Socialist Worker

In brief

Issue No. 1805

Blair's nuke bomb plant

NEW LABOUR is planning to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on a massive nuclear bomb making factory at Aldermaston, near Reading. These nuclear warheads will be used against 'terrorist' groups and 'rogue' states.

'It is clear that the government is committing itself to a long term nuclear future after Trident,' says Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University.

Give money, block union

NEW LABOUR gave a knighthood to millionaire businessman Gulam Noon in the golden jubilee birthday honours list last week. Noon had given donations of more than £100,000 to the Labour Party.

In 1998 Noon opposed union recognition for a long period at his factory in Southall, and sacked a leading activist who was involved in the campaign. He was eventually forced to back off by demonstrations and sit-downs.

Not a drop for children

THOUSANDS OF children have no access to a water fountain at school, leading some to suffer from dehydration, a report by researchers at the University of Leeds has found.

A survey of 192 schools in Yorkshire found that 42 percent of pupils did not have access to drinking water during the school day. Of the 58 percent who did, 44 percent could only obtain water from the toilet areas, which are often unhygienic.

It's cheaper to meet doc

EACH CALL to NHS Direct, the government's 24-hour helpline, costs 25 percent more than a visit to the doctor.

Official figures show that each call cost almost £18 last year-£4 more than the cost of a visit to the doctor. NHS Direct was set up to take pressure away from doctors and hospitals.

Gravy train is running again

SHAREHOLDERS OF Railtrack are set for a £1 billion bonanza despite the failure of the privatised railway system. Network Rail, the government's 'not for profit' replacement for Railtrack, is set to pay £500 million for the rump of the privatised company.

The government has also agreed to waive £150 million of tax that would have been paid by shareholders as part of the settlement. London and Continental is paying £375 million for the Channel Tunnel rail link. Network Rail will have to pay £80 million to run it.

Fish may soon grow fingers

A safety study around the Severn Estuary close to Amersham's radioisotope plant near Cardiff discovered tritium in fish several hundred times higher than expected.

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Sat 22 Jun 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1805
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