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Monthly Archives: December 2013

THE News Line Editorial Board sends its New Year’s greetings for the year 2014 to all our readers and to the workers and youth of the world. This is the year when a further deepening of the worldwide economic crisis of capitalism will lead to new banking and industrial collapses...
THE Chair of the British Medical Association has warned of an increasing financial shortfall in NHS funding. In his New Year’s message to doctors, Dr Mark Porter says that ‘efficiency savings’ are failing to keep pace with increased costs. Dr Porter says: ‘The numbers overall are so bad that if the...
TORY-LIBDEM Coalition plans to charge fees to immigrants and overseas visitors attending District General Hospital Accident and Emergency Departments were condemned by Unison yesterday. ‘The NHS is not there to act as border control and NHS workers are not there to act as an agency to verify British citizenship,’ a...
THE National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) Special National Congress December 17 to 20, 2013 issued a declaration of war on the lack of progress since apartheid. NUMSA’s Special National Congress was attended by 1,200 delegates representing 338,000 metalworkers from 50 Locals throughout the provinces of South Africa. Marikana...
THE Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is working on the basis that the peace talks with Israel will fail and that both sides know that this is the case because the US and Israel are proposing, on top of everything else, that the Israeli army be...
EVEN in a ‘good growth’ scenario, the number of UK households facing a debt crisis would almost double, warns the Resolution Foundation think-tank. It said yesterday that millions of UK households will face ‘perilous’ levels of debt when interest rates begin to rise. In its latest report, the foundation, which...
IN A ‘Protect Teachers and Defend Education’ campaign update, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said strike action is set to go ahead in February. In a message to members, the NUT said: ‘In meetings called by Michael Gove on 13 and 16 December, the NUT and NASUWT explained that...
THE US has sent 75 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles to Iraq, with many more on the way. They are to be used to try to prevent Al-Qaeda establishing an Islamic Caliphate in western Iraq, which is to be part of a feudal state stretching into northern Syria. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman...
FURTHER funding cuts to local councils will impact on long-term health outcomes, the British Medical Association (BMA) has warned. The government last week announced a 2.9 per cent overall cut in total council spending for England as part of the local government finance settlement for 2014/15. Public health spending will be...
NATIONAL Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) President Andrew Chirwa has said his union sees no reason to continue supporting the ruling African National Congress (ANC) which has done little to move away from the economy inherited after apartheid. Addressing the NUMSA Congress in the week before Christmas, the...
AT 7pm on the dot on Christmas Eve the doors of Stoke Newington Fire station opened and the fire fighters began their seventh strike in the escalating dispute over pensions. They were joined on the picket by an NUT teachers union rep and a Unison member. Amanda Bentham, NUT...
BRITAIN’S infrastructure was reduced to complete meltdown over Christmas through a combination of high winds and heavy rainfall. Not because of blinding snow storms, hurricane force winds or rainfall on a biblical scale, just the type of weather that occurs around this time every year and which was accurately forecast...
THE founder of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, has backed ex-National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, saying the world needs whistleblowers and that they should be protected. Berners-Lee said Snowden and others like him play an essential role in exposing abuses of power, and should not be punished. The...
ISRAELI authorities raided the house of Samer Issawi, a Palestinian prisoner who engaged in one of the longest hunger strikes in history, on Sunday. Authorities are expected to release Samer Issawi from Israeli prison on Monday, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said. Issawi will be released as part of an agreement in...
THE Tory Works and Pension Minister, Iain Duncan Smith, is furious with the accusation that the government’s policies of cutting all benefits to the bone, introducing caps and in many cases simply cutting off benefits to the unemployed completely, are in any way responsible for people starving. He made his...

FBU strike tonight

ESSEX fire chiefs are putting the people and communities of Essex at unnecessarily increased risk by notifying all wholetime firefighters they will not be paid and are not required to report for duty in the small hours of New Year’s Day, Essex FBU said yesterday. Its statement said: ‘This is...

Teachers no! to 6pm finish

TEACHER union leaders have condemned Education Secretary Gove’s plan to open schools until 6pm for 51 weeks of the year. Gove has made a submission to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), calling for regulations determining teachers’ working conditions to be torn up. In it he claims that schools are prevented...
THREE of the eight fire stations that sent engines to the Apollo Theatre last night are set to close in less than three weeks, said the Fire Brigades Union on Friday. Westminster, Knightsbridge and Southwark fire stations are all earmarked for closure on January 9th, 2014 under proposals from the...
THE President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, has correctly rebuked Tory leader Cameron for peddling nationalism and isolationism. It is ironic that the UK – which in the 19th and early 20th centuries colonised a good part of the world, insisting on carrying the ‘white man’s burden’ there, and slaughtering all...
THE GMB trade union is calling on members and the community to join the lobby of the Clinical Commissioning Group in Cambridge from 1pm on Tuesday 7th January 2014 and send a message to ‘Stop the NHS Sell-Off in Cambridgeshire’. The lobby is in response to the announcement by Cambridgeshire...
TORTURE, flogging, and summary killings are rife in secret prisons run by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an armed group that controls large areas of northern Syria, said Amnesty International in a briefing published on Thursday. It said: ‘ISIS claims it is fighting to establish an “Islamic...
PALESTINIANS are demanding that the US-sponsored ‘peace talks’ with Israel are called off after Israeli troops murdered three Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to build more Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Palestinian negotiator Mohammad Shtayyeh said yesterday the ‘so-called bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations...

