Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The whole idea of socialism is that we should show solidarity towards others, regardless of colour or creed, who face the same daily struggles as ourselves - that we can unite in support of collective political solutions to our individual problems.
Meantime, elsewhere, the chief executives at FTSE 100 companies saw their median earnings rise 32 per cent last year, treble the rise in share prices and well above workers’ average 2 per cent pay award, according to MM&K, a reward consultancy, and Manifest, a proxy voting agency. The corporate leaders’ median salary rise was just 2 per cent but total earnings were boosted by a 70 per cent increase in pay-outs under incentive plans and share option schemes. FTSE 100 chief executives’ pay was 47 times that of average employees in 1998 but had risen to 120 times by 2010, say MM&K and Manifest. Bosses’ packages have more than doubled in value over that period.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The head of the Russian navy, Vladimir Vystotsky, followed up on Wednesday with news of further military build-ups, including upgrades to Russia's Northern Fleet. "Right now a broad spectrum of challenges and threats is being concentrated in the Arctic," he told a conference in the far northern city of Naryan-Mar. He pointed to NATO as the source of the tension, saying the alliance had "marked the Arctic as a zone of its own interests."By 2014, the United Nations will receive claims for parts of the Arctic from Canada, Denmark and Russia, and will then decide whether the science behind those claims is accurate. But if the claims overlap, it will be up to the countries to figure out how to share. "So the Russians are already laying down the ground rules," says Rob Huebert, an expert in Arctic military strategy at Canada's University of Calgary. "They are signaling that if anyone wants to make a competing claim, they should expect a very rough ride."
Robert Corell, a leading U.S. expert on climate change and the Arctic, explained "...our Department of Defense clearly sees the Arctic as a potential conflict multiplier, so we are going to have to see more focus on security issues."
"These discussions about new brigades or the build-up of militaries certainly don't offer any hope," says Paul Berkman, professor of Arctic Ocean geopolitics at the University of Cambridge. "They are alarmist, and in some sense it may be self-fulfilling when those kinds of discussions emerge."
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sunday, July 24, 2011
An Edinburgh city councillor and MSP wants army properties due to be sold off under the UK Government`s defence review turned into social housing. Craigiehall HQ in Edinburgh, plus Redford and Dreghorn barrack could be converted to offer good-quality housing in Edinburgh and help meet the housing shortage in this city. 16,000 homes will be needed over the next 10 years to bridge the housing shortfall .
Readers of the blog are welcome to provide their own suggestions on how the personnel and equipment of the armed forces be turned into something of a social value.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
The report is premised on the priority that the Conservative government has placed on a more rigorous defence of Canada's territorial sovereignty in the North, where countries including Russia, Denmark and the United States are currently staking their claims to land and underwater territory. “To maintain its sovereignty over its northern region, Canada will need to develop enforcement and surveillance capabilities for the Arctic,” the report says. To that end, it envisions scenarios that could call for a military response in the North. “To quickly and effectively respond to these scenarios, the CF would need to improve its personnel and equipment readiness for deployment in the North.”
Navy Lt. Greg Menzies said “The Canadian Forces are ready to execute all potential military tasks in Canada's North and we're always looking at ways to improve our response to possible threats in the North. ”
The total budget for its annual northern exercise, Operation Nanook — which involves moving ships, aircraft, helicopters and about 1,000 personnel into the Arctic Circle — is about $15 million.
Friday, July 22, 2011
PEOPLE in Glasgow have the poorest levels of education anywhere in the UK, according to new figures which show that four of the UK’s worst performing areas are in the city and its surrounding region.
Glasgow North East – which takes in Sighthill, Possilpark, Milton and Springburn – came bottom of the league table of 632 constituencies, with 35.5% of its inhabitants possessing no qualifications of any kind. The area is rated among the most deprived 10% in the country in terms of access to decent housing, employment and income levels by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation. Glasgow East, comprising Shettleston and Baillieston, was third in the table – ranked from worst to best – with 29% of people having no educational qualifications. The other two Scottish areas in the bottom 10 were Glasgow South West, and Motherwell and Wishaw
University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: “There is a danger children growing up in places where it is not unheard of to have no qualifications will have their ambition blunted and never realise their full potential.”
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Official figures from insolvency supervisors Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) showed 5,319 personal insolvencies in Scotland in the first quarter of the current tax year. It is the biggest increase since 2008.
