Socialist Worker

Another way of killing

Issue No. 1832

DICK CHENEY, US vice- president and warmonger, has stepped in personally to sabotage a deal on drugs drawn up by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The proposals to make cheap drugs available to poor countries faced with medical emergencies were accepted by all the other 144 countries involved in the negotiations.

The US government, bankrolled by the big pharmaceutical companies, objects to poor countries being allowed to override drug company patents and import cheaper versions of the key medicines. The collapse of the negotiations mean millions of people will be denied access to drugs for killer diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Dangers of GM sneaked out

THE GOVERNMENT quietly slipped out a report on Christmas Eve which damns plans to grow genetically modified (GM) crops commercially in Britain. The findings of the official study show that GM crops can interbreed with wild relatives.

The report cited a study of GM oilseed rape, but the principle is identical for all GM crops. The findings rubbish claims that GM crops can be safely grown without contaminating other crops.

It also punches a hole in the case argued by the multinationals who dominate the GM industry, and it is highly embarrassing for New Labour, which has consistently tried to back the GM corporations.

Tests stress out children

CHILDREN AS young as seven are being driven into stress and anxiety by a relentless diet of exams. A new survey shows that over half of all seven year olds show signs of stress, including appetite loss, insomnia, bed wetting and depression when they are preparing for exams.

Around 88 percent of the teachers questioned said that pupils start dreading the tests at the beginning of the summer term.

Racism scars jail system

BLACK PEOPLE are six times more likely than whites to be locked up in prison, according to a new survey. The professor who led the study said black people are more likely to be sent to prison than whites, even for a first offence.

The report shows the racism that scars the whole criminal justice system. Almost a quarter of Britain's 72,416 jail population come from ethnic minorities.

Fire cover should 'double'

FIRE COVER in some areas of Britain should be doubled, according to research deliberately suppressed by the government. The research totally contradicts the Bain review findings that said the number of firefighters should be slashed.

Yet the Labour government is determined to impose the Bain review's findings on the fire service.

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Sat 4 Jan 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1832
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