini security forces continued into last night, ahead of tomorrow’s F1 Grand Prix. The demonstrators are demanding that the Grand Prix be cancelled by its organisers because of the repressions, including killings and torturings, that are being carried out...
INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) chief economist Olivier Blanchard has warned UK Chancellor Osborne that he is ‘playing with fire’ with his fiscal policy. Blanchard also said that Osborne should have changed his austerity strategy in the Budget last month. Asked about the UK’s prospects, the IMF chief economist said: ‘I think...

Assad Warns West

SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad has warned that Western nations will pay a ‘heavy price’ for supporting al-Qaeda in Syria, warning that the terrorist group would strike at the heart of Europe and the US. President Assad told Al-Ikhbariya state television on Wednesday: ‘The West has paid heavily for funding al-Qaeda...
HUNGER striker Samer Issawi called for ‘rage and solidarity’ from his prison cell on Palestinian Prisoners Day. Issawi wrote in a letter sent through his lawyer from his hospital bed: ‘Greetings to all without exception. I urge all the noble people of our Arab and Muslim nation as well as the...
NEXT week the postal workers union, CWU, is holding its delegate conference under conditions where the coalition government is planning the wholesale privatisation of the service in the autumn. This week it was announced that, so desperate is the government to achieve the sale of what remains one of the...

PO strike today

FURTHER strike action has been called by the CWU over Post Office management’s cost-cutting measures. The strike action is taking place today, and will involve up to 4,000 staff in 373 Crown post offices in a dispute over closures, job security and pay. Post Office staff voted by nine to one...
The major construction firms that established and funded a systematic blacklist of construction industry workers appear to be continuing to avoid taking full responsibility for their actions, says the Scottish Affairs Committee in an interim report released on Tuesday. The Committee says that while the blacklist was not initially illegal,...
THE Croke Park II proposals to cut the public sector pay bill, as part of an additional one billion euros of state cuts, have been rejected by Irish workers. Two of the country’s biggest trade unions, SIPTU and the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation, have just voted against the...

70,000 jobless rise!

YOUTH unemployment has risen by another 20,000 to very nearly one million, according to figures issued by the Office for National Statistics yesterday. The number of unemployed workers aged 16-to-24 increased to 979,000, representing more than one in five (21.1%) of that age group. Total UK unemployment rose by 70,000 to...
THE Francis inquiry into what happened at Mid-Staffordshire ‘has allowed the government to blame frontline clinicians rather than those in charge.’ This was the verdict of former NHS chief executive Professor David Hands yesterday, in the latest issue of the BMJ (British Medical Journal). Hands declared he...
THE heads of five major UN agencies have issued a joint appeal to the international community, a code phrase for the imperialist powers, to do much more to end the ‘cruelty and carnage’ in Syria. In their statement, the chiefs of the WHO, Unicef, Ocha, WFP and UNHCR...
ISRAELI forces opened fire at farmers in the central Gaza Strip on Monday, locals said. Witnesses said that Israeli troops stationed at a watchtower fired at farmers east of al-Bureij refugee camp, forcing them to flee the area. Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian liaison crew accompanying sick passengers...
News broke yesterday that the long expected attempt by the coalition to sell off and privatise Royal Mail is set to occur this autumn. What has surprised commentators is the knock-down price that the government is prepared to accept for what would be the largest privatisation since Thatcher sold off...
‘It is a gross injustice that hard-pressed households are being punished for economic problems caused by greedy bankers and politicians by having their benefits capped, while millionaires are getting a tax cut.’ A PCS spokesman was commenting on the Tory-LibDem Coalition’s ‘benefits cap’ which came in in four London boroughs...
SYRIAN TV has carried a report on the Al-Nusrah Front and Israel’s position on it, conducted by anchors Wa’il al-Tawil and Alisar Mu’alla in the Damascus studio. Al-Tawil began by saying: ‘The terrorist Al-Nusrah Front has disavowed its subordination to the Al-Qaeda organisation in Iraq and pledged allegiance and...