Citizens Advice Scotland chief executive Lucy McTernan said many Scots struggling with heavy debts were choosing bankruptcy as the "lesser of two evils".
She said, "If you are struggling with debt which has become unmanageable, and you really can't see a way out of it, then bankruptcy can be your only realistic course of action."
Experts warned the increase is only the "start of a trend" in the months ahead as the full impact of spending cuts and a stagnant economy start to bite.
Bryan Jackson, corporate recovery partner with accountancy firm PKF, said: "This dramatic rise in the number of personal bankruptcies in Scotland is a sign that the impact of the recession is still being felt. This must be due to rising utility, food and fuel prices coupled with a freeze in pay which means that hard-pressed individuals are now succumbing to years of built-up indebtedness." He warned: "Given that we have yet to see the full implementation of public sector job cuts, these figures would tend to indicate the start of a trend rather than the end and I believe that the number of Scots being made bankrupt will increase for some time to come."
Iain Fraser, Scottish spokesman for insolvency professionals trade body R3, added; "It is highly likely that financial pressures will continue to produce high levels of personal insolvency among Scots for some considerable time."
Gordon MacRae, head of communications and policy at Shelter Scotland, said: "The increase in individual bankruptcies is worrying. As Scotland begins to feel the full impact of savage cuts to jobs and housing benefits, and as more people face even greater debt, the perfect storm is brewing for a rise in homelessness."
Cash-strapped consumers are increasingly turning to discount supermarkets to slash their spending on food, as soaring prices force them to change their shopping habits, according to a new report. The prolonged squeeze on their pockets is making millions of shoppers more savvy when they visit high street stores and is forcing them to change their habits at the tills. Essential foods such as bread, meat, milk, cheese and eggs increased markedly month on month, putting yet more pressure on already struggling households. 84 per cent of people across the UK are worried about the rising cost of food - with food prices continuing to climb. A third of those surveyed told Which? they had already reduced their spending on groceries this year. People have changed which foods they are buying to cope with higher food prices, switching to cheaper brands, bigger value packs and more supermarket own-brands. Shoppers are also putting less organic food in their baskets.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The report by insolvency trade body R3 showed that, over the past three months, 539,000 Scots have taken on additional debt through credit cards, loans and increased overdraft facilities. According to the quarterly personal debt snapshot that equates to 13% of the Scottish population.
More than 200,000 Scots had taken out a high interest payday loan in the last year. But one in five Scots say that after receiving payday loans they then struggle to repay them.
R3 Scottish council member John Hall said: “It is extremely worrying that such a large percentage of people are struggling to make it to pay day and that many are using pay day loans to bridge the gap. These loans tend to have high interest rates and often those who use this type of credit find themselves in a vicious debt cycle, especially if they then experience a sudden job loss.”
John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said: “With Government policies slashing family incomes and food and fuel prices soaring it’s not surprising that Scots are racking up more debt."
The Scottish anti-poverty network, Poverty Alliance, said there were issues surrounding the 400,000 Scots who are earning less than what is considered a living wage, estimated to be around £7 per hour, at a time when living costs are rising. Eddie Follan of Poverty Alliance said: “It is clear that increasing numbers of Scots are under pressure to make ends meet as the price of essentials like food and energy continue to rise. At the same time low pay continues to be a blight on too many of our citizens. The number of people who are in work and live in poverty is increasing.” He said those on low pay were “no doubt supplementing their low incomes with unsustainable and expensive debt”.
CAS chief executive Lucy McTernan said: “Our evidence shows that across Scotland, debt levels increased by 50% over the period of the recession, with the average debt among our clients reaching more than £20,000.”
Citizens Advice Scotland says four out of five young Scots have been in debt by the age of 21, and a third have owed more than £5000.
Hornby is back in another top job - the head of the bookmaker chain Coral. He joined Gala Coral Group as chief executive with the job of reviving the bookmaking arm of the gambling company. He will take control over 1,670 shops as well as online and telephone betting services.
So from the stock market casino to the bookies, Hornby gambles on and while we lose , he wins.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
“More than half of Norwegian waters are north of the Arctic Circle,” says Maj-Gen Rune Jakobsen, deputy chief of staff at the headquarters, gesturing at a map showing Norway’s maritime borders converging with those of Russia, Canada, the US and Greenland around the North Pole. “So it’s only natural that it gets a lot of our attention.”