UK – Huge Trade Deficit

BRITAIN’S trade deficit has ballooned to its biggest since 1989, shocking the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which released the data yesterday. In the three months to September (the third quarter), the deficit equated to 5.1% of Gross Domestic Product. This exposes a dramatic rise, as the deficit in the second...
BY SAWSAN KHALIFE – FIRST PUBLISHED IN ELECTRONIC INTIFADA THE Israeli government’s announcement last week that it has withdrawn proposed legislation to forcibly displace tens of thousands of Bedouins from the Naqab (Negev) desert represents a small victory for all who have opposed the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Yet it...
FIGURES released last Wednesday purport to show the UK unemployment rate for the three months to September fell to 7.4% from 7.6% – a drop of 99,000 to 2.39 million out of work, the lowest since May 2009. These numbers are for ‘anyone in paid employment’ – what they leave...
OVER half of all teachers have seriously considered leaving the profession in the last twelve months, a survey carried out for teaching union NASUWT has shown. OVER half of all teachers have seriously considered leaving the profession in the last twelve months, a survey carried out for teaching union NASUWT...
NOTORIOUS private security companies G4S and Serco now face criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office in the wake of the electronic tagging scandal. Earlier this month both were stripped of responsibility for tagging criminals in the UK. It follows allegations that they charged the government for tagging people who were...
WASHINGTON – Could Amazon’s Jeff Bezos survive one of his company’s own warehouses for a week? That’s the question Nancy Becker, an American employed by Amazon in Germany since 2001, asked as she trekked to Seattle this week to stand up for the rights of workers in the online...

Reconstitute The Ussr!

UKRAINE’S decision to suspend a deal on closer EU ties and sign a Russian aid agreement instead has helped avoid bankruptcy, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has told ministers at a meeting in Kiev. Azarov said the package from Russia would provide stability, whereas the package from the EU offered only...
DEFENCE Secretary Philip Hammond has refused to rule out the possibility that Britain will join the US’ covert drone programme in Yemen, despite the fact that there is no declared war in the country. Hammond’s comments were made while escorting a group of journalists around the RAF base at...
THE UK unemployment rate fell to 7.4%, from 7.6% for the three months to September, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics yesterday. The number of people out of work fell by 99,000 to 2.39 million in the three months to October, the ONS said. But the trade...
THE Japanese government, ignoring yet again its own constitution, which bans Japan having aggressive military forces, has approved a new national security strategy, and increased defence spending to strengthen its anti-China alliance with the US. Japan is an economic superpower and has the capacity to restore itself rapidly to...
THE RMT tube union has slammed a plan unveiled by Transport for London which would replace nearly a thousand safety-critical tube station staff jobs with a scab-army of unpaid volunteers. The plan is outlined in a company circular issued on Monday which says: ‘As we saw during the 2012 Games...
HUNDREDS of workers protested on Monday in front of the al-Awda biscuit factory in Deir al-Balah in Gaza in Palestine, after the plant was closed as a result of the power and gas crisis in the area. Four hundred and fifty workers demonstrated at one of the...
CHANCELLOR Osborne’s welfare cuts will hit the safety net for workers, warned the TUC last Friday. It was commenting on the Chancellor’s comment at the Treasury Select Committee on Thursday, that he planned to cut an extra £12bn a year from the welfare and benefits bill. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady...
Yesterday, in a speech delivered in the Hertfordshire town of Stevenage, Labour leader, Ed Miliband, reiterated his pledge that the next Labour government would solve the acute crisis in housing by building 200,000 homes a year in England by 2020. This pledge, which Miliband obviously believes is a vote winner,...
WHEN the Care Bill becomes law the elderly will have to spend £150,000 on care before receiving any financial help. The Bill had its second reading yesterday in the House of Commons. From April 2016 the Tory coalition government legislation will cap care costs at £75,000, before an elderly person receives...
PRESIDENT Mahmud Abbas has rejected US proposals for Israel to keep troops in a future Palestinian state along its border with Jordan, a Palestinian source said on Friday. Following a meeting on Thursday evening with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, ‘President Abbas...
HOUSE prices in much of London as well as the UK’s southeast have increased by more than 40 per cent, instilling fears of a housing bubble and rising costs of living at a time when wages have been held down. A study by the Smith Institute found that house...
UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness said yesterday that large regions of the Gaza Strip are a ‘disaster area’. Furthermore he called on the world community to lift the Israeli blockade in order to allow recovery efforts to proceed, in a special statement. He reported that ‘Large swathes of northern Gaza are a...
NHS England Medical Director Keogh has announced that hospitals are to be forced to change the consultant contract and institute so-called ‘seven day working’ of consultants. The plan, unveiled in an exclusive interview in the Sunday Times, involves forcing consultants to do elective routine work on Saturdays and Sundays after...
AS MANY as one in four women prisoners in England and Wales self-harm every year, and female prisoners are four times more likely to self-harm than male inmates, according to the largest ever study of self-harm in prisons, published in The Lancet. Led by Dr Seena Fazel and Professor Keith...
THE fact that the UK ruling coalition is involved up to its neck in organising the war in Syria, and is also keeping it going, is well known. It has permitted hundreds of Islamists to go from the UK to fight the Assad regime and still insists that it...
UNITE and Unison are urging MPs to vote on Monday against Clause 18, hastily inserted into the Care Bill, which would make it easier to close or privatise any hospital in England. Health secretary Hunt wants these extra powers, despite the decision of the High Court, subsequently upheld by the...
A MASS of students over 2,000 strong rallied outside the University of London Students Union (ULU) on Wednesday, to protest the arrest of 41 students last week when police violently broke up a peaceful student demonstration outside Senate House. After hearing speakers – from the leaders of the students union...