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Monthly Archives: April 2020

ON THE day the owners in Dubai are set to pay hundreds of millions in dividends, RMT has called for P&O Ferries to be nationalised to protect UK seafarer jobs and its strategic supply route. DP World is set to make a £270m dividend payment to private shareholders. To keep 1,400...
Lawyers acting for an NHS doctor who is taking a legal case against the UK Government seeking the publication of the findings of Exercise Cygnus have issued a letter asking for an explanation of how The Sun newspaper has had sight of extracts of the previously undisclosed Cygnus Report. Law...
THE GIANT Unite and GMB trade unions have greeted the news that British Airways is to make 12,000 workers redundant with shock, dismay and little else, despite the fact that the savage blow at BA workers was not unexpected. Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said: ‘This announcement will be felt...
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing in London has been delayed, potentially to November, due to the coronavirus pandemic. A hearing, held by video link at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday, upheld Assange’s team’s appeal that the case must be postponed. This could be until as late as November 2nd,...
IN HIS speech outside Downing Street on Monday PM Johnson made it crystal clear that the Tory Party, presiding over the greatest ever crisis of British capitalism, is well aware that it is skating on the thinnest of thin ice, and that, despite its 80-plus majority, it and British...
BP PROFITS have nosedived by 66% the oil giant revealed yesterday as it published its first quarter profit. BP warned it faces an ‘exceptional level of uncertainty’ after a sharp reduction in demand during the corona crisis as many factories remain shut. It has sent prices to 20-year lows, with US...
‘WE WILL be reaching out to build the biggest possible consensus,’ Tory PM Johnson said yesterday morning, ‘across business, across industry, across all parts of our United Kingdom, across party lines, bringing in opposition parties, as far as we possible can.’ After Johnson’s speech, a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that...
THE SPOKESMAN for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces says the Baghdad government is serious about implementing the parliament’s resolution concerning the withdrawal of US forces from the country. US ambassador to Baghdad (Douglas A. Silliman) delivered a letter to caretaker prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, at the weekend which...
THE UNITED Nations rapporteur on extreme poverty, Philip Alston, has issued a damning attack on the Tory government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic describing it as ‘utterly hypocritical’ after years of Tory-imposed austerity attacks and savage cuts to the public sector. Alston made this damning assessment in an interview with...
THE BMA (British Medical Association) said yesterday that ‘frustration grows’ over the government’s failure to guarantee that the families of healthcare workers who lose their lives during the fight against Covid-19 will be financially supported in these tragic circumstances. The BMA is demanding urgent answers from Westminster to its calls...
SYRIA’S UN ambassador says the UN Security Council has failed the Palestinian and Syrian people by not enforcing its resolutions on the Israeli occupation and in particular the occupation of the Golan Heights. ‘The UN, due to pressure by some permanent members of the Security Council, has so far failed...
WITH British capitalism up to its neck in hundreds of billions of debt, and with the middle class small proprietors ruined, the cry is going up to end the coronavirus lockdown of the UK economy. It is due to finish at the end of June as is the Chancellor’s...
THE POA has joined the FBU, PCS and GMB in a Legal Challenge to ‘stop the looting of their pensions!’ The POA, along with the FBU, PCS and GMB, yesterday filed court proceedings regarding the government’s withholding of improved pension benefits arising from the Pensions Cost Cap from thousands of...
TWENTY-FOUR rights groups have called on Turkey to release all those arbitrarily detained and imprisoned there simply for demanding basic human rights – and so at risk of contracting Covid-19. In fact, in the early hours of Tuesday 14 April, the Turkish Parliament passed a law which will lead to...
FITTING masks to NHS workers, moving dead infected bodies, driving ambulances, making face shields, carrying out tests and delivering food to the elderly: all of these tasks are to be done by firefighters, leaving them little or no time and resources to do the job they have been trained...
‘THE US economy is haemorrhaging jobs at a pace and scale never before recorded,’ Scott Anderson, chief economist at the Bank of the West in San Francisco said yesterday, adding: ‘It compares to a natural disaster on a national scale.’ He was referring to the record 26 million Americans who...

Nissan Opens!