Norway is not the only country turning its military’s attention to the frozen north. Russia’s defence ministry announced plans last week to create two army brigades to defend its polar territory, and Canada is sending more than 1,000 troops to the region in August for its biggest Arctic. After a quiet period at the end of the cold war, the Russian air force has become more active around Norway’s Arctic airspace. Norwegian officials claim Russia has even carried out mock bombing raids off the coast near Bodø.
The build-up is fuelling fears of conflict in a region estimated to hold up to a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Norway is counting on polar resources to prolong its oil boom as North Sea reserves decline. Statoil, the Norwegian state-controlled energy group, already has one Arctic project on-stream – the Snohvit gas field in the Barents Sea – and in April announced a big oil discovery 100km farther north. The country also stands to benefit from the opening of new shipping routes as polar ice recedes. Last summer, a mine in the far north of Norway delivered 41,000 tonnes of iron ore through Arctic waters to China, shaving 18 days off the time it would have taken via the Suez canal.
“If you put together resources, transport routes and people you have the mix you need for potential conflict,” says Jonas Gahr Støre, Norway’s foreign minister. “But it is up to the Arctic states to manage this responsibly and make sure that is not how it ends up.”
"If you want peace, prepare for war" is the age-old adage - Socialist Courier thinks that the idea of ensuring peace by military build-ups rather ominous and fool-hardy.
Friday, July 15, 2011
750,000 Scottish households live below the fuel poverty line. This is where households spend more than 10% of their income on keeping warm. And 900,000 could soon be below the line due to recent rises.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
"In reality, the state is nothing more than a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy; and at best an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy whose worse sides the proletariat, just like the Commune, will have at the earliest possible moment to lop off, until such time as a new generation, reared under new and free social conditions, will be able to throw on the scrap heap, all the useless lumber of the state." (Engels in his introduction to 'the
Civil War in France").
"From the ground provided by such economic illusions, we see rise again the fallacy that the liberty of the working class can be accomplished by the destruction of the State and not by the conquest of the State. This belief throws back the revolutionary working class movement toward the confusion, indefiniteness and low ideological level that characterized it at the time of the Commune of 1871."
" In her polemic against Edouard Bernstein, Rosa Luxemburg declared, quite correctly, that 'there never was any doubt for Marx and Engels about the necessity of having the proletariat conquer political power."
Lamborghini sales tripled in China. Rolls-Royce's rose 146% overtaking the UK and on course to soon surpass the US. Bentley's sales almost doubled, making it the firm's third-biggest market. Porsche up 60% from 2009. Despite the surge in sales of 300kmph cars, the rush-hour speed in Beijing is rarely above 25kmph.
(3rd Wednesday of month).
Community Central Hall, 304 Maryhill Rd. . 8.30 PM
See a map here on Glasgow's website
20 July Another Look At Marxism. R.Donnelly.
17 August The Socialist Party's Record - Warts And All. V.Vanni.
21 September The Role of Trade Unions. J.Cumming.
19 October Resistance, Reform or Revolution. B.Gardner.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
28 per cent said they had contemplated suicide. A third of Scots often felt their "life was being wasted", while two-thirds said being classed a "Neet" - Not in Education, Employment of Training - made them "feel bad about themselves".
Citizens Advice Scotland found the unemployment rate for young people to be around 20 per cent, almost three times the overall figure.
The human impact of the recession was also laid bare by new research showing the number of suicides during the economic crisis increased by as much as 29% in parts of the U.K. and also spiked in the worst affected countries in the European Union. The increase in suicides was most apparent in countries that had been badly affected by the financial crisis: Greece and Ireland. In those countries, the number of suicides increase by 17% and 13% respectively between 2007 and 2009.
Dr David Stuckler, from the University of Cambridge in the U.K, one of the researchers, said: "There was a complete turnaround. Suicides were falling before the recession, then started rising in nearly all European countries studied. Almost certainly these rises are linked to the financial crisis..."
