Environmental activists block entrance to Norway’s energy ministry

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Greta Thunberg (right) joins the campaigners from Nature and Youth and Norwegian Samirs Riksforbund Nuorat who are blocking the entrances to the Ministry of Oil and Energy in Oslo Monday morning, February 27, 2023

DOZENS of environmental activists blocked the entrance to Norway’s energy ministry in Oslo on Monday.

The activists, including Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg, were protesting against a wind farm they say hinders the rights of the Sami Indigenous people to raise reindeer in Arctic Norway.

The activists lay outside the ministry entrance holding Sami flags and a poster reading “Land Back.” The Sami live in Lapland, which stretches from northern parts of Norway through Sweden and Finland to Russia.

The protesters, from organisations Young Friends of the Earth Norway and the Norwegian Sami Association’s youth council NSR-Nuorat, said “the ongoing human rights violations against Sami reindeer herders must come to an end.”


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Tens of thousands of teachers launch three days of strike action as fair pay and funding battle with Tory government continues

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Members of the National Education Union (NEU) during a rally in Manchester, as teachers in the north of England begin the first of three days of nationwide strike action in a long-running dispute over pay.

TENS of thousands of teachers launched three days of strike action today in their continuing battle for fair pay and funding for schools.

National Education Union (NEU) members mobilised on picket lines and in regional protests and rallies in northern England while Education Institute of Scotland (EIS) and NASUWT members struck in Scotland.

They went ahead despite a government attempt to blackmail education union leaders by telling them talks could take place on pay – but only if the strike action was suspended.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, whose government has overseen education funding cuts which have seen schools fall into disrepair and unable to replace staff who leave, called the strike action “unforgivable.”

The NEU outright rejected the government’s attempt to bully teachers into suspending the strikes in return for pay talks.


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Cross-party MPs release landmark report on Green New Deal

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A cross-party group of MPs and Lords have today released a landmark report on the steps necessary to reach the UK’s climate targets. The report – published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on a Green New Deal – has made a series of major recommendations on how the climate crisis can be addressed at the local level.

The report’s authors argue that powering up local communities with cleaner community energy, local food supplies and strengthened public transport networks is essential if the UK is to hit its 2030 climate targets. 

Among the specific recommendations made by the report is a call for the government target of 68% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 to be made legally binding on all public sector organisations. This would apply to all their spending, programmes and projects.

The report has also called for an end to tax allowances for the use of vehicles powered by fossil fuels, public transport systems to introduce free or low cost fares, and the creation of a new Local Food Investment Fund to provide support to localised agriculture and food infrastructure.


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Antarctic sea ice hits new record low in 2023

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Antarctic sea ice has likely shrunk to a record low, US scientists announced on Monday, raising concerns that the climate crisis is increasingly destabilising the frozen continent.

The 2023 minimum is the lowest in 45 years of satellite record-keeping, according to preliminary findings from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, published on Monday.

Antarctica reached its minimum extent for the year at 691,000 million square miles on 21 February, researchers said, beating the record low set in 2022 by 52,500 square miles.


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Vilifying Corbyn

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Image of Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn MP, former leader of the Labour Party

A small part of an impressive article by Jonathan Cook at https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/uk-labour-starmer-dark-politics-triumph-paving-way

Corbyn was judged to have interfered in antisemitism cases, with the implication that his office tried to stop antisemites from being expelled. The truth was the opposite, as the EHRC quietly conceded. His team “interfered” only in the sense that they tried to speed up the handling of disciplinary cases his right-wing opponents in the party bureaucracy stalled in a bid to fuel the antisemitism smears.

Starmer is interfering in disciplinary cases too – and doing so openly and proudly, including overturning a decision in late 2020 by his National Executive Committee to reinstate Corbyn as an MP. But this time the EHRC seems unconcerned.

The EHRC has given Starmer its official stamp of anti-racism approval even as his officials drive out Jewish members in unprecedented numbers. These are Jews whose mistreatment no one in public life seemingly cares about – because they back Corbyn.

Last week, hot on the heels of that stamp of approval, and mocking the idea that Starmer’s party is interested in tackling racism, Labour barred its local constituency parties from affiliating with a range of progressive groups.

Those included Jewish Voice for Labour, which represents Jews highly critical of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the main UK organisation representing Palestinian interests, as well as Somalis for Labour, Sikhs for Labour and the All African Women’s Group.

The Equalities watchdog’s “special measures” on Labour are also apparently not needed even though prominent Black party members, such as former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, also a Corbyn ally, complain that Starmer’s Labour has done nothing to address anti-Black racism exposed in the recent Forde Report.

The truth is that Starmer and the establishment media will not be satisfied until they have driven a stake through the heart of Corbynism, and its genuine commitment to anti-racism and a more egalitarian approach to the economy. That is why they have never sounded more desperate to vilify him and his supporters. 

A small part of an impressive article by Jonathan Cook at https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/uk-labour-starmer-dark-politics-triumph-paving-way

Continue ReadingVilifying Corbyn