NISSAN is piloting new safety measures which will see around 50 staff return to work at Britain’s biggest car plant today, with the support of the Unite trade union. The Japanese manufacturer said ‘some activities are now being planned’ after its operations across Europe were shut down last month because...
IRAN’S Minister of Petroleum, Bijan Zangeneh, says shale oil producers in the US and Canada are being punished by a historic rout in oil markets for refusing to join production cuts by OPEC and its allies. US crude prices plummeted to their lowest level in history below minus $40 a...
THE LATEST economic forecasts for the UK released yesterday revealed that Britain’s economy is collapsing at an unprecedented rate this month. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which tracks the country’s economic activity in manufacturing and service, slumped to just 12.9 for April – down from 36 in March – making...
RMT WARNS there is zero chance of agreement to government plans to increase transport services on 11th May in the current climate, as a survey of 10,000 transport workers reveals widespread failings to protect key transport workers and passengers from COVID 19. Transport union RMT warned that there was zero...
SYRIAN President Bashar al-Assad received Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and an accompanying delegation on Monday. At the start of the meeting, President al-Assad offered condolences to Iran and its people over the victims of the coronavirus, and expressed his regret that this pandemic has become a subject of...
ON MONDAY night, US President Donald Trump announced via a tweet that he would stop all applications from foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the US. On Tuesday, Trump followed up his promise to ban applications for a ‘green card’ stating that this would ‘protect American jobs’, saying that with...
A FIRE has ripped through one of Greece’s largest refugee camps after the death of an Iraqi woman sparked an uprising. The blaze late on Saturday at the Vial refugee camp on Chios island destroyed the facilities of the European asylum service, a canteen, warehouse tents and many housing containers,...
THE PRICE of US oil has turned negative for the first time in history, destroying the shale gas ‘miracle’ that was going to liberate the country from using Saudi oil and restore the power of US imperialism. The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark for...
‘FORCING student nurses to pay tuition fees has been a disaster,’ the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said yesterday, demanding that all student nurses’ debt is scrapped and their and student midwives’ bursaries are fully restored. The RCN welcomes the introduction of £5,500 grants for nursing students but warns: ‘This...
THE US is once again flexing its muscles in the Middle East and the Iranian Gulf. American officials claimed a group of 11 Iranian naval vessels made ‘dangerous and harassing’ manoeuvers near US ships in the Persian Gulf near Kuwait on Wednesday, in one case passing within 10 yards (metres)...
AS MANY as 11.7 million people will be thrown out of work – either through being furloughed or simply being sacked – in the coming months, according to the Resolution Foundation. The Foundation released its damning assessment yesterday, the day that the Tory coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) came into...
THE CHILDREN of working class families are being denied an education during the coronavirus lockdown as many families do not have access to laptops, computers and the internet. This is while the children of the rich enjoy on-line private tuition, a new report by the Sutton Trust revealed yesterday. Private...
IN TESTIMONIES provided to the BMA, one doctor said that ‘we are under immense and continuous stress’. While another doctor said: ‘What has been most distressing is seeing nurses break down uncontrollably in tears, knowing there is nothing you can do.’ Almost half of UK doctors are suffering from burnout,...
UNITED Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has demanded the protection of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails and detention facilities amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The UN chief has also asked his Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to remain in contact with Israeli officials to...
THE LOCAL Government Association’s (LGA) Richard Watts has written to Tory Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick (of the two houses) warning against ‘extreme cost-cutting’ and appealing for a guarantee that the government is ‘still willing to do whatever it takes’ to keep vital services. An extra £1.6bn has been given...
UNITE national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe said yesterday that ‘Pressures on our ambulance members are unprecedented, with the profession not currently being given the correct guidance as to whom they should take to hospital. ‘They are also not being given the correct level of personal protective equipment (PPE) if...
ON April 9th South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown to disrupt the transmission of Covid-19 in the country would be ‘extended until the end of April.’ But farm workers, especially women farm workers in fact, are already facing a crisis of hunger just two weeks into the...
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump yesterday unveiled his three-phase plan for opening up businesses in America proclaiming, ‘We’re starting our life again. We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again.’ Trump’s plan to rejuvenate US capitalism is in fact a series of guidelines but the onus on implementing these is firmly in...
IT IS A moral outrage to pay workers less than the minimum wage the GMB union told the Tory government yesterday. The union has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to demand that furloughed workers be paid no less than minimum wage rates under the government’s Job...
BY PETER OBORNE & JAN-PETER WESTAD From Middle East Eye TERENCE English is a celebrated British surgeon. In 1979 he performed the first successful heart transplant in the UK. He has served as president of both the Royal College of Surgeons and the British Medical Association, and as the master of...
THE general secretary of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, has reacted with fury over the revelations contained in the leaked internal report by the Labour Party into the treacherous activities of the right wing who secretly worked to ensure Labour lost the 2017 general election. This 860 page report details...
SAEB Erekat, Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said Israel has responded to a Palestinian request to cooperate in fighting the coronavirus pandemic with incursions, killings and demolitions. Speaking on Palestine TV, Erekat said ‘despite our limited capabilities, we tried to cooperate with Israel to...
BRITAIN is in the grip of the deepest recession since records began putting the country on course for the biggest economic collapse since 1709 – this was the verdict this week of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), an independent organisation but which works closely with the Treasury in...
THE LATEST figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which include every community death linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales, showed a total of 406 such deaths registered up to 3rd April had occurred outside of hospitals. That would have added an extra 11% to the official UK...
Qantas staff at Australia’s Adelaide Airport were directed to continue working after it was discovered they had been exposed to the coronavirus, the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) alleges. Key points: The Transport Workers’ Union claims Qantas knowingly exposed staff at Adelaide Airport to coronavirus Qantas maintains it has fully complied...
THE Eurozone committed ‘collective suicide’ last week when EU finance ministers met and agreed a deal that they heralded as a historic breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19 and the economic devastation it has caused – especially to the weaker EU economies. This meeting followed on from a video conference...
BELMARSH High Security prison is suffering from an outbreak of coronavirus to such an extent that it is ‘barely functioning’, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has revealed to a friend. Assange has been languishing in the UK maximum security prison since April 2019. British freelance video journalist Vaughan Smith revealed this shocking state...
OVER 100 refugee doctors are signed up to become vital medical support staff – as unregistered UK doctors in Britain, many of them from the Middle East, are set to play a part in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic as UK medical support workers. RefuAid, which supports refugees in Britain, said...
IN THE week after the hospital coronavirus death toll rose above 10,000, the lockdown measures are to be reviewed. Anticipating this review, Tory chancellor Rishi Sunak warned the Tory cabinet that the UK is reaching a ‘tipping point’ between controlling the coronavirus and saving British capitalism. According to reports leaked over...