Monday, July 11, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
The NDP party, recently elevated to official opposition status for the first time in its history, held a party convention on the occasion of its 50th. Anniversary. On the agenda was a proposal " to debate a change to the preamble of the constitution that would replace a commitment to democratic socialist principles including an explicit aversion to profit making with the soft language of social democracy." (Joanna Smith, Toronto Star (18/June/11). The decision was deferred to party caucus to
decide later and a merger with the Liberal Party was also discussed. The two items show exactly were the NDP stands with the capitalist parties, ready to change anything and merge with anybody to get elected. The NDP has never been socialist and probably its members have no idea what socialism stands for. At least, if this proposal passes, the pretence will be over.
Saturday, July 09, 2011
In a strange article (Toronto Star, 18/June/11) entitled "Take This Job and Shove it to Asia", Heather Mallick writes how much she admires workers such as 15 year-old Chinese worker Yufeng who works in a factory making bra underwires by placing 57 steel bands into a heating machine. She is such a human dynamo that she earns 80 cents per hour, double the minimum wage. Then there is Caitlin Kelly, 53, who wrote a book, "Malled" where she tells her story of working two days a week in a suburban mall, then as a waitress for $2.43/hour plus tips. Kelly, according to Mallick is a 'mean-eyed, Class-A malcontent who resents people with more money. Kelly finally winds up at a Walmart that she considers as a hazard and was in no way going to risk her life climbing the high shelves in a poorly lit stockroom for $11 per hour. I think the whole point of the article is to contrast the stoic tornado Yufeng with the lazy and insolent Kelly who earns fifteen times as much. Are we supposed to dumb our jobs down to Chinese standards? Capital would love it but why would another worker, Mallick, be so supportive? After all, they could hire Chinese journalist for 80 cents per hour! John Ayers
Friday, July 08, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
John Cartwright, president of the Toronto & York Region Labour Council, bemoans the lack of good jobs (Toronto Star, 18/June/11) and blames the problem on the CEOs saying that, according to them, young people don't deserve good pay and benefits. Of course, he is way off mark as it doesn't matter what the CEOs think, capital will decide who gets what. Cartwright does tell us that the trend to contract and temp workers is all in the name of lower pay and greater profits (Surprise!) the difference in pay and benefits between a permanent employee and a contract worker is 13%, and between the employee and the temp worker it is a staggering 34%! John Ayers
The average price of a home in Edinburgh in the three months to the end of June was £219,530 - down 3.6 per cent from the same period last year. The average selling price of a flat in the Leith Walk and Easter Road area of the capital is now under £100,000 for the first time since 2006.
House prices in the west of Scotland have also tumbled. Prices were 2 per cent lower in the last quarter than in the same period last year, taking them back to 2006 levels. The average selling price of a home in Strathclyde is now £136,000, almost £3,000 lower than a year ago.
There were sharper falls elsewhere in east-central Scotland. The average price of a home in Midlothian in the last quarter was 10.8 per cent lower than a year ago, while the West Lothian average plummeted 9.5 per cent.
David Marshall, business analyst at ESPC explained "There are around 30 per cent more properties available for sale than you would normally see at this time of year, and the number of properties selling is around half that seen prior to the credit crisis,"
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said the market faced "significant headwinds" that would constrain housing demand. "Low earnings growth, higher taxes and relatively high inflation are all continuing to put pressure on household finances."
53,500 tonnes of the waste from the hospitality sector is food waste - two-thirds of which could have been eaten.
Food waste extends beyond the hotel industry, with more than £1 billion worth of food wasted by consumers in Scotland each year - an average of £430 per household. Households throw away 566,000 tonnes of food every year in Scotland.
US, Canada, Russia, Denmark and Norway are becoming embroiled in disputes over boundaries on land and at sea. The United States and Canada disagree on the setting of the boundaries in the Beaufort Sea – an area of intense interest to oil drillers. Canada has yet to resolve a dispute with Denmark over the ownership of Hans Island and where the control line should be drawn in the strait between Greenland (whose sovereignty remains with Denmark) and Ellesmere Island. Of even greater significance in a world of melting ice floes is control of the North West Passage. Canada insists that it has sovereignty over the sea route and therefore must be asked about usage. The US sees it as a potential area of open water which gives it automatic right of passage for its battleships. The US and Russia still have a disagreement over the exact maritime border from the Bering Sea into the Arctic Ocean. A deal was signed with the then-USSR, but Russia has refused to ratify it.
US "soft" diplomacy was backed up with a bit of hardware. Two nuclear-powered submarines were sent to patrol 150 miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The US navy move comes as Russia is said to have increased missile testing in the region and Norway has moved its main military base to the far north.
Rob Huebert, a professor of political science at the University of Calgary, warned in a recent paper prepared for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute that "an arms race may be beginning...Not withstanding the public statements of peace and co-operation in the Arctic issued by the Arctic states, The strategic value of the region is growing. As this value grows, each state will attach a greater value to their own national interests in the region. The Arctic states may be talking co-operation, but they are preparing for conflict." Huebert points out that as well as opening a new ultra-hi-tech operations centre inside a mountain at Reitan, in the far north of Norway, Oslo is also spending unprecedented money on new military hardware, not least five top-of-the-range frigates. The class of vessel is called Fridtjof Nansen, after the famous polar explorer, which perhaps indicates where the navy plans to deploy them. Norway is the world's fifth-biggest oil exporter and has the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world - $550billion
Admiral James Stavridis, Nato's supreme allied commander in Europe, in a foreword to a recent Whitehall Paper published by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies in London, argued: "For now, the disputes in the north have been dealt with peacefully, but climate change could alter the equilibrium over the coming years in the race of temptation for exploitation of more readily accessible natural resources." He added: "The cascading interests and broad implications stemming from the effects of climate change should cause today's global leaders to take stock, and unify their efforts to ensure the Arctic remains a zone of co-operation – rather than proceed down the icy slope towards a zone of competition, or worse a zone of conflict."
Canada's former foreign minister, Lawrence Cannon, voiced confidence his nation would win the territory. "We will exercise sovereignty in the Arctic," he told his Russian counterpart in talks in Moscow.
Aqqaluk Lynge, former chairman of the indigenous peoples' forum, the Inuit Circumpolar Council said "There is a military build-up and an increase in megaphone diplomacy … We do not want a return to the cold war,"
Paul Berkman, director of the Arctic Ocean geopolitics programme at the Scott Polar Research Institute, believes the deluge of books and features highlighting potential problems cannot be dismissed as melodrama. "You have to ask why are these alarming and alarmist headlines being written and it may be there is unfinished business from the Cold War."
The race into the Arctic is inevitable in a world that prizes mineral wealth but takes the natural world for granted.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Two large strikes erupted in June the postal workers and the Air Canada workers. Just hours after Canada Post locked out the postal workers after two weeks of rotating strikes, the government announced back-to-work
legislation and planned a similar fate for the customer service and sales workers at Air Canada. The latter strike was settled before legislation could be brought forward. The NDP labour critic predicted a bleak future for unions and stated that Prime Minister Harper, "has made it clear he's only here for the big employers." The government action is widely seen as support for the employers, but would you expect anything different? The government is there to support the capitalist system that pits workers against employers, and they have always taken the latter's side. It's part of the continuing attack on worker pay and benefits to pay for the last recession. The general form of attack is to grandfather the pay and benefits of older employees and take as much as possible from the younger workers and, especially from new hires. For example, the fall out from the auto crisis includes 27 000 job cuts, the veteran workers accepted pay cuts of 50-60% and new hires get $14 to $16 per hour and a self funded benefit package, which, according to David Olive (Toronto Star 4th June, 2011)," is good pay, if you're a galley-crew supervisor at Burger King". John Ayers
"An active growth of oil and gas exploration in the [arctic] region may become a death sentence for its environment. The natural world of these northern seas is so sensitive and so vulnerable that even a slightest breach in its structure can lead to consequences no one will be able to reverse," a 2007 report concluded.
Greenland's government pressed ahead with new offshore licence awards to major companies including Shell, ConocoPhilips and Norway's Statoil. Ove Karl Berthelsen, Greenland's minister for industry and mineral resources, makes clear his country's motivation at a time when it is trying to break away from overall political control by Denmark: "The result of the licensing round is an important step towards achieving a sustainable economy for Greenland." Greenland, whose population is 80% Inuit, has recently won a measure of self-rule from its traditional colonial masters, Denmark. The new government in Nuuk is desperately keen to win complete independence and understands this is impossible while the country is dependent on financial handouts from Copenhagen. The Greenland government in Nuuk has just underlined its commitment to new ventures by repealing a law that prevented any kind of uranium mining. The law have been amended to grant exploration licences for radioactive elements such as uranium and thorium. Henrik Stendal, head of the geology department at the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum in Nuuk says "global warming is good for Greenland."
Promises to give lots of work or money to local communities: people tend to say 'yes' to these things without necessarily thinking them through the consequences. Ove Gudmestad, a professor of marine and Arctic technology at the University of Stavanger in Norway said local people were rightly wary that they could get sucked into a legal dispute that could last for decades and for which the oil companies are far better prepared and resourced.
Richard Shepherd, chairman of the specialist oil consultancy, Petrologica, believes there is a strong political momentum behind increased polar exploration that extends way beyond the boundaries of Greenland. He says: "Arctic oil and gas is on the strategic agenda due to fear of energy dependence and fear of absolute shortages. Energy security is now synonymous with national security in the US – as it is with China". This, combined with rising prices means the pressure to exploit the Arctic's oil wealth will only increase.
Britain's richest man is planning a giant new opencast mine 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle in a bid to extract a potential $23bn (£14bn) worth of iron ore. The "mega-mine" – which includes a 150km railway line and two new ports – is believed to be the largest mineral extraction project in the Arctic and highlights the huge commercial potential of the far north as global warming makes industrial development in the region easier. The company has just spent nearly $600m (£373m) alongside a US private equity firm buying Baffinland Iron Mines, to seize control and develop the Mary river deposits in the Nunavut region of the Canadian Arctic. The world's biggest steel-making group, ArcelorMittal, admits the operations will be undertaken in an area inhabited by unique wildlife including polar bear, narwhal and walrus. The company admits any large diesel spill "would have significant environmental effects".
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
The Conservative's 'tough on crime' stance is holding prisoners longer and backing up the parole system. At $556 a day for women and $292 a day for men, it will be a costly policy. Apart from the fact that the prison system does not work, it simply keeps prisoners in the 'crime school' for better graduation chances. - And who goes to prison? Studies show that in Canada all prisoners are poor and most are aboriginals, addicts, and people with mental illness. Certainly the rich do not appear often. David Olive ("What Keeps Wall Street Miscreants Out Of Jail? Toronto Star, June 11, 2011) tells us that Wall Street's top managers will cause the banking system to lose $744 billion. Eight million Americans and 400 000 Canadians lost their jobs, and an estimated 50 million American homeowners have been foreclosed on.
Olive asks, "Shouldn't someone go to jail for that?" John Ayers
Monday, July 04, 2011
Almost 90% of Glasgow people feel little or no involvement with their local community.
Glasgow men will live four years less than men elsewhere in the country, while women will live 2.5 years less.
A boy of 15 in Bridgeton or Dennistoun has only a 53% chance of reaching his 65th birthday.
Men in Anniesland, Bearsden and Milngavie will live 15 years longer than men in Bridgeton and Dennistoun.
Alcohol-related deaths are the highest in the UK, with women from the most deprived areas at least four times more likely to die of alcohol-related causes than women from the least deprived areas.
Glasgow has the highest rate of drug-related deaths, a rate double the national average – and rising.
More than 6000 children in the city live with a parent with drug problems.
More people in Greater Glasgow are taking regular exercise, especially in some of the more deprived areas – but 38% of people in those areas do not take part in any sport.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Saturday, July 02, 2011
The plan to strengthen military forces in the Arctic was announced a day after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia would protect its interests in the region “firmly and consistently” and would stand by its territorial claims on the underwater Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges in the Arctic Ocean, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the Earth's undiscovered oil and gas.
Some three years back, Russia's national security council had made it clear that the Arctic region would be its main resource base. Moscow was looking forward to extracting this potential by 2020.
Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov also said the new submarine-launched intercontinental ballistic missile, Bulova, was ready for deployment on the new-generation Borei-class nuclear submarines that would operate in the Arctic. The Russian Navy has also drawn up plans to deploy more surface battleships in Arctic ports to protect sea routes along Russia's 22,600-km long Arctic coastline.
Friday, July 01, 2011
"It's simply obscene for five directors of a public company to trouser half a million pounds between them in bonuses on top of an existing pay packet that's already two and a half times that. Public services are being closed down while workers face pay freezes and compulsory redundancies, yet this gilded elite make more in a month than most people make in a year." Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie said.
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The life expectancy of people born in many parts of Scotland has fallen, as health chiefs continue to be worried about the worsening